Pair shares early lead at Nwide event

By Sports NetworkOctober 23, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 Miccosukee Championship MIAMI ' Chris Nallen and Fran Quinn both posted rounds of 4-under 67 Thursday to share the lead after one round of the Miccosukee Championship.
 
Just 22 players broke par in the first round and there are four players just one stroke off the lead at Miccosukee Golf & Country Club.
 
Darron Stiles, who won the New Zealand PGA Championship earlier this season, is one of the four players tied for third at 3 under. He was joined there by Scott Gardiner, Camilo Benedetti and Daniel Summerhays.
 
This is the final full-field event of the season and players are trying to play their way into the top 60 on the money list, which gets them into the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship.
 
With that in mind, Nallen needs a big week as he stands 72nd on the money list and is more then $14,000 behind 60th ranked David Hearn.
 
'I've been making a lot of cuts, but not doing much on the weekend,' admitted Nallen. 'I try not to think about the money list. We'll see when happens. It's all you can do.'
 
Nallen started on the back nine and opened with a birdie on the 10th. He reeled off five straight pars from the 11th before a birdie at 16.
 
He gave that shot back with a bogey on the 17th, but quickly erased that mistake with a birdie at 18.
 
The 26-year-old Nallen parred the first four holes of the front nine before jumping to 4 under with an eagle at the par-5 fifth. He birdied the sixth, but tripped to a bogey on the seventh. Nallen parred the last two to finish at 4 under.
 
'It was very difficult out there. The wind was howling and swirling,' Nallen said. 'It was hard to pick a club, but I did putt well.'
 
Quinn also started on the 10th and he made eagle on the par-5 10th to get off to a quick start. He picked up birdies on the 13th and 16th to turn in 4 under.
 
Around the turn, Quinn faltered to a bogey on the par-3 fourth. He got that shot back thanks to a birdie at the fifth before parring his final four holes to share the lead.
 
'I played real solid all day,' Quinn said. 'I drove the ball great in these conditions. You just take the opportunities when they come. You can't force anything.'
 
Brendon de Jonge, who is No. 1 on the money list, opened with a 2-under-par 69. He was joined in a share of seventh by Dicky Pride, Gavin Coles, Vance Veazey, Bryce Molder, Josh Broadaway, Matt Weibring, Jon Turcott, Matt Hansen, Dustin Bray and Jim Herman.
 
Of that group, Bray (67th) and Coles (68th) are the closest to entering the top 60 on the money list and getting into next week's field.
 
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    McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

    By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

    The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

    McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

    McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

    ''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

    Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

    ''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

    McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

    ''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

    The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

    ''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

    The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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    Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

    By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

    If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days of engaging in pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

    Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

    If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

    Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

    Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

    I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

    A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

    And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

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    Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

    Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

    The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

    Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

    “I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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    Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

    Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

    Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.