Patient Jobe on Top at Buick

By Sports NetworkJanuary 27, 2006, 5:00 pm
2005 Buick InvitationalSAN DIEGO -- Brandt Jobe posted a 5-under 67 on Friday to grab the lead after two rounds of the Buick Invitational. He stands at 12- under-par 132 and is two clear of Tim Clark and Jesper Parnevik at Torrey Pines.
 
Jobe played on the more difficult South Course on Friday as play rotated over the South and North Courses for the first two rounds. The South Course hosts the weekend.
 
Tiger Woods and Stuart Appleby
Tiger Woods is seven back, while Stuart Appleby is eight back.
Clark and Parnevik both played the North Course in round two. Clark carded a 6-under 66, while the colorful Swede managed a 5-under 67. The pair is knotted at 10-under-par 134.
 
Steve Lowery shot a 3-under 69 on the South Course Friday and is alone in fourth place at minus-8.
 
Defending champion and three-time tournament winner Tiger Woods made his 2006 PGA Tour season debut on Thursday with a 1-under-par 71. He rebounded on Friday at the South Course with a 4-under 68.
 
'I did some work last night and some work this morning and went out there and felt really good,' said Woods, who is tied for 22nd place at 5-under-par 139. 'Today felt a lot better.'
 
Woods was 5 under par on his round through 10 holes, but trouble found the reigning Masters winner and British Open champion. He bogeyed the 11th when he hit a bad tee shot, but roared back with a 60-foot eagle putt at the par-5 13th.
 
The No. 1 player in the game bogeyed 14 and 16 when he could not get out of bunker trouble, but parred his last two to keep his hopes alive of becoming the first four-time winner of this event.
 
The only other golfer with a chance to reach that plateau would be the current PGA Champion, Phil Mickelson. He posted a 5-under 67 on the North Course and is knotted in 12th at minus-6.
 
Both Woods and Mickelson, as well as the entire 82 players who made the cut are chasing Jobe.
 
The 40-year-old played the back nine first on the South Course and struggled badly. He knocked his tee ball into a bunker at 11, then missed his 12-footer for par. One hole later, Jobe landed his approach in another bunker and once again his blast stopped 12 feet from the stick. Once again, Jobe failed to convert the par save.
 
Jobe collected himself at the par-5 13th. He hit a two-iron into the front bunker, and this time got up and down from the sand. Jobe sank a 6-footer for birdie, then parred his next four.
 
At the par-5 18th, Jobe reached the green with a 3-wood from 265 yards. He rolled in the 12-foot eagle putt and found himself at 8 under par for the championship.
 
The eagle gave Jobe momentum. He hit a 7-iron to 10 feet to set up birdie at the first, then played a wedge to 3 feet for his second birdie in as many holes.
 
Jobe sailed over the green with a 6-iron at the par-5 sixth, but chipped to 3 feet. He ran home that birdie putt and added another short birdie putt at the par-5 ninth to give himself a two-shot lead.
 
'My games yesterday and today were not even comparable days,' admitted Jobe. 'I actually hit the ball good today and I putted great yesterday. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. We'll see.'
 
Saturday will be an interesting test for Jobe. He has held the second-round lead three times, but not since 2001. Jobe has never won on the PGA Tour, but has nine international victories.
 
'I think tomorrow for me it's go out there, get comfortable, continue to do the same things I'm doing,' said Jobe, who has battled injuries in recent years. 'What I shoot - it's insignificant unless I go out there and shoot 65, then all of a sudden I might really be able to do something.'
 
Sergio Garcia (68), Daniel Chopra (66), Craig Barlow (71), Shigeki Maruyama (65), Arjun Atwal (67) and Nathan Green (70) are knotted in fifth place at 7-under-par 137.
 
Frenchman Thomas Levet, who shared the first-round lead with Jobe, struggled on the South Course on Friday. He fashioned a 1-over-par 73 and is part of Mickelson's group at minus-6.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 1-under-par 143 and among the players who will miss the weekend are: former major winners Bernhard Langer (144), Corey Pavin (145), Lee Janzen (147), Todd Hamilton (147), Steve Jones (148) and last year's PGA Tour Rookie Of the Year, Sean O'Hair (149).
 
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


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    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.