Perry Maintains Lead as Play Called

By Sports NetworkMarch 19, 2005, 5:00 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Kenny Perry remained on top of the leaderboard at the Bay Hill Invitational Saturday, but the third round was suspended for darkness with several groups needing to complete the round.
Forty players will return to Bay Hill Golf Club & Lodge at 8:00 a.m. ET Sunday morning to finish the third round. The players will go out in threesomes off both the first and 10th tees in the final round to get in by Sunday evening.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods tees up another ball after knocking his first out of bounds at the ninth hole.
Perry is 3 under in his third round and has the lead at 9 under par. He has completed 11 holes and is one ahead of playing partner Stephen Ames, who is also 3 under on his round.
Vijay Singh birdied the 13th hole in near darkness to get to 7 under par for the championship. He is tied for third place with K.J. Choi, who, like Singh, is 3 under on his round.
Singh, who was spectacular early in the third round with three straight birdies from the second, can reclaim the No. 1 ranking in the world Sunday only two weeks after losing it to Tiger Woods. He needs to finish no lower than tied for third with one player, while Woods has to finish outside the top 20.
Both appear to be well on their respective ways.
Woods was even on his round when he reached the par-5 sixth in two. He three-putted for par, then ran an 18-foot birdie putt 5 feet past the hole at seven. Woods missed the comeback putt to fall to 2 under for the tournament.
Things got worse for the four-time Bay Hill champion. His drive at the ninth landed out of bounds left and Woods walked off that hole with a double bogey.
When the horn sounded, Woods was 3 over on his round and tied for 33rd at even par.
Singh was not the only player with a chance to unseat Woods atop the world rankings. Ernie Els, who came to Bay Hill after back-to-back wins on the European Tour, had a chance, but fell off the pace in the second round when he collected a triple bogey and double bogey in the span of four holes.
The Big Easy is 3 under in the third round, but tied for 42nd at plus-1.
The event is trying to catch up from Thursday's opening round as only three hours of golf were played. Several golfers played 36 holes on Friday to get through two rounds, but others, like Perry, Ames, Woods and Els, played all 18 of their second round Saturday morning.
Perry did not look like he lost any steam from a second-round 68. In the third round, Perry found fairways and hit solid approaches.
At the first hole, Perry knocked his approach to 6 feet and converted the birdie putt. He had another short birdie putt at two, but slid the putt by on the right side. Perry atoned for the miscue one hole later as he sank a 6-footer for birdie.
Perry parred the next three holes, then pulled a 6-iron at the par-3 seventh. His tee ball stopped 7 feet from the hole and he rolled it in to go to minus-9.
But Ames, who won last year's Western Open, did not go away. He sank a 25-foot birdie putt at the second, then matched Perry at seven with a 7-footer of his own.
At the eighth, Ames drained a 15-foot birdie putt to get within one of Perry.
But Ames will be gunning for Perry on Sunday. Perry has not won since his remarkable run in the summer of 2003 when he took three titles in a four-start span.
He came in 30th on the money list last year, and has a top-10 finish in 2005, a seventh-place at the FBR Open in Phoenix.
'I played okay last year. It will never compare to my '03 year when I was winning, I won three out of four weeks,' Perry said. 'I guess to me I was trying to compare to that year.'
Fred Couples, who won here in 1992, is 4 under in his round and alone in fifth place at 5 under par. He has played 16 holes.
Aaron Baddeley and Duffy Waldorf are the clubhouse leaders at 4-under-par 212. Both shot 4-under 68s on Saturday and are joined at 4 under by Jeff Maggert and Sergio Garcia, who are through 14 and 13 holes, respectively.
Reigning U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen is in the process of major turnaround. He shot a 6-over 78 in the opening round, but has been 9 under par since.
Goosen shot a third-round, 4-under 68 and is tied with reigning Players Champions Adam Scott, who posted a 5-under 67 in the third round. The duo has finished 54 holes at 3-under-par 213 and several players, including Charles Howell III, Mark Calcavecchia and Joe Ogilvie are at 3 under on the course.
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.