Perry Remains Hot Takes Lead

By Sports NetworkMay 30, 2003, 4:00 pm
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Kenny Perry fired a 4-under 68 on Friday to grab a one-stroke lead after two rounds at the Memorial Tournament. Perry stands at 11-under-par 133 at the halfway point and is one shot clear of Retief Goosen and Lee Janzen.
Vijay Singh and Spike McRoy share fourth place at 8-under-par 136 with Chad Campbell one stroke back at minus-7.
Perry, who won the Colonial by six shots last week, has maintained his momentum from that victory. He coasted through the front nine with six straight pars to open his round at Muirfield Village.
At the par-5 seventh, Perry knocked his third within 15 feet of the cup. He then rolled in the birdie putt to get to minus-8. He parred the next two holes before heading to the back side.
Perry dropped a 9-iron within 15 feet at the par-4 10th to setup his next birdie. After a string of pars, he took advantage of the next par-5, the 15th. He slammed a 2-iron into a greenside bunker on his second shot before getting up-and-down for birdie.
The 42-year-old grabbed the lead with a birdie at the last. He knocked his 5-iron second just over the green, but recovered nicely as he chipped in for birdie.
'It was a good round of golf for me,' said Perry. 'I was happy with the way I played today. I am kind of still in that same rhythm and same mode. I was able to hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens. I really wanted to shoot something in the 60s today just to get in position for the weekend. I was proud of my round.'
After missing the cut at the Byron Nelson Championship two weeks ago and carding seven straight rounds in the 70s, Perry has recorded six straight rounds in the 60s with 68 being his worst round.
'Everything that can go my way is going my way,' Perry said. 'The four- or five-footers that I need to make for par, I'm making right now to kind of keep the momentum and the swing going my way. Then I will make a 20-footer for birdie. It just seems like the momentum holes that you need to do something to keep your run going, I have been able to take advantage of.'
Goosen and Janzen shot matching rounds of 5-under 67 to share second place. Goosen notched back-to-back birdies from the fourth before dropping a shot at the par-3 eighth.
Around the turn, Goosen ran off three straight birdies from the 10th to get to minus-9. He rolled in a birdie at the 15th for his final birdie of the day.
'It's a funny game. Sometimes you feel like you are really hitting the ball great,' Goosen said. 'A couple of months ago, I'm really driving the ball well, hitting my irons great and I couldn't make any putts. These last few days I missed a lot of fairways and greens but got it up and down and made everything that I looked at. So that's really grinding it out there.'
Janzen, a two-time U.S. Open winner, notched three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the front nine to get to minus-8. On the back nine, Janzen bogeyed the 10th but came right back to birdie the next.
The 38-year-old notched another birdie at the par-4 13th. However he dropped a shot when he bogeyed the following hole. Janzen atoned for the error with consecutive birdies from the 15th, to grab a share of second place.
'I thought it played a little tougher today,' Janzen said. 'The wind was certainly much stronger today, which dried the greens and made them quicker.'
Charles Howell III, the first-round leader, Robert Gamez, defending champion Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods, a three-time winner here, share seventh place at 6-under-par 138.
The cut line fell at 2-over-par 146. Among those missing the cut were Sergio Garcia, plus-3, as well as host and course designer Jack Nicklaus, who finished at 4-over-par 148 despite a birdie on the 18th hole.
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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.