Poulter Paces the Field in Germany

By Sports NetworkSeptember 19, 2003, 4:00 pm
COLOGNE, Germany -- Ian Poulter fired a 9-under 63 on Friday to take the lead at the halfway point of the Linde Germany Masters where low scores are plentiful. He finished 36 holes at 16-under-par 128, one stroke clear of Miguel Angel Jimenez.
Jimenez shared the low round of the day with a 62 to move to 15-under-par 129. Anders Hansen also recorded a 62 to finish two shots further back in a group at 13-under-par 131, but the course record set a day before remained out of reach.
Fredrik Jacobson, who tied the European Tour's 18-hole record with a 60 on Thursday, managed only a 1-under 71 to join Hansen, K.J. Choi and Gary Orr in a tie for fifth.
Poulter tallied five birdies on the front nine at Golf Club Gut Larchenhof to make the turn at 12-under. He continued his fine play on the inward half with back-to-back birdies from the 12th and a birdie at the 15th.
The Englishman took over the top spot at the par-4 17th. Poulter knocked his second shot to six feet and ran home the putt to secure the 36-hole lead.
'I want to try and focus on what I have been doing over the past few weeks which is hitting good golf shots, shot after shot, and if I manage to do that, then the rest of the stuff will take care of itself,' said Poulter, who has two victories so far in 2003. 'But where I am at the moment, I am very, very happy.'
Jimenez collected 10 birdies and no bogeys to match his career best on the European Tour.
'I have played well here in the past and I like the place which helps a lot,' said Jimenez. 'I also feel very comfortable on the golf course and this week it has been in perfect condition, it was superb.'
Jacobson had a late tee time on Friday and despite the blistering opening round, he found himself trailing when he took to the first tee.
The Swede racked up two birdies over his first six holes and added a birdie at the eighth to tie Jimenez at minus-15. At the par-4 ninth, Jacobson landed his approach inside 12 feet and drained the putt to regain the outright lead.
Jacobson struggled with back-to-back bogeys starting at the 11th, but he managed to recover with a birdie at the 13th and another at the 15th.
At the par-3 16th, Jacobson's tee shot missed the green and almost bounced into the water. He chipped his second, but again his ball could not reach the putting surface and rolled back down the hill and into the drink.
Jacobson double-bogeyed the hole and closed with a bogey at the last to finish three shots back.
'When I won in Portugal in April, I was leading after the first round and then fell back a little bit and then came back to win,' said Jacobson, who has won twice on the European Tour this season. 'It is difficult to do it but I have done it many times before. I never give up, that is my motto.'
Miles Tunnicliff had a 63 of his own to join Carlos Rodiles in a tie for third at 14-under-par 130.
Paul Casey finished alone in ninth place at 12-under-par 132. Peter Hedblom and Jarrod Moseley were one shot further back at 11-under-par 133.
The 36-hole cut fell at 4-under-par 140. Among those missing the weekend are Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie and European Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer.
'I am very disappointed,' said Langer, who is a four-time champion of this event. 'I came in here in good shape but I made too many bad strokes.'
Related Links:
  • Linde German Masters Leaderboard
  • Full Coverage - Linde German Masters
  • Getty Images

    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

    Getty Images

    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

    Getty Images

    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

    Getty Images

    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.