Rain Cold Dont Affect Watney

By Sports NetworkOctober 6, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Chrysler Classic of GreensboroGREENSBORO, N.C. -- Nick Watney only managed a 1under 71 on Friday during difficult conditions, but found himself atop the leaderboard after two rounds of the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro. He stands at 9-under-par 135 and is one ahead at Forest Oaks Country Club.
 
Ryan Palmer fired an outstanding round on Friday -- a 7-under-par 65. He is tied for second place with Australia's John Senden, who shot a second-round, 2-under 70. The pair is knotted at 8-under-par 136.
 
Nick Watney
Nick Watney is seeking his maiden PGA TOUR victory.
After ideal scoring conditions on Thursday led to 98 players breaking par in the opening round, lingering rain, heavy wind and cooler temperatures made for a very challenging round two.
 
Watney, playing in one of the earlier groups on Friday, flew out of the gate with a birdie at the first. He knocked a sand-wedge inside 5 feet on the par-4 opening hole, then converted the birdie try.
 
He made it two in a row at the par-5 second as the hole played downwind. That left Watney with a 6-iron for his second shot and he reached the green, where he two-putted for a birdie.
 
At the par-4 sixth, Watney drove into the left rough and was forced to chip back into the fairway. Watney got up and down for par from 80 yards to stay at 10 under par for the championship.
 
With the difficult conditions, par became a great score and that was what Watney posted around the turn on Friday. Things got rocky for the 25-year-old at the par-5 13th when his drive missed the fairway and once again, he was forced to lay up short of the green. Watney could not get up and down from the fairway as his ball got caught up in a swale on the green.
 
After the bogey, Watney could not recover the lost stroke, but saved a pair of tricky pars. At the par-4 14th, Watney drove into a fairway bunker, then missed the green with his second. He was able to chip close and convert his par putt.
 
At the par-3 17th, Watney hit a terrible tee ball that came up short and right of the green. He chipped to 6 feet and again holed a clutch par save to stay atop the leaderboard.
 
'Started off, I was swinging well and had a few more opportunities early, but then didn't hit it as well as I did yesterday so I made a lot of good par saves,' said Watney, who shared the first round lead on Thursday. 'It's tough to get the ball close because the wind was kind of gusting and pretty tricky.'
 
Palmer had an erratic front nine Friday with a birdie at the second. He holed out a wedge from the fifth fairway for an eagle, but mis-hit a 4-iron at the par-3 eighth, and missed a 10-foot par putt.
 
Last year's winner in Disney caught fire on the back side. He drained a 50-footer for birdie at the 11th, birdied 12 from 5 feet and polished off three birdies in a row at the par-5 13th.
 
He closed with a 4-foot birdie putt at the 15th and 25-foot birdie putt at 17 to get within one of the lead.
 
'It was one of those days where the hole was big and the ball was going in the right spot so I definitely drove the ball great and hit my irons really solid,' said Palmer.
 
Senden started on the back nine Friday and ran home a pair of short birdie putts at the 13th and 14th holes. He parred his remaining holes on his first nine to make the turn at minus-8 for the tournament.
 
Senden, who earned his first PGA TOUR victory this year at the John Deere Classic, two-putted for a birdie from just off the green at the par-5 second.
 
He was tied for first after the birdie, but bogeyed six when he came up short of the green. Senden fell one off the lead, but the Australian knows he can win again, and after a re-shuffling of goals, has one tournament in mind.
 
'I'm resetting my goals for the TOUR Championship,' said Senden, who needs to be in the top 30 on the money list for the season-ender in four weeks. 'I'm running 40th at the moment and I need some really high results to make it. The goals are right there, and they're realistic.'
 
Tim Petrovic (69), Texas Open champion Eric Axley (69), Chris Couch (68), Charley Hoffman (71), Greg Owen (69) and Ryan Moore (70) are tied for fourth place at minus-7.
 
John Rollins and Brent Geiberger shared the first-round lead with Watney, but struggled on Friday. Rollins shot a 2-over 74 and is tied for 10th at minus-6, while Geiberger was a shot worse in round two and is part of a group at 5-under-par 139.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 2-under-par 142 and among the notable players to miss the weekend were: Mike Weir (143), John Daly (143), Kenny Perry (144) and Corey Pavin (152).
 
Related Links:
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    Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

    Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

    Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

    In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

    Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

    “I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

    Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

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    Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

    In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.


    Made Cut

    Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

    Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

    “If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

    McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

    “The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    September can’t get here quick enough.

    Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

    There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

    In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.


    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

    “I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “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.”

    The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

    Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

    Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

    The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

    The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

    “My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.


    Missed Cut

    Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

    After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

    It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

    Tweet of the week:

    It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

    The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.”