Rose 36-Hole Leader at Disney

By Sports NetworkOctober 21, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 Funai Classic at the Walt Disney World ResortLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Justin Rose gained a stroke Saturday, then gave it right back and finished the second round where he started -- with a four-shot lead.
 
Rose birdied the par-5 No. 8, sinking a 10-foot putt to move to 18 under, then bogeyed his final hole after an errant chip.
 
'I haven't chipped much,' he said after a 5-under 67.
 
Coming off a 12-under 60 on Thursday, Rose was 17 under through 16 holes when the second round was suspended because of darkness Friday. He completed it Saturday morning, finishing four strokes ahead of Tag Ridings.
 
'I'll take it,' Rose said.
 
Rose also had a four-shot lead when the second round started following a 70-minute fog delay. The 26-year-old Englishman shot the 60 on the Palm Course on Thursday and barely missed three putts over the final six holes that left him one stroke away from tying the PGA TOUR scoring record.
 
He was nearly as good Friday on the much tougher Magnolia Course.
 
'The enjoyable thing as a pro golfer is being in that focused zone,' Rose said. 'It doesn't come around every day or every week.'
 
Rose started the second round with consecutive birdies. He added four more over a five-hole stretch to extend his lead to seven strokes.
 
'You have to come back with a completely fresh mind-set and almost forget about the day before,' Rose said. 'Starting birdie-birdie was a good thing and got me back on the horse.'
 
Rose stayed there most of the round, making seven birdies and two bogeys.
 
Ridings was at 13-under 131. Troy Matteson (65) was 12 under, and Robert Damron (65) and Marco Dawson (66) were another stroke behind.
 
Rose was one of eight players who finished the second round Saturday. He will play in the final group later Saturday with Ridings and Matteson.
 
While Rose is seeking his first PGA TOUR victory, Ridings, Damron and Dawson may have even more to play for -- a chance to move up enough on the money list to possibly keep their tour cards and avoid qualifying school.
 
The top 125 on the money list retain their full cards. Ridings is ranked 150th, with Dawson (163) and Damron (167) not too far behind.
 
'I must need a little excitement in my life,' Damron said. 'It's not the way I planned it. But I'm totally at peace with whatever happens. If I don't make a couple of big checks and keep my card, I don't. I go to Q-school.
 
'Whatever happens, it just happens. I put a lot more pressure on myself in the middle of the year and it didn't work out.'
 
Ridings had a different approach.
 
'The key is to not think about that,' he said. 'You can think about whatever you want. So I'm going to think about one shot. If you're focusing on (the money list), you're focusing on the wrong thing.'
 
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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.