Rose Curtis Ames Tied at Memorial

By Sports NetworkJune 4, 2004, 4:00 pm
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Justin Rose shot a 5-under 67 Friday that was tainted by a double bogey on the closing hole to grab a share of the lead after the second round of The Memorial Tournament. Rose finished 36 holes at 7-under-par 137 along with reigning British Open champion Ben Curtis and Stephen Ames.
 
Ernie Els, who held a share of the opening-round lead with Curtis, carded a 2-under 70 to join Fred Couples and K.J. Choi in a tie for fourth at 6-under-par 138. Todd Hamilton followed at 5-under-par 139, while lurking one shot further back was none other than three-time Memorial winner Tiger Woods.
 
'It's nice to hit the ball in the fairway, but you've got to be so patient,' said Woods, who drove considerably better Friday at Muirfield Village. 'A lot of times I took less club off the tees just to make sure I got it in play and kept the ball below the trees.'
 
Woods got things going early with a birdie at the second and hit his approach to 9 feet for a birdie at the par-4 third to make it two in a row. The top player in the game then played his second shot to 12 feet and made the birdie putt before reaching the green in two at the par-5 seventh.
 
The 28-year-old missed his eagle try, but converted for birdie to reach 4 under on the front side. Woods added a birdie at the par-5 11th but got caught up in the wind at the par-3 12th en route to a double bogey.
 
Woods responded with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 15th to remain well in contention heading into the weekend after a round of 68.
 
'I feel like things are starting to shape up,' said Woods. 'I haven't had any setbacks, things have been very positive, and I've got to keep doing what I've been doing. I feel very confident and the things I'm working on are starting to come together.'
 
Rose, who has been gaining experience on the PGA Tour in 2004, including at the Masters where he held the 36-hole lead, had a fiery start to his second round with five birdies over his first nine holes.
 
'It was just a perfect round out there, teeing off first, fresh greens, relatively no wind,' said Rose. 'It was ideal scoring conditions.'
 
The young Englishman birdied the par-4 14th and chipped his third shot within a few feet of the cup at the par-5 15th.
 
Rose converted the putt to open a significant lead before stepping onto the par-4 18th. Rose battled through the sand on his way to a double bogey to fall back into an eventual tie for first.
 
'I played solid, hit the ball really well, felt good,' said Rose. 'It was just a case, again, of feeling like I didn't take many chances on the greens.'
 
Curtis, an Ohio native who has played well so far this week in front of some home state galleries, hit a 9-iron inside a foot of the hole for a tap-in birdie at the par-4 ninth.
 
The 27-year-old then birdied the 15th and capped off his round with a birdie at the 18th to complete the first two days without a bogey.
 
'I just love this golf course. That has a lot to do with it,' said Curtis, who shot a 69. 'You've got wide fairways so I feel like I can be aggressive off the tee, and there's some key shots out there.'
 
Ames, who has finished in the top-7 in each of his last four events, collected four birdies over his first 11 holes to grab a share of the lead at 7 under. The 40-year-old faltered with a bogey at the 16th, but countered with a birdie at the closing hole for his share of first after a round of 68.
 
'There are certain flags you could have gone at and certain ones you couldn't because the greens were getting a lot firmer,' said Ames. 'That's the way Jack likes it. He's built a good golf course here. It makes you think as you go around the day.'
 
Scott McCarron used a remarkable eagle at the par-4 18th to complete a round of 69 and join John Daly and Kevin Sutherland in a tie for ninth at 3-under-par 141.
 
Tournament host Jack Nicklaus will be around to play the weekend. Nicklaus, who has hinted that he will likely leave the game in the near future, posted a second-round 73 to finish in a group at 3-over-par 147.
 
Nicklaus delighted the crowds at the par-3 12th after his tee shot landed squarely in the hole before bouncing into the air and landing on the edge of the fringe.
 
'The most exciting shot of the day was probably 12 when my ball carried into the hole, went down into the hole -- it must have bounced 20 feet up in the air,' said Nicklaus, who last made the cut at this event in 2002. 'I end up missing the green after holing it in the hole. I said, 'How long did it stay in the hole?''
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 4-over-par 148. Among those who failed to make the grade were Charles Howell III, Justin Leonard and Jonathan Kaye.
 
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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.