Sheehan Misses Record Earns Lead

By Sports NetworkMay 19, 2005, 4:00 pm
FT. WORTH, Texas -- Patrick Sheehan had a shot at both 59 and the Colonial Country Club record of 61 Thursday, but finished par-bogey for an 8-under 62. Still, he holds the first-round lead in the Bank of America Colonial by two strokes.
 
Patrick Sheehan
Patrick Sheehan had little trouble pulling the right clubs Thursday at Colonial.
Brian Bateman and D.J. Trahan share second place at 6-under-par 64. Brandt Jobe, Kevin Na and 2003 Colonial winner Kenny Perry are one stroke further back at minus-5.
 
Sheehan got off to a flying start with birdies at one and two. After a par on the third, he moved to minus-3 with a chip-in birdie on the par-3 fourth. The 35-year-old came right back with a birdie on the fifth.
 
'Well, I got off to a great start,' Sheehan said. 'I hit the fairway on the first hole, which is no easy thing to do. I hit a poor bunker shot with my third, but made a nice 15-footer from there. And then it got crazy from there.'
 
The Rhode Island native kept rolling with another chip-in birdie on the sixth. Sheehan made it four straight birdies at the seventh. He climbed to 7 under with a birdie on the eighth at Colonial Country Club.
 
Sheehan, however, stumbled to a double bogey at the ninth after a bad tee shot to make the turn at 5 under. The University of Hartford alum caught fire again on the back nine.
 
He drained a 40-foot birdie try on No. 10 and got up and down for birdie from a bunker on the 11th. Sheehan sank a birdie putt from just inside 12 feet out at the par-3 13th to get to minus-8.
 
Sheehan converted a stellar up-and-down par on 15 and came back with a birdie on 16 from 13 feet out to get to minus-9.
 
With the magical 59 and the course record of 61 in his sights, Sheehan could only par the 17th. He then stumbled to a bogey at the last after his tee shot found the trees left of the fairway to end at minus-8.
 
'On 17, my caddie and I were thinking about 59 if we birdied the last two holes,' said Sheehan. 'It didn't happen, but that's alright. It was a great round.'
 
Trahan started on the 10th tee and jumped out with birdies on 10 and 11. He slipped to a bogey on the 12th, but rebounded with a birdie on the 14th. The Clemson University alum moved to 3 under with a birdie on the 17th.
 
Around the turn, Trahan picked up another birdie on the first to get to 4 under. The 24-year-old carded his sixth birdie on the third, but faltered to a bogey at the next to drop back to 4 under. Trahan collected two more birdies on his way in to share second place.
 
Bateman also got off to a good start as he eagled the par-5 first. He ran off back-to-back birdies from the fifth to move to 4 under. However, the 32-year-old stumbled to a bogey on the seventh.
 
He came right back with a birdie on the eight to make the turn at minus-4. Bateman then birdied the par-5 11th. He moved into a tie for second with a birdie at the par-4 17th.
 
Ted Purdy, who won the EDS Byron Nelson Championship last week, opened with a 4-under-par 66. He shares seventh place with Stephen Leaney, Harrison Frazar, Rod Pampling and Kirk Triplett. Billy Mayfair and Justin Leonard lead a group of six players one stroke further back at minus-3.
 
Steve Flesch, the defending champion, had his streak of eight straight rounds under par snapped as he opened with a 8-over 79. He is in next-to-last place.
 
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    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.


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    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."

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    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.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

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    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.

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    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


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    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."

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    Rahm (62) shoots career low round at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 10:33 pm

    After a banner year in 2017, Jon Rahm found a way to add yet another accolade to his growing list of accomplishments during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Rahm got off to a fast start at La Quinta Country Club, playing his first seven holes in 6 under en route to a 10-under 62. The score marked his career low on the PGA Tour by two shots and gave him an early lead in an event that utilizes a three-course rotation.

    La Quinta was the site of Adam Hadwin's 59 during last year's event, and Rahm knew full well that a quick start opened the door to a memorably low score.

    "Any time you have that going for you, you get thoughts come in your head, 60, maybe 59," Rahm told reporters. "I knew that if I kept playing good I was going to have more birdie opportunities, and I tried not to get ahead of myself and I was able to do it."


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    Rahm birdied his first two holes before an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole sparked him to an outward 30. He added four more birdies on the inward half without dropping a shot.

    The Spaniard is the highest-ranked player in the field this week, and while many players opted for a two-week stint in Hawaii he instead came home for some practice after opening the new year with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. That decision appears to have paid some early dividends as Rahm gets set to defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Low scores were plentiful on all three courses during the opening round, and Rahm remained pleased with his effort even though he fell short of matching Hadwin's sub-60 score from a year ago.

    "That's golf. You're not going to make every single putt, you're not going to hit every shot perfect," he said. "Overall, you've got to look at the bigger picture. I birdied the last hole, had a couple of great sand saves coming in, shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for."