Singh Clings to 84 Lumber Lead

By Sports NetworkSeptember 25, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 84 Lumber ClassicFARMINGTON, Pa. -- Vijay Singh managed an even-par 72 on Saturday but it was enough to maintain a two-shot edge at the 84 Lumber Classic. The top player in the game finished at 12-under-par 204 in search of his eighth victory of the season.
Chris DiMarco, who lost to Singh in a playoff at the PGA Championship in August, bogeyed each of his last two holes to finish alone in second place at 10-under-par 206. Jonathan Byrd and Matt Gogel followed at 9-under-par 207.
Singh was in complete control over the first two rounds on the Mystic Rock Course at Nemacolin and it was more of the same in the early goings Saturday. Some late hiccups almost cost Singh the 54-hole lead, however, he was able to hang on.
'I had a good start and just couldn't get it going,' said Singh. 'My rhythm was not there today. I was just struggling to find it all day. I'm still in the lead by two so I'm not that disappointed.'
Singh kicked off his round after his second shot to the par-4 second landed 5 feet from the cup for a birdie. Singh then birdied the par-5 fifth but gave that shot back with a bogey at the very next hole.
At the par-5 eighth, Singh chipped his third shot inside 7 feet and ran home the birdie. Then things cooled off considerably for the Fijian on the back nine.
Singh hit a poor third shot that went through the green at the par-5 11th. He tried to bump his fourth shot up a little ridge and the ball came to rest just on top of the hill, dangerously close to running back down to Singh's feet.
He two-putted for a bogey from there and looked to be in trouble after his second shot at the par-5 16th found the water. Singh took a drop in the rough and played his fourth shot back into the rough near the green. With the prospect of putting up a big number, Singh chipped in for par and it was business as usual.
Singh wasn't as fortunate at the par-3 17th, however. His tee shot missed the green and his ball was left in an awkward position up against the rough. Singh tried a chip shot and sent his ball racing past the cup. He almost saved par, but tapped in for bogey to fall back to 12 under.
Singh then parred the 18th and was left with a two-shot lead heading into the final round, thanks in part to the misfortunes of his playing partners.
'I wasted a lot of shots today,' Singh said. 'I'm still feeling pretty good about my ball play. You got another day to make up.'
Ben Curtis quickly played his way out of contention as the 2003 British Open champion ballooned to an 81 Saturday. DiMarco held steady, however, and was given opportunities to overtake Singh but was never able to capitalize.
'Thankfully, Vijay didn't run away with the tournament today,' said DiMarco.
DiMarco hit his second to 8 feet for a birdie at the first and converted a 6-foot putt for a birdie at the fifth. He then landed his tee shot inside 18 feet for a birdie at the par-3 seventh to move within one of Singh at 12 under.
The 36-year-old found trouble of his own on the inward half after his approach came up short of the green at the par-4 14th. DiMarco bogeyed the hole but recovered with a birdie at the par-5 16th.
After Singh's bogey at the 17th, DiMarco was tied for the lead briefly until his par putt was also unable to find the bottom of the cup. DiMarco then bogeyed the last to fall two shots back.
'Obviously, I would have liked to have been a little bit better,' said DiMarco, who won this event in 2000. 'But, you know, nobody really did much. The course actually won today.'
Zach Johnson carded a 70 to join Kent Jones in a tie for fifth place at 8-under-par 208.
Stewart Cink followed at 7-under-par 209 along with Joey Sindelar, Duffy Waldorf, Len Mattiace, Pat Perez, Robert Gamez and Bob Burns.
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    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

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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 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.


    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.

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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."