Stenson in Familiar Position in Qatar

By Sports NetworkJanuary 28, 2006, 5:00 pm
2005 Qatar MastersDOHA, Qatar -- Henrik Stenson has been here before. This time, he is hoping for a better result.
For the second straight year, Stenson holds the lead heading into the final round at the Qatar Masters. The Swede shot a 1-under 71 on Saturday and is ahead by one stroke at 11-under-par 205.
Last year, Stenson dropped three shots during a two-hole stretch to open the door for Ernie Els' victory. Stenson birdied three of his last four holes, but needed an eagle at 18 to force a playoff with Els. He didn't get it.
On Saturday, Stenson and the field battled the same windy conditions that players saw in the final round last year.
'You just have to play it one shot at a time and one hole at a time,' said Stenson, who has held at least a share of the lead after all three rounds at Doha Golf Club.
'It's tough for everybody and I guess we saw a few good scores out there today, but obviously it was a tough day. But under par is never bad.'
Stenson, who mixed three birdies with two bogeys Saturday, has held the third round lead four other times on the European Tour. He won two of those tournaments -- the 2001 Benson & Hedges International and The Heritage in 2004 -- for his only two titles.
At the inaugural Abu Dhabi Golf Championship last week, Stenson finished second by a stroke to Chris DiMarco.
Fellow Swede Niclas Fasth and England's Paul Broadhurst are tied for second place behind Stenson at 10-under-par 206. Broadhurst fired a 5-under 67 in the third round, while Fasth shot a 4-under 68. Richard Finch (71) and Ricardo Gonzalez (72) are one stroke further back in fourth place.
Els, who overcame a five-shot deficit on Sunday last year, will have to do more than that this time around. He is six strokes back in a tie for 12th place after a third-round, 3-under 69.
Stenson has been a steady force through three rounds. He held a one-shot lead overnight and moved to 12-under with consecutive birdies at the fifth and sixth holes.
A bogey at the eighth meant Stenson was minus-11 around the turn, but after six straight pars he got back to 12-under with a birdie at the 15th. Stenson then gave that stroke back when he three-putted for a bogey at the par-5 18th.
'[I'm] just disappointed over the last couple of holes, especially on 18 dropping a shot there,' said Stenson. 'Just disappointed at the moment, but tomorrow is a new day. We still have a one shot lead.'
There are 10 players within five strokes of Stenson's lead, including Nick Dougherty (73), Darren Fichardt (70), Robert Karlsson (69), Paul McGinley (70) and Graeme Storm (70), who share sixth place at 7-under.
Thomas Bjorn (71) is alone in 11th place at 6-under. Four players share 12th place with Els, one stroke further back.
World No. 2 Vijay Singh, who placed eighth at Abu Dhabi last week, isn't a factor. He shot a one-over 73 and is tied for 51st place at plus-one.
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - Qatar Masters
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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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.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    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.