Stile-ish Leaderboard at Buick

By Sports NetworkJune 30, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 Buick ChampionshipCROMWELL, Conn. -- Darron Stiles posted his second consecutive round of 4-under 66 on Friday to move to the top of the leaderboard after 36 holes of the Buick Championship. He stands at 8-under-par 132 and is one ahead of Peter Lonard at the TPC at River Highlands.
 
Lonard, one of four co-leaders after Thursday's first round, shot a 2-under 68 and is through two rounds at minus-7.
 
Camilo Villegas
Camilo Villegas is among the pack of pursuers, three off the pace.
Scott Verplank, another of the first-round leaders, posted a 1-under 69 on Friday. He is tied for third place with Todd Fischer (68), Stewart Cink (65) and Notah Begay III (66) at 6-under-par 134.
 
Stiles began his second round on the back nine and collected his first birdie at the 13th when he two-putted the par-5 green. He parred his next four holes until the 18th, a hole that could have been a lot worse. Stiles' 5-iron approach from the fairway came up short and right of the green. He chipped through the green, then did it again, but holed his bogey putt from the fringe.
 
'That putt was probably the key to the round, making bogey there instead of double,' admitted Stiles.
 
Stiles was not lying about that putt being the key as he caught fire after the turn. He hit an 8-iron 10 feet from the hole to set up birdie at the first, then tapped in a short birdie putt at two. Stiles polished off his third birdie in a row the third when his 8-iron approach stopped inches from the cup.
 
He made a good par save at the fourth when his drive landed in the right rough. Stiles reached the front of the green, but sank a 7-footer to save the four.
 
At the par-4 ninth, Stiles hit a sand-wedge to 8 feet. He rolled in the birdie putt to move into sole possession of the lead at the midpoint.
 
This is the second time this season that Stiles has held at least a share of the 36-hole lead. In Memphis at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, Stiles found himself on top of the leaderboard through two rounds, but ultimately tied for 22nd place.
 
'I think in Memphis I got ahead of myself and my brain,' acknowledged Stiles. 'Since then, I've realized that you really can't do that, especially out here because all it takes is one or two shots that you're not 100 percent focused on and your round is done.
 
'I think tomorrow that's my key, is to stay right there in the moment on that specific shot and not get too far ahead.'
 
Lonard struggled at the par-5 sixth when his 90-yard approach bounced off the downslope and into the gallery.
 
'Didn't kill anyone,' joked Lonard. 'Everyone was alright. Didn't have to kiss anything better, which was good. That wasn't very enjoyable. I'll blame my caddy on that one.'
 
He walked off with a bogey, but reclaimed the lost shot at the ninth when his sand-wedge approach stopped 3 feet from the hole.
 
Lonard split the fairway at the 14th, then hit another wedge to 3 feet. He converted that birdie putt, then punched an 8-iron to 20 feet at the 17th to set up birdie and get within one of the lead.
 
'I'm driving better than I have all year,' said Lonard. 'I hit a lot of shots that were quality shots and lipped a couple out. I just didn't hole any.'
 
Brent Geiberger (68), D.J. Trahan (68), Joe Ogilvie (68), Ryan Moore (63), Skip Kendall (67) and Trevor Immelman (65) are knotted in seventh place at minus-5.
 
The other two co-leaders from Thursday struggled on Friday. Heath Slocum and Harrison Frazar both carded rounds of 1-over-par 71 and are part of a group tied for 13th at 4-under-par 136.
 
The 36-hole cut came at even-par 140 and among the notable players who will miss the weekend are: 1995 PGA Champion Steve Elkington (141), reigning Rookie of the Year Sean O'Hair (142), defending champion Brad Faxon (145) and FedEx St. Jude Classic winner Jeff Maggert (146).
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Buick Championship
  • Full Coverage - Buick Championship
  • Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.