Stupples Grabs WelchsFrys Lead

By Sports NetworkMarch 12, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 WelchTUCSON, Ariz. -- Karen Stupples posted a 4-under 66 on Friday to take the lead after two rounds of the Welch's/Fry's Championship. Stupples finished 36 holes at 11-under-par 129, one stroke clear of her closest competitors.
 
Jung Yeon Lee, who matched the Dell Urich course record with a 60 in the opening round, managed only an even-par 70 on Friday to join Laura Davies in a tie for second at 10-under-par 130. Seol-An Jeon was two shots further back at 8-under-par 132.
 
Stupples was three shots behind Lee to start the second round and picked up her first birdie at the par-5 13th, her fourth hole of the day.
 
At the par-4 14th, Stupples landed a 9-iron inside 18 feet and drained the birdie putt to move to minus-9.
 
Stupples added a birdie at the par-5 sixth and closed her bogey-free round with a birdie at the par-4 eighth after her approach stopped within 20 feet of the cup.
 
'It was a day for being patient and biding my time,' said Stupples. 'The yardages for me today always seemed to be in between, and sometimes committing to the shots was a little tougher today.'
 
Lee also played the back side first and jumped out of the gate with a birdie at the 10th.
 
The Korean struggled throughout the day, however, and tallied back-to-back bogeys starting at the 17th to fall back to 9 under.
 
Lee recovered with a birdie at the third and pulled ahead with a birdie at the sixth.
 
The 25-year-old found trouble again coming home and bogeyed the ninth to finish one shot back.
 
'It was a struggle,' said Lee. 'It was real tough today.'
 
Davies started on the 10th as well and collected a lone birdie over her first nine holes.
 
She then caught fire on the front side with four birdies for her second straight 65.
 
'The front nine is much easier than the back,' said Davies. 'I did get a few birdies to finish off the day, but that's what you're going to have to do the rest of the week.'
 
Aree Song fired a 64 to join Grace Park, Heather Bowie and Stacy Prammanasudh in a tie for fifth at 5-under-par 135.
 
Karrie Webb, Angela Stanford, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman and Jean Bartholomew followed at 4-under-par 136.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 2-over-par 142 with 85 players qualifying for the weekend. Last year's champion Wendy Doolan was not as fortunate, however, and finished at 4-over-par 144.
 
Related Links:
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    Watch: 13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, part of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward the back-right hole location, about 25 feet away, closer than both Fleetwood and Johnson.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”


    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back after the opening round. He tied for second here a year ago.

    Johnson is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in four months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014. 

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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."