Sutherland Leads at Pebble Beach

By Sports NetworkFebruary 6, 2003, 5:00 pm
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Kevin Sutherland fired a 6-under 66 Thursday to take the first-round lead at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. He leads Bob Hope Classic winner Mike Weir and Robert Gamez by one shot.
Phil Tataurangi, Willie Wood, Tommy Armour III, Jason Caron, Marco Dawson, Ken Green, Donnie Hammond, Greg Kraft and Tom Lehman were tied for fourth at 4-under-par 68.
Sutherland started on the front nine of the Pebble Beach Golf Links, one of three courses being used for the tournament. He birdied his first two holes and four of his first six to quickly move to 4-under. He drained a 15-foot putt on the sixth to recover from a poor chip and birdied the par-5.
The 39-year-old carded his final birdie of the front side at the ninth to make the turn at minus-5. Sutherland, however, missed a chance for birdie at the 10th.
'That was definitely nice,' said Sutherland of his fast start. 'Eight through 10 can kind of set the tone for the rest of the round, and I was able to kind of cruise right on through those and play those very well.'
Sutherland continued his roll on 11 when he rolled in a four-footer. His only mistake of the day came at the 16th. His drive ended in a divot in the fairway and he tried to hit a 7-iron, but made a poor swing at it.
He responded with a final birdie at the par-5 18th. Sutherland was able to get up-and-down from a greenside bunker with a six-foot birdie putt to finish out the round of 66. He has now shot par or better in his first 12 rounds this season.
'I would say I am not a good front-runner, being that I have only won one tournament,' said Sutherland, whose lone victory was at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship last year. 'Being the front-runner the first week, the first round of a four-round tournament, it's nice. But in the big scheme, I am not sure how really important it is.'
Gamez got a huge boost around the turn. He started on the back nine at Poppy Hills and posted birdies at 10 and 15. Gamez faltered with a three-putt bogey at 16.
The two-time tour winner responded in dramatic fashion. Gamez carded his first career hole-in-one on the PGA Tour at the 163-yard 17th. He followed that up by rolling in a four-foot putt for eagle at the 18th to climb to 5-under.
Around the turn, Gamez drained a 35-footer at the third for birdie. He later three-putted for bogey at the eighth to fall back to minus-5.
'I've been playing really well all year and I had a chance in Hawaii, had a chance in Phoenix, too,' said Gamez. 'I've been hitting the ball well for the most part.'
Weir, coming off last week's win, had a bogey-free round at Spyglass Hill, the final of the three courses being used for the first three rounds. He notched birdies at four and seven to head to the back nine at minus-2.
The Canadian also carded birdies at Nos. 11, 17 and 18 to close out his round and climb into a share of second place.
Dave Stockton, Jr., Garrett Willis, Pat Perez, Tom Pernice, Jr., Kenny Perry, Fred Couples, Tim Herron and Brad Lardon stand at 3-under-par 69 three shots off the lead.
Defending champion Matt Gogel struggled to an opening-round 78.
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
  • Full coverage of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
  • McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

    When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

    Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

    Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

    While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

    Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

    Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

    Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

    Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    "I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

    But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.

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    With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

    Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

    The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

    "I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."

    Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

    A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

    In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

    “I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

    Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.

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    “I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

    Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

    “We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

    How does she feel?

    “I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

    Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

    New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

    Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

    She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

    “I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

    Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a 6-under-par 66, she is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.

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    Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

    Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

    Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

    “Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

    Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

    “I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”