Thatcher on Record Pace at Nwide Event

By Sports NetworkJuly 27, 2007, 4:00 pm
2006 Cox ClassicOMAHA, Nebraska -- Roland Thatcher fired an 8-under 63 on Friday to equal the 36-hole tournament record and take the lead through two rounds of the Nationwide Tour's Cox Classic.
 
Thatcher stands at 15-under 127, matching Jon Mills' 2005 record at one of the developmental tour's biggest events -- and one of its most notorious shootouts.
 
He opened with a 64 in the first round.
 
'It is hard to follow up a good round with a great round. So to post an 8-under after a 7-under is obviously tremendously satisfying,' said Thatcher, already a winner this season at the Peek'n Peak Classic.
 
Scott Sterling had a 3-under 68 and was alone in second place at 13-under 129.
 
Chris Thompson followed his 60 in the first round with a 71 on Friday to slip from first place overnight into a tie for third place with Miguel Carballo (63) and Michael Walton (64).
 
That trio stood at 11-under 131, with Chez Reavie (65) and Chris Anderson (66) sitting another shot further back at 132.
 
They are all looking up at Thatcher, who hasn't posted a bogey in his last 32 holes.
 
Beginning on the back nine Friday, Thatcher made four birdies in his first six holes, then later birdied four of six again to finish the round with a two- shot lead.
 
'Hopefully I can do the same thing the next couple of days,' said Thatcher.
 
But with players going so low at Champions Run -- the cut line was a season- low 5-under -- even another 63 won't guarantee Thatcher a hold on the lead. Position changes drastically day-to-day at this tournament.
 
Just ask Daniel Summerhays.
 
The first amateur to win on the Nationwide Tour when he claimed the Children's Hospital Invitational two weeks ago, Summerhays turned pro before this tournament and opened with a 71 in the first round.
 
Friday, he fired a 7-under 64 and climbed all the way from a tie for 110th place into a tie for 25th place, safely making the cut in his first start as a professional.
 
The start of Friday's round was pushed back one hour after overnight storms dumped 2.4 inches of rain on the course.
 
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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.