Thorpe Bolts to Early Lead

By Sports NetworkOctober 23, 2003, 4:00 pm
SONOMA, Calif. -- Jim Thorpe fired a 9-under-par 63 to grab a three-stroke lead after the opening round of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, the season's final official event.
Thorpe's 63 tied the 18-hole tournament record set three previous times on three different courses. Bob Charles first set the mark in 1991 at Hyatt Dorado Beach. It was later matched by Jay Sigel in 1994 at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club and Bruce Lietzke in 2001 at Gaillardia Golf & CC.
Tom Jenkins stands alone in second place at 6-under-par 66. Defending champion Tom Watson and Larry Nelson are two strokes further back at 4-under-par 68.
Thorpe birdied the par-4 third to get his round going at Sonoma Golf Club. He later birdied the par-3 seventh and came right back with an eagle on the eighth to make the turn at minus-4.
Around the turn, Thorpe dropped in a birdie at the par-4 10th and came right back to birdie the very next hole. He birdied the par-5 13th to climb to 7 under.
Thorpe, who won the Long Island Classic earlier this year, extended his lead with consecutive birdies from 16th to cap his bogey-free round.
'It was a good day. I knew coming in this week being fifth or sixth on the money list I would get marquis pairing,' said Thorpe. 'I'm playing with probably two guys (Tom Kite and Hale Irwin) that are going to push you to play. Unfortunately, Hale didn't have a good round today, but we know he can shoot 62 or 63 tomorrow or the next day just as well as he shot 72 or 73 today.'
With many season-ending awards and the tour money title still up for grabs, Thorpe has put himself in a good position. If the top-5 remains throughout the event, Thorpe would win the money title by less than $40,000 over Watson.
'This year I came out to try and push myself as hard and as high as I could really push,' said Thorpe. 'If I win the golf tournament I have a chance to win money title which is something I've never done, I think it would be a great accomplishment with the level of competition we have out here.'
Jenkins, who captured the Bruno's Memorial Classic earlier in the year, opened with a birdie on the par-4 sixth, but stumbled to a bogey on the very next hole. He later birdied the ninth to make the turn at minus-1.
The 55-year-old rolled off four consecutive birdies from the 11th to vault up the leaderboard. He closed out his round with a birdie at the par-5 16th.
'It was a good day. After my performance last week in San Antonio, I wasn't too sure how I was going to play here,' said Jenkins. 'I started off making some routine pars early in the round. I wasn't feeling very comfortable with my game, with my swing and then I started hitting some good shots. I think the birdie putt at nine kind of turned the day around.'
Watson, who won two majors on the Champions Tour, has positioned himself well, too. Watson, who played in all nine majors on the PGA and Champions Tours combined, is battling Craig Stadler and Bruce Lietzke for Player of the Year honors.
He got off to a quick start with a birdie at the first. However, Watson dropped off the pace with bogeys at the sixth and eighth. He righted the ship with a birdie at the ninth to head to the back nine at even par.
He eagled the par-4 11th when he holed a pitching-wedge. Watson moved to minus-3 with a birdie at the par-5 13th.
Watson stumbled to a bogey at the par-3 14th. However, he eagled the par-5 16th to move into a share of third place.
'I had a very good round today,' Watson said. 'I didn't make any putts. I holed a wedge shot for an eagle at No. 11, but I had the ball close to the hole a lot today and I couldn't read the putts.
'Maybe I'm talking myself into it because yesterday I said these greens have subtle breaks to them and they are hard to read. Both caddy Bruce (Edwards) and I made mistakes out there today. We're not reading them very well. I left a lot out there on the golf course.'
Stadler, who won the SBC Championship last week, is one stroke behind Watson at 3-under-par 69. He is joined there by Kite, Dave Barr, Vicente Fernandez, Bruce Fleisher, Gil Morgan and Bobby Wadkins.
Related Links:
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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.