Three Tied as Play Called on Day 2

By Sports NetworkMarch 18, 2005, 5:00 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Charles Howell III, Stephen Ames and Joe Ogilvie share the lead during the suspended second round of the Bay Hill Invitational.
 
Play was stopped for darkness on Friday as the tournament is still playing catch up after Thursday's weather mess. Only three hours of golf was played on Thursday so everyone completed their opening rounds on Friday.
 
Tiger Woods and Ernie Els
Tiger Woods and Ernie Els completed their first rounds Friday, but didn't start Round 2.
Thirty players finished their second rounds Friday, while only 21 players from the second group of tee times even started their second rounds. The resumption of the second round begins at 7:15 a.m. ET Saturday and the last tee time is set for 8:15 a.m.
 
Since so many players have failed to even tee off in the second round, the 36- hole cut will not be made until Saturday afternoon. Those who make the cut will be put into threesomes and sent off both the first and 10th tees in the final two rounds.
 
The third round will be completed Sunday morning, immediately followed by the final round. There should be no further weather complications as the forecast is good.
 
Howell and Ames both posted rounds of 4-under 68 in the second round to get into the clubhouse at 5-under-par 139. Ogilvie, who held the first-round lead, is 1 under on his round through three holes.
 
Vijay Singh, who can reclaim the No. 1 ranking in the world this week, eagled the par-4 eighth hole, his 17th of the second round, en route to a 4-under 68. He is tied for fourth place at minus-4 with Graeme McDowell, who has yet to hit a shot in the second round.
 
Tiger Woods, the current top-ranked player, and Ernie Els, who won back-to-back weeks on the European Tour, are part of a group tied for 17th place at 1-under-par 71. The two, who are joined by reigning U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen in this all-star threesome, can also leave the week with the No. 1 ranking.
 
Woods must finish outside the top two and Singh must finish no lower than tied fourth with one player. Els, who was No. 1 in the world for nine weeks, has a tougher road to the top of the perch. He must finish at least tied for second with one player.
 
Howell was 3 under on his round as he played the final few holes of his round. He tied for the lead at the seventh hole, his 16th, when he knocked a 5-iron to 10 feet.
 
Howell dropped out of the lead quickly when his 9-iron second at the eighth found the right bunker. He could not get up and down, but birdied No. 9 to get in at minus-5.
 
The 25-year-old has not visited the winner's circle since his maiden victory at the 2002 Michelob Championship. He finished 34th on the money list in 2004, but has a pair of top-3 finishes this season and is poised to win again.
 
'I think I'm just finding it's really hard to win,' admitted Howell. 'I think I've found a way to be rather consistent and to have a lot of good finishes. But, you know, that step to winning is what I'm trying to figure out.'
 
Ames flew up the leaderboard with five birdies in a six-hole span on his opening nine, the front side at Bay Hill Golf Club & Lodge. He was two shots ahead after that, but came back to the pack with bogeys at one and two, where he missed the green with his approach.
 
Ames, who won last year's Western Open, birdied the fifth hole to join Howell in the lead.
 
The 40-year-old from Trinidad was happy to finish his second round and thinks he has an advantage over those who have to play the better part of two rounds on Saturday.
 
'I'm off till four o'clock in the afternoon. I get to relax tonight and most of tomorrow. It's a big advantage, I'm sure,' said Ames. 'Though all of the guys had a big chance to relax today and tonight, as well.'
 
Ogilvie, who lost in a playoff last week at the Honda Classic, birdied his third hole to join the leaders in the clubhouse.
 
Pat Perez (70) and Briny Baird (73) are tied for sixth place at 2-under-par 142. Joey Sindelar, Jerry Kelly and Greg Owen are 2 under on the course. Mark Calcavecchia, Geoff Ogilvy, Sergio Garcia, Kenny Perry, K.J. Choi and Aaron Baddeley are at minus-2 and yet to play their second rounds.
 
Defending champion Chad Campbell is even par through one hole, but is at 4 over for the championship.
 
Related Links:
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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.