Three Tied in South Carolina

By Sports NetworkOctober 7, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 Asahi Ryokuken International ClassicNORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Grace Park, Kim Saiki and Silvia Cavalleri each posted rounds of 6-under-par 66 Thursday to share the first-round lead of the Asahi Ryokuken International Championship.
 
Joanne Morley, Becky Morgan and Michelle Estill share fourth place at 5-under-par 67.
 
Park, who won her first career major at this season's Kraft Nabisco Championship, was superb early in her opening round with four birdies in her first six holes. At the par-5 ninth, Park missed the fairway and was forced to lay up short of the green. She knocked a wedge on with her third, but three-putted from 50 feet.
 
Things did not get better for Park on the second nine. She tallied her second bogey in a row at 10 when she left her third shot in a greenside bunker.
 
Park rebounded at the par-5 12th when she hit a 3-wood to 30 feet with her second. She two-putted for birdie and made it back-to-back birdies with a 5-footer at 13. Park collected her third birdie in a row at 14 when she hit a sand-wedge to 7 feet. Park polished off four birdies in as many holes with a 12-footer at the par-3 15th.
 
Park was alone in the lead, but stumbled at 17. She hit her tee shot right and was forced to punch out into the fairway. Her third at the par-4 hole stopped 20 feet from the cup, but she missed the putt to fall to minus-5.
 
The tour's fourth-leading money winner in 2004 hit a 6-iron to 4 feet to set up birdie at 18 and grab the clubhouse lead.
 
'I'm very happy with today's round,' said Park. 'I made a couple of mental errors that cost me a few strokes, but then came back strong. I finished with birdie, so I'm pleased.'
 
Saiki, who won this year's Wegmans Rochester LPGA, parred her first four holes before a 6-foot birdie putt at the fifth. She made it two in a row with a two-putt from 18 feet at the par-5 sixth.
 
Saiki played solidly around the turn, then hit a 6-iron to 15 feet to set up birdie at the par-3 11th. She once again collected back-to-back birdies, this time with a 10-foot putt at the par-5 12th.
 
The 38-year-old jumped into first place at the par-5 16th. Saiki reached the front of the green with a 4-wood, then chipped in for eagle with a 9-iron from 70 feet.
 
'I was very patient today,' said Saiki, who almost walked away from the game earlier this year. 'But I made the putts I needed to make and chipped in for eagle.'
 
Cavalleri, an Italian who has yet to win on tour, opened on the back nine Thursday and collected two birdies in a row from the 13th. She parred her next six holes around the turn until a birdie at the third.
 
Cavalleri hit a 7-wood to 19 feet with her second shot at the par-5 sixth. She made the eagle putt, then birdied eight to join Park and Saiki in first.
 
'I didn't make any bogeys, which is good,' said Cavalleri. 'My putting was excellent, and the course is in good condition. It's really nice to score out here.'
 
Angela Stanford, Donna Andrews, Liselotte Neumann, Il Mi Chung and Heather Daly-Donofrio are tied for seventh place after opening with 4-under-par 68s.
 
Defending champion Rosie Jones kicked off her title defense with a 2-over-par 74 and is part of a large group tied for 92nd place.
 
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    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, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “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 of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, 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, and Hideto Tanihara.

    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 more than three 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.