Toms Campbell Lead in Hawaii

By Sports NetworkJanuary 14, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 Sony OpenHONOLULU -- David Toms posted a new course record of 9-under 61 Saturday to move into a share of the lead after three rounds of the Sony Open in Hawaii.
 
Chad Campbell had a great round of his own with an 8-under 62. He joined Toms atop the leaderboard at 14-under-par 196.
 
Chad Campbell
Chad Campbell is looking for his first win since the 2004 Bay Hill Invitational.
Before Campbell and Toms scorched through the back nine, Shane Bertsch had cruised to a 7-under 63 to jump into a tie for third place. He was joined there by big-hitting Bubba Watson, who carded a 66 in round three.
 
Jim Furyk (70), Rory Sabbatini (67) and Charles Warren (64) share fifth place at 6-under-par 204 at Waialae Country Club.
 
Campbell shared the lead entering round three with Furyk. However, Furyk stumbled to three bogeys over the opening four holes to fall off the pace. Campbell and Toms, playing in the final group with Furyk, opened with back-to- back pars.
 
From the third through the 18th, at least one of the two men birdied 13 of the final 16 holes to run away from the field. Campbell struck first with a 7-foot birdie putt on the third.
 
Toms got that shot back at the next as he sank an 18-footer for birdie. They each parred the fifth before Toms forged a tie for the lead at minus-7 as he sank a 7-foot birdie attempt on No. 6.
 
Campbell caught fire on seven, though. He stuck his approach 4 feet from the hole and converted the birdie try. The 31-year-old then poured in a 25- foot birdie putt on the next, but Toms matched him with a 16-foot birdie of his own.
 
They both birdied the ninth and Campbell made the turn at 10 under, one ahead of Toms. Campbell, the 2003 Tour Championship winner, made his fourth straight birdie as he rolled in a 5-footer on No. 10.
 
Toms, the 2001 PGA Champion, got back within one as he rolled in a birdie putt from the back fringe at the 11th, but Campbell responded with a 13-foot birdie putt on 12 to move to minus-12.
 
The 39-year-old Toms then knocked his second shot to 14 feet to set up birdie on the 13th. Toms briefly joined Campbell in the lead again at 14 when he sank a 35- footer for birdie. Campbell, however, converted his 5-foot birdie try to again move one clear of his playing partner.
 
After both men parred 15, they made very different birdies on 16. Campbell stuck his approach within 2 feet and tapped in for birdie. He did that after Toms ran in a 75-foot birdie putt from the front fringe.
 
Campbell got up and down for par on 17 and two-putted for par from 15 feet at the last.
 
'It was a great day. Both of us played well and we kind of fed off each other,' said Campbell.
 
Toms also got up and down for his par at the 17th. At the last, he reached the par-5 closing hole in two. He two-putted for birdie to share the third-round lead with Campbell.
 
'I was just trying to feed off what Chad was doing,' Toms said. 'He was hitting the ball close to the hole. I wasn't getting it so close so I had to make a couple long putts. It was a great day all around for both of us.'
 
Defending champion Vijay Singh fired a 6-under 65 to move to 5-under-par 205. He was joined there by Mercedes Championships winner Stuart Appleby (69), K.J. Choi (68), Robert Gamez (66), Nathan Green (65), John B. Holmes (69), Steve Jones (68), Peter Lonard (68) and Jerry Smith (69).
 
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


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    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.