Trio Share Third Round Lead in New York

By Sports NetworkJune 22, 2002, 4:00 pm
Findley Lake, NY - Hunter Haas posted a five-under 66 Saturday to join former PGA Tour players Kelly Gibson and Doug Barron in a share of the lead through three rounds of the Lake Erie Charity Classic. The trio stands at eight-under-par 205 and owns a two-shot lead over a large group of players at the Upper Course at Peek 'n Peak Resort.
Anthony Painter (66), Patrick Moore (68), Wes Short (68), Todd Fanning (69), Tyler Williamson (70) and Ben Bates (71) share fourth place at six-under par.
Overnight leader Omar Uresti struggled badly Saturday with a round of six- over-par 77. He collected two birdies, four bogeys and two double-bogeys to fall into a tie for 26th at minus-two.
Haas was the first co-leader to make his move up the board. He tallied four birdies in his first eight holes to get near the top spot. Over the back nine, Haas traded a pair of bogeys with a pair of birdies but got into the clubhouse with the lead after a birdie on No. 17.
'I hit a lot of irons off the tees here just to get the ball into position,' said Haas, who played on the PGA Tour last season. 'Fairways and greens, that's the key isn't it?'
Haas is in an unfamiliar position being this close to the lead. His best finish in seven starts is a tie for 11th in his first event of the season, the Louisiana Open.
'I'll probably be nervous tomorrow,' said Haas. 'Everyone gets nervous. Everyone has butterflies. If they tell you they're not nervous, they're lying.'
While the 25-year-old Haas will try and handle nerves on Sunday, his fellow leaders can call upon their experience playing the PGA Tour.
'I'm comfortable being in this position,' said Barron, who has two second- place finishes in his last three starts. 'I've been in the hunt the last couple of tournament but I've been the pursuer. Now they sort of have to come and get me, and that's what I like.'
Barron was two-under on his round after bogeying the par-three 13th hole. He parred 14 but carded back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16 to get into a share of the lead.
Gibson collected three birdies and now has a streak of 41 consecutive holes without a bogey.
'My patience level is a little better than it normally is,' said Gibson. 'I'm not very good at being patient but maybe tomorrow will be a different story.'
Greg Gregory was in second place at the start of Saturday's round but carded a two-over 73 to slip into a tie for 10th at five-under par.
Full field scores from the Lake Erie Charity Classic at Peek'n Peak Resort
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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.

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.


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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.

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Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

"It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

"This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."

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Rahm (62) shoots career low round at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 10:33 pm

After a banner year in 2017, Jon Rahm found a way to add yet another accolade to his growing list of accomplishments during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Rahm got off to a fast start at La Quinta Country Club, playing his first seven holes in 6 under en route to a 10-under 62. The score marked his career low on the PGA Tour by two shots and gave him an early lead in an event that utilizes a three-course rotation.

La Quinta was the site of Adam Hadwin's 59 during last year's event, and Rahm knew full well that a quick start opened the door to a memorably low score.

"Any time you have that going for you, you get thoughts come in your head, 60, maybe 59," Rahm told reporters. "I knew that if I kept playing good I was going to have more birdie opportunities, and I tried not to get ahead of myself and I was able to do it."

Rahm birdied his first two holes before an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole sparked him to an outward 30. He added four more birdies on the inward half without dropping a shot.

The Spaniard is the highest-ranked player in the field this week, and while many players opted for a two-week stint in Hawaii he instead came home for some practice after opening the new year with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. That decision appears to have paid some early dividends as Rahm gets set to defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Low scores were plentiful on all three courses during the opening round, and Rahm remained pleased with his effort even though he fell short of matching Hadwin's sub-60 score from a year ago.

"That's golf. You're not going to make every single putt, you're not going to hit every shot perfect," he said. "Overall, you've got to look at the bigger picture. I birdied the last hole, had a couple of great sand saves coming in, shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for."