Trio Tied in Texas

By Sports NetworkApril 23, 2004, 4:00 pm
HUMBLE, Texas -- Steve Stricker, Steve Lowery and BellSouth Classic winner Zach Johnson are tied atop the leaderboard during the second round of the Shell Houston Open.
 
Friday's second round was suspended for darkness with 36 players still on the course. There was a nearly two-hour weather delay on Friday and the players will return to Redstone Golf Club at 8:30 a.m. (et) Saturday morning to complete the second round.
 
The third round will begin immediately after the completion of the second round. The golfers will be in threesomes and go off both the first and 10th tees because there is more severe weather in the forecast for Saturday.
 
Stricker posted a 2-under 70 on Friday, while Lowery carded a 3-under 69. Johnson bogeyed his 17th hole en route to a 4-under 68. The trio is knotted at 5-under-par 139.
 
Vijay Singh fired a 6-under 66 on Friday and is part of a group tied for fourth at 4-under-par 140. Paul Azinger (67) and Patrick Sheehan (71) joined Singh in the clubhouse while John Riegger and Neal Lancaster are at 4-under on the course.
 
For the second consecutive day, heavy wind swirled around Redstone and the scores reflected it.
 
Stricker, who played in the morning, opened well with back-to-back birdies at the first and second holes. He started missing greens on the front nine but his scrambling kept him near the leaderboard as the 37-year-old parred out until a bogey at No. 14.
 
Stricker reclaimed the lost stroke at No. 15 and parred his final three holes to get into the clubhouse with the lead.
 
'I'm just managing my game well, I think,' said Stricker, who won the 2001 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. 'When I was in trouble, I would try to get it up around the green or shoot away from the pin and just try to get it on the green and two-putt. I just managed my whole two days very well, and I've been putting well.'
 
Stricker's co-leaders were in the afternoon session.
 
Lowery started on the back nine and vaulted up the leaderboard with an eagle at 15, then a birdie at the next hole. The momentum was short-lived as Lowery double-bogeyed the 17th and bogeyed the second hole to fall back into the pack.
 
Then came the delay.
 
When Lowery returned to the course, he birdied his final three holes, including a 30-footer at the eighth and a 5-footer at the ninth, to join Stricker in a tie for first.
 
'It worked to my advantage,' said Lowery, referring to the delay. 'I kind of needed a break, so it worked out for me today.'
 
Johnson's take on the suspension was different as last year's Nationwide Tour Player of the Year was 4 under and headed for the back nine. When he came back, Johnson drained a 57-foot birdie at the 11th to take sole possession of the lead.
 
He fell back into a tie with a bogey at 13. Johnson moved back into first with a tap-in birdie at 15 but fell into a share of the lead when he bogeyed No. 17.
 
Johnson won his first PGA Tour event three weeks ago at the BellSouth Classic and with a good weekend, he could join Masters champion Phil Mickelson as the only multiple winners on tour this season.
 
'I'm starting to see the results of work and it's been great,' said Johnson. 'I've definitely got higher priorities than what I'm doing, but I give 110 percent and I love to do it.'
 
Justin Leonard (70), Dudley Hart (72), Mark Calcavecchia (69), Chris Riley (74), Scott Hoch (68) and David Peoples (71) are tied for ninth at 3-under-par 141. Joe Ogilvie is 3 under par and will return on the 15th hole.
 
First-round leader Rod Pampling struggled badly on Friday. He tallied one birdie, a double-bogey and six bogeys for a round of 7-over 79. Pampling is currently tied for 48th at 1-over-par 145.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Shell Houston Open
  • Full Coverage - Shell Houston Open
  • Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey six on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."

    Move over Lydia, a new Ko is coming to LPGA

    By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 5:11 pm

    Another gifted young South Korean will be joining the LPGA ranks next year.

    Jin Young Ko, the Korean LPGA Tour star, informed the American-based LPGA on Sunday night that she will be taking up membership next year. Ko earned the right by winning the LPGA’s KEB Hana Bank Championship as a nonmember in South Korea in October.

    Ko, 22, no relation to Lydia Ko, first burst on to the international spotlight with her run into contention at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry two years ago. She led there through 54 holes, with Inbee Park overtaking her in the final round to win.

    With 10 KLPGA Tour titles, three in each of the last two seasons, Ko has risen to No. 19 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

    Ko told GolfChannel.com Sunday afternoon that she was struggling over the decision, with a Monday deadline looming.

    “It’s a difficult decision to leave home,” Ko said after the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, when she was still undecided. “The travelling far away, on my own, the loneliness, that’s what is difficult.”

    Ko will be the favorite to win the LPGA’s Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award next year. South Koreans have won that award the last three years. Sung Hyun Park won it this year, In Gee Chun last year and Sei Young Kim in 2015. South Korean-born players have won the last four, with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko winning it in 2014. Ko was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand when she was 6.

    Ko released this statement through the LPGA on Wednesday: 

    "It has been my dream since I was young to play on the LPGA Tour and I look forward to testing myself against the best players on a worldwide stage. I know it is going to be tough but making a first win as an LPGA member and winning the Rolex Rookie of the Year award would be two of the biggest goals I would like to achieve next year."