Tunnicliff in Front in Scotland

By Sports NetworkJune 11, 2004, 4:00 pm
PERTHSHIRE, Scotland -- Miles Tunnicliff carded a 4-under 68 on Friday to open a commanding lead at the halfway point of the Diageo Championship at Gleneagles. Tunnicliff finished 36 holes at 9-under-par 135 with a five-shot advantage over his closest competitors.
'I have been very relaxed these two days,' said Tunnicliff. 'I feel pretty confident especially if I can carry on the way I've been playing.'
Graeme McDowell posted a 71 to finish alongside Nick O'Hern at 4-under-par 140. Paul McGinley, Henrik Stenson and David Howell followed at 3-under-par 141.
A fierce storm battered the PGA Centenary course on Thursday halting play for nearly three hours and ultimately forcing the suspension of the first round. The conditions remained difficult for the second round, but the absence of any additional storms let play go on as scheduled.
Tunnicliff, who held a share of the opening-round lead with O'Hern, started on the 10th and stumbled out of the gate with a bogey. The Englishman wasn't the only one struggling, however, and Tunnicliff regained the lead with a birdie at the 12th under windy conditions.
He added a birdie at the par-3 14th and played his approach to the fringe 8 feet from the cup at the par-4 15th. Tunnicliff drained the birdie try but gave that shot back with a bogey at the 17th.
Tunnicliff, who earned his first career victory on the European Tour at The Great North Open two years ago following the death of his mother, rebounded on the front nine with back-to-back birdies starting at the par-5 second.
'Someone was looking down on me that week and I hope she is looking down on me again this weekend,' said Tunnicliff.
While the remainder of the field was unable to make any serious advances, Tunnicliff cruised down the stretch and added a birdie at the par-4 eighth to take a comfortable lead into the weekend.
McDowell also played the back side first and tallied two bogeys and two birdies over his first six holes. At the par-5 18th, McDowell ran home a 30-footer for a birdie but found trouble with double bogey at the first.
The 24-year-old, who won this year's Italian Open, chipped his third shot to 3 feet for a birdie at the par-5 second and knocked his approach inside 12 feet at the par-4 fifth.
McDowell converted the birdie putt and parred his way in for a share of second.
'It is nice to remember how to play in the wind again,' said McDowell.
Gary Evans, Raymond Russell, Terry Price, Peter Baker and Russell Claydon share seventh place at 2-under-par 142. Mark Roe, Santiago Luna, Paul Eales, Gary Emerson and Richard Green were one shot further back at 1-under-par 143.
Defending champion Soren Kjeldsen shot a 2-under 70 to finish in a group at even-par 144 that includes Colin Montgomerie.
The 36-hole cut fell at 4-over-par 148 with 76 players surviving for the weekend. Among those who failed to qualify were Paul Lawrie and Nick Dougherty.
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.