Vancsik Trying to Atone for Last Weeks Loss

By Sports NetworkOctober 20, 2007, 4:00 pm
European TourVILAMOURA, Portugal -- Last week, Daniel Vancsik carried a two-shot lead into the final round of the Madrid Open only to be done in by a quintuple-bogey at the fifth hole.
 
He's hoping for a better outcome this week.
 
Vancsik shot a 4-under 68 in the third round of the Portugal Masters on Saturday to take a 54-hole lead for the second week in a row. He was at 18-under 198, one shot ahead of Charl Schwartzel and Steve Webster.
 
The 30-year-old Argentine, who also held the 36-hole lead, had five birdies and a bogey Saturday at Victoria Club de Golfe.
 
'I like this course because I can hit my driver all the time, which gives me a lot of chances for birdie,' Vancsik said. 'For tomorrow I will try and stay patient and if my putter is working well, I will have a good chance to win.'
 
Schwartzel shot a 6-under 66 to climb up from a tie for sixth place overnight into a tie for second alongside Webster, who had a 67. They were tied at 17-under 199.
 
Robert Karlsson (65) and Ross Fisher (68) were another shot further back at 16-under 200, and there were 12 players overall within five shots of Vancsik's lead.
 
Vancsik claimed his first career European Tour win at the Madeira Islands Open in March after never finishing in the top 15 before that. He fell out of the lead Saturday with an even-par 36 on the front nine, but rebounded to make four inward birdies.
 
Like Vancsik, Schwartzel will also be chasing his second win of the season after claiming the Open de Espana in April. He holed out a 144-yard shot at the 17th for an eagle on Saturday, rebounding from a bogey at the previous hole.
 
'After the tee shot at the 17th it looked like I might make a six, so to come away with a three was huge, that was a big turning point,' said Schwartzel.
 
'There are a lot of birdies to be made out there and I feel like I'm playing well and rolling in a few putts, so if I can keep my composure, I'll have a chance. But there are a lot of guys out there in with a chance so I think it will be tight coming down the stretch.'
 
Some of them are playing for more than this tournament.
 
Justin Rose, currently third on the money list, is making a run at his first Order of Merit title. He shot a 6-under 66 on Saturday and moved into a tie for 18th place, where he was still within seven shots of the lead.
 
The players above him on the money list, Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington, weren't in the field this week. Rose needs a first- or second-place finish to move to the top, but he's been struggling with back pain all week.
 
'I'm trying not to think about it,' he said Saturday, 'and I'm looking forward to the end of the year more than anything else.'
 
Related Links:
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Full Coverage - Portugal Masters
  • Getty Images

    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

    Getty Images

    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

    Getty Images

    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 Web.com 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.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    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."

    Getty Images

    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.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    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.