Watson On His Way in Florida

By Sports NetworkFebruary 9, 2002, 5:00 pm
Tom Watson shot a 6-under 66 to stay in the lead at the ACE Group Classic Saturday. Watson moved to 14-under 140, two strokes clear of Hale Irwin.
 
A day after hitting an ace at the par-3 16th in the opening round, Watson continued to sizzle with six birdies and no bogeys en route to a new 36-hole tournament scoring record.
 
'Thanks to no wind the record was broken,' said Watson, who is looking for his first win in the state of Florida. 'Wind makes golf challenging. Without it we can take advantage.'
 
The 2001 Senior PGA Championship winner picked up two strokes on the front nine to make the turn at 10-under. On the back nine he made the necessary birdies to hold off the challenges brought on by Irwin and Dana Quigley.
 
Quigley, who played in the same group as Watson, was either tied or within one shot of the lead for most of the afternoon.
 
On the par-5 13th Watson missed the green but a favorable lie allowed him to get up and down for a birdie. Quigley found the bunker with his approach and managed only par to fall two strokes back.
 
Quigley made back-to-back birdies from the 14th after hitting approach shots to within four feet on each hole but Watson matched him with a short birdie on No. 15 to remain alone in first.
 
On the 17th, Watson reached the green in two while Quigley opted to stay on the fairway. Quigley had found the water during the opening round and elected to take three shots to the green.
 
Watson had a long eagle attempt but aggressively ran the ball six feet past the hole. Quigley's third shot hit the green hard and rolled off the putting surface and onto the rough.
 
After Watson made birdie to climb to 14-under, Quigley managed to save par to again fall two shots off the lead.
 
To make matters worse, Quigley bogeyed the last to finish at 11-under.
 
'I look at this as a great challenge. Nobody expects me to beat Watson or Irwin,' he said. 'I'll try to have some fun with it. Maybe I'll wear sneakers.'
 
Irwin quietly made a charge up the leaderboard while Quigley was battling Watson. The 56-year-old, who was penalized one stroke Friday when his coin was moved by a ball that accidentally fell out of his hand, played a bogey-free round to finish with a 64 for the low round of the day.
 
'I tried to brush the penalty from yesterday aside and get on with what I needed to do,' said Irwin.
 
The two-time U.S. Senior Open champion made back-to-back birdies from the 17th to close out the round in second place at minus-12.
 
'I may need a similar round like I had today,' he said. 'I don't think Tom and I have played head to head in a while.'
 
Allen Doyle (67) and Jim Thorpe (68) were joint-fifth at 10-under 134 while Mike Hill (65) and Australia's Rodger Davis, who used five birdies on the front to match Irwin's 64, finished tied at 9-under 135.
 
Defending champion Gil Morgan was among a group of four players knotted at 8-under 136.
 
Full-field scores from the ACE Group Classic
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Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook played a six-hole stretch in 6 under and shot an 8-under 64 in breezy conditions Saturday to take the lead at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook began the run at La Quinta Country Club with birdies on Nos. 4-5, eagled the sixth and added birdies on No. 7 and 9 to make the turn in 6-under 30.

After a bogey on the 10th, he birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 15 and saved par on the 18th with a 20-footer to take a 19-under 197 total into the final round on PGA West's Stadium Course. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player is making his first start in the event. He won at Sea Island in November for his first PGA Tour title.

Fellow former Razorbacks star Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were a stroke back. Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 on the Stadium Course. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. They are both winless on the PGA Tour.


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Jon Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium Course to reach 17 under. The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3, Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

Scott Piercy also was two strokes back after a 66 at the Stadium.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, and Harkins shot 68 on the Stadium Course.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium Course to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time.

The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. The Southern California recruit had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over for the week.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine – and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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Mickelson misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

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Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

“I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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LAAC returning to Casa de Campo in 2019

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 8:23 pm

The Latin America Amateur Championship will return to Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic in 2019 (Jan. 17-20), event organizers announced Saturday in Chile, where this year’s championship is underway.

The LAAC champion receives an invitation to play the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club every spring.

The champion is also exempt into The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event for which he is eligible to compete. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

The championship got its start in 2015 with Chile’s Matias Dominguez winning at Pilar Golf in Argentina. In 2016, Casa de Campo hosted, with Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet winning. At 16, he became the first player from Central America to compete in the Masters. In 2017, Chile’s Toto Gana won the title at  Club de Golf de Panama.