Weather Still Troubles BellSouth

By Sports NetworkApril 2, 2005, 5:00 pm
DULUTH, Ga. -- Billy Mayfair was 4 under par through 13 holes of his first round Saturday before play at the BellSouth Classic was suspended for the night due to darkness.
J.L. Lewis, Scott McCarron and Ted Purdy share the clubhouse lead at 3-under-par 69. Brett Quigley also stands at minus-3 through 16 holes, while Ryuji Imada is 3 under through 11 holes.
Rich Beem
Rich Beem put socks under his hat to try and stay warm Saturday.
`After all of play was washed out Thursday and Friday, Saturday's action was delayed for one hour, 39 minutes due to a mixture of snow, sleet and rain. Players also battled windy conditions with wind chills in the 30s.
Tournament officials have officially reduced the tournament to 54 holes with the final round slated for Monday. The first round will resume Sunday at 8:00 a.m. ET, with the second round starting no earlier than 9:00 a.m.
That will make it two straight Monday finishes on the PGA Tour, as last week's Players Championship at Sawgrass was pushed back due to inclement weather.
It marks the second event to be shortened this season, joining the Nissan Open, which was cut to 36 holes.
Mayfair got off to a good start as he rolled in a birdie putt at the first at the TPC at Sugarloaf. The 38-year-old joined the leader at minus-3 thanks to birdies at the fourth and sixth, both par-5s.
Mayfair, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour, reeled off six straight pars around the turn before draining a birdie try at the par-4 13th before play ended for the night.
'The hardest part when it's cold and you have delays, it makes it hard to stay warm,' said Mayfair. 'I made four birdies and they all were between 10 and 20 feet. I made some nice putts.'
McCarron got off to a rough start with a bogey at the first after pulling his drive left off the tee. He got back to even par for his round when he sank a 9-foot birdie try at the third.
The two-time winner of this event moved into red figures with a birdie at the fifth. McCarron got to 2 under at the eighth after he dropped his tee shot 2 feet from the hole. His lone back-nine birdie came at the par-4 17th, where he sank a 6-foot putt.
'I think that old saying, 'one shot at a time,' is all I was doing, because all you're thinking about is staying warm,' McCarron said. 'I hit a shot, put on some more clothes, put a ski cap on, gloves on, walk down the fairway, take it all off and hit that shot. So it really keeps you Point A to Point B and hit that shot from Point A to Point B. I play my best when I'm doing that.'
Lewis began on the back nine and birdied the 11th before tripping to a bogey at the next. He converted back-to-back birdie tries from the 14th. The two-time winner bogeyed the third, but came right back with a birdie at four. He closed with a birdie at the ninth to end at minus-3.
Purdy also played the back side first and opened with a birdie on the 10th. He later wrapped bogeys at the 16th and 18th around a birdie at 17. The 31-year-old dropped in consecutive birdies from the fourth. Like Lewis, Purdy birdied the par-4 ninth, his last.
Quigley posted one birdie and one bogey on the front nine. He turned it on around the turn. He birdied the 10th, then sank back-to-back birdie tries from the 13th to get to 3 under. He parred his next two holes before play was halted.
Imada started on the 10th tee and birdied two of his first three holes. After seven pars in a row, he birdied No. 2, his 11th, before play ended for the day.
Bo Van Pelt shares seventh place with 2002 PGA Championship winner Rich Beem at 2-under 70. Also at minus-2 are two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal, John Huston, Tag Ridings and Hideto Tanihara, who all have several holes to play in their opening round.
Zach Johnson, the defending champion, opened with a 3-over-par 75.
Nine players withdrew prior to the event starting, while Paul Gow (85), Brett Wetterich (81) and D.J. Trahan (80) withdrew after their rounds.
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.