Webster Foster Lead the Way In Scotland

By Sports NetworkAugust 5, 2005, 4:00 pm
European TourGLENEAGLES, Scotland -- England's Steve Webster fired a 5-under 67 Friday in the second round of the Johnnie Walker Championship, vaulting himself up the leaderboard from a tie for 14th place into a share of the lead.
 
Webster and overnight leader Mark Foster, also of England, stand at 6-under-par 138 heading into the weekend, one stroke clear of Gregory Bourdy and Sam Little for first place.
 
Ian Garbutt is alone in fifth place at 4-under-par 140, and a group of six golfers share sixth place one stroke further back. The cut was set at plus-4, with 64 players failing to move on.
 
Webster, who began his round at 1-under-par, collected seven birdies Friday. He opened on the back nine with consecutive pars before a birdie at No. 12 put him at 2 under.
 
A two-time winner on tour, Webster bogeyed a pair of par-3s before heading to the front nine, but a birdie at the 16th helped him make the turn at minus-1. Consecutive birdies to start his second nine moved him to 3 under, and three more birdies in his final four holes gave him his share of the lead.
 
'My mind is pretty good on the course, so if I can keep that up, I know I can be there right in the end,' Webster said.
 
Webster has compiled 10 top-20 finishes so far this year, including his first European Tour win at the Telecom Italia Open in May. He will be in the field at the PGA Championship next week -- his first tournament in the United States, and only his second visit there after celebrating his 30th birthday in Las Vegas earlier this year.
 
'If I am playing well I will look forward to it,' Webster said. 'It is going to be difficult, but if I am playing well I will love it, I know I will.'
 
Foster opened his round with a bogey at the par-four first to fall to 3 under. He then strung together seven straight pars after that before a birdie at No. 9 moved him back to his overnight score of minus-4.
 
A birdie at the par-5 12th briefly put Foster at 5 under before he gave that stroke back with a bogey at No. 14. The 30-year-old Briton then rebounded with an eagle at the par-5 16th, knocking a 3-wood within 6 feet before making his putt to move to 6 under.
 
'The eagle on 16 was the highlight,' said Foster, who shot a 2-under 70 on Friday. 'I was playing fine but not much [was] happening. I just kept telling myself to hang in there.
 
'I said yesterday I wasn't going to worry about other people and [I] did my job out there today. Pleased with it.'
 
Bourdy briefly climbed to the top of the leaderboard at 7-under-par before a pair of late bogeys dropped him to minus-3 on the day and 5-under-par 139 for the tournament. Little posted a 68 to join Bourdy in second place.
 
Also posting a 68 in his second round was 1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie, who is tied for 12th place at 2-under-par 142. Lawrie eagled his final hole -- the ninth -- to reach minus numbers.
 
'I am a far better player now than I was then (during his Open win in 1999),' said Lawrie. 'I hit far more good shots and quality shots than I used to. But my short game was mustard back then. I would like my short game of 1999 and long game of now. That would be a nice combination.'
 
Among those not making the cut was Marc Cayeux, who tied for third at last week's Scandinavian Masters. Cayeux finished at 10-over-par 154 after rounds of 78 and 76.
 
Also not making the weekend was Stephen Dodd, who ranks 10th on the European Tour Order of Merit. Dodd stumbled to a pair of 77s in his two rounds.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles
  • Full Coverage - Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles
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    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


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    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x