Weir Extends Canadian Lead to Three

By Sports NetworkSeptember 11, 2004, 4:00 pm
OAKVILLE, Ontario -- Canadian Mike Weir posted a 1-under 70 Saturday to take a three-shot lead after three rounds of the Canadian Open. Weir completed 54 holes at 10-under-par 203.
 
New world No. 1 Vijay Singh stumbled to four bogeys and a triple bogey en route, but battled to card a 1-over 72. He shares second place with Jesper Parnevik (71) and Cliff Kresge (67) at 7-under-par 206.
 
D.J. Brigman fired a 4-under 67 to move into a tie for fifth at 5-under-par 208. He stands alongside Joe Ogilvie, who posted a 2-under 69.
 
The field managed to complete rounds two and three on Saturday. Action was delayed due to a five-hour delay in the first round.
 
Weir was steady throughout. He found the green on each of the first four holes, but two-putted for par each time. The Canadian knocked his second into a greenside bunker at the par-5 fifth at Glen Abbey Golf Club.
 
He blasted out of the sand, but again two-putted for par. Weir ran his par string to seven before he chipped in for birdie at the par-4 eighth.
 
Weir's second shot to the par-4 10th came up short of the green and he pitched to 8 feet. However, he missed that putt to slip back to minus-9.
 
The 2003 Masters champion returned to his steady golf. He ran off seven consecutive pars from the 11th to remain two clear of the field. At the last, Weir carded his second birdie of his round to move to 10 under and a three stroke cushion.
 
'I had an opportunity to really distance myself, and unfortunately it didn't happen,' said Weir, a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour. 'On the other hand, I didn't putt worth a darn all day and I increased my lead by two.'
 
Weir is trying to become the first Canadian to win his national championship since Pat Fletcher titled at this event in 1954. The best recent finish by a Canadian here is a tie for fourth in 1988, which was done by Dave Barr.
 
'Hopefully, the golfing gods will be here tomorrow,' said Weir of his quest for history.
 
Singh, who climbed into the No. 1 spot in the world with his win at the Deutsche Bank Championship last week, had a tough day. He missed the green at the first and fourth and was unable to save par.
 
The Fijian three-putted also for bogey at the second. He got one shot back with a birdie at the fifth, but stumbled to a bogey at the seventh. Singh fought right back to birdie the eighth to get back to 6 under.
 
Singh dropped in a birdie at the 10th, but trouble loomed. His tee shot at the 11th found the left trees. Singh, the 2000 Masters champion, tried to play over the trees, but his second came up short of the green and in water.
 
That led to a triple bogey that dropped him back to minus-4. Singh, who is battling a sore left knee, responded in fine fashion. He rolled off three straight birdies from the 13th to get back into a share of second. Singh parred his final three holes to remain there.
 
Parnevik, playing alongside Weir and Singh, struggled like Singh. The Swede lost his tee shot way right at the first. The ball was never found in the corporate tents, so he was given a free drop. No matter, he still stumbled to a bogey and slipped to another bogey at the fourth before posting a birdie at the fifth. Another bogey at the 11th dropped Parnevik to minus-5.
 
A five-time winner on the PGA Tour, Parnevik dropped in birdies at the 13th and 15th to return to minus-7. He bogeyed the 16th, but erased that error with a birdie at the last.
 
'It was a very different day to say the least. I started on one and being the professional I am, I stood over the ball and had a little bit of a slippery right hand. I thought I'd swing a little bit smoother, and I hit it 80 yards right,' said Parnevik, whose ball was later found in a fairway bunker on the fourth hole, which is adjacent to the tents he hit into.
 
'I bogeyed that hole, then started horrendously on the front nine which carried over to the other guys because they putted poorly, as well. It was a very different day. None of us could do anything right it seemed like.'
 
Kresge posted one of the best rounds of the day. He converted back-to-back birdies from the second before carding nine straight pars. Kresge picked up his third birdie at the 13th to move to minus-6.
 
Kresge, a two-time winner on the Nationwide Tour, dropped a shot at the 16th. However, he closed with birdies at 17 and 18 to grab a share of second place.
 
American Ryder Cupper Stewart Cink posted a 2-under 69 to move to 4-under-par 209. He shares seventh place with David Sutherland, Glen Day, Bill Haas and Mark Hensby. Steve Lowery, Dean Wilson and Hunter Mahan are one stroke further back at minus-3.
 
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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.