Wide Open Race at Honda Classic

By Sports NetworkMarch 3, 2007, 5:00 pm
2006 Honda ClassicPALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Mark Wilson posted his second consecutive round of 4-under-par 66 on Saturday to take sole possession of the 54-hole lead at the Honda Classic. He stands at 6-under-par 204 and is one ahead at PGA National Resort and Spa.
Boo Weekley
Boo Weekley, like Mark Wilson, is seeking his first PGA TOUR win. (WireImage)
Boo Weekley birdied two of his final four holes in round three to polish off a 4-under 66. He is alone in second place at minus-5, followed by Daniel Chopra, who shot a 68 to come in at 4-under-par 206.
The overnight co-leaders struggled on the back nine Saturday.
Charlie Wi, who shared first with Robert Allenby at minus-5 on Friday, holed out from a bunker for a birdie at 17, but only managed a 2-over 72. He is tied for fourth place with Steve Stricker, who carded 70 on Saturday, at 3-under-par 207.
Allenby was one worse than Wi in the third round with a 73 and is alone in sixth at minus-2.
For the first time in a number of years, the PGA TOUR returned to PGA National, and it has clearly dominated the players. Nineteen golfers broke par on Saturday, and the lowest rounds belonged to the top two players on the leaderboard.
Wilson eagled the par-5 third hole to jump up the leaderboard, then found himself tied for the lead at 5 under par thanks to a 5-foot birdie putt at the fourth.
At the par-4 sixth, Wilson drove into a fairway bunker and could only play his second back into the fairway. He knocked his third to 13 feet, but missed the par putt, falling one off the pace.
Stricker, Allenby and Wi held the lead throughout much of the front nine, but Wilson got within one with a 6-foot birdie putt at the 11th. He rolled in a 28-footer for birdie at the 12th and Wilson shared first once again, this time with Allenby.
The Aussie tumbled down the board with a bogey at 12, then a drive that landed in pine straw near trees at 13 led to another bogey. Wilson was not immune from the dangers of PGA National and after his tee ball found sand at the par-4 13th, he bogeyed the hole to fall to 5 under par.
Late in the back nine, pars were good scores and that's what Wilson tallied. He parred holes 13-17, then hit his third to seven feet to set up a closing birdie at the par-5 last.
'The putts went in again today,' said Wilson. 'I didn't drive it great early, but hit some great shots coming in. I came out and played one of the best rounds of my life yesterday, then played really solid today. I'm excited for tomorrow.'
Wilson will be in search of his first win on the PGA TOUR Sunday. He has never even owned a piece of the 54-hole lead on tour until Saturday, but he's made all five cuts this season.
'I'll be anxious,' acknowledged Wilson, whose best finish on TOUR was a tie for third place at the 2005 Texas Open. 'I feel comfortable with myself no matter what happens tomorrow.'
Weekley is in a similar position as Wilson. He has not won on tour and spent time on the Nationwide Tour after a brief stint on the PGA TOUR five years ago.
Weekley also eagled No. 3, but bogeyed the fourth. He birdied the par-3 fifth, then parred his next nine holes, which was outstanding considering the difficulty of PGA National.
He birdied the par-3 15th to reach 4 under par. At the last, Weekley laid up with his second, then knocked his third to 9 feet. He holed the putt to get within one of first place one week after a sixth-place finish at the Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun.
'It made me feel better with my swing and where I'm going,' said Weekley.
Former champion Padraig Harrington (70), Tripp Isenhour (68), Jason Dufner (68), Stephen Marino (68), Jose Coceres (69) and Camilo Villegas (71) are knotted in seventh place at 1-under-par 209.
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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.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    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