Wie Bit of Trouble at 84 Lumber

By Sports NetworkSeptember 14, 2006, 4:00 pm
84 Lumber ClassicFARMINGTON, Pa. -- PGA TOUR rookie Nicholas Thompson fired an 8-under-par 64 on Thursday to take the first-round lead at the 84 Lumber Classic at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa.
Michelle Wie, the 16-year-old phenom who finished dead last at the European Masters on the European Tour last week, continued her struggles against the men.
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie is tied for 125th, 13 shots off the lead.
She only managed a 5-over-par 77 on the longest course she has played with men. Heavy overnight rain also left the greens vulnerable, but did not give a lot of run in the fairways.
Wie began on the back nine Thursday and parred her first three holes. Then problems arose for the youngster. She bogeyed three holes in a row from the 13th and things did not get much better.
After that she parred out on her opening nine, Wie hit an ugly tee shot off the first tee. She could not reach the green with her second, but the 16-year-old gave herself a look at par from 18 feet behind the hole. Wie missed the putt to fall to 4 over par.
Wie played solid golf on the second nine, but missed some opportunities late in her round. She missed a 17-foot birdie putt at the seventh, then her 9-footer at No. 8 stayed above ground.
At the par-4 ninth, Wie landed on the putting surface with her second, but stared at a 50-foot birdie putt. She did not hit a good putt, then missed a 7-footer to save par.
The putter was the problem on Thursday as Wie needed 34 putts.
'I feel like if I can make some putts tomorrow, I can really shoot a low score,' said Wie. 'It all feels good. I'm hitting my irons good. It didn't feel like I shot a 5-over today.'
Wie trails Thompson by 13 shots, but several players closed the gap during the first round.
Will MacKenzie, the winner of the Reno-Tahoe Open last month, shot a 6-under-par 66 and is tied for second place with Greg Kraft, Robert Gamez, Ted Purdy, Nissan Open champion Rory Sabbatini and this year's Booz Allen Classic winner and former British Open champion Ben Curtis.
Three winners this season trail a fairly unheralded TOUR rookie, whose best finish on this season was a tie for sixth at the B.C. Open, played opposite the British Open.
Thompson flew out of the gate on Thursday. At the opening hole, he chipped in for birdie from off the green, then drained a 15-footer at the second. Thompson made it three in a row at the par-3 third when his 4-iron tee ball stopped 4 feet from the stick.
He parred the fourth hole, then returned to making birdies. Thompson reached the green in two at the par-5 fifth and nearly made eagle from 20 feet, but settled for a birdie.
At the sixth, Thompson hit a gap-wedge inside 4 feet and made the birdie putt. He hit another beautiful iron shot close to set up another birdie at the seventh.
All totaled, it was six birdies in his first seven holes.
'It was kind of throwing darts out there,' admitted Thompson.
Things cooled for Thompson at the eighth. He missed the fairway off the tee, then three-putted to fall back to minus-5. Thompson three-putted the ninth for another bogey, but he righted the ship immediately on the back nine.
At the par-4 10th, Thompson hit a wedge to 5 feet to set up birdie. He made it back-to-back birdies at the par-5 11th when his third stopped 6 feet short of the cup and he holed the putt.
Thompson hit a poor approach to the 15th and made bogey to fall back to 5 under par. He atoned for the error by knocking a 4-iron to 3 feet to set up an eagle at the 16th and hitting a 7-iron to 6 feet for a birdie at the 17th.
'I played well,' acknowledged Thompson, who is 181st on the PGA TOUR money list and desperately could use a big paycheck in hopes of keeping his card for next year. 'I hit a lot of good shots and I can't say much bad about the round.'
Reigning PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Sean O'Hair, Charles Howell III, Tag Ridings, Hunter Mahan, Robert Garrigus and Marco Dawson are knotted in eighth place at minus-5.
Defending champion Jason Gore struggled to a 1-over-par 73 and is part of a group tied for 70th place.
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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

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    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.

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    Landry stays hot, leads desert shootout at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 12:35 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – 

    Andrew Landry topped the crowded CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard after another low-scoring day in the sunny Coachella Valley.

    Landry shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under. He opened with a 63 on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.

    ''Wind was down again,'' Landry said. ''It's like a dome out here.''

    Jon Rahm, the first-round leader after a 62 at La Quinta, was a stroke back. He had two early bogeys in a 67 on the Nicklaus layout.

    ''It's tough to come back because I feel like I expected myself to go to the range and keep just flushing everything like I did yesterday,'' Rahm said. ''Everything was just a little bit off.''

    Jason Kokrak was 14 under after a 67 at Nicklaus. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson was 13 under along with Michael Kim and Martin Piller. Johnson had a 64 at Nicklaus.

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    Landry, Rahm, Kokrak and Johnson will finish the rotation Saturday at PGA West's Stadium Course, also the site of the final round.

    ''You need to hit it a lot more accurate off the tee because being in the fairway is a lot more important,'' Rahm said about the Pete Dye-designed Stadium Course, a layout the former Arizona State player likened to the Dye-designed Karsten course on the school's campus. ''With the small greens, you have water in play. You need to be more precise. Clearly the hardest golf course.''

    Landry pointed to the Saturday forecast.

    ''I think the wind's supposed to be up like 10 to 20 mph or something, so I know that golf course can get a little mean,'' Landry said. ''Especially, those last three or four holes.''

    The 30-year-old former Arkansas player had five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine. After winning his second Web.com Tour title last year, he had two top-10 finishes in October and November at the start the PGA Tour season.

    ''We're in a good spot right now,'' Landry said. ''I played two good rounds of golf, bogey-free both times, and it's just nice to be able to hit a lot of good quality shots and get rewarded when you're making good putts.''

    Rahm had four birdies and the two bogeys on his first six holes. He short-sided himself in the left bunker on the par-3 12th for his first bogey of the week and three-putted the par-4 14th – pulling a 3-footer and loudly asking ''What?'' – to drop another stroke.

    ''A couple of those bad swings cost me,'' Rahm said.

    The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3 in the world, Rahm made his first par of the day on the par-4 16th and followed with five more before birdieing the par-5 fourth. The 23-year-old Spaniard also birdied the par-5 seventh and par-3 eighth.

    ''I had close birdie putts over the last four holes and made two of them, so I think that kind of clicked,'' said Rahm, set to defend his title next week at Torrey Pines.

    He has played the par 5s in 9 under with an eagle and seven birdies.

    Johnson has taken a relaxed approach to the week, cutting his practice to two nine-hole rounds on the Stadium Course.

    ''I'm not saying that's why I'm playing well, but I took it really chill and the golf courses haven't changed,'' Johnson said. ''La Quinta's still really pure, right out in front of you, as is the Nicklaus.''

    Playing partner Phil Mickelson followed his opening 70 at La Quinta with a 68 at Nicklaus to get to 6 under. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer is playing his first tournament of since late October.

    ''The scores obviously aren't what I want, but it's pretty close and I feel good about my game,'' Mickelson said. ''I feel like this is a great place to start the year and build a foundation for my game. It's easy to identify the strengths and weaknesses. My iron play has been poor relative to the standards that I have. My driving has been above average.''

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on a sponsor exemption, had a 70 at Nicklaus to match Mickelson at 6 under. The Southern California recruit is playing his first PGA Tour event. He tied for 65th in the Australian Open in November in his first start in a professional tournament.

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    Mickelson 'displeased' with iron play; 10 back

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:18 am

    All of Phil Mickelson’s offseason work on his driver has paid off through two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    His iron play? Not as sharp, and it’s the reason why he heads into the weekend 10 shots off the lead.

    “I’ve been pretty pleased, overall, with the way I’ve been driving the ball, and very displeased with the way my iron game has been,” said Mickelson, who shot 68 Friday on PGA West’s Nicklaus course. He has hit only 21 of 36 greens so far this week. “Usually my iron play is a lot better than what it’s been. So I’ll go work on it and hopefully improve each round in this tournament and build a solid foundation for the upcoming West Coast events.

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    “I feel like if I continue to drive the ball the way I am, and if I got my iron play back to my normal standard, I should have the results that I’ve been expecting.”

    Mickelson, of course, is always bullish this time of year, but he has been able to find 10 of 14 fairways each of the past two rounds, including at narrower La Quinta Country Club, which doesn’t always fit his eye.

    “This is actually the best I’ve driven it in a lot of years,” he said.

    Currently in a tie for 67th, Mickelson will need a solid round on the more difficult Stadium course Saturday to ensure that he makes the 54-hole cut. He hasn’t missed a cut in his first West Coast event of the new year since 2009.