Wie Misses Cut Maruyama Leads Sony

By Sports NetworkJanuary 14, 2005, 5:00 pm
04 Sony OpenHONOLULU -- Shigeki Maruyama of Japan fired a 5-under 65 on Friday to surge into the lead at the halfway point of the Sony Open in Hawaii. Maruyama finished 36 holes at 8-under-par 132 for a one-shot edge over Justin Rose and Brett Quigley.
 
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman carded a 68 to join Paul Azinger, Jeff Sluman, Stewart Cink, Andrew Magee and Robert Gamez in a tie for fourth place at 5-under-par 135. Australia's Adam Scott was one shot further back at 4-under-par 136.
 
Amateur sensation Michelle Wie needed a strong round to make the 36-hole cut, but her shot at the weekend vanished at the par-4 sixth. Wie was scrambling at the sixth and things got worse on the green where she three-putted for a triple bogey.
 
Wie landed her approach inside 6 feet at the par-4 10th and converted the putt for her first birdie of the day. The 15-year-old, who missed the cut by a single stroke at this event last year, managed three bogeys over her next six holes, but closed her round with a birdie at the par-5 18th.
 
'Missing the cut by one last year, I thought, I made it so close, I kind of took it for granted that I was going to play better,' she said. 'But I learned a lot of things this week, more from last year I think. I think when you play bad, you learn a lot more.'
 
Wie posted a 74 on Friday to finish at 9-over-par 149. A total of 78 players survived the cut at 2-over-par 142.
 
Maruyama was one shot back to start the day at Waialae Country Club and rolled in a long putt at the par-4 fifth for his first birdie of the day. Maruyama then hit his second shot to 5 feet for a birdie at the eighth and chipped in for an eagle at the par-5 ninth to make the turn at 7 under.
 
He kept on rolling with a birdie at the par-4 10th and played his approach inside 10 feet for a birdie at the par-4 15th.
 
'It's a little bit hard to read the greens here, but I'm making some good putts,' said Maruyama. 'It's been very steady.'
 
Maruyama missed the fairway en route to a bogey at the very next hole, but parred his way in to secure the outright lead heading into the weekend.
 
'It's really difficult to read the wind,' he said. 'It's not as strong as yesterday, but it's coming from a little bit different direction. So it's very hard to play in this wind.'
 
Rose jumped out of the gate with a birdie at the first and ran off three consecutive birdies starting at the fifth to get to minus-7. That run came to an end with a bogey at the eighth but Rose recovered with a 14-foot birdie putt at the 15th.
 
The 24-year-old faltered with a bogey at the 16th but knocked his tee shot within 6 feet of the hole for a birdie at the par-3 17th to cap off a round of 66.
 
'I think the key for me this year is to focus on the process of putting little building blocks in place, and that will enable me to get the final result,' said Rose. 'That's kind of what I'm working on.'
 
Quigley struggled early with a bogey at the opening hole but he got that shot back with a birdie at the third. Quigley then birdied the sixth and holed out from a greenside bunker for a birdie at the eighth.
 
At the par-5 ninth, Quigley played his second shot to 5 feet and sank the eagle putt to reach 8 under around the turn. He held steady with a string of pars on the inward half but a bogey at the 16th left him one shot behind Maruyama.
 
'It was just a good day, a patient day,' said Quigley, who posted a 67. 'Had a nice stretch there in the middle, and maybe got a little ahead of myself the back nine thinking about shooting a real low score and made a bunch of pars.'
 
Top-ranked Vijay Singh finished alongside Tom Byrum, D.J. Trahan and Jason Allred at 3-under-par 137. Two-time defending champion Ernie Els followed in a group at 2-under-par 138.
 
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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.