Woods Leads OMeara at Byron Nelson

By Sports NetworkMay 14, 2004, 4:00 pm
IRVING, Texas -- Tiger Woods posted a 3-under 67 on Friday to take the 36-hole lead at the Byron Nelson Championship. Woods finished at 8-under-par 132 for a one-shot edge over his good friend Mark O'Meara.
Sergio Garcia, Jonathan Byrd, Jerry Kelly, Daniel Chopra and overnight co-leader Peter Lonard shared third place at 6-under-par 134.
Woods has been wrestling with his shots off the tee and the erratic driving that saw him blow the 36-hole lead at the Wachovia Championship last week has followed him to Texas. The difference, however, is that the top player in the game is sinking every putt in sight.
'I've putted well all year except for one week,' said Woods. 'Augusta is the only week I putted poorly. I didn't have any three-putts there, which is good, but I didn't make any putts, either. So consequently I wasn't in contention there.'
Woods improved his driving somewhat from his opening-round 65 which he posted at the TPC at Four Seasons, but Cottonwood Valley, the other course in rotation for the first two rounds, provided a different test.
'I've never played Cottonwood that way but I've played TPC that way,' said Woods. 'It was interesting trying to get your lines and your bearings off the tees because I've never seen the wind come from that direction before.'
He hit his tee shot to 20 feet for a birdie at the par-3 second but struggled to a bogey at the very next hole.
Woods took advantage of the other par-3 on the front nine, the ninth, and left a 7-iron within a foot of the hole. He tapped in for birdie and drained a 12-footer for a birdie at the par-3 12th to move to 7 under.
At the par-5 16th, Woods scrambled toward the green after his drive found the rough. He managed to knock his third within a few feet of the hole for birdie and the outright lead.
'I would have taken anything under par today,' said Woods. 'Even par or under par would have been a good score. With the wind blowing as hard as it was and as cool as it was, the ball just was not flying.'
O'Meara, who has had a solid campaign in 2004 that includes a victory at the Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour, picked up a birdie at the fourth and added a birdie at the 10th to continue his climb up the leaderboard.
The 47-year-old added birdies at the 13th and the 16th to join Woods in the last group on Saturday after a bogey-free round of 66.
'We've played in major championships together on Sunday or Saturday at the British Open a couple of times, and we've played together before,' said O'Meara, who won the Masters and British Open in 1998. 'He's usually in the last few groups on the weekend.'
Garcia used another strong finish to remain in contention. On Thursday he collected five birdies over the last six holes at Cottonwood Valley and made another late push Friday at the TPC.
After a birdie and a bogey on the front nine, Garcia three-putted for a bogey at the 13th before catching fire down the stretch.
The Spaniard dropped his approach inside 7 feet for a birdie at the 15th and made it two in a row with a birdie at the very next hole. Garcia then left himself within 20 feet for a birdie at the last and drained the putt to complete a round of 68.
'Every time you're back in contention, no matter where, you're always happy,' said Garcia, who tied for fourth at the Masters. 'I'm definitely happy that I'm back there. I definitely feel like I should be a lot better than I am at the moment, but that's the way it is, and that's why this game is so tough.'
Defending champion Vijay Singh was lurking as always after the second round. Singh shot a 67 to share eighth place with reigning PGA champion Shaun Micheel and Stephen Leaney at 5-under-par 135.
J.L. Lewis, who shared the first-round lead with Lonard, managed a 4-over 74 to finish six shots off the pace in a group at 2-under-par 138.
The 36-hole cut fell at even-par 140 with 80 players qualifying for the weekend.
Masters champion Phil Mickelson ran off three bogeys over his first nine holes and never recovered. Mickelson, who had finished in the top-10 in 10 of his previous 11 tournaments this season, posted a 2-over 72 to finish at 1-over-par 141 for his first missed cut since the Chrysler Championship in November of last year.
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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

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    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

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    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

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    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

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    Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

    By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

    Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

    The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

    They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

    It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

    “I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

    The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

    The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.