Young Aussie Moves into First Down Under

By Sports NetworkFebruary 18, 2005, 5:00 pm
Nationwide TourSEATON, Australia -- Steven Bowditch fired his second straight 5-under 67 Friday to take a five-stroke lead through two rounds of the Jacob's Creek Open. Bowditch completed 36 holes at 10-under-par 134.
 
His total of 134 established a new tournament record breaking the old mark of 135, set last year by Adam Groom.
 
Chris Tidland fired a 4-under 68 in the second round to climb into a share of second place. Tidland stands at 5-under-par 139 and was joined there by Dan Olsen (70), Brent Schwarzrock (69), Greg Chalmers (71), Keoke Cotner (70) and Brian Kortan (70).
 
Bowditch began his second round on the back nine at Royal Adelaide Golf Club. The young Australian picked up a birdie at the 11th to move to 6 under.
 
The 21-year-old tripped to bogeys at 14 and 16, but carded a birdie in between at the 15th. Bowditch parred his final two holes to head to the front nine at minus-5.
 
Bowditch dropped in back-to-back birdies from the first. He drained another birdie try at the fourth to move to 8 under.
 
The Australian kept going with a birdie on the par-4 sixth. Bowditch capped his round with a birdie at the par-5 ninth.
 
'On the back nine, I really started to hit my driver really well and got myself into some good positions,' said Bowditch. 'I sort of just made the most of them.'
 
Tidland carded three birdies over his first 10 holes to move to minus-4. However, he stumbled to a bogey at the 11th before picking up consecutive birdies from the 15th to share second place.
 
Cotner, the 2000 Oregon Classic winner, got off to a rough start with a bogey at the 11th, his second. He erased that mistake with an eagle at 15 and a birdie at 16 to get to 5 under.
 
The 33-year-old tripped to a bogey at the 17th though. Around the turn, Cotner carded birdies at the second and fourth before tripping to another bogey at five. He parred out to remain at minus-5.
 
Olsen also began on the back nine and started with a birdie on No. 10. The 38- year-old converted consecutive birdies from the 14th to get to minus-6. He ran off eight straight pars around the turn. He tripped to a bogey at the sixth, then parred his final three holes.
 
Schwarzrock opened with five straight pars before a double bogey at the sixth dropped him back to even-par. The 32-year-old birdied four of his next five holes to get back into contention. He picked up one more birdie at the 15th to join the crowd in second place.
 
Chalmers got off to a quick start with birdies at the first and third to get to 6 under. The rest of the round was a roller coaster ride though. The Australian stumbled to back-to-back bogeys from the fifth.
 
He erased those errors with birdies at nine and 10. Chalmers bogeyed the 11th and double bogeyed 12 to slide back to minus-3. He came back with birdies on 14 and 15, but tripped to another bogey at the 16th. He closed his round with a birdie at the last to get back to 5 under.
 
Doug LaBelle II and Deane Pappas each posted rounds of four-under 68 Friday to move to 4-under-par 140. They were joined in a share of eighth place by Barry Cheesman, who carded a second-round 70.
 
Cliff Kresge, who shared the first-round lead with Bowditch, stumbled to a second-round 74. He is one of 14 players tied for 11th place at minus-3.
 
The cut line fell at 1-over-par 145 with 72 players advancing to the final two rounds. Among those missing the cut was 2004 champion Euan Walters, who struggled to two straight rounds of 5-over 77.
 
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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.