The Netherlands Ride Hot Streak for World Am Title
With Canada and the Netherlands battling for the top position, 20-year-old Luiten began his run with a birdie on the par-5 14th hole at De Zalze Golf Club. He then holed a sand wedge from 93 yards on the par-4 15th for an eagle and closed with birdies on the 16th, 17th and 18th.
With Luitens 67 and a 2-under-par 70 from individual low scorer Will Besseling, the Netherlands won by two strokes over second-place Canada and by three over third-place USA at 22-under-par 554. Their winning total is the lowest since the two counting scores format was instituted in 2002.
His nickname is Pyromaniac and he went on fire, said Dutch coach Chris van der Velde of Luiten.
Ironically, Luitens five-hole streak began after he had bogeyed three of his previous four holes.
It just happened, Luiten said. After 15, I knew I was in the zone.
For most of the final nine holes, the champions jockeyed with Canada, which shot 7-under-par 137 on a 68 from Richard Scott and a 69 from James Love.
We didnt lose it, said Canadas captain Doug Roxburgh. The Netherlands won it. They made the birdies coming home.
You cant question how good they are, said Scott. They were 22-under par. They went out and won it.
Trip Kuehne was 5-under-par on his second nine and finished at 3-under 69 to go along with a 69 from Chris Kirk to move to the USA into the bronze medal slot.
The Netherlands played great, Kuehne said. What Joost did out there is the stuff of legends.
The previous best finish for the Netherlands was a tie for eighth place in 1992 and 1994. The host South Africans finished tied for 22nd.
The rest of the top 10 included: Wales in 4th at 559, Korea in 5th at 561, England, Scotland and Argentina tied for 6th at 563, and France and Ireland tied for 9th at 564.
Although there is no individual recognition, Besseling was the low scorer at 13-under-par 275
In the World Amateur, the teams two best individual scores count. The Netherlands receives custody of the Eisenhower Trophy for the ensuing two years and the players receive gold medals. For the final round, the teams at the top half of the leader board played at De Zalze Golf Club. The bottom half teams played at Stellenbosch Golf Club.
The International Golf Federation was founded in 1958 to encourage the international development of the game and to employ golf as a vehicle to foster friendship and sportsmanship. The IGF is the recognized international federation for golf for the International Olympic Committee and comprises the national governing bodies of golf of more than 100 countries.
Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake
Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.
While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.
“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.
Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.<
DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi
Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.
“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”
Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).
“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.”
Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.
Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace).
“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.”
Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi
What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.
Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.
McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.
He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.
McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65).
Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds.
“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”
Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder
Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.
Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.
Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:
Filling in tomorrow for Corey Pavin that WD today @cbgolfchallenge I do things like this a lot to help events and asking for sponsors exemptions here but didn't get any help.— Ken Duke (@DukePGA) January 18, 2018
Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.
Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.