Harringtons 63 Good for Nissan Lead

By Associated PressFebruary 15, 2007, 5:00 pm
2007 Nissan OpenLOS ANGELES -- Padraig Harrington is a newcomer to the Nissan Open, still not sure when to hit the brakes and when to fire at the flags. He chose the latter Thursday and zoomed past Phil Mickelson and everyone else at Riviera with an 8-under 63.
Harrington opened with three straight birdies. He ran off four in a row after making the turn, and even picked one up on the tough 15th hole when his 5-iron hit the pin and settled 4 feet away.
His only bogey on the back nine came from a three-putt on the par-3 14th, and the Irishman had a reasonable explanation for that.
Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia sits just four off the lead in his PGA TOUR debut. (Wire Images)
'At this stage, I'm feeling invincible,' he said. 'I didn't think I was ever not going to make birdie.'
It gave him a three-shot lead over Mickelson, Briny Baird and Pat Perez. Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia and David Howell were among those in the group at 67 on a spectacular day of sunshine and shotmaking on the storied course off Sunset Boulevard.
Six players failed to finish the first round when it was too dark to continue; they will finish Friday morning.
Mickelson is playing for the first time since 2001 at Riviera, where he has never had much success. But coming off a five-shot victory at Pebble Beach where he tied the tournament scoring record, he kept right on rolling with a bogey-free 66. He hit only six fairways, but the rough is negligible this week, and Mickelson wasn't off by much.
His only disappointment was being three shots behind.
'It's a little humbling to shoot what I thought was a good round and then get lapped,' Mickelson said.
The only other time Howell has played Riviera was two years ago, when it took four days to complete 36 holes because of rain. The Englishman found conditions quite different this year, and he was duly impressed -- by Riviera and by Harrington.
'This is a great golf course,' he said. 'And that is a hell of a round.'
Vijay Singh started eagle-birdie, but a couple of late bogeys brought him a 68. Retief Goosen made only seven pars in his round of 71.
Mickelson played with Ernie Els, one of several international stars making their '07 PGA TOUR debut this week. The Big Easy labored to keep the ball in the fairway, but escaped with enough clutch pars -- getting up-and-down from 90 yards on his final hole -- for a 69 that left him pleased, although tongue-tied.
He noted that Mickelson played 'awful,' then quickly corrected himself.
'Awesome. I think that's the word you use,' Els said with a laugh.
For Harrington, call it blissful ignorance. He first saw Riviera a few years ago on his way to the Target World Challenge in December and loved it. But as he looked back over his round, he realized there were nuances to the course that he still hasn't learned, and was thankful he didn't pay for it in the opening round.
He played two practice rounds, and both times hit driver and a 6-iron on the 463-yard second hole, traditionally one of the toughest. But with the fairways running fast and firm, he was stunned to his see his drive land in the narrow neck of the fairway, leaving him only a 9-iron into the green to within 4 feet.
'If I had known I was going to do that, I wouldn't have been hitting my driver off the tee,' he said.
Ditto for the 434-yard fifth hole, where the fairway ends after about 280 yards and drops down a shaggy hill. Harrington's tee shot went 277 yards, leaving him another short iron to 10 feet for birdie.
'There again is a hole that maybe I have to be a little less aggressive on for the rest of the week,' he said.
But it worked out beautifully for him Thursday, although the Irishman is smart enough to pay for attention to the day of the week than the number on his scorecard.
'The good thing about shooting 63 is I'll be able to make some mistakes and still compete in this tournament,' he said.
At this rate, he'll likely find Mickelson along the way.
They were on opposite sides of the golf course in the first round, starting out in crisp morning conditions that made the greens so firm it was difficult to find pitch marks until the sun and temperatures began to rise.
Even though it has been six years since Mickelson has been to Riviera, he still remembers a few tricks. With a back right pin on the short but tricky 10th hole, Mickelson still pounded a driver that landed on the green some 315 yards away and into a back bunker. His logic was to hit beyond the green, because it slopes to the back.
'Where I was, I at least had a chance to stop it,' Mickelson said, and he left himself an 8-footer he made for birdie. 'I haven't played here in (six) years, and it's pretty obvious you've got to get past the hole.'
Someone told him that club officials might restore a ditch that once ran behind the green.
'Well, then, it looks like this one won't be back on the rotation,' Mickelson said, pausing for effect. 'Just kidding.'
It was seven years ago this week that two-time Nissan Open champion Mike Weir first entered the top 50 in the world ranking. He didn't fall out of the top 50 until last week, slipping to No. 51. Weir opened with a 3-over 74 as he continues to struggle while going through swing changes. In four tournaments, he has yet to break 70 in the first round. ... Without wishing ill on his peers, J.J. Henry is holding out hope that someone will withdraw from the Accenture Match Play Championship next week, which would put Henry (at No. 65) in the field. He's more down on himself for missing the last two cuts and falling out of the top 64. ... Ernie Els says he probably won't have a U.S. base for when he plays the PGA TOUR. He sold his house in Orlando, Fla., and had considered moving to South Carolina, but now says he will live off the golf course he is designing in the Bahamas.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Full Coverage - Nissan Open
    Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Getty Images

    Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

    By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

    Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

    The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

    Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

    Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

    Getty Images

    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

    Getty Images

    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

    Getty Images

    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”