Mahan Leads Travelers After Round 1

By Associated PressJune 22, 2007, 4:00 pm
Travelers ChampionshipCROMWELL, Conn. -- The scoreboard at Travelers Championship made the U.S. Open seem like a distant memory.
 
A week after only eight sub-par rounds were carded at the U.S. Open, 60 players broke par in the first round.
 
Hunter Mahan, who finished second a year ago, shot an 8-under 62, one shot off the course record, to take the first-round lead. It was his sixth consecutive round in the 60s at the TPC at River Highlands.
 
'It's one of the courses that you look at it and you feel comfortable,' he said. 'There's not really a shot here that I worry about.'
 
Rain suspended play Thursday night and 39 golfers wrapped up their first round Friday morning, including Olin Browne, who won this tournament in 1998. He finished with a 67, then eagled early in his second round to trail the leader by three.
 
'This is what golf should be,' said Chris DiMarco, whose 64 was good for only second place. 'It shouldn't be about plus 20s and plus 25s. I think the fans, if we started doing that every week, I think we would lose our fans. I think they want to see us make birdies.'
 
Mahan shot a 31 on his first nine holes. He parred No. 10, then birdied his next four holes. A rain delay of more than an hour didn't seem to faze him, as he came back out and birdied No. 17.
 
'I hit my driver great, put the ball in play,' he said. 'I hit a lot of good irons and wedges.'
 
That run allowed him to overtake DiMarco, who shot a strong round despite an ailing shoulder.
 
'I hit a ton of good golf shots today,' Mahan said. 'But it's just the first round. We've got a long way to go.'
 
Mahan tied his best round, which came during the third round of the 2003 Valero Texas Open. His previous best this year was a second-round 65 at the Buick Invitational. He's had two top-10 finishes this year but has never won on tour.
 
'If I can build on my score from today, I feel I have a pretty good shot,' he said.
 
The course record is 61, held by four players, including two-time champion Phil Mickelson, who withdrew from this year's tournament because of an ailing left wrist.
 
DiMarco, who hasn't won on the PGA TOUR since 2002, has been playing with arthritis, tendinitis and a bone spur in his left shoulder for about three months. Two recent cortisone shots and a slight adjustment to his swing seemed to ease his pain. The 64 was his best round of the season.
 
'It felt a lot better out there today,' he said. 'Three weeks ago, every shot I hit, whether it was a 70-yard lob wedge or whatever, it would pop.'
 
Five golfers finished at 65, including TOUR rookie Michael Sim of Australia, who shot 29 on his closing nine.
 
'Once you get on a roll, you just make birdies,' Sim said.
 
DiMarco said he tinkered with his putting grip, which seemed to help his short game. He needed just 26 putts.
 
'I made a bunch of good little putts today,' he said. 'When you make those, confidence breeds and you make longer ones.'
 
The best shot Thursday came from Craig Perks of New Zealand, who used a 6 iron to ace the 202-yard par-3 eighth hole. His blind tee shot went over the water and rolled into the cup.
 
Perks, who shot a 74 in the first round, took home a gold Rolex watch for his effort. Defending champion J.J. Henry, from nearby Fairfield, shot a 68.
 
Masters champion Zach Johnson shot a 71 and Vijay Singh a 68. Singh entered the tournament in third place in the race for the Fedex Cup. He has a chance to make up ground on Tiger Woods and Mickelson.
 
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    Davies headlines field at Senior LPGA at French Lick

    By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 14, 2018, 10:40 pm

    Laura Davies will be looking to win her second senior major championship this year when she tees it up in Monday’s start of the Senior LPGA Championship at French Lick Resort in Indiana.

    Davies, who won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open in July, will join a field that includes fellow World Golf Hall of Famer Jan Stephenson, who was announced last week with Peggy Kirk Bell as the Hall’s newest members. Hall of Famers Juli Inkster and Hollis Stacy are also in the 54-hole event.

    Trish Johnson is back to defend her title after winning the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship a year ago. Brandi Burton, Jane Geddes, Helen Alfredsson and Liselotte Neumann are also in the field of 81 players who will compete for a $600,000 purse, with $90,000 going to the winner.

    Golf Channel will televise all three rounds live from 4-6 p.m. ET on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

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    Langer (65) wins regular-season finale by six

    By Associated PressOctober 14, 2018, 10:07 pm

    CARY, N.C. – Bernhard Langer ran away with the SAS Championship on Sunday to take the points lead into the PGA Tour Champions' Charles Schwab Cup playoffs

    Langer shot a bogey-free 7-under 65 for a six-stroke victory in the regular-season finale.

    ''I just played very solid all day long,'' Langer said. ''Putted well, hit the ball where I was looking and did everything exceptionally well.''

    The 61-year-old German star has 38 victories on the 50-and-over tour, also winning this year near Houston. He has a record four victories after turning 60.

    ''I don't have anything to prove, but I still have golf,'' Langer said. ''I still want to improve my own game. I still want to play to the best Bernhard Langer can play. I don't think I need to prove anything, but I love competing, I love winning or being in the hunt. As long as I can do that, I think you're going to see me out here.''

    Langer finished with a tournament-record 22-under 194 total at Prestonwood Country Club, the tree-lined layout softened by heavy rain Thursday from Hurricane Michael. He opened with a 62 on Friday to match Gene Sauers and Tom Lehman for the lead, and had a 67 on Saturday to remain atop the leaderboard with Sauers.


    Full-field scores from the SAS Championship


    ''The 10 under was amazing,'' Langer said. ''I couldn't believe there were two other guys who shot 10 under.''

    The four-time Charles Schwab Cup winner also won at Prestonwood in 2012.

    ''It's always fun to go back to where you've won before because you feel like you know how to play the course and you're somewhat comfortable and that's certainly the case here,'' Langer said. ''I've been probably 50, 70 times now around this golf course and I know how to play every hole.''

    Scott Parel was second, closing with a double bogey for a 65.

    ''Bernhard is just in his own world this week,'' Parel said.

    Jerry Kelly had a 68 to finish third at 15 under, and Lehman followed at 13 under after a 71.

    Sauers shot a 75 to tie for fifth with Miguel Angel Jimenez (68) at 12 under.

    The top 72 players in the Schwab Cup standings qualified for the playoffs, the three-event series that begins next week with the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Richmond, Va. Dan Forsman tied for 56th to jump from 74th to 72nd, edging John Huston for the final spot by $932. Huston tied for 46th.

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    Pepperell captures British Masters, eyes Augusta

    By Associated PressOctober 14, 2018, 5:29 pm

    WALTON HEATH, England -- Eddie Pepperell won his second European Tour title with a two-shot victory at the British Masters on Sunday and likely secured the even bigger prize of a place in next year's Masters at Augusta National.

    The Englishman shot an even-par 72 and held off his playing partner, Sweden's Alexander Bjork (71), as the pair went to the 72nd hole at a wet and windy Walton Heath with Pepperell just a stroke in front.

    Pepperell finished on 9-under 279.

    Herbert Lucas (69) and Jordan Smith (73) were tied for third, another two shots behind Bjork.

    English pair Sam Horsfield (69) and Tom Lewis (70) along with American Julian Suri (74) tied for fifth, one shot in front of tournament host Justin Rose (70).

    The victory takes Pepperell into the world's top 35 and almost certainly secures a first appearance at Augusta in 2019. The top 50 at the end of the year are guaranteed a place in the first major of the year in April.

    Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood (72) finished 2 under in a seven-way tie for ninth.


    Full-field scores from the British Masters


    A top-two finish on Sunday would have seen Rose reach the top of the world rankings for the second time this season, the 38-year-old having spent two weeks as No. 1 in September

    Pepperell was ranked outside the top 500 as recently as May last year, but won the Qatar Masters in February and followed a runner-up finish in the Scottish Open with a tie for sixth in the British Open seven days later, carding a closing 67 at Carnoustie despite saying he had a hangover.

    His three-shot overnight lead was down to a single stroke on Sunday when Bjork covered the front nine in 34 and Pepperell three-putted the ninth, the same hole where he enjoyed a spectacular hole-in-one on Thursday.

    However, the 27-year-old Pepperell promptly holed his second shot to the 10th from 122 yards for an eagle to move three clear and a par save from off the green on the 14th looked to have sealed the win.

    There was still time for some late drama, though, as Pepperell dropped shots on Nos. 15 and 16 to see his lead cut to a single shot, but Bjork bogeyed the 18th after driving into the heather and Pepperell saved par from a greenside bunker.

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    Disappointed Sharma fades to T-10 at CIMB

    By Will GrayOctober 14, 2018, 1:46 pm

    For the second time this year, India's Shubankhar Sharma watched an opportunity for a breakthrough win turn into a learning experience.

    Sharma burst onto the scene in March, taking a two-shot lead into the final round of the WGC-Mexico Championship only to fade to a tie for ninth. It was a similar story Sunday at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, where Sharma started the final round in a three-way tie for the lead but struggled to an even-par 72 that dropped him into a tie for 10th.

    "Disappointing, not really happy with the way I finished," Sharma told reporters.


    Full-field scores from CIMB Classic

    CIMB Classic: Articles, photos and videos


    The 22-year-old was 1 over for his first six holes, but he battled back with four straight birdies on Nos. 7-10 to get within three shots of eventual winner Marc Leishman. But his tee shot at the par-3 11th found the water, leading to the first of three straight bogeys that ended any hopes of victory.

    "That was probably one of the worst swings of the day," Sharma said. "That 11th hole I think killed the momentum for me. A par there would have gone a long way, and I probably could have made more birdies after that."

    Sharma remained optimistic this spring following his final-round fade in Mexico, and he retained a positive mindset despite a rough afternoon as he eyes upcoming starts at both the CJ Cup in South Korea and the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.

    "Great experience. Very, very good to have two top-10s on the PGA Tour, so that's a good way of looking at it," he said. "Also, it pushes me to keep playing well. I feel like I have it in me to win out there on the PGA Tour, and I've given myself two opportunities. Game is in a decent place now."