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Rookie Duncan grabs lead with 18th-hole eagle

By Associated PressOctober 7, 2017, 3:11 am

NAPA, Calif. - Tyler Duncan chipped in from the fringe for eagle on the par-5 18th hole Friday to take the second-round lead in the season-opening Safeway Open.

Making his second career PGA Tour start, Duncan shot a 6-under 66 for a one-stroke lead over defending champion Brendan Steele at Silverado Resort and Spa.

Duncan, the Web.com Tour graduate who shared the first-round lead with Steele and Tom Hoge, also had seven birdies and three bogeys to reach 13-under 131.

''It's crazy, it's nothing I could have ever dreamed of,'' said Duncan, whose only other PGA Tour event was as a regional qualifier in the 2015 U.S. Open. ''I don't think it's sunk in yet, to be honest. It's something I've dreamed about for a long time. I'm just happy to be playing here and to be in the lead is something special.''

Steele had six birdies and a bogey in a 67. He's 30 under is his past six rounds in the event.

''It was really a solid day, very similar to yesterday,'' Steele said. ''I hit a lot of good shots, rolled a lot of good putts and was able to watch Chesson go crazy.''

Chesson Hadley, who began the second round seven shots behind the leaders, broke the course record with a career-best 61 to get within two strokes. He parred the final two holes.

''It's just one of those days everything was going my way,'' said Hadley, the 2014 Puerto Rico Open winner who regained his tour card through the Web.com Tour. ''I was hitting great shots, good putts and got some good breaks. When you get that kind of momentum, things just go your way."


Safeway Open: Articles, photos and videos


He had an eagle, 10 birdies and a bogey. His previous career best was a 64 in the opening round of the 2015 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Zac Blair (66) and Tony Finau (65) were 9 under, and Graham DeLaet (67) and Brian Davis (66) were another stroke back.

''I just had a lot of good looks,'' said Blair, who doesn't have a bogey through 36 holes. ''I made 17 greens out there, left myself in some good spots, made a few of them and it was just kind of easy out there.''

Emiliano Grillo, who won the event two years ago, was 7 under after a 70

Phil Mickelson, seeking his first win in since 2013, shot his second 69 to reach 6 under.

''I expected to score a little bit better today, but I had some good chances today,'' said Mickelson, who had six birdies, one bogey and a double bogey. ''I drove it a lot better, I hit quite a few more fairways and gave myself some good birdie chances. But I let a few opportunities slide.''

Mickelson, playing in his 91st PGA Tour event since his last win, finished eighth in the tournament last year and has six straight rounds in the 60s at Silverado.

''A low round is out there,'' said Mickelson, who birdied three straight holes after double-bogeying the 14th - his fifth hole of the day. ''I feel like I'm getting close to it.''

John Daly, the two-time major winner who in May won his first PGA Tour Champions title and is playing via a sponsor exemption, birdied the 18th for second-round 69 to make the 1-under cut at 143. Daly had missed the cuts in his past 12 PGA Tour events.

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Haas nearly shoots age in taking Champions playoff opener lead

By Associated PressOctober 20, 2018, 10:05 pm

RICHMOND, Va.  -- Jay Haas shot a 7-under 65 - missing his age by a stroke - to take a two-shot lead Saturday in the PGA Tour Champions' playoff-opening Dominion Energy Charity Classic.

Trying to become the oldest winner in tour history, the 64-year-old Haas birdied the par-5 16th and 18th holes to get to 11-under 133 on The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course.

''I've been out here too long to know that I can learn to expect anything,'' Haas said. ''While I'm hopeful every day and I've been playing OK, the last couple weeks have not been very good, but this week has been much better. I love this golf course and it looks good to my eye. Most of the holes look like I'm going to hit a good shot, so I enjoy playing here.''

Mike Fetchick set the age record of 63 years to the day in the 1985 Hilton Head event. Haas is second on the list, taking the 2016 Toshiba Classic at 62 years, 10 months, 7 days for his 18th senior title.

''That's a good way to say I'm old, 'experience,''' Haas said. ''I think I'm very nervous most of the time when I play and today was no exception, but I continued to hit good shots and, hopefully, I can put one foot in front of the other, one shot at a time, do what I tell my son to do every time, you know? See if I can put some of those adages to work tomorrow.''


Full-field scores from the Dominion Energy Charity Classic


Stephen Ames and Scott Dunlap were tied for second after the round that started in light rain. Ames had a 67, and Dunlap shot 68.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer had a 66 to join Billy Mayfair (67) and Woody Austin (68) at 9 under. Langer won the SAS Championship last week in North Carolina to take the season points lead. The 61-year-old German star has two victories this year and 38 overall on the 50-and-over tour.

The top 72 players qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener. The top 54 on Sunday will get spots next week in the Invesco QQQ Championship in Thousand Oaks, California, and the top 36 after that will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, second in the standings, was tied for 23rd at 4 under after a 71.

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Sergio leads by 4 entering final round at Valderrama

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 20, 2018, 9:26 pm

Sergio Garcia closed with three straight birdies to shoot a 7-under 64 on Saturday, taking a four-shot lead into the third and final round of the Andalusia Valderrama Masters.

The tournament, which Garcia has won  twice (2017, 2011), was reduced to 54 holes because of numerous weather-related delays.

With his bogey-free round, Garcia moved to 10 under, four shots clear of Englishman Ashley Chesters, who shot a 1-under 70.


Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters


"Hopefully we'll be able to play well tomorrow and get another win at Valderrama," Garcia said. "Hopefully I can finish it in style."

Chesters, however, is conceding nothing. "There's always a chance," he said. "There's not a lot of pressure on me."

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Ciganda, S.Y. Kim share lead in Shanghai

By Associated PressOctober 20, 2018, 9:28 am

SHANGHAI - Carlota Ciganda of Spain shot a 5-under 67 Saturday to share the lead with Sei Young Kim after the third round of the LPGA Shanghai.

Ciganda carded her fifth birdie of the day on the par-4 18th to finish tied with overnight leader Kim at 11-under 205. Kim shot a 71 with four bogeys and five birdies.

Ciganda is attempting to win her third LPGA title and first since the 2016 season, when she won two tournaments in a one-month span. Kim is chasing her eighth career LPGA win and second title of the 2018 season.

''I want to win because I didn't win last year,'' Ciganda said. ''I love playing in Asia. It's good for long hitters, playing quite long, so I'm quite comfortable.''


Full-field scores from the Buick LPGA Shanghai


Angel Yin also birdied the final hole for a 68 and was a further stroke back with Brittany Altomare (69), Danielle Kang (71) and Ariya Jutanugarn (71).

Yin and Altomare have yet to break through for their first LPGA win. A win in Shanghai would make either player the ninth first-time winner of the 2018 season, which would tie 2016 for the third highest number of first-time winners in a season in LPGA history.

''I love competing,'' Yin said. ''That's why I'm playing, right? I'm excited to be in contention again going into Sunday.''

Local favorite Yu Liu was seventh after offsetting a lone bogey with four birdies for a 69.

Paula Creamer also shot a 69 and shared eighth at 8 under with Minjee Lee (70) and Bronte Law (71).

The tournament is the second of five being played in South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan in the LPGA's annual Asian swing.

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Koepka's pursuers have no illusions about catching him

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 8:50 am

Ahead by four, wielding his driver like Thor's hammer, Brooks Koepka is 18 holes from his third victory in five months and his first ascent to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking.

The tournament isn't over. No one is handing him the trophy and updating the OWGR website just yet. But it will likely take some combination of a meltdown and low round from someone in the chase pack to prevent a Koepka coronation Sunday in South Korea.

Thirteen under for the week, the three-time major champion will start the final round four shots ahead of his playing partners, Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy, and five ahead of six more players at minus-8.

As is his nature, Poulter figures to be undaunted. The 42-year-old is fresh off a Sunday singles victory over Dustin Johnson at the Ryder Cup and in the midst of a career renaissance, having broken a five-year winless drought earlier this year. In one sense, it's Europe vs. the United States again, but this isn't match play, and Koepka, a guy who doesn't need a head start, has spotted himself a four-shot advantage.


Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos


"Tomorrow I'm going to need to make a few birdies. Obviously Brooks is in cruise control right now and obviously going to need a shoot a low one," Poulter conceded. "Do what I'm doing, just enjoy [it]. Obviously try and make as many birdies as I can and see how close we get."

Perez, in the group at 8 under par, isn't giving up, but like Poulter, he's aware of the reality of his situation.

"We're chasing Brooks, who of course obviously is playing phenomenally," he said. "A lot of the long hitters now when they get in contention, they hit that driver and they're really hard to catch. I'm not worried about it too much. It's going to be harder for me tomorrow than him, so I'm going to try and go out and just do my thing, hit some shots, hopefully hit some close and make some putts and we'll see. I don't expect him to come backwards, but hopefully I can try to go catch him."

Gary Woodland, also 8 under par, summed up the predicament best when he alluded to Koepka's perhaps advantageously aloof demeanor.

"You obviously want to get off to a good start and put pressure on him as soon as you can," he said. "You know, Brooks doesn't seem like he cares too much, and he's playing so good, so you're going to have to go out and post a number."