Second Round Ends Leaders Still the Same

By Associated PressOctober 27, 2007, 4:00 pm
  PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Chances are, someone is going to emerge to claim a breakthrough victory this weekend at the Ginn sur Mer Classic.
 
And this time, Daniel Chopra feels like it might be him.
 
Winless in his first 132 career PGA TOUR starts, Chopra fired his second straight bogey-free round, a 7-under 66, to get to 13 under and within one shot of leaders Bob Estes and Tommy Armour III in the second round of the rain-soaked event at Tesoro Club.
 
'If I play the way I'm playing right now I can win this week,' said Chopra, one of many near the top of the leaderboard who've yet to win on tour. 'I have two more days to keep continuing this kind of form. But obviously, it becomes more and more difficult to score as the week goes on.'
 
Estes and Armour shot 68s after identical 64s on Thursday.
 
The tournament is about 2 hours from Chopra's Orlando home, so he decided to head there for dinner and a good night's sleep. He'll return Saturday, set to resume the quest for his first tour win.
 
'It just makes you feel a lot more relaxed,' Chopra said.
 
Chopra's threesome in the first two rounds seemed plenty relaxed.
 
He was playing with Estes and Bob Tway, who started his opening round with four straight birdies -- and that seemed to set the tone for a two-day scoring barrage by the group. Combined, they have 39 birdies and six bogeys entering the weekend.
 
'With the fairways soft and the greens soft, you still can make a lot of birdies,' Estes said.
 
Soft doesn't even begin to describe conditions this week.
 
Squishy would be closer to accurate.
 
The course was soggy Thursday and even wetter Friday, because of intermittent rain overnight and during the morning. Players were allowed to lift, clean and place their balls in the fairway -- and still had trouble finding dryish spots to play approaches from.
 
'Without that, it'd be unplayable,' said Sean O'Hair (68), at 10 under along with Steve Lowery (66) and Michael Sim (67).
 
Play was delayed one hour at Friday's start by rain and the round was suspended at 5:39 p.m. after another squall moved into the area. None of the players with afternoon starting times finished, meaning 64 couldn't finish their round because of the late-day downpour.
 
In all, 2.2 inches of rain fell Friday at the already-waterlogged Tesoro Club.
 
'You couldn't have driven in it, let's put it that way,' John Daly said after finishing Saturday morning. 'There's no way you could have driven in that kind of rain. You'd have to pull over. Even my bus, which sits up so high, I don't think I could have driven in it raining so hard. It was just brutal.'
 
The wet conditions kept golfers off the course until 9 a.m. Saturday, an hour behind schedule. Third-round tee times were pushed back to Saturday afternoon.
 
Daly was at 1 under when he returned to finish his final two holes, and made a 5-footer for birdie to ensure that he'd play the weekend. He rebounded from an opening-round 75 to shoot 69.
 
'It's tough. It played tough,' said Daly, who finished on the 2-under cut line.
 
Daisuke Maruyama (66) was at 9 under, as was Jeff Quinney, who shot 64 in the second round to match the tournament low so far.
 
Bryce Molder -- who made his sixth cut in 20 starts this season -- shot a 71 to reach 8 under.
 
'I've had some momentum building,' said Molder, who didn't make a cut until July but has cashed in four of his past five starts. 'I still don't feel like I'm there yet, so I feel like I want to keep it kind of building. Even if it's just for Q-school, it'd be great.'
 
Notes:
The second round ended Saturday at 11:49 a.m. ... Three players withdrew Saturday morning, citing no reason: Robert Damron, Richard S. Johnson and Michael Bradley all withdrew. None were inside the projected cut line. ... Mark Calcavecchia played three holes before withdrawing, citing symptoms of vertigo. Carlos Franco was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard, and J.B. Holmes was disqualified after simply not showing up for his second round. ... Identical twins Derek (75, 1 over) and Daryl (75, 5 over) Fathauer missed the cut. 'What an experience,' said Barbara Fathauer, mother of the twins who are seniors at Louisville and grew up near the course.
 
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    M. Jutanugarn finally joins sister in LPGA winner's circle

    By Associated PressApril 23, 2018, 1:42 am

    LOS ANGELES - Moriya Jutanugarn won the Hugel-JTBC L.A. Open by two shots for her first victory in six years on the LPGA Tour, joining sister Ariya as the second siblings to win on the tour.

    The 23-year-old from Thailand shot a 3-under 68 for a 12-under 272 total Sunday at Wilshire Country Club in the tour's return to Los Angeles after a 13-year absence.

    Jutanugarn won in her 156th start after three career runner-up finishes, including at the Honda LPGA Thailand in February. She had 21 top-10 finishes before winning.

    Seven-time winner Ariya tied for 24th after a 70. She joined the predominantly Asian crowd to follow her older sister's final holes, crying as Moriya two-putted to close out the win.

    Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam were the first sisters to win on the LPGA Tour.

    Hall of Famer Inbee Park shot a 68 to tie for second with Jin Young Ko (70).

    Park had opportunities, but she wasn't able to put pressure on Jutanugarn playing in the final threesome. However, Park will return to No. 1 in the world when the rankings come out Monday, knocking off top-ranked Shenshen Fang, who tied for 12th.


    Full-field scores from the Hugel-JTBC Open


    Jutanugarn began the final round with a two-shot lead and never wavered in fulfilling the potential she first displayed as the LPGA Rookie of the Year in 2013. After a birdie at the second hole, she reeled off nine consecutive pars before sinking birdie putts at 12 and 13.

    She overcame a tee shot that narrowly missed going out of bounds for another birdie at 15 to lead by three.

    Jutanugarn ran into trouble on the par-4 16th. Her approach landed on the green and rolled off it, stopping inches from dropping into a bunker. Her chip shot ran well past the hole and her par putt just missed catching the edge of the cup. That left her with a short putt for bogey, her first in her previous 28 holes, trimming her lead to two shots.

    Ko's tee shot on 18 landed about 4 feet from the hole, giving her a chance to cut Jutanugarn's lead to one shot with the Thai facing a long birdie attempt.

    But Ko missed, leaving Jutanugarn room to maneuver. Her birdie putt came up a couple feet short, but she calmly parred the hole to win. Ariya rushed onto the green and joined others in emptying water bottles on her sister before they embraced.

    So Yeon Ryu (68) finished fourth at 7 under. American Emma Talley (67) and Eun-Hee Ji (71) tied for fifth at 6 under, making Ji one of four South Koreans to place in the top five.

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    After Further Review: Tour players embracing new ideas

    By Golf Channel DigitalApril 23, 2018, 1:26 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On players embracing new ideas on the PGA Tour ...

    PGA Tour players are trying to tell commissioner Jay Monahan something: They like new.

    In the second year of the two-man team format at the Zurich Classic, 10 of the top 14 players in the world have signed up, including all four reigning major champions. It’s the first time all four have been in the same field since the Tour Championship. If the laid-back event offered world-ranking points – it doesn’t, and that’s part of the appeal – the winner would have received 62 points. That’s the same as the Genesis Open.

    Sure, some sponsor obligations are involved in boosting the field here, but there’s no other way to look at this: Today’s PGA Tour players are not only willing to play events that are a departure from the 72-hole, stroke-play norm. They’re encouraging it. - Ryan Lavner


    On Moriya Jutanugarn's breakthrough win ...

    As much love as there is between the Jutanugarn sisters, it couldn’t have been easy for Moriya, watching her baby sister, Ariya, soar past her as one of the LPGA’s dominant stars the last few years. Mo, though, never betrayed an inkling of frustration or envy.

    That’s what made Mo’s breakthrough LPGA victory Sunday at the Hugel-JTBC LA Open especially meaningful for everyone who has admired Mo’s devotion to her sister. Mo was always a fixture, waiting in the wings to celebrate whenever Ariya hoisted a trophy.

    So emotions were high late Sunday, with Ariya waiting in the wings this time, with Ariya sobbing in Mo’s arms after the victory was secured. It was heartwarming for more than Apple, the mother who raised these talented, loving sisters. As always, Apple was there, too, soaking both her daughters in tears of joy. – Randall Mell


    On the tough scheduling decisions facing the PGA Tour ...

    According to multiple sources, officials at Colonial are poised to announce a new sponsorship agreement with Charles Schwab Corporation on Monday.

    While this is good news for the folks in Fort Worth, Texas, who were in danger of finding themselves on the wrong side of timing, there remain some tough decisions to be made in the next few weeks.

    If the PGA Tour’s plan is to end its season before Labor Day beginning in 2019, something must give. Currently, the Houston Open, a staple on Tour since 1946, and The National are without sponsors. When the music stops in a few weeks and the circuit announces the ’19 schedule, there’s a good chance one, or both, of those events will be the victims of bad timing. – Rex Hoggard

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    Triplett hole-out wins Legends of Golf playoff

    By Associated PressApril 23, 2018, 12:12 am

    RIDGEDALE, Mo. - Kirk Triplett holed out from a bunker for birdie on the first playoff hole Sunday in the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf to lift himself and partner Paul Broadhurst past Bernhard Langer and Tom Lehman.

    ''Well, you're trying to make it, but you know realistically it doesn't go in very often,'' Triplett said. ''You're trying to give your partner a free run at it. You don't want to hit it up there 20 feet past or do something silly. I'm just trying to hit it the right distance and get it on the right line.''

    Langer and Lehman took it in stride.

    ''You kind of learn to expect it,'' Lehman said. ''These guys out here are so good and Kirk Triplett is a magician around the greens. The odds of making that shot are probably not good, but you certainly expect him to hit a great shot and he did and it went in.''

    Lehman and Langer missed birdie putts after Triplett holed out.

    ''I kind of felt like we both hit pretty good putts, misread them, both of them,'' Lehman said. ''I hit mine probably too hard and Bernhard's was too soft, but you have to hand it to the guys who hit the shot when they have to hit it.''


    Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf


    Broadhurst and Triplett closed with a 6-under 48 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course to match Langer and Lehman at 24 under. Langer and Lehman had a 47, playing the front nine in alternate shot and the back nine in better ball.

    The 56-year-old Triplett won his sixth PGA Tour Champions title.

    ''That's a big roller-coaster - three good shots and mine, right?'' Triplett said. ''I'm feeling a little dejected walking down that fairway there, a little sheepish. To knock it in it just reminds you, this game, you know, crazy stuff.''

    Broadhurst claimed his third senior victory.

    ''I don't get too emotional, but that was something special,'' the 52-year-old Englishman said.

    Spanish stars Miguel Angel Jimenez and Jose Maria Olazabal had a 48 to tie for third with 2017 winners Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco. Singh and Franco, the third-round leaders, shot 50.

    Mark Calcavecchia-Woody Austin (48), John Daly-Michael Allen (49), Steve Stricker-Jerry Kelly (50) and David Toms-Steve Flesch (52) tied for fifth at 20 under.

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    Mullinax (T-2) comes up short of maiden win

    By Will GrayApril 23, 2018, 12:06 am

    The Valero Texas Open saw an unheralded player break through to earn a maiden victory, but unfortunately for Trey Mullinax his day will have to wait.

    Mullinax started the final round within a shot of the lead, having fired a course-record 62 during the final round. He trailed Andrew Landry by one shot for much of the final round while racking up six birdies over his first 11 holes, but a pair of late miscues meant the former Alabama standout had to settle for a share of second place, two shots behind Landry.

    A final-round 69 marked a career-best finish for Mullinax, who is playing this season on conditional status and whose lone prior top-10 this season came after he Monday qualified for the Valspar Championship.

    "I know my game's there, I'm playing really well," Mullinax told reporters. "Give all credit to Andrew, he played really well today, rocksteady. He was putting great, hitting great shots."


    Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

    Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


    Given time to reflect, the 26-year-old will likely look back on the final two holes where nerves appeared to get the best of him. Looking to put some pressure on Landry, Mullinax chunked his pitch on the short 17th hole into a greenside bunker, leading to a bogey on one of the easiest holes on the course.

    Then Mullinax was unable to convert a 9-foot birdie putt on the final green, which would have forced Landry to make his 8-foot par putt to avoid a playoff. Afforded the luxury of two putts for the win, Landry rolled in his par save to cement a two-shot win.

    "Made a bad bogey on 17, but just you've got to hit some bad shots," Mullinax said. "Would have liked to have got the putt on 18 to fall to put a little bit of heat on him, but this experience that I'm gaining right now is just going to help me down the road."