Tinning shares leads in final LET event
The 36-year-old Tinning, who will retire after 15 years on the tour, was two shots back at the halfway mark. She made four birdies en route to a 3-under 69 to pass overnight leader Lydia Hall of England.
Reid shot a 68, earning a share of the lead on the final hole at the season-ending tournament in Dubai.
Hall (72) remained a shot back after she recovered from an early double bogey. She was tied with Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist (71), who briefly topped the leaderboard before falling back after a late bogey.
Michelle Wie, battling a bad back, had a roller-coaster round of 73. She birdied the third hole, but had two bogeys on the back nine before stringing together two birdies. She double-bogeyed the 18th to tie for 17th.
Tinning hasn’t won on the tour since a 2005 victory in Denmark. She went for the pins and made several clutch putts, including one on 15 to save par and on 16 for a birdie.
“This morning when I went out to play, I was really nervous the first few holes,” she said. “And it was funny. I said to my husband ‘Well, this is actually what I’m going to miss’. So I’ve got to enjoy it, even though it was a bit terrifying.”
Reid, who won her first tournament in Turkey this year, moved into contention after making three birdies on the front nine. She finished with two more birdies on the final two holes.
“Yeah, it would be a nice little Christmas present, wouldn’t it, to win this week,” said the 67th-ranked Reid.
Wie, who went to the practice putting green after her round, lamented some missed opportunities on the front nine. The normally big-hitting Wie had two bogeys and a double bogey on the par 5s on the back nine.
“I didn’t play well on the par 5 in the end. Oh well,” Wie said of the 18th hole. “I didn’t make any birdie putts in the beginning, which is a struggle for me. Other than that, I played pretty solid. I just have to monkey with a couple of shots.”
On Thursday, Wie admitted she was playing in “survival mode” because of ongoing back problems. She said she expects to be fit for next season.
Wie was limping slightly this week at the Emirates Golf Club because of the injury. She is getting physical therapy and seeing a chiropractor for the back problem that sidelined her the past few weeks. Wie withdrew from the Lorena Ochoa Invitational last month.
Rose (64) peaking just ahead of the U.S. Open
A former U.S. Open champion appears to be finding his form just three weeks ahead of the year's second major.
Justin Rose ascended to the top of the leaderboard Friday at the Fort Worth Invitational, with rounds of 66-64 pushing him to 10 under par for the week.
Through 36 at Colonial, Rose has marked 12 birdies against just two bogeys.
"Yeah, I did a lot of good things today," Rose said. "I think, you know, the end of my round got a little scrappy, but until the last three holes it was pretty flawless. I think I hit every fairway pretty much and obviously every green to that point. ...
"Yeah, the way I played through, I guess through my first 15 holes today, was about as good as I've played in a long time."
Rose won in back-to-back weeks last fall, stunning Dustin Johnson at the WGC-HSBC Championship and riding that victory right into another at the Turkish Airlines Open.
Now the 2013 U.S. Open winner at Merion feels himself once again rounding into form ahead of this year's Open at Shinnecock. A final-round 66 at The Players gave Rose something to focus on in his recent practice sessions with swing coach Sean Foley, as the two work to shore up the timing of Rose's transition into the downswing.
As for his decision to tee it up at Colonial for the first time since 2010, "It was more the run of form really," Rose explained. "I feel like if I didn't play here it was going to be a little spotty going into the U.S. Open. I felt like I wanted to play enough golf where I would have a good read on my game going into Shinnecock.
"So rather than the venue it was more the timing, but it's obviously it's just such a bonus to be on a great layout like this."
For whatever reason, Rose does tend to play his best golf at iconic venues, having won PGA Tour events at Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional.
Koepka (63): Two wrist dislocations in two months
Brook Koepka's journey back from a wrist injury that kept him out four months hasn't been totally smooth sailing, even if his play has suggested otherwise.
Koepka on Friday fired a 7-under 63 to move up the leaderboard into a tie for third, three shots behind leader Justin Rose through the end of the morning wave at the Fort Worth Invitational.
After a slow start Thursday saw him play his first 13 holes 3 over, Koepka is 10 under with 11 birdies in his last 23 holes at Colonial.
"It doesn't matter to me. I could care less. I'm still going to try as hard as I can," Koepka said. "I don't care how many over or how many under I am. Still going to fight through it."
Just like he's been fighting his wrist the last two months or so. Koepka reinjured his wrist the Wednesday of The Players when he was practicing on the range and had to halt mid-swing after a golf cart drove in front of him. He nonetheless managed to finish T-11.
And that's not the only issue he's had with that wrist during his return.
"We had a bone pop out of place. I didn't tell anybody, but, yeah, they popped it back in," Koepka admitted Friday. "Luckily enough we kind of popped it back into place right away so it wasn't stiff and I didn't have too, too many problems.
"Yeah. I mean, I've dislocated my wrist twice in the last two months. You know, different spots, but, I mean, it's fun. I'll be all right."
Twitter spat turns into fundraising opportunity
Country music star Jake Owen, along with Brandt Snedeker, has turned a spat on Twitter into a fundraising campaign that will support Snedeker’s foundation.
On Thursday, Owen was criticized during the opening round of the Web.com Tour’s Nashville Golf Open, which benefits the Snedeker Foundation, for his poor play after opening with an 86.
In response, Snedeker and country singer Chris Young pledged $5,000 for every birdie that Owen makes on Friday in a campaign called NGO Birdies for Kids.
Although Owen, who is playing the event on a sponsor exemption, doesn’t tee off for Round 2 in Nashville until 2 p.m. (CT), the campaign has already generated interest, with NBC Sports/Golf Channel analyst Peter Jacobsen along with Web.com Tour player Zac Blair both pledging $100 for every birdie Owen makes.
Noren so impressed by Rory: 'I'm about to quit golf'
Alex Noren won the BMW PGA Championship last year, one of his nine career European Tour victories.
He opened his title defense at Wentworth Club in 68-69 and is tied for fourth through two rounds. Unfortunately, he's five back of leader Rory McIlroy. And after playing the first two days alongside McIlroy, Noren, currently ranked 19th in the world, doesn't seem to like his chances of back-to-back wins.
McIlroy opened in 67 and then shot a bogey-free 65 in second round, which included pars on the pair of par-5 finishing holes. Noren walked away left in awe.
"That's the best round I've ever seen," Noren said. "I'm about to quit golf, I think."
Check out the full interview below: