McGirt, Johnson tied for the lead at John Deere

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 11, 2014, 11:55 pm

William McGirt and Zach Johnson are tied for the lead at 12 under heading into the weekend at the John Deere Classic. Here's how things look through 36 holes at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.:

Leaderboard: McGirt (-12), Johnson (-12), Steven Bowditch (-11), Brian Harman (-11), Johnson Wagner (-11)

The leaders: After starting on the back and making the turn at even par, McGirt birdied Nos. 1-4 and 7-8 before a bogey on his final hole, the 503-yard par-4 ninth, during a back-nine 30 and Friday 66. Johnson made seven birdies against three bogeys as a solid follow-up to his opening-round 63.

Round of the day: Tim Clark birdied each of his first five holes and three more on the back for an 8-under 63. Clark's score Friday tied for the low round of the tournament, after three players - Johnson, Harman and Rory Sabbatini - matched it Thursday.

Best of the rest: Defending champion Jordan Spieth is at 7 under for the round and tournament after a 64 Friday, shaving seven shots from his even-par 71 in Round 1. Spieth made eight birdies but, like McGirt, bogeyed his final hole, the par-4 ninth. From a 20-year-old to a 47-year-old, part-timer Steve Stricker turned in a 6-under 65 and sits just three back of McGirt and Johnson at 9 under. Wagner, meanwhile, looked as if he was going to end the day tied for the lead, but bogeyed the ninth to close with a 65.

Biggest disappointment: Rory Sabbatini remains in the hunt at 9 under through two rounds but followed his Thursday 63 with a 70. He was the only player tied for 10th or better who failed to post a round in the 60s.

Storylines heading into the weekend: Will past champions reign again? Johnson is in search of his 12th career PGA Tour victory and his second at the John Deere. Spieth has the opportunity to claim his first two PGA Tour wins back-to-back at the same event. He'd be the first to do so since Boo Weekley won the Heritage at Harbour Town in 2007 and 2008. Stricker is in search of his 13th career victory, his first since 2012 and his - wait for it - fourth John Deere in the last six seasons. He went back-to-back-to-back in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Separately, McGirt finds himself tied for the lead after missing the cut in 13 of his 23 events this season, including last week at The Greenbrier. The 35-year-old has never won on Tour in 111 starts dating back to 2007. He has twice finished runner-up, doing so on both occasions at the Canadian Open in 2012 and again in 2013

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Watch: Pieters snaps club ... around his neck

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 1:19 pm

After opening in 3-over 75, Thomas Pieters was in no mood for more poor play on Friday.

Unfortunately for Pieters, he bogeyed two of his first three holes in the second round of the BMW PGA Championship and then didn't like his second shot at the par-5 fourth.

Someone - or some thing - had to pay, and an innocent iron bore the brunt of Pieters' anger.

Pieters made par on the hole, but at 5 over for the tournament, he was five shots off the cut line.

It's not the first time a club has faced Pieters' wrath. 

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Woods would 'love' to see Tour allow shorts

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:59 pm

Players on the European Tour are allowed to wear shorts during practices and pro-ams.

The PGA of America permitted players to show some leg while prepping for last year’s PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods would like to see the PGA Tour follow suit.

"I would love it," he said Thursday in a Facebook Live with Bridgestone Golf. "We play in some of the hottest climates on the planet. We usually travel with the sun, and a lot of our events are played in the summer, and then on top of that when we have the winter months here a lot of the guys go down to South Africa and Australia where it's summer down there.

"It would be nice to wear shorts. Even with my little chicken legs, I still would like to wear shorts."

Caddies are currently allowed to wear shorts on Tour, during events.

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Feasting again: McIlroy shoots 65 to lead BMW PGA

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:04 pm

Updated at 9:42 a.m. ET

Rory McIlroy made seven birdies and no bogeys on Friday for a 7-under 65 and the second-round lead at the BMW PGA Championship.

After opening in 67, McIlroy was among the early groups out on Day 2 at Wentworth Club. He made three birdies and no bogeys on the par-35 front nine on Friday, and then went on a run after the turn.

McIlroy made four consecutive birdies, beginning at the par-5 12th. That got him to 12 under, overall, and gave him a clear advantage over the field. With two closing par-5s, a very low number was in sight. But, as he did on Day 1, McIlroy finished par-par.

"I've made four pars there [on 17 and 18] when I really should be making at least two birdies, but I played the other par-5s well," McIlroy said. "It all balances itself out."

Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship

McIlroy has made 14 birdies and two bogeys through two rounds. At 12 under, he has a three-stroke lead over Sam Horsfield.

"The work has paid off, to some degree," McIlroy said of his practice with swing coach Michael Bannon. "I still feel like I'm hitting some loose shots out there. But, for the most part, it's been really good. If I can keep these swing thoughts and keep going in the right direction, hopefully this is the type of golf I'll be able to produce."

This event has been feast or famine for McIlroy. He won here in 2014, but has three missed cuts in his other three starts. This week, however, he’ll be around for the weekend and is in position for his first European Tour victory since the 2016 Irish Open and his second worldwide victory of the year (Arnold Palmer Invitational).

"I have the confidence that I'm playing well and I can go out and try to just replicate what I did the day before," McIlroy said about his weekend approach with the lead. "On the first tee box tomorrow I'll be thinking about what I did today. Trying to just keep the same thoughts, make the same swings. I went a couple better today than I did yesterday. I'm not sure I'll keep that progression going but something similiar tomorrow would be nice."

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Goat visor propels Na to Colonial lead

By Will GrayMay 25, 2018, 1:29 am

Jason Dufner officially has some company in the headwear free agency wing of the PGA Tour.

Like Dufner, Kevin Na is now open to wear whatever he wants on his head at tournaments, as his visor sponsorship with Titleist ended earlier this month. He finished T-6 at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his second tournament as a free agent, and this week at the Fort Worth Invitational he's once again wearing a simple white visor with a picture of a goat.

"I bought it at The Players Championship for $22 with the 30 percent discount that they give the Tour players," Na told reporters. "It's very nice."

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Perhaps a change in headwear was just what Na needed to jumpstart his game. Last week's result in Dallas was his first top-35 finish in his last six events dating back to February, and he built upon that momentum with an 8-under 62 to take a one-shot lead over Charley Hoffman after the first round at Colonial Country Club.

While many sports fans know the "GOAT" acronym to stand for "Greatest Of All Time," it's a definition that the veteran Na only learned about earlier this year.

"I do social media, but they kept calling Tiger the GOAT. I go, 'Man, why do they keep calling Tiger the GOAT? That's just mean,'" Na said. "Then I realized it meant greatest of all time. Thinking of getting it signed by Jack (Nicklaus) next week (at the Memorial)."