Durant Defends First of Two at Bob Hope
Then something ' everything ' clicked in La Quinta, Calif. He opened in 65; shot 11-under 61 in Round 2; followed with a 67; and continued with a 66. Amazingly, the four scores came over four different courses. And even more impressively, he set a 72-hole PGA Tour scoring record at 29-under-par.
Leading by five strokes with 18 holes to play, Durant failed to ease off the gas, instead accelerating to a final-round 65. He finished the tournament at 36-under-par 324 ' a 90-hole tour record.
It was really a magical week, Durant said upon collecting his second career title.
For good measure he won his next start, as well, at the Genuity Championship.
Durants start to the 2001 campaign was quite a departure from where he was in his professional life a decade ago.
He took six months off after the 1991 Buy.Com Tour season ended. He received a license to sell insurance, though he never actually sold a policy. He also took a job at a golf equipment retail house, filling orders and stacking boxes.
It wasnt until his wife, Tracey, lectured him about his negative attitude that things began to turn for the positive.
Finally, in 1997, Durant secured a place in the big leagues. He finished 100th on the money list that season, and then climbed to No. 43 in earnings, thanks primarily to his Western triumph.
And though he missed 13 cuts in 26 starts in 99, Durant never lost his card ' nor his positive outlook.
Thanks to his overly impressive beginning a year ago, Durant was named Comeback Player of the Year, as voted by his peer.
Now, he has to find a way to regain that level of performance. He missed nine of his final 13 cuts in 2001, and started this season with a tie for 20th in the 32-man field at the Mercedes Championships and a tie for 54th in last weeks Sony Open in Hawaii.
Durant will face some stiff competition in the $4 million, five-day event. 2000 champion Jesper Parnevik, 1999 winner David Duval, Mark Calcavecchia, John Daly, David Toms, Charles Howell III, Hal Sutton and Mike Weir are in the field.
Most notably, Phil Mickelson will make his 02 debut. It will be the leftys first start since the WGC-NEC Invitational in August. Mickelson skipped his title defense in the Tour Championship and the Mercedes Championships to be with his family, which includes daughter Sophia Isabel, born on Oct. 23.
One-hundred-and-44 players are competing alongside 432 amateurs. They will play four layouts over the first four days: the host Palmer Private Course at PGA West, which will be played on exclusively Sunday, Indian Wells Country Club, Bermuda Dunes Country Club and Tamarisk Country Club.
Tamarisk was last in the rotation when Duval prevailed in 99, the year he fired a final-round 59. La Quinta Country Club is the odd course out this year.
Full field and more on the 2002 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic
Koepka primed for CJ Cup win and world No. 1
Brooks Koepka wants a 2-for-1 at the CJ Cup. If he can collect his second non-major PGA Tour victory he can become world No. 1 for the first time in his career.
He’s in great position to accomplish his goal.
Koepka eagled the par-5 18th en route to a 7-under 65 in the second round at Nine Bridges in Juju Island, South Korea. At 8 under par, he is one back of 36-hole leader Scott Piercy (65).
Koepka, currently ranked third in the world, began the day three shots off the lead, but rapidly ascended the leaderboard. He birdied four of his first eight holes before finding trouble at the ninth. Koepka hooked his tee shot out of bounds, but the ninth is a par 5 and he was able to salvage bogey.
That was his only dropped shot of the day.
The reigning Tour Player of the Year birdied the 12th and 14th holes in his bid to keep pace with Piercy. Koepka was two back as he played his final hole, where he knocked his second shot to 10 feet. He deftly converted the eagle effort to tie Piercy and earn a spot in Saturday’s final twosome. Piercy later pulled a shot ahead with a birdie at the ninth, his final hole of the day.
Koepka has officially won four PGA Tour events, but three of those are majors (2017, ’18 U.S. Open; 2018 PGA). His lone non-major win was the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
He can still reach world No. 1 with a solo second place, assuming Justin Thomas, currently world No. 4, doesn’t win this week.
That will take a mighty weekend effort by the defending champ.
Thomas also eagled the 18th hole to go from 1 over to 1 under. He shot 2-under 70 in the second round and is seven shots off the lead.
'Go in'? Yes, JT wants an ace at the par-4 14th
Justin Thomas didn’t hesitate after hitting his tee shot on the 353-yard, par-4 14th in Round 2 of the CJ Cup.
“Go in,” he immediately said.
“Please go in,” he added.
Thomas’ tee shot was on a great line, but it landed just short of the green. Surprisingly, it took three more shots for his ball to "go in." After birdies on Nos. 12 and 13, Thomas parred the 14th.
Watch: Dufner makes six (!) fist pumps after birdie
Jason Dufner makes Ben Stein seem like Jonathan Winters. Dufner often looks mighty miserable for someone who plays golf for a living.
But not on Friday at the CJ Cup!
Dufner made a 20-footer for birdie at the 16th hole and “celebrated” with one-two-three-(pause)-four-five-six fist pumps. There could have been more, but the camera cut away.
That was Dufner’s third birdie on the back nine, which offset a triple bogey at the par-3 seventh, en route to an even-par 72. Good times.
Watch: Paul C-ace-y makes hole-in-one at CJ Cup
Par-par-par-par-par-par. It was a boring second round over the first six holes for Paul Casey at the CJ Cup.
And then he aced the par-3 seventh.
Casey's tee shot from 176 tracked straight towards the hole and rolled in near the final revolution. That got him to 2 under par for the tournament. He was five off the lead, held by Chez Reavie, but bogeyed the ninth and 10th holes to give back those two strokes.
Hey, it's a no-cut event and a guaranteed paycheck. Drinks on Casey!