Ellis Widens Lead at Q-School

By Marty HenwoodMarch 2, 2005, 5:00 pm
Canadian Tour-LargeCHINO HILLS, Calif.--John Ellis of San Jose, Calif. widened his lead Wednesday during the second round of the Canadian Tours Winter Qualifying School in Chino Hills.
Starting the day with a one-shot edge thanks to an opening-round 67, Ellis carded a 2-under 70 for a two-day total of 7-under 137, a pair of shots in front of fellow Californian Dan Riskam. Five others are at 2-under 142.
Players hailing from the Golden State hold down eight of the top nine spots on the leaderboard through 36 holes.
Steve Frier of Richmond, BC came in with his second consecutive 73 and is in a tie for 19th at 2-over 146.
With a stiff wind blowing throughout the 7,102-yard Los Serranos Country Club for the afternoon wave of competitors, Ellis picked up right where he left off Tuesday, making the turn at 1-under. The breeze made for a two-club difference in shots for most of the day, but that didnt seem to faze Ellis, who posted a 1-under 35 on the inbound nine.
With that wind, I am pretty pleased to be where I am, to say the least, said Ellis. It got progressively harder out there as the day went on. If I had been even par on the back nine, I would have been happy, so I dont have any complaints.
The Canadian Tour will award ten exempt cards for the 2005 season once the final round wraps up Friday with another ten players, plus ties, being granted non-exempt status.
Just minutes after Riskam came in as the clubhouse leader, Ellis signed for a 70 to take over top spot with just 36 holes remaining. As comfortable a position as he may be in after two rounds, Ellis says he wont be letting up until he sinks his final putt on the 18th green Friday afternoon.
Nothing changes, whether I am ten back or ten ahead. I am just going to take it shot by shot and whatever it gives me, thats it.
Riskam, a former Northwestern University teammate of European Tour champion Luke Donald and Canadian Tour member Jess Daley, vaulted all the way from 17th to second with a 5-under 67. The 26-year-old hit his second shot from 205 yards on the par-5 16th, his seventh hole of the day, to within eight feet before draining the eagle putt to get into the red for the first time.
That really got me going, he said of the eagle. I was even for the day and all of a sudden I am 2-under. Obviously, I have no complaints. Playing well will do that.
Ninety-five players from five countries are competing for Canadian Tour playing privileges this week
Barton Creek Resort and Spa will play host to the first official event of 2005 when the Barton Creek Austin Canadian Tour Pro Am Classic presented by Yes! Golf is staged in Austin, Tex Mar. 12-15.

Scores after the second round of the Canadian Tours California Winter Qualifying School held at the 7,104-yard, par-72 Los Serranos CC:

1.Ellis, John67 70 137
2.Riskam, Daniel72 67 139
3.Beard, Michael71 71 142
3.Harrington, Scott71 71 142
3.Sestero, Luke71 71 142
3.Walton, Michael71 71 142
3.Yi, Dong68 74 142
8.Itzen, Justin70 73 143
8.Tomasulo, Peter70 73 143
10.Brown, Michael73 71 144
10.Brunson, Daniel70 74 144
10.Fonner, Matthew74 70 144
10.Henderson, Scott70 74 144
10.Mackenzie, Brock73 71 144
10.Mallinger, John75 69 144
10.Surber, Russell69 75 144
17.Floyd, Dan74 71 145
17.Guetz, Brian74 71 145
19.Coleman, Jim Bob74 72 146
19.Frier, Steve73 73 146
19.Keller, Rob70 76 146
19.Monfont, Kyle74 72 146
23.Guetz, Bret73 74 147
23.Henson, Berry71 76 147
23.Lindstom, Jon73 74 147
26.Kennedy, Robert70 78 148
26.Minamimoto, Osamu75 73 148
26.Nakane, Kenta75 73 148
26.Puekdang, Ty74 74 148
26.Puska, Jeff71 77 148
26.Ruda, Jesse72 76 148
26.Streat, Heath75 73 148
26.Tayler, Nik (A)76 72 148
26.Uchibori, Yuki76 72 148
35.Burnier, Jean-Luc75 74 149
35.Ferlic, Gavin77 72 149
35.Giarrantano, Tony71 78 149
35.McNally, Michael77 72 149
35.Robertson, John W.77 72 149
35.Wiles, Trevin76 73 149
41.Hatley, Reid72 78 150
42.Aga, Matt75 76 151
42.Bergstedt III, Russell74 77 151
42.Dennis, Spencer76 75 151
42.Inlow, Travis77 74 151
42.Kirkpatrick, Miles75 76 151
42.Martin, Nolan76 75 151
42.Overson, Darrin73 78 151
42.Richardson, Brandon76 75 151
42.Smith, Blaise75 76 151
51.Blackwell, Shane78 74 152
51.Buxbaum, Aaron74 78 152
51.Kupeyan, Calvin77 75 152
51.Moreno, JP76 76 152
51.Patterson, Marcus76 76 152
51.Smith, Warren76 76 152
57.Gavlak, Zac75 78 153
57.Heinz, Jerry76 77 153
57.Kawaguchi, Masa75 78 153
57.Kowaluk, Kurt75 78 153
57.Potter, Dan75 78 153
57.Streatfield, Andrew79 74 153
63.Dorothy, Dean76 78 154
63.Kuraoka, Justin79 75 154
63.Newbolt, Tim79 75 154
63.Park, Pedro75 79 154
63.Takase, Atsushi78 76 154
63.Watanabe, Steve76 78 154
69.Atlick, Scott75 80 155
69.Jensen, Brent77 78 155
71.Dickson, Chris77 79 156
71.Kang, Tai74 82 156
71.Kastner, Jason76 80 156
71.LeBlanc, Dale80 76 156
71.Libby, Kyle80 76 156
71.Shibuya, Randy77 79 156
71.Smith, Todd73 83 156
71.Vinson, CJ76 80 156
79.Luce, Jeremy81 76 157
79.Pekuri, Mark80 77 157
81.Kawano, Koichiro75 83 158
81.Pederson, Shawn77 81 158
81.Sanchez, Cuauhtemoc74 84 158
81.Stevens, Noah79 79 158
85.Hamano, Takashi83 76 159
86.Smith, Ryan82 79 161
87.Aldrich, David (A)82 80 162
87.Johnstone, Evan81 81 162
87.Potter, Bryan81 81 162
90.Duran, Tony80 83 163
91.Israel, Peter (A)83 81 164
92.Kennedy, Dean80 85 165
93.Narita, Mitsutake80 87 167
94.Hilton, Jed87 81 168
95.Stahlheber, Charles98 87 185

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    Winning on Kerr's mind this week and beyond

    By Randall MellMarch 24, 2018, 2:11 am

    Cristie Kerr moved into position Friday to do more than win the 21st LPGA title of her career.

    She moved into position to claim an LPGA Hall of Fame point this week.

    Yes, winning is foremost on her mind at the Kia Classic, where she took the lead with an 8-under-par 64 in the second round, she’s on a larger quest, too.

    After turning 40 last fall, Kerr was asked what her goals are.

    “The Hall of Fame is attainable, if I stick with it,” she said.

    Kerr is five shots ahead of Lizette Salas (67), In-Kyung Kim (69), Hee Young Park (70) and Caroline Hedwall (70).

    It’s a good time for Kerr to get on a hot streak, with the year’s first major championship, the ANA Inspiration, next week. She has long been one of the best putters in the women’s game, but her ball-striking is impressive this week. She hit 17 greens in regulation Thursday, and she hit 16 on Friday.

    “I like winning,” Kerr said. “I like challenging myself. Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older, with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, `Man, why does my hamstring hurt?’ From working around this hilly golf course.”

    Kerr acknowledged Friday that her body is more vulnerable to time’s realities, but her mind isn’t.

    Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

    “The golf ball doesn't know an age,” Kerr said. “I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.”

    Kerr won two weeks after her 40th birthday last fall, boosting her LPGA Hall of Fame point total to 22. She is five points short of eligibility for induction. A player earns one point for an LPGA victory and two points for a major championship title. So there’s a lot of Hall of Fame ground to gain this week and next.

    It’s a long-term goal that motivates Kerr to take care of her body.

    “I don't think the golf changes,” Kerr said. “I think, physically, it gets harder as you get older. Like I said, I've got tape on my hamstring. I strained it, just a little bit yesterday, walking around this golf course. It's tough as you get older, just being fresh and rested. I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.”

    Getty Images

    Big names chasing Kerr into the weekend at Kia Classic

    By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 1:55 am

    CARLSBAD, Calif. - Cristie Kerr shot an 8-under 64 on Friday in the Kia Classic to take a five-stroke lead into the weekend.

    The 40-year-old Kerr had eight birdies in her second straight bogey-free round to reach 13-under 131 at rain-softened Aviara.

    ''I like winning. I like challenging myself,'' Kerr said. ''Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, 'Man, why does my hamstring hurt?' From working around this hilly golf course. The golf ball doesn't know an age. I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.''

    She has 20 LPGA victories, winning at Aviara in 2015. She won twice last year and helped the U.S. beat Europe in her ninth Solheim Cup appearance.

    ''It's tough as you get older just being fresh and rested,'' Kerr said. ''I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.''

    Lizette Salas, In-Kyung Kim, Hee Young Park and Caroline Hedwall were tied for second. Salas shot 67, Kim 69, and Park and Hedwall 70.

    ''I really like this golf course. I really like the environment,'' said Salas, the former University of Southern California player from Azusa. ''My family gets to come out. So much confidence at the beginning of the week, and definitely showed the first two days.

    Jeong Eun Lee was 7 under after a 69, and defending ANA champion So Yeon Ryu had a 70 to get to 6 under.

    Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

    Ariya Jutanugarn (72), Brooke Henderson (70) and 2016 winner Lydia Ko (71) were 5 under. Shanshan Feng (68) was another stroke back, and Singapore winner Michelle Wie (72) was 1 under.

    Lexi Thompson was 2 over after a 74, making the cut on the number in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills.

    Kerr opened with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-3 11th, added birdies on the par-4 16th, 18th and second, and ran off three in a row on the par-3 sixth, par-4 seventh and par-5 eighth.

    ''I don't think you can fall asleep on one shot,'' Kerr said. ''It's a really good golf course. I think I play better on courses that demand the focus, so I think that's why I've played well here in the past. ... I'm trying not to put limits on myself right now. I've got some good things going on with my swing.''

    She has long been one best putters and green-readers in the world.

    ''I can see the subtleties that a lot of people can't,'' Kerr said. ''It's a gift from God being able to do that. I've always had that, so I'm lucky.''

    Laura Davies withdrew after an opening 82. The 54-year-old Davies tied for second last week in the Founders Cup in Phoenix, playing through painful left Achilles and calf problems.

    Getty Images

    DJ hits 489-yard drive, but it doesn't count for history

    By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 12:22 am

    AUSTIN, Texas – Dustin Johnson is no stranger to big drives, but even for DJ this one was impressive.

    Trailing in his Day 3 match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Johnson launched a drive at the par-5 12th hole that traveled 489 yards, but that number comes with an asterisk.

    “He got lucky it hit the road,” smiled Kevin Kisner, who was leading the world No. 1, 3 up, at the time. “I thought he would make an eagle for sure, he only had 80 yards [to the hole]. He didn’t hit a very good putt.”

    WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

    WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

    Johnson’s drive, which was 139 yards past Kisner’s tee shot, is the longest recorded on the PGA Tour in the ShotLink era, surpassing Davis Love III’s drive of 476 yards in 2004 at the Tournament of Champions.

    The drive will not go into the record books, however, because the Tour doesn’t count statistics from the Match Play.

    It should also be noted, Kisner halved the 12th hole with a birdie and won the match, 4 and 3, to advance to the round of 16.

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    Durant leads Champions event in Mississippi

    By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 12:21 am

    BILOXI, Miss. - Joe Durant had three straight birdies in a back-nine burst and a shot 6-under 66 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' Rapiscan Systems Classic.

    Durant birdied the par-4 11th and 12th and par-5 13th in the bogey-free round at breezy and rain-softened Fallen Oak. Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairway.

    ''It just sets up nice to my eye,'' Durant said. ''It's a beautiful golf course and it's very challenging. The tee shots seem to set up well for me, but the greens are maybe as quick as I've ever seen them here. You really have to put the ball in the right spots. I played very nice today. With the wind swirling like it was, I'm really happy.''

    He won the Chubb Classic last month in Naples, Florida, for his third victory on the 50-and-over tour.

    Full-field scores from the Rapiscan Systems Classic

    ''Done this long enough, Friday's just one day,'' Durant said. ''Especially in a three-day tournament, you've got to go out and shoot three good numbers. Fortunate to put one on the board, but I know I have to back it up with a couple of good days because you can get passed very quickly out here.''

    Mark Calcavecchia was a stroke back. He won last month in Boca Raton, Florida

    ''It's probably my best round I've ever had here and it was a tough day to play,'' Calcavecchia said. ''The greens are just lightning fast. They're pretty slopey greens, so very difficult to putt.''

    Steve Stricker was third at 68. He took the Tucson, Arizona, event three weeks ago for his first senior victory.

    ''Just getting it around and managing my game I think like I always do,'' Stricker said. ''You get in the wrong position here with the greens being so fast and you're going to be in trouble. I did that a couple times today.''

    Billy Mayfair, Billy Andrade and David McKenzie shot 69. Jerry Kelly, the winner of the season-opening event in Hawaii, was at 70 with Wes Short Jr., Glen Day, Gene Sauers and Jesper Parnevik.

    Bernhard Langer opened with a 71, and two-time defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez had a 72.

    Vijay Singh, coming off his first senior victory two weeks ago in Newport Beach, California, had a 73.