Dodd Takes Over Top Spot in China

By Sports NetworkNovember 26, 2004, 5:00 pm
European TourJIANGSU, China -- Stephen Dodd carded a 2-under 70 in tough conditions Friday to take a three-stroke lead after 36 holes of the Volvo China Open at Shanghai Silport Golf Club. Dodd stands at 6-under-par 138 after two rounds.
Joon Chung, Soren Hansen and Matthew King share second place at 3-under-par 141. Jason Dawes, Mark Foster and overnight co-leader Bradley Dredge are one stroke further back at minus-2.
Players battled tough conditions Friday as temperatures slid towards the freezing point and winds gusted throughout the day.
Dodd, who has played on the European Tour since 1995 and is still looking for his first win, began the day one stroke off the overnight lead. He opened with three straight pars before a birdie at the fourth.
The Welshman kept rolling with a birdie at the eighth and came right back to birdie No. 9 to get to minus-7. Dodd however stumbled to a bogey at the 10th.
Dodd bounced back with a birdie at the par-4 15th. He tripped to another bogey at the 17th, but parred the last for a three-stroke overnight lead.
'I've never played in a tournament in conditions like this,' said Dodd. 'I'm just pleased with a 70. We're halfway through the tournament and there are a lot of good players out there. At least I won't be off at 6:15 a.m. tomorrow.'
Chung posted two birdies and a bogey over his first nine holes. He carded back-to-back birdies from the 11th to take the lead at 6 under. He stumbled down the stretch with bogeys at 14, 16 and 17 to drop back into second place.
Hansen got off to a hot start with birdies at 10 and 13 to get to 4 under. He faltered to a bogey at the 17th though. The Dane parred five straight holes around the turn, before tripping to a double bogey at the par-4 fifth.
He responded with a birdie at six, but dropped another stroke at seven. Hansen closed with birdies at eight and nine to share second place.
King opened his round with six consecutive pars. However, he bogeyed two of his next three holes to drop back to minus-2. The Englishman got those strokes back with birdies at 13 and 15. He slipped to another bogey at the 16th before parring the final two holes to share second place.
Thomas Bjorn, Marc Cayeux, Barry Lane, Jonathan Lomas and Simon Yates share eighth place at 1-under-par 143. Gregory Hanrahan, Amandeep Johl, Edward Michaels, Chawalit Plaphol and Chris Williams are one stroke further back at even par.
Uhno Park, who shared the first-round lead with Dredge, tumbled all the way into a tie for 33rd after a second-round of 8-over 80.
The cut line fell at 7-over-par 151 with 72 players advancing to the weekend.
Related links:
  • TGC Airtimes

  • Leaderboard - Volvo China Open

  • Full Coverage - Volvo China Open
  • Getty Images

    Down seven pounds, Thomas can gain No. 1

    By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 11:29 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – On March 7, Justin Thomas had his wisdom teeth removed, and just when he was recovering from that, he was slowed by a bout with the flu.

    In total, he estimates he lost about seven pounds, and he admitted on Saturday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play that he wasn’t sure he’d be able to play the event.

    “I had a pretty serious conversation with my dad on Monday if I was going to play,” Thomas said. “I never want to play in a tournament, first off, if it's going to hurt my health. If I was sick or really sick, me trying to play this week wasn't going to do me any good.”

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

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

    Thomas went on to explain he was “50/50” whether he’d play the World Golf Championship, but decided to make the start and it’s turned out well for the world’s second-ranked player.

    After going undefeated in pool play, Thomas cruised past Si Woo Kim, 6 and 5, in the round of 16 and secured himself a spot in the semifinals with a 2-and-1 victory over Kyle Stanley in the quarterfinals. If Thomas wins his semifinal match against Bubba Watson on Sunday, he’s assured enough points to overtake Dustin Johnson atop the Official World Golf Ranking.

    “I don't care when it happens; I just hope it happens and it happens for a while,” Thomas said when asked about the possibility of becoming world No. 1. “I don't know what to say because I've never experienced it. I don't know what's going to come with it. But I just hope it happens tomorrow.”

    Getty Images

    Garnett's six-shot lead dwindles to two in Punta Cana

    By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 10:57 pm

    PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic - Brice Garnett took a six-stroke lead into the wind Saturday in the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship. He came out with a two-stroke advantage.

    Garnett bogeyed three of the final six holes in the wind and rain for a 3-under 69 and a 16-under 200 total.

    ''Once we made the turn coming back, all those holes coming in toward the north, it was all we wanted and then some,'' Garnett said. ''I kind of took advantage of some holes going out, some holes downwind, some par 5s, and then we were just trying to leave it in the right spot those last four or five holes. Pars are pretty good scores on those holes.''

    Canadian Corey Conners was second after a 67, and Tyler McCumber also had a 67 to get to 12 under. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo dropped out Friday, finishing last in the 132-man field in his PGA Tour debut. He shot 77-82 playing as an amateur on a sponsor exemption.

    A stroke ahead after each of the first two rounds, Garnett opened with a bogey, birdied Nos. 2, 4 and 6, eagled the par-5 seventh, and made two more birdies on the par-3 ninth and par-5 12th. He bogeyed the par-4 13th, par-5 15th and par-3 17th.

    Full-field scores from the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship

    ''I looked once and the lead was a little bigger than what it is now,'' Garnett said. ''The eagle was huge, kind of gave me that confidence that I can push it on out and stretch it a little bit more. That wind was tough and I'll take a two-shot lead into tomorrow.''

    The 34-year-old Garnett is winless on the PGA Tour. He won twice last year on the Tour.

    ''You've got another 18 holes. So much can happen,'' Garnett said. ''Just going to try to keep the golf ball in front of me. I have that self-belief this week and that's what I had last year when I won, so I'll just keep my head down and just keep going.''

    Conners had five birdies and a bogey on the front nine and added a birdie on No. 12.

    ''Really happy with the round,'' Conners said. ''I got off to a nice start, made a bunch of birdies on the front nine and kind of held it together on the back nine. It was playing really difficult. The wind was really blowing out there, made things challenging.''

    McCumber, the son of 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber, has played his last 39 holes with a bogey.

    ''Second shots have been pretty solid,'' McCumber said. ''Putting pretty well, short game is pretty good. Just really being in the right areas and staying below the hole.''

    Tom Lovelady was fourth at 11 under after a 68. Seamus Power (71), Denny McCarthy (71) and Seungsu Han (72) were 10 under.

    Getty Images

    Poulter incorrectly told he's in Masters before loss to Kisner

    By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 10:33 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – Ian Poulter was not happy, and it was only partially because of his blowout loss to Kevin Kisner in Saturday’s quarterfinals at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

    Following his morning victory in the round of 16 over Louis Oosthuizen, the Englishman was incorrectly informed that by making it to the Elite 8 at Austin Country Club he was assured enough Official World Golf Raking points to move into the top 50 and qualify for the Masters in two weeks.

    “I should never listen to other people,” Poulter said following his 8-and-6 loss to Kevin Kisner in the quarterfinals. “When you finish a round of golf and the press and everybody is telling you you're in the Masters, and then you get a text message 10 minutes before you tee off to correct everybody, to say, ‘Oh, we've made a mistake, actually, no, that was wrong, you're not in. You need to go and win.’

    “Not that that's an excuse in any form or factor, it's a little disappointing.”

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

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

    Poulter actually needed to advance to the semifinal round to move into the top 50. Instead, his last chance to qualify for the Masters is to win next week’s Houston Open, although he was unsure if he’d play the event.

    “I don't know yet, I haven't decided,” said Poulter when asked if he’d play next week. “I'm tired. It's been a long week. It's been a draining week. I'll wait until Monday night and if I have the energy then I will.”

    Getty Images

    Not DJ, not Poulter: Kisner most proud to take down Kuchar

    By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 9:34 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – On his way to this week’s Final Four at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Kevin Kisner has beaten world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and the European match play ninja Ian Poulter. But neither match could compare to his duel with Matt Kuchar early Saturday.

    “I was more jacked to beat [Kuchar], really. Kuch is such a good player and our games are so similar,” said Kisner, who defeated Kuchar in the round of 16, 1 up. “We both made eight birdies this morning and I barely snuck out of there. I thought it was a lot of fun.”

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

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

    By comparison, his quarterfinal bout against Poulter wasn’t nearly as electric. Kisner won two of the first four holes when the Englishman made bogey (No. 3) and when he was conceded the fourth hole, hecruised to an 8-and-6 victory for the week’s most lopsided win.

    “I don't know Ian that well, so I don't really have a history with him, other than watching him kill us in the Ryder Cup,” Kisner laughed.

    Things won’t get any easier for Kisner on Sunday when he’ll play Alex Noren in the semifinals. The Swede has been dominant this week and is considered one of Europe’s top players heading into this year’s Ryder Cup.