Donald One Back in Scotland

By Sports NetworkOctober 8, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 Dunhill Links ChampionshipST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- David Howell posted his second straight round of 7-under 65 Friday to take a one-shot lead through two rounds of the dunhill links championship. Howell created a new 36-hole record with his total of 14-under-par 130.
Luke Donald also carded a 65 and stands at minus-13. Louis Oosthuizen matched the 65s that Donald and Howell posted to move to 12-under-par 132.
First-round leader Graeme McDowell stumbled to a bogey on his last hole to close a round of even-par 72. He shares fourth place with Richard Sterne (68) and Jamie Donaldson (65) at 10-under-par 134.
Ernie Els, the second-ranked player in the world, posted his second straight 68 and stands in a tie for 11th at 8-under-par 136. World No. 1 Vijay Singh managed a 2-under 70 to move to 6-under-par 138 and is tied for 29th.
The tournament is using three courses as it has a pro-am competition for the first three rounds. Play is contested at the Old Course at St. Andrews, Carnoustie Golf Club and Kingsbarns Golf Links. Players will rotate over the three courses for the first three rounds, before the final round is contested at St. Andrews.
Howell played St. Andrews on Friday and started on the 10th tee. He birdied his first, but tripped to a bogey at the very next hole. Howell came right back with a birdie at the 12th.
The Englishman made it two in a row as he rolled home a birdie on the 13th. Howell capped a run of three straight birdies on No. 14 to get to minus-10.
Howell closed his opening nine in style as he flew a sandwedge right into the hole at the 18th for eagle. His momentum was short-lived as he tripped to a bogey at No. 1.
The 29-year-old Howell, who played on his first Ryder Cup team last month, bounced back with consecutive birdies from the second to get to 13 under. He cruised to five straight pars before birdieing the par-4 ninth from 5 feet out to grab the overnight lead.
'Because of the Ryder Cup there are a number of feel-good factors and I think most guys feel good about themselves at the moment,' said Howell, who won the 1999 Dubai Desert Classic. 'But I am also swinging the club very well just now and hitting lots of good shots, so maybe I am walking a half an inch taller.'
Donald, who also made his Ryder Cup debut at Oakland Hills, also played the back nine of St. Andrews first. He opened with back-to-back pars then converted a birdie try at the 12th. The Englishman made it two in a row as he birdied the 13th.
Donald, who has won twice this year in Europe, faltered to a bogey on 15, but erased that error with a birdie at the 16th. Around the turn, he picked up birdies at the first and third to get to minus-10.
The 26-year-old drained a birdie on No. 5. Donald came back with birdies at six and seven to get to minus-13. He closed with a pair of pars.
'I'm very pleased with where I am in the tournament,' Donald said. 'I've not played that well in links golf in the past, and I think I've taken full advantage of the generous conditions the last two days. I'm very happy with the way I've played. You have your amateur partners to play with and chat with and give them lines and all that kind of stuff. It takes your mind off the serious stuff and you just learn to relax and enjoy yourself out there.'
European Ryder Cup star Colin Montgomerie carded a 5-under 67 to get to 9-under-par 135. Adam Scott (67) and Angel Cabrera (66) stand alongside Montgomerie at minus-9.
Els is joined one stroke further back by defending champion Lee Westwood, former PGA Champion Rich Beem, former Masters winner Fred Couples, European Ryder Cupper Ian Poulter, as well as Stephen Gallacher, Richard Green, Peter Lonard and Rolf Muntz.
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    Chamblee comments on Choi's unique step-through swing

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 24, 2018, 3:55 pm

    The golf world found itself enamored with a largely unknown journeyman this weekend.

    Ho-sung Choi went from 554th in the world to No. 1 in the hearts of all those who swing the golf club just a little bit differently thanks to his run at the Korean Open.

    The 44-year-old with the exaggerated step through impact found himself two off the pace through 54 holes and in contention for one of two available invitations to this year's Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Choi fell out of the hunt for tournament title and the Open exemption with a final-round 74, but nonetheless left an impression with his tie for fifth.

    Asked about Choi's swing Saturday night, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee offered the following:

    "If Chi Chi Rodriguez and Gary Player had a golf school, what would their first professional golfer swing like? Voila," Chamblee said.

    "Both those legends had walk through finishes, but Ho Sung has taken this move to a new level with a borderline pirouette to keep from hanging back.

    "In an era when professional golfers get accused of having golf swings that all look alike, I’ve never seen anyone swing quite like Ho Sung Choi.

    "I can’t wait to try this on the range tomorrow."

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    Wallace holds off charges to win BMW International

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 3:43 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany - England's Matt Wallace shot a 7-under 65 to hold off a record-breaking charge from Thorbjorn Olesen and win the BMW International Open on Sunday.

    Wallace finished on 10-under 278 - just ahead of Olesen, Mikko Korhonen and 2008 winner Martin Kaymer, whose chances took a blow with a bogey on the 17th hole.

    ''I want to keep building on this,'' Wallace said after his third European Tour win. ''Obviously this gives me a lot of confidence to go on and play well and I want to kick on and hopefully do this in the bigger events from now on.''

    Full-field scores from the BMW International Open

    Olesen had played himself into contention with the lowest round in tournament history, with nine birdies and an eagle for an 11-under 61. It was the lowest round of his European Tour career and it gave the Dane a three-shot lead before the final group had even teed off.

    ''I was just trying today to go out there and build on my game, see if I could shoot a low score,'' Olesen said. ''Obviously as the round progressed I kept on thinking birdies and trying to make the round better. Finishing with four birdies was pretty nice.''

    Wallace turned in 34 but then made five birdies in seven holes from the turn to edge a shot past Olesen. He waited as Kaymer and Korhonen went close with rounds of 68 and 67, respectively.

    England's Aaron Rai and Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard finished joint-fifth with rounds of 69.

    Sunghyun Park (left) and Minchel Choi (right). Getty Images

    Choi, Park qualify for Carnoustie from Korean Open

    By Nick MentaJune 24, 2018, 2:54 pm

    Two players - Minchel Choi and Sanghyun Park - qualified for next month's Open Championship at Carnoustie via the Open Qualifying Series on Sunday.

    Choi (69) held off Park (66) to win the Korean Open by two shots.

    This was the Qualifying Series debut for the Korean Open, whiched awarded Open Championship exemptions to the tournament's top two finishers inside the top eight and ties who were not already qualified.

    Choi, the 532nd-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking, punched his ticket in his first professional win.

    Park, the 146th in the world, is a six-time Korean Tour champion who has already won twice this season. 

    Both players will be making their first ever major starts.

    “I am absolutely honored to be playing in The Open and I wanted to win this championship to give me [that] opportunity," Choi said. "I cannot believe that I have won today. I am so happy and excited."

    “It is a great honor to have qualified for The Open and make my first appearance in the championship," Park added. "I’ve watched The Open on television every single year and I can’t really believe that I have qualified, it is amazing."

    The Open Qualifying Series continues next week at the Open de France, where as many as three exemptions will be awarded to the three leading players inside the top 10 and ties who are not already qualified.

    The 147th Open will be held at Carnoustie from July 19-22.

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    Minjee Lee co-leads Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 12:25 am

    ROGERS, Ark. - Minjee Lee wasn't all that concerned when she missed her first cut of the year this month at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

    The ninth-ranked Australian has certainly looked at ease and back in form at Pinnacle Country Club in her first event since then.

    Lee and Japan's Nasa Hataoka each shot 6-under 65 on Saturday to share the second-round lead in the NW Arkansas Championship 13-under 129. Lee is chasing her fifth victory since turning pro three years ago. It's also an opportunity to put any lingering frustration over that missed cut two weeks ago behind her for good.

    ''I didn't particularly hit it bad, even though I missed the cut at ShopRite, I just didn't really hole any putts,'' Lee said. ''I'd been hitting it pretty solid going into that tournament and even into this tournament, too. Just to see a couple putts roll in has been nice.''

    The 22-year-old Lee needed only 24 putts during her opening 64 on Friday, helping her to match the low round of her career. Despite needing 28 putts Saturday, she still briefly took the outright lead after reaching as low as 14 under after a birdie on the par-5 seventh.

    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship

    Lee missed the green on the par-4 ninth soon thereafter to lead to her only bogey of the day and a tie with the 19-year-old Hataoka, who is in pursuit of her first career win.

    Hataoka birdied six of eight holes midway through her bogey-free round on Saturday. It was yet another stellar performance from the Japanese teenager, who has finished in the top 10 in four of her last five tournaments and will be a part of Sunday's final pairing.

    ''I try to make birdies and try to be under par, that's really the key for me to get a top ten,'' Hataoka said. ''Golf is just trying to be in the top 10 every single week, so that's the key.''

    Third-ranked Lexi Thompson matched the low round of the day with a 64 to get to 11 under. She hit 17 of 18 fairways and shot a 5-under 30 on her opening nine, The American is in search of her first win since September in the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

    Ariya Jutanugarn and Celine Boutier were 10 under.

    First-round leader Gaby Lopez followed her opening 63 with a 75 to drop to 4 under. Fellow former Arkansas star Stacy Lewis also was 4 under after a 72.