Green Grabs Top Spot Els Still Seven Back

By Sports NetworkMarch 11, 2005, 5:00 pm
DOHA, Qatar -- Australia's Richard Green posted a 4-under 68 on Friday to take the second-round lead of the Qatar Masters. He stands at 9-under-par 135 and has a one-shot advantage over first-round leader Pierre Fulke and Robert Karlsson.
 
Fulke shot a 2-under 70 on Friday, while Karlsson carded a 5-under 67. The duo is knotted at 8-under-par 136 at Doha Golf Club. Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant fashioned a round of 4-under 68 and is alone in fourth place at minus-7.
 
Ernie Els, who won last week's Dubai Desert Classic, rebounded from his 1-over 73 on Thursday. In the second round, the third-ranked golfer in the world shot a 3-under 69 and finished 36 holes at 2-under-par 142.
 
Els has certainly had trouble in his first visit to Doha Golf Club.
 
'I can't really put my finger on it here,' said Els. 'A lot of times, you hit what you think is a good shot and it finishes nowhere. I hit a lot of good shots, but the ball scatters away from the hole. At least I played better.'
 
Els will be gunning for Green on the weekend.
 
Green, a lefthander who lost to eventual winner David Toms in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, tallied a pair of birdies at his first two holes.
 
He stumbled on the front nine with back-to-back bogeys from the fifth, but climbed up the leaderboard with his outstanding play early on his second nine.
 
Green birdied three holes in a row from the 10th to reach 8 under par and tie Fulke for the lead. Green got one clear at the 16th as he collected his second birdie in as many rounds, then parred the final two holes for his first 36-hole lead on the European Tour since last year's KLM Open, where he tied for second place behind David Lynn.
 
The 34-year-old Green has only one win on tour, the 1997 Dubai Desert Classic, and would love to win both European Tour stops in the Middle East.
 
'It would be awesome, but there is a long way to go,' admitted Green, who knows that Els is seven back. 'You can never write him off. He's No. 3 in the world and renowned for shooting low scores. I wouldn't mind betting he puts together a 6 under round or something like that. '
 
Fulke, who played on the 2002 Ryder Cup team, birdied his first hole, then dropped shots at two of his last three holes on the front nine. He mixed four birdies and one bogey on the back nine for his 70.
 
Karlsson, who shares the course record of 63 at Doha Golf Club, got nothing going on his front nine. He holed out a bunker shot for par at the eighth, but he vaulted up the board from there.
 
After birdies at the ninth and 10th holes, he then chipped in again, this time for birdie at the par-4 12th. Karlsson finished with birdies at 16 and 17 to get within one of the lead.
 
'I struggled a bit on the front nine, but got it together on the back nine,' said Karlsson.
 
Gregory Havret (67), Raphael Jacquelin (68) and David Park (70) are knotted in fifth place at 6-under-par 138. Arjun Atwal (69), Niclas Fasth (71) and Ricardo Gonzalez (70) are tied for eighth place at minus-5.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 1-over-par 145 and Joakim Haeggman will not be able to successfully defend his title. He shot a 3-over 75 on Friday and missed the cut by one stroke.
 
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    Fowler (oblique) withdraws from playoff opener

    By Will GrayAugust 15, 2018, 8:44 pm

    The injury that slowed Rickie Fowler at last week's PGA Championship will keep him out of the first event of the PGA Tour's postseason.

    Fowler was reportedly hampered by an oblique injury at Bellerive Country Club, where he started the third round two shots off the lead but faded to a tie for 12th. He confirmed the injury Tuesday in an Instagram post, adding that an MRI revealed a partial tear to his right oblique muscle.

    According to Fowler, the injury also affected him at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he tied for 17th. After receiving the test results, he opted to withdraw from The Northern Trust next week at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey.

    "My team and I feel like it's best not to play next week in the Northern Trust," Fowler wrote. "I will be back healthy and competitive ASAP for the FedEx Cup and more than ready for the Ryder Cup!!!"

    Fowler is one of eight players who earned automatic spots on the U.S. Ryder Cup team when the qualifying window closed last week. His next opportunity to tee it up would be at the 100-man Dell Technologies Championship, where Fowler won in 2015.

    Fowler has 12 top-25 finishes in 18 starts, highlighted by runner-up finishes at both the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in the fall and at the Masters. He is currently 17th in the season-long points race, meaning that he's assured of starts in each of the first three playoff events regardless of performance and in good position to qualify for the 30-man Tour Championship for the fourth time in the last five years.

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    Playoff streaks in jeopardy for Garcia, Haas

    By Will GrayAugust 15, 2018, 8:12 pm

    Since the advent of the FedExCup in 2007, only 13 players have managed to make the playoffs each and every year. But two of the PGA Tour's stalwarts head into the regular-season finale with work to do in order to remain a part of that select fraternity.

    Sergio Garcia has rarely had to sweat the top-125 bubble, but the Spaniard enters this week's Wyndham Championship 131st in the current standings. Left with even more work to do is former FedExCup winner Bill Haas, who starts the week in Greensboro 150th.

    Garcia got off to a strong start in the spring, sandwiching a pair of top-10 finishes in WGC events around a fourth-place showing at the Valspar Championship. But quality results largely dried up after Garcia missed the cut at the Masters; he has made only two cuts in 10 Tour starts since April, including early exits in all four majors.


    Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    Garcia has some history at Sedgefield Country Club, having won this event in 2012 to break a lengthy U.S. victory drought. He also finished fourth in 2009 but hasn't played the Donald Ross layout since a T-29 finish as the defending champ in 2013.

    It's been a difficult year for Haas both on and off the course, as the veteran was involved as a passenger in a car accident on the eve of the Genesis Open that killed the driver. He returned to action three weeks later in Tampa, and he tied for seventh at the RBC Heritage in April. But that remains his lone top-10 finish of the season. Haas has missed 11 cuts including three in a row.

    While the bubble will be a fluid target this week at Sedgefield, Garcia likely needs at least a top-20 finish to move into the top 125 while Haas will likely need to finish inside the top 5.

    One of the 13 playoff streaks is assured of ending next week, as Luke Donald has missed most of the year with a back injury. Other players to qualify for every Tour postseason include Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, Charles Howell III, Charley Hoffman and Ryan Moore.

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    Airlines lose two sets of Olesen's clubs in 10 days

    By Grill Room TeamAugust 15, 2018, 7:50 pm

    Commercial airlines losing the golf clubs of a professional golfer is not exactly a groundbreaking story. It happens.

    But European Tour pro Thorbjorn Olesen is on quite the roll, losing two sets of clubs and five suitcases in the span of 10 days.

    Olesen, the reigning Italian Open champ, claimed his primary set of golf clubs were lost last week. Having little faith they'd be found before this week's Nordea Masters, he decided to bring his backup set for the event in Sweden.

    A veteran move by the 28-year-old, unless, of course, those clubs were lost too. And wouldn't you know it:

    After pestering the airlines with some A+ GIFs, Olesen was reunited with at least one of his sets and was back in action on Wednesday.

    He also still plans on giving his golf bag away to some lucky follower, provided it's not lost again in transit. Something he's no longer taking for granted.

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    Podcast: Brandel compares Tiger and Hogan's comebacks

    By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 15, 2018, 6:48 pm

    Tiger Woods on Sunday at Bellerive recorded his seventh runner-up finish in a major and his first in nine years.

    A favorite guest of the Golf Channel Podcast, Brandel Chamblee joins host Will Gray to compare and contrast Tiger's return to competitive golf with that of Ben Hogan and Babe Didrikson Zaharias in the 1950s.

    Chamblee also discusses Brooks Koepka's major dominance, Bellerive as a major venue, Tiger and Phil as Ryder Cup locks, and who else might be in line to receive Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjorn's remaining captain's picks.

    Finally, Brandel shares what it was it was like to qualify for the Senior Open Championship and compete for a major title on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Listen here: