Irwin Takes Sole Possession of Lead

By Sports NetworkJanuary 29, 2005, 5:00 pm
KAHUKU, Hawaii -- Four-time defending champion Hale Irwin fired a 6-under 66 Saturday to take a two-shot lead after two rounds of the Turtle Bay Championship. Irwin completed two rounds at 11-under-par 133.
 
Allen Doyle, who shared the first-round lead with Irwin, Keith Fergus and Gil Morgan, posted a 4-under 68 and stands alone in second place at 9-under-par 135.
 
Morgan and Fergus carded rounds of 69 and share third place with MasterCard Championship winner Dana Quigley (68).
 
Irwin won this tournament four straight years from 2000-03, while the event was not played in 2004 as it shifted from a late-fall event to an early season event.
 
Irwin got his second round going by getting up-and-down for birdie at the par-5 third. The Champions Tour's all-time wins leader dropped in a birdie putt from 12 feet out at the par-4 seventh.
 
He came right back to convert a 14-footer for birdie at the eighth to move to minus-8 on the Palmer Course at Turtle Bay Resort.
 
The 59-year-old Irwin collected his fourth birdie of the day at the par-3 13th when he holed out from a greenside bunker. He came right back with a 6-foot birdie putt at the 14th to get to 10 under.
 
Irwin parred three straight holes before two-putting for birdie at the last.
 
'I putted better today, but didn't play as well tee to green,' Irwin said. 'I'm trying not to consider the possibility of winning tomorrow for the fifth straight time.
 
'I seemed to play a little better on the tougher holes today. I want to make it where the guys have to beat me in the final round. I don't want to back up.'
 
If Irwin holds on for his 41st Champions Tour win, it would mark the first time in PGA Tour or Champions Tour history that a player has won the same event five straight times. It would also be his 100th top-three finish on the elder circuit.
 
Doyle, the 1999 runner-up here, got off to a hot start with a birdie at the first. However, he faltered to a bogey at the par-4 fifth.
 
The 56-year-old drained a birdie at the ninth to get back to 6 under. Doyle then converted consecutive birdies from the par-4 11th. After four pars, he birdied the 17th to take hold of second place.
 
Don Pooley (67) and Larry Nelson (68) share sixth place at seven-under-par 137. Jerry Pate, Don Reese, Tom McKnight, Dick Mast and Wayne Levi are one stroke-further back at minus-six.
 
Jay Sigel, the 1998 champion, heads a group of 11 players at 5-under-par 139. Bruce Fleisher, who won in 1999 and is the last player to win this event before Irwin's dominant run, stands nine shots back at minus-2.
 
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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: