Morgan Out Front Early at Toshiba

By Sports NetworkMarch 18, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Toshiba Senior ClassicNEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Gil Morgan posted a 6-under-par 65 Friday to take the lead after the first round of the Toshiba Senior Classic. Morgan is one stroke ahead of Tom Jenkins and Wayne Levi.
 
Allen Doyle, the 2000 champion of this event paced a group of players in fourth place at 4-under-par 67. He was joined there by Brad Bryant, J.C. Snead, Keith Fergus, Morris Hatalsky, Mark Johnson, Bruce Lietzke, Mark McNulty and Lonnie Nielsen.
 
Morgan, who finished second at this event in 2001, got his round going with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 third. He came back to make a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-4 sixth at Newport Beach Country Club.
 
The 58-year-old made it two straight as his 25-foot birdie putt at the seventh found the bottom of the cup. Morgan ran off six straight pars around the turn. He moved to 4 under for his round when he birdied the par-4 14th.
 
Morgan then eagled the par-5 15th from 49 feet out to climb to minus-6. He parred his final three holes to hold at least a share of the first-round lead for the 28th time in his career.
 
'I didn't play well last week so I was a little apprehensive coming in here this week,' Morgan said. 'Not making any bogies is critical to shooting low. All in all, I played consistent.'
 
Levi picked up two quick birdies at the first and third. However, he gave those strokes back as he bogeyed the sixth and eighth. The 53-year-old dropped in back-to-back birdies from the ninth to get to minus-2.
 
After four straight pars, Levi birdied the par-5 15th. The two-time winner on the Champions Tour eagled the par-5 closing hole to share second place. Levi has now posted nine straight sub-par rounds at this tournament.
 
Jenkins got off to fast start with birdies at one and three. He tripped to a bogey at the sixth when he couldn't get up and down, but got that stroke back with a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 8.
 
On the back side, Jenkins got to 3 under with a 20-foot birdie at the 11th. He moved into a tie for second with birdies at 15 and 17.
 
'First hole kind of set up the round,' said Jenkins. 'I drove it well and had good feel on the greens. It is difficult to get it up and down if you start missing greens.'
 
Tom Purtzer, the defending champion, leads a group of eight players at 3-under-par 68. He was joined there by Jim Ahern, Ben Crenshaw, SBC Classic winner Des Smyth, Dave Eichelberger, Bruce Summerhays, Vicente Fernandez and Hale Irwin, who has already won twice this season.
 
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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.


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    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.

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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: