Q-School Medalist Leads Nissan

By Sports NetworkFebruary 17, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Nissan OpenPACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. -- England's Brian Davis, the medalist at last year's Q-School, posted a 6-under-par 65 on Thursday to take the first-round lead of the Nissan Open.
 
Davis' countryman Luke Donald shared the lead until a bogey at his last. He carded a 5-under 66 and is tied for second place with Darren Clarke, who aced the par-3 sixth, and Brett Quigley.
 
Tiger Woods put himself in good position to reclaim the top spot in the world ranking. If Woods finishes better than a solo fourth place, he would overtake Vijay Singh for first in the rankings.
 
Woods shot a 4-under 67 and is tied for fifth place, but he could have played much better. He tallied three three-putts and missed a pair of birdie putts from inside 10 feet.
 
'I played like a fool today,' said Woods. 'I putted terrible. It's an absolutely horrific day on the greens. I'm pleased with the way I hit the ball, but disappointed with the way I putted today.'
 
This marked Woods' best start at this event, which is the only one Woods has played at least four times and never won.
 
The weather played havoc on Riviera and the tournament Thursday. Wind changed several times for the players in the morning tee times before a steady rain pelted the course.
 
Davis had the final tee time of the morning group and did not seem affected by the weather. At the par-5 first hole, Davis hit a driver, then knocked a 4-iron to 4 feet. He sank the eagle putt, then played solidly around the turn.
 
At the sixth, Davis converted a 5-footer for birdie, then made it two in a row with an 11-footer at No. 7. Davis parred the eighth hole, but tapped in a short birdie putt at the ninth to make the turn at 5-under 30.
 
'I got the ball rolling straight away,' said Davis. 'I made it close a few times. I made some good putts.'
 
Davis started strong on the back nine by running home a 9-footer for birdie at the 10th. Then the wind shifted and was into his face on the second nine, but Davis remained steady.
 
He parred every hole, but looked to be in trouble at the 15th, when Davis was looking at a bogey. The Englishman holed a clutch 16-footer for par, then parred out to get the 18-hole lead for the first time in his career, including his time on the European Tour.
 
'The back nine played really tough,' admitted Davis. 'I made a key par putt with four holes to go to keep my momentum going. It played tough coming in and the rain started, so I was obviously pleased to get in at 6 under par.'
 
Donald soared to the top of the leaderboard with a birdie at his opening hole, the 10th at Riviera, and some spectacular golf around the turn. He collected three birdies in a four-hole span from the 17th, then looked like he was going to take sole possession of the lead.
 
He sank two long birdie putts at four and five, then hit his tee ball inside 2 feet to set up birdie at the sixth and join Davis at minus-6. Donald's drive at nine landed in a divot and his approach found sand. He made bogey to fall into a tie for second.
 
'You've got to take the good with the bad,' said Donald. 'The rain wasn't coming down too hard and it didn't feel like it played that difficult out there.'
 
Clarke was 3 under on his round thanks to four birdies and one bogey. Then he came to the 199-yard, par-3 sixth. He hit a 7-iron that pitched over the flag and watched as it trickled back into the hole for the only ace on Thursday.
 
'A little bit of skill and a lot of luck,' said Clarke, referring to his hole-in-one.
 
Quigley birdied his first four holes then added three more birdies and two bogeys for his 66.
 
Two-time defending champion Mike Weir is part of the group tied with Woods in fifth place. Jose Coceres, Adam Scott, Kevin Sutherland, Omar Uresti and James Driscoll are knotted with Woods and Weir two shots out of the lead.
 
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    Stricker shares first-round lead in South Dakota

    By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2018, 12:48 am

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Steve Stricker shot a 7-under 63 on Friday to share the first-round lead at the Sanford International.

    The 51-year-old Stricker was 8 under through 17 holes at chilly, rain-softened Minnehaha Country Club but closed with a bogey to fall into a tie with Jerry Smith, Brandt Jobe and David McKenzie.

    Stricker only got to play seven holes in the pro-am because of rain that prevented the field from getting in much practice.

    ''You've just kind of got to trust your yardage book and hit to the spots and then try to make a good game plan on the way into the green, too, not really knowing where to hit it or where to miss it up there on the green. Sometimes it's good, too,'' Stricker said. ''You go around and you're focused a lot more on hitting it to a specific spot and not knowing what lies ahead in the course. So I guess today was the ultimate 'Take one hole at a time' because we didn't really know anything else, what was coming.''


    Full-field scores from the Sanford International


    Stricker has two wins and has not finished worse than fifth in six starts this season on the over-50 tour as he continues to play a part-time schedule on the PGA Tour. Next week, he will be one of U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk's assistants at the matches outside Paris.

    McKenzie, a 51-year-old Australian, had two eagles on the back nine, holing a wedge from 116 yards on the par-5 16th.

    ''We got told ... to play faster on No. 16, and so my caddie just said, 'Hit it in the hole so you don't have to putt it,' so I just did what he told me,'' McKenzie said.

    Smith had eagles on Nos. 4 and 12.

    ''Honestly, I was just trying to hit some good shots and I really wasn't with the irons,'' Smith said. ''I just really didn't like the way I hit them today. You know, just the putter was the big difference for me. I just felt good with it all day, especially say outside of 10, 15 feet, where I felt like I was a lot.''

    Scott McCarron, Lee Janzen and Paul Goydos were one shot back. McCarron came in second in the Charles Schwab Cup money standings behind Miguel Angel Jimenez, who is not playing this week.

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    Glover (64) leads Web.com Tour Championship

    By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2018, 12:12 am

    ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover shot his second consecutive 7-under 64 on Friday to take a one-shot lead at the Web.com Tour Championship.

    The 38-year-old Glover, who won the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, can still regain his PGA Tour card through a medical extension if he fails to earn enough money in the four-tournament Web.com Tour Finals. But a high finish this weekend at Atlantic Beach Country Club would take care of everything.

    ''I've got a lot to fall back on regardless of this week, but any time I tee it up, I want to play well,'' Glover said. ''Tomorrow won't be any different. Sunday won't be any different.''

    Glover had arthroscopic knee surgery in June and will have eight starts to earn 53 FedEx Cup points and keep his card. He earned $17,212 in the first three Web.com Tour Finals events. The top 25 money winners in the series earn PGA Tour cards, and the final card went for $40,625 last year.

    Glover was at 14-under 128. Denny McCarthy, who has already earned enough money to secure a return to the PGA Tour, was one shot back. McCarthy, a former Virginia player, has a shot at winning the Finals money list, which would guarantee him fully exempt status and entry into The Players Championship.


    Full-field scores from the Web.com Tour Championship


    ''There's no secret about it. I'll come out and tell you I'm here to win this tournament and get that No. 1 spot,'' McCarthy said. ''I've been hungry for a while. I have a pretty hungry attitude and I'm going to stay hungry.''

    Tour veteran Cameron Tringale, who has earned just $2,660 after missing two of the first three cuts, was 12 under after a 67. Last year, Tringale entered the Web.com Tour Championship at 63rd on the Finals money list and finished tied for fifth to get back onto the PGA Tour. He struggled again this season, though, missing 19 cuts in 26 starts.

    ''Yeah, I was hoping last year was my last time here, but I do have a comfort at this golf course and I'm excited to keep pressing,'' Tringale said.

    The four-tournament series features the top 75 players from the Web.com regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, and non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200. The top 25 finishers on the Web.com regular-season money list are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals.

    Sepp Straka and Ben Silverman were three shots back. Each would likely need a top-5 finish to earn his card.

    Peter Malnati, who regained his card with a second-place finish in the opening finals event, followed his opening-round 74 with a 9-under 62, shooting an 8-under 27 on his second nine.

    Four-time PGA Tour winner Aaron Baddeley was among those who missed the cut. He was 22nd on the finals money list going in and likely will fall short of earning his card.

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    Thomas (69) only three back with 'C' or 'D' game

    By Rex HoggardSeptember 21, 2018, 11:56 pm

    ATLANTA – Justin Thomas was tied for fourth place following his second-round 69 on Friday at the Tour Championship, which considering the state of his game on Day 2 was an accomplishment.

    “I wish I had my 'B' game today. I would say I had my 'C' or 'D' game today,” he laughed.

    Thomas’ struggles were primarily with his driver and he hit just 6 of 14 fairways at East Lake, but he was able to scramble late in his round with birdies at Nos. 15 and 18 to remain three off the lead.


    Projected FedExCup standings

    Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

    Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “I drove it so poorly today, this is probably in my top 5 rounds of the year I'm most proud of just because I easily could have shot 4- or 5-over par today and not had a chance to win the tournament,” he said. “I hung in there and birdied two of the last four, and I have a chance.”

    Thomas was slowed the last two weeks by a right wrist injury that limited his preparation for the finale and said the issue with his driver is timing and the byproduct of a lack of practice.

    Thomas made up for his erratic driving with his short game, getting up and down four out of seven times including on the fourth hole when he missed the fairway well left, punched out short of the green and chipped in from 81 feet.

    “[Rory McIlroy] just kind of said it looked like a ‘3’ the whole day and I kind of laughed because I played with him at The Players and I chipped in three times that first round with him, so I guess he's good luck for me,” Thomas said.

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    McIlroy two behind Woods, Rose after 68

    By Rex HoggardSeptember 21, 2018, 11:46 pm

    ATLANTA – Maybe it should be no huge surprise that Rory McIlroy finds himself back in contention at the Tour Championship. It is, after all, a Ryder Cup year.

    In 2016, McIlroy won the finale before heading to Hazeltine and posting a 3-2-0 record. In ’14, he finished runner-up to Billy Horschel and went 2-1-2 at the Ryder Cup; and in ’12 he finished tied for 10th place at East Lake and went 3-2-0 at Medinah.

    “I was on such a high a couple of years ago going into Hazeltine after winning the whole thing, and I felt great about my game that week and played well. I won three matches,” McIlroy said. “I guess it doesn't matter whether it's a match play event or whatever. If you're playing well and you've played well the week before, I think most people can carry it into the next week, whatever that is.”


    Projected FedExCup standings

    Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

    Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    McIlroy’s performance this week certainly qualifies as “playing well.” He charged out on Friday with birdies at two of his first three holes and bounced back from a pair of late bogeys to shoot a 68 and was in third place and two strokes off the lead held by Tiger Woods and Justin Rose.

    “I've made 12 birdies in 36 holes, which is really good around here, and that's with not birdieing either of the par 5s today,” he said. “So yeah, just tidy up the mistakes a little bit.”