Three Share Nwide Lead in Cali

By Sports NetworkOctober 5, 2007, 4:00 pm
Nationwide TourRANCHO CUCAMONGA, California -- Canadians Jon Mills and Chris Baryla were joined atop the leaderboard by Jeff Wood Friday after two rounds of the Mark Christopher Charity Classic.
Mills posted a 68, while Baryla fired a 65. Wood, in one of the latest groups out on Friday, carded a 4-under 67 to join the Canadians at 9-under-par 133.
Keoke Cotner shot a 2-under 69 in round two and is tied for fourth place while Brenden Pappas managed a one-under 71. The pair is knotted at minus-7.
Mills, fifth on the Nationwide Tour money list and all but assured of a PGA TOUR card next year, started poorly on Friday. He missed a 7-foot par save at the first, but made up that stroke with a 5-foot birdie putt at No. 2.
Mills sank a 25-foot birdie putt at the fourth and two-putted for birdie at five to reach eight-under par for the tournament. He then rattled off 10 straight pars, which was fine as the wind picked up at Empire Lakes Golf Course.
At the 381-yard, par-4 16th, Mills hit a 3-iron off the tee. His 60-degree wedge approach stopped 3 feet from the hole and he tapped in for his share of first.
'Trying to finish first on the money list keeps me focused,' said Mills, who won his last start in Boise. 'I'm trying to get as high as I can so I can get more starts next year.'
Baryla had a much more up-and-down round than his fellow countryman. He began on the back nine and rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at the 11th. Baryla drained another long birdie putt at the 13th, but left a shot in the bunker en route to a bogey at 14.
Baryla closed his first nine birdie-bogey-birdie to make the turn at 2-under 34. He wedged his approach to 10 feet for a birdie at one, but once again made a mistake to stall his momentum. Baryla hit an eight-iron over the green at two and made bogey.
A strong wedge game vaulted Baryla into the lead. At three, his pitching wedge second stopped 3 feet from the stick for an easy birdie, then one hole later, it was a sand-wedge that set up a 6-foot birdie putt. Baryla two- putted for birdie at five and parred out for his piece of the lead.
'I kept it in play most of the day,' said Baryla. 'I live in El Paso so I'm used to the wind. I lived in Canada, so I'm used to the cold. You can't press to try to make too many birdies.'
Wood bogeyed the first, but rebounded with a birdie at two. He added three more birdies on the front nine to get to minus-8 for the championship.
Wood tied for the lead with a birdie at 12, but lost it right away with a bogey at the 13th. He holed a 30-foot birdie putt at the 16th to stay in a share of first place.
Jason Allred (68), Bob Burns (66) and Jeremy Anderson (68) are knotted in sixth place at minus-6.
Overnight leader Chris Anderson struggled to a 2-over 73 on Friday. He is tied for ninth place with Richard Johnson (72) and Camilo Benedetti (66) at 5-under 137.
The 36-hole cut fell at 1-over 143 and tour money leader Roland Thatcher missed the mark by eight shots.

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Watch: You have to see this golf swing to believe it

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 23, 2018, 3:29 pm

    Ho-sung Choi is a 44-year-old South Korean touring pro who plays primarily on the Japan Golf Tour. This week he's competing in the Asian Tour's Kolon Korea Open, where he is in second place, two shots off the lead, after three rounds. This is especially significant because the Korea Open is an Open Qualiffying event, meaning he could qualify for this year's Open Championship.

    That, however, is not why we're writing about Mr. Choi. The video above is why:

    We're with Charlie here: We can't wait for Brandel's take on this swing.

    Getty Images

    Lopez fires flawless 63 for lead in Arkansas

    By Associated PressJune 23, 2018, 12:41 am

    ROGERS, Ark. – Since its first year on the LPGA Tour in 2007, the crowds at the NW Arkansas Championship have belonged to Stacy Lewis.

    Another former University of Arkansas star staked her claim as the hometown favorite Friday when Gaby Lopez shot a career-low 8-under 63 to take the first-round lead at Pinnacle Country Club.

    Like Lewis, the two-time winner of the tournament, Lopez starred as a three-time All-American for the Razorbacks before joining the LPGA Tour in 2016. Despite flashes of potential, Lopez had yet to join Lewis among the ranks of the world's best - missing the cut in her last two tournaments and entering this week ranked 136th in the world.

    For a day, at least, the Mexican standout felt right at home atop the leaderboard in her adopted home state.

    ''I feel like home,'' Lopez said. ''I feel so, so comfortable out here, because I feel that everyone and every single person out here is just rooting for us.''

    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship

    Moriya Jutanugarn was a stroke back along with Minjee Lee, Catriona Matthew, Nasa Hataoka, Lizette Salas, Mirim Lee and Aditi Ashok. Six others finished at 6 under on a day when only 26 of the 144 players finished over par, thanks to some mid-week rain that softened the greens and calm skies throughout the day.

    Jutanugarn finished second at the tournament last year and is trying to win for the second time on the LPGA Tour this year. Her younger sister, Ariya, is already a two-time winner this year and shot an opening-round 66.

    Lewis, the former world No. 1 who won the event in 2007 in 2014, finished with a 66. She's expecting her first child in early November

    Defending champion So Yeon Ryu, coming off a victory Sunday in Michigan, shot a 67.

    Friday was Lopez's long-awaited day to standout, though, much to the delight of the pro-Arkansas crowd.

    After missing the cut her last two times out, Lopez took some time off and returned home to Mexico City to rest her mind and work on her game. The work paid off with two straight birdies to open her round and a 6-under 30 on her front nine.

    Lopez needed only 25 putts and finished two shots off the course record of 61, and she overcame a poor drive on the par-5 18th to finish with a par and keep her place at the top of the leaderboard. Her previous low score was a 64 last year, and she matched her career best by finishing at 8 under.

    ''(Rest) is a key that no one really truly understands until you're out here,'' Lopez said. ''... Sometimes resting is actually the part you've got to work on.''

    Getty Images

    Harman rides hot putter to Travelers lead

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 12:28 am

    CROMWELL, Conn. – There are plenty of big names gathered for the Travelers Championship, and through two rounds they’re all chasing Brian Harman.

    Harman opened with a 6-under 64, then carded a 66 during Friday’s morning wave to become the only player to finish the first two rounds in double digits under par. The southpaw is currently riding a hot putter, leading the field in strokes gained: putting while rolling in 12 birdies and an eagle through his first 36 holes.

    “Putted great today,” said Harman, who ranks 22nd on Tour this season in putting. “Got out of position a couple of times, but I was able to get myself good looks at it. I started hitting the ball really well coming down the stretch and made a few birdies.”

    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Harman, 31, has won twice on the PGA Tour, most recently at last year’s Wells Fargo Championship. While he doesn’t have a win this year, he started his season in the fall by reeling off five straight finishes of T-8 or better to quickly install himself as one of the leaders in the season-long points race.

    Now topping a leaderboard that includes the likes of Jason Day, Bubba Watson and Rory McIlroy, he realizes that he’ll have his work cut out for him if he’s going to leave Connecticut with trophy No. 3.

    “The putter has been really good so far, but I’ve been in position a lot. I’ve had a lot of good looks at it,” Harman said. “I’m just able to put a little pressure on the course right now, which is nice.”

    Getty Images

    10-second rule costs Zach Johnson a stroke

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 12:06 am

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Zach Johnson heads into the weekend one shot back at the Travelers Championship, but he was a matter of seconds away from being tied for the lead.

    Johnson had an 18-foot birdie putt on No. 3 at TPC River Highlands, his 12th hole of the day, but left the ball hanging on the lip. As Johnson walked up to tap the ball in, it oscillated on the edge and eventually fell in without being hit.

    Was it a birdie, or a par?

    According to the Rules of Golf, and much to Johnson’s chagrin, the answer was a par. Players are afforded “reasonable” time to walk to the hole, and after that they are allowed to wait for 10 seconds to see if the ball drops of its own accord. After that, it either becomes holed by a player’s stroke, or falls in and leads to a one-shot penalty, resulting in the same score as if the player had hit it.

    According to Mark Russell, PGA Tour vice president of rules and competitions, Johnson’s wait time until the ball fell in was between 16 and 18 seconds.

    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    “Once he putts the ball, he’s got a reasonable amount of time to reach the hole,” Russell said. “Then once he reaches the hole, he’s got 10 seconds. After 10 seconds, the ball is deemed to be at rest.”

    Johnson tried to emphasize the fact that the ball was oscillating as he stood over it, and even asked rules officials if marking his ball on the edge of the hole would have yielded a “bonus 10 seconds.” But after signing for a 2-under 68 that brought him within a shot of leader Brian Harman, the veteran took the ruling in stride.

    “The 10-second rule has always been there. Vague to some degree,” Johnson said. “The bottom line is I went to tap it in after 10 seconds and the ball was moving. At that point, even if the ball is moving, it’s deemed to be at rest because it’s on the lip. Don’t ask me why, but that’s just the way it is.”

    While Johnson brushed off any thoughts of the golf gods conspiring against him on the lip, he was beaming with pride about an unconventional par he made on No. 17 en route to a bogey-free round. Johnson sailed his tee shot well right into the water, but after consulting his options he decided to drop on the far side of the hazard near the 16th tee box.

    His subsequent approach from 234 yards rolled to within 8 feet, and he calmly drained the putt for an unexpected save.

    “I got a great lie. Just opened up a 4-hybrid, and it started over the grandstands and drew in there,” Johnson said. “That’s as good of an up-and-down as I’ve witnessed, or performed.”