Wagner Leads Soggy Gila River

By Sports NetworkOctober 9, 2003, 4:00 pm
CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Johnson Wagner fired an 8-under-par 64 Thursday before rain forced the suspension of the first round of the Gila River Golf Classic. Wagner owns a one-stroke lead over Tripp Isenhour and Ben Bates.
 
Play was suspended at 8:15 PM ET when a thunderstorm rolled into the area. There were 33 players remaining on the course when play was halted. Those players will return to the course at 10:00 AM to complete their rounds, with the second round beginning as scheduled at 9:45 AM.
 
Ken Duke, John Elliott and Jeff Gove share this place after each posting rounds of 6-under-par 66.
 
Wagner began his round on the Cattail Course at Whirlwind Golf Club by sinking a 15-foot birdie putt at the 10th. He two-putted for birdie on the par-5 12th and followed by dropping a sand-wedge within 12 feet to set up birdie on No. 13.
 
He made it three in a row when he rolled in a 30-foot birdie try at the 14th to move to 4 under. Wagner stumbled to a three-putt bogey at the 16th but came right back to birdie the next hole.
 
On the front side, Wagner converted a seven-footer for birdie on the first to get to 5 under. He stuck an 8-iron within eight feet for birdie at the third before dropping his second shot within two feet of the cup for birdie at the fifth.
 
Wagner capped his stellar round by making a six-footer for birdie at the seventh.
 
'This is the first round all year that I've had where I putted well,' said Wagner, whose best finish this year is an 11th place showing at the Chattanooga Classic. 'I love these greens. They are perfect.'
 
Bates also began on the back nine where he two-putted for birdie on the 12th to open his round. He later two-putted the par-5 17th and followed with another birdie on the 18th.
 
On the front side, he got up-and-down for birdie on the par-5 second before bogeying the par-4 fourth. He drained back-to-back six-foot birdie putts on Nos. 6 and 7 to move to 5 under.
 
Bates made it three in a row by sinking a five-footer on the eighth and closed out his round by draining a 20-foot birdie putt on the ninth for a share of second place.
 
'I really did everything good today. I drove it well all day,' said Bates. 'You've got to play this course from the fairway, if you hit it in the rough then you've got issues.'
 
Isenhour had a slow start to his round. Other than his eight-foot birdie putt on the second, he parred nine of his first 10 holes. He got rolling with a six-foot birdie putt in No. 11.
 
He followed that with a two-putt birdie putt on the 12th. He rolled in a 25-foot birdie try on the 14th to get to minus-4.
 
Isenhour, the 2003 winner at the Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs, followed with a hole-in-one at the 15th when he drained a 9-iron from the tee at the 149-yard hole. He tied for second when he sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the 17th.
 
Lucas Glover and Tjaart van der Walt head a group of players at 5-under-par 67. That duo is joined by James Oh, Scott Sterling, Brad Fabel, Bob Heintz, Kevin Johnson, Brian Wilson and Guy Boros at minus-5.
 
Related Links:
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    Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 12:55 pm

    NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

    Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

    1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch.


    Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

    Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

    1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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    Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.

    Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.

    “We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.

    Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.

    “It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”

    It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.

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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

    Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.


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    McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

    McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

    But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

    Said Harmon:

    “Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

    “This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

    McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

    “Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

    McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.