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Benjamin Alvarado held on to win the inaugural Brasil Classic on the Web.com Tour by one stroke due in part to his 2-under-par 34-35=69 in the final round, finishing the week at 19-under 265.

Alvarado was tied for the lead when he stepped onto the par-5 17th tee. He would circle his third birdie of the day at that hole, then par the 18th to claim his first victory on the Web.com Tour. Dawie van der Walt finished alone in second place. It was Alvarado's 12th career start, with the majority of those coming over the last few years in South and Central America. A native of Chile, he kicked off this season with a T4 at the Chile Classic and followed that with a missed cut in Louisiana. Now that he is second on the Web.com Tour money list, we can expect to see plenty of him down the stretch as he looks to nab a 2013-2014 PGA TOUR card.
Sun, Apr 7, 2013 03:14:00 PM

Rory McIlroy's return to action continued to impress Friday; he's bogey-free through 36 holes of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after a second round of 6-under-par 34-32=66 for a halfway total of 9-under 135, T6 and three back of leader Thomas Pieters.

Other than grab the lead it's hard to know what more the 28-year-old could have done on his seasonal entrance. Having made steady progress on the first lap, he made in-roads throughout the early stages of his second, and then he left the course with a statement of intent for the weekend: a 25'0" eagle conversion on the 562-yard par-5 final hole. Unsurprisingly it drew big cheers from the galleries. Prior to that he had ticked four holes in the first 12. There were circled 3s at 9 and 11, but it was the birdie-2s he made at the fourth and 12th which shone. His irons were dialled in as he left himself just 4'0" at the former and half that distance at the latter. "Very satisfying," he said afterwards. "I always struggle to read these greens, the colour of them. I'm hitting good putts and they're sliding by the edges. I feel I deserved that one at the last."
Jan 19 - 8:28 AM

Thomas Pieters holed out from sand with his final shot of the day in round two of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, completing a superb bogey-free 7-under-par 33-32=65 to reach 12-under 132 at the midpoint and secure a two-stroke clubhouse lead over Ross Fisher.

That's some statement by the Belgian and means World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, who has just teed off his second round, has 12 strokes to make up. Pieters could only par his opening hole, the par-5 10th, and also couldn't take advantage of the 562-yard 18th but he sprinkled birdie-3s at 11, 13 and 16 to turn in 33. He made a fast start to his inward nine with gains at 1 and 2 to reach double digits under par before closing with another pair of par breakers, including that walk-off birdie from a greenside bunker at 9. Pieters was runner-up in this event in 2016 and also fourth in 2015 so has shown some great form here previously. Asked about the key to his 65 today, Pieters said: "I think ball-striking. I hit 16 greens today. The conditions are perfect, no wind. It's nice out there. So you need to take advantage of the conditions."
Jan 19 - 3:15 AM

Austin Cook blitzed the Nicklaus Tournament Course in round one of the CareerBuilder Challenge, carding a bogey-free, 9-under 63 to find himself one off the torrid pace set by Jon Rahm.

The PGA TOUR rookie fired out of the gate with four birdies and an eagle over his first seven holes. That included a hole-out birdie from the rough at the par-4 second hole. He slowed his pace, but not by much, adding four more birdies before his day was done. Cook's clean card was all set up by steady driving, splitting all 14 fairways today. After an easy navigation today, Cook will head to the Stadium Course for round two, a course that is playing nearly two strokes harder than the Nick Tourney Course, at the moment. Remarkably, this isn't a career low for Cook as he fired an 8-under 62 during R2 of his victory at this season's RSM Clasic.
Jan 18 - 6:21 PM

Taking on The Stadium Course at PGA WEST in round one of the CareerBuilder Challenge, Nick Watney coasted to a bogey-free, 7-under-par 32-33=65 to put himself in a great position as he preps for the easiest two courses over the next two days.

Making his eighth appearance at this event, Watney was a perfect 5-for-5 with all top 35s before the course rotation changed in 2016. After back-to-back missed cuts, he appears to have these courses figured out now. Taking on the toughest test (Stadium Course), Watney kept a clean card while circling seven birdies at the Pete Dye design. A hot putter was the biggest asset today, rolling in six putts from the 8-to-13 foot range. Watney also holed out from 41'6" for birdie at the par-4 14th hole. Still trying to regain form after his 2016 injury, the California native is one to watch closely to see if he can piece together three more good rounds.
Jan 18 - 6:01 PM

Andrew Landry cruised through La Quinta Country Club in round one of the CareerBuilder Challenge, styling a bogey-free, 9-under-par 34-29=63 to vault himself inside the top 5 on the early leaderboard.

Playing his second full season on the PGA TOUR, Landry is looking to cash in on some course knowledge. His first time at the CareerBuilder (2016) he posted rounds of 70-69-70 to miss the cut. Today was much different as he circled eight birdies and also added a bonus, hole-out eagle at the par-4 14th. La Quinta CC was playing very easy today (-3.49 RTP at the moment) but so was the Nicklaus Tournament Course (-3.32 RTP) which is where Landry will tee it up on Friday. The 30-year-old has an up-and-down season going with a pair of top 10s in six starts, but all other four landing outside the top 55. After this opening round, he could be eyeing down a third top 10 by week's end.
Jan 18 - 5:16 PM

Odds-favorite Jon Rahm fired out of the gate with a bogey-free, 10-under-par 30-32=62 while playing at La Quinta Country Club during round one of the CareerBuilder Challenge, good for the early clubhouse lead with play still in progress.

Rahm finished T34 here last year in his debut, failing to take advantage of the par 5s. That was not the case today as he converted on an eagle from inside 10 feet on the first par 5 he looked at, then circled birdies on the remaining three par 5s. With calm conditions in Palm Springs, this was about as easy as it gets out here on the PGA TOUR. Rahm splattered 15 greens in regulation today and will head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course on Friday. If this lead holds by day's end it will be the Spaniard's third career first-round lead or co-lead. He's gone on to finish T3 in both of those previous FRLs (2016 National, 2017 WGC-Mexico).
Jan 18 - 5:01 PM

Making his first start at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Japan's Hideto Tanihara fired a bogey-free 6-under-par 32-34=66 to take a share of the first-round lead with defending champion Tommy Fleetwood.

Fleetwood had held the lead after the morning session at Abu Dhabi GC but Tanihara came in late in the day to match the Englishman's 66. On a truly international leaderoard, the pair lead by a shot from Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti, Belgian Thomas Pieters, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, England's Ross Fisher and Aussie Sam Brazel. Like Fleetwood, World No. 71 Tanihara played in last week's EurAsia Cup so perhaps had some added sharpness. He certainly showed that in round one with a pair of opening birdies at 12 and 13 along with two more at 15 and 17 to turn in 32. He added another par breaker at the par-5 2nd hole and a walk-off circle at the 9th gave him a share of top spot. "Didn't hit fairways so much but I'm thinking more about playing smart golf and making good putts," said Tanihara later.
Jan 18 - 8:52 AM

Tommy Fleetwood's defense of his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship title began in suitable style Thursday; he landed 18 greens in regulation on his way to grabbing the early clubhouse lead on 6-under-par 33-33=66 at Abu Dhabi GC. UPDATE: Fleetwood finished R1 tied for the lead with Hideto Tanihara and a shot clear of five others.

Twelve months ago the Englishman found 66 of 72 putting surfaces in standard shots and he showed no sign of having lost that handy knack in round one. He opened and closed his first nine (the back) with birdie-4s at 10 and 18, posting birdie-3 at 13 in-between. On the front nine he completed the full set of long hole par breakers (at 2 and 8), with a further tick at the sixth. "I did what you need to do well on this course," he said. "Drove it well, hit good irons, don't be too greedy. Very stress-free for me. The rough is actually thick in places. It will catch you out." It is as if Fleetwood has discovered some magic formula on the Pete Harradine design. Through his first five visits he missed four cuts and broke par just twice in 12 circuits. In his last five rounds he has only once needed more than 67 swings and has never been outside the top six at the end of a round, something which is unlikely to change by day's end.
Jan 18 - 4:05 AM

Rory McIlroy's return from rest and recuperation was a smart one; he cruised to a bogey-free first round of 36-33=69 in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, three swings back of his playing partner, the defending champion and early pacesetter Tommy Fleetwood. UPDATE McIlroy ended R1 in T17, still just three back.

The Northern Irishman's fondness for Abu Dhabi GC has never been a cause for argument (he has finished T3 or better in six of his last seven appearances), but when a world class performer needs to take three months out of the game to soothe his body and mind then questions are inevitable. One shot is not nearly enough evidence, but as a starter a 320-yard biff down his first (the 10th) fairway was a good signal. One round won't answer all the questions either, but this was a fine beginning. The back (his first) nine was Faldo-like; nine pars. On the front nine he made his move at the third, dropping a 12'0" birdie opportunity. At the par-3 seventh his approach left him with no more than 3'0" for the red number and he took it. A birdie-4 followed at No. 8. "I stayed patient," he said. "I missed only one green. Gave myself a lot of chances. Could have been better, but I'm not that far away."
Jan 18 - 3:56 AM

Brandon Hagy has withdrawn ahead of this week's CareerBuilder Challenge, citing a wrist injury. Rick Lamb will take his place in the field.

The Cal-Berkeley product was a pre-tournament WD ahead of the Safeway Open but he returned to post a T18 at the Sanderson Farms Championship. After that, he went T41 and MC at the Shriners and OHL Classic. Gamers should continue to monitor the status of this injury, but he was a pre-tournament commitment so this likely isn't too serious. Hagy will likely be gutted to miss his second California event of the early season. He remains one of the top names to watch in terms of golfers that are ready to find the winner's circle.
Jan 17 - 7:33 PM

World No. 3 Jon Rahm is in La Quinta, California, for the CareerBuilder Challenge and kicks off on La Quinta CC at 8:40 am PST in Round 1, paired with Bubba Watson.

The 23-year-old is the top-ranked player in OWGR -- next-highest is No. 20 Brian Harman -- and the pre-tourney fave outright (8/1). This is his second CBC after T34 last year on 9-under 279 (71-66-70-72). The Arizona State alum owns one TOUR win in 37 career events (32 pro) and defends that title at next week's Farmers in La Jolla. He's bagged seven other top-3 finishes however, including solo 2nd in his last start at the Sentry TOC. The Spaniard has also won two times in 15 career starts on the European Tour, both in 2017, most recently the DP World Tour Championship nine weeks ago, which secured the European Tour Rookie of the Year award and a 3rd-place ranking in the final Race to Dubai standings. Rahm finished 5th in the FedExCup standings last season as a first-time member though not a rookie, and was one of three players to record top 10s in all four Playoffs events, joining Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Jan 17 - 5:19 PM




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