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With a perfect roll for a birdie at the 72nd hole of the Emirates Australian Open, Rory McIlroy clipped Adam Scott by one stroke.

Scott wasn't just gunning for the outright wire-to-wire title at Royal Sydney Golf Club, he was chasing history after winning the first two legs of the PGA Tour of Australasia's Triple Crown. Instead, lackluster putting and a closing 1-under-par 35-36=71 swung the door open for the Ulsterman who has been in dire need of some success before turning the page on 2013. Playing in the final pairing with the Aussie, McIlroy blazed home in a bogey-free, 6-under 32-34=66 with an eagle and four birdies. It was good for the field co-low in the finale. He posted 18-under 270. Scott's approach to the final green sailed long before McIlroy tucked his to about 15 feet. Scott's chip on ran to the front of the green from where he'd settle for a lag two-putt for bogey. It forced McIlroy to sink the dagger for his first victory since the DP World Tour Championship just over 12 months ago. He is now officially exempt into the 2014 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
Sun, Dec 1, 2013 12:40:00 AM

Rory McIlroy stepped up his title bid at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, piecing together a 7-under-par 33-32=65 in round three to reach 16-under 200 through 54 holes, just one back from joint-leaders Thomas Pieters and Ross Fisher.

McIlroy may have suffered his first bogey of the week, a dropped shot at the par-3 15th after missing the green, but he sprinkled eight birdies around it, including two to close with as he came home in 32 for the second day running. After breaking par on just two of the par 5s over the first 36 holes, the Northern Irishman completed a full set of circles today with birdies at 2, 8, 10 and 18. He also picked up shots at 5, 12, 14 and 17. "It was good," said McIlroy. "I feel like I played similar again. I probably scored a bit better. Short game was needed at times. But I putted really well. Hit the ball very well. So all in all, yeah, it was another great round and another really good confidence builder." After four second places in this event, the 28-year-old is now favorite with the bookmakers to go on and take victory tomorrow.
Jan 20 - 8:13 AM

Halfway leader Thomas Pieters compiled a bogey-free 32-35=67 in his third round at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, ending the day tied for the lead with England's Ross Fisher on 17-under 199 and one clear of Rory McIlroy.

Pieters, who took the lead with a Friday 65, continued his birdie assault on Abu Dhabi GC's front nine today, ticking 2, 3, 6 and 8 to reach the turn with his one-shot lead still intact. But he found life a little more difficult coming home and managed just one more par breaker, a 3 at the 16th. The big-hitting Belgian looked set to lose his lead on 18 after a loose tee-shot but he got up and down from sand to assure himself of a place in the final two-ball tomorrow.
Jan 20 - 8:01 AM

With a two-putt birdie at 18, Ross Fisher completed a third-round 7-under-par 32-33=65 to move into a tie for top spot with Thomas Pieters on 17-under 199 after 54 holes of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

The pair are a shot clear of a charging Rory McIlroy, with Matt Fitzpatrick and defending champion Tommy Fleetwood a further stroke in arrears. Taking advantage of the easy conditions again, Fisher flew from the gates with three birdies in his first holes and replied to a lone bogey of the day at 5 with gains at 6 and 8. On the back nine, the World No. 31 added red numbers at 11 and 14 before finding the par-5 closer in two and signing off with an eighth birdie of the day. The 37-year-old will head into the final round looking for his first European Tour win since the 2014 Tshwane Open.
Jan 20 - 7:52 AM

Playing the Nicklaus Tournament Course, two-time Web.com Tour grad and World No. 184 Andrew Landry polished a bogey-free 7-under-par 34-31=65 in the second round of the CareerBuilder Challenge to reach 16-under 128, up one place on the day and the 36-hole leader by one over 18-hole leader Jon Rahm, who shot 67.

Making his 26th career start, this is the 30-year-old's first 36-hole lead/co-lead and his third lead/co-lead after any round, second this season. He was a first-round leader at the opposite-field Sanderson Farms five starts ago, eventually finishing T59. The Arkansas alum hit 10 (of 14) fairways and 15 greens in regulation, posting 1.667 putts per GIR with 28 total putts. He carded seven birdies at holes 1, 7, 11-13, 15 and 16, all conventional with two of those 2-putt versions. The Texan, who opened with a career-low 63 (La Quinta CC), is blemish-free thru 36 holes and moves to the Stadium Course for R3.
Jan 19 - 7:24 PM

Russell Knox coasted to a bogey-free, 8-under-par 31-33=64 during the second round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, remaining blemish-free on the week while moving him into a share of 10th place on 11-under 133 at the midpoint.

The Scot played his second round at the Nicklaus Tournament Course and got straight to work with a three-hole birdie train that started at the par-4 second hole. He would add five more circles before his day would be over, all while keeping a clean card. It was orchestrated by smooth striking as he pelted 17 greens in regulation after hitting 13 at La Quinta CC in R1. Knox arrived fresh off a top 10 at the Sony Open where he holed out three times (+4.6 strokes around-the-green). He's taking a more traditional route this week and he now finds himself in contention heading into Saturday's round where he will face off with Pete Dye's Stadium Course.
Jan 19 - 7:23 PM

Overnight leader Jon Rahm racked up seven birdies in round two of the CareerBuilder Challenge, carding a 5-under-par 33-34=67 to reach 15-under 129 at the midpoint, good for sole possession of second place, one behind Andrew Landry at the top.

Taking on a familiar Nicklaus Tournament Course (played it in college), Rahm started the day with a colorful scorecard. He traded four birdies with two bogeys before settling down for six straight pars. His first bogey came as the result of an aggressive line that found the greenside bunker with the second blemish coming via three-putt. Landing 16 greens in regulation today, the Spaniard likely feels that he left a few out there today. Even if that's true, Rahm has set a new personal 36-hole low on the PGA TOUR, eclipsing his previous best of 11-under 131 which came at the 2016 National, an event he'd go on to finish T3. Despite being one back, Rahm is still the favorite to win this event. That being said, he will now head to the tougher Stadium Course for the final two rounds.
Jan 19 - 7:12 PM

Playing the Nicklaus Tournament Course, World No. 142 Jason Kokrak tossed up a 5-under-par 32-35=67 in the second round of the CareerBuilder Challenge for a two-day tally of 14-under 130, currently T2 on the leaderboard and the new 36-hole clubhouse leader, bumping Zach Johnson. UPDATE: With play completed, Kokrak is solo 3rd, two back of 36-hole leader Andrew Landry.

The 32-year-old landed eight (of 14) fairways and 13 greens in regulation, posting 1.538 putts per GIR, currently No. 1 in the latter thru 36 holes (1.444). He squared a lone bogey-5 at 10, offset by six circles at 1, 2, 7, 9, 13 and 15, taking 27 total putts. The Xavier alum will move to the Stadium Course in R3 on Saturday. He entered the week 3-for-6 on the season with three top 25s and one top 10, a T7 at the opposite-field Sanderson Farms five starts ago.
Jan 19 - 6:24 PM

Zach Johnson blitzed the Nicklaus Tournament Course with an 8-under-par 31-33=64 during round two of the CareerBuilder Challenge, vaulting into the early clubhouse lead with a two-day tally of 13-under 131 with play still in progress.

ZJ opened his day on the 10th tee and started the scoring with an easy birdie at the par-5 11th. He would add two more circles before making the turn. That is where the fireworks began, adding birdies on six of his next eight holes. It was all about confident putting today as he slammed home more than his fair share of lengthy birdies today. On top of the hot putter, he also chipped in for birdie at the par-4 first hole, his 10th of the day. Given the scoring environment in the California desert, it is unlikely this lead will hold by day's end but Johnson is still in great position to go after his 13th career win. He's been held winless since the 2015 Open Championship.
Jan 19 - 5:21 PM

Kevin Chappell cruised to a bogey-free, 8-under-par 32-32=64 during round two of the CareerBuilder Challenge, posting the lowest round so far this week on the Stadium Course to reach 9-under 135 and throw his name back into the mix.

The UCLA product sputtered out of the gate with a 1-under 71 at the Nicklaus Tournament Course in R1. Moving over to the toughest course today, Chappell flipped a switch and was dialed in from the start. The scoring began with a 60'7" eagle hole out at the par-4 fifth hole. Pelting 17 greens in regulation, Chappell would add six birdies before his day was done. Today's round falls one shy of his personal best at this event. As he walked off the course today, he had climbed 88 spots on the leaderboard, just inside the top 20. The California native will now turn his attention toward La Quinta Country Club in round three.
Jan 19 - 5:08 PM

Brooks Koepka announced that he'll be on the sidelines for the next 8-to-12 weeks as he tries to recover from a torn tendon in his left wrist.

Koepka ended 2017 by finishing dead-last in the 18-man Hero World Challenge field and then Doug Ferguson broke the news on his wrist injury. The big hitter returned to action with a solo 34th (of 34) at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, but will now opt for rest. In a statement released by his management company, Koepka was quoted saying, "I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters." This is a big blow for the short-term outlook of the defending U.S. Open champion but in the grand scheme of things, this could just be a minor blip on the radar when he looks back later in his career. At least, that is the hope.
Jan 19 - 5:01 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




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