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Martin Kaymer chased his brilliant, opening 63 at THE PLAYERS with a 3-under-par 35-34=69 to post 12-under 132 at the midpoint, good for outright possession of the 36-hole clubhouse lead.

Kaymer's ball-striking wasn't as sharp today as he split only six (of 14) fairways and hit 13 greens in regulation, but a sub-70 is still getting the job done at TPC Sawgrass. He rolled in five birdies, including conversions from 27'11" and 30'2" at Nos. 3 and 15, respectively. He finally gave back a couple of shots, first with a three-putt bogey at the par-4 seventh, and then with a bogey-5 at 14 where he failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker, but his aggregate could very well hold overnight as the wind is expected to wreak havoc with the afternoon wave.
Fri, May 9, 2014 12:56:00 PM

Jason Dufner pulled off some magic from the rocks en route to victory at the 2016 CareerBuilder Challenge and returns this week for a chance to defend his title while taking on the same trio of courses.

Dufner cruised out to 23-under 193 through three rounds here last year. He entered the finale with a two-shot cushion before cooling off with a 2-under 70. He looked to have the trophy in sight all day but things got really interesting when he overshot the green on the par-3 17th to find his ball in the rocks surrounding the green. For the viewers at home, it appeared to be a bogey at best. Instead he gauged the lie perfectly and nearly holed out his chip, walking away with a tap-in par that had to feel like a birdie at the time. He finished the day in a share of first with David Lingmerth and outlasted him in a playoff to secure his fourth career win. Last year's win was his first top 10 at this event, but it was also the first year with the current course rota. Expecting another win this week may be foolish but a steady top 25 could certainly be in the cards.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Jan 17 - 9:18 AM

Rickie Fowler jets into the United Arab Emirates this week to contest the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and make his first defence of a European Tour title.

Fowler's debut Euro Tour win came in the 2015 Scottish Open but he chose not to contest that event in 2016. He'll certainly hope to make a better job of defending than he's managed on the PGA TOUR. Fowler has attempted it three times but missed the cut twice (2013 Wells Fargo, 2016 Players Championship) and finished T46 in a limited field at last year's Deutsche Bank Championship. Victory in this event last year elevated the Californian to fourth in the world rankings but he returns at 14th having not managed to win since his one-shot victory over Thomas Pieters in Abu Dhabi 12 months ago. Fowler should have won the 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open but at least that near-miss last February was a reminder that he enjoys desert golf. With Rory McIlroy withdrawing with a bad back, the 28-year-old is third favorite behind compatriot Dustin Johnson and Open champ Henrik Stenson in the betting this week.
Jan 17 - 9:02 AM

Dustin Johnson will make his first appearance on the European Tour's Middle East schedule when he tees it up at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week.

It's not been unknown for the World No. 3 to play regular Euro Tour stops (i.e. excluding The Open), but it's rarely heralded big results. There have been six top 20s, but he has struggled with the carefree atmosphere of the Dunhill Links Championship and missed the cut in the 2015 Hong Kong Open. His best result is T4 in the 2011 Ballantine's Championship. There are grounds to expect more this week however. Firstly it's widely acknowledged that last season saw a step up in class, with the U.S. Open victory proving it. Secondly the field, although now lacking Rory McIlroy, is strong and tournament history points to the invited stars choosing to be competitive rather than ornamental. Opened 2017 with T6 in the Tournament of Champions.
Jan 17 - 5:42 AM

An MRI scan revealed bad news for Rory McIlroy's rib, leading to his withdraw from this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and leaves his short-term schedule up in the air.

McIlroy mentioned a back injury last week when he was playing at the BMW South African Open. The fact that he injured his back early in the week and still finished second place in the event had many assuming this was a small tweak. The MRI scan revealed otherwise, showing the injury was actually a stress fracture in his ribs. In his full statement to the European Tour, McIlroy said, "In situations like this you simply have to listen to the experts and the team I have consulted have all advised me to rest until my rib has fully recovered." The Northern Irishman was really motivated to do well this week in Abu Dhabi as he continues his climb back toward World No. 1, but that journey will have to wait until the rib is healed. There is no timetable for his return at this time.
Jan 16 - 2:58 PM

World No. 16 Justin Rose twirled a 6-under-par 32-32=64 in the final round of the Sony Open in Hawaii for a four-day tally of 20-under 260, good for solo 2nd, seven adrift of overnight leader and champion Justin Thomas.

The 36-year-old fulfilled the new TOUR requirement to add a tourney that he hadn't played in the last four years, and he's glad he did. This was his fifth Sony, first since T13 in 2011, and supplants a previous-best T12 in 2010, where he also closed in 64. The Englishman, who was making his first start of the season, began R4 in a three-way T3 on 14-under, eight shy of playing competitor Thomas. He squared a lone bogey-4 at 11 (failed scramble), but silenced it with six conventional birdies at Nos. 3, 4, 8 (14'4"), 10, 16 and 18, adding a 47-footer from off the green at the par-4 15th (using the flat stick). For the week, Rose carded 25 birdies versus five bogeys and posted rounds of 66-64-66-64. It's his 10th runner-up in 288 career events, first since T2 at the 2015 TOUR Championship.
Jan 15 - 10:50 PM

First- second- and third-round leader Justin Thomas spun a 5-under-par 34-31=65 in today's final round of the Sony Open in Hawaii to finish off his third appearance on 27-under 253, good for a 7-shot win over Justin Rose, his fourth PGA TOUR title in his 74th career start (70 pro), and setting a new 72-hole aggregate scoring record on TOUR by one stroke.

The 23-year-old moved to a career-best 12th in OWGR with his 3-shot win last week at the SBS TOC, and bumps to No. 8 with his wire-to-wire masterpiece at Waialae CC -- the first player to complete the Aloha double since 2003 (Ernie Els). Along with his 3-shot win at the CIMB Classic (for back-to-back wins in Malaysia), this is his third win of the season in five starts and assumes the FedExCup lead. The Kentuckian, who led by 7 entering R4, opened the week with a hole-out eagle-2 en route to a course-record career-low 59 and chased with 64-65-65, setting or matching several records along the way. For the week, he tallied three eagles and 26 birdies versus five bogeys for 20.238 in SG: Total. Thomas has been tied or atop the leaderboard after each of the last seven rounds on TOUR.
Jan 15 - 10:26 PM

Top-ranked and pre-tourney fave Jordan Spieth painted a 7-under-par 33-30=63 in the final round of the Sony Open in Hawaii to wrap his second appearance (MC/2014) on 19-under 261, currently T2 on the leaderboard. UPDATE: With play completed, Spieth finished up six places in solo 3rd, eight shy of champion Justin Thomas.

The OWGR No. 5 closed out last week's defense on Maui -- his first start of the season -- with a bogey-free 8-under 65 to back-door a T3, and is up seven places on today's lap. He began the finale in solo 9th, 10 back of Thomas. The 23-year-old birdied three straight two times, on holes 1-3, and on 10-12, adding circles on 16 and 18. His lone dropped shot was a one-putt bogey-4 at the fourth from 17'9". For the week, the Texan circled 24 birdies versus five bogeys and posted rounds of 65-67-66-63. He was No. 1 in SG: Approach-the-Green at 10.362, but 53rd in SG: Putting (0.268), including 3.367 in R4, and 59th in SG: Around-the-Green (-1.239).
Jan 15 - 10:01 PM

Beginning off No. 10 tee, World No. 140 Chez Reavie twirled a career-tying-low 9-under-par 33-28=61 in the final round of the Sony Open in Hawaii to finish up his seventh appearance on 16-under 264, up 42 spots on the live leaderboard to T6 and good for the low round in the clubhouse. UPDATE: With play completed, Reavie's 61 was the low round of the day and finished in a two-way T8, 11 back of champion Justin Thomas.

This is the 35-year-old's third 61 on TOUR in 659 career rounds, second of the season. Ten weeks ago, he opened the Shriners with 5-over 76 before going 15 shots better in R2, eventually finishing T24. After opening in 67-67-69, the Arizona State product kicked off with birdies at 10 (from 22'1") and 11, went back-to-back at 14 and 15, and then aced the par-3 17th with a 6-iron from 197 yards (video link below). The Kansas native birdied the par-5 18th to turn 7-under and the 59 watch was on. He added another set of back-to-backs at 2 (26'4") and 3, to move to 9-under thru 12 holes, but a failed sand save led to bogey-5 at the sixth, derailing his momentum. Reavie, who arrived off a T4 (OHL Classic), wrapped with a 9'7" birdie at the par-5 ninth.
Jan 15 - 9:08 PM

Rory McIlroy couldn't break Graeme Storm's resolve despite an excellent final round 4-under-par 33-35=68; his total of 18-under 270 earned him a play-off but a bogey at the third extra hole cost him the BMW South African Open title at Glendower GC.

The good news: for the seventh time in eight seasonal starts the Northern Irishman has pegged a top three finish. The bad news: he still can't find the win. He'll be disappointed, but he may also reflect that his game appeared in strong fettle and he seemed to cope well with a back twinge. Starting the day three shots adrift of Storm he made quiet progress, eating into the leader's advantage, circling 1, 2 and 8. An imperious 6-iron to 20'0" at the par-five 15th earned another birdie, an up-and-down at the 15th a fifth, enough for him to assume a one shot lead. But his tee shot at the par-three 17th was errant and he couldn't escape the bunker at the first time of asking. He saved bogey, but could not find one at 18 in four attempts (once in regulation then in the play-off). Storm was strong and McIlroy's bogey on the third extra hole was decisive.
Jan 15 - 8:34 AM

Just weeks after thinking he had lost his European Tour card, Graeme Storm went head-to-head with Rory McIlroy and claimed the BMW South African Open on the third extra hole after shooting a final round 1-under-par 35-36=71 for 18-under 270 at Glendower GC.

The veteran Englishman secured just his second European Tour title, ten years after his first at the Open de France, in sensational style. He had entered the final day with a 3-shot advantage over McIlroy and although composed most of the day, making an early birdie at the 2nd, he appeared to become somewhat becalmed midway through the back nine when caught and passed by McIlroy. A bogey at 14, his first in 55 holes, was to blame, but he immediately made birdie at the 15th and a bogey for McIlroy at 17 left them tied on the final tee. If he was becalmed he now stood tall under huge pressure. They played 18 once in regulation play, and three times in extra holes, but eventually Storm's relentless pars did the trick when McIlroy slipped to bogey. "I'm in shock," he said afterwards. "A surreal week."
Jan 15 - 8:23 AM

World No. 16 Justin Rose tossed up a 4-under-par 35-31=66 in the third round of the Sony Open in Hawaii to reach 14-under 196, and will begin the final round eights shots in arrears to 54-hole leader Justin Thomas.

The 36-year-old was the first of three to post 14-under, so he'll play out of the final threesome on Sunday with Thomas and Zach Johnson, who's in solo 2nd on 15-under. He began the third round right where he finished it, in a three-way T3, but slipped one shot further back of Thomas after a one-bogey five-birdie showing. The Olympic Gold Medalist was sleepwalking thru the first nine, exchanging bogey-5 at the fifth (failed scramble) with birdie-3 at the eighth, but came home in blemish-free 4-under, adding birdies at 13 (from 28'5"), 14 (27'3"), 16 (17'8") and 18.
Jan 14 - 11:47 PM




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