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Pat Perez gained entry into this week's PGA Championship when Rory McIlroy won the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.

When Geoff Ogilvy emerged with the title at the Barracuda Championship and assumed one of the remaining two vacancies at Valhalla Golf Club, the final was reserved for the winner at Firestone if not otherwise exempt. Perez was first alternate. He'll be making his eighth start in the season's final major and first since sharing 21st place at Kiawah Island in 2012. After a sparkling opening to the season, he's fallen on hard times. Perez has cashed just twice in his last six starts and finds himself in a slump that has extended eight consecutive starts without a top 40. (Shawn Stefani is now first alternate at the PGA.)
Source: PGA.com
Sun, Aug 3, 2014 07:14:00 PM

Charley Hoffman blitzed Colonial Country Club en route to a bogey-free, 7-under-par 31-32=63 during round one of the Fort Worth Invitational, good for the early clubhouse lead with play still in progress.

Hoffman put on a ball-striking clinic today, striping 11 (of 14) fairways on his way toward 16 greens in regulation. That stellar striking set up eight scoring chances from inside 16 feet, converting on six of them in addition to a 24'3" birdie bomb at the par-4 seventh. Playing his 36th round at Colonial, this eclipses his previous best by two shots (65 in R3/2009 and R1/2006). If this number holds then it'll be Hoffman's seventh career first-round lead/co-lead, first since the 2017 Masters. Unfortunately, he's only converted one of those early leads into a top 10 (T7, 2013 Travelers).
May 24 - 1:57 PM

Steve Stricker looked doubtful to even finish the round before rallying his way to a 5-under-par 31-34=65, good for an early seat inside the top 5 at the Fort Worth Invitational.

Stricker opened his day on the back nine and swallowed bogeys at 10 and 13. He was seen grimacing and grabbing his back but a 12'8" birdie splash at the par-4 15th turned his day around. He added two more circles before adding a big bird at the par-5 first hole. It wasn't of the traditional variety as he needed to hole out from the greenside bunker (55 feet) to land his eagle. The 51-year-old steadied his way into the clubhouse where he'll now surely get his back looked at before returning to Colonial Country Club, tomorrow afternoon. Stricker is a past champion here (2009) and arrived with an overall record of 9 cuts made to just 2 missed cuts.
May 24 - 1:43 PM

Ben Martin steadied a bogey-free, 4-under-par 33-33=66 during round one of the Fort Worth Invitational, throwing his name into early contention.

Finishing outside the top 40 in seven straight starts, Martin hasn't been flying out of the gate lately. That changed today as he scrambled his way to the top of the leaderboard, getting up-and-down on seven occasions today. The most notable was a 12'3" par-saver at the third. It was mostly steady striking and around-the-green play until his putter finally contributed with a 23'11" birdie blast at the closing, par-4 18th. Martin will need to tidy up the driving if he wants to hang around all week (7-of-14 fairways) but he has to be very pleased with the results today. Martin has been outside the top 20 after R1 in all of his starts since the 2017 Barracuda Championship, last August.
May 24 - 1:14 PM

Rory McIlroy won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on the only other occasion he broke 70 on his opening lap; he'll hope history repeats after firing a 5-under-par 34-33=67 in round one to sit just a shot back from clubhouse leaders Dean Burmester and Darren Fichardt.

The Northern Irishman has a very mixed history at the West Course, surrounding his win in 2014 with missed cuts in 2012, 2013 and 2015. This is his first start at the classic, tree-lined English track in three years but it proved a happy return as he outpaced two bogeys with seven birdies. McIlroy dropped shots at 3 and 9 on his outward nine but recorded three circles (4, 6 and 8) between those hiccups. He continued to make hay on the even-numbered holes, coming home with gains at 10, 12, 14 and 16 before the sequence ended at the last where he had to settle for par. Still, that's an excellent start from the pre-tournament favorite and he's in great shape to kick on in Friday morning's second round.
May 24 - 1:08 PM

Darren Fichardt made it a pair of South Africans at the head of the field on day one of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in England, matching the earlier clubhouse total of Dean Burmester with a bogey-free 6-under-par 32-34=66.

Fichardt has missed his last seven cuts in this event and failed to shoot lower than 71 since he posted T8 here 14 years ago. He produced his best ever lap of the West Course thanks to six birdies and 12 pars. The veteran, who won on the South African Sunshine Tour in March, birdied the fourth hole and did the bulk of his scoring around the turn thanks to red numbers at 7, 8, 10 and 12. Another gain at 17 was his third birdie on the par 5s but he couldn't complete the set on the 521-yard closer so finished tied with Burmester. The duo are a shot clear of English pair Richard Bland and Matt Fitzpatrick but whether they'll stay there remains to be seen with the afternoon players making plenty of early birdies.
May 24 - 9:18 AM

Boosted by a hole-out eagle at the 447-yard 15th, Dean Burmester produced an amazing late charge to post an opening 6-under-par 35-31=66 and take a one-shot lead over home duo Matt Fitzpatrick and Richard Bland in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, England.

The big-hitting South African made a sticky start with a bogey and four pars over his first five holes. Despite a birdie at 6, a run of pars meant he wasn't any sort of threat to the lead walking off the 11th green. But he got his day moving with back-to-back red numbers at 12 and 13 and delivered a sudden jolt to his card by draining his approach at the 15th. Riding that momentum, the World No. 125 added circles at 16 and 18 to secure the clubhouse lead on his own. Burmester was T9 on his debut in this event last year when closing with a 65 so he knows how to go low on the West Course.
May 24 - 8:57 AM

World No. 40 Matt Fitzpatrick pieced together a 5-under-par 32-35=67 in round one of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, matching the early target of fellow Englishman Richard Bland.

Fitzpatrick didn't break 70 in his first seven laps of the West Course but he's now 11-under for his last two rounds there after following his closing 66 last year with today's 67. He burst out of the gate with three birdies in his opening four holes and played par golf to the turn. After another par at 10, Fitzpatrick holed from 12 feet for birdie at 11 and rode a good bounce from the trees at 12 to sink an 18-footer for another red number. He missed a short one for par at 15, his only bogey of the day, but hit back with a final par breaker on the 17th.
May 24 - 8:48 AM

With birdies at three of his final four holes, local man Richard Bland completed a 5-under-par 34-33=67 and set the clubhouse target in round one of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in England.

Right now, that makes him T1 with compatriot Matt Fitzpatrick, who still has four to complete. Playing in the third group out this morning, it was a fairly quiet start for the World No. 372 as he traded a circle at 4 with a square at 6. But that dropped shot was the only blemish on his card and he surged up the board with red numbers at 8, 11, 15, 17 and 18. The 67 represents his lowest lap in 29 career rounds at Wentworth. It's also his lowest 18 since January. He arrived at his home event having missed eight of his last nine cuts so this has rather come out of the blue. That said, he did post T5 at this event way back in 2006 and also added T19 in 2013. Explaining his slump, Bland revealed: "My brother got very seriously ill in December and was in a coma for nearly a month after Christmas. He's still recovering, he's here today which is great, it's great to see him walking round."
May 24 - 7:20 AM

World No. 6 Rickie Fowler, a pre-tourney 18/1 outright, contests his sixth Fort Worth Invitational, first since a missed cut in 2014, and heads out in Round 1 at 7:55 am CT with Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau.

The Oklahoma State product played the event five straight years between 2010-14 but hasn't returned since the MC (by 14 shots) after rounds of 80-75. Overall, he's 4-for-5 with two top 25s and one top 10, a T5 in 2012, with a scoring average on the par-70 layout of 69.89. The 29-year-old is 8-for-11 on the season with six top 25s and three top 10s, all top 4s, highlighed by a pair of runner-up finishes at the OHL and the Masters. He checks in off a MC (by two) at THE PLAYERS, his second MC in his last three appearances after a P1 in 2015. Fowler's most recent (of four) TOUR titles is the 2017 Honda, 16 months, 1 week and 29 starts ago. He's led/co-led three times this season after any round, including 36-hole co-leader at the OHL, and 36-hole co-leader and 54-hole leader at the Phoenix Open. Fowler is 0-for-8 when leading/co-leading after 36 holes and 1-for-6 from the three-quarter pole.
Source: PGATOUR.com
May 23 - 5:56 PM

Rory McIlroy has the curious record of a win and three missed cuts in his last four starts in the European Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship; he'll look to find the winning way at Wentworth again this week.

This is the Northern Irishman's first appearance in the event since he missed the cut when defending in 2015. In the build-up last month he described his relationship with Wentworth as "weird" but McIlroy made more positive noises after a practice round when he saw the course for the first time since last year's revamp. "I like the golf course. I think they have made some great changes. It's definitely in the best shape that I've ever seen it in before," he noted in his press conference. It's a tricky call on McIlroy for gamers this week. His course form couldn't be more extreme while he missed the cut at Sawgrass last time after a top five at Augusta National two starts earlier. He was runner-up at the British Masters in October, 2017 on his last start on English soil.
May 23 - 2:54 PM

Jon Rahm flirted with the winner's circle during his 2017 debut at the Fort Worth Invitational and he returns this week for another crack at Colonial Country Club.

Rahm bookended his Colonial debut with 4-under 66s with rounds of 69-70 in between. That was plenty good for a debut, but fell one shy of the eventual winner, Kevin Kisner. The big-hitting Spaniard doesn't seem like an ideal fit on paper since Colonial doesn't offer a lot of reward for hitting drives over 300 yards. However, Rahm compared the test to some of his favorite courses back home. "You have to hit a lot of irons off the tee in Valderrama and it’s precision golf. You have to keep it in the fairway and hit those tiny greens." While that's what the course calls off, Rahm is on the record saying that he will be pulling driver on nearly every hole here. At 12/1, Rahm only sits behind Jordan Spieth in the betting markets and he'll remain a popular pick across all fantasy formats. Rahm has just one top 10 over his last eight starts (PGA TOUR) which is a bit below his lofty standards.
Source: PGATOUR.com
May 23 - 12:42 PM




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