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Chris Paisley toiled for a 2-under-par 34-36=70 lap of Glendower Golf Club, but he ended the third round alone at the top of the BMW South African Open leaderboard on 15-under 201 with Branden Grace looming large in the rearview mirror, just one shot back.

The Englishman is seeking a first win on the European Tour and finds himself in position to do so when his long-term caddie Sean Russell has a week off and his wife is carrying the bag instead. On the front nine he ticked 2 and 8 to assume leadership on his own, as playing partner and pre-round co-leader Adrien Saddier dropped back. The putts dried up until he made birdie from 15'0" at the 15th, but instead of relaxing he seemed to then tighten. At 16 he left himself a horribly quick left-to-right 18'0" putt, couldn't control the lag and eventually needed three stabs to find the bottom of the hole. He responded with a superb sand save at 17 after a poor tee shot left him in the bunker short of the green at the par-3, and had to scramble very well for par at the last when his drive found trees. His only 54-hole lead of note was at the 2012 English Challenge on the secondary circuit. He led by two and converted the win.
Sat, Jan 13, 2018 09:46:00 AM

Playing the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship for the first time since 2011, World No.26 Louis Oosthuizen hung up a 7-under-par 35-30=65 to finish the opening morning in T2, three back from leader Shane Lowry.

The South African made light of his eight-year absence by making birdie at half the holes at Abu Dhabi GC although he'd earlier slipped to +2 after starting his day with four pars and a double bogey-5 at the 12th. A birdie-2 at 15 proved the catalyst and from there Oosthuizen ran up red numbers at 16, 18, 1, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 9. The former Open champion has a spring in his step right now after finally winning his home South African Open last month. He's also done well at this event before with a second (2009) and a fifth (2010) from his four visits. Today's 65 was just a shot higher than the closing 64 he carded when finishing runner-up ten years ago. Oosthuizen won the SA Open after a 62 in round one so he'll hope to cash in on this fast start too.
Jan 16 - 5:01 AM

Matching his career-low round, Shane Lowry thrashed a bogey-free 10-under-par 31-31=62 on the opening morning of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in the United Arab Emirates to take a three-shot clubhouse lead over Louis Oosthuizen and Mike Lorenzo-Vera. UPDATE: Richard Sterne and Pablo Larrazabal joined the T2 pack, but no-one in the afternoon wave got nearer Lowry's early mark.

Lowry's lap equalled the course record previously set by Henrik Stenson in 2006. The Irishman started his day with a pair of pars but then hit the birdie trail by splashing red at four of his next five holes (12, 13, 15 and 16). A superb approach to 18 set up a short eagle try which he missed but another birdie ensured an outward 31. Keeping up the relentless pace, he ticked 1, 2 and 3 to make it four-in-a-row, holed from 20 feet for another at 7 and rolled in a final par breaker at 8. Lowry finished fourth on his debut at this event in 2010 but missed cuts in 2012, 2013 and 2014 before dropping it from his schedule. This is some return although not unexpected given that he's finished second (2017) and fifth (2014) at the DP World Tour Championship so has a bank of desert form. Talking of which, his only other career R1 leads came in that same 2014 DP event and the 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Jan 16 - 4:23 AM

Jon Rahm is keeping the same schedule formula as last year ahead of his chance to defend his crown at this week's Desert Classic in La Quinta, California.

The Spaniard finished T34 in his 2017 Desert Classic debut. Last year he finished runner-up at the Sentry Tournament of Champions before resting a week and pegging it here at PGA WEST. That formula worked out nicely as he opened his week with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta CC to lead by himself. He hovered near the top of the board for the next two rounds before twirling a bogey-free 67 at the Stadium Course on Sunday. That was good enough for a playoff with Andrew Landry and Rahm walked away victoriously just before the sun disappeared. When asked about his love of California he said the main reason he doesn't live in San Diego is due to the taxes. Other than that, he loves everything about the Golden State. This time around Rahm arrives with a T8 at the Sentry TOC. He should be one of the favorites to hoist the hardware this week in the Coachella Valley.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Jan 15 - 8:58 AM

Dustin Johnson is the bookmakers favorite in this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Abu Dhabi GC in the U.A.E..

His game looked in decent enough shape in Kapalua for the Tournament of Champions (12th for Greens in Regulation, first for Total Putting), maybe it just needed a little rust knocking off and perhaps that bodes well for this week? What is true is that if the putter remains hot he’s in the ideal place to take advantage because he averages 1.63 putts per GIR in his 144 holes on the Peter Harradine creation (ranking sixth for Putt Average both the last two years). Key factor for him to address? Breaking par in round one. A pair of 72s on those previous visits left him eight and six shots off the pace in T75 and T69. He recovered to T2 and T9, but the effort of doing so probably left him too much to do to grab the win.
Jan 15 - 7:09 AM

Prior to the start of the event, Joel Dahmen has withdrawn from this week's Desert Classic.

Dahmen posted a T22 last week at the Sony Open in Hawaii. He was seen toting some PXG clubs which have been in the bag since the fall based on a response to a fan via Twitter on October 30th. Dahmen is 7-for-7 to kick off the new season. He gained 2.8 strokes off-the-tee last week at the Sony as well as +2.3 strokes approaching-the-green. Gamers shouldn't worry too much about this pre-tourney WD and be ready to keep riding the form train when he returns to action.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Jan 14 - 4:00 PM

Graeme McDowell had a change of heart and removed his name from the field at this week's Desert Classic.

G-Mac was seen in the early field list on Friday but he's been removed today. The Northern Irishman went 3-for-4 during the fall with a T11 at The RSM Classic being the clear highlight. He's been out of action since then, although he did have a close call in the (exhibition team event) QBE Shootout where he was paired up with Emiliano Grillo. This would have been only his second appearance at the Desert Classic (MC in his 2003 debut).
Source: PGATOUR.com
Jan 14 - 3:55 PM

Ho-sung Choi has accepted a sponsor's invite to play in the upcoming AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am which will be his PGA TOUR debut.

The 45-year-old has become an internet sensation over the last year, due to his unorthodox swing. Of course, his recent play has helped draw the attention, as he ranks 200th in the OWGR after a recent win at the Casio World Open. Choi finished 10th on the money list on the Japan Golf Tour in 2018. He has three career wins (2 on the Japan Golf Tour and 1 KPGA Korean Tour). The Pebble Beach Pro-Am takes place during the first week of February. Perhaps a few other surrounding events will follow this lead and also extend invites.
Source: GolfChannel
Jan 14 - 11:43 AM

After victories in 2017 and 2018, double defending champion Tommy Fleetwood will look to continue his dominance of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week.

The slightly curious aspect to those wins is that he'd previously struggled at the event, missing the cut in four of the previous five years. It partly reflects the great strides he's made in the last few seasons and in amongst the early exits there was a T19 in 2014 to hint at future success. The key for Fleetwood at Abu Dhabi GC has been his iron play. He's ranked 1st for Greens In Regulation (90.3% and 87.5%) in both his wins at the course and paved the way by hitting it long and straight (9th and 6th for Driving Accuracy) off the tee. The Englishman, currently ranked 14th in the world, has been showing high-class consistently for months and ended 2018 with eight straight finishes of T16 or better. There seems no reason why he shouldn't contend heavily again and the bookmakers have chalked him up as 10/1 third favourite behind American big guns Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka. He'll tee it up alongside the latter and Tyrrell Hatton in Wednesday's opening round (07:40).
Jan 14 - 5:59 AM

Playing out of the third-to-last threesome, Life Member and World No. 1192 Davis Love III signed for a 5-under-par 33-32=65 after the final round of the Sony Open in Hawaii for a 72-hole total of 16-under 264, dipping two spots to solo 7th, seven back of overnight leader and champion Matt Kuchar, who shot 66.

The 54-year-old improves to 4-for-4 on the season though this was his first top 50 (T57, Shriners). It's his 180th top 10 in 762 events, first since a T10 at the 2017 Wyndham 17 starts ago. The Hall of Famer nets his eighth top 25 in 17 Sony's, first since a T9 in 2011, with all eight doubling as top 10s. On 13 (of 14) fairways and 14 greens in regulation, he smothered a lone bogey with six birdies, wrapping the week with one eagle and 20 birdies against six bogeys. The Georgia resident carded rounds of 67-68-64-65.
Jan 13 - 11:48 PM

Playing out of the penultimate threesome, open-qualifier and World No. 264 Corey Conners enjoyed a day-tying-low, 6-under-par 32-32=64 in the final round of the Sony Open in Hawaii to finish up his second appearance (T39/2018) on 17-under 263, up two places to T3, five short of overnight leader and champion Matt Kuchar, who shot 66.

The Canadian, who lives in Florida, records his second top 3 in 44 events, second of the season in six starts, joining a career-best solo 2nd at the Sanderson Farms. It's his third top 25 and second straight, checking in off a T23 at the RSM, where he also closed with 64. After opening with 68-67-64, the 27-year-old began T5 and outpaced one bogey with seven birdies on 10 (of 14) fairways and 16 greens in regulation. For the week, he tallied 24 birdies T1 in that stat against seven bogeys and ranked 3rd in SG: Approach (7.066) and T3 in GIR at 80.56 percent (58/72).
Jan 13 - 11:39 PM

Playing out of the penultimate threesome, World No. 63 Chez Reavie pieced together a 3-under-par 35-32=67 in the final round of the Sony Open in Hawaii to wrap on 17-under 263, good for a four-way T3, five back of overnight leader and champion Matt Kuchar, who shot 66.

After opening with 65-65-66, the ASU product began T3, four back. He hit eight (of 14) fairways and 15 greens in regulation, outpacing one bogey-4 with four birdies, all of his scoring taking place in the final seven holes after sleepwalking to 11 straight pars out of the gate. For the week, he totaled three eagles, T1 in that stat with each of those hole outs from the fairway, and 20 birdies against seven bogeys and one double. The 37-year-old notches his second top 25 of the season in six starts and second top 10 (T7, CJ CUP). He's now 7-for-9 at the Sony with four top 25s, three straight, and two top 10s, joining a previous-best T8 in 2017.
Jan 13 - 11:29 PM




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