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World No. 273 and two-time Web.com Tour grad Andrew Putnam twirled a bogey-free, 6-under-par 32-32=64 in the third round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic to reach 15-under 195, up one spot to a share of the 54-hole lead with Dustin Johnson and tying the low round of the day with Stewart Cink, who's five back and in 3rd place. UPDATE: Sunday will be the first time that Putnam will play out of the final group in R4.

This is the Pepperdine alum's first 54-hole lead/co-lead in 44 events (43 pro) and is chasing his first PGA TOUR title. His career best among just two top 10s is T5 at this season's opposite-field Corales. The 29-year-old is a two-time Web winner in 93 events, once last year in 20 starts. After opening with bogey-free 67, he is the only player with multiple blemish-free rounds. The Washington state native and resident landed 10 (of 14) fairways and 14 greens in regulation, gaining 2.427 strokes around-the-green. He carded six birdies at holes 1, 3, 5, 12, 16 and 18, two of those from just off the green, posting 1.786 putts per GIR and 1.447 SG: Putting with 27 total putts. Putnam's R2/R3 64's are tied career lows in 127 rounds (x3).
Sat, Jun 9, 2018 06:26:00 PM

The opening round of this week's Desert Classic was delayed 30 minutes and has now been delayed another 30 minutes with the opening tee times now scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET.

Fog delays are a regular occurrence for this part of the schedule. Gamers should expect plenty more of these delays over the next month. Many golfers are antsy to get their 2019 schedule started but they'll have to wait a bit longer. That includes Mike Weir who is making his first start since a missed cut at the Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae (Web.com Tour) in August. He is the first scheduled tee time on La Quinta Country Club today, set to peg it with fellow Canadian, David Hearn. Weir is 9-for-16 here in Palm Springs but he's missed the cut in his last five starts at the event. He went 1-for-6 on the PGA TOUR last season.
Jan 17 - 12:00 PM

Morgan Hoffmann shook off the competitive rust down on the Web.com Tour and finished T24 at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, his first start since last February.

Hoffmann started last season with a 3-for-9 record before shutting it down. Early in the season he found out he had muscular dystrophy and it wasn't trending in the right direction for him. After his last start (Honda Classic in late February) he took a trip to Nepal for a 90-day treatment program. It was a busy year for Hoffmann as he also launched his charity foundation and recently got engaged. Hoffmann has been granted a Major Medical Extension with 18 starts to earn 296.57 FedExCup Points. He is allotted a handful of Web.com Tour rehab starts if he wants them but with this week's T24 he may decide to ramp it up to the big stage sooner rather than later.
Jan 17 - 11:33 AM

Boo Weekley returned from a long injury layoff and finished T41 at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

The 45-year-old has been out of action since the 2017 RBC Canadian Open. He had a mid-tourney WD just a month before that last start and cited tendinitis as the reason for his early exit. Making his first rehab start on the Web.com Tour, Weekley posted rounds of 74-67-70-73 this week. The three-time PGA TOUR winner finished 169th in the FedExCup standings during his last full season on TOUR (2016-17) so he'll need to rely on Past Champions status or sponsor's invites to get into fields on the big stage.
Jan 17 - 11:25 AM

Tiger Woods has committed to play in his first event of 2019 as he prepares for next week's Farmers Insurance Open.

This was the likely landing spot for Woods but he made it somewhat official when he shared the news via social media, "Kicking off this season on the west coast at @FarmersInsOpen and my TGRF’s @GenesisOpen. Can’t wait!" Woods wants to avoid burnout as he saw toward the end of 2018 so gamers should expect to see a relatively light schedule in 2019. The Farmers Insurance Open field isn't official at this point but it's shaping up to be a very strong field with early commits from Justin Rose, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, just to name a few. Woods is 15-for-17 at this event with seven wins but nothing inside the top 20 over his last four visits.
Jan 17 - 8:56 AM

Shane Lowry crafted a bounce back lap of 2-under-par 36-34=70 to set a new clubhouse target of 12-under 132 after 36 holes of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Despite landing just four fairways in round one the Irishman had thrashed the Peter Harradine-designed Abu Dhabi GC in a mere 62 blows and early in his second circuit it seemed there was a regression to mean in the offing. He played the first, second and third holes in five strokes more than he needed Wednesday, taking a bogey-6 at the second and bogey-5 at the third. But he arrested the slide in fine fashion, ticking the fifth and seventh before the turn, then the 12th (from kick-in range) and 15th after it to re-establish the lead he had lost. When signing his card he had a one shot lead over Louis Oosthuizen (11-under) and two over Lee Westwood and Richard Sterne (10-under, the latter had two holes to play). Through these two rounds he is 6-under on the par-3s. T4 on debut at this course in 2010, this performance is a minor bolt from the blue because he missed the cut in his next three visits (and broke par just once in six laps).
Jan 17 - 8:29 AM

An early start didn't stop jet-lagged Ian Poulter keeping up his bid for the trophy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship as he pieced together a 3-under-par 32-37=69 on day two to reach 9-under 135 at the midpoint, just a shot behind clubhouse leader Lee Westwood and T2 on the live board with the afternoon session in play.

After flying in from Hawaii, Poulter said after his opening 66 that he felt tired towards the end of his first round. A very similar story played out today. Starting at 07:30 from the 10th, the Englishman made four birdies in his first seven holes after ticking 10, 13, 15 and 16. That put him into a tie for the lead but the spark went after that. The World No. 38 parred the next ten holes and then found water at the par-4 9th, suffering a walk-off bogey. However, two strong rounds mean Poulter will have a late tee-time in Friday's third round so he has plenty of chance now to catch up on some shuteye.
Jan 17 - 4:09 AM

Lee Westwood crafted a bogey-free 4-under-par 34-34=68 in his second round at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in the United Arab Emirates, posting the 36-hole lead of 10-under 134 after the completion of the morning wave on day two.

Right now, that puts the Englishman in a tie for the lead with overnight leader Shane Lowry, who has just started, while it's one clear in the clubhouse of Ian Poulter and Scott Jamieson. Westwood birdied his opening hole, the 10th, but couldn't match the blistering start he enjoyed in yesterday's 66. In fact, over the next 15 holes his only deviations from par were a pair of birdie-2s at 15 and 4. But with no bogeys on his card today and just one all week, every birdie counted and he added a final red circle at the par-5 8th. It's very unlikely he'll end the day on top but Westwood is in a great place for another big weekend challenge.
Jan 17 - 4:00 AM

Ben Martin has withdrawn ahead of his appearance at this week's Desert Classic. Tyrone Van Aswegen will take his spot in the field.

Martin missed the cut last week in his return from a back injury. He opened with a 73 but rebounded with a 2-under 68 on Friday. He's playing on a Minor Medical Extension and currently has six starts remaining to earn 111.322 FedExCup Points. A very manageable number but it will help to be selective. Martin's history in Palm Springs included a 2-for-5 record with finishes of T34 and T57 in 2016 and 2018, respectively. Martin had finished inside the top 125 in four straight seasons before injuries derailed him in 2018. Gamers should wait for a clean bill of health before reinvesting in fantasy leagues.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Jan 16 - 5:45 PM

World No. 1 and reigning FedExCup champ Justin Rose, idle since a T17 at the Indonesian Masters five weeks ago as defending champion, makes final preparations for this week's Desert Classic and heads out in Round 1 at 8:40 am local time with Zach Johnson at La Quinta Country Club.

The Englishman (9/1) is the bookmaker's second fiddle to defender Jon Rahm (7/1), despite not playing the event in nine years. His last, a missed cut in 2010, was when the tourney was still a 90-hole event. In fact, all of The Bahamas resident's visits were 90-hole stints, including top 10s in 2006 (T10), and 2007, where he led/co-led after 36, 54 and 72 holes, respectively, before finishing 3rd. He'll have Gareth Lord on the bag this week, better known as Henrik Stenson's former caddie, as his regular bag man, Mark Fulcher, is scheduled to have heart surgery this Thursday. The 38-year-old leads the TOUR in consecutive top-10 finishes (3-4-P2-2), not including a 3rd at the unofficial Hero, and also won the Turkish Airlines Open (playoff) 11 weeks ago.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Jan 16 - 1:37 PM

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




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