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Adam Hadwin started on the toughest of the three layouts but still managed a 7-under-par 34-31=65 during round one of the Desert Classic, placing him inside the top 5 on the live leaderboard with play winding down on Thursday.

The Canadian posted a T48 in his 2015 Desert Classic debut. He's turned it up a notch since the switch to the current course rotation, though, posting three straight top 10s. Hadwin started this week on the Stadium Course at PGA WEST which is playing more than a shot tougher than both of the other layouts. That didn't stop the Canuck from racking up six birdies and an eagle to offset a lone blemish. Most of the heavy lifting came on the homeward nine, including a pair of birdie conversions from the 16-to-22 foot range in addition to a 60-yard hole out for eagle at the par-5 16th. Hadwin is currently the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to golfers that teed off at the Stadium Course today. Playing his 17th round at this event, this is his seventh round recorded at 66 or better.
Jan 17 - 7:23 PM

Wyndham Clark cruised to a bogey-free, 7-under-par 32-33=65 during round one of the Desert Classic, good for an early seat inside the top 10 but five off the pacesetter Phil Mickelson.

Getting his week started at La Quinta Country Club, Clark peppered 15 greens in regulation and paid off seven birdies. He's making his tournament debut this week but he likely feels comfortable in the desert since he's set up shop in Las Vegas, playing out of TPC Summerlin. The University of Oregon standout is still searching for his breakout week on the big stage. His previous low is a solo 17th (2017 Sanderson Farms Championship). That remains his only top 25 in 14 career starts but that could easily change by week's end. Next up, he'll head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course on Friday. This may be his new best on the PGA TOUR but it falls three shy of his personal best on the Tour (R3/2018 Lincoln Land Championship). He backed it up with a 67 to finish T5 that week.
Jan 17 - 7:14 PM

Martin Laird is making his first start of the new year but showed no signs of rust as he sprinted to a 7-under-par 33-32=65 during round one of the Desert Classic, placing him five shots off the torrid pace set by Phil Mickelson.

Laird took a lot of stress off himself by splitting 13 (of 14) fairways and from there he was able to land 16 greens in regulation. The field is currently tearing through the Tournament Course (69.57) but this beats the field average by over 4.5 strokes. Laird is no stranger to this event as he's making his 12th start in Palm Springs with a five-pack of top 25s on his tournament resume. If there was any rust in his game it came with the putter as he needed 27 putts on his way around the Nicklaus Tourney course. That's not such a high number in most events but this event presents pristine conditions and easy pin placements. This is Laird's lowest lap at this event since a 64 during round three of the 2011 edition.
Jan 17 - 6:15 PM

Phil Mickelson was flirting with 59 during round one of the Desert Classic but settled for a bogey-free, 12-under-par 30-30=60 while battling La Quinta Country Club to match his career-low round and lead the field early in Palm Springs.

Mickelson may have fooled gamers with his pre-tournament tweet that read, "I’m excited to start another year on tour at the Desert Classic! Although - I’m a bit rusty, I’m also fresh and ready to get started." The rust disappeared quickly after the morning fog delay as he striped 10 (of 14) fairways and pelted 14 greens. It was a hot putter that sealed the deal as he needed just 21 putts today, including just nine on the homeward nine. Highlights included an eagle at the par-5 sixth and a chip-in birdie at the par-4 14th. This is the third time in his career he's posted a round of 60 on the PGA TOUR with both of the previous instances coming at TPC Scottsdale (2005, 2013). Mickelson has converted 8 of his last 15 first-round leads/co-leads into victories but just one of his last seven.
Jan 17 - 6:08 PM

Curtis Luck roared out of the gate during round one of the Desert Classic, carding a bogey-free, 8-under-par 32-32=64 while taking on La Quinta Country Club, placing him inside the top three on the live leaderboard.

The Aussie entered the week with four straight missed cuts worldwide and then a pre-tourney WD last week at the Sony Open. A little time off served him well as he was firing on all cylinders today. Luck split nine (of 14) fairways and then landed 13 greens in regulation. Those numbers don't leap off the page but he did hole out for par at the opening par-4 first and needed just 23 putts to make his way around. It was a tidy short game that glued this round together. Luck's previous low on the PGA TOUR was a R3 67 during the 2017 Quicken Loans National. He did manage a 62 during R3 of the 2016 Western Australian Open (PGA TOUR of Australasia).
Jan 17 - 5:58 PM

Julian Suri underwent surgery for a core muscle injury and currently has no timetable for return.

Suri provided an update via social media by stating, "I’m excited to say I underwent surgery at the Vincera Institute this morning to repair a core muscle injury that has bothered me for the past 10 weeks I’m determined to come back stronger than ever..." Suri was an 11th-hour WD ahead of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in November. It seemed like a minor injury at the time but we now know that wasn't the case. The Duke University product has no status on the PGA TOUR but he did finish 35th in the Race to Dubai last year on the European Tour. The 27-year-old still provides a lot of value for dynasty gamers but we have no timetable for how soon he'll be able to return to action.
Jan 17 - 4:29 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 ( 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 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 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 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

Henrik Stenson labored to a 36-hole total of 2-under 142 which saw him miss the cut on his 2019 debut in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Abu Dhabi GC in the U.A.E..

The Swede was stymied by a pair of double bogeys in his first round (70), which wasted the four birdies he managed. In the second lap (72) he dropped just the one shot, but three par breakers was not enough with the course very susceptible to low scoring. It is his fifth missed cut in 14 starts on the course. Other notables that will join him in getting the weekend off include: 142- Robert Rock, Tyrrell Hatton, HaoTong Li … 143- Byeon Hun An ... 145- Thorbjorn Olesen ... 146- Paul Dunne ... 147- Kiradech Aphibarnrat ... 148- Andrew Johnston, Andrea Pavan.
Jan 17 - 9:37 AM

Dominic Foos conjured a 4-under-par 35-33=68 to hit the halfway stage of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in the U.A.E. T9 on 8-under 136, four swings behind the leader Shane Lowry.

The youngest ever winner of a Challenge Tour event in 2015, having turned pro on his 17th birthday in 2014, he was a fine amateur (lowest ranked in his age group for his final three years at that level) and even finished T40 in the Nelson Mandela Championship aged 15. But three CT campaigns, despite four top three finishes, never got the German into the top 30 on the rankings. He plays this week on a National Spot (a glorified invite) and has the advantage of being attached to the nearby Els Club Dubai. So far he has taken advantage of both. As in round one he thrashed plenty of birdies. There were eight on Wednesday and six Thursday (at 4 and 8 on the front nine, 11, 13, 17 and 18 on the back); he dropped shots at the sixth and 16th. A golden opportunity awaits at the weekend for a youngster who is 4-for-20 at this level.
Jan 17 - 9:29 AM

Soren Kjeldsen hoisted a 3-under-par 35-34=69 in round two of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship that left him T5 on 9-under 135 and three swings behind the lead of Shane Lowry.

The Dane is enjoying his week at Abu Dhabi GC like few others in the past. After eight sub-70 laps in 40 circuits of the course he now has two in two, but if it feels reminiscent it might be because he has done that once before, when 69-69 left him T7 in 2011. However he’ll hope to kick on. That year he finished T37 and he still seeks a first top 20 on the track. After a nine birdie-three bogey scramble in round one, his second lap was a lot calmer. In fact he made eights pars and one birdie (at the second) on his front nine for a stark contrast. The back nine started in a rush with circled numbers at 10, 12 and 13, but he gave one of the shots back at the 15th.
Jan 17 - 9:15 AM

Richard Sterne authored a 4-under-par 33-35=68 that left him bogey-free after 36 holes of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, T2 on 11 under 133 alongside fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen and just two shots back of leader Shane Lowry.

The 37-year-old boasted a consistent 4-for-4 record at Abu Dhabi GC in the U.A.E. ahead of this week, but to be so high on the leaderboard is something is a break from tradition. Indeed he has a best of T19 (last year) and has only twice featured in the top ten at the end of any round. It is also 16 months since he last completed a top ten finish anywhere in the world so he will be keen to grasp the opportunity offered by his two flawless laps this week. On Thursday he ticked 10, 15 and 18 on his first nine, then added eight pars on the front nine before a final par-breaker at the ninth capped the 36 holes.
Jan 17 - 9:08 AM

Louis Oosthuizen cruised to a 4-under-par 33-35=68 which left him on 11-under 133 and T2 with compatriot Richard Sterne after 36 holes of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, one swing behind the leader Shane Lowry.

The South African headed into this year’s renewal at Abu Dhabi GC in the U.A.E. with a distinctly two tone course record which showed a light shade (T2-T5) and a dark tone too (T65-MC). So far this week he is on course for the former. He smoothed his way to the turn with six pars and three birdies (at 4, 7 and 8). But bogeys at both the tenth and 11th holes threatened to derail his title bid. However he was soon back on the front foot with back-to-back birdies at the 13th and 14th, plus a final red number at the 18th, closing the gap to the Irish leader to just one. Oosthuizen has grabbed all of his birdies on the front nine and last six holes, whilst dropping all four shots in the three holes after the turn. One to watch as the weekend.
Jan 17 - 8:56 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

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