Career Builder Challenge. Austin Cook 54 Hole Leader.

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Austin Cook is the 54 hole leader of the Career Builder Challenge in California.

Career Builder Challenge

Austin Cook 

Austin carded a third round Career Builder Challenge -8 under par 64 on the La Quinta course, to lead the tournament by one shot at -19 under par.

Yesterday’s leader Andrew Landry scored -2 under around the Stadium Course to share second place at -18 under par with Martin Piller who signed for a -5 under 67 at La Quinta.

Tied in fourth spot are Jon Rahm, Spain, -2 under 70 at the Stadium Course and Scott Piercy, -6 under 66 also at the Stadium Course, both at -17 under par , two shots off the pace.

Jon had problems with the par three’s;

 “Three of the bogeys were on par-threes, which none of them was in a water hazard, which shows maybe poor club, poor shot, poor approach shot, some was just bad luck.”

“But other than that I played good golf, a little bit of a survival day, you always get those in a tournament.”

“I still had a couple of good shots there, I’m just hoping, looking forward to tomorrow that I continue to play the same way I did the first two days, especially on this course as it’s a lot more demanding.”

“So it all depends on the weather conditions.”

“The course is firming up and I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par you’ll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.”

Notables missing the cut, which was made at -8 under,  include Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed, Vaughn Taylor, and  Chris Kirk.

Phil missed the cut here for the first time in 24 years, he struggled today for  a +2-over par 74,  in the heavy winds, playing the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots.

The last round will be played over the more difficult Pete Dye designed PGA West Stadium Course, and with the leaderboard being tight at the top,it will be an exciting final round tomorrow. 

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Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Ross Fisher and Thomas Pieters Tied at the Top.

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Ross Fisher, England,  and Thomas Pieters, Belgium, are  tied at the top of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship leaderboard after 54 holes.

Ross Fisher / getty

Ross carded a third round -7 under 65, while Thomas was -5 under 67 to be tied for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship lead after 54 holes at -17 under par.

Ross is having fun and playing well;

“It was another good day, obviously great fun getting out with Thomas, third day in a row, a lot of fun, a lot of banter.”

“Just trying to hang on, felt like I played solid.”

“Fingers crossed, we’ll be paired again tomorrow, because it’s been three fun, exciting days with Thomas and Adam on the bag. “

“So we’ll go out there tomorrow and hopefully have some more fun.”

Thomas had some problems with the putter;

“I think I played pretty good today, I missed a lot of putts today.”

“Made a couple birdies early, which settled me down.” 

“The back nine, I played very good. But yeah, I couldn’t really make a putt. Hit one really close on 16 and 17, 18, pretty disappointing.”

“I didn’t hit many good shots there but it’s still nice to make a par on the last after the mess I made.” 

Lurking with intent right behind the top two is four time Major winner Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland, at -16 under par with a -7 under 65 round, which included his first bogey of the tournament;

“Just go out and try and shoot the best score I possibly can. I felt really comfortable, really relaxed out there.” 

“It would mean a lot. I’ve had a lot of close calls here, I think about six top threes or something like that.” 

“I’ve never won my first start back out. I was close last year in South Africa, Stormy (Graeme Storm) beat me in a playoff.”

“I’m excited to get back on the horse and give myself another chance tomorrow.”

Matt Fitzpatrick,  -9 under 63 today  and defending champion Tommy Fleetwood, -5 under 67, both from England, share fourth on -14 under par.

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Career Builder Challenge. Landry Leads.

 

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Andrew Landry leads the Career Builder Challenge at the half-way stage in California.

Landry leads CareerBuilder

Andrew Landry / getty

Andrew carded -7 under par 65, another bogey free round, this time on the Nicklaus Tournament Course to top the Career Builder Challenge leaderboard with a -16 under par total, for the 36 holes played.

Tomorrow he faces the tough Stadium Course, with unfriendly weather forecast;

“I know it’s supposed to be blowing tomorrow, but I think I have really good control of my golf ball right now, so it shouldn’t be too big of an issue.” 

Special features of Pete Dye’s Stadium Course include more square footage of water than fairway, and more sand than putting surface.

Jon Rahm, Spain, holds second place, -5 under par 67 on the Nicklaus course today gives him a -15 under par total, just one shot behind the leader,  but Jon was not happy with the way he played today;

“I expected myself to go to the range and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday.”

 “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

Jason Kokrak also played the Nicklaus course, carding -5 under 67 for a total of -14 under par, and third place on his own;

“I’ve given myself a lot of close opportunities.”

Two of the low rounds of the day went to Zach Johnson and Michael Kim, both went round the Nicklaus course in -8 under par 64, and share fourth place at -13 under with Martin Piller who carded -5 under par 67 on the infamous Stadium Course.

Zach keeps an eye on his stats;

“I’ve seen the numbers. I’m kind of a stat guy, because they don’t lie.”

“I’m seeing some things that I’ve never really seen before in my game, that’s encouraging.”

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Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Thomas Pieters Leads Half-Way.

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Thomas Pieters of Belgium has the half-way lead in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Thomas Pieters / getty

Thomas chipped in for a birdie on his last hole to sign for a second round -7 under par 65, and lead the  Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship by one shot at -12 under par;

“We have a decent game plan, I’ve done well here in the past and it suits me.”

“We hit driver wherever we can and the rest of it, it’s good ball-striking and going at a couple flags with wedges when you have them that you need to do that.”

“It was nice to hole one on the last after two terrible shots. But the rest of it was decent today. Ball-striking was good.”

“I hit most of the middle of the greens. If I had a wedge, I went at the flag and I think I got up-and-down or made birdie with a wedge in my hand three or four times.”

“It wasn’t really that fancy today but a very good round.”

Jorge Campillo, Spain, shot -8 under par 64 to move into second place at -11 under par;

“It was perfect , no wind, the greens are perfect, and every time I look up, everyone is making a putt.”

“The rough is a little lower than normally. I mean, it’s perfect to shoot low. You still have to do it but it’s a great day to play golf.”

Three players are tied in third place at -10 under par, 1st round leader and defending Champion Tommy Fleetwood, -4 under 68 today, Ross Fisher, -5 under 67, both from England, and Alex Levy, France, with -7 under 65.

Rory McIlroy , Northern Ireland, -6 under 66 today is in of a four-way tie at -9  under, while World Number One Dustin Johnson, USA, a shot further back at -8 under after shooting that score in his second round 64.

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Career Builder Challenge. Jon Rahm Shoots 62.


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Jon Rahm, Spain, shoots 62 on the La Quinta Country Club course to lead the Career Builder Challenge.

Career Builder Challenge

Jon Rahm / getty

Jon shot a bogey free -10 under par 62 to lead after the first round of the Career Builder Challenge, playing on the La Quinta course;

“La Quinta is really, really similar to Phoenix Country Club, which I played many times,”

“I’ve also shot ten under there, funny enough, and it’s just really familiar to what I’m used to playing.”

“Four years of college on these golf courses, it’s something you’re not going to forget, so just happy to start the tournament the way I did.”

“I was nine under last year in four days and I’m ten under today, so things have changed a little bit.”

Three players are tied in second place at -9 under par, Austin Cook, 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course, with Jason Kokrak and Andrew Landry with 63 at La Quinta.

Austin never knew how low he was during the round

“Honestly, I had no clue at how low I was.”

“I knew I was playing good golf and just wanted to continue.”

“Fifty nine never really crept into my mind all day, luckily, I think I would have probably put a little more pressure on myself, but I was just glad to put a good round in.”

“It’s a first round and hopefully it continues.”

The host course is the Stadium Course, best rounds there today came from Nick Watney, and Grayson Murray, -7 under par 65, both of them will play La Quinta tomorrow.

Grayson, who only needed 20 strokes from his putter today, spoke about Jon’s achievement today;

“I don’t expect to shoot sixty two around there like Rahm did today; he’s number three in the world for a reason.”

” It’s definitely gettable and some of the best greens we play on all year, so I’m looking forward to getting over there and hopefully continuing the momentum.”

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Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Tommy & Hideto Tied at the Top.

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Defending Champion Tommy Fleetwood, England, is tied at the top of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship leaderboard with Hideto Tanihara of Japan.

 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Tommy Fleetwood / getty

In defence of his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship title Tommy hit all 18 greens in regulation to card a bogey free first round -6 under par 66 to share the lead with Hideto, who was also bogey free at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club in the United Arab Emirates.

Tommy said he played well, especially off the tee and capitalized with good putting;

“It’s a good golf course to hit 18 greens around, just a good ball-striking round and nice to start the year off like that.”

“Had control of my ball really from the get-go. Just sort of did what you need to do well around here to get a good score.”

“I drove it well, got away with a couple of tee shots.” 

“Eighteen greens doesn’t happen very often so nice to do it around here.”

“My pace putting was really good. I didn’t put myself under any stress at all. So all in all, a very good morning.”

Hideto played smart golf and also had a good day with the putter;

“It’s a tough course here, I’m thinking more about playing smart golf and making good putts.”

“Aoki, he won on the European Tour, and I’m just trying to focus on winning on the European Tour.”

Five players share third place at -5 under par after their rounds of 67; Fabrizio Zanotti, ParaguaySam Brazel, AustraliaRoss Fisher, EnglandThomas PietersBelgium and Bernd Wiesberger of Austria.

Rory McIlroy played alongside Tommy and world number one Dustin Johnson, for his first outing of the season and carded a respectable -3 under 69. 

Rory was happy with his performance;

“It was nice, I sort of knew what I was expecting out there but at the same time, you never really know.”

“First competitive round in over a hundred days, so it’s a little bit different. But I did well.”

“I played very solid. I think only missed one or two greens, so gave myself plenty of chances. Drove the ball well. Iron play was pretty good.”

“So just need to keep doing that over the next three days and I should have a chance. I was excited to get going.”

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Sony Open in Hawaii. Patton Kizzire Wins Play-Off.

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Patton Kizzire wins the Sony Open in Hawaii in a drawn out 6 hole play-off against James Hahn at Waialae Country Club.

Kizzire claims second win of the season at Sony Open

Patton Kizzire / getty

Patton and James had tied at the top of the Sony Open in Hawaii with tournament scores of -17 under par. Patton with a last round -2 under 68 while James carded an amazing -8 under 62.

Patton is thinking of his next win already;

“I love trying to get better and putting myself in uncomfortable spots.”

“That’s all I want to do is just to be somewhere that I’ve never been because that gets me uncomfortable.”

“That’s when I know I’m doing something right.”

“I’m just going to keep working hard. I want to get the third win. The first win was big, and this one is even bigger.”

James was really deflated after his play-off loss;

“I played good enough to win, but I didn’t.”

“So for me, it’s not how many birdies I make, if I’m not coming out of the room with the trophy, it really feels like I was defeated out there.” 

“I’d rather lose by 100 than lose by 1. I’d rather miss the cut than lose in a playoff. It just doesn’t sit well with me. I feel really defeated right now.”

Tom Hoge finished in third place at -16 under par after his poor last round of even par 70.

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