Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Golf

Mickelson surges into second at Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Phil Mickelson surged up the leaderboard with 9-under 63 to put himself in second place after the third round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, while Rory McIlroy was hit with a two-shot penalty for a rules infraction that dropped him into a tie for fourth.

Mickelson barely made the cut but had the best round of the day with nine birdies and an eagle along with two bogeys to sit two shots behind leader Craig Lee of Scotland. Lee shot 69 for 12-under 204 total.

"I just love the fact I am in contention and have an opportunity in my first tournament of the year here in Abu Dhabi," Mickelson said. "The biggest thing for me is that each day as the tournament has progressed I have felt a lot sharper and sharper."

McIlroy thought he was alone in second place a stroke behind Lee after finishing his round, but tournament officials then ruled that he took a drop incorrectly on the second hole and adjusted his score to double-bogey 7. That gave him 70 for the round to sit one stroke behind Mickelson and Gaganjeet Bhullar of India (66).

McIlroy had to take relief on the second hole when his ball ended up on a gallery crosswalk and went on to par the hole, but he was later told by the caddy of playing partner Ricardo Gonzalez that he had his left foot on the white line marking the drop area, meaning he had not taken "full relief" according to the rules.

Tournament officials reviewed the situation after McIlroy completed his round, with the golfer going back to the spot to show where he stood when he took the shot.

"I didn't even know my foot was on the line," McIlroy said. "We went back to see it again there and see where my divot was, and it was clear that I couldn't have played the shot with my feet anywhere else. I guess I was so much into the shot I didn't even realize. … There's a lot of stupid rules and this is one of them."

PGA: Patrick Reed shot a third straight 9-under 63 to break the tour record for relation to par for the first 54 holes, finishing at 27 under to take a seven-stroke lead into the final round of the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, Calif.

"Anytime you set a record on the PGA Tour it means you're doing something right," said Reed, 23, who broke the mark of 25 under set by Gay Brewer in the 1967 Pensacola Open and matched by three others.

CHAMPIONS: Bernhard Langer birdied six of his first eight holes on the way to 8-under 64 and Fred Couples had six birdies on his first 11 en route to 7-under 63 to tie for the lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Ka'upulehu-Kona, Hawaii. Both were at 14-under 130 overall. Second-round leader Rocco Mediate (70) fell three strokes back.

Comments
Tommy Fleetwood repeats as champion at Abu Dhabi Championship

Tommy Fleetwood repeats as champion at Abu Dhabi Championship

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Tommy Fleetwood successfully defended his Abu Dhabi Championship title on Sunday after a sensational back nine to clinch the win. The Englishman, who celebrated his 27th birthday Friday, started the final round two s...
Published: 01/21/18
McIlroy shoots third-round 65, trails by 1 at Abu Dhabi

McIlroy shoots third-round 65, trails by 1 at Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Rory McIlroy fired 7-under 65 Saturday in the third round of the Abu Dhabi Championship to move one shot behind co-leaders Ross Fisher and Thomas Pieters. Fisher shot 65 and overnight leader Pieters added 67 to reach...
Published: 01/20/18
McIlroy returns from injury, trails by 3 in first round of European Tour event

McIlroy returns from injury, trails by 3 in first round of European Tour event

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Rory McIlroy’s patience was tested Thursday on his comeback, needing three late birdies to shoot 3-under 69 that left him three strokes behind first-round leaders Tommy Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara at the Abu Dhabi ...
Published: 01/18/18
Patton Kizzire beats James Hahn in marathon Sony Open playoff

Patton Kizzire beats James Hahn in marathon Sony Open playoff

HONOLULU — A day after a false alarm caused some panic at the Sony Open, there was more drama — of a much more benign sort.Patton Kizzire made par on the tournament-record sixth playoff hole Sunday to beat James Hahn and win his second PGA Tour title...
Published: 01/14/18
False alarm on missile launch triggers anxiety at PGA Tour event in Hawaii

False alarm on missile launch triggers anxiety at PGA Tour event in Hawaii

HONOLULU — Charles Howell was eating breakfast in his hotel when the restaurant at the Kahala started buzzing. Everyone had their phones. Everyone received the same push alert. "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS...
Published: 01/13/18
Brian Harman extends good play in Hawaii, takes Sony Open lead

Brian Harman extends good play in Hawaii, takes Sony Open lead

HONOLULU — Different islands, vastly different golf courses, same good play from Brian Harman. One week after Harman shared the 36-hole lead at Kapalua, he ran off three straight birdies and closed with a 15-foot eagle putt for 7-under 63 and a three...
Published: 01/12/18
Chris Kirk, Zach Johnson share lead at PGA’s Sony Open in Hawaii

Chris Kirk, Zach Johnson share lead at PGA’s Sony Open in Hawaii

HONOLULU — Zach Johnson and Chris Kirk kept clean cards on a gorgeous day and each shot 7-under 63 Thursday to share the lead after the first round of the Sony Open. Jordan Spieth wasn’t as fortunate. Spieth hit four trees with four shots on the par-...
Published: 01/11/18
Dustin Johnson romps to 8-shot victory in Hawaii

Dustin Johnson romps to 8-shot victory in Hawaii

KAPALUA, Hawaii — A new year brought out the best in Dustin Johnson, who powered his way to 8-under 65 and an eight-shot victory Sunday in the Tournament of Champions. In a field that featured the top-five players in the world, Johnson made a strong ...
Updated one month ago
Missouri senior uses playoff birdie to win New Year’s Invitational in St. Petersburg

Missouri senior uses playoff birdie to win New Year’s Invitational in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Cold and windy conditions didn’t affect Hayden Buckley last year when he won the New Year’s Invitational, and they didn’t affect him again this year in the 92nd edition of the event.The University of Missouri senior repeated as champ...
Updated one month ago

Dustin Johnson surges into lead at Tournament of Champions

KAPALUA, Hawaii — Dustin Johnson holed out with a wedge for eagle, made birdie on every par 5 and powered his way to 7-under 66 to build a two-shot lead going into the final round of the Tournament of Champions. Coming off his lone bogey from a poor ...
Updated one month ago