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Golf

Rahm 2 back of Ryder at Torrey in bid for 3rd straight win

Bernie Wilson, The Associated Press 4 minute read Yesterday at 8:33 PM CST

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jon Rahm made an impressive charge up the leaderboard on his favorite course with a 6-under 66 on Friday, which is now moving day at Torrey Pines, to pull within two shots of leader Sam Ryder after the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rahm, ranked No. 3 in the world, is 18 holes away from potentially winning his third straight start and taking over at No. 1 for the first time since March 20. He began Friday at 4 under and tied for 14th, and moved into sole possession of second place after an eagle on the par-5 ninth hole that capped his second stretch of playing four holes in 5 under in two days.

While Rahm heated up on a gorgeous, calm day on the municipal course overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Ryder parred his last 12 holes for a 72, missing a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th. Ryder was at 12-under 204 through 54 holes while Rahm was 10 under.

Tony Finau, 12 shots back when he started his third round on the back nine, turned in 4-under 32 and then holed his approach from 138 yards on the par-4 first hole for an eagle. He shot an 8-under 64, the best round of the week on the South Course, to move into third place, four shots back.

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McIlroy, Reed tied behind leaders at Dubai Desert Classic

The Associated Press 2 minute read Preview

McIlroy, Reed tied behind leaders at Dubai Desert Classic

The Associated Press 2 minute read 10:49 AM CST

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Top-ranked Rory McIlroy and rival Patrick Reed were two shots off the lead at the halfway point of the Dubai Desert Classic on Saturday.

Richard Bland, Thomas Pieters and amateur Michael Thorbjornsen all reached 10-under overall at Emirates Golf Club for a share of the lead after two rounds of the weather-impacted tournament, which will conclude Monday.

Thorbjornsen, who is No. 2 in the world amateur rankings, shot an 8-under 64. He started on the 10th and birdied five of his first six holes before chipping for an eagle at the par-5 18th. He added a bogey and two more birdies.

“I enjoy playing professional golf a lot and I’m still an amateur,” the Stanford University junior said, “but just the golf courses that we play, the crowd out there, it’s what I’m dreaming of ever since I was five or six years old.”

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10:49 AM CST

Thomas Pieters of Belgium plays his second shot on the 18th hole during the competition of the second round of the Dubai Desert Classic, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

McIlroy and Reed both 6-under after 1st round in Dubai

The Associated Press 3 minute read Preview

McIlroy and Reed both 6-under after 1st round in Dubai

The Associated Press 3 minute read Yesterday at 9:32 AM CST

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed produced big first-round finishes at the Dubai Desert Classic on Friday in what could lead to an intriguing showdown as the competition heads to a Monday conclusion.

LIV Golf series players Richard Bland and Ian Poulter were tied atop the leaderboard at 8-under overall when second-round play was suspended Friday because of fading light. It was the second straight day of disrupted play at Emirates Golf Club.

McIlroy and Reed, another LIV golfer, were in the news after some pre-tournament friction between two of golf’s most high-profile players, and both completed their rounds at 6-under 66 in brief appearances on opposite ends of the course Friday.

Angel Hidalgo was one shot behind the leaders and Louis de Jager was at 6 under with McIlroy and Reed, who will start their second rounds Saturday.

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Yesterday at 9:32 AM CST

Shane Lowry of Ireland holds un umbrella before plays his third shot on the 3rd hole during his first round on Day Two of the Dubai Desert Classic, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

West Virginia Golf Association exec Ullman joins LIV Golf

The Associated Press 1 minute read Preview

West Virginia Golf Association exec Ullman joins LIV Golf

The Associated Press 1 minute read Yesterday at 3:01 AM CST

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Brad Ullman has stepped down as executive director of the West Virginia Golf Association to become tournament director for LIV Golf.

The WVGA announced Ullman's departure on Thursday.

LIV Golf, the Saudi-funded rival league to the PGA Tour, will hold a tournament in early August at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs.

Ullman has served as executive director since 2014. Before that he was the association's director of operations. Among the growth Ullman oversaw in the WVGA was in the First Tee-West Virginia program, which teaches character education, healthy habits and golf fundamentals in more than 170 elementary schools statewide.

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Yesterday at 3:01 AM CST

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Brad Ullman has stepped down as executive director of the West Virginia Golf Association to become tournament director for LIV Golf.

The WVGA announced Ullman's departure on Thursday.

LIV Golf, the Saudi-funded rival league to the PGA Tour, will hold a tournament in early August at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs.

Ullman has served as executive director since 2014. Before that he was the association's director of operations. Among the growth Ullman oversaw in the WVGA was in the First Tee-West Virginia program, which teaches character education, healthy habits and golf fundamentals in more than 170 elementary schools statewide.

Ryder extends Farmers lead to 3, Rahm gets hot on windy day

Bernie Wilson, The Associated Press 4 minute read Preview

Ryder extends Farmers lead to 3, Rahm gets hot on windy day

Bernie Wilson, The Associated Press 4 minute read Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Sam Ryder extended his lead to three shots in the Farmers Insurance Open with a 4-under 68 in challenging wind in the second round Thursday on Torrey Pines' South Course while Jon Rahm had an eagle and three straight birdies late in his 5-under 67 on the easier North Course to get under the cut line.

Ryder survived both the Santa Ana wind and the tougher South Course with just one bogey to reach 12-under 132 and take a three-stroke lead over Brendan Steele, who shot a 70 on the South Course. Tano Goya was two more shots back after a 67 on the North Course.

The Santa Ana wind blowing out of the desert and down the mountains raked the course most of the day, with gusts up to 30 mph. It sent leaves, branches and even a tumbleweed onto greens, and cardboard trash cans tumbling down hillsides.

“Yesterday was very easy, today was very hard,” said Rahm, who took his first tour win here in 2017 and then won the 2021 U.S. Open on the blufftop municipal course overlooking the Pacific Ocean. “It’s never easy out here on either one of the courses, especially the South, and when you get poa annua bumpy greens with this wind, it can be a bit of a nightmare, so glad I made a few.”

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Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023

Taiga Semikawa, of Japan, watches his tee shot on the 18th hole of the North Course at Torrey Pines during the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Reed fares better than McIlroy after delayed start in Dubai

The Associated Press 3 minute read Preview

Reed fares better than McIlroy after delayed start in Dubai

The Associated Press 3 minute read Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Patrick Reed fared better than Rory McIlroy after some pre-tournament friction as the Dubai Desert Classic got off to a wet start Thursday with only 11 players managing to finish their weather-affected first rounds.

Play only began at the European tour event after a delay of six hours caused by heavy overnight rain that left the course unplayable at Emirates Golf Club.

By the time the siren sounded to suspend play because of fading light, Reed was 4 under par after 16 holes and top-ranked McIlroy was 2 under having played 15 holes.

Thomas Pieters was leading on 5 under, though he also had three holes to play. Three English players — Matthew Jordan, Daniel Gavins and Oliver Wilson — held the clubhouse lead after shooting rounds of 4-under 68.

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Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 12th hole during the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Rahm struggles to opening 1-over 73 at Torrey Pines

Bernie Wilson, The Associated Press 4 minute read Preview

Rahm struggles to opening 1-over 73 at Torrey Pines

Bernie Wilson, The Associated Press 4 minute read Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jon Rahm struggled to a 1-over 73 at Torrey Pines South, which has become one of his favourite courses, while Sam Ryder, Aaron Rai and Brent Grant all shot 8-under 64 on the more forgiving North Course on Wednesday to tie for the first-round lead at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rahm, ranked No. 3 in the world and trying for his third win in as many starts, made a double bogey on the par-4 seventh hole and was continually left frustrated on the South Course. He earned his first PGA Tour victory in 2017 at the municipal courses on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean and then won the U.S. Open on the South Course in 2021.

Rahm, who is trying for his 10th career tour win, was tied for 116th with 11 others, including playing partner Tony Finau and Justin Rose.

“Not good,” the Spanish star said as he signed autographs in the fading sunshine. Rahm won The American Express at PGA West in the Coachella Valley last weekend and the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua two weeks earlier.

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Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023

Sam Ryder hits his tee shot on the 18th hole of the North Course at Torrey Pines during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Recreational golf continues to grow in Canada and United States in 2022

John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press 4 minute read Preview

Recreational golf continues to grow in Canada and United States in 2022

John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press 4 minute read Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023

Recreational golf continued to reach new heights of popularity in 2022.

Lightspeed Commerce, which does data management for golf courses, released its industry-wide annual report on Wednesday.

It showed ongoing growth of the game in North America, continuing a trend started in 2020 when golf was one of the few social activities where people could remain physically distant to avoid spreading COVID-19.

"To see everything being in the black was really encouraging, where the state of golf is right now, not only in Canada, but in North America," said Lightspeed Golf general manager David Hope, who is based in Montreal.

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Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023

Sprinklers water the fairways at Lakeview Golf Course in Mississauga, Ont., on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.
Recreational golf continued to reach new heights of popularity across Canada in 2022.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Ex-NBA guard J.R. Smith aims to make golf more accessible

Aaron Beard, The Associated Press 4 minute read Preview

Ex-NBA guard J.R. Smith aims to make golf more accessible

Aaron Beard, The Associated Press 4 minute read Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023

J.R. Smith followed his own path to golf, from high school basketball star to 16-year NBA veteran and now older-than-usual college athlete at North Carolina A&T.

He wants his story to help others feel comfortable taking up the sport.

“There’s definitely a place in the game for everybody,” Smith said. “No matter what color, age you are, gender — there’s a place in this game for any and everybody.”

That's Smith's message with Wednesday’s launch of a video podcast aiming to make the sport more accessible to young and diverse audiences. The weekly Par 3 Podcast features Smith, famed high-end jeweler Ben Baller, and Malbon Golf lifestyle and apparel company co-founder Stephen Malbon.

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Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023

FILE - North Carolina A&T's J.R. Smith chips from the 17th fairway during the first round of the Phoenix Invitational golf tournament in Burlington, N.C., Oct. 11, 2021. Smith, a former NBA player, hopes his journey to become a college golfer helps others feel comfortable taking up the sport regardless of their background. Smith is part of a new video podcast launching Wednesday designed to make the sport more accessible to young and diverse audiences. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

1st round of Dubai Desert Classic to be closed to public

The Associated Press 1 minute read Preview

1st round of Dubai Desert Classic to be closed to public

The Associated Press 1 minute read Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Spectators will not be allowed to attend the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic on Thursday because of what organizers have described as “severe weather conditions” forecast at Emirates Golf Club.

The European tour said Wednesday the decision had been made “with the safety of all in mind.”

“Emirates Golf Club will be open only to the players, the caddies, officials and the media,” the tour said, adding that it looks forward to inviting the public back to the course on Friday.

The Dubai Desert Classic is one of the biggest events on the European tour's schedule. Top-ranked Rory McIlroy headlines the field this year.

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Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023

FILE - Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off at the 18th hole during DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Nov. 19, 2022. McIlroy was one of the most vocal critics of the LIV Golf breakaway league last year. It left him feeling mentally drained so he decided to put his clubs away for a few weeks around Christmas. Now he’s back and appears to be as fiery as ever as he prepares to play the Dubai Desert Classic. (AP Photo/Martin Dokoupil, File)

McIlroy snubs Reed, in no mood for reconciliation in Dubai

Steve Douglas, The Associated Press 5 minute read Preview

McIlroy snubs Reed, in no mood for reconciliation in Dubai

Steve Douglas, The Associated Press 5 minute read Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023

Another battle between Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed began to take shape Wednesday.

As one of the most vocal critics of the LIV Golf breakaway league, McIlroy felt mentally drained at the end of last year and decided to put his clubs away for a few weeks.

“It’s been nice,” the top-ranked McIlroy said, “to try to take a little bit of time away, and try to sort of distance myself from the game of golf.”

Now he’s back and appears to be as fiery as ever.

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Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023

FILE - Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off at the 18th hole during DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Nov. 19, 2022. McIlroy was one of the most vocal critics of the LIV Golf breakaway league last year. It left him feeling mentally drained so he decided to put his clubs away for a few weeks around Christmas. Now he’s back and appears to be as fiery as ever as he prepares to play the Dubai Desert Classic. (AP Photo/Martin Dokoupil, File)

CBS embarks on 66th straight season with 23 PGA Tour events

Doug Ferguson, The Associated Press 7 minute read Preview

CBS embarks on 66th straight season with 23 PGA Tour events

Doug Ferguson, The Associated Press 7 minute read Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023

CBS Sports begins its 66th consecutive season covering the PGA Tour with only its fifth lead analyst in Trevor Immelman and one of its busiest years, with 11 of the 17 “elevated” events with the biggest names.

It starts in prime time on Saturday night from Torrey Pines, an early finish to avoid the NFL conference championship games. Jim Nantz will call the action from Kansas City, Missouri, where CBS is televising the AFC title game.

And for the first time, CBS will have the entire FedEx Cup playoffs as part of an alternating schedule with NBC. CBS, which for years has carried the most tournaments, this year will have 23.

“It feels a little different, like having more light shining on it,” Nantz said. “Twenty-three in ’23. We’ve never had the full playoffs. You take our two majors (Masters and PGA Championship) and 11 of our 23 events are going to have magnificent fields. I think it’s going to be a blast.”

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Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023

Justin Thomas hits from the sixth fairway during the third round of the Tournament of Champions golf event, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, at Kapalua Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Column: Rahm’s big run is putting everyone in golf on notice

Doug Ferguson, The Associated Press 5 minute read Preview

Column: Rahm’s big run is putting everyone in golf on notice

Doug Ferguson, The Associated Press 5 minute read Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023

Davis Thompson, a 23-year-old PGA Tour rookie and former No. 1 amateur, needed only five words to indicate the odds he faced in the final round of The American Express.

“I'm playing against Jon Rahm.”

This isn't the first time Rahm has been regarded as among golf's best. He spent the second half of 2021 at No. 1 in the world, the same year he captured the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines for his first major.

Rahm also is not the only player to go on the kind of heater he is on now.

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Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023

Jon Rahm hits from the ninth tee during the final round of the American Express golf tournament on the Pete Dye Stadium Course at PGA West Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in La Quinta, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LIV to stage 3 events on Trump sites; ranking decision looms

Doug Ferguson, The Associated Press 3 minute read Preview

LIV to stage 3 events on Trump sites; ranking decision looms

Doug Ferguson, The Associated Press 3 minute read Monday, Jan. 23, 2023

The second year of Saudi-funded LIV Golf will be going to three courses owned by former President Donald Trump as part of a 14-event schedule in 2023, according to a report from SI.com.

The report said LIV Golf announced its schedule, although the LIV website only said that a full schedule was coming soon. The rival league previously said it would open its season Feb. 24-26 at the Mexican golf resort of Mayakoba, which formerly hosted a PGA Tour stop.

LIV Golf did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph in the U.K. quoted European tour CEO Keith Pelley as saying he and PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan have recused themselves as Official World Golf Ranking board members from any discussion on whether LIV Golf should be receiving world ranking points.

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Monday, Jan. 23, 2023

FILE - Dustin Johnson hits from the third tee during the second round of the LIV Golf Team Championship at Trump National Doral Golf Club, Oct. 29, 2022, in Doral, Fla. The second year of Saudi-funded LIV Golf will be going to three courses owned by former President Donald Trump as part of a 14-event schedule in 2023, according to a report from SI.com. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

Canada’s Brooke Henderson moves up to No. 1 on LPGA Tour standings

The Canadian Press 1 minute read Preview

Canada’s Brooke Henderson moves up to No. 1 on LPGA Tour standings

The Canadian Press 1 minute read Monday, Jan. 23, 2023

Canada's Brooke Henderson is No. 1 on the LPGA Tour standings.

She was elevated to the top spot on the Race to CME Globe rankings on Monday after winning the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.

Henderson won the season-opening elite 29-player tournament by four strokes.

The native of Smiths Falls, Ont., now has 13 professional wins, the most in Canadian golf history.

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Monday, Jan. 23, 2023

Brooke Henderson holds up the championship trophy after winning the LPGA Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/John Raoux

Rahm makes it 2 straight wins; Henderson wins LPGA opener

The Associated Press 5 minute read Preview

Rahm makes it 2 straight wins; Henderson wins LPGA opener

The Associated Press 5 minute read Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023

LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) — Jon Rahm took advantage of mistakes by rookie Davis Thompson over the adventuresome final three holes and closed with a 4-under 68 to win The American Express by one stroke on Sunday, his second PGA Tour win in as many starts this year.

They were tied with three holes to play when Thompson, who led through 36 holes and shared the lead with Rahm going into Sunday, pulled his drive into a deep fairway bunker on the par-5 16th and wound up with par. Rahm made birdie to take the lead.

On the par-3 17th, Thompson chose to leave the pin in for his 50-foot birdie putt on the island green, and the ball squarely hit the pin and rolled away. The 23-year-old from Georgia dropped his putter and put his hands to his face. As he walked to the 18th tee after tapping in, he pulled his shirt up over his mouth in frustration.

Rahm hit his tee shot into the bunker on 18 but recovered nicely with a shot to 15 feet and pumped his fist. Thompson drove onto the fairway but his approach bounced on the green and ran down the slope behind it. The rookie hit a bold flop shop that settled a foot to the right of the hole. He shot 69.

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Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023

Jon Rahm hold the winner's trophy after the American Express golf tournament on the Pete Dye Stadium Course at PGA West Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in La Quinta, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Rahm outlasts rookie Thompson to win AmEx by 1 stroke

The Associated Press 5 minute read Preview

Rahm outlasts rookie Thompson to win AmEx by 1 stroke

The Associated Press 5 minute read Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023

LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) — While Jon Rahm had plenty of chances to pump his right first after nice shots on Sunday, the look of relief on his face after holding off rookie Davis Thompson put into perspective his victory at The American Express.

The Spanish star took advantage of mistakes by Thompson over the adventuresome final three holes and closed with a 4-under 68 to win by one stroke, his second PGA Tour win in as many starts this year.

“I'm, in a weird way, glad that today went the way it went,” Rahm said. “I’ve enjoyed some runaway victories, I’ve enjoyed some comebacks, but today was certainly a struggle. Out of the five birdies I made, what is it, one, two, three of them were tap-ins and the other two were basically 6-footers. So that tells you the story.”

Rahm pumped his fist a final time after tapping in for a two-putt par on No. 18 at PGA West's Stadium Course.

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Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023

Jon Rahm reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 18th hole during the final round of the American Express golf tournament on the Pete Dye Stadium Course at PGA West Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in La Quinta, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Brooke Henderson goes wire-to-wire at LPGA season opener

Jeff Babineau, The Associated Press 4 minute read Preview

Brooke Henderson goes wire-to-wire at LPGA season opener

Jeff Babineau, The Associated Press 4 minute read Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Brooke Henderson sets a goal of winning multiple LPGA Tour titles at the outset of each season. She didn't wait long to collect her first trophy of 2023.

Henderson was dominant throughout and delivered a 2-under 70 on Sunday at Lake Nona to complete a wire-to-wire victory in the season-opening Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.

In windy and sometimes difficult conditions, the 25-year-old Canadian played steadily, making sure not to give much hope to a group behind her trying to mount any sort of challenge. She began her day leading by three and eventually won by four, finishing the event at 16-under 272. It was her 13th LPGA victory.

“It is so exciting,” Henderson said. “I always try to win a couple times each year, so to get one right way out of the gate takes a little bit of pressure off. ... It’s exciting to be in contention, and even more exciting to hoist trophies.”

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Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023

Nelly Korda hits from the ninth fairway during the final round of the LPGA Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Canada’s Brooke Henderson wins Tournament of Champions for 13th LPGA Tour title

The Canadian Press 4 minute read Preview

Canada’s Brooke Henderson wins Tournament of Champions for 13th LPGA Tour title

The Canadian Press 4 minute read Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023

ORLANDO, Fla. - Brooke Henderson has had the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions circled on her calendar for eight weeks.

The Canadian golf superstar has always enjoyed the elite, 29-player pro-am event that starts the LPGA Tour season, but had never won it. She was also looking forward to returning to competitive golf after playing through a sore back at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship on Nov. 19.

She more than met that challenge.

Henderson led the Tournament of Champions from wire to wire, finishing the fourth round 2-under 70 on Sunday for an overall score of 16-under par, four shots better than Sweden's Maja Stark and England's Charley Hull. Her 13 professional victories are the most in Canadian golf history.

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Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023

Brooke Henderson hits a shot from the ninth tee during the final round of the LPGA Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. Henderson went on to win the event, the 13th LPGA Tour title of her career. THE CANADIAN PRESS-AP-John Raoux

Perez hits shot of lifetime for Abu Dhabi win and 3rd title

The Associated Press 4 minute read Preview

Perez hits shot of lifetime for Abu Dhabi win and 3rd title

The Associated Press 4 minute read Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The best shot of Victor Perez’s life has set up likely the biggest year of the Frenchman’s golfing career.

Perez span a bunker shot back into the hole for birdie at No. 17 and celebrated wildly on the way to shooting 6-under 66 for a one-stroke victory at the Abu Dhabi Championship on Sunday, earning him his third and easily biggest European tour title.

“It was probably the greatest shot I’ve ever hit,” Perez said.

That wasn't the end of the drama in a crazy finish at Yas Island Links.

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Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023

Min Woo Lee of Australia plays a shot on 10th hole during the final round of Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Stricker opens PGA Tour Champions with 6-shot win in Hawaii

The Associated Press 3 minute read Preview

Stricker opens PGA Tour Champions with 6-shot win in Hawaii

The Associated Press 3 minute read Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023

KA'UPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — Steve Stricker competed for the first time in three months and nothing changed. He began the PGA Tour Champions year by closing with a 7-under 65 for a six-shot victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.

Stricker seized control with a 60 in the second round for a two-shot lead, and with three birdies in four holes at the start, no one got closer the rest of the way.

“To win here, I don't know what kind of game I had coming into this week,” Stricker said, breaking into a smile before adding, “but it was pretty good.”

He now has four PGA Tour Champions wins in his last five starts, ending last year with consecutive victories before taking off the postseason to enjoy the Wisconsin outdoors.

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Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023

KA'UPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — Steve Stricker competed for the first time in three months and nothing changed. He began the PGA Tour Champions year by closing with a 7-under 65 for a six-shot victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.

Stricker seized control with a 60 in the second round for a two-shot lead, and with three birdies in four holes at the start, no one got closer the rest of the way.

“To win here, I don't know what kind of game I had coming into this week,” Stricker said, breaking into a smile before adding, “but it was pretty good.”

He now has four PGA Tour Champions wins in his last five starts, ending last year with consecutive victories before taking off the postseason to enjoy the Wisconsin outdoors.

Rahm ties rookie Thompson for AmEx lead at 23 under

The Associated Press 3 minute read Preview

Rahm ties rookie Thompson for AmEx lead at 23 under

The Associated Press 3 minute read Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023

LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) — Jon Rahm got off to a hot start and shot a 7-under 65 on Saturday on PGA West's Stadium Course for a share of the lead with tour rookie Davis Thompson in The American Express.

Thompson's run of eagles in the Southern California desert finally ended as the 23-year-old carded a 67, also on the Stadium Course, to settle into a tie with Rahm at 23-under 193.

Thompson, who had five eagles in leading through the first two rounds, just missed a 35-foot birdie putt on No. 18 that would have given him a one-stroke lead.

Rahm, the world's fourth-ranked player who won at Kapalua two weeks ago, and Thompson will make up the final group Sunday on the Stadium Course, which was one of three courses that hosted the first three rounds.

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Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023

Davis Thompson putts on the 17th hole during the American Express golf tournament on the Pete Dye Stadium Course at PGA West Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in La Quinta, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Henderson stalls but still leads by tnree strokes in LPGA season opener

Jeff Babineau, The Associated Press 4 minute read Preview

Henderson stalls but still leads by tnree strokes in LPGA season opener

Jeff Babineau, The Associated Press 4 minute read Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Canadian Brooke Henderson went from complete control of her game for two days to having to scratch out a good score Saturday. The result was a 3-under 69 and a three-shot lead in the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.

Henderson, of Smiths Falls, Ont., was up for the fight and moved to 14-under 202 in the LPGA Tour season opener at Lake Nona. The Canadian will take a three-shot lead over Nelly Korda (68) and Nasa Hataoka of Japan (66) into the final round.

Maja Stark of Sweden (68) and Charley Hull of England (69) trail by five.

After a pedestrian stretch of golf early on her second nine that included a bogey at the par-4 12th — only her second bogey of the week — Henderson managed to slide in a 30-foot curler for birdie from the left side of the 16th green.

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Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023

Nasa Hataoka, of Japan, holds up her golf ball after making a birdie putt on the 10th hole during the first round of the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions LPGA golf tournament Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Lowry, Molinari and Lee share lead at Abu Dhabi Championship

The Associated Press 2 minute read Preview

Lowry, Molinari and Lee share lead at Abu Dhabi Championship

The Associated Press 2 minute read Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Shane Lowry moved into position to win the Abu Dhabi Championship for a second time but the Irishman has plenty of company on a stacked leaderboard.

That includes, out of nowhere, his compatriot and fellow major winner Padraig Harrington.

Lowry, the 2019 champion, shot 6-under 66 to tie for the third-round lead Saturday with Francesco Molinari and Min Woo Lee at 13-under overall.

There were 12 players within three shots of the joint leaders and among them is the 51-year-old Harrington, who shot 64.

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Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023

Shane Lowry of Ireland walks on the 18th fairway during the third round of Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Thompson cards 3 more eagles, has 2-shot AmEx lead over Rahm

The Associated Press 4 minute read Preview

Thompson cards 3 more eagles, has 2-shot AmEx lead over Rahm

The Associated Press 4 minute read Friday, Jan. 20, 2023

LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) — Rookie Davis Thompson made three more eagles Friday for a total of five through 36 holes to tie the PGA Tour record for the most in a 72-hole tournament since 1983, and he still didn't put any more distance between himself and Jon Rahm at The American Express.

Thompson also carded his first bogeys of the tournament, which were hardly enough to slow him down. One day after making consecutive eagles in shooting 10-under 62 at La Quinta to take the first-round lead, Thompson carded an 8-under 64 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West. He had three eagles, four birdies and two bogeys.

The 23-year-old who played college golf at Georgia was at 18-under 126, two strokes ahead of Rahm, who also shot 64 on the Nicklaus course.

“I just had some good numbers into par-5s and was able to execute my shots,” Thompson said. “I had some putts drop. So it was nice to make some eagles.”

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Friday, Jan. 20, 2023

Jon Rahm smiles as he stands on the ninth green during the American Express golf tournament on the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, in La Quinta, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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