Riley leads Memorial by one after late birdie spree
Davis Riley birdied three of his last four holes to seize the lead after Thursday's opening round of the PGA Memorial tournament, where last-hole setbacks deflated Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.
Riley, ranked 79th, hasn't made a cut since taking his first PGA title in April with partner Nick Hardy at the tour pairs event in New Orleans.
But the 26-year-old American, a back-nine starter, sank a 13-foot birdie putt at the par-4 ninth to finish on five-under-par 67, one stroke ahead of England's Matt Wallace at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.
Riley credited a more relaxed approach for his round, blaming over-eagerness since his maiden PGA win for his string of missed cuts.
"I've been more and more eager to get there and been in my own way a little bit," he said. "I felt like I had a hard reset at the beginning of this week... I just tried to relax a little out there and hit every shot to the best of my ability. It was a good day and I had some good shots that kept momentum going."
Irishman Shane Lowry, the 2019 British Open champion, and England's Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters winner, were in a third-place pack on 69 that also included Canada's Adam Hadwin and Americans Spieth, Mark Hubbard, Austin Eckroat and David Lipsky.
Three-time major winner Spieth and playing partner McIlroy, a four-time major winner, were contenders when they reached the 18th hole, but Spieth made bogey and third-ranked McIlroy had a triple-bogey disaster.
McIlroy missed the green with his second shot from the right rough, found the rough again with his fourth before reaching the green and two-putting to salvage level-par 72.
Spieth holed out from a greenside bunker from 43 feet for birdie at the 10th, reached the green in two to set up birdies at the par-5 seventh and 11th and sank a 15-foot birdie putt at 17 before a closing bogey after finding fairway and greenside bunkers.
"It was one of those days where I got a couple out of the round, which was kind of nice," Spieth said.
Spieth has overcome the nagging left wrist injury that bothered him at last month's PGA Championship.
"I feel good. I wouldn't be playing if it was any bit of an issue at all," Spieth said. "I just took enough time off. Riley pitched his third shot inches from the hole to birdie the par-5 11th and added an eight-foot birdie putt at the fifth before his lone bogey at 18.
After a birdie from just inside four feet at the third, Riley caught fire late with birdie putts from just outside 12 feet at six, just inside five feet at seven and his closer.
"Those were holes that I kept momentum on and when I was on the green I felt like I had nice looks and I made putts," said Riley, who reached 11 of 18 fairways and 9-of-14 greens in regulation.
Masters winner Jon Rahm, the world number two from Spain, opened on 70 while top-ranked American Scheffler fired a 74.
Leading scores after Thursday's first round of the PGA Tour Memorial tournament at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio (USA unless noted, par-72):
67 - Davis Riley
68 - Matt Wallace (ENG)
69 - Danny Willett (ENG), Adam Hadwin (CAN), Mark Hubbard, Shane Lowry (IRL), Austin Eckroat, David Lipsky, Jordan Spieth
70 - Patrick Rodgers, Justin Suh, Wyndham Clark, Seamus Power (IRL), Jon Rahm (ESP), Adam Scott (AUS), Im Sung-jae (KOR)
71 - Taylor Montgomery, Denny McCarthy, Keith Mitchell, Harris English, Garrick Higgo (RSA), Emiliano Grillo (ARG), Viktor Hovland (NOR), Collin Morikawa, Sam Burns, Kim Si-woo (KOR), Sam Bennett, Patrick Cantlay, Tyrrell Hatton (ENG), Sepp Straka (AUT), Sam Ryder, Andrew Putnam
29 May 07:11
Argentina's Grillo wins playoff to capture PGA Colonial crown
Argentina's Emiliano Grillo birdied the second playoff hole to defeat American Adam Schenk on Sunday to win the PGA Tour's Charles Schwab Challenge for his first triumph in eight years.
The 30-year-old South American fired a two-under par 68 and despite a closing double bogey finished level with Schenk on eight-under 272 for 72 holes at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
After both parred 18 to begin the playoff, they went to the par-3 16th and Grillo's tee shot landed just inside five feet.
Schenk, seeking his first PGA title, missed the green but chipped within three feet only for Grillo to make his putt for the long-sought title.
"It has been such a ride," Grillo said. "It makes me think of where I am coming from. It makes me think of my family ... They say the second is harder than the first. It definitely was.
"I'm on top of the world right now. Hopefully I can stay there for at least one more week."
Grillo won his only prior PGA title at the 2015 Frys.com Open, beating American Kevin Na with a birdie on the second playoff hole in his debut as a PGA member.
The only other Argentine winner of the event was Roberto De Vicenzo in 1957, the first Colonial champion from outside the United States.
World number one Scottie Scheffler, who made a hole-in-one in shooting 67, shared third on 273 with England's Harry Hall, who shot 73 after a bogey on 18 to miss the playoff.
"Winning on the PGA Tour is a lot closer than I thought it was," Hall said.
"Coming down the stretch there you don't need amazing golf to get it done."
Grillo, who had four birdies and two bogeys in the first seven holes, made a 17-foot birdie putt at the 12th and curled in a birdie putt from just inside 20 feet at the par-3 16th, little knowing he'd win with another birdie on the same hole after a double bogey at 18.
"I made a double on 18 and honestly I didn't care," Grillo said. "I'd have liked to get it on the 72nd but I closed with some great swings at 18 and two great birdies at 16."
Hall missed a 16-foot par putt to slip two adrift of Grillo, while Schenk made an eight-footer to birdie 16 and reach eight-under.
But Grillo went way right off the 18th tee, took a penalty drop, needed two more to reach the green and two-putted for double bogey to create a three-way tie for the lead.
Hall, ranked 197th, found water off the 18th tee and made bogey.
Schenk missed a 15-foot birdie putt and tapped in for a playoff.
"The last was a little bit funky," Hall said. "I hit a great shot. It overdrew on the went and went really far. I didn't think I could reach that. It went 340 (yards)."
'I'll learn from it'
Hall and Schenk shared the 54-hole lead but stumbled back.
Schenk made a bogey at six after finding a fairway bunker, another at 10 after hitting greenside sand and missed the green at the par-3 13th for a third bogey.
Hall opened with back-to-back birdies but missed four-foot par putts at the fifth and par-3 eighth and made bogey at the par-5 11th.
"Missed a couple inside five feet," Hall said. "I don't normally do that. I'll learn from it."Scheffler aced the 189-yard eighth hole with a 7-iron."It was nice," Scheffler said.
"It landed where I wanted it to, everybody started standing up and I was fortunate it went in."
Leading final-round scores on Sunday in the PGA Tour Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas (USA unless noted, par-70, x-won playoff with birdie on second extra hole):
272 - x-Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 67-65-72-68, Adam Schenk 66-67-67-72
273 - Scottie Scheffler 67-67-72-67, Harry Hall (ENG) 62-66-72-73
274 - Paul Haley 73-68-66-67
275 - Michael Kim 67-71-70-67, Rickie Fowler 68-71-69-67, Sam Burns 67-70-70-68
276 - Max Homa 67-69-71-69, Mark Hubbard 69-69-69-69, Kevin Streelman 68-69-68-71
277 - Justin Rose (ENG) 69-66-72-70, Chad Ramey 68-69-69-71, Aaron Rai (ENG) 71-68-67-71, Harris English 65-66-70-76
278 - Russell Henley 68-71-69-70, Austin Eckroat 69-66-72-71, David Lipsky 67-69-69-73, Viktor Hovland (NOR) 71-68-66-73, Justin Suh 68-70-66-74
279 - Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 70-71-71-67, Carson Young 69-66-75-69, Kramer Hickok 70-69-71-69, Austin Smotherman 67-73-70-69, Thomas Detry (BEL) 70-68-71-70, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (RSA) 70-68-70-71, Ryan Fox (NZL) 67-71-69-72, An Byeong-hun (KOR) 67-66-72-74
28 May 07:27
England's Hall clings to share of lead with Schenk at Colonial
England's Harry Hall sank clutch putts from about 10 feet on the last two holes to share the lead after Saturday's third round of the PGA Tour's Charles Schwab Challenge.
Hall hung tough after back-to-back double bogeys to shoot a two-over par 72 and stand level with American Adam Schenk on 10-under 200 after 54 holes at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
Hall, ranked 197th in the world and chasing a first ever win on the PGA Tour, reached the top with a birdie at 17, and stayed there with a tense par putt at the 18th.
"To be T1 after today is pretty cool, especially after that front nine," Hall said. "It goes to show how hard the course is, and I did a good job battling it back and getting those two birdies on that back nine."
Schenk, a 31-year-old seeking his first PGA title, fired a 67 that included back-to-back birdies at the start and a birdie at 18 as well.
"We just did a really good job managing everything today," Schenk said. "It was one of those days where right where we were looking was right where I actually hit it. It doesn't happen very often, but it's nice when it does."
American Harris English missed an eight-foot par putt at the 18th hole and stood third on 201 after a 70. Argentina's Emiliano Grillo, who fired a 72, and American Justin Suh, who shot 66, shared fourth on 204.
Hall, in only his 26th PGA Tour event, fell from the lead with back-to-back double bogeys at the sixth and seventh holes.
At the sixth, Hall went over the green beyond a cart path, then needed two more to reach the green and two putts to finish.At seven, Hall went left, needed a penalty drop and missed a 12-foot bogey putt.
Hall, 25, answered with a birdie putt from just inside 12 feet at the 12th.
At 17, Hall dropped his approach just inside 10 feet and sank the birdie putt, but at 18 he missed the green and a poor chip left him just over 10 feet for par. But the Englishman calmly knocked in the putt to keep his share of the lead.
"After two double bogeys, I was still in the tournament," Hall said. "It left me with some hope. I managed to bring it back a little bit."
200 - Adam Schenk 66-67-67, Harry Hall (ENG) 62-66-72
201 - Harris English 65-66-70
204 - Justin Suh 68-70-66, Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 67-65-72
205 - Viktor Hovland (NOR) 71-68-66, Kevin Streelman 68-69-68, David Lipsky 67-69-69, An Byeong-hun (KOR) 67-66-72
206 - Brian Harman 70-69-67, Aaron Rai (ENG) 71-68-67, Ben Martin 69-69-68, Chad Ramey 68-69-69, Andrew Putnam 66-70-70, Scottie Scheffler 67-67-72
27 May 07:44
Hall leads by three at Colonial
England's Harry Hall fired a four-under-par 66 to take a three-shot lead at the halfway stage of the PGA Tour's Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas on Friday.
Hall, ranked 197th in the world and chasing a first ever win on the PGA Tour, recovered from a shaky start to rattle off a string of birdies at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth and head into the weekend at 12 under.
The 25-year-old from Cornwall had surged into the first round lead after a flawless eight-under-par on Thursday.
Teeing off on the back nine on Friday, Hall bogeyed his fourth hole of the day but then birdied five of his next six holes to get his round back on track.
Although a bogey on the third dropped him to three under for the round, he coolly rolled in an 11-footer for birdie on the seventh on the way to his four-under round.
"I don't think I've played my best golf this year on the PGA Tour yet, and I think it's arrived this week," Hall said.
"Hopefully I can keep it going for the next two days."
Harris English is leading the pursuit of Hall after matching the Englishman's four-under-par 66, leaving him on nine under, three off the lead.
The highlight of a bogey-free round for English came with a brilliant ace on the par-three eighth, where his nine-iron off the tee landed on the green and rolled into the hole.
"It came off just like I wanted to and luckily went in the hole," English said.
"As long as I keep that ball striking going and keep giving myself chances, then some good things will happen this weekend."
Argentina's Emiliano Grillo was a further shot back on eight under after a five-under-par 65, while three players -- Adam Schenk, Robby Shelton and South Korea's An Byeong-hun -- were five off the lead on seven under.
World number one Scottie Scheffler is also in the hunt after posting a second straight 67. Scheffler was tied for seventh alongside Andre Novak on six under.
"I wish I was a little bit further up on the leaderboard, obviously, but I feel like my game is in a really good spot, so excited for the next couple days," Scheffler said.
But while Scheffler was contemplating the weekend, golf's newest cult hero Michael Block was brought back to earth with a bump. Club professional Block delighted crowds at the PGA Championship last week after securing a 15th-place finish.
However the 46-year-old finished bottom of the field and missed the cut on Friday after a second-round 74 left him at 15 over following his first round 81.
Block however had no regrets after his whirlwind week, and was looking forward to going home to play with his labrador, Messy."He's waiting for me," Block said.
"I haven't seen him in almost two weeks, and I can't wait to get home and throw the ball with him."
26 May 07:56
England's Hall surges clear at Colonial
English journeyman Harry Hall fired an eight-under-par 62 to grab a three-shot lead at the PGA Tour's Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas on Thursday.
Hall, ranked 197th in the world, carded eight birdies and 10 pars on a flawless bogey-free round to open up a commanding lead over American Harris English at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth.
The 25-year-old from Cornwall in southwest England rattled off five birdies on the front nine to reach the turn at five under before pocketing three more down the stretch - including a birdie on 18 - to create clear daylight at the top of the leaderboard.
"I was really in the moment out there and determined to play some good golf," said Hall, whose round included a 30-foot putt to save par at the 15th and a brilliant chip-in on the 12th for a birdie.
Hall admitted he was as surprised as anyone at his stellar round."I don't tend to see anything coming," he quipped.
"But I played some good golf this season, and I've had a couple of top 10s.
"This feels nice to be on the leaderboard. Hopefully I can keep the gap there between the rest of the field this afternoon."
English had six birdies and a bogey in his 65, which put him a shot clear of Tom Hoge, Adam Schenk, Robby Shelton and Andrew Putnam.
English teed off on 10 and capped his round with a good par save at the seventh followed by back-to-back birdies at the eighth and ninth.
"Good way to finish off the day," English said.
"I knew kind of how difficult this course can play. It doesn't seem that difficult, but it can always sneak up and bite you. I feel like I played tee to green was great today. Putting was good today. Just kind of all around did what I was supposed to do."
Fifteen other players, including world number one Scottie Scheffler and defending champion Sam Burns - who beat Scheffler in a playoff at Colonial last year - were a further shot back on three under after shooting 67s.
Scheffler, who returned to the top of the world rankings after his share of second at the PGA Championship on Sunday, was slow to get going, making just one birdie on the front nine.
But three birdies after the turn, which included making a 30-foot putt on his penultimate hole, elevated the world number one's round to leave him five shots behind Hall.
"I don't know how to describe my round today," Scheffler said.
"I felt like I could have shot really low, and I feel like I could have went in the opposite direction too really fast.
"Anything in the red around Colonial is typically a pretty good score."
15 May 06:53
Australia's Day gets first PGA Tour win in five years
Australian Jason Day clinched his first PGA Tour victory in over five years on Sunday, winning the Byron Nelson tournament with a nine-under-par 62 at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas.
The 35-year-old had not won since the Wells Fargo Championship in May of 2018 but his birdie on the par-5final hole earned him a one stroke win over South Korea's Kim Si-woo and American Austin Eckroat.
Day's first ever win on the PGA Tour had come in the same tournament 13 years ago, albeit at a different venue in suburban Dallas.
"It's been a struggling few years, five years since our last win. The way I played today was really special. I'm very pleased and happy with how things have progressed over the last couple of years. 1 835 days to be exact," he said.
Day said battling against a back injury had hampered his form but that his determination had helped him get back to his best.
"Just non-stop grinding and non-stop wanting to improve and to try and get better. A lot of injuries with my back... just trying to get through those three years, just trying to get through a tournament was difficult," he said.
"So, to be on the other side of it, to be healthy...really winning again. It's so good to be on the other side," he said.
Day found his momentum with three straight bridies from the third hole onwards and the highlight of his round was chipping in from 37 feet for a birdie on the par-4 12th.
With Kim having taken a share of the lead, one hole in front of him, with a birdie on the 18th, Day knew that a par would only be enough for a playoff with the Korean.
The Australian rose to the challenge with a superb 80-yard approach shot on the final hole landing two feet from the hole for a simple birdie and the win.
Eckroat, in the final group, was left needing an eagle to force a playoff with Day, but his approach went over the back of the green and he had to settle for birdie and a round of 65.
"Everything was solid, and I really felt like I played well enough to win. It's just hard to beat a guy that goes out and shoots 9-under," said the 24-year-old.
After his disappointing third round 71, world number two Scottie Scheffler had threatened, reaching the turn with four birdies, but he had to settle for a share of fifth place after missing a simple birdie putt on the last.
Scheffler will now turn his thoughts to the PGA Championship at Oak Hill next week.
Final scores from the PGA Tour's Byron Nelson tournament on Sunday (USA unless stated):
261 - Jason Day (AUS) 64-69-66-62
262 - Kim Si-woo (KOR) 65-66-68-63, Austin Eckroat 69-65-63-65
263 - Pan Cheng Tsung (TPE) 67-66-68-62
264 - Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 68-67-65-64, Dou Zecheng (CHN) 63-70-64-67, Scottie Scheffler 64-64-71-65
265 - Ryan Palmer 64-65-68-68, Adam Scott (AUS) 63-71-68-63, Vincent Norrman (SWE) 68-66-65-66
266 - Stephan Jger (GER) 67-71-65-63, Kevin Tway 66-71-66-63, Richy Werenski 64-68-68-66
267 - Peter Kuest 70-67-67-63, Carson Young 70-68-63-66, Kang Sung-Hoon (KOR) 66-68-66-67, An Byeong-Hun (KOR) 67-67-68-65, Mackenzie Hughes (CAN) 65-64-73-65
268 - Seamus Power (IRL) 69-66-69-64, Scott Piercy 64-69-69-66, Joseph Bramlett 68-67-67-66, Doug Ghim 65-70-69-64
14 May 07:53
China's Dou Zecheng had seven birdies in his seven-under par 64 on Saturday to grab a share of the 54-hole lead in the US PGA Tour Byron Nelson tournament alongside Ryan Palmer and Austin Eckroat.
Dou, 26, looked right at home on the par-71 TPC Craig Ranch course just minutes away from where he makes his US home in suburban Dallas.
He and Eckroat top the leaderboard after 54 holes for the first time in their PGA Tour careers as they chase a first title, while Palmer claimed the most recent of his four wins in 2019.
"I do feel some nerves already," Dou admitted not long after he capped his 64 with a two-putt birdie at the par-five 18th.
Eckroat had 10 birdies to overcome a double-bogey in his eight-under 63 while Palmer joined the group on 16-under 199 with his sixth birdie of the day at the par-five 18th Palmer's 35-foot eagle putt was headed for the heart of the cup but stopped on the lip, giving him a three-under par 68.
The leading trio were two strokes in front of a quartet headlined by world number two Scottie Scheffler, who was joined by Australian Jason Day, Sweden's Vincent Norrman and South Korean Kim Si-woo.
On a windy afternoon in north Texas, Dou got things going with a 19-foot birdie at the second and added a 15-footer at the fifth, then blasted out of a bunker to three feet for birdie at the sixth.
He drained a 20-foot birdie at the 13th, and got up and down for birdie at 14 and again at 16 - where he was in a cart path off the tee but gave himself a 28-foot birdie chance and made it.
Dou kept things going with a chip to one foot to save par at the par-three 17th. Along the way, he said, he tried not to pay too much attention to the leaderboard.
"I know I'm playing pretty good. I don't want to have to know who's in the lead, how much back I am to get in my head, and mess up shots," said Dou, who missed eight cuts in 17 prior starts this season.
Eckroat, a 24-year-old from Oklahoma, also expected to be feeling some nerves on Sunday.
"You put yourself in this position and you kind of feel like a win is the only way that it's a successful week," he said. "But [I'll] just go out tomorrow and try to play the best I can and see what happens.
"When he walked off the 18th green, Eckroat had high expectations of playing in the final group on Sunday alongside Scheffler. But former Masters champion Scheffler, who held the overnight lead, struggled on the greens and after two bogeys and three birdies was one off the lead through 17 holes.
At 18, he was in a fairway bunker off the tee and failed to get the ball out with his second shot on the way to a bogey for an even par 71. Norrman carded a 65, Day shot 66 and Kim signed for a 68.
14 May 07:50
Leading third-round scores on Saturday in the US PGA Tour Byron Nelson Tournament at Dallas, Texas (USA unless noted, par-71):
197 - Austin Eckroat 69-65-63, Dou Zecheng (CHN) 63-70-64, Ryan Palmer 64-65-68
199 - Vincent Norrman (SWE) 68-66-65, Jason Day (AUS) 64-69-66, Kim Si-woo (KOR) 65-66-68, Scottie Scheffler 64-64-71
200 - Patton Kizzire 66-70-64, Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 68-67-65, Kang Sung (KOR) 66-68-66, Richy Werenski 64-68 -68
201 - Sean O'Hair 65-69-67, C.T. Pan (TPE) 67-66-68, Carson Young 70-68-63
202 - James Hahn 67-69-66, Scott Harrington 68-68-66, Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 71-65-66, Joseph Bramlett 68-67-67, Bae Sang-moon (KOR) 66-68-68, Adam Scott (AUS) 63-71-68, An Byeong-hun (KOR) 67-67-68, Henrik Norlander (SWE) 66-67-69, Sam Stevens 65-68-69, Mackenzie Hughes (CAN) 65-64-73
08 May 07:06
Clark captures Wells Fargo crown for first PGA victory
Wyndham Clark outclassed reigning Olympic champion Xander Schauffele in a back-nine battle on Sunday to win the Wells Fargo Championship by four strokes for his first career PGA Tour triumph.
The 29-year-old American fired a three-under par 68 to complete 72 holes on 19-under 265 at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina and defeat fifth-ranked Schauffele, who shot 70 to finish on 269.
"I'm a little choked up," Clark said as he fought back tears. "It has been a long five years to get to this point on tour. I thought I would have had one earlier but it was well worth the wait. I'm just so grateful."
Clark squandered the two-stroke lead he had when the day began, then picked up strokes on every hole from the eighth through the 12th to seize command and denied playing partner Schauffele by matching his birdies down the stretch.
"There's so much that goes into this," Clark said.
"There are so many times when I wanted to cry and break clubs, and I did break the clubs sometimes, in this journey and to get to this point is so sweet.
"It's just amazing to finally do this."
Clark said it took a lot of mental fortitude, the very thing he has worked hard upon this year, to pull off the triumph.
"Mentally I was super strong," he said. "Didn't start out great. I was kind of shaky. In years past I might have folded. This time I just stayed patient and hung in there and I caught fire on the back side."
Clark won the $3.6 million top prize at the $20 million event, surpassing his prior best PGA payday of $485 000.
His PGA victory fulfilled a dream he had shared with his late mother, who died of cancer while Clark was in college.
"My mom, obviously, is not here," he said. "I wish she was, but I know she's watching."
England's Tyrrell Hatton and American Harris English shared a distant third on 272 with England's Tommy Fleetwood and Australia's Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champion, another stroke adrift.
World number 80 Clark, a runner-up at the 2020 Bermuda Championship in his best prior showing, had three top-six finishes in his past five starts before his breakthrough.
Schauffele, seeking his eighth career PGA title and first of the year, settled for a fifth consecutive top-10 result.
Clark stumbles, soars
Clark opened with a bogey, finding a left cart path off the tee, and Schauffele sank a nine-foot birdie putt at the third to pull level.
Schauffele birdied the par-5 seventh after pitching to four feet to seize the lead, but Clark made a four-foot birdie putt at the eighth to pull level.
Schauffele missed a par putt at nine from just inside eight feet to fall behind again at the turn.
Clark blasted out of a bunker to five feet and holed his birdie putt at the par-5 10th, then Schauffele found a bunker at 11 and missed a 10-foot par putt.
Clark followed with a 19-foot birdie putt at the 12th, boosting his edge to four strokes, and kept the margin by sinking a birdie from 3 1/2 feet at 14 just after a Schauffele birdie.
Schauffele made a tap-in birdie at the par-5 15th but again Clark answered, curling in a tense nine-foot birdie putt to reach 20-under par and stay four ahead.
Clark made a pressure-packed par putt from 6 1/2 feet on 16, Schauffele made a bogey at the par-3 17th and Clark closed out matters with a bogey.
Leading scores after Sunday's final round of the PGA Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina (par 71, USA unless noted):
265 - Wyndham Clark 67-67-63-68
269 - Xander Schauffele 66-69-64-70
272 - Harris English 71-66-66-69, Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 69-65-68-70
273 - Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 65-71-67-70, Adam Scott (AUS) 67-68-67-71
274 - Michael Kim 68-68-69-69
275 - Denny McCarthy 71-67-71-66, Lee Kyoung-hoon (KOR) 66-70-71-68, Max Homa 70-67-68-70, Corey Conners (CAN) 70-69-66-70, Im Sung-jae (KOR) 69-66-68-72, Brendon Todd 71-68-65-71
276 - Jimmy Walker 72-68-68-68, Rickie Fowler 71-68-68-69, Justin Thomas 68-67-70-71, Gary Woodland 69-69-67-71
277 - Kevin Streelman 66-71-70-70, Seamus Power (IRL) 69-70-67-71, Alex Smalley 73-65-68-71
278 - Patrick Cantlay 67-71-71-69, Dylan Wu 72-65-69-72
07 May 06:48
Clark fires 63 for PGA Wells Fargo lead as Schauffele lurks
Wyndham Clark fired an eight-under par 63 to seize a one-stroke lead over hot-closing Xander Schauffele after Saturday's third round of the PGA Wells Fargo Championship.
The 29-year-old American, chasing his first PGA title, had eight birdies in a bogey-free round to stand on 16-under 197 after 54 holes at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"I felt like I was really mentally strong," Clark said. "It's a high pressure, tough golf course and early on guys were making birdies.
"I just stayed really patient and I was as they say kind of in the zone and really focused out there. Felt good about it."
US playing partner Schauffele, the reigning Olympic champion, went four-under over the last five holes to shoot 64 and grab second on 199.
"Monkey see, monkey do is definitely a thing that happens out here," said Schauffele.
"Fortunately it was the guy next to me (playing well)."
Australia's Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champion and a former world number one, shot 67 and shared third on 202 at the $20 million event with England's Tyrrell Hatton, who had 68.
World number 80 Clark, seeking his first PGA title, has had three top-six finishes in his past five starts. His only other top-five showing came at the 2020 Bermuda Championship, when he lost a playoff to Brian Gay.
Clark attributes some of this year's success to work on his mental approach.
"I meditate every day if I can, read a lot of books and then I've been setting mental goals versus outcome goals," he said.
"I'm trying to get myself in the right mindset for the day. If I can do that I'm hoping the scores take care of itself and thus far it has."
Clark reached the first 17 greens in regulation and was just into the fringe at the 18th. "I missed the green," Clark said.
"I'll take anywhere on green grass. I'm happy it wasn't wet."
Clark sank a 22-foot birdie putt at the second hole and reeled off three birdies in a row starting with a putt from just outside six feet at the par-3 sixth.
He reached the green in two at the par-5 seventh to set up a tap-in birdie and sank a 10-foot birdie putt at the eighth.
He made a seven-foot birdie putt at the par-5 10th and an 11-foot birdie putt at the par-3 13th, then dropped in a seven-footer for birdie at 14 and made a four-footer to birdie the par-5 15th.
"It's a tough golf course but he's making it look pretty easy," US rival Max Homa said of Clark. "I imagine he's quite confident."
Schauffele, seeking his eighth career PGA title and first of the year, has seven top-10 finishes this season, including his past four starts.
Schauffele reeled off four birdies in a row from the par-5 seventh to par-5 10th holes and answered a bogey at the 12th with a birdie at 14, a 26-foot eagle putt at the par-5 15th and a 12-foot birdie putt at 16 to pull within two of Clark.
He could have matched Rory McIlroy's 2010 effort with six threes to close his round but missed an 11-foot birdie putt at 18.
"If you hit really good chips and good putts, you get rewarded," said Schauffele.
"You've got to be in the fairway." World number 18 Hatton, a six-time winner on the European Tour, captured his only PGA title at the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational.
World number 41 Scott, 42, seeks a 15th PGA victory and his first since 2020 at Riviera.
Leading scores after Saturday's third round of the PGA Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina (par 71, USA unless noted):
197 - Wyndham Clark 67-67-63
199 - Xander Schauffele 66-69-64
202 - Adam Scott (AUS) 67-68-67, Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 69-65-68
203 - Harris English 71-66-66, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 65-71-67, Im Sung-jae (KOR) 69-66-68
204 - Brendon Todd 71-68-65
205 - Corey Conners (CAN) 70-69-66, Gary Woodland 69-69-67, Max Homa 70-67-68, Michael Kim 68-68-69, Adam Svensson (CAN) 68-67-70, Justin Thomas 68-67-70, Nate Lashley 68-66-71
206 - Viktor Hovland (NOR) 71-69-66, Seamus Power (IRL) 69-70-67, Alex Smalley 73-65-68, Dylan Wu 72-65-69
207 - Doug Ghim 71-69-67, Rickie Fowler 71-68-68, Matt Kuchar 72-67-68, Matthew NeSmith 67-71-69, Kevin Streelman 66-71-70, Lee Kyoung-hoon (KOR) 66-70-71, JJ Spaun 68-67-72
06 May 06:26
Leading scores after Friday's second round of the PGA Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina (par 71, USA unless noted):
134 - Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 69-65, Nate Lashley 68-66, Wyndham Clark 67-67
135 - Xander Schauffele 66-69, JJ Spaun 68-67, Justin Thomas 68-67, Adam Scott (AUS) 67-68, Im Sung-jae (KOR) 69-66, Adam Svensson (CAN) 68-67
136 - Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 65-71, Michael Kim 68-68, Lee Kyoung-hoon (KOR) 66-70
137 - Stewart Cink 71-66, Dylan Wu 72-65, Kevin Streelman 66-71, Beau Hossler 68-69, Max Homa 70-67, Harris English 71-66, Taylor Moore 66-71
138 - Chris Kirk 67-71, Matthew NeSmith 67-71, Ryan Palmer 66-72, David Lingmerth (SWE) 71-67, Denny McCarthy 71-67, Patrick Cantlay 67-71, Webb Simpson 71-67, Gary Woodland 69-69, Alex Smalley 73-65
06 May 06:21
Hatton, Clark and Lashley share Wells Fargo lead
England's Tyrrell Hatton made an eagle and two birdies in his last four holes to grab a share of the lead after Friday's second round of the Wells Fargo Championship.
Hatton matched his low round of the season with a six-under par 65 to stand on eight-under 134 after 36 holes at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The 31-year-old Englishman shared the halfway lead in the $20 million event with Americans Wyndham Clark and Nate Lashley.
Back-nine starter Hatton's closing heroics included a 33-yard birdie putt at the par-3 sixth, a 26-foot eagle putt at the par-5 seventh and a 31-foot birdie putt at the ninth.
"They're not the type of putts that you hole consistently, so to finish the round that way, I'm obviously very pleased," Hatton said.
"Nice to see some putts go in."
Australia's Adam Scott, reigning Olympic champion Xander Schauffele and 2022 PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas were in a fourth-place pack on 135 with South Korean Im Sung-jae, American J.J. Spaun and Canada's Adam Svensson.
South Korea's Lee Kyoung-hoon, who next week seeks a third straight PGA Byron Nelson title, looked set to join the leaders but went way right off the ninth tee and closed with a double bogey to finish on 136 in a group with American Michael Kim and England's Tommy Fleetwood.
World number 18 Hatton, a six-time winner on the European Tour, captured his only PGA title at the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Back-nine starter Hatton opened with a birdie and sank birdie putts from inside 4 1/2 feet at 13, 14 and 15 before taking bogeys at 16 and the par-3 17th.
"Short game helped me out. That kept me in it," Hatton said. "Thankful to have a good finish, start hitting in the middle of the clubface again and hope that continues over the weekend."
World number 209 Lashley, 40, fired a bogey-free 66. His only PGA triumph came at 2019 in Detroit.
Lashley opened with a tap-in birdie and added birdie putts from 17 feet at the third hole, just inside five feet at par-5 seventh, 18 feet at the par-3 13th and seven feet at 14.
"I drove the ball in the fairway, hitting solid irons, getting up and down when I need to and making putts," Lashley said.
"Anytime you get a round at Quail Hollow with no bogeys, it's a great round."
McIlroy just makes cut
Clark, who shot 67, seeks his first PGA title.
Unhappy at squandered early birdie chances, 10th-hole starter Clark birdied the par-3 17th from just inside eight feet and sank a 13-foot birdie putt at nine.
"Kind of got the round going," Clark said. "Felt like it rewarded my patience in not getting frustrated. Then I got into a nice groove on the back nine."
Clark, ranked 80th, sank a 17-footer for birdie at the par-3 fourth and followed a bogey at the par-3 sixth with an eagle at the par-5 seventh from just inside 27 feet.
"I'm glad it hit the cup," he said of the eagle putt. "It might have been off the green; it was hit so hard. The shot in there was very lucky and unbelievable."
World number three Rory McIlroy, a four-time major winner and three-time champion at Quail Hollow, made three consecutive bogeys starting at the fifth hole on his way to a 73 but made the cut on the number at 141.
American Mark Hubbard aced the par-3 17th hole using a 6-iron from 198 yards to also finish on 141.
It was his third career PGA hole-in-one and first since last year's Rocket Mortgage Classic.
05 May 07:16
England's Fleetwood grabs PGA lead at Quail Hollow
England's Tommy Fleetwood closed with back-to-back birdies to fire a bogey-free, six-under par 65 and grab a one-stroke lead after Thursday's first round of the PGA Wells Fargo Championship.
Fleetwood, a six-time European Tour winner chasing his first PGA title, made four birdies and an eagle to take charge at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"I made a couple of good up and downs early doors," Fleetwood said. "Overall I did a really good job of playing my game, hitting the shots I can hit and the score then took care of itself."
Tokyo Olympic champion Xander Schauffele had back-to-back birdies at 14 and 15 to seize the lead but bogeys at 16 and 18 dropped him into a share of second on 66 with fellow Americans Kevin Streelman, Ryan Palmer and Taylor Moore and South Korean Lee Kyoung-hoon.
Fleetwood, making his 116th PGA start, birdied three of the last five holes to lead after a round for the first time since last year's Players Championship opening round.
Fleetwood landed his approach eight feet from the hole at the par-5 seventh and rolled in the eagle putt, then sank a birdie from just inside five feet at the eighth and sank a 21-foot birdie putt at 14.
He was still off the pace until making an 11-foot birdie putt at the par-3 17th, and at 18 he blasted from a fairway bunker to just inside eight feet and sank the birdie putt to grab the lead.
"Didn't do anything particularly wrong," Fleetwood said.
"I didn't drive it great on the back nine, but I was never out of position that much, never really hit myself in difficult spots.
"That was really good and quite stress free. And then just a good finish on top of that, 17 and 18, unexpected birdies there, but you'll take them when they come."
Bogeys arrived for Schauffele at the finish, crushing his hopes for the 18-hole lead. He found a fairway bunker and came up short of the green at 16 and sent his tee shot into the water at 18.
"I really had it going there. Ball was on a string for a bit, did everything really well," Schauffele said.
"Played really well through 15 holes and then had a little hiccup there coming in."I had a big enough head start on the course that I figured giving some back wouldn't hurt me too much."
Happy Birthday Rory
Schauffele seeks his eighth career PGA title and first since last year's Scottish Open.
Rory McIlroy, a four-time major winner and three-time champion at Quail Hollow, celebrated his 34th birthday with a 68, spectators serenading him with birthday best wishes all over the course.
"It's nice to be out there and everyone wishing you a good day," McIlroy said.
"This is my 11th birthday I'm celebrating in Charlotte. I'm sort of getting used to it."I feel just as good now as I did at 24 so with that I still feel like I've got a lot of good years left in me."
Leading scores after Thursday's first round of the PGA Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina (par 71, USA unless noted):
65 - Tommy Fleetwood (ENG)
66 - Kevin Streelman, Lee Kyoung-hoon (KOR), Taylor Moore, Xander Schauffele, Ryan Palmer
67 - Patrick Cantlay, Sahith Theegala, Kramer Hickok, Tom Kim (KOR), Chris Kirk, Adam Scott (AUS), Wyndham Clark, Matthew NeSmith, Emiliano Grillo (ARG)
68 - Beau Hossler, Rory McIlroy (NIR), Adam Svensson (CAN), CT Pan (TPE), Justin Thomas, JJ Spaun, Kim Si-woo (KOR), Nate Lashley, Michael Kim
69 - Keith Mitchell, Matt Fitzpatrick (ENG), Seamus Power (IRL), Gary Woodland, Im Sung-jae (KOR), Lucas Glover, Troy Meritt, Chesson Hadley, Chad Ramey, Tyrrell Hatton (ENG), Davis Thompson
01 May 07:06
Finau holds off Rahm to win Mexico Open
American Tony Finau held off the threat from Masters champion and world number Jon Rahm to win the Mexico Open on Sunday, shooting a final round 66 to win by three strokes from the Spaniard and claim his sixth PGA Tour title.
Rahm, the defending champion at Vidanta, put himself in contention after a 10-under course-record 61 in his third round on Saturday put him within two strokes.
But his four-under round of 67 on Sunday was not enough to close the gap on Finau, who produced a calm and solid bogey-free round, completing a consistent week where he had shot 65, 64 and 65 before the final round.
The Vidanta course in Puerto Vallarta is a happy hunting ground for Finau, who ended tied for second behind Rahm last year.
That result sparked an upturn in form for Finau, who went on to win three events in seven starts with victories in Minnesota, Detroit and the Houston Open.
Since that last win, Finau has had eight top-ten finishes in 11 events but not been able to add another title until Sunday.
The 33-year-old finished 24-under for the week and was delighted to have got the upper hand on Rahm this time round.
"Rahmbo is the best, top of the world right now, so I knew I was going to have my hands full with him all the way to the end," he said.
"I didn't know this tournament was mine until I hit this (last) green. It is crazy how this game is, you never think you have it won until its over. So it feels great," he added.
Finau birdied the par-3 fifth, the par-4 seventh, the par-3 11th and then the par-5 14th but missed a short putt for birdie on the final hole, where Rahm made birdie.
Rahm, gave himself a glimmer of hope with a birdie on 15, but said he wasn't surprised at Finau's calm defence of his lead.
"Yeah, I knew I needed a low one again today... It was a day where I didn't do much wrong, but I didn't do much right, either," said the Spaniard.
Rahm, who played the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head in the week after his Masters triumph before attempting his title defence in Mexico, will take a break before the PGA Championship, starting 18 May, in Rochester.
"I probably need a bit of time off, just a little bit of rest. Not too much, just mind, body and soul, I just need it. It's been a lot of golf. I haven't had time to really sit back and rest after the Masters. I'm looking forward to do that," he said
.American Brandon Wu finished third, five strokes behind Finau after making 68 in his final round, but had made a real push early in his round.
Wu birdied the first and third holes before an eagle on the par-5 sixth and a birdie on the seventh.
But he bogeyed the eighth and fell out contention with a double bogey on the par-4 10th, where he drove into the water.
American Akshay Bhatia, the 21-year-old who shot 63 on Saturday, finished fourth after shooting a one-under 70.
Leading final-round scores on Sunday in the US PGA Tour Mexico Open at Vidanta Vallarta (USA unless noted, par-71):
260 - Tony Finau 65-64-65-66
263 - Jon Rahm (ESP) 67-68-61-67
265 - Brandon Wu 66-64-67-68
266 - Akshay Bhatia 68-65-63-70
268 - Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 68-68-67-65, Eric Cole 65-68-69-66, Austin Smotherman 63-70-68-67
270 - Cameron Champ 68-66-69-67, Ben Taylor 67-70-66-67
271 - Patrick Rodgers 70-69-68-64, Alejandro Tosti 69-67-71-64, Harry Hall (ENG) 67-71-68-65, Beau Hossler 67-68-70-66, Joseph Bramlett 68-70-67-66
272 - Dylan Wu 68-71-66-67, Jimmy Walker 67-67-70-68, Carson Young 67-71-65-69
30 April 07:06
Rahm surges in pursuit of Finau at PGA Tour Mexico Open as SA's Van Rooyen fades
Top-ranked Masters champion Jon Rahm charged into contention with a spectacular 10-under par 61 on Saturday to lie two strokes behind leader Tony Finau at the US PGA Tour Mexico Open.
Spain's Rahm, the defending champion, matched his career-best PGA round score, barely putting a foot wrong in a round that featured 10 birdies without a bogey for a course record at Vidanta Vallarta.
South Africa's Erik van Rooyen could only a manage a 72 as he fell down the leaderboard.
"Today, everything just seemed perfect," Rahm said.
"Made a lot of great swings and the ones that weren't great, still gave myself a good result."
Finau, who started the day with a one-shot lead, didn't bow to the pressure, carding a six-under par 65 for 19-under 194 and a two-shot lead over Rahm and 21-year-old American Akshay Bhatia.
Bhatia had eight birdies and an eagle at 18 in his eight-under par 63 to join Rahm on 17-under.Rahm, making his second start since he claimed a second career major at Augusta National this month, started the day six adrift but wasted no time in making up ground.
He rolled in a 39-foot birdie putt at the first and a 26-footer at the second before rattling in a birdie from two feet at the fourth.He birdied three in a row from the sixth through the eighth, then put together another burst of three at the 12th, 13th and 14th, where he sandwiched birdie putts of seven and five feet around a 24-footer.
With a possible sub-60 round in sight, Rahm parred the 15 and 16 -- missing a seven-footer at the latter.
He rolled in a 37-foot birdie at the par-three 17th, but his hopes of bettering his own career best were dented when his tee shot at the par-five 18th ended up under the lip of a fairway bunker.
He had to punch out and his 30-foot birdie putt never threatened the hole.
Rahm said he couldn't be too disappointed after a round in which he rolled in putts totalling more than 156 feet.
"The fact that I made three putts over 30 feet -- one is already a great bonus, to do it twice, three times, is amazing," he said.
Rahm said he didn't focus on the fact that he was closing in on a possible sub-60 round, but was just trying to keep pace with Finau.
"I know I was behind so I knew birdies were the only thing I had in mind," he said.
"I tried to stay as aggressive as I could and I did a really good job at that."
Finau, who finished tied for second behind Rahm at Vidanta last year, opened with a birdie at the first and tapped in for another at the seventh.
A chip to two feet set him up for a birdie at the 12th and he chipped in from the greenside rough at the par-three 13th before making it three in a row with a birdie at the par-five 14th.
That put him one ahead of Rahm, and he padded that lead with birdies at 16 and 18 around his only bogey of the day at 17.
"The highlight was the chip-in on 13," said Finau, who is chasing his sixth PGA Tour title.
"I hit a great chip on 12 to get it to tap-in and then missed the tee shot on 13, so I thought that gave me some nice momentum on a day where I was hitting it really nicely, wasn't getting that much out of my round."
Leading third-round scores on Saturday in the US PGA Tour Mexico Open at Vidanta Vallarta (USA unless noted, par-71):
194 - Tony Finau 65-64-65
196 - Jon Rahm (ESP) 67-68-61, Akshay Bhatia 68-65-63
197-Brandon Wu 66-64-67
200 - Will Gordon 67-66-67
201 - Austin Smotherman 63-70-68
202 - Andrew Putnam 67-66-69, Eric Cole 65-68-69, Erik van Rooyen (RSA) 64-66-72
203 - Carson Young 67-71-65, Ben Taylor 67-70-66, Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 68-68-67, Cameron Champ 68-66-69
204 - Kevin Roy 67-72-65, Michael Kim 68-67-69, Jimmy Walker 67-67-70
205 - Vincent Norrman (SWE) 67-71-67, Joseph Bramlett 68-70-67, Kevin Chappell 72-67-66, Dylan Wu 68-71-66, Beau Hossler 67-68-70, Raul Pereda (MEX) 65-70-70
29 April 07:35
Finau sets pace at PGA Mexico Open, Van Rooyen tied for second, Rahm struggles
American Tony Finau shot a seven-under par 64 at the PGA Mexico Open on Friday to grab the second-round lead on 13-under 129.
The Vidanta course in Puerto Vallarta is a happy hunting ground for Finau, who matched the course record of 63 in his final round last year when he ended tied for second behind Spain's Jon Rahm.
That result sparked an upturn in form for Finau, who went on to win three events in seven starts with victories in Minnesota, Detroit and the Houston Open.
"This was a place where a lot of things changed for me last season," Finau said.
"I was able to post a second-place finish and just have a nice final round, make some putts that were very important and then it carried me into a very nice finish to last season."
Starting on the back nine, Finau made five birdies by the turn, including three in a row before heading to the first hole.
He strung together three more successive birdies just before a bogey on his penultimate hole, the eighth, ruined his chances of another course record-equaling score.
The bogey was just Finau's second in 36 holes after his first-round 65 on Thursday.
"I played really nicely over the last couple days, was able to capitalize with the putter on shots that I hit pretty close," he said.
"That was probably the biggest story."
But, the 33-year-old, who has five career PGA wins, knows there is plenty of work ahead.
"This isn't a time to get ahead of myself," Finau said.
"After 36 holes I'm playing nicely, find myself at the top. With my experience, we're only halfway, there's so much golf to be played.
"You always want to say that you have what it takes to win a golf tournament. I think luckily for me, I've done that a few times over the last year."
South African Erik van Rooyen and American Brandon Wu were a stroke back, van Rooyen carding a 66 and Wu climbing the leaderboard with a seven-under par 64.
Wu shook off an opening bogey to card eight birdies, that included a chip-in birdie at the par-three ninth and three straight birdies to end his round.
That pulled him level with van Rooyen, who had seven birdies and two bogeys in his five-under effort.
First-round leader Austin Smotherman, who captured his first professional title at the 2018 Mexico Open when it was part of the PGA Tour Latinoamerica developmental circuit, was among a group of five players sharing fourth on 133.
Masters champion Rahm, the world number one, carded a three-under par 68 that left him six shots off the lead on seven-under 135.
Spain's Rahm rolled in a 42-foot eagle putt at the par-five sixth and followed that with a birdie at the seventh.
But, he found the water for a double bogey at the ninth and bogeyed the 10th before birdies at 11, 12 and 14.
After a bogey at 16, he closed his round with a birdie at the last.
"For a round that for the most part was good, there were two or three swings that were bad that cost me a little bit too much today,"
"A couple of unforced errors."
129 - Tony Finau 65-64
130 - Erik van Rooyen (RSA) 64-66, Brandon Wu 66-64
133 - Andrew Putnam 67-66, Will Gordon 67-66, Eric Cole 65-68, Austin Smotherman 63-70, Akshay Bhatia 68-65
134 - Jimmy Walker 67-67, Cameron Champ 68-66, Ben Martin 68-66
135 - Tano Goya (ARG) 64-71, Michael Kim 68-67, Jon Rahm (ESP) 67-68, Taylor Pendrith (CAN) 65-70, Beau Hossler 67-68, Raul Pereda (MEX) 65-70, Trevor Werbylo 67-68
- AFP -
28 April 08:15
Smotherman grabs PGA Mexico lead, SA's Van Rooyen second
Austin Smotherman, chasing his second Mexico Open title and first PGA victory, closed with four consecutive birdies to fire an eight-under par 64 for the first-round clubhouse lead on Thursday.
The 28-year-old American captured his first professional title at the 2018 Mexico Open when the event was part of the PGA Tour Latinoamerica developmental circuit.
The tournament became a main PGA Tour event last year and was won by Spain's Jon Rahm, the world number one and defending champion who captured his second major title three weeks ago at the Masters.
Smotherman, a college teammate of 2020 US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau at Southern Methodist, fired a bogey-free round and had a one-stroke lead over South African Erik van Rooyen and Argentina's Tano Goya.
American Tony Finau, who shared second behind Rahm last year, headlined a group on 65 that also included Canada's Taylor Pendrith, American Eric Cole, Germany's Stephan Jaeger and Mexico's Raul Pereda.
"Nice little finish," Smotherman said. "Just feeling good. I feel like my game's in a good spot."
World number 342 Smotherman, who began on the back nine, unleashed a birdie run with putts from just inside 12 feet at the par-5 12th, nine feet at the par-3 13th and a two-putt birdie from 25 feet at the par-5 14th.
"Just super steady. Then I made a few of those 10-, 12-footers early part of the round," said Smotherman.
At the par-4 third, Smotherman drove into a waste area left of the fairway, then dropped his approach inches from the hole and tapped in for birdie.
"Stole that one on three," he said. "I hit it to a foot out of that left waste area. Had a little full pitching wedge knocked down a little bit and kick-in birdie there was nice."
Smotherman blasted out of a bunker to just outside 13 feet and made the birdie putt at the par-5 sixth then escaped the greenside sand to five feet to birdie seven.
After rolling in a birdie from just outside eight feet at the eighth, he dropped a 37-foot birdie putt at the par-3 ninth to end his day.
Smotherman's only career top-10 PGA finish in 43 events was eighth at last year's Barracuda Championship.
Smotherman's four-stroke victory over Mexico's Juan Pablo Hernandez five years ago was a breakthrough triumph, putting his name among such past winners as Ben Crenshaw, Lee Trevino, David Graham and Roberto De Vicenzo.
"Still get a little bit of some goosebumps thinking about it, for sure," he said. "Winning an event like that, which has such a deep history. There are names on that trophy that are in the Hall of Fame. A national open anywhere is very special."
Rahm 'happy' with 67
Defending champion Rahm shot 67 to stand four back of Smotherman.
"It's a good score, I'm happy with the score," Rahm said.
"Those first 13 holes we had virtually no wind, about as easy conditions as it can get. I wish I would have taken advantage of it more."
Rahm closed with a 25-foot birdie putt to finish four-under on the back nine.]"I was rolling it really well all day, so to finish it off that way, obviously it always feels like you're stealing one from the field," Rahm said.
Leading first-round scores on Thursday in the US PGA Tour Mexico Open at Vidanta Vallarta (USA unless noted, par-71):
63 - Austin Smotherman
64 - Erik van Rooyen (RSA), Tano Goya (ARG)
65 - Stephan Jaeger (GER), Eric Cole, Taylor Pendrith (CAN), Raul Pereda (MEX), Tony Finau66 - Richy Werenski, Austin Cook, Sean O'Hair, Brandon Wu, Scott Harrington
67 - Jon Rahm (ESP), Gary Woodland, Matt Wallace (ENG), Beau Hossler, Ben Taylor (ENG), Carson Young, Harry Hall (ENG), Kevin Roy, Trevor Werbylo, Vincent Norrman (SWE), Jimmy Walker, Andrew Novak, Andrew Putnam, James Hahn, Will Gordon, Sebastin Vzquez (MEX), Nicolai Hojgaard (DEN)
24 April 07:30
US duo Hardy and Riley combine to win PGA pairs event title
Americans Nick Hardy and Davis Riley captured their first PGA titles on Sunday, winning the Zurich Classic in record-setting fashion to take the tour's only pairs tournament.
Playing in the foursomes (alternate shot) format in the final round, the US duo combined for a seven-under-par 65 to shoot a tournament-record 30-under 258 at TPC of Louisiana at Avondale.
"This is so special and to share it with one of my best friends out here on tour is a dream come true," Riley said.
The winners broke the old tournament 72-hole record of 259 set last year by reigning Olympic champion Xander Schauffele and fellow American Patrick Cantlay.
"It's pretty surreal, Riley said. "I know the work Nick puts in and I put in and for it to all pay off and share this moment with Nick is pretty cool."
The Americans birdied five of the last eight holes. Riley sank a long putt from off the green at the 17th hole for their fourth birdie in five holes and they combined to par the last to take a stranglehold of the crown.
"That's definitely up there," Riley said in ranking his birdie putt at 17 among his best shots.
"It was one of those ones I just tried to hit with good speed and just leave Nick a good par putt and I hit it just right and it went in."
Hardy has been friends with Riley since they were 14.
"Really solid down the stretch and it just feels great to close," Hardy said.
"Davis has been so good this week I knew I just needed to play my game and be solid because he has been playing so well and we did that."
Cantlay and Schauffele, ranked fourth and fifth in the world respectively, set the foursomes tournament record with a 63 Friday.
But that mark was matched on Sunday by Canadians Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin, who birdied three of the first four holes and seven in a row starting at the par-5 seventh on the way to setting the score to beat at 260.
They settled for second with Americans Wyndham Clark and Beau Hossler - the 54-hole leaders - finishing third on 261 after a closing 71.
It marked the fifth time Hossler has held a lead entering the final round of a PGA event without winning the title.
Schauffele and Cantlay shared fourth with compatriots Taylor Moore and Matthew NeSmith on 262.
Leading scores after Sunday's foursomes (alternate shot) final round of the PGA Tour Zurich Classic of New Orleans two-man team event (par 72):
258 - Nick Hardy/Davis Riley (USA) 64-66-63-65
260 - Adam Hadwin/Nick Taylor (CAN) 66-67-64-63
261 - Wyndham Clark/Beau Hossler (USA) 61-67-62-71
262 - Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay (USA) 67-63-66-66, Matthew NeSmith/Taylor Moore (USA) 64-66-63-69
263 - Keith Mitchell/Im Sung-jae (USA/KOR) 62-67-62-72
265 - Kim Si-woo/Tom Kim (KOR) 66-67-64-68, Sean O'Hair/Brandon Matthews (USA) 61-69-64-71
266 - Martin Trainer/Chad Ramey (FRA/USA) 63-67-65-71, Vincent Norman/Matthias Schwab (SWE/AUT) 64-67-62-73
23 April 07:32
Clark-Hossler cling to PGA pairs lead over Im-Mitchell
Americans Wyndham Clark and Beau Hossler, each seeking a first PGA title, combined for a 10-under par 62 for a one-stroke lead after Saturday's third round of the Zurich Classic.
The US duo thrived in the four-ball (best ball) format at the tour's only pairs event to stand on 26-under 190 after 54 holes at TPC of Louisiana at Avondale.
Clark sank a birdie putt from just inside eight feet at the par-5 18th to lift himself and Hossler ahead of South Korea's Im Sung-jae and American Keith Mitchell, who also fired a 62 in round three.
"We're looking forward to the challenge," Hossler said of the final round. "It's going to be a cool environment and a unique experience frankly to have a chance to win a golf tournament with a partner."
Sharing third on 193 were US duos Nick Hardy and Davis Riley and Matthew NeSmith and Taylor Moore plus Sweden's Vincent Norman and Austrian Matthias Schwab.
Sunday's final round will be played in a foursomes (four-ball) format.
Hossler and Clark, who shot 61 in best ball on Thursday, have known each other since they were 10 but this is their first time paired together.
"Sometimes when you're alone, it feels like you're out on an island. When the momentum gets going bad, when you're on your own, sometimes it's tough to turn that," Clark said.
"With a teammate, you can kind of feed off each other and really not allow that momentum to get going in the wrong direction. I hope tomorrow we're light and loose like we've been all three days."
Clark and Hossler each contributed five birdies for the duo, with Hossler salvaging pars for the pair on the fifth and par-3 14th.
Im birdied six of the first eight holes to lift his duo into the hunt.
Mitchell contributed a birdie at the par-5 11th and Im birdied 13 and 16 to keep the pair fighting for the lead to the finish.
"He was honestly incredible," Mitchell said of Im.
"The front nine was some of the best golf I've ever seen played ever.
"I could only help him on two holes... but it just didn't matter. He was playing so good. I was high fiving him and watching him roll. All in all, 10-under par, Sung-jae probably could have shot that on his own."
Reigning Olympic champion Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, the defending champions, shot 66 to share 10th on 196.
Cantlay and Schauffele, ranked fourth and fifth in the world respectively, set a foursomes event record with a 63 on Friday.
American Charley Hoffman aced the 210-yard par-3 ninth hole with a 23-degree hybrid for his third career PGA hole-in-one while Denmark's Nicolai Hojgaard lipped out with his tee shot on the par-4 16th.
Leading scores after Saturday's four-ball (best ball) third round of the PGA Tour Zurich Classic of New Orleans two-man team event (par 72):
190 - Wyndham Clark/Beau Hossler (USA) 61-67-62
191 - Keith Mitchell/Im Sung-jae (USA/KOR) 62-67-62
193 - Vincent Norman/Matthias Schwab (SWE/AUT) 64-67-62, Matthew NeSmith/Taylor Moore (USA) 64-66-63, Nick Hardy/Davis Riley (USA) 64-66-63
194 - Sean O'Hair/Brandon Matthews (USA) 61-69-64
195 - Matt Fitzpatrick/Alex Fitzpatrick (ENG) 62-71-62, Harris English/Tom Hoge (USA) 64-68-63, Martin Trainer/Chad Ramey (FRA/USA) 63-67-65
196 - Billy Horschel/Sam Burns (USA) 64-69-63, Troy Merritt/Robert Streb (USA) 63-69-64, Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay (USA) 67-63-66
22 April 07:24
Cantlay-Schauffele set records but Clark-Hossler keep PGA lead
Reigning Olympic champion Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay set records on Friday but the US duo of Wyndham Clark and Beau Hossler held the lead at the PGA Zurich Classic.
Defending champions Cantlay and Schauffele, ranked fourth and fifth in the world respectively, combined to shoot a tournament-record foursomes round of nine-under par 63 in the second round of the only PGA pairs event.
"Xander putted great and hit a lot of really nice wedge shots and pitches," Cantlay said.
"Left me three feet and in a couple times and made a bunch of mid-range 15-20 footers, which is exactly what you need to do to shoot nine-under par."
Clark and Hossler, who opened with a 61 in four-ball (best ball) to share the 18-hole lead, added a 67 to top the leaderboard at 16-under 128, one stroke ahead of compatriots Doc Redman and Sam Ryder and South Korean Im Sung-jae and American Keith Mitchell at TPC of Louisiana in Avondale.
Americans Schauffele and Cantlay were in a fourth-place pack of five duos on 130 as play finished just before dark after a storm delay of just over 2 1/2 hours.
Schauffele and Cantlay, who won two matches together at last year's Presidents Cup and the 2021 Ryder Cup, combined for seven birdies and an eagle.
That broke the old 18-hole pairs foursomes record of 65 set by Spain's Jon Rahm - the top-ranked Masters winner who is off ahead of next week's PGA Mexico Open title defence - and American Ryan Palmer in 2019 and matched last year by Australians Jason Day and Jason Scrivener and South Africans Branden Grace and Garrick Higgo.
"Xander is really good, and I can play well," Cantlay said. "It helps that we're friends, but when you get two world-class players together and we both have a day where we're on like today, we can post a low one."
Cantlay and Schauffele, who won last year with a 72-hole record 29-under 259 total, started on the 10th hole Friday with back-to-back birdies.
They followed with birdies at 13 and 16 and eagled the par-5 18th to set a nine-hole tournament foursomes record with a 30 - a mark later matched by Americans Nick Hardy and Davis Riley.
"Pat sent a drive right down the centre, left me 256 yards and hit a hybrid up on the green," Schauffele said.
"He didn't need any help reading the putt. He just knocked it right in."
They also birdied the first and second holes and added another at the fifth.
Clark and Hossler, also back-nine starters, birdied the par-5 11th and par-4 13th, then the par-5 second and par-4 fourth. They birdied the par-5 seventh after the delay.
Leading scores after Friday's foursomes second round of the US PGA Tour Zurich Classic of New Orleans two-man team event:
128 - Wyndham Clark/Beau Hossler (USA) 61-67
129 - Doc Redman/Sam Ryder (USA) 63-66, Keith Mitchell/Im Sung-jae (USA/KOR) 62-67
130 - Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay (USA) 67-63, Sean O'Hair/Brandon Matthews (USA) 61-69, Martin Trainer/Chad Ramey (FRA/USA) 63-67, Matthew NeSmith/Taylor Moore (USA) 64-66, Nick Hardy/Davis Riley (USA) 64-66
131 - Henrik Norlander/Luke List (SWE/USA) 62-69, Vincent Norman/Matthias Schwab (SWE/AUT) 64-67, David Lipsky/Aaron Rai (USA/ENG) 62-69
21 April 07:12
Clark and Hossler share Zurich Classic lead with O'Hair-Matthews
Wyndham Clark and Beau Hossler combined for 11 birdies while Sean O'Hair and Brandon Matthews had nine birdies and an eagle between them to share the first-round lead in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Thursday.
Both duos carded 11-under par 61s in the four-ball first round of the PGA Tour's only two-man team event.
Hossler had seven birdies and Clark's four birdies included one at the 18th that saw the duo break free of a big group at 10-under par that included US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick of England and his younger brother Alex.
O'Hair and Matthews grabbed their share of the lead with O'Hair's birdie at 18 - his fourth of the day to go with five birdies and an eagle two at the par-four 12th from Matthews.
Hossler called it a "nice" day at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, where he said he and Clark complemented each other perfectly."We took advantage of the hardest holes," Hossler said.
"With that said, I think also we left a couple out there that hopefully we can get in the next few days."
Clark said their mindset wouldn't change much for Friday's foursomes format second round.
"Obviously you just want to keep the ball in play and in front of you, but it's similar to any other tournament," he said.
The Fitzpatrick brothers, with Matt Fitzpatrick coming off a victory at the RBC Heritage on Sunday, were among the early pacesetters.
Matt delivered three of their four birdies in their first nine holes and Alex made four birdies coming in before Matt birdied their penultimate hole, the eighth.
"I didn't play very well (on the front), so it was nice for him to make a few putts and give us a few birdies while I was scrambling around somewhere," Alex said.
"Then, yeah, I played nicely on the back nine and I managed to roll in some birdies, which was great, and we kept it together towards the end and finished with a nice score."
The other teams on 10-under were South Korean Im Sung-jae and American Keith Mitchell, American David Lipsky and England's Aaron Rai, Sweden's Henrik Norlander and American Luke List, and South Korean No Seung-yul and American Michael Kim.
Leading scores after Thursday's four-ball first round of the PGA Tour Zurich Classic of New Orleans two-man team event:
61 - Wyndham Clark/Beau Hossler (USA), Sean O'Hair/Brandon Matthews (USA)
62 - Keith Mitchell/Im Sung-jae (USA/KOR), Matt Fitzpatrick/Alex Fitzpatrick (ENG), David Lipsky/Aaron Rai (USA/ENG), Henrik Norlander/Luke List (SWE/USA), Noh Seung-yul/Michael Kim (KOR/USA)
63 - Doc Redman/Sam Ryder (USA), Justin Suh/Sahith Theegala (USA), Troy Merritt/Robert Streb (USA), Joseph Bramlett/Brandon Wu (USA), Martin Trainer/Chad Ramey (FRA/USA), Will Gordon/Davis Thompson (USA)
17 April 07:12
Fitzpatrick wins playoff with Spieth to clinch Heritage win
England's Matt Fitzpatrick beat defending champion Jordan Spieth in a thrilling sudden-death playoff on Sunday to win the PGA's RBC Heritage tournament.
The pair, who played in the same group in the final round, both ended regulation play on 17-under 267 after Spieth shot 66 and Fitzpatrick 68 at Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
It took until the third hole of the playoff for a champion to be decided when Fitzpatrick produced a brilliant 9-iron approach shot on the par-4 18th and made a simple birdie putt to win.
Spieth, who beat fellow American Patrick Cantlay in a playoff last year, had over-hit his approach going to the back of the green and needed two putts to make par.
Fitzpatrick, the US Open champion, becomes the first Englishman to win the tournament since Nick Faldo in 1984 and he did so in the town where he spent many of his family vacations after first visiting as a six-year-old.
"It's hard to describe. I said to (caddie) Billy (Foster), it doesn't get better than this - walking down here, just looking around. It's a course I dreamed of playing when I was young," he said, with his family congratulating him at the side of the green.
"I managed to play a couple of times with my dad and yes, this one means more than anything."
Spieth had made four birdies in the opening six holes but he missed a short putt for bogey on the par-3 14th and left the door open for Fitzpatrick.
The Englishman then made birdies on the 15th and 16th to grab a share of the lead and could have won it at the death if Spieth hadn't made a tricky six-footer to force the playoff.
"It was a really good round. I got off to a dream start and then just kind of hung in there for a little while and then made a nice putt to get into the playoff, and then played the playoff really well," said Spieth.
"Someone was going to make a birdie. It wasn't going to be a bogey to lose that playoff the way that we were both playing today. He just did what he needed to do on 15 in, when it had been kind of me and Patrick for a little while there. He just snuck in and played some tremendous golf."
Cantlay, the other member of the leading group, finished in third after carding a 68 to leave him one shot behind Fitzpatrick and Spieth.
Cantlay paid the price for bogeys on the par-4 13th and the par-3 14th, where his ball had stuck in the wood barrier by the waterside green.
Xander Schauffele's final-round 66 earned him fourth place, two shots behind the leaders after he ended with a late surge by making birdies on 15, 16 and 17.
World number two Scottie Scheffler's final round of 70 left him 12-under overall and tied for 11th while Masters champion and world number one Jon Rahm shot 68 but was tied for 15th, six shots off the pace.
Leading scores after Sunday's final round of the PGA Heritage tournament at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (par-71, USA unless noted, x- denotes won with birdie on third playoff hole):
267 - x-Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) 66-70-63-68, Jordan Spieth 68-67-66-66
268 - Patrick Cantlay 69-65-66-68
269 - Xander Schauffele 67-66-70-66270 - Sahith Theegala 70-68-67-65, Hayden Buckley 69-68-66-67
271 - Brian Harman 65-70-69-67, Cameron Davis (AUS) 70-67-66-68, Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 68-67-68-68, Im Sung-Jae (KOR) 66-72-66-67
272 - Scottie Scheffler 68-65-69-70, Taylor Moore 68-67-67-70, Chez Reavie 72-66-65-69, Mark Hubbard 68-66-68-70
273 - Rickie Fowler 67-68-68-70, Sam Burns 69-70-69-65, Jon Rahm (ESP) 72-64-69-68, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 69-65-68-71
274 - Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 68-70-70-66, Patrick Rodgers 68-71-66-69, Carson Young 68-68-69-69, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (RSA) 71-68-71-64, Matt Kuchar 68-67-68-71, Russell Henley 72-66-66-70
16 April 07:18
Fitzpatrick soars to lead at PGA Heritage on eagle wings
Reigning US Open champion Matthew Fitzpatrick of England fired a PGA Tour career-low, eight-under par 63 to seize the lead after Saturday's third round of the Heritage tournament.
Fitzpatrick's bogey-free round - highlighted by holing out for eagle from 149 yards in a fairway bunker at the par-4 third hole - gave him the 54-hole lead on 14-under 199 at Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
"This is a golf course that has shown there are low scores around here this week, and to do that for myself is a big positive," Fitzpatrick said.
World number four Patrick Cantlay fired a 66 to stand second on 200, one stroke ahead of fellow American Jordan Spieth.
World number two Scottie Scheffler, who could recapture the top spot after losing it to Masters winner Jon Rahm last week, fired a 69 to share fourth with fellow Americans Taylor Moore, Mark Hubbard and Jimmy Walker plus England's Tommy Fleetwood.
Spain's Rahm shot 69, fading to a share of 21st on 205. Fitzpatrick sank a six-foot birdie putt at the par-5 second then made his spectacular eagle from the sand.
"It was obviously a great start to the round," Fitzpatrick said. "It puts you in great position, 3-under through three. For me, that's ideally the start you need on a Saturday.
"Fitzpatrick blasted out of a bunker within three feet to set up a birdie at the par-5 fifth, then birdied from just inside six feet at the par-3 seventh and made a 23-foot birdie putt at the par-4 eighth.
After adding a six-foot birdie putt at the 13th hole, Fitzpatrick made his final birdie at the par-5 15th, blasting out of a greenside bunker to 16 feet and rolling in the putt.
At the par-3 17th, Fitzpatrick sank a 24-foot putt to rescue par.
"It's important for the par save for the round, but just for me personally, I like to have a bogey-free round," Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick, who first came to the course on family holidays in his youth, likes the layout.
"Aside from Augusta it's my favorite golf course," he said. "I love coming here to play it. I've not had the best results around here but I really enjoy the design, enjoy the test. It's a great golf course."
Cantlay birdied three of the last six holes to shoot a bogey-free 66.
"Gave myself a lot of chances and was able to hole some putts on the back nine," Cantlay said.
"Made a few I didn't expect to make so it's nice to see some putts go in. Three-time major winner Spieth also birdied three of the last six to shoot 66 but missed a par putt at 17 from just inside 17 that left him two off the lead.
"I thought it was really solid," Spieth said. "Didn't like dropping one on 17. Wish I hit a better putt, but it was a good day."
16 April 07:15
Leading scores after Saturday's third round of the PGA's Heritage tournament at Hilton Head Island (par-71):
199 - Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) 66-70-63
200 - Patrick Cantlay 69-65-66
201 - Jordan Spieth 68-67-66
202 - Taylor Moore 68-67-67, Mark Hubbard 68-66-68, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 69-65-68, Scottie Scheffler 68-65-69, Jimmy Walker 65-65-72
203 - Chez Reavie 72-66-65, Cam Davis (AUS) 70-67-66, Hayden Buckley 69-68-66, Rickie Fowler 67-68-68, Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 68-67-68, Matt Kuchar 68-67-68, Xander Schauffele 67-66-70
204 - Keegan Bradley 73-67-64, Im Sung-jae (KOR) 66-72-66, Russell Henley 72-66-66, Brian Harman 65-70-69, Patton Kizzire 70-65-69
16 April 06:59
Australia's Kim wins LPGA Lotte Championship after playoff
Australia's Grace Kim won the LPGA's Lotte Championship on Saturday after triumphing in a three-woman playoff in Oahu, Hawaii to give the 22-year-old her first tour triumph.
China's Liu Yu held the clubhouse lead on 12-overall 276 but Kim and South Korean Sung Yu-Jin both joined her at the top of the leaderboard after 18 holes after making birdies on the final hole to force the playoff.
The trio went to the par-5, first hole for the sudden death playoff and while Liu made par and Sung bogeyed, Kim produced a birdie for the victory.
Kim, who has picked up five wins on the WPGA Tour of Australasia, was playing just her third event on the LPGA Tour.
The Australian birdied the final two holes to card a four-under 68 and then in the playoff took a 3-wood for her second shot, which fizzed over the water to the edge of the green.
"I think just the birdie on 17 was definitely the big momentum changer. I am just kind of speechless right now," she said. "I will let you know that my second shot on that playoff hole, that wasn't intentional. I kind of got lucky there. I guess it was a good day after all," she said, admitting she had pushed her shot right.
"I think I have done well mentally this week and that paid off for me," she added.
Liu, yet to win on the LPGA Tour, produced the round of the day with a bogey-free eight-under 64 at the Hoakalei Country Club after starting the day five shots off the lead.
She got off to a flying start with four birdies in the opening five holes but said she hadn't felt under any pressure to attack.
She had a long wait for the playoff as the clubhouse leader before losing out in the decider.
"It was a bit unexpected to be honest. I felt pretty over-achieved today. If I knew starting off the day I knew I would end up in a playoff I would be definitely very happy," she said.
Taiwan's Chien Pei-Yun and Sweden's Linnea Strom both finished just a stroke behind the leading trio.
American Lauren Hartlage, Thailand's Natthakritta Vongtaveelap and England's Georgia Hall all finished tied for sixth place, three strokes back of the leaders.
15 April 10:32
Leading scores after second round of PGA Tour RBC Heritage at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina on Friday (par-71):
130 - Jimmy Walker (USA) 65-65
133 - Scottie Scheffler (USA) 68-65, Xander Schauffele (USA) 67-66, Justin Rose (ENG) 66-67
134 - Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 69-65, Aaron Rai (ENG) 63-71, Patrick Cantlay (USA) 69-65, Mark Hubbard (USA) 68-66, Viktor Hovland (NOR) 64-70
135 - Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 68-67, Matt Kuchar (USA) 68-67, Jordan Spieth (USA) 68-67, Taylor Moore (USA) 68-67, Ben Griffin (USA) 70-65, Brian Harman (USA) 65-70, Rickie Fowler (USA) 67-68, Patton Kizzire (USA) 70-65
136 - Nate Lashley (USA) 69-67, Doug Ghim (USA) 68-68, Carson Young (USA) 68-68, Jon Rahm (ESP) 72-64, Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) 66-70
137 - Adam Scott (AUS) 69-68, Cameron Davis (AUS) 70-67, Justin Thomas (USA) 69-68, Beau Hossler (USA) 69-68, Denny McCarthy (USA) 71-66, Hayden Buckley (USA) 69-68, Lee Hodges (USA) 70-67, Davis Thompson (USA) 72-65, Zach Johnson (USA) 66-71, Gary Woodland (USA) 69-68, Brendon Todd (USA) 70-67
138 - Russell Henley (USA) 72-66, Scott Stallings (USA) 66-72, Sahith Theegala (USA) 70-68, Chez Reavie (USA) 72-66, Tony Finau (USA) 70-68, Chris Kirk (USA) 69-69, Adam Svensson (CAN) 71-67, Corey Conners (CAN) 70-68, Im Sung-Jae (KOR) 66-72, Ernie Els (RSA) 68-70, Danny Willett (ENG) 70-68, Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 68-70
15 April 10:31
Scheffler in contention, Rahm rises but Walker leads at RBC Heritage
Scottie Scheffler, targeting a return to top spot in the world rankings, set himself up for a weekend push at the RBC Heritage shooting a six-under-par round of 65 to move within three strokes of leader Jimmy Walker.
Victory would see Scheffler overtake freshly crowned Masters champion Jon Rahm and become world number one again.
But the Spaniard, who made a slow start with a one-over 72 opening round, moved up the leaderboard with the best score of the day, a bogey-free seven-under 64.
After starting on the tenth tee, Scheffler chipped in for an eagle on the par-5 2nd hole and ended his round with a bogey and a birdie.
Scheffler is one of three players on nine-under overall, alongside England's Justin Rose and American Xander Schauffele.
It is Scheffler's first appearance at Hilton Head and he said that lack of knowledge has been a factor in his play so far.
"There's a lot of nuances to this golf course, and I'm still kind of learning on the fly," he said.
"It's just those nuances kind of help when you're not really playing your best. I feel like I put myself in a few spots this week that haven't been great. But outside of that, I've played a lot of solid golf," he added.
Rahm had been weary in his first round, after all his exertions at Augusta, but he was back into his groove after making four successive birdies on his front nine.
The Spaniard had to make a ten-footer for par on his last hole, the ninth to keep his round bogey-free but said he was still battling with the after-effects of his Masters win.
"We did play 30 holes on Sunday on one of the hilliest walks all year. So adrenaline keeps you going so far, and then it's going to take a little bit for the body and mind to recover," he said.
"I wish I would have been able to take the week off, but it wasn't the case. I took Monday and Tuesday off. I've been getting slightly better each day."So hopefully on the weekend I feel like I do normally on a weekend," he said.
Walker is a surprise leader but one whose return to form will hearten many of his colleagues on the tour.
The 44-year-old has had to cope with the impact of Lyme disease which emerged in 2016 and a series of complications badly affected his form.
Walker, who has six wins on the PGA Tour but none since his major win at the PGA Championship in 2016, shot back-to-back rounds of 65 to lead on 12-under overall.
"When you haven't been playing well, there's even more pressure...to take advantage of what's happening because it hasn't been happening very often," he said.
While it has been seven years since he was winning titles, Walker certainly isn't of the mindset to simply enjoy being back among the frontrunners.
"I've won golf tournaments in all sorts of fashions, big events. Played in the biggest stages. Nothing this weekend is any different than anything I've ever done honestly. I'll just go do it again because it's fun if you win," he said.
Rose was bogey-free in his 67 while Schauffele eagled the par-5 fifth and reached the turn four-under but bogeys on the 11th and 12th hampered his progress before he sank an 11 foot birdie putt on the 18th to earn a share of second place.
English pair Tommy Fleetwood and Aaron Rai were both four shots off Walker along with Norway's Viktor Hovland and Americans Mark Hubbard and Patrick Cantlay.
Cantlay, criticized for slow play during the final round of the Masters, had a hole in one on the par-3 seventh and tweeted a video of his ace with the message 'Playing Faster!'
14 April 07:06
Hovland leads at RBC Heritage, weary Rahm struggling
Viktor Hovland fired a seven-under-par 64 to take a one-shot clubhouse lead Thursday as play was suspended at the PGA Tour's RBC Heritage tournament in South Carolina.
Hovland, fresh from a seventh-place finish at the Masters, finished with back-to-back birdies to complete a bogey-free first round at Harbour Town Links on Hilton Head Island.
That left him alone atop the leaderboard, one clear of Brian Harman on six under.
Jimmy Walker and England's Aaron Rai were out on the course also on six under when play was suspended due to darkness.
Teeing off on the back nine, Hovland started slowly with four straight pars before building momentum near the turn with three birdies in four holes, including a 16-foot birdie putt on the 17th, his eighth hole.
He rolled in another long birdie putt from 18 feet on his 12th hole and then added three more birdies down the stretch to head the leaderboard.
"That was really good," Hovland said afterwards. "Hit some really nice shots starting the day but didn't make the putts. It was a little frustrating but stayed patient and just kept on hitting great shots.
"Then the putter started heating up, and it felt very stress-free from there on in."
A group of six players completed their rounds on five under while four others, including Xander Schauffele and Rickie Fowler, are a further shot back on four under, three off the lead.
But newly crowned Masters champion Jon Rahm had a day to forget after firing a one-over-par 72.
Although the Spanish world number one started solidly, picking up an early birdie on the fourth, his round unravelled with three straight bogeys on the sixth, seventh and eighth holes that left him two over at the turn.
He clawed back two shots with back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th holes, but then dropped back to one over with his fourth bogey of the day on 16.
"It was what it was," Rahm said of his round. "It wasn't anything - nothing was particularly good. Nothing was particularly awful. I would have been happy pretty much with anything under par, but it just wasn't to be."
Rahm admitted he was still struggling with fatigue after his emotional Masters win on Sunday.
"I hate to make excuses, but a couple of the swings towards the end were my body being tired," Rahm said.
"I think for the most part I did a pretty good job. It could have been a lot worse, been very ugly. We've got it started. Just three days to make it back."
13 April 07:54
PGA Tour releases revamped autumn schedule
The PGA Tour unveiled a revamped autumn schedule on Wednesday which will comprise seven tournaments worth a total of $56.6 million in prize money.
The schedule, first outlined last year as the PGA Tour scrambled to respond to the rise of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit, is officially billed as FedEx Cup Fall and gets under way in September at the Fortninet Championship in Napa, California.
After a break for the Ryder Cup in Italy, the schedule resumes with the Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi and includes events in Japan, Mexico and Bermuda before concluding at the RSM Classic in Georgia in mid-November.
"We are launching the most meaningful updates to the PGA TOUR season since 2007," PGA Tour President Tyler Dennis said in a statement.
Winners of the seven events included on the schedule will earn a two-year tour exemption as well as a spot in the field at the 2024 Sentry Tournament of Champions - the traditional opening event of the PGA Tour calendar year that takes place in Hawaii each January.
Winners will also earn berths at the Players Championship as well as majors that normally invite PGA Tour winners.
In addition, tournament winners will earn 500 FedEx Cup points.
Points earned in the seven autumn events will go towards finalising priority ranking for the 2024 campaign.
The revamped schedule means the Houston Open, which has been played in the autumn since 2019, will be shifted to the spring of 2024.
The World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, which has not been held since 2019, will not take place in 2023.
The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is also no longer part of the 2024 FedExCup season.
03 April 07:10
Canada's Conners wins Texas Open
Corey Conners warmed up for his sixth Masters appearance with a victory in the Texas Open, posting a bogey-free 68 on Sunday to capture his second PGA Tour title in the same event where he won his first in 2019.
Conners' 15-under-par total of 273 gave him a one-stroke win over American Sam Stevens, who piled the pressure on late in his bid to earn a first PGA Tour title and an invitation to the first major of the year that starts at Augusta National on Thursday.
Canada's Conners started the day one stroke behind American Patrick Rodgers, who was also chasing a first PGA Tour title and Masters invitation.
As Rodgers struggled on the front nine at windy TPC San Antonio, Conners smoothly took control.
Conners made a three-foot birdie at the second and a five-footer at the sixth, taking firm control with an 18-foot birdie putt from the fringe at the ninth that moved him to 14-under.
Unable to take advantage of the par-five 14th, where he saved par from a greenside bunker, Conners pushed his lead to three shots with a 17-foot birdie at 15, his three pars in the last three holes proving enough to get the job done.
"I was really solid all day," Conners said. "It was a battle out here for sure, the conditions were not easy.
"Struck the ball really, really well, gave myself a lot of looks, kept things under control.
"I can't believe I got my second win here."
It was a confidence-building win as Conners heads to Augusta, where he finished tied for sixth last year.
While Rodgers's challenge faded with four front-nine bogeys on the way to a one-over 73 that left him in fifth place, Stevens made a strong bid with a six-under-par 66 that included two eagles and four birdies with two bogeys.
"A little disappointed, I played great today," Stevens said. "The right things happened - made the putts when I needed to make them, hit a few great shots when I needed to. It's easy to look back and wish you had one more, but that's all right."
After a birdie at the 13th, Stevens just missed a five-foot eagle attempt at the 14th, settling for another birdie. He pulled within one shot of the lead with an eagle at the 17th, where he drove the green of the short par-four and drained a nine-foot putt.
"I knew that I had to do something pretty cool on the last couple holes, kind of freed me up to make a good swing, hit a good shot," he said.
"I couldn't believe it got as close as it did and was able to make that one."
He had a chance to pull level at 18 but couldn't get his eight-foot birdie attempt to drop. Conners, meanwhile, was in a greenside bunker at 18.
His shot out left him 26 feet downhill to the pin, but he two-putted safely to seal the victory.
Leading final-round scores on Sunday in the PGA Tour Texas Open at San Antonio, Texas (USA unless noted, par-72):
273 - Corey Conners (CAN) 64-72-69-68
274 - Sam Stevens 72-68-68-66
275 - Sam Ryder 71-70-68-66, Matt Kuchar 68-70-69-68
277 - Patrick Rodgers 66-67-71-73278 - Chez Reavie 69-72-72-65, Lee Hodges 74-66-69-69, An Byeong-hun (KOR) 70-71-68-69
279 - Andrew Novak 69-72-70-68
280 - Ben Martin 70-70-73-67, Hayden Buckley 67-73-72-68, Rickie Fowler 71-72-71-66, Padraig Harrington (IRL) 68-73-68-71, Chris Kirk 67-72-69-72
281 - Robby Shelton 73-69-72-67, MJ Daffue (RSA) 68-72-72-69, Lanto Griffin 73-70-69-69, Alex Noren (SWE) 70-71-70-70, Nick Taylor (CAN) 69-71-70-71, Kim Seong-hyeon (KOR) 72-68-70-71, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 70-72-68-71
02 April 07:09
Rodgers leads Texas Open by one in bid for first PGA Tour title
Patrick Rodgers fired a one-under-par 71 on Saturday to hang on to a one-stroke lead over Corey Conners heading into the final round of the PGA Tour Texas Open in San Antonio.
Rodgers, 30, is chasing a first tour title in his 235th career start, one which would gain him a spot in the field for the Masters, the first major championship of the year at Augusta National next week.
"It's going to require good golf," Rodgers said. "There's a lot of guys chasing and great players out here.
"Obviously, there's no better place to be than to have an advantage, but it's going to take a great round in order to get it done.
"I think we all know what's at stake with a win out here," he added. "I haven't gotten the job done in my career, but it's quite a thrill. This is why I play, why I compete and I can't wait to get out there tomorrow."
Rodgers's 12-under-par total of 204 at TPC San Antonio left him one stroke in front of 2019 champion Conners, who carded a 69, with veteran Matt Kuchar alone in third after a 69 for 207.
Overnight leader Rodgers led Conners by two after his third birdie of the day at the 17th, where he rattled in a nine-foot putt.But his tee shot at 18 settled under a tree right of the fairway.
Forced to punch out, he found a bunker with his third shot and couldn't get his par-saving 13-foot putt to drop.
Canada's Conners, who got up and down for birdie from a greenside bunker at 17, had a chance to grab a share of the lead but missed a seven-foot birdie putt at the last.
"Didn't get off to the best start," said Conners, who had seven birdies, a double bogey and two bogeys in his three-under effort.
"Made a few mistakes on the first nine, but really happy battling back and making some birdies on the back nine today. Lots of positives and good momentum from that nine holes heading into tomorrow."
Kuchar, chasing a 10th PGA Tour title and his first since the Sony Open in 2019, applied some pressure with six birdies - three each side of a mid-round bogey.
A birdie at 17, where his 35-foot eagle putt burned the edge of the cup, moved him within one of the lead.
But his tee shot at the par-five 18th went left into a mounded cactus, costing him an unplayable lie on the way to a double-bogey.
"This was definitely my best day ball-striking by a long shot, was playing some good golf," Kuchar said but added: "It is a tough, demanding golf course and I paid the price with a poor tee shot on the last. But all in all, listen, it was a good day of golf out there."
Leading third-round scores on Saturday in the US PGA Tour Texas Open at San Antonio, Texas (USA unless noted, par-72):
204 - Patrick Rodgers 66-67-71
205 - Corey Conners (CAN) 64-72-69
207 - Matt Kuchar 68-70-69
208 - Sam Stevens 72-68-68, Chris Kirk 67-72-69
209 - An Byeong-hun (KOR) 70-71-68, Sam Ryder 71-70-68, Padraig Harrington (IRL) 68-73-68, Lee Hodges 74-66-69, Augusto Nez (ARG) 70-70-69, Harry Higgs 69-68-72
210 - Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 70-72-68, Dylan Wu 70-71-69, Andrew Putnam 71-69-70, Kim Seong-hyeon (KOR) 72-68-70, Nick Taylor (CAN) 69-71-70, Nico Echavarria (COL) 73-66-71
01 April 07:59
Rodgers surges to Texas Open lead
Patrick Rodgers birdied five of his last six holes in a five-under-par 67 on Friday to take a three-shot lead at the US PGA Tour Texas Open -- where a victory will get him into the Masters.
Rodgers' storming finish to the second round capped his long day at TPC San Antonio, where he played 23 holes after weather delays disrupted play on Thursday.
He completed his first-round 66 on Friday morning to lie two shots behind Canadian Corey Conners.
After two quick birdies at the second and third in the second round, Rodgers rebounded from bogeys at the sixth and 10th with birdies at 13, 14, 16, 17 and 18.
If he can keep it up over the weekend, a first tour title would come with a ticket to next weeks' Masters, the first major championship of the year at Augusta National.
"It's something I've always dreamt of," Rodgers said.
"It's the reason why I'm out here.
"I love this job because I love to compete, and I do my best to win a golf tournament every time I tee it up. I'm excited for the chance. This is, like I said, why I play. It's going to be a really fun next couple of days."
Rodgers' 11-under total of 133 put him three strokes clear of Conners, the 2019 Texas Open champion who followed his first-round 64 with an even-par 72.
American Michael Thompson was in third after a 68 for seven-under 137.
After fog delayed the start of Thursday's first round for more than three hours, the second round was due to finish on Saturday morning.
When darkness halted play, Rodgers' closest pursuer on the course was Mexico's Roberto Diaz, who was eight-under through 10 holes.
Rodgers, 30, has played in just five major championships in his career, which has seen him tee it up in 234 prior tournaments without a victory.
He put himself in a position to change that with his storming finish, sticking his tee shot at the 198-yard 16th inside eight feet for a birdie and making another birdie from inside 10 feet at 17.
He reached the 593-yard par-five 18th in two for a closing birdie.
Conners, meanwhile, four-putted his seventh hole, the par-three 16th, as he found himself unable to build on the momentum of his first round.
"It was just really windy," Conners said of his trouble on the green at 16. "Just caught a bit of a gust on the first putt, a little mindless trying to knock in my bogey putt and it got away from me as well ... It happens. I feel like I'm rolling it well."
31 March 07:01
SA's MJ Daffue shares Texas Open lead as weather wreaks havoc
Matt Kuchar and Padraig Harrington shared a four-way clubhouse lead at the PGA Tour's Texas Open on Thursday as poor weather wreaked havoc with first round play.
Kuchar and Harrington both carded four-under-par 68s to join South Africa's MJ Daffue and Roberto Diaz at the top of the leaderboard when play was halted at The Oaks course in San Antonio.
Kuchar, who is chasing his first PGA Tour win since 2019, relished the challenge of the demanding Oaks layout."It's a tough golf course but I do like it," Kuchar said.
"If you start playing some indifferent golf, this course can really jump up and bite you. I was lucky to get away with a couple of loose ones today."
Thursday's first round had got off to a chaotic start with play delayed by more than three hours early on due to thick fog.
Around half of the field were yet to finish their first rounds when play was suspended for the day in gloomy conditions.
Justin Lower was at five-under through nine holes when players were brought back in.
Daffue meanwhile forced his way into a share of the clubhouse lead with a brilliant eagle three on the par-five 18th.
Daffue reached the green in two and then calmly rolled in a 14-foot putt for an eagle and a share of the lead."It was a good day," Daffue said.
"I didn't necessarily have all my good ball-striking beginning of the round, and obviously with the rain and everything it was kind of tough.
"I've been in positions like this and just told myself like keep grinding."
Diaz meanwhile also joined the leaders after picking up a shot on the 18th, the Mexican journeyman sinking a 14-foot birdie putt on the last.
England's Matt Wallace was among a group of five players who are a shot off the clubhouse lead on three under.
27 March 07:43
England's Wallace wins PGA Puntacana title with birdie binge
Matt Wallace birdied four of the last six holes on Sunday to win the PGA Corales Puntacana Championship for his first triumph in nearly five years.
The 32-year-old Englishman made four consecutive birdies from the 13th through 16th holes to fire a six-under par 66 and finish 72 holes at the Dominican Republic resort on 19-under 269.
That was good enough for a one-stroke victory over Denmark's 22-year-old Nicolai Hojgaard, who missed a 20-foot birdie putt at 18 to force a playoff.
Wallace, who captured his first PGA Tour title, was a four-time winner on the European Tour, the most recent of those having come at Denmark in September 2018.
Wallace capped his birdie run at the windy 16th, where he dropped his approach in swirling winds within inches of the hole and tapped in for a two-stroke lead.
He then closed with back-to-back pars.
"Very happy," Wallace said. "Down those last few holes I knew I could do it. I played great all week. Just came out on top, so very lucky. This is cool."
Hojgaard, a two-time European Tour winner, sank a 15-foot birdie putt at the par-3 17th to give himself a chance on the final hole.
Americans Sam Stevens and Tyler Duncan shared third, two adrift on 271, with American Austin Eckroat another stroke back.
Most of the PGA's top talent was at this week's WGC Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas.
Leading scores after Sunday's final round of the PGA Corales Puntacana Championship in the Dominican Republic (par 72, USA unless noted):
269 - Matt Wallace (ENG) 67-66-70-66
270 - Nikolai Hojgaard (DEN) 71-65-66-68
271 - Tyler Duncan 71-65-67-68, Sam Stevens 69-65-68-69
272 - Austin Eckroat 69-69-66-68
273 - Wyndham Clark 69-65-69-70
274 - Ricky Barnes 68-70-66-70
275 - Brent Grant 69-69-70-67, Matthias Schwab (AUT) 71-68-68-68, Ben Martin 66-72-69-68, Brice Garnett 66-70-70-69, Thomas Detry (BEL) 70-68-65-72
276 - Austin Cook 70-68-71-67, Nick Hardy 73-69-67-67, Harry Hall (ENG) 71-68-69-68
277 - Jonathan Byrd 71-69-71-66, Dylan Wu 68-70-72-67, Kevin Chappell 70-70-69-68, Doug Ghim 69-71-69-68, Kelly Kraft 68-73-68-68, Vincent Norman (SWE) 71-70-66-70
27 March 06:45
Burns routs Young 6&5 to win WGC Match Play final
Sam Burns captured the biggest title of his career by winning the WGC Match Play Championship on Sunday, routing Cameron Young 6&5 in an all-American final.
World number 15 Burns took a $3.5 million top prize at Austin Country Club in Texas by making eight birdies in the last 10 holes to dispatch 17th-ranked Young, last year's British Open runner-up.
"What a week. Man, I'm so tired," Burns said. "It was fun playing Cam. I know he didn't have his best stuff."
It was the fifth career PGA title for Burns, who won all seven of his matches to become the first player to capture the WGC Match Play in his debut since Australian Geoff Ogilvy in 2006.
"I just tried to stack one good swing after another," Burns said. "Really have tried to put the hard work in and it's nice to see it paying off on the golf course."
Burns dethroned top-ranked defending champion Scottie Scheffler in the semi-finals while Young, last year's PGA Rookie of the Year chasing his first tour win, ousted third-ranked Rory McIlroy, with both early matches going extra holes.
"Felt like I found something this morning at the end of my match with Scottie and kind of was able to carry that on this afternoon," Burns said.
"It's huge. I haven't played my best golf the past couple months and was really struggling with my swing the past couple weeks."
In the final, Young won the second hole with a five-foot birdie putt but Burns dropped his approach inches from the hole for a birdie to claim the fifth and pull level.
Burns nearly holed out from 45 yards and birdied to win the par-5 sixth then took the par-3 seventh when Young missed a six-foot par putt and captured his fourth consecutive hole with a 20-foot birdie putt at the eighth, seizing a 3-up advantage.
Burns sank a 12-foot birdie putt to win the 10th for a 4-up lead and made a 24-foot birdie putt at the par-3 11th, although Young tied the hole with a 22-foot birdie putt.
Young found water to lose the par-5 12th and fall 5-down then plunked his ball into water shy of the 13th green and moments later surrendered the match.
Results from Sunday's matches at the WGC Match-Play Championship at Austin Country Club (x denotes seed):
Sam Burns (USA x13) bt Cameron Young (USA x15) 6&5
Rory McIlroy (NIR x3) bt Scottie Scheffler (USA x1) 2&1
Sam Burns (USA x13) bt Scottie Scheffler (USA x1) 21 holes
Cameron Young (USA x15) bt Rory McIlroy (NIR x3) 19 holes
26 March 07:06
Scheffler, McIlroy rally late to reach WGC Match Play semis
Top-ranked defending champion Scottie Scheffler and third-ranked Rory McIlroy rallied late for dramatic triumphs on Saturday to reach the semi-finals of the WGC Match Play Championship.
Reigning Masters champion Scheffler, who won the Players Championship earlier this month, birdied five of his last six holes to beat Australian Jason Day 2&1 at Austin Country Club.
"It was a tough match," Scheffler said. "Jason came out of the gates really hot."
Four-time major winner McIlroy took his only lead of the match with a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to defeat Tokyo Olympic champion Xander Schauffele 1 up on the Texas layout.
"I needed to dig deep," McIlroy said. "I got down early but I battled back."
Scheffler will face pal Sam Burns in an all-American semi-final on Sunday morning while McIlroy, the 2015 WGC Match Play winner from Northern Ireland, will face American Cam Young in the other.
The winners meet Sunday afternoon for the title.
Burns beat Canada's Mackenzie Hughes 3&2 while 2022 British Open runner-up Young defeated compatriot Kurt Kitayama 1 up.
Scheffler, who won three of the last four holes to edge J.T. Poston 1 up in the morning round of 16, made another fightback to dispatch Day, the 2014 and 2016 Match Play winner.
Day won the fourth and fifth holes with birdies and eagled the sixth from just inside six feet to go 3 up, the biggest deficit for Scheffler this week.
Scheffler won the eighth on a Day bogey and the ninth on a 29-foot birdie putt then two-putted from 48 feet for birdie to win the par-5 12th and pull level.
"I just stayed patient," Scheffler said. "He made a mistake on eight and then I birdied nine and it was a match from there on."
Scheffler drove the green at the par-4 13th and tapped in for birdie to win the hole and seize his first lead, then went 2 up when Day made a bogey to lose 14. Both birdied 15 and 16 and Scheffler's tee shot at the par-3 17th ended two inches from the hole to seal a date with Burns.
"Should be a fun match. We'll have a good time out there," Scheffler said. "Should be a good challenge for both of us."
Schauffele sank an 18-foot birdie putt to win the first hole.
McIlroy, who edged Aussie Lucas Herbert 2 up in the morning, and Schauffele each won two more holes with birdies on the front nine.
"I'm 16-under for the two rounds of golf I've played today," McIlroy said. "It just sort of shows you the caliber you need to play at to compete out here."
25 March 06:35
Rahm ousted while Scheffler, McIlroy advance at Match Play
Second-ranked Spaniard Jon Rahm was eliminated after Friday's group stage finales at the WGC Match Play Championship while defending champion Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy advanced.
Rahm, a three-time PGA winner this year, lost to 2021 WGC Match Play champion Billy Horschel 5&4 at Austin Country Club in Texas, where 16 group winners, 12 of them Americans, advanced to knockout rounds.
Rahm didn't make a birdie and became the only top-six seed ousted in group play as Horschel never trailed in delivering the Spaniard's second defeat.
"To succeed on a hole-by-hole basis, on a swing-by-swing basis and just add those good swings up one after another, puts a lot of confidence in that tank that I've needed for a little bit of time now," reigning Memorial champion Horschel said.
Scheffler beat South Korean 17th seed Tom Kim 3&2 to win his group at a perfect 3-0.
Reigning Masters champion Scheffler, who won the Players Championship earlier this month, booked a last-16 berth against US 43rd seed J.T. Poston.
"I'm just trying to go out and hit good shots, keep doing what I'm doing and executing," Scheffler said. "I've seen some good results recently and I'm hoping to keep that going moving forward."
McIlroy, the 2015 Match Play winner, never trailed in beating US 20th seed Keegan Bradley 3&2 to reach the last 16.
The four-time major winner from Northern Ireland won the fourth and fifth holes with birdies and the seventh on a Bradley bogey then played level from there to start 3-0.
"As every day goes by... the more and more confidence I'm getting with it, which is great," McIlroy said.
"I struck the ball well and sort of got up early, kept pressure on Keegan. It was nice to get through to the weekend."
Next for McIlroy is Australian 46th seed Lucas Herbert, who never trailed in beating US 62nd seed Ben Griffin 3&1 to finish 3-0.
Herbert sank a 20-foot eagle putt at the par-5 16th and a 17-foot birdie at the par-3 17th to advance.- Kuchar ties Tiger mark -US 59th seed Matt Kuchar, the oldest entrant at 44, routed South Korea's Kim Si-woo 7&6 to advance.
The 2013 Match Play champion equalled the event record set by Tiger Woods with his 36th match win.
"To tie Tiger's mark, I don't know if I have words to put that into perspective," Kuchar said. "I'm hugely proud, grateful, kind of shell-shocked to be in the same sentence with him."
Kuchar, into the round of 16 for a record ninth time, will next face Australian 32nd seed Jason Day, the 2014 and 2016 winner who beat US two-time major champion Collin Morikawa 4&3 to stay perfect.
"He just tied Tiger's record so that just shows how difficult he is to beat," Day said of Kuchar. "If he has a good day on the greens it's going to be difficult to beat him."
Kuchar was among four lowest group seeds to advance.US fourth seed Patrick Cantlay also made a 3-0 start, edging compatriot Brian Harman 2&1 to book a last-16 date with US 13th seed Sam Burns, who reached 3-0 by closing with back-to-back birdies to beat Irishman Seamus Power 2 up.
Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters champion, forfeited his match against US fifth seed Max Homa with a stiff neck, advancing the unbeaten American into the last 16.
Unbeaten US 61st seed J.J. Spaun birdied the last four holes to rally past Australian Min Woo Lee 2&1 and book a last-16 date with reigning Olympic champion Xander Schauffele, the US sixth seed who sank a 13-foot birdie putt at 18 to edge Tom Hoge 1 up and stay perfect.
Kurt Kitayama, who won three weeks ago at Bay Hill, won a three-man playoff to reach a last-16 date with fellow American Andrew Putnam.
Saturday's round of 16 matches (x denotes seed):
Scottie Scheffler (USA x1) v JT Poston (USA x43)
Jason Day (AUS x32) v Matt Kuchar (USA x59)
Max Homa (USA x5) v Mackenzie Hughes (CAN x50)
Sam Burns (USA x13) v Patrick Cantlay (USA x4)
Billy Horschel (USA x22) v Cam Young (USA x15)
Kurt Kitayama (USA x19) v Andrew Putnam (USA x56)
Xander Schauffele (USA x6) v JJ Spaun (USA x61)
Lucas Herbert (AUS x46) v Rory McIlroy (NIR x3)