Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 19th 2014 Contents A61
January 19, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
ABU DHABI---Phil Mickelson
surged up the leaderboard with
a 9-under 63 to put himself in
second place after the third
round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC
Golf Championship in United
Arab Emirates, while Rory
McIlroy was hit with a two-
shot penalty for a rules infrac-
tion that dropped him into a
tie for fourth, yesterday.
Mickelson barely made the
cut but had the best round of
the day with nine birdies and
an eagle coupled with two
bogeys to sit two shots behind
leader Craig Lee of Scotland.
Lee shot a 69 for a 12-under
"I just love the fact I am in
contention and have an oppor-
tunity in my first tournament
of the year here in Abu Dhabi,"
Mickelson said. "The biggest
thing for me is that each day
as the tournament has pro-
gressed I have felt a lot sharper
McIlroy thought he was
alone in second place a stroke
behind Lee after finishing his
round, but tournament officials
then ruled that he had taken a
drop incorrectly on the second
hole and adjusted his score to
a double-bogey 7. That gave
him a 70 for the round to sit
one stroke behind Mickelson
and Gaganjeet Bhullar of India
McIlroy had to take relief on
the second hole when his ball
ended up on a gallery crosswalk
and went on to par the hole,
but was later told by the caddy
of playing partner Ricardo Gon-
zalez that he had his left foot
on the white line marking the
drop area, meaning he had not
taken "full relief" according to
reviewed the situation after
McIlroy completed his round,
with the golfer going back to
the spot to show where he
stood when he took the shot.
"I didn t even know my foot
was on the line," McIlroy said.
"We went back to see it again
there and see where my divot
was, and it was clear that I
couldn t have played the shot
with my feet anywhere else. I
guess I was so much into the
shot I didn t even
realise...There s a lot of stupid
rules and this is one of them."
To make matters worse,
McIlroy said his drop had actu-
ally given him a bad lie and that
he would have benefited from
"If anything, it was a disad-
vantage," McIlroy said.
McIlroy had finished the
round without a bogey, making
his fourth birdie of the day on
"To a spectator it may feel
like I have been unduly pun-
ished, and that s what it feels
like to me, but it s a rule of the
game. I do feel like I have been
hard done by but it s nothing
that a fast start tomorrow
(today) can t fix."
Mickelson shot his lowest
score since a 63 on the opening
day of the Deutsche Bank
Championship in September,
falling one shot short of the
Abu Dhabi course record.
The American birdied four
of his opening six holes, eagled
the eighth and then also birdied
five of his inward holes, includ-
ing sinking a 50-foot birdie putt
at the par-5 last.
That came after he tried to
reach the green in two shots
but ended up beneath some
trees to the left and needed a
pitching wedge on his third
"(I) gave myself a 45 to 50
footer that you don t really
expect to make too often but I
had a good kind of feel on that
one and it just rolled right I,"
Mickelson said. "But then I was
getting a little tired mentally
those last few holes and I could
tell it was early in the season
so I just wasn t as sharp men-
Mickelson surges, McIlroy
penalised in Abu Dhabi
Phil Mickelson of
the US took the lead
after the third round
of the Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, United
yesterday. AP PHOTO
LA QUINTA---Patrick Reed shot his sec-
ond-straight round of 9-under 63 on Friday
to stretch his lead in the multi-course
Humana Challenge in California to two
Having performed strongly at PGA West s
Arnold Palmer Private Course on Thursday,
Reed followed that up with another impres-
sive round at tree-lined La Quinta, to move
clear of nearest challenger Brendon Todd.
"It s great to have that feeling that you
can go out and shoot 63," said Reed. "And
to actually do it two times in a row shows
that what we have done during the offseason
and what we re doing now is working.
"The good thing is even though we re play-
ing great, I feel like there s still room for
improvement out there while I was playing.
Today, I felt like there was three shots out
there, yesterday, I thought there was one or
two out there."
Todd had a 63 on the Palmer course. He s
the only player in the field without a bogey.
"Bogey-free was huge," Todd said. "Before
to play, feeling like I should birdie every hole."
The conditions were so calm the ponds
looked like glass, the water as still as the
plastic swans PGA West uses to scare away
The 23-year-old Reed eagled the par-5
fifth hole, hitting a high 5-iron approach
that landed softly on the left side of the
green and rolled to 4 feet. He also had eight
birdies and his lone bogey in 36 holes.
Ryan Palmer was third, three strokes back
at 15-under, after a 65 at La Quinta. He also
made a short eagle putt on the fifth hole.
Charley Hoffman, the 2007 winner, was
14-under after a 66 on PGA West s Jack
Nicklaus Private Course. He had five straight
birdies on the front nine.
Bill Haas and James Driscoll were 13-under.
Haas, the 2010 winner, had a 66 on the Nick-
laus course, and Driscoll shot 63 at La Quin-
ta.Charlie Beljan was another stroke back,
shooting 64 on the Nicklaus course.
Matt Every and playing partner Will
MacKenzie were 11-under in a group that
included Kapalua winner Zach Johnson, 2005
winner Justin Leonard and Harris English.
Every settled for a 68 on the Palmer course
after playing an early five-hole stretch in 6-
under with four birdies and an eagle.
MacKenzie had a 66.
After a long wait at the turn, he made a
double bogey on No. 10.
"We flew around the front," Every said.
"Then we got to the back and there was a
Johnson had an eagle, six birdies, two
bogeys and a double bogey in a 68 on the
Nicklaus course, Leonard had a 67 on the
Palmer course, and English shot 66 on the
Playing alongside Johnson, Keegan Bradley
had a hole-in-one in a 66 that left him 9-
under overall in his first start of the year.
His 7-iron shot on the 177-yard third hole
landed about ten feet short of the pin and
rolled in. (AP)
Mediate took the first-round
lead on Friday in the Cham-
pions Tour s season-opening
Mitsubishi Electric Champi-
onship in Hawaii.
Mediate shot a 9-under 63
at Hualalai Golf Course, play-
ing the first seven holes in 6-
under with four birdies and
an eagle on the par-5 seventh.
He added birdies on Nos 10,
14 and 18 to finish a stroke
ahead of 2012 winner Dan
Mediate won twice last year
in his first season on the 50-
and-over tour after winning
six times on the PGA Tour.
Forsman had an eagle, seven
birdies and a bogey.
Fred Couples, Fred Funk,
Tom Pernice Jr and Steve Elk-
ington shot 65.
Couples played the four
par-5 holes in 6-under,
eagling Nos 4 and 7 and
birdieing Nos 10 and 14.
The 41-player field features
major champions from the
past five years, other tourna-
ment winners in the past two
seasons and sponsor invitees.
Defending champion John
Cook had a 69.
Kenny Perry opened with
a 72. He was the player of the
year last season, winning three
times and taking the Charles
Schwab Cup points title. (AP)
Mediate leads Champions Tour opener
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