Thursday's Golf Capsules
Friday, December 2, 2011
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — K.J. Choi opened with five straight birdies. Tiger Woods looked as good as he did in Australia, making his fourth birdie with a 3-iron to an elevated green on the par-5 fifth that covered the flag.
And then, without warning, the wind showed up Thursday at Sherwood Country Club.
Choi held his own in gusts up to 30 mph and finished with a 6-under 66, giving him a three-shot lead over Woods and Steve Stricker in the Chevron World Challenge. They were the only three players to break 70 in the 18-man field in the final official event in America this year.
“Anything under par is a good day today with the wind up,” said Woods, a four-time winner of this event and the tournament host. “If the wind stayed down, you’re going to have to shoot probably 68 or below for it to be a good score.”
Five of the six players who broke par — Jim Furyk, Nick Watney and Rickie Fowler were at 71 — had most recently played at blustery Royal Melbourne in the Presidents Cup.
Choi figures he had even a greater advantage. He lives in Dallas.
“I was used to playing in the windy conditions, not only playing in Melbourne, but also living in Dallas, where there’s 20- to 30-mile wind every other day,” Choi said. “I’m used to practicing in those conditions. I’ve become very comfortable in those windy conditions.”
NEDBANK GOLF CHALLENGE
SUN CITY, South Africa (AP) — Defending champion Lee Westwood made a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 4-under 68 and a share of the lead with Masters winner Charl Schwartzel in the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Robert Karlsson opened with a 69 at Gary Player Country Club, and top-ranked Luke Donald was another stroke back along with Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Jason Dufner, Simon Dyson and K.T. Kim.
HONG KONG OPEN
HONG KONG (AP) — U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy shot a 6-under 64 in blustery conditions for share of the lead with Alvaro Quiros and David Horsey in the Hong Kong Open.
Two-time champion Miguel Angel Jimenez opened with a 65 on the Hong Kong Golf Club’s Fanling Course.
Defending champion Ian Poulter had a 71, and John Daly shot a 74.
PGA TOUR QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT
LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) — Will Claxton shot a 2-under 70 in windy conditions to take a one-stroke lead over Matt Jones and Harris English after the second round of the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament.
The top 25 in the six-round event at PGA West will earn 2012 PGA Tour cards.
Claxton had a 10-under total. Claxton and Jones played the TPC Stadium Course, while English was at the Nicklaus Tournament Course. David Duval was tied for 81st at even par after a 72 on the Nicklaus course.
LPGA FINAL QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Christine Song shot a 2-under 70 in windy conditions on LPGA International’s Legends Course to take a two-stroke lead over Stephanie Kono after the second round of the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament.
Song had an 8-under 136 total in the 90-hole event. She opened with a 66 on Wednesday on the Champions Course. Kono, an amateur, had a 71 on the Legends Course. The top 40 and ties will receive 2012 LPGA Tour membership.
NEW ZEALAND OPEN
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand’s Jim Cusdin and Australia’s Brad Kennedy shot 4-under 68s to share the first-round lead in the New Zealand Open.