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Jerry Kelly continues strong play, leads PGA Tour Champions opener Mitsubishi Electric Championship

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions. Kelly, 51, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour’s Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour. “Last week helped a lot just to…

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Colonial confirmed for May amid title sponsor questions

FORT WORTH, Texas — With lingering questions about the status of Colonial’s title sponsorship, the PGA Tour says the historic tournament will be played as scheduled in May. The PGA Tour said in a statement Wednesday that it is working closely with Colonial Country Club. “As we look toward the 2018 event and beyond, we will continue to work alongside Colonial Country Club in an effort to ensure the event will be a part of the PGA Tour schedule for many years to come,” the statement read. Dean & DeLuca…

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Sergio Garcia takes first-round lead after 66 at Singapore Open

SINGAPORE — Sergio Garcia kicked off his 2018 season in style on Thursday, shooting a 5-under 66 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Singapore Open. Playing his first tournament of the new year, Garcia, the reigning Masters champion, rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle to jump straight to the top of the leaderboard. Garcia, 38, dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after he teed off from the back nine, when…

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McIlroy begins busy Masters prep in Abu Dhabi, itching for a win ESPN Golf

Imagine if during Tiger Woods‘ prime he went three full years without winning a major championship. From the time he won his first major title at the 1997 Masters to his 14th at the 2008 U.S. Open, Woods never went a stretch of more than 10 majors without winning one of the game’s four biggest tournaments. Rory McIlroy is not ready to hand the United States the next Ryder Cup despite a convincing win by the Americans in 2016. Rory McIlroy told The (London) Telegraph that he now has a…

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LPGA returns to Los Angeles after 13-year absence

LOS ANGELES — The LPGA is returning to Los Angeles after a 13-year absence with a $1.5 million tournament in April. The HUGEL-JTBC Open will be played April 19-22 at Wilshire Country Club, which has hosted previous LPGA, PGA and Champions Tour events. The 72-hole event announced Wednesday is part of the tour’s California swing that includes the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, Kia Classic in Carlsbad and a tournament in San Francisco. The LPGA visited Los Angeles from 2001 to 2005, when its Office Depot…

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Sungjae Im wins Web.com Tour’s Great Exuma Classic in Bahamas

GREAT EXUMA, Bahamas — Sungjae Im closed with a 7-under 65 to win the season-opening Great Exuma Classic on the Web.com Tour. Im became the 16th player in the history of PGA Tour’s developmental tour to win in his first start. The 19-year-old from South Korea played bogey-free in windy conditions Tuesday at Sandals Emerald Bay. He finished at 13-under 275 for a 4-shot victory over Carlos Ortiz of Mexico. Ortiz birdied the final hole for a 69 and broke out of a five-way tie for second. That was worth…

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Rory McIlroy holds bird of prey at Abu Dhabi HSBC golf championship

8:06 AM ET ESPN staff Rory McIlroy held a bird of prey alongside potential 2018 Ryder Cup teammates Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood on Tuesday. The trio are playing in the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC golf championship this week and branded the experience as the “first birdie of the week”. 1up @McIlroyRory . First birdie of the week!! @HSBC_Sport #HSBC #AbuDhabi 🐥 @TommyFleetwood pic.twitter.com/pvkFh0QBGQ — Justin Rose (@JustinRose99) January 16, 2018 Fleetwood is the only one of the three who has played competitive golf this year after playing an…

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Rory McIlroy not ready to just hand Ryder Cup to United States

Rory McIlroy said the task will be tougher than many believe for the United States to prevail this fall at the Ryder Cup, despite a convincing American victory in 2016 and a strong cast of young stars. “It won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be,” McIlroy said Tuesday in Abu Dhabi in advance of this week’s European Tour event, where he will make his 2018 debut. “The Americans are very strong,” said McIlroy, who is from Northern Ireland and has played in four Ryder Cups for…

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Rory McIlroy believes his next win is ‘not far away’ after a good rest period

Rory McIlroy feels a first win since Sept. 2016 is “not far away” as he prepares to make his competitive comeback in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy has a remarkable record in Abu Dhabi with four second place finishes, two thirds and a fifth in his last eight starts, but missed last year’s event with the rib injury which disrupted his entire season. The four-time major winner called an early end to his winless campaign, just the second of his professional career, in October, but has been practising hard…

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Patton Kizzire overcomes James Hahn in 6-hole Sony Open playoff

HONOLULU — Patton Kizzire outlasted James Hahn in six extra holes to win the Sony Open to become the first multiple winner on the PGA Tour this season. Kizzire, who won the OHL Classic in Mexico last fall, closed with a 2-under 68. That turned out to be the easy part. Hahn shot 62 in the final round Sunday and got into a playoff with Kizzire at 17-under 263. They matched two pars and two birdies on the par-5 18th. They matched pars when they went to the par-3 17th….

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