Lanky Patton Kizzire fired a 9-under 62 to lead the OHL Classic in Mexico on Thursday to lead the tournament by two strokes. The 31-year-old Kizzire is 6-feet, 5 inches tall, one of the biggest guys on the PGA Tour. He’s after his first career win on the PGA Tour after finishing second at last year’s Safeway Open. He had a shot at a 59 or 60 heading into 18 but bogeyed it after making 10 birdies between No. 3 and No. 17. He has a 2-stroke lead on American Vaughn Taylor who fired four birdies o the front nine and added an eagle on No. 13. Rickie Fowler is one of two players tied third with a 6-under 65. Making his 2017-2018 season debut, Fowler stroked three birdies on the front nine and three more on the back to play the perfect round. South Africa’s Retief Goosen, surprisingly not playing in the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City this weekend, fired a 5-under 66 to sit tied for fifth. The 48-year-old Goosen hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since 2009.
Tommy Fleetwood’s insurmountable lead is rapidly disintegrating in the 2017 Race to Dubai. With a second straight big win, Justin Rose has closed within striking distance of Fleetwood with just two events left in the competition – the Gary Player Open in South Africa and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. Fleetwood led the standings by close to a million points as recently as two weeks ago. His lead over Rose is now just 134,838 points, even though he has played twice as many qualifying events (22) as Rose (11) has. Sergio Garcia, who did not play in Turkey this week, is third with 3.184 million points, followed by Jon Rahm’s 2.898 million. OWGR Rose stayed No. 6 with his second straight victory, but he’s hot on the heels of Jon Rahm for No. 5. Rahm is averaging 7.5503 points per event. Rose is at 7.5377. The only change in the top 10 was between two idle players with Rory McIlroy passing Henrik Stenson for No. 8. Jason Day, who started the year #1 in the world, fell to #12. Patrick Cantlay, who won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, rose from 67th up to 42nd this week. He started the year ranked 1,866th.
Patrick Cantlay continues his remarkable comeback from a brutal back injury by winning the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas on Sunday. He parred the second extra hole of a playoff to defeat Alex Cejka and Whee Kim. Cantlay had been on pace to win the tournament outright before bogeying the last two holes of the fourth round to allow the other two to catch him at the wire. A collegiate star at UCLA, the 25-year-old Cantlay had been out of golf since 2013. This year he played only 12 events because of an ankle injury, but didn’t miss a cut in those 12. His previous highlights this year include finishing second at the Valspar Championship, third at the RBC Heritage, 10th at the Northern Trust and ninth at the BMW Championship. I knew that I’d be able to get to where I wanted to be if I felt healthy,” Cantlay said. “If I felt like I didn’t have pain and I could practice and prepare for tournaments. I know how to practice and prepare for tournaments, so I can do what I want. I feel like I can play well and compete with anybody.”
On an opening day in South Africa where less than half the field shot under par, Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger holds the lead at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City. After two late bogeys on the front nine saw Wiesberger at even par at the turn, he rattled of six birdies on the back nine to shoot a 5-under 67. Wiesberger is in pursuit of his second win of the year after defeating Race to Dubai leader Tommy Fleetwood in a playoff back in April at the Shenzhen International. He has a one-stroke lead over a quartet of players not in contention for the Race to Dubai title – Julian Suri, Branden Grace, Scott Jamieson and Victor Dubuisson. American Suri, 57th in the Dubai standings, birdied four of his first 10 holes to hit a 68. Grace who received huge support from his home crowd, was 2-over through four, then hit four birdies and an eagle on No. 14 to reach 4-under unconventionally. Grace is 34th in the Dubai standings. Scotland’s Jamieson, 75th in thes tandings, was at 5-under through 17 before bogeying No. 18 . France’s Dubuisson birdied the first two holes on the day and had three more birdies mixed with a bogey on the back nine. Defending champion Alex Noren is one of four players tied for sixth at 3-back, along with native son Charl Schwartzel. Sitting eighth in the Race to Dubai standings, Noren could do very well for himself with a repeat victory. Fleetwood, who could claim the Race to Dubai title with a victory this weekend, shot a lackluster 1-over 73, hitting just two birdies on the day.