Gavin Coles once again holds a share of the overnight lead at the Shell Houston Open, but this time he is tied with the second ranked golfer in the world. Coles shared the lead with Brett Quigley after Friday's action, but he will be playing in the final group with Vijay Singh in the final round on Sunday. The two golfers finished up the day at -11 for the tournament. Coles held his ground on a day that saw only 23 rounds under par at Redstone Golf Club. He put together three birdies and two bogeys for a one-under-par round of 71. "It's awesome, mate," Coles said. "I can't imagine too many guys that wouldn't want to be in my shoes tomorrow standing outside the ropes, that's for sure. What better could it be, playing with the number two player in the world?"
Brett Quigley and Gavin Coles share the second-round lead at ten-under par. Quigley, who could be described as "Mr. Unassuming" posted his second 67 of the tournament and has put himself in a position to do very well over the weekend. Quigley's putting has been solid as he is tied for 3rd with 1.593 putts per round this tournament. His results this year speak highly of his play as he has four top 25's and one top ten already in 2005. "I think the biggest thing for me is I've come in to the first two days pretty relaxed and confident in my game," said Quigley. "I think on the weekend I have a tendency to try too hard. I'm just going to go out and stay in my routing and not worry about results."
Carin Koch started the second round just two strokes off the lead from Natalie Gulbis. By the end of the first hole, they were tied for the lead. Koch executed a perfect sand wedge from 97 yards for an eagle on the par-4, 376-yard hole. "It was going straight in the hole and it just bounced once and went in" said the 34-year-old Swede. Although Carin birdied the 5th, she missed a short par putt on the following hole. On number 8, Koch used her sand wedge once again to place a birdie putt within 3 feet of the hole. Even though she birdied again on 16, Koch gave it back on the 18th, missing a 4-four foot par putt.
Carin's last win came at the 2001 Corning Classic, but with the confidence of a great round today, it definitely helps her chances, and, as Carin chirped, "It was a really fun way to start".
Adam Scott fired an opening round 63 on Thursday to take the lead of the Johnnie Walker Classic in Beijing, China. Retief Goosen, Michael Campbell and Peter Hanson also share the lead with Scott; however, their nine-under par total is after two rounds, while Scott has only completed one round due to a weather delay. He is scheduled to compete his second round on Saturday morning.
Scott's 63 set the course record at the Jack Nicklaus designed Pine Valley Golf Resort and Country Club. He finished his first round with birdie-eagle-birdie to get to 9-under.
Vijay Singh came out firing in defense of his Shell Houston Open victory a year ago. His blistering 8-under 64 ties the course and put Vijay in the lead by one stroke. Singh's low first-round score comes a day after the announcement that he has been elected to the Hall of Fame. This round also shows that he is fighting to become the #1 player in the world rankings once again.
In the past, Singh has played extremely well on this 7508-yard Texas course. Vijay Singh is the defending champion here in Houston. He also won in 2002. And familiar territory it is, as Redstone Golf Club is once again the host of the 2005 Shell Houston Open. As one of the longest courses on the PGA Tour, the PGA Tour pea poppers are at a mighty disadvantage. Fortunately for them, Vijay Singh is the only player ranked within the top eight players in the World Rankings to make an appearance this year.
Turning in a bogey-free round, Natalie Gulbis soared into first place with a 6-under par 66, leading by two strokes over Carin Koch and Audra Burks. Only 17 out of a field of 127 LPGA pros played their round under par today, making Gulbis' first round victory even more exciting. With only 4 rounds in the 60's so far this season, perhaps it's Natalie's turn to break away from the pack and show us her game! Jack Nicklaus has designed this 6763 yard par-72 course to be lovely but dangerous… just like Natalie.
I met the 5'9" blond haired, blue-eyed, 22-year old amazon, and she is a sight for sore eyes. Since the media uncovered her relationship with NFL rookie star Ben Roethlisberger, Natalie has made even more headlines than she did with her calendar and sexy look. Her pin-up calendar continues to sell well and she was recently appeared on FOX Sports' "The Best Damn Sports Show." Gulbis will also star in a new reality-based series about her life on the Golf Channel. And, you can even play a round of golf with Natalie. She is the first LPGA personality to appear in the "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005" video game!
The white smoke has risen from Vatican City after the election of the new Pope and the white smoke in the form of a press conference by PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem has risen from the Hall of Fame after the election of Vijay Singh. Without a doubt Vijay Singh deserves to be in the World Golf Hall of Fame, but why was this decision made so early in his career?
The runaway success on tour and at retail by Odyssey's 2-Ball Putters has spawned a wide range of putters that feature bold alignment marks and weight moved far away from the face of the putter. I recently had the chance to test the new MacGregor V-FOIL GT Putter, a Bobby Grace design. Here's what I thought.
Unlike some people (named Erik), I'm not generally a fan of mallet putters. For years I played only blade putters, mainly my beloved Ping Scottsdale Anser. But I couldn't resist the siren call of the Odyssey 2-Ball Putter three seasons ago, and I noticed the difference on the scorecard and standing over 5-footers.
The PGA Tour stops in the Midwest for the first time in 2005. Redstone Golf Club will be the host of the Shell Houston Open where the course is long and the winds are plentiful. Two-time Houston Open champion Vijay Singh headlines the field this week, and his success in this tournament over the years has been nothing short of spectacular. The current number two player in the world has won here twice and placed in the top 10 seven times in his nine starts overall. He lost his number one ranking when Tiger Woods won The Masters two weeks ago, and he will be looking to gain ground on Tiger this week in Houston.