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Ryan Evans crafted a bogey-free 5-under-par 32-35=67 in round two of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, his impressive morning lap of Doha GC lifting the Englishman 34 spots up the live board to T6 on 8-under 136 and just two shots behind the clubhouse lead held by Erik Van Rooyen.

Evans is 5-for-5 on the European Tour this season so, despite his lowly world ranking of 244, it's not a great surprise to see him in contention. A winner on the Challenge Tour last season, Evans set the tone today with an opening birdie at 10 and added further circles at 13, 16 and 18. He kept it steady coming home, adding eight pars and a final red number of the day at 7. This is his first start in Qatar and so far so good.
Feb 23 - 5:49 AM

Erik Van Rooyen tacked on a 6-under-par 33-33=66 to his opening 68 to reach 10-under 134 after 36 holes of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, good enough for a one-shot lead in the clubhouse over Sean Crocker and Oliver Fisher with the morning wave now complete.

South Africans have an excellent record at Doha GC and gamers who played that angle, based on the wind and grainy greens, are being rewarded so far by Van Rooyen after his impressive play to the midpoint. He couldn't find any fireworks early after trading a starting circle at 10 with a square at 13 but surged up the board by connecting four birdies from the 16th to the 1st. He made another gain at 3 and secured the outright lead with a walk-off birdie at 9. Van Rooyen was runner-up at his home Joburg Open before the Festive break and now has the chance to go one better and secure his first European Tour success. The University of Minnesota product sits 27th on this year's Race to Dubai.
Feb 23 - 4:57 AM

With a walk-off birdie at 18, Oliver Fisher completed a 3-under-par 35-34=69 in round two of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and joined American Sean Crocker in a tie for the clubhouse lead on 9-under 135.

That's a solid follow-up from the Englishman, who opened up with a 66 to pave the way for a good week and perhaps beat the T10 he scored in this event three years ago. Fisher played Doha GC's front nine in just 31 yesterday but was quieter on that same stretch today with just two birdies (1 and 8) against a single bogey at 3. He had to keep patient coming home and started the back nine with six straight pars but the 29-year-old cashed in on the obvious birdie opportunities at 16 and 18 to join Crocker at the top.
Feb 23 - 4:46 AM

Sean Crocker made eagle at two of his final three holes to give what appeared to be a modest second round at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters a dramatic late lift, the 4-under-par 37-31=68 ensuring him the clubhouse lead of 9-under 135.

Wow! What a finish. The American carded a bogey-free 67 on day one at Doha GC and set out with a birdie today. All looked good until he lost his way with bogeys at 6, 7 and 12 against just a single red number at 10. On the 14th tee, he sat over par for the day but a birdie there lit the fire and then he took just two blows on the short 281-yard par-4 16th and followed it with a walk-off eagle at the 539-yard closer. The 21-year-old is turning heads on the European Tour this year after two top sevens and a T16 from his six starts on this year's Race to Dubai. He has no official status on the European Tour and played his first four events of the season on invites.
Feb 23 - 4:40 AM

Adam Schenk handed in one (of just two) bogey-free rounds today, styling a 1-under-par 34-35=69 during day one of The Honda Classic, placing him three off the early pace set by Alex Noren and Webb Simpson.

The PGA TOUR rookie battled with windy conditions today but may have gotten the tiniest of advantages today. The wind the seemed to die down at the very end of the day and Schenk went off in the final group of the day. For Schenk is was all about steady play on the tee box, striping nine (of 14) fairways to gain 1.93 strokes off-the-tee. The Purdue product played patient golf from there and it finally paid off with a 6'7" birdie conversion at the par-4 eight hole (his 17th hole of the round). Schenk joins Daniel Berger as the only golfers to record bogey-free rounds today. Currently 12th on the leaderboard, this will be the first time Schenk has positioned himself inside the top 15 after any round on the PGA TOUR.
Feb 22 - 6:42 PM

Ben Crane steadied a 2-under-par 32-36=68 during the opening round of The Honda Classic, staking a spot inside the top 10 after Thursday.

The straight shooter split eight (of 14) fairways and landed just eight greens today. His short game came to the rescue as he gained 2.163 strokes around-the-green and also gained 1.999 strokes with the putter. The highlight came at the par-3 seventh hole where he holed out from the rough (20'4"). Crane entered with a 3-for-7 record this season with nothing better than T32. His resume at this event is much better (9-for-10 including a solo third in 2009).
Feb 22 - 6:31 PM

Louis Oosthuizen kicked off his PGA TOUR season with a 3-under-par 31-36=67 during round one of The Honda Classic, taking a seat just one back of early co-leaders Alex Noren and Webb Simpson.

The South African started on the back nine and really eased into his round. He traded two bogeys with six bogeys before a 6'6" birdie dropped at the par-5 18th. His flat stick came up clutch on several occasions to save mid-range pars, keeping the momentum rolling. Toward the end of the round, his short game started to shine. He holed out from the fringe at the par-3 seventh and then walked off the course with a bunker hole-out for birdie at the par-4 ninth hole. Oosthuizen has a bad history with WDs at this event but he should stay in the mix as long as he pegs it for three more rounds.
Feb 22 - 5:57 PM

Russell Henley turned on the scoring machine in round one of The Honda Classic, signing for a 2-under-par 33-35=68 which places him two off the early pacesetters at the top.

The 2014 Honda champ kicked off his day on the back nine with a bogey-birdie start. He would add back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14 before dropping back-to-back shots at 16 and 17. The highlight of the round came after the turn at the par-5 third hole. It was here that he stiffed his 251-yard approach shot to 4'6" and slammed it home for an eagle. Henley walked off the course gaining 2.681 strokes approaching-the-green and picked up another 1.842 strokes with the flat stick. Since winning this event, PGA National has not been as kind to the Georgia Bulldog (T44-MC-T43) but he's off the the races this week, currently tied for a piece of eighth place.
Feb 22 - 5:48 PM

Mackenzie Hughes popped out of his slump during round one of The Honda Classic, blitzing the homeward nine en route to a 3-under-par 30-37=67, placing him just one off the pacesetters at the top.

Hughes arrives on the heels of eight straight missed cuts, but he's well on his way toward his first paycheck of the season after today's round. The Canadian started on the back nine and traded seven pars with a pair of bogeys before the turn. That's where the fun started, beginning with a chip-in from 24'4" at the par-4 first hole. That was the first of four straight birdies. After a simple par at the fifth, he holed out from 65'4" at the sixth and topped things off with an 18-footer at the par-3 seventh. Most of this scoring came from long distance and may not be repeatable but sometimes that's all it takes to snap out of a funk. Gamers should watch closely to see how Hughes follows this up.
Feb 22 - 5:24 PM

Webb Simpson soared up the leaderboard during round one of The Honda Classic, cruising to a 4-under-par 32-34=66, good for a share of the clubhouse lead alongside Alex Noren.

Simpson was steady in his tee-to-green game, splitting nine (of 14) fairways en route to 11 greens in regulation. It was his flat stick that really did the heavy lifting today, though. Simpson didn't miss any bunnies but he also converted four putts from outside 11 feet, two of them coming from 21+ feet. The Wake Forest product appears to be glad to be back on bermuda greens as he walked off the course gaining 3.694 strokes putting. This will go in the books as Simpson's seventh career first-round lead/co-lead with the latest coming at the 2015 Sony Open. Entering the week he was just 1-for-3 at PGA National but this is his first appearance since the 2011 edition.
Feb 22 - 5:11 PM

Bud Cauley swallowed a 10-over-par 40-40=80 during round one of The Honda Classic and shortly after he withdrew from the event. He cited a wrist injury as the culprit.

Cauley circled a birdie at the par-4 first hole but that was the lone bright spot of the day. There wasn't one aspect of the game that kept him down, losing strokes to the field in all four sub-categories including -3.033 strokes gained putting. Cauley has two previous mid-tourney WDs on his resume but this is the first since his return from shoulder surgery in 2014. We will update if any injury news pops up. UPDATE: Cauley shared an update with his social media followers saying, "wrist starting [started] hurting me yesterday, gave it a go but it's still hurting. going to get it looked at... hope to be healthy for Tampa."
Feb 22 - 4:52 PM

Danny Lee cited family reasons as the cause of his mid-round withdraw during day one of The Honda Classic. He was 7-over thru 15 holes at the time of his WD.

Lee started his scoring with a birdie at the par-5 third but it was all downhill from there. He plummeted to 7-over thru 15 holes before calling it quits. The television broadcast gave word that Lee cited family reasons for the cause of this WD but there is no further information at this time. He entered the week with just two top 50s in nine starts since returning from a back injury at the CIMB Classic. This will go in the books as Lee's ninth career mid-tournament WD (also has two DQs) in 177 starts.
Feb 22 - 3:45 PM

Martin Kaymer has withdrawn from The Honda Classic following a 5-over-par 36-39=75 during round one, citing a wrist injury.

The German entered the week fresh off a T53 in his Genesis Open debut. At the Honda he was returning to an event where he finished T4 last year. It wasn't meant to be this week, though, as he traded five bogeys and a double with just two birdies. His typically strong ball-striking was absent today as he lost 1.809 strokes off-the-tee and another 2.037 strokes approaching-the-green. Kaymer's last missed cut on the PGA TOUR had previously come at the 2016 Valspar Championship so this was a big blow to gamers who were relying on a cut made this week. There is no word on the severity of this wrist injury but he's not qualified for next week's WGC-Mexico Championship so the earliest we'd see him again would be at the Valspar Championship. This was Kaymer's first mid-tournament WD in 118 career PGA TOUR starts.
Feb 22 - 2:17 PM

Tiger Woods looked good en route to an even-par 36-34=70 during round one of The Honda Classic, placing him four strokes off the early pace set by Alex Noren.

Woods is coming off a missed cut at the Genesis Open but he looked much better today. Courtesy of PGA TOUR's Sean Martin, Woods split just 1-of-5 fairways when using driver today but was 6-for-9 otherwise. We should expect him to straighten out the big stick eventually, but for now, these less-than-driver courses should suit the Big Cat much better than big ballparks like Torrey Pines or Riviera. Woods' big blemish came at the par-5 seventh where he recorded a double but bounced back nicely with a birdie at the fourth. This round is currently beating the field average by 2.48 strokes. Today is a very solid sign of his 2018 potential, but we'll need to see him piece together two or three consecutive good rounds before we start to crown him.
Feb 22 - 1:36 PM

Jamie Lovemark battled back from an early blemish to post a 2-under-par 37-31=68, a solid opening round to sit two off the early pacesetter at this week's Honda Classic.

Lovemark couldn't get things going, early in his round, and even swallowed a double bogey at the par-4 sixth hole. He didn't try to push too hard, instead, he stayed patient and waited for the birdies to start flowing. That all started at the par-4 12th where he sank a 23'10" birdie bomb. The USC product would tack on three more circles coming into the clubhouse. The Florida resident is making his seventh appearance at this event, and this matches his previous low at PGA National's Champion Course (R2, 2014). After a T26 at last week's Genesis Open, Lovemark may be officially rounding into form. With trouble lurking everywhere this week, he'll need to keep his eye on the prize for three more rounds.
Feb 22 - 1:27 PM


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