PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: DJ takes lead, but Koepka still in the hunt

Dustin Johnson hits from the fairway on the 18th hole during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at TPC Harding Park Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

By Jeremy Harness

Dustin Johnson grabbed the 54-hole lead on Saturday, shaking off a damaging double bogey with an impressive back nine in the hopes of winning the second major title of his career.

Johnson, who won the U.S Open in 2016, dropped two shots at the par-four ninth hole while having trouble around the green but rallied very quickly thereafter. He birdied the 10th and picked up three more shots in a four-hole stretch to card a five-under round of 65.

“I putted really well,” Johnson said. “That was key. But I hit a lot of good shots to give myself some good looks because the flags are tucked. The greens are firm and fast. So I did hit a lot of quality iron shots.

“Tomorrow I think I need to go — I definitely need to hit some more fairways, because it’s really tough playing this golf course from the rough. Obviously the bunkers, too, are very tough. A couple — had a few nice up-and-downs out of the bunkers, but also a few poor ones.”

One shot behind him, however, is another long hitter in Sacramento native Cameron Champ, who has made a steady climb toward the top of the leaderboard after a first-round score of 71.

He rallied the next day with a 64 and finished Saturday’s round at TPC Harding Park with a three-under 67 that featured six birdies against three bogeys.

“I’ve been really feeding off my driver,” said Champ, who won last year’s Safeway Open in Napa. “That’s been the key for me. Obviously today, I missed a few more fairways than I did yesterday, but I still was able to manage it from the rough. The drives I did hit well and I did hit in the fairway, I was able to take advantage of and make some putts.”

Among those a shot behind Champ is Brooks Koepka, who has won the PGA Championship twice in a row and is in the hunt for a third.

He was two-under for the first 12 holes but got on a bogey train on holes 13 through 15 before hopping off with a birdie at the par-4 16th. He finished his round with a birdie at the 18th to finish with a one-under 69 and well within striking distance.

“I thought I played a lot better than my score reflected,” Koepka said. “Really made one bad swing. But I left it in a good spot and just hit a poor chip. The other ones I was in the semi a lot, and I think sometimes in the semi, it can come out without spin or it can come with spin, and if you’re going to do that in the wind, it’s kind of tough to judge.”

“Maybe took a little bit too aggressive of lines on those out of the semi, but I just missed them in the worst spot possible, but they were good shots, so I felt like I played really well, putted really well, and the driver I hit great. It’s just sometimes they didn’t move with the wind, hit them too good.”

Koepka certainly has experience on his side going into Sunday’s final round. Of those who are currently in the top-six, only Koepka and Johnson have won majors, as Koepka also has two U.S Open titles to his credit.

Also at seven-under for the tournament is Cal product Collin Morikawa, who played TPC Harding Park numerous times during his tenure as Golden Bear and has a little local knowledge going for him.

“I felt really good,” Morikawa said. “I didn’t practice yesterday after the round, but I kind of had some thought of what I wanted to do before the round. Obviously playing with Adam Scott, great ball-striker, great swing, and it kind of helps when you play with someone like that just to kind of get the momentum.

“I hit some really good shots off the first few holes and had a little stumble on 12 and 13, but knew I had to regroup especially with 15 coming up, or 14 coming up. It’s not an easy hole. So definitely want to get out with at least a par. But overall, I felt really good. Rolled the putter really well, and keep that into tomorrow.”

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: Li takes lead, but former champs in hot pursuit

Haotong Li chips to the green on the seventh hole during the second round of the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park on Friday. (Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

By Jeremy Harness

The PGA Championship has a new leader, and it is not one of the usual suspects, and not a name that one would expect to be atop the leaderboard of a major championship.

Haotong Li shot a bogey-free round of 65 to take the 36-hole lead by two strokes. He got off to a hot start on Friday, birdieing three of his first five holes before knocking down a birdie at the par-4 ninth. He followed that up with a birdie at the par-5 10th and then parred out the rest of the way to maintain that two-shot lead.

“Well, I’ve got no expectation actually,” Li said. “Because you know, (for the) last few months, (I’ve) stayed at home doing nothing. I just want to go out here and have fun.”

Li is being closely followed by a pair of former PGA champs, Jason Day and defending champion Brooks Koepka, as they are tied for second trailing by two shots at six-under overall.

Starting on the 10th hole on Friday, Koepka got the momentum going with a birdie at the par-5 10th but gave it back with a bogey at the 13th. He picked up a little steam with a birdie at the par-4 18th and quickly followed that with a birdie at the par-4 first.

He then played the remaining eight holes even-par with a birdie and a bogey to finish the second round with a two-under round of 68.

“I’m pretty happy,” Koepka said. “I felt like I probably could be ten right now. Hit a lot of good putts, just didn’t go in. A couple of them, if I just hit them, they’re in. But driving it pretty well. Iron play, I’m pretty pleased with. You know, I like where I’m at.”

Day also had an erratic Friday round, which was marred by a double bogey at the par-4 12th. He picked things up considerably with a stretch of three birdies over four holes. However, Day gave some momentum back with a bogey at his final hole, the ninth, for a one-under round of 69.

“I definitely feel good,” Day said. “I’m to the point now where I’m nitpicking my round and before I really wasn’t. Before I was just happy to get inside the cut, you know, and get on to the weekend, and sometimes you need those weeks to just make it and get some confidence. Certainly have gained a lot of confidence over the last three times I’ve played, and you know, I’m just going to try and tidy up the putting for this weekend hopefully and hit it a little better off the tee.”

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: Day, Todd tied atop lead at Harding Park

At the PGA Championship golf Tournament at Harding Park in San Francisco Tiger Woods launches a tee shot on the 12th hole during the first round of the tournament on Thu Aug 6, 2020 (AP photo)

By Jeremy Harness

It has been very weird watching sports for these past few months, with teams playing without any spectators in attendance, with the exception of a few essential employees.

The PGA Championship, the first golf major or the 2020 season that kicked off Thursday at TPC Harding Park, is no different. The eerie silence, which has been commonplace without the authentic crowd noise that typically accompanies big events such as this, was just as prevalent in the first round.

But hey, at least the PGA Tour had enough sense to not include the cheesy fake crowd noise that has plagued MLB games over the past month.

As for the golf, Jason Day and Brendon Todd finished Thursday’s opening round tied for the lead after firing five-under rounds of 65.

Todd, who has been brilliant for the first 54 holes for many of the tournaments this season but has faltered in the final round, got off to a great start, going three-under on his front nine. On the back nine, he thwarted two bogeys with four birdies.

Day, on the other hand, was bogey-free on his round, recording three birdies on his front nine and a two more birdies on the back side.

There are nine players that are tied for second, including defending champion Brooks Koepka and former Masters winner Zach Johnson.

Tiger Woods is in the mix as well, after his two-under round of 68 on Thursday, as he is currently tied for 20th. He was one-under for the first nine, with three birdies against two bogies, and turned in a one-under second nine with two birdies and a single bogey.

Headline Sports podcast with David Zizmor: PGA and City of SF close on Curry Tour deal; 49ers Kittle can high jump on 12 foot ceiling

Stephen Curry seen here at the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe on July 10, 2020 taking his third shot on the third hole will host his namesake annual golf tournament for five years starting September 2021 at Harding Park San Francisco (mercurynews.com file photo)

On Headline Sports podcast with David:

#1 The PGA Tour is on the verge of hosting an annual golf tournament at Harding Park in San Francisco and it will be hosted by the Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry. The event is scheduled for September 2021 the contract runs five years with Curry as host of the event.

#2 David talk a little about San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle, he can do it all run, run vertically, make defenders huff and puff trying to keep up with him and he was video taped jumping up hitting a 12 foot ceiling in the 49ers training weight room. Talk a little about his athleticism.

David Zizmor does Headline Sports podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with Barbara Mason: Calif Legislature looking into legalizing sports betting;Wallace insists rope was noose (see photo) ; plus more

@bobpockrass photo: NASCAR’s only black driver Bubba Wallace’s crew member found a noose in his garage stall on Sunday night. Wallace had pushed for banning the Confederate flag symbols at NASCAR races. The FBI concluded from video evidence that the noose had been at stall number four since October 2019 long before Wallace was booked for that stall last weekend it was later determined it was not a noose but a door pull. Wallace on Don Lemon Tonight on CNN said he knows what a noose looks like adding, “tied in 2019 or now it was a noose.”

On Headline Sports podcast with Barbara:

#1 California Legislature is considering legalizing sports betting but casinos are putting up a fight as it would cut into their sports book business.

#2 Bubba Wallace NASCAR’s only black driver who two weeks ago pushed for banning the Confederate flag at NASCAR events. A member of Wallace’s crew found a noose in his garage stall late Sunday afternoon. After bringing in 15 FBI agents for an investigation into who left the noose in garage stall four where Wallace was at Talladega. Video evidence showed that the noose had been there since October 2019 and it was determined it was not a noose but a door pull.  No one would have known that Wallace would have been at that stall going forward. The FBI said they will not pursue federal charges. Wallace insisted on CNN’s Don Lemon Tonight on Tuesday night that it was a noose.

#3 Webb Simpson won the RBC Heritage on Sunday after finishing 7 under Par 64 at Harbour Town at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.

#4 Tiz the Law set a record winning the Belmont Stakes last Saturday in what is one of the few live sports in the Coronavirus era. Tiz the Law with his victory became the first New York bred horse to win at the Belmont in 138 years.

#5 After someone who visited the San Francisco Giants training facility in Scottsdale who was Covid-19 positive the facility was immediately shut down on Friday night. The person was a family member and several other individuals are being tested who had come in contact with this positive tested person. Teams who have closed facilities Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies and the Giants.

Join Barbara for Headline Sports each Tuesday night at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

AT&T PEBBLE BEACH PRO-AM: Resilient Taylor pulls through to take title

sfgate.com photo: Phil Mickelson (left) and Nick Taylor (right) confer during the third tee of the final round at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am on Sunday

By Jeremy Harness

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Despite leading throughout, Nick Taylor had a few things working against him on Sunday.

A prevailing wind that particularly showed its teeth in the afternoon, not to mention a defending champion with virtually all of the crowd support and a history of catching guys from behind to win major titles.

Taylor endured the cold, hard Sunday afternoon winds and battled through a tough stretch on the back nine to pull away with a wire-to-wire victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the second win of his PGA Tour career and the first since his rookie year of 2014-15.

“It was an incredible week,” said Taylor, who became the first Canadian to win this event. “I felt like I read the greens so well this week. I don’t think it’s going to sink in for at least another few days. To win, at such an iconic place, is amazing.”

He and Phil Mickelson, who has won this event five times, including last year, went toe-to-toe for the first six holes and struggled through the first five holes of the back side as the increasing winds came into play. However, it was Taylor who persevered by making clutch birdies at the 15th and 17th holes to seal the win.

Mickelson began the day one stroke behind Taylor, but he soon tied things up at the par-5 second hole, when he hit a brilliant shot out of a greenside bunker and rolled in the ensuing two-footer for birdie.

That lead didn’t last long, however. Two holes later, Taylor made a 13-footer for birdie to re-claim the advantage.

He then got on a roll, making an 11-footer for birdie at the par-3 fifth, moments after Mickelson stuck his tee shot four feet from the hole, a putt that he would make. Mickelson kept the heat on Taylor at the par-5 sixth, making it to the green in two shots before two-putting for birdie.

Taylor, however, again one-upped Mickelson. He parked his second shot into a greenside bunker but then holed out for an eagle to increase his lead to two. He found the bunker again at the par-3 seventh, but the ensuing sand shot wasn’t nearly as good, leaving him with a 13-footer.

As he had done all week, Taylor was able to find the hole to save par and keep his lead intact.

Both guys had their issues at the par-4 eighth, as Taylor could not get up and down from the sand and wound up with a bogey. Meanwhile, Mickelson’s short game let him down at the par-4 eighth, as after going over the green with his approach, his chip shot rolled past the green before being able to chip it on.

He then missed the ensuing bogey putt and, therefore, surrendered another stroke to Taylor. He played the next four holes at one-over, and he just could not get back on track.

The wind really picked up in the afternoon as the last groups hit the back nine, and the gusts, which were measured at up to 34 mph, had a significant effect on the scores. Even Taylor, who had been unflappable through the first three rounds, started to leak oil. He played holes 11 through 14 at four-over – including a double at the 14th – to give a sputtering Mickelson a lifeline.

Mickelson, however, was not able to generate any momentum after a birdie at the 10th. He dropped shots at the 12th, 14th and 16th holes, and when Taylor chipped in for birdie at the 15th, the tournament essentially belonged to Taylor.

“It was extremely difficult because you have the wind that kept swirling in and then down, and you had the greens that were very firm,” Mickelson said. “It was a hard day, (but) Nick played better than I did.

“He holed a couple of great shots, and he just really played some great golf.”

Kevin Streelman, who won the Pro-Am portion of this event along with All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, also put himself in contention for the individual title, shooting a four-under round of 68 and finished in second place and leap-frogging Jason Day in the process.

Beginning the day in a tie for fourth, Streelman eagled the uphill par-5 sixth, and after dropping a shot at the eighth, he began his assault on the back nine. He was one of the few players unaffected by the heavy wind, recording four birdies against only one bogey on the final nine holes.

“We just ham-and-egged it perfectly, to be honest,” Streelman said of his partnership with Fitzgerald, who has spent his entire career with the Arizona Cardinals. “He made some nice birdies, a few pars. I kind of had to carry him at the end there, (but) he kind of had to pick up a few holes.

“I just love this guy. He’s a great man, and we had a lot of fun out there.”

Day, who began his final round three shots back and in third place, could not get fully on track on Sunday. He got off to a nice start, rolling in a birdie at the second hole, but he soon hit the skids, dropping a shot at the fourth as well as the fifth.

After a birdie at the sixth, he bogeyed the 11th and suffered a damaging double bogey at the par-3 12th. To sum up how his day was going, he threw his hands up in relief after a birdie at the par-5 14th. He birdied again at the 15th, but he stumbled again with back-to-back bogeys and he finished in fourth, eight shots behind, after a three-over round of 75.

“The way the greens were, it can make you look like a pretty big fool out there sometimes,” Day said. “I had four three-putts on the back side, so obviously, it was disappointing the way that I putted because I actually hit it pretty decent.

“Overall, I’m happy about the week, but also I wish I would have given it more of a chance.”

AT&T PEBBLE BEACH PRO-AM: Taylor struggles early but regains footing – and lead

sfgate.com photo: Phil Mickelson chips the ball out of a bunker up to the seventh green of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020

By Jeremy Harness

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – After the morning fog burned off, the action around Pebble Beach heated up. And at the end of Saturday’s proceedings, a familiar face emerged near the lead, with another chance to win at this event.

The weather on Saturday was the opposite of the day before. All three courses were covered in fog in the early morning, resulting in cooler temperatures and tougher playing conditions, before the skies cleared up hours later.

Nick Taylor, the leader of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am after each of the first two rounds, had his struggles in the early going while playing at Spyglass Hill. He bogeyed two of his first four holes on Saturday and momentarily lost his lead to a surging Jason Day, who was also at Spyglass.

Taylor got things back on track a few holes later, and then slowly began to make up ground and, in the process, regain the lead while Day backtracked slightly. The Canadian birdied the par-four 17th and finished his first nine one-over, and his round gained momentum as the fog subsided.

He picked up a couple of shots in the first five holes of his back nine before making eagle at the par-five seventh. He parred out the rest of the way and went into the clubhouse with a three-under round of 69.  He will play the final round with defending champion Phil Mickelson, who shot a five-under round of 67 at Pebble Beach on Saturday and trails Taylor by single shot.

“It’s going to be a new experience,” Taylor said of playing with Mickelson, who he has never played with. “(But I’m) not really trying to pay attention to what he’s doing. Obviously, if he makes a putt or hits a great shot, the crowd’s going to go wild.

“I’ve just got to do my own thing and try to block all that out. (But that’s) easier said than done.”

Mickelson, who has won this event five times, started his third round at Pebble Beach hot and, with the exception of a brief hiccup in the middle, kept the pedal down to ultimately get within an earshot of the top spot. He birdied the first two holes – including a second hole that saw him hit his tee shot into the fairway bunker and then watch as his second shot found the greenside bunker – and added another birdie at the par-five sixth.

He dropped a shot at the par-three 12th but quickly got his momentum back in Mickelson-esque style. He holed out from a greenside bunker at the par-four 13th for a birdie and then chipped in for birdie at the par-five 14th.

He also ended his third round with a roar. After hitting his second shot way right of the green at the par-five 18th, he hit a super-high lob shot that settled four feet from the hole and then nailed the ensuing birdie putt to go into Sunday’s final round trailing Taylor by a single shot with a five-under round of 67.

“I felt like I had a pretty good day with my short game and had some pretty good shots,” said Mickelson, who actually missed the cut in his previous tournament, the Farmers Insurance Open two weeks ago. “So it was a nice score. I scored well today, on a day that wasn’t easy. The greens were firm.

“I thought the wind made it difficult, and I ended up playing really well and making a good score. I did a good job getting the ball in the hole.”

Also in the hunt is Day, although he is now three shots behind the lead after holding the second position the day before. He started out very well, making birdies at two of his first four holes in the third round before dropping a shot at the par-four 17th.

He quickly rallied and picked up two shots in the first four holes of his second nine. However, that momentum was stalled by a bogey at the par-three fifth and was not able to regain it, finishing with a two-under round of 70.

“I gave myself plenty of opportunities out there. I just, unfortunately, didn’t capitalize,” Day said. “But for a day like this, to walk away under par, I think I’m still pretty pleased.

“I think if I just stay within myself and play, I just got to focus on giving every shot 100 percent. If I can do that, hopefully I’m holding the trophy at the end of the day.”

AT&T PEBBLE BEACH PRO-AM: Mickelson, Day make huge runs but Taylor maintains slim lead

photo from sfgate.com: After making a birdie on the 18th green Nick Taylor holds first place on the leader board at Pebble Beach in the second round on Friday

By Jeremy Harness

PEBBLE BEACH – As Nick Taylor has found out through the first two days of this tournament, in order to get on top and stay there, you have to go low. Very low.

That’s precisely what the Canadian has done, but in doing so, he still doesn’t have much breathing room. He held a two-shot lead after the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am with a 63, which is tied for the lowest opening-round score in four years, and after a 66 on Friday, goes into the weekend with the same two-shot advantage.

Taylor, whose lone victory on the PGA Tour came in his rookie season of 2014-15 at the Sanderson Farms Championship, finished his second round at Pebble Beach in grand fashion, making birdies in four of his last five holes, capping off his round by rolling in a 16-footer at the iconic par-5 18th.

Taylor has, in large part, done it with his putter. He is currently second in the field in strokes gained in the putting department, as he made 101 feet of putts on Friday

“I hit some really good shots coming in and made all the putts,” Taylor said. “So obviously, it was all coming together there.

“I really love coming to this stop, so I was happy to come here, and it’s been nice to make some putts. I feel like from here, and next few months, are probably my favorite stretch of golf tournaments.”

There were a number of players who made big charges on Friday and wound up hot on Taylor’s tail, including Phil Mickelson, the left-handed crowd favorite who is known for his exquisite short game and sometimes-erratic play off the tee.

He, in his words, “drove it like a stallion” on Thursday to get himself in the hunt and more than holding his own at Spyglass Hill, and he did the same the next day to inch closer, blistering Monterey Peninsula in the process.

He started out his day with back-to-back birdies and made another birdie three holes later. After dropping a shot at the par-4 15th, he rallied to make eagle at the par-5 16th. He started his second nine with four straight birdies and was eight-under through his first 14 holes.

However, the fog rolled in at that point, and that seemed to affect his scoring. His birdie rampage stalled, as following the four consecutive, he parred the ensuing four holes and even dropped a shot at the par-3 ninth to end his round in third place.

Jason Day finished his round about an hour before Mickelson, so he just missed the fog and played all 18 of his holes in picture-perfect conditions with relatively-light wind and responded with a seven-under round of 64 at Pebble Beach that put him in second place, two shots behind Taylor.

Day did not have to go through foggy weather, but he did have to battle through injuries, particularly with his back – a very common issue in the game of golf – throughout most of last season, and he spoke Friday of the return of his health.

“I’ve been working very (hard), and I’ve been very disciplined about the rehab,” Day said. “I had six, seven weeks of rehab before Torrey Pines (two weeks ago), and I’m trying to stay on top of that right now, and for the most part, I feel pretty good.

He also spoke of a change in focus, not only in his practice routine but also his overall approach to the game. In years past, he would spend at least two hours putting in a day, but due to his back issues, he has cut that time in half and has, in turn, turned up the concentration in those sessions.

In getting ready for this tournament, Day said that he did not play standard practice rounds but rather would play different nine-hole rounds at the different courses with a number of friends.

“Sometimes working hard is not the solution,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, you still have to work hard, but don’t be so involved in it, and don’t make it your whole world.”

Headline Sports with London Marq: AT&T underway with Mickelson back; Warriors dealing at the deadline; plus more

photo from sfgate.com: Comedian Bill Murray takes a cut on the green at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am on Thu Feb 6, 2020

On Headline Sports podcast with London:

#1 The AT&T at Pebble Beach Pro Am is under way and fan favorite Phil Mickelson is there. Mickelson won last year’s tournament by three shots.

#2 The Golden State Warriors were sellers dealing Glen Robinson III and Alec Burks to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night and dealing D’Angelo Russell to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night

#3 Talk about some of the San Francisco Giants pitchers vying for a spot in the rotation to name a few, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Shaun Anderson, Tyler Beade, Derek Rodriguez, and Aaron Saurez.

#4 Former Cincinnati Red Pete Rose is asking MLB for reinstatement citing sign stealing and steroids issues that might support his defense to have a shot into the Hall of Fame

#5 The Sacramento Kings host a very talented Miami Heat team on Friday night at Golden One Center in Sacramento. The Kings are coming off a big win against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

London does Headline Sports each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

AT&T PEBBLE BEACH PRO-AM: Taylor takes early lead

photo from sfgate.com: Nick Taylor follows his shot from the ninth tee of the Monterey Peninsula County Club Shore Course during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Pebble Beach, Calif

By Jeremy Harness

PEBBLE BEACH–Nick Taylor got out to an early lead on Thursday, taking advantage of the usually-easier scoring conditions at Monterey Peninsula Country Club to earn a two-shot advantage by firing an eight-under round of 63.

Thursday marked the lowest round that he has scored since 2013,

He birdied the first two holes on the front nine, and then followed that up with two more birdies on the last two holes on the front side.

He was not done there. He got out to the par-five 10th and made eagle before making back-to-back birdies at the 15th and 16th holes.

Two shots behind him are Patrick Cantlay, who shot a six-under round of 66 at Spyglass Hill, considered to be the toughest of the three courses in the tournament rotation, and Chase Seiffert, a relative unknown on the PGA Tour who shot the same score at Pebble Beach on Thursday.

The two guys who are one stroke behind Cantlay and Seiffert are Harold Varner III, who played Pebble Beach on Thursday and shot a five-under round of 67, as well as Richy Werenski, who took on Monterey Peninsula and shot five-under.

Tied with those two, in a tie for fourth, is Cal product Max Homa is tied for fourth after the first round, by virtue of his five-under round of 67 at Spyglass Hill, along with Stockton native Ricky Barnes.

The most recognizable name on the leaderboard, Phil Mickelson, is currently in a tie for 12th after shooting a four-under 68 at Spyglass.

He started his round at the 10th hole and parred out until he got to the 15th, where he stumbled and made bogey. He quickly rallied, however, and made three birdies in a row to close out that side.

Mickelson then turned around on the front side and made two birdies – at the second and at the fifth – to card his four-under round.