Appleby Maintains Lead in Houston

By Associated PressApril 22, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Shell Houston OpenHUMBLE, Texas -- Stuart Appleby says the new Tournament Course at Redstone is easy. Or maybe he's just playing well enough to make it that way.
 
Appleby had a one-stroke lead over Greg Owen after two rounds at the Shell Houston Open. Appleby had five birdies through 16 holes Friday before the rain-delayed second round was suspended by darkness. He made two pars Saturday morning to finish with a 67.
 
Trevor Immelman
Trevor Immelman is in search of his first career PGA TOUR win.
Appleby hit 11 of 14 fairways and 17 of 18 greens in regulation in his second round.
 
'You put it in the fairway, the game becomes a lot easier,' said Appleby, who won in Houston in 1999. 'I drove it well, putted pretty good. Nothing fancy. Just good, solid golf.'
 
Appleby was one of 44 players who returned to the course early Saturday to finish their second rounds. A predawn storm on Friday dumped five-eighths of an inch of rain, delaying the start of the second round 2 1/2 hours.
 
Owen teed off late in the afternoon and birdied five of his last seven holes for a 65, the lowest score of the tournament. A month ago, a three-putt from 3 feet cost Owen a chance to win at Bay Hill. Owen talked to noted sports psychologist Bob Rotella shortly after the gaffe.
 
Rotella's advice?
 
'Concentrate on everything you did right,' Owen said. 'The majority of the things were all positive.'
 
The 34-year-old Englishman had plenty of those on Friday, too. He made a 3-foot birdie putt on 13, holed a bunker shot on the par-3 14th and finished the round with a bending 20-footer on the difficult 18th.
 
'I'm just trying to have a good time and I'm playing pretty well, which helps,' Owen said. 'Just trying to see the good shots more than the bad shots.'
 
Owen said the mistake at Bay Hill was a simple 'mental error' and hasn't lingered long in his mind. He saw no reason to make any major adjustments to his game.
 
'Some things happen in other weeks and you finish 20th,' he said, 'and (then) you feel like you're doing the same thing and you go and win a tournament. It just doesn't make sense. Not a lot in golf does, does it?'
 
South Africa's Trevor Immelman was 8 under after a 67.
 
The 26-year-old Immelman has missed the cut in his last four starts, but said his results don't reflect how well he's played.
 
'I would say frustration sums the whole thing up because I really felt like the whole year I've hit the ball quite well,' he said.
 
Tour rookie Charley Hoffman finished with a 67 on Saturday morning to join Jerry Smith and Mathias Gronberg at 7 under.
 
Gronberg shot a 69 on Friday, after a 68 in blustery conditions on Thursday. He was disappointed he didn't go lower in the second round.
 
'I'm amazed no one really shot lower than 5 under in the morning,' Gronberg said. 'It was really there to shoot a low score today. We had perfect conditions.'
 
Gronberg was flawless with his irons, hitting all 18 greens in regulation.
 
Australian Aaron Baddeley, who earned his first tour win at Hilton Head last week, was alone at 6 under.
 
Two-time defending champion Vijay Singh was 4 under after a 71 that included a double bogey.
 
Andrew Magee missed the cut at 2 over, but was happy just to play. Magee was competing for the first time since getting a 'golf ball-size' tumor and part of his kidney removed at the Cleveland Clinic in February.
 
'Except for making bogeys, everything feels pretty good,' Magee said.
 
The 43-year-old Magee will have an MRI in August to determine if he's cancer-free. So far, doctors have given him a clean bill of health and told him chemotherapy and radiation treatment weren't necessary.
 
'Most of the time, you hear about friends who go through a situation like that and they have a couple years left to live,' Magee said. 'This is a happy story.'
 
Divots:
Crowd favorite John Daly shot 31 on the front nine and a 41 on the back for a 72. Daly is 3 under for the tournament. ... Kevin Na and Ben Curtis withdrew. No reasons were given. ... Former PGA champion Rich Beem was in a hurry to leave the course after shooting a 69. He was rushing to pick up his new car, a silver convertible Mini Cooper with a souped-up engine. 'The thing is a rocket,' Beem said. 'It's a silver bullet.'
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Shell Houston Open
  • Full Coverage - Shell Houston Open
  • Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee: