DiMarco one back at Reno-Tahoe Open

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2010, 6:57 am

Reno-Tahoe OpenRENO, Nevada – If Chris DiMarco keeps playing like this, his 14-year-old son may have landed a permanent job as his caddie.

The three-time winner on the PGA Tour who hasn’t finished in the top-10 since 2008 shot a 5-under-par 67 with Cristian DiMarco on his bag for the first time at the Reno-Tahoe Open on Thursday, good enough to be a stroke behind first-round leader Matt Bettencourt.

Will MacKenzie, the 2006 Reno champ, and Craig Bowden were two shots off the pace with 68 at Montreux Golf & Country Club on the edge of the Sierra Nevada. A group of more than a dozen golfers at 69 included Steve Elkington, Woody Austin, Mark Hensby, J.J. Henry and former UNLV star Chad Campbell.

DiMarco’s son helped read the tricky mountain greens and even called him off of using his driver when the 2-iron proved to be the perfect choice on the 464-yard, tree-lined No. 8 that drops 138 feet from an elevated tee.

“It’s about the coolest thing I’ve ever done on a golf course having my son there sitting right next to me making birdies and playing well,” said DiMarco, 41, who has made 10 of 15 cuts this year but only had one top-25 finish and barely $200,000 in earnings. “He’s a 3 or 4 handicap himself, so he can read greens.”

Bettencourt, who won the 2008 Nationwide Tour Championship but has no PGA wins, hit his drive 355 yards on the par-5 17th, knocked a 4-iron 260 yards to within 3 feet and made the eagle before bogeying No. 18.

The 35-year-old Northern California native said he probably played nearly 100 rounds of golf in the neighboring Reno area while growing up, including a couple dozen trips to Montreux the past decade.

“My confidence is building. I feel real comfortable,” he said. “I feel really acclimated to the elevation.”

“The whole game is about confidence. I think that’s what Tiger (Woods) has bred so well over his career. I mean, he’s so much more confident than everybody else. We all believe in ourselves. You know, it’s just the matter of getting on a hot streak.”

DiMarco, who birdied the last three holes in his bogey-free round Thursday, has earned more than $20 million in his 16 years on tour. A former member of the U.S. Ryder and Presidents cup teams, his best year was 2005 when he finished seventh on the money list and lost the Masters by two strokes to Woods in a playoff.

He also was the runner-up to Woods in the 2006 British Open, but ended that season early to have surgery on his left shoulder and has been working his way back since. His last PGA win was the 2002 Phoenix Open.

“Obviously, I think I can still win out here,” DiMarco said. “My confidence is slowly but surely coming back. I’m starting to get comfortable on the golf course again.”

That might have something to do with the help on the home front, which he solicited this week after giving his regular caddie a break. He said he won on the European Tour at Abu Dhabi in 2006 with his wife, Amy, on the bag and the 2001 Buick Challenge with his brother, Mitch, caddying.

“I have had a lot of success with family on the bag,” he said. “I don’t know if it relaxes me, if it makes me more comfortable, whatever it is.”

John Rollins, the defending champ who matched the course record with a 62 in last year’s second round, shot a 71 on Thursday but “played a lot better than I scored.”

“Last year on Friday I had a great round, so hopefully the golf gods will be the same with me tomorrow,” he said.

MacKenzie also felt he should have scored better, making only one putt outside 10 feet.

“I’ve been playing like crud this year,” said MacKenzie, who has missed six of 13 cuts with his best finish a tie for 12th at the Honda Classic. “I need to shoot a low one to get my confidence back.”

MacKenzie lost his ball in the sage brush and took double bogey when his drive hit a tree on the 518-yard, par-5, No. 4, often a birdie opportunity.

“There’s two spotters over there and we all look voraciously for 5 minutes – if that’s a word – and couldn’t find it,” he said. “It was not even that bad of sage over there. I was really amazed that we lost that ball. It was a bummer.”

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm