Duval Will Be Rusty at Buick Invitational

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Buick InvitationalSAN DIEGO - David Duval gets a new start this year, and no one is sure what to expect.
 
Least of all, him.
 
Formerly No. 1 in the world, Duval took a seven-month break from golf last year before returning to the U.S. Open. He was refreshed, happier than ever with his new wife and family, and showed promise toward the end of the season when he made the cut in three of his last six events.
 
But his offseason golf consisted of only 15 holes.
 
Not rounds ' holes.
 
And 10 of those came Tuesday at Torrey Pines, a course he has not seen in seven years.
 
Its been cold, and theres a lot of snow on the ground, said Duval, who now lives in Denver. I had planned on practicing a bit, but it just didnt work out.
 
The rust level is high.
 
Expectations are low when the Buick Invitational begins Thursday.
 
I guess my biggest goal would be just to work on the things Ive been working on and feel that much more comfortable with it, Duval said, referring to a change to a weaker grip. Im not as far along as I would have liked to have been. I just have to continue to work on it.
 
Indeed, he remains a work in progress.
 
After a 20-minute session with the media, Duval headed for the range. After going through some wedges, middle and long irons, he pulled his driver from the bag and hit the first one onto Torrey Pines Boulevard. The next one was pure, some 300 yards to the back end of the range. The third was a snap hook.
 
Chris Perry stood behind him, making a few observations. Before long, most of his shots were relatively straight. But when he showed up Wednesday morning for his pro-am round, Duval walked stiffly.
 
Im sore, he said. I havent hit that many balls in a while.
 
How long did he stay on the range?
 
About an hour, he said.
 
OK, so hes no Vijay Singh.
 
And by the sound of it, Duval has no plans to be Singh ' at least in terms of trying to take away his No. 1 ranking.
 
He has long believed ' even before winning 11-of-34 starts to ascend to No. 1 in the world in 1999, and later winning the 2001 British Open ' that there is more to golf than simply winning.
 
In fact, it was that claret jug he won at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that made him wonder, Is that all there is?
 
Duval will measure success by his own standards. For now, it means feeling comfortable with his swing, getting the sensation of a clean shot and most of all, enjoying his time on the PGA Tour.
 
He isnt one who believes confidence comes only through winning.
 
Ill never forget many years back, I went to dinner with (NFL coach) Marty Schottenheimer, and that was one of the big discussions we had, Duval said. Which comes first, success or confidence? You can kind of argue both sides. Do I have a lot of confidence? I dont know if I do or not. Do I need to have some success to do it? Youve got to go both ways with it.
 
I dont even remember what side I was arguing that night.
 
A forgotten man last year, it wont be hard for him to disappear at Torrey Pines ' and not just because heavy rains have made the rough thicker than usual.
 
The attention is at the top of the rankings ' Duval is No. 526, one spot ahead of Jay Delsing, whos caddying for Corey Pavin this week.
 
Singh is starting to entrench himself at No. 1 in the world, coming off a victory last week in the Sony Open for his 10th title in 28 starts.
 
Tiger Woods is starting to find his groove, and only a dozen putts he missed inside 8 feet kept him from winning the Mercedes Championships at Kapalua. Ernie Els might have played the best of anyone this week, finishing one shot behind Singh at the Sony Open, and two shots back at Kapalua after hitting a tee shot out-of-bounds on the last hole.
 
Mickelson is the only player in the top five who hasnt played this year, skipping the winners-only Mercedes Championships to make his 05 debut in his hometown.
 
The guys ahead of him in the rankings all have a head start on him.
 
But Lefty is coming off a great year ' his first major at the Masters, and a 59 to end the season in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf ' and hes eager to get going.
 
I think what makes it so exciting is that we have so many guys now that are playing well, and so many guys that are challenging to win tournaments, Mickelson said. It makes the journey and the challenge of winning tournaments tougher, but its more rewarding if you can accomplish it.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Buick Invitational
  • White: Duval Has Found His Hapiness
     
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  • 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:

    Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday.