Every grabs Texas Open lead with 63

By Associated PressApril 20, 2012, 12:48 am

SAN ANTONIO – Matt Every arrived at the Texas Open having sworn off instructors, proudly cutting practices short and cringing at the sight of other players endlessly tweaking their swings.

His reward was a course record at a PGA Tour stop.

Outshining the few big PGA Tour names in a weakened field, Every made nine birdies in a bogey-free 9-under 63 for a three-stroke lead over Hunter Haas after the first round Thursday.

It was a career best on a notoriously unforgiving TPC San Antonio course that opened in 2010, but is partly blamed for why the tournament doesn't attract more star power.

''I see the same guys tinkering with their swings, and they spend all day Tuesday and Wednesday practicing, and I think, 'God, I'm glad I'm not one of these guys,''' Every said. ''And I'm sticking to that. When I get on the course, I'm more interested in playing golf than my golf swing.''

Every, whose best finish in six years on the tour is third, coasted to his first lead since sharing the top spot entering the final round of the Sony Open in January. His wife, who is seven months pregnant, followed him for the entirety of a round that broke the course mark of 64 set by Ryan Palmer and Scott Piercy in 2010.

''Told her, only wanted her to go to nine today,'' Every said. ''Said she had to keep going after the front nine. It's cool.''

Haas finished with one of the round's three eagles on the par-5 18th. Former British Open champion Ben Curtis, playing in his fourth PGA Tour event of the season after his status on the entry list plummeted near the bottom, was four strokes back at 67.

Fredrik Jacobson, Cameron Beckman, Jason Gore, Troy Matteson and Derek Lamely shot 68.

Haas shot a bogey-free round capped by a brilliant approach on No. 18, driving a 3-wood from the fairway to 5 feet. He has struggled this season, missing the cut six times and finishing no better than a tie for 37th in Mexico at the Mayakoba Golf Classic.

''It's nice to finish a round like that. It's been a while,'' Haas said.

Matt Kuchar, the tournament's top-ranked player at No. 15 and two weeks removed from his near miss at the Masters, closed with a bogey on the par-4 ninth for a 70. Johnson Wagner had a 74 after speaking optimistically about taking advantage of the absence of star players in the field.

Defending champion Brendan Steele had a 73. He made a double bogey on the par-4 fourth.

The other star of last year's Texas Open didn't even make it past the first round. Kevin Na, who returned to San Antonio poking fun at his memorable 16 on No. 9, tapped in a 6-footer for par this time, but withdrew after signing his card at 7 over.

Every was more at ease with his front-runner status than the last time in Honolulu. There he looked uncomfortable while being asked about his arrest on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge in 2010 that resulted in a PGA Tour suspension his rookie season. He also attributed a tough night of sleep there to what he described as his first real time in contention.

After his round Thursday, a PGA Tour spokesman cautioned reporters that Every sometimes doesn't ease into interviews as easily as other players. But the 28-year-old former Florida star was candid and carefree while discussing his love for the band Oasis and naming his first son Liam.

He only casually mentioned ditching his swing instructor two weeks ago and that he ''doesn't care anymore'' whether his feet or toes lift off the ground when he swings.

''Lately I've been trying to do as little as possible with everything involved with golf,'' Every said. ''If I'm hitting bad in the range I won't even work out - I'll quit and go home. And it's been working. It has. I'm playing better golf because of it.''

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

 

 

Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.