Furyk shares 36-hole lead Hilton Head

By Associated PressApril 17, 2010, 2:59 am

2007 Verizon Heritage

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – A grueling Masters finally caught up to K.J. Choi on Friday at the Verizon Heritage, and Jim Furyk, Charles Howell III and Greg Owen took advantage to top the second-round leaderboard.

Furyk (68), Howell (67) and Owen (69) were tied at 7-under 135, a stroke ahead of a group that included two-time Verizon champ Boo Weekley and Stuart Appleby.

Choi, who played alongside Tiger Woods all four rounds at Augusta National, opened with a 64 on Thursday. However, he couldn’t maintain that pace and fell three shots off the lead after a 74 at Harbour Town Golf Links.

“Yeah, the fatigue is setting in right now,” said Choi, who tied for fourth with Woods last week. “But no excuses today, I had a tough time reading the greens.”

Furyk didn’t have Choi’s problem entering Harbour Town. “I didn’t play enough to get tired,” he said about Augusta.

The world’s sixth-ranked player missed the Masters’ cut for just the second time in 14 appearances. Furyk wasn’t happy with the early exit. But instead of dwelling on it, he enjoyed what was left of Masters week.

He stayed late at a Friday night party with friends and sponsors. He drove to Myrtle Beach with wife Tabitha for a “Monday After the Masters” outing put on each year by Hootie and the Blowfish, including a concert by the group.

“Had a great time and met a bunch of great people,” he said. “I got my practice in but also blew off some steam and when I got here I was in a great frame of mind and ready to go to work.”

That showed in the second round. Furyk stuck approach shots within 10 feet on the 13th and 15th holes for birdies. He caught Choi for the lead when he chipped in from just off the green on No. 16.

Furyk, whose round ended just as Choi teed off, expected the South Korean to continue the strong play from last week when he tied for fourth at 11 under – same as Woods – amid the large galleries that followed the group on Augusta’s grounds.

Choi, though, quickly fell back when he drove out of bounds on No. 11, then put a tee shot in the water on No. 14, both for bogeys.

After a double-bogey 6 when he failed to get out of a bunker on No. 18, Choi trailed by three. He held things together with an even-par final nine to remain in contention.

“I’m not that far behind,” said Choi, seeking his first PGA Tour win since 2008.

Howell tied Furyk with a birdie on No. 18 where the late afternoon roared through the course’s signature lighthouse hole. He rolled in a 22-footer from off the green. “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good,” he said.

Owen moved to 7 under after putting his approach on the par-5 fifth hole within 2 feet for birdie, then parred out the rest of the way.

The most intriguing surges may have come from Weekley, Appleby and 18-year-old U.S. Amateur champion Byeong-Hun An.

Weekley turned into a golf folk hero with wins here in 2007 and 2008, fans drawn to his folksy demeanor as much as his game. A torn labrum last year at The Players Championship led to a month off and problems once he returned.

Weekley hoped his favorite tour venue might provide the missing spark to his game. It looked it had so far.

He posted his second 68, the first time all year he opened with two sub-70 rounds.

This is An’s third PGA Tour event after missing cuts at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Masters. He used an eagle on the par-5 15th and birdies on the fifth and sixth holes to move within a stroke of the lead. However, he went 3-over par his final three holes to fall back.

Appleby hasn’t played Harbour Town since 1998 when he felt it wise to break after typically stressful Masters. Appleby didn’t qualify for Augusta National this time, opening a week on his schedule.

Still, Harbour Town’s never really suited Appleby – until now.

The 67 was his lowest round of the year. It’s also the first time in 11 events this season he’s had two rounds in the 60s.

“Maybe the claustrophobic feel of the course makes it a bit sharper with your targets,” he said.

Furyk knows Harbour Town’s Jekyll-and-Hyde nature too well.

He was second at the Verizon Heritage in 2005 and 2006, and fourth two years ago. Then again, he also missed cuts here in 2007 and 2009. “It seems to be feast or famine for me,” he said. “Hopefully, this year it’s feast.”

DIVOTS: It’s been a very different Verizon Heritage for Brian Gay. After winning by a record 10 shots at 20 under in 2009, the defending champion was seven shots behind at even-par 142. … Tour rookie Blake Adams followed a first-round 77 with an 8-under 63. He also tied a tour record by taking just 18 putts. He was five shots behind. … Because 82 players made the even-par cut, the field will be sliced to low 70 and ties after the third round.

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The Social: G.O.A.T., after G.O.A.T., after G.O.A.T.

By Jason CrookJanuary 23, 2018, 6:00 pm

Tom Brady compares himself to Tiger Woods, who coincidentally is returning to the PGA Tour this week, Jordan Spieth hangs out with some decent company and kids these days ruffle some feathers with their friendships.

All that and more in this week's edition of The Social.

Well, it’s finally Farmers Insurance Open week and Woods has been spotted practicing for his official return to the PGA Tour on Thursday.

Some thought this day might never come after a 2017 filled with mostly downs for the 14-time major champ.

But as he has taught the golf world time and time again, you just can't count Tiger out.

So even as Jon Rahm attempts to overtake Dustin Johnson for No. 1 in the world this week at Torrey Pines, all eyes will be on one of the greatest we've ever seen do it, even if that guy is ranked No. 647 in the world.

Speaking of greatness …

There’s not many who can just offhandedly compare themselves to Tiger, but if anyone gets a pass, it’s Tom Brady.

The 40-year-old New England Patriots quarterback led his team back to the Super Bowl for the second straight year despite playing the AFC title game with a cut on his throwing hand.

When asked about it after the Patriots come-from-behind victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady answered, “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that. It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament.”

So there you have it. A 40-year-old Brady is winning AFC Championships with his C game. Good luck, Eagles; you’re going to need it.

Also, if for some reason you wanted an update on Justin Thomas' life, it's still awesome:

Yeah, that's last year's PGA Tour Player of the Year hanging with Cy Young winner Cory Kluber in a suite at the Patriots game and teasing us with a possible #SB2K18 cameo.

Curtis Strange likes his competitive golf straight up, hold the friendliness.

This, according to Curtis Strange.

The two-time U.S. Open champ took to Twitter during the CareerBuilder Challenge to vent his frustration regarding the constant chit-chat and friendliness between Rahm and Andrew Landry:

This, of course, makes sense in theory. But good luck watching golf – or really any sport – from here on out. Sure there will be a few old school guys who buck the trend here and there, but for the most part, it’s really hard to share a private jet/dinners/vacations/(insert awesome thing here) with someone, and then completely turn off the friendship coming down the stretch of a big tournament.

Damn millennials. They ruin everything.

By now you've all seen that poor Philadelphia Eagles fan who lost his battle with a subway station pillar (from multiple angles), so instead here is a video of a man attempting to stand on an egg. Bet you can't guess how that goes.

Tony's gonna stand on an egg

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Seriously if you haven't seen the video of that Eagles fan, here's your last chance in this column. You'll be glad you did.

Jordan Spieth, Michael Phelps and Bryce Harper walk on to a golf course … there’s no punchline, that actually happened last week in Las Vegas.

Was the whole thing just a big advertisement for Spieth’s new Under Armour shoe? You bet.

But that doesn’t make the optics of three of the biggest superstar athletes on the planet teeing it up for a round any less awesome.

Off to the next. #Spieth2 #TEAMUA

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The trio has three major wins, five All Star Game appearances and 28 Olympic medals between them, and there they were over the weekend just fake laughing for the camera and driving around individual golf carts with their own personalized logos on them.

Just guys being dudes. Nothing better than that.

Matt Kuchar. Still good at golf. Still overly polite. This according to European Tour pro Eddie Pepperell who had the privilege of hitting on the range next to Kuuuuuch in Abu Dhabi last week.

That image is burned into your brain forever now, thanks Eddie. From now on when you think of Kuchar you're going to think of those Sketches ads and "oopsies."

Which, I suppose is better than a, "Did you get that?"

Blayne Barber's caddie, Cory Gilmer, collapsed and hit his head while at a restaurant at the Sony Open and has been mostly unconscious in the neurological intensive care unit ever since.

The outpouring of love and support from the golf community has been overwhelming on social media, and a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with the mounting medical costs for Gilmer and his family.

Check out the link below for more info or to donate to a worthy cause:

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Top-ranked amateur wins LAAC, earns Masters invite

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 5:38 pm

Joaquin Niemann walked Augusta National Golf Club as a patron last year. He’ll be a competitor in 2018.

Niemann, the top-ranked amateur in the world, shot 8-under 63 Tuesday at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Santiago, Chile, to win the Latin America Amateur Championship.

And with the title, both redemption and an invitation to the Masters Tournament.


Full-field scores from the Latin America Amateur Championship


Niemann finished runner-up in last year’s LAAC to fellow Chilean Toto Gana. He followed Gana around Augusta grounds, watching as his best friend played two rounds before missing the cut.

Niemann, who was going to turn professional had he not won this week, started the final round one back of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz. Niemann was sluggish from the start on Tuesday, but then drove the 313-yard, par-4 eighth and made the eagle putt. That sparked a run of five birdies over his next six holes.

Niemann was bogey-free in the final round and finished five shots clear of Ortiz, at 11 under.

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Judges Panel, Host Announced for Wilson Golf's "Driver vs. Driver 2," Premiering This Fall on Golf Channel

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJanuary 23, 2018, 4:15 pm

‘Driver vs. Driver 2 Presented by Wilson Currently in Production; Sports Broadcaster Melanie Collins Returns to Host

Morning Drive: Driver vs. Driver 2 Judges Announced

Golf Channel and Wilson Golf announced today the panel of judges and host for the second season of Driver vs. Driver, the innovative television series that follows aspiring golf equipment designers as they compete for the opportunity to have their driver idea or concept transformed into the next great golf driver from Wilson. The show is currently in production and will premiere this fall.

Joining judge Tim Clarke, President of Wilson Golf, are two newcomers to the series: 9-time National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star and current NHL on NBC hockey analyst Jeremy Roenick – an avid golfer with a single digit handicap and a self-described golf equipment junkie; and PGA Professional, golf coach, equipment reviewer and social media influencer Rick Shiels.

“Golf is a big passion of mine, and personally I enjoy learning about new equipment and concepts,” said Roenick. “To be able to see this side of the business in how equipment is developed first-hand is fascinating. Being a part of the process in reviewing driver concepts and narrowing them down to an ultimate winning driver that will be sold across the country is a tremendous honor.” 

“Jeremy, as an avid golfer, and Rick, as a coach, equipment reviewer and golf professional, bring incredible, real world insights and different perspectives to the show and this process,” said Clarke. “I’m excited to work alongside these two judges to push the boundaries of innovation and bring a next-generation driver to golfers around the world.”

Sports broadcaster Melanie Collins returns as the host of Driver vs. Driver 2. Currently a sideline reporter for CBS Sports’ college football and basketball coverage, Collins hosted the inaugural season in 2016 and formerly co-hosted Golf Channel’s competition series, Big Break.

Production for Driver vs. Driver 2 began in the fall of 2017 and will continue through the summer, including this week at the PGA Merchandise Show. The series is being produced by Golf Channel, whose portfolio of original productions include interview series Feherty hosted by Emmy-nominated sports personality David Feherty, high-quality instruction shows School of Golf, Golf Channel Academy and Playing Lessons and a slate of award-winning films.

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Tiger Tracker: Farmers Insurance Open

By Tiger TrackerJanuary 23, 2018, 4:00 pm

Tiger Woods is competing in a full-field event for the first time in nearly a year. We're tracking him at this week's Farmers Insurance Open. (Note: Tweets read, in order, left to right)