Jespers 61 Sets the Tone in Texas

By Associated PressOctober 4, 2007, 4:00 pm
2006 Valero Texas OpenSAN ANTONIO, Texas - Jesper Parnevik spent two months this year trying to play with an injured toe. He broke it while scampering around on his boat and jamming his foot into a case of beer.
 
No. Parnevik wasn't drinking.
 
'That was the problem,' he said. 'The case was full.'
 
Now Parnevik can down a celebratory mug. He shot a career-best 9-under 61 on Thursday to take a four-stroke lead after the first round of the Texas Open, overcoming an opening bogey to birdie eight of the next 11 holes.
 
The 42-year-old Swede, winless since taking the last of his five PGA TOUR titles in 2001, also birdied his final two holes -- Nos. 8 and 9 -- after starting on the back nine on the LaCantera Golf Club Resort Course. The 61 topped his previous PGA Tour best of 62, set last year in a second-place finish in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
 
It's the lowest score at the Texas Open since Bart Bryant shot a 60 in the third round when he won in 2004. On the PGA TOUR this year, Zach Johnson shot a 60 in the third round of the TOUR Championship.
 
A low score wasn't on Parnevik's mind after the bogey start. His blast out of a greenside bunker left him 24 feet short, and he missed the par putt on his first hole.
 
'Normally, that's where the panic sets in. That it's going to be a really sorry day,' Parnevik said. 'But I came into this week feeling the game was there.'
 
Major champions Justin Leonard -- the 2000 and 2001 Texas Open winner -- and Bob Tway were at 65 along with 2005 champion Robert Gamez, Mathias Gronberg, Matt Hendrix, Neal Lancaster, Shigeki Maruyama, Daniel Chopra, Richard S. Johnson and Dan Forsman.
 
Tway birdied his final four holes.
 
'It was an average round, then I make four in a row and all of a sudden it became a good round,' Tway said. 'It was kind of strange.'
 
Chad Campbell, the Viking Classic winner Sunday in Mississippi, shot a 66 to top a group that included 1995 U.S. Open winner Corey Pavin. Defending champion Eric Axley had a 67, holing a bunker shot from 34 yards for birdie on No. 18.
 
There were 30 players within six shots of Parnevik. Overall, 66 players broke par on day with light wind and temperatures in the upper 80s.
 
A flurry of putter changes the past week helped Parnevik return to the form he showed when he was winning regularly. He tried a belly putter last weekend before settling on a more traditional brand of putter Wednesday he's never seen.
 
'As soon as I set it on the ground I said, 'This is it,'' he said. 'I putted great with it today. That's how easy it is sometimes.'
 
He sank putts of 25 feet and 19 feet during the birdie run midway through his round. He had nine one-putts and a chip-in.
 
But at 138th on the money list, Parnevik is struggling to make the top 125 and keep his tour card. He's coming off a 17th-place tie in Mississippi, and tied for 15th in the Heritage Classic.
 
Colt Knost, the U.S. Amateur champion and U.S. Public Links winner from SMU, shot a 71 in his professional debut. John Daly, who said he's recovering from a case of strep throat and flu, opened with a 72.
 
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  • 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: