Notes Wild Journey for Swede Weather Beaters
His two-shot victory, his second on the PGA Tour, disappointed many who were rooting for the only known quantity near the top of the leaderboard, the ever-smiling Phil Mickelson.
Pettersson, dubbed 'The Swedish Redneck' by Stockholm native Jesper Parnevik, was a victor for those who sip tea and speak proper English and also eat grits and watch NASCAR.
'I'm a mutt,' Pettersson said after accepting the crystal championship trophy from host Jack Nicklaus.
Born in Gothenburg, Sweden, the 28-year-old Pettersson lived in England for five years after his father, Lars, an executive in Volvo's trucks division, was transferred.
When his father was transferred again to Greensboro, N.C., his burly 5-foot-11, 195-pound son tagged along. Carl had already shown a propensity for golf, learning from Lars, who was a low-handicapper.
Carl spent his last two years of high school in North Carolina and, after winning the state championship for Grimsley High, he went to school at Central Alabama Community College and then North Carolina State.
Pettersson has spent most of his four full years as a pro on the PGA Tour, although he also plays in Europe.
'I watched a lot of Ryder Cups over the years,' Pettersson said. 'I always pull for Europe. I've lived here for a lot of years but deep down I am European.'
Pettersson still lives in Raleigh, N.C., with his wife, DeAnna, whom he met shortly before he embarked on his pro career, and their 21-month old daughter, Carlie.
He said he retains 'some of those interesting habits' from living in the South.
'I like country music,' he said. 'I guess I'm not your typical Swede, you know. I'm about 30 pounds overweight and I don't wear crazy clothes.'
For the players out of contention, the final round became a race against a storm front.
'They told us before we teed off that we were probably going to get showers and all that stuff,' Billy Mayfair said.
The threat of yet another delay in the rain-delayed final round was enough incentive.
'You could see it coming, so I wanted to get through,' Bubba Watson said.
As they played, the players kept their eyes on the skies.
'I was thinking about it, believe me,' Mark Calcavecchia said after closing with a 71 that left him at 292. 'I've got an outing tomorrow in New York that I did not want to have trouble getting to and/or miss. I'm going to make twice as much for the outing as I made here, so if there would have been a delay, I would have just WD'd and left and got out of here. So I'm glad we got in and I didn't have to do that.'
Sindelar putted out for a 72 and then dashed for the airport to catch a flight to a U.S. Open qualifier on Monday at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md.
'Earlier is better,' he said of his departure time as he left the course.
A half-hour delay held up the action late in the day, after most of the field had completed play.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Long-but-frequently-wild Bubba Watson, told that one course at his U.S. Open qualifier on Monday was open and the other had narrow fairways: 'I'll probably play that open one a lot better.'
Louise Suggs, one of the founders of the LPGA, and 1958 PGA Championship winner Dow Finsterwald are the Memorial honorees for 2007.
Each year the tournament recognizes the contributions to the game of former players, innovators and administrators.
Suggs, who won the 1949 U.S. Women's Open by a then-record 14 strokes, was among the 13 people who helped create the LPGA and later served three terms as the association's president. She won 58 tour titles and 11 major championships, including three as an amateur.
An Ohio native, Finsterwald won 12 PGA Tour events between 1955 and 1963 and placed in the top five more than 50 times in his career. He still owns the fifth-longest cut streak, finishing in the money in 72 consecutive tournaments.
Finsterwald and Gary Player lost in a playoff to Arnold Palmer at the 1962 Masters.
They will be honored during ceremonies preceding next year's Memorial, which runs from May 31-June 3.
LIKE OLD TIMES
Paul Azinger shot a 67, bettered only by Mark Brooks' 66, in the final round to finish 10th.
He hadn't had a top 10 since the Shell Houston Open in 2004.
'It's been a while,' Azinger said after finishing five shots behind winner Carl Pettersson. 'I have had this streak of leaving the course irritated -- that streak's a couple of years (long). And I'm not going to be irritated today.'
Trevor Immelman, who tied for seventh, has three top-10s in a row. ... Brooks and Sergio Garcia each hit 17 of 18 greens on Sunday. ... After he was disqualified for leaving the course early after the second round, and then was reinstated, Justin Rose had rounds of 67 and 71 and tied for 14th while earning $100,625.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
Pepperell among co-leaders early in Qatar
DOHA, Qatar – Eddie Pepperell, Gregory Havret, and Aaron Rai made the most of calm early morning conditions at Doha Golf Club to set the pace in the opening round of the Qatar Masters at 7-under-par 65 on Thursday.
Havret went bogey free, Pepperell made one bogey and eight birdies, while fellow English golfer Rai eagled his last hole to add to five birdies.
One shot behind the leaders were four players, including former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari of Italy and former champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain.
Defending champion Jeunghun Wang of South Korea started with a 68, and Race to Dubai leader Shubhankar Sharma of India shot 69 despite a double bogey on the 15th hole.
Pepperell, who is fast gaining a reputation on the European Tour for his irreverent tweets and meaningful blogs, showed his clubs can also do an equal amount of talking after missing cuts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Malaysia.
Pepperell birdied Nos. 10, 11, 14, 16 and 18 with a single blemish on 13 after starting on the back nine. He made three more birdies on his back nine.
He was joined on top of the leaderboard by Havret, who made five birdies in six holes from the sixth, and Rai, who eagled the last.
''I surprised myself, really,'' said Pepperell, who finished third in Portugal and Netherlands last year.
''I've made some changes this week with personnel, so I've been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it.
''I hit some quality tee shots, that's the area I feel that I've been struggling with a bit lately. We had a good time.
''It's definitely a bigger picture for me this week than tomorrow and indeed the weekend. I'm not overly-fussed about my early season form.”
Molinari, a three-time champion on the tour including last year in Morocco, started with eight straight pars, and then made seven birdies in his last 10 holes, including a chip-in for birdie on the last.
''I hit every green apart from the last one. I hit a lot of fairways, I had a lot of chances for birdie,'' said Edoardo, the older brother of Francesco.
''Last week in Oman, I had a decent week, I had a bad first round and then three very good rounds. It's been the case for the last few weeks so my focus this week was to try and get a good start.''
Oliver Fisher of England was the best among the afternoon groups with a 6-under 66, joining Molinari, Quiros and Germany's Marcel Schneider in a tie for fourth.
Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic
Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
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Honda Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats
The PGA Tour heads back east to kick off the Florida Swing at PGA National. Here are the key stats and information for the Honda Classic. Click here for full-field tee times.
How to watch:
Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream
Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream
Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET
Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET
Purse: $6.6 million ($1,188,000 to the winner)
Course: PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (par-70; 7,140 yards)
Defending champion: Rickie Fowler (-12) won by four, picking off his fourth PGA Tour victory.
Notables in the field:
• Making his fourth start at the Honda Classic and his first since withdrawing with back spasms in 2014.
• Shot a Sunday 62 in a T-2 finish in 2012, marking his lowest career final-round score on the PGA Tour.
• Coming off a missed cut at last week's Genesis Open, his 17th in his Tour career.
• The defending champion owns the lowest score to par and has recorded the most birdies and eagles in this event since 2012.
• Fowler's last start was at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he failed to close a 54-hole lead. Fowler is 1-for-6 with 54-hole leads in his Tour career, with his only successful close coming at last year's Honda.
• On Tour this year, Fowler is first in scrambling from the fringe, second in total scrambling and third in strokes gained around the green.
• It's been feast or famine for McIlroy at the Honda. He won in 2012, withdrew with a toothache in 2013, finished T-2 in 2014 and missed the cut in 2015 and 2016.
• McIlroy ascended to world No. 1 with his victory at PGA National in 2012, becoming the second youngest player at 22 years old to top the OWGR, behind only Woods. McIlroy was later edged by a slightly younger 22-year-old Jordan Spieth.
• Since the beginning of 2010, only Dustin Johnson (15) has more PGA Tour victories than McIlroy (13).
Lexi, J. Korda part of four-way tie in Thailand
CHONBURI, Thailand – Three-time tour winner Minjee Lee of Australia finished with a superb eagle putt to be among the four leaders after Day 1 of the LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club on Thursday.
Lee sank a 45-foot putt on the 18th hole to card a 6-under-par 66 to tie for the lead with 2016 champion Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, and local hope Moriya Jutanugarn.
''I just hit the collar. I didn't know if I was going to have enough. Such a big break there. I'm glad it caught the hole,'' Lee said.
''It's a second-shot golf course. Your approaches are really important, and obviously being in the right spots with the undulation. And if you have a hot putter that's going to help.''
Lee won the Vic Open near Melbourne this month and opened her 2018 LPGA tour account last week at the Women's Australian Open, finishing fifth.
Thompson, who won this event in 2016 by six shots with a 20-under total and tied for fourth last year, started her latest round in style with an eagle followed by a birdie only to bogey the third hole. She carded four more birdies.
''It definitely helps to get that kind of start, but I was just trying to keep that momentum and not get ahead of myself,'' Thompson said.
Her compatriot Korda had a roller-coaster round which featured eagles on the first and 17th holes, five birdies, a double bogey on the sixth, and two bogeys.
Jutanugarn was the only player among the four to end the day without a bogey.
''I had a good start today, it was better than I expected,'' said Jutanugarn, who was seventh here last year.
She's trying to become the first Thai winner of the tournament.
Two-time champion Amy Yang and world No. 2 Sung Hyun Park were among six players at 5 under.