Palmer leads Nelson; Bradley three off pace in title defense

By Associated PressMay 18, 2012, 12:35 am

IRVING, Texas – Ryan Palmer has been thinking about redemption at the Byron Nelson Championship, and a chance at home to hold up that trophy.

The 2011 Nelson runner-up is off to a good start.

Palmer, who lives in Colleyville not far from the TPC Four Seasons, opened with a 6-under 64 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead over Marc Leishman and Alex Cejka.

Last year, Palmer birdied the 72nd hole to force a playoff against Keegan Bradley. Palmer then hit his approach into the greenside water to hand Bradley his first tour title.

''I didn't lose it last year by any means,'' Palmer said. ''But to get back in the same setting with the same people watching, here where I live, and just to have that feeling again, this time be the guy standing with the trophy, that's been my focus.''

Palmer's bogey-free start came on a relatively calm day. With only a light breeze, 85 players were at par or better in the first round on the 7,166-yard course where Palmer and Bradley finished 72 holes last year at 3-under 277.

Coming off his victory at The Players Championship last weekend, Matt Kuchar overcome an opening bogey and was in a group of seven players at 66.

''Coming off momentum, a little tired,'' said Kuchar, No. 5 in the world ranking. ''It was a whole lot of extracurricular activities out of the norm for me, but I feel good about the round.''

Kuchar's approach shot at No. 1 went over the green. He tried to putt it up the hill, but the ball ended up rolling back to his feet, prompting someone in the gallery to say, ''I could have done that.''

When Kuchar tried again, he got the ball within 4 feet for his only bogey. He was under par to stay after birdies at Nos. 3 and 4.

Bradley, who won the PGA Championship three months after the Nelson, was among 13 players who shot 67. His up-and-down round included four bogeys, five birdies and an eagle.

The only other top 10 player this week is 10th-ranked Phil Mickelson. Back at the Nelson for the first time in five years, he had a 70 with two birdies and two bogeys.

''It's a beautiful day, it's warm, not too hot, the greens are in great shape. They're receptive, you can get the ball stopped,'' said Mickelson, the 1996 Nelson champ. ''Really good opportunity to take advantage of the course, and I just didn't.''

The forecast for Friday, and into Saturday, calls for wind steady at 15-20 mph and gusting to 30. That is similar to what happened last year, when scoring conditions quickly got tougher.

''Blow wind, blow! ... Picking up about 12:45 (p.m.) hopefully,'' said Palmer, who plays Friday morning. ''Maybe we can build on (the first round) and set myself up for a big weekend.''

It worked so well last year that Palmer is again letting caddie James Edmondson call all the shots at the Nelson. With input from instructor Randy Smith, Edmondson tells Palmer what and where to it.

They have tried that briefly at other courses without the same kind of success. But the formula works at the Nelson.

''Continuation from last year, that's what's cool,'' Palmer said. ''For some reason, I get in the frame of mind with this golf course and what me and him are doing, and it was the same exact thing. I didn't move until he put the bag down and half of the time he pulled the club out of the bag and handed it to me, I didn't know what the club was.''

Former PGA Tour rookie of the year Leishman had two eagles on the back nine, at the 323-yard 11th hole and the 546-yard 16th.

The 65 was his best of 41 rounds this season and lowest since another 65 in the first of his 84 rounds last year, when he slipped to 65th in the FedEx standings - 45 spots below his standout rookie year of 2009.

''Last year was pretty disappointing. I felt like I got off to a good start and then just about nothing for the rest of the year, really,'' Leishman said. ''It's the first time since I've been a pro that I've struggled for a decent amount of time, just not hitting the ball as well as I would like to, not holing putts. This year, I feel like I'm doing everything a lot better.''

The 28-year-old Australian hit 11 of 14 fairways and needed only 24 putts Thursday.

''It probably took longer than I would have liked to have a good round like this,'' he said.

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

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.