Pernice Leads Crowded Leaderboard

By Associated PressJune 30, 2007, 4:00 pm
2006 Buick OpenGRAND BLANC, Mich. -- Tom Pernice Jr. was having a mediocre round until surprising himself with a spectacular stretch that pushed his name atop a shuffled leaderboard.
 
Pernice had an eagle and four birdies during a five-hole run and his 66 Saturday gave him the third-round lead at the topsy-turvy Buick Open.
 
'The way I was going along, I never dreamed I would get to 6 under,' he said. 'Being patient pays off sometimes.'
 
Jesper Parnevik (64), Scott Verplank (69) and Brian Bateman (69) were a shot back entering the final round.
 
Former Buick Open champions Jim Furyk (71), Kenny Perry (71) and Woody Austin (69) were in a group of five players two strokes behind the leader. Pernice and Verplank have also won at Warwick Hills, where a $882,000 check is truly up for grabs without regulars Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh around to dominate.
 
Woods (with his wife and baby) and Singh (resting a sore elbow) are not playing the Buick Open for the first time since 2001 after combining to win four of the previous five.
 
After playing the first 12 holes even par, Pernice eagled No. 13 then ripped off four straight birdies before finishing with a par.
 
Parnevik made the big move Saturday, going from a tie for 46th into a tie for second with an 8 under. He had the best round -- by two strokes -- as Warwick Hills became tougher with firm greens.
 
The Swede is playing in his first Buick Open, instead of returning to Europe as he usually does after the U.S. Open.
 
'I decided to stay this year, which I'm very happy about,' he said.
 
Parnevik, who usually doesn't return to the U.S. until the PGA Championship, will play at Oakland Hills in suburban Detroit on Monday in a British Open qualifier.
 
Pernice and Parnevik will be paired together, hoping to continue a trend.
 
The Buick Open winner has emerged from the final group since 1999 and the third-round leader has held on in each of the last six.
 
Pernice took advantage of the last leader who couldn't hold onto the lead on a Sunday at Warwick Hills.
 
Pernice won his first of two PGA TOUR events here eight years ago, when he began the final round five shots behind Tom Lehman and beat him and two others by a stroke.
 
'I didn't really necessarily have many thoughts about winning when I teed off that day,' Pernice said. 'Really, Tom Lehman let us all back into the game.'
 
While players such as Pernice and Parnevik joined the leaders, Brett Quigley plummeted a day after firing his caddie.
 
'It was just time,' Quigley said of his mid-tournament decision.
 
Quigley's 3-over 75 dropped him into a tie for 32nd at 7 under after starting the day tied with Furyk and Perry.
 
His play might've rubbed off on his playing partner, Furyk, who bogeyed two straight holes on the front nine by pulling a 4-footer and lipping out from 9 feet.
 
Furyk missed a 4-footer at 18 to bogey, finishing at 1 under for the day. His streak of rounds in the 60s at the Buick Open ended at eight, equaling Woods' tournament record, but he extended his run of sub-par rounds to 36 at Warwick Hills.
 
'It was a terrible round, 1 under isn't getting the job done here,' Furyk said. 'I'm very fortunate to only be two back.'
 
Quigley's collapse began right away.
 
He bogeyed the first three holes and four of five. At No. 9, his drive went behind trees and his third shot plugged in a bunker, setting up a double bogey. He made the turn at 5 over for the day and seven shots behind the leaders.
 
'After the three bogeys, I knew I had to press,' he said. 'I'm not entirely discouraged, though, because after a disastrous front nine, I was able to play really well on the back. Obviously, I'm going to need 9 or 10 under tomorrow, but at least I have some hope.'
 
Quigley, who hasn't won on the PGA TOUR, had the second-round lead last year at the Buick Open before a third-round 71 contributed to him finishing tied for seventh.
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.