Roberts on a Roll in Hawaii

By Associated PressJanuary 27, 2006, 5:00 pm
KAHUKU, Hawaii-- Another island, another fantastic round for Loren Roberts.
 
Fresh off a win at the MasterCard Championship on the Big Island, Roberts shot a 6-under 66 on Friday in the first round of the Turtle Bay Championship to take a one-stroke lead over Bruce Summerhays.
 
Five-time defending champion Hale Irwin had trouble finding his groove and carded a 1-over 73 in the Champions Tour's first full-field event of the year. Irwin bogeyed No. 3 and parred the next 15 holes.
 
Irwin is seeking his sixth straight Turtle Bay title but it was Roberts who continued his strong play in Hawaii.
 
'I feel comfortable and I feel good with the way I'm swinging,' Roberts said. 'I'm not having to make a lot of swing thoughts. I'm basically getting up there, seeing the shot and ripping at it.'
 
He sank putt after putt, making the turn at 33 and recording seven birdies, including four in the last seven holes. The 66 was the lowest first-round score on the oceanside Palmer Course.
 
Roberts sank a 22-foot birdie on the 530-yard No. 3 to get his putter going. He took the lead on No. 18 by holing a 3-footer for birdie set up by a nice chip from the fringe.
 
'I hit the ball solid all day,' he said. 'You can't shoot under par when the winds are blowing like this without hitting the ball solidly. That's the whole key to playing in the wind.'
 
He missed just two greens in regulation.
 
Last week, Roberts had a 25-under 191 in ideal conditions at Hualalai course to shatter the Champions Tour record for relation to par in a 54-hole event. He also broke the tour record for birdies in a three-round tournament with 26.
 
'You can't predict how things go, but I did feel really ready to play this year,' said Roberts, who tied for 18th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open. 'My game was in order when I showed up.'
 
Roberts, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, joined the 50-and-over tour in July 2005 and finished 16th on the final money list in just six starts.
 
Don Pooley, who lost to Roberts by a stroke at Hualalai, was two strokes off the lead at 68.
 
The field of 78 was challenged by the breezy and damp conditions.
 
'It was really windy and blustery,' said Summerhays, who tied for second in 1997 and tied for third in 2003. 'As a matter of fact, on the last hole I almost got bamboozled out there.'
 
Summerhays, who turns 62 next month, got off to his best start at Turtle Bay. He birdied three of the par-3s, but none of the par-5s.
 
He had a chance to move to 6-under, but three-putted the final hole for par.
 
Summerhays played in front of more than 30 family members, down from 44 that watched him last week at the MasterCard Championship on the Big Island.
 
Japan's Kiyosi Murota making his Champions Tour debut on a sponsors exemption, was at 69 with former Hawaii resident Scott Simpson, Jim Thorpe and Mark Johnson.
 
'I got nervous on my first four or five holes, but then I decided to just enjoy myself and I played pretty good,' said Murota, who birdied three of his final four holes.
 
Simpson, a native of San Diego who lived in nearby Kailua for five years, began the day with an eagle on the par-4 first by holing his approach shot using a 6-iron from 167 yards.
 
He told playing partner Morris Hatalsky: 'There's two ways to look at it: It's a great way to start the year, but it can only go down hill.'
 
The group at 70 included Jerry Pate, Tom McKnight, Raymond Floyd, Ben Crenshaw, Lonnie Nielson, and Jay Haas.
 
Isao Aoki and Tom Watson were another stroke back.
 
Last year, Irwin won at Turtle Bay with a record 16-under 200 to become the first player to win a PGA Tour-sanctioned event five straight times.
 
Divots:
Tom Purtzer withdrew with a sore back and was replaced by Jim Chancey. ... The Palmer Course, built on a marsh, was used by the Army as a landing strip for bombers and housing area during World War II. ... Roberts, Haas, Peter Jacobsen and Craig Stadler opened their season by playing in the Sony Open in Hawaii on the PGA Tour.
 
Related links:
  • TGC Airtimes

  • Leaderboard - Turtle Bay Championship
  • Full Coverage - Turtle Bay Championship
  • Getty Images

    Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

    By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

    After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

     There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



    It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

    It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

    “The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

    In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



    Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

    Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

    “You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

    Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



    Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

    If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

    For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

    Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



    Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

    While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

    When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

    Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



    After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

    The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

    That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

    The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

    While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



    Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

    Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

    “We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

    The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

    Getty Images

    Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

    John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

    That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

    Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

    Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

    Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


    Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


    Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

    World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

    Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.

    Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

    Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

    The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

    Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

    "I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

    Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

    Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

    Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.