Rod Pampling leads Legends Reno-Tahoe Open

By Associated PressAugust 6, 2009, 4:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)RENO, Nev. ' Rod Pampling shot a 5-under 67 in swirling mountain wind Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open, a stroke ahead of a group that included two-time winner Vaughn Taylor and former Nevada player Rich Barcelo.
 
Two-time Reno runner-up Jonathan Kaye, Steve Pate, Grant Waite, Spencer Levin and rookie Marc Leishman matched Taylor and Barcelo with 68s at Montreux Golf and Country Club on the edge of the Sierra Nevada.
 
Former PGA Championship winners Paul Azinger, Steve Elkington and Shaun Micheel were another shot back at 69 along with defending champion Parker McLachlin, Jeff Quinney, James Nitties, Robert Garrigus, Ryan Palmer and Jonathan Byrd.
 
Pampling and Levin took advantage of afternoon tee times in conditions that were erratic but somewhat calmer than the morning when Taylor, Barcelo and Kaye had to contend with gusts up to 32 mph. The temperature dipped into the low 60s and morning snow was visible falling on the neighboring mountain pass to Lake Tahoe.
 
Pampling, who tied for third at Reno in 2003, birdied four of five holes during one stretch and finished with six birdies and a bogey.
 
To post that number in these conditions, Im very happy, said the 40-year-old Australian who has won twice on the PGA Tour ' the 2004 International and 2006 Bay Hill Invitational. Sometimes youd hit a shot and have absolutely no wind. Then a minute later youd have a 20 mph wind.
 
It is kind of bizarre how it would be blowing so strong and then just totally stop. Then it would go a different way, then stop. Then a different way, then stop. You are constantly watching the trees, hoping you pick the right club and hoping it doesnt change in mid-flight.
 
Levin, a former star at the University of New Mexico, led at 6 under after 15 holes, but bogeyed two of his final three, including the 616-yard, par-5 ninth after he hit his second shot into a greenside pond.
 
Taylor, the tourneys only two-time winner, had six birdies and two bogeys. His wins at Reno in 2004 and 2005 are his only career victories on the PGA Tour.
 
I have a lot of good memories here, he said, adding that the windy conditions reminded him of his final round in 2004. It blew really hard then at times it almost stopped different places on the course.
 
I think past experience definitely helped me out today, said the 33-year-old Taylor, whose tie for eighth at the Buick Open last week is his best finish this year. Youve been there before type of thing, so you feel comfortable.
 
Barcelo, the winner of the Nationwide Tours Omaha, Neb., event last month, was pleased with his bogey-free round.
 
It always helps. It was a solid day. All my birdies were in there pretty tight, he said. The conditions were extremely difficult when we started. You anticipate the wind blowing here in northern Nevada, you just dont know how strong. Today it was really swirling.
 
The wind complicated the calculations the players and caddies make to adjust to the higher elevation (5,500 feet) where the ball travels farther than at sea level.
 
Its kind of like being at home in Colorado ' a little high altitude golf, said Kaye, who grew up and played his college golf there.
 
I just think Ive got the right formula for clubbing myself up here. Just knowing how far the balls going to travel in this thinner air. For everyone its different. Some guys factor in 20 percent because they hit it high. Some guys go 5 percent because they hit it low. Im somewhere in between.
 
Nothing worse than a 6-under 66 has led the first round of the 11-year-old tournament on the course designed by Jack Nicklaus.
 
Byrd, starting on the back nine, rattled off three consecutive birdies in one stretch and got to 6 under when he eagled the par-5 fourth after hitting his second shot 243 yards to 10 feet. But he bogeyed three of his last four holes.
 
Quinney made consecutive 20-foot birdie putts midway through his round and got as low as 5 under before he bogeyed the last two holes.
 
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  • Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

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    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?

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    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.

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    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

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    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.