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.
 
Related Links:
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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


    Masters victory


    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.