Sutton among four tied for lead in Mississippi

By Associated PressMarch 22, 2013, 10:39 pm

SAUCIER, Miss. – Hal Sutton has a new left hip and that's helping him get back to his old swing.

The result is the 54-year-old's best golf in more than a decade.

Sutton shot a 3-under 69 on Friday in the first round of the Champions Tour's Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic for a share of the lead with Steve Elkington, Corey Pavin and Roger Chapman.

''I've been trying to correct some bad habits that I had from that bad hip,'' Sutton said. ''Today was progress.''

The round was peppered with light showers and unpredictable wind gusts that helped keep scores from going too low. Sutton played in the first group of the day and managed to stay out of trouble for most of the morning – moving to 5 under with a birdie on 13 – but had two bogeys on the back nine and needed a 15-foot putt on 18 to save bogey.

The 18th hole nearly undid much of Sutton's hard work.

Sutton, from Shreveport, La., hit his second shot into the bunker. It smacked the side of the trap and ricocheted across for a difficult lie in the sand.

That's when things got really interesting. He fell on his back as he was trying to get into the bunker – not the greatest move for a man who just had hip replacement surgery – and then his first attempt to get out of the bunker hit the lip and fell backward.

His second shot was much better, but slid about 15 feet past the hole, which set up the clutch bogey putt. Sutton hasn't won a tournament since the PGA Tour's 2001 Houston Open.

Sutton won 14 times on the PGA Tour but didn't play for about five years before becoming eligible for the Champions Tour in 2009. He hasn't had much success over the past few years – mostly because his painful hip made it difficult to maintain a consistent swing.

But now he says he's healthy and his old swing is returning.

''I really felt good on the golf course today,'' Sutton said. ''I have not had a round since I've been out here that I felt as solid as I did today. So we'll just keep trying to do the same thing.''

Pavin made three straight birdies on Nos. 6-8 to vault into a tie for the lead. He has had a good start on the Champions Tour this year with two top 10s in four events.

Six players are a stroke back, including points leader and money leader David Frost, the winner last week in Newport Beach, Calif. Defending tournament champion Fred Couples opened with a 72.

Tee times for Saturday's round have been pushed up three hours because severe thunderstorms are expected in south Mississippi. The first group will tee off at 8 a.m.

''It's a hard golf course to score on when the greens are firm like this,'' Pavin said. ''So if we don't get rain, it's probably going to give a bunch of guys a chance.''


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Watch: Tiger's drive startles strolling duck

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 7:21 pm

Tiger Woods split the eighth fairway with a 287-yard, 3-wood on Sunday and startled a duck (goose?) who was merely out and about for a stroll at PGA National.

The duck (goose?) walked away under its own power, and Woods followed up with a wedge to inside 9 feet and his third birdie of the front nine.

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Watch: Tiger's Sunday birdies at the Honda

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 6:40 pm

One day after he left a barrage of birdie opportunities out on the golf course, Tiger Woods worked his way into red figures early on Sunday.

Seven off the pace to start the day, Woods found the first fairway, hit the first green and rolled in a 20-footer for his firist birdie of the day.

After narrowly missing a 10-footer for what would have been another circle at the par-5 third, Woods came right back at the fourth, flying an approach from 148 yards to 9 feet and finishing the job.

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New-look Korda wins after serious jaw surgery

By Will GrayFebruary 25, 2018, 6:31 pm

If the pictures of Jessica Korda from the Honda LPGA Thailand cause you to do a double-take, you're not alone.

Korda's world-class talent was on full display this week in Asia, where she won by four shots, but so too was her new-look face. The 24-year-old underwent serious jaw surgery in December, a final attempt to address a significant overbite that led to ailments ranging from facial cramping to headaches to sleep apnea.

The procedure was intense. Doctors first broke her nose, then broke her jaw in five different places - three on the top, and two on the bottom. She now has 27 screws in her face, and the physical result still requires some adjustment for a woman who now has five career LPGA wins.

"I look at pictures of myself and I don't feel like I look like that person," Korda told Golfweek. "I don't know who that is. And then I look at pictures of my old self and that doesn't look like me either."


Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand


The Dec. 7 surgery left Korda unable to eat, with her mother reportedly feeding her through a syringe for "weeks." Korda's facial structure before the surgery was such that she was only using 20 percent of her teeth when chewing food.

But despite returning to practice only six weeks ago and still dealing with lingering numbness in her face, Korda promptly dusted a world-class field in her first start back. She shot 25 under for the week, highlighted by a second-round 62, leaving the likes of Lexi Thompson and Ariya Jutanugarn in her wake.

After a difficult winter, Korda's look may have changed but her game clearly remains unaffected.

"Coming in after surgery, I didn't know what to expect," Korda told reporters. "Obviously when I look at myself, I still don't feel like I look like myself yet. That will come. I'm just very, very happy. All the hard work I was putting in in the off-season when I could has paid off rather quickly."

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 25, 2018, 4:45 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.