Toms shoots 62 to share lead at Colonial

By Associated PressMay 20, 2011, 2:11 am

FORT WORTH, Texas – David Toms is starting to again feel the kind of confidence he had when he was winning tournaments and consistently ranked among the PGA Tour’s best players. That disappointing near-miss before Colonial isn’t shaking him.

Four days after losing a playoff at The Players Championship, Toms shot his best score in more than five years and his best opening round ever. His bogey-free 8-under 62 on Thursday gave him a share of the first-round lead at Colonial with Chez Reavie.

“It was one of those days where the hole just looked big,” Toms said. “This round certainly helps me get past what happened last week at the end.”

After forcing a playoff with K.J. Choi at TPC Sawgrass with a rare birdie at the 18th hole, Toms missed a short par putt at the famed No. 17 island hole that would have extended play. Still, that was Toms’ third top-five finish in a stretch of seven tournaments.

“It is nice to be playing good again,” the 44-year-old Toms said. “Certainly, I’m not going to try to figure out why. … I just go out there and play.”

His start at Hogan’s Alley was his best score in 429 rounds – since a career-best 61 at the Sony Open in Hawaii in January 2006. That was the last of his 12 PGA Tour victories, and at the end of a stretch of eight years when he finished the season ranked 11th or better six times, including three times in the top five.

The 62s by Toms and Reavie matched the lowest 18-hole scores on the PGA Tour this season, and were the best for an opening round. Reavie bettered his career-best round by two strokes.

Rickie Fowler shot a 63, missing a chance to tie the tournament record after his approach on his final hole, the 407-yard No. 9, hit the green and spun back into the water. He closed with a double-bogey 6 in a round that included an eagle, eight birdies and a three-putt bogey from 6 1/2 feet at the par-3 16th.

Fowler made a 20-foot eagle putt on the par-5 first hole and was 8 under over an eight-hole stretch before hitting his tee shot at his final hole left of a bunker into the rough before his penalized approach. And he still had a 29 on the front side.

“It’s a sorry way to finish the round, but I hit it really well, putted well,” Fowler said. “A 29 with a double is not too bad. … I’m excited to be playing well this week and kind of draw off the good out there today. A 63 to start off with is pretty awesome.”

Brendon de Jonge, Stewart Cink, Brian Gay, Nathan Green and Charlie Wi each shot 64s, a stroke better than Rod Pampling, Mark Wilson and John Senden. Wi was the only of the top 11 scorers who played in the afternoon, when more wind made conditions tougher.

Toms shot 31s on both nines at Colonial, starting on the back and wrapping up both sides with long birdie putts. His 27-foot putt at No. 18 started a stretch of three consecutive birdies, and he punctuated his round with a 29-foot birdie putt on the ninth hole.

Though he hit only six of 14 fairways, Toms needed just 24 putts.

“It was one of those days where I saw the lines. I had a lot of putts that barely broke right, barely broke left,” he said. “I had a lot of uphill-type putts where you could be aggressive. It’s just one of those days where everything seemed to go right.”

Colonial has always been one of Toms’ favorite tournaments, and he called it “great, great timing” to be this week after what happened at The Players Championship.

Toms wants to win again to prove to himself that he still can, so it will take more than an impressive rebound round to fully satisfy himself.

“I still need to put all those four rounds together. I was able to do that somewhat last week,” Toms said. “I had times back in the early 2000s where I won by a bunch. You know, played with the lead a lot of times and was able to maintain it and increase that. Until I’m able to do that again, I’ll still have that doubt.

“But I do feel good about my game certainly,” he said. “I’ll just keep plugging along, maybe get one here sometime soon.”

Reavie is making a comeback from reconstructive surgery on his right knee last year, when he matched his career-best round of 64 at the Byron Nelson Championship in May before being diagnosed with a second meniscus tear in his knee.

“It’s just great to be out there,” Reavie said. “It feels great. It swells up some, but it’s not from the golf. It’s from the walking. I wake up the next day and feel great. It’s much better than it was.”

Though he made the cut in six of his first 10 tournaments this season while playing on a major medical exemption, Reavie has finished inside the top 40 only once and needs a big check soon. He needs to make $464,707 over this and his next two tournaments to maintain his full PGA Tour exemption for the rest of this season.

The $6.2 million purse at the Colonial includes $1.116 million for the winner, $669,600 for second place and $421,600 for third.

DIVOTS: Keith Clearwater, the 1987 Colonial champion and one of six players with rounds of 61 at Colonial, had 18 pars Thursday. … Anthony Kim opened with four consecutive birdies and was 5 under through six holes. But he bogeyed three of the last six holes and finished with a 67. .. Defending champion Zach Johnson had three bogeys and five birdies in a round of 68.

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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.

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.