Watson Jones share Zurich Classic lead

By Associated PressApril 29, 2011, 4:52 am

2006 Zurich ClassicAVONDALE, La. – Bubba Watson entered the Zurich Classic as a favor to his mother.

“My mom really wanted me to come,” said Watson, tied for first-round lead with Matt Jones after opening with a 6-under 66 on Thursday. “My mom always comes to this golf tournament, so when my mom says she wants to come, I’m here. And somehow I shot 6 under today.”

Watson, the winner at Torrey Pines in late January, two-putted from 32 feet for eagle on the par-5 11th and had six birdies and two bogeys at TPC Louisiana – far from his favorite course.

“The way the course is, it just doesn’t fit my eye the way it is,” Watson said. “It’s a great golf course, a great layout. For me, it’s just not one that I want to play every day.

“Today, it just worked out. I hit my driver really well. I’ve been hitting it good all year, but I made some putts and hit some good iron shots and somehow came out 6 under.”

Jones chipped in from 57 feet for a birdie on his final hole.

“I pitched it perfectly,” Jones said. “It grabbed a little and just trickled in nicely.”

Jones had eight birdies and two bogeys. Playing the back nine first, the Australian reeled off four consecutive birdies beginning at the par-4 16th. He followed with a 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th, an 11-footer on the 18th and a 20-foot putt on the first.

Jones and put in a lot of work this week with swing coach Gary Barter.

“My hands are pretty sore, actually, after all the work we’ve done,” Jones said. “So it’s coming slowly. Today we saw some positives out of what we’ve been doing.”

Watson and Jones played in the afternoon in better scoring conditions after a strong north wind made morning play more difficult.

“The guys set it up pretty well with the conditions that we had out there with the wind and everything,” Jones said. “The greens are perfect. And I played well. … I actually made a lot of putts today and chipped in on the last to finish the round, which is good.”

Joe Durant, Tommy Gainey, Carl Pettersson, John Rollins, Nick O’Hern and David Duval opened with 67s. Durant played in the morning.

“I think I just stayed patient,” said Durant, sixth last week at Hilton Head. “Some of the pins were in some difficult spots so you had to kind of shoot away from them. I played around here enough to know what it’s going to do with different winds.”

Gainey was third last week.

“I think the momentum from last week is definitely with me,” he said.

Luke Donald, a playoff loser last week at Hilton Head in a failed bid to jump from No. 3 to No. 1 in the world, shot a 68 to match Matt Bettencourt, Webb Simpson, Jason Dufner, Charles Howell and 2002 winner K.J. Choi. Hilton Head winner Brandt Snedeker opened with a 77. He had a triple bogey on the par-3 ninth when he hit his tee shot in the water.

Rickie Fowler and Steve Stricker shot 70s, U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell had a 73, and Vijay Singh opened with a 74. Singh, critical of the Pete Dye-designed layout, had a double bogey on the 18th hole.

John Daly struggled to a 9-over 81. Daly was 2 over through 14 holes, then played his last four in 7 over. He had a triple bogey on the par-4 16th after hitting two shots into the water.

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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.

Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.


Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.

Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.