Wi Surprising Leader at Honda Classic

By Associated PressMarch 1, 2007, 5:00 pm
2006 Honda ClassicPALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Charlie Wi was playing in the John Deere Classic two years ago when some fans recognized him.
 
That is, they thought they recognized him.
 
'My caddie overheard one of the spectators saying, 'Oh, that's Michelle Wie's dad. He got a sponsor invite, too,'' said Wi, who -- like Wie -- missed the cut at the John Deere in July 2005. 'I thought that was hilarious.'
 
If Wi continues to play the way he did Thursday, more people will know who he really is.
 
Bolstered by a birdie-birdie finish, Wi shot a 5-under 65 in windy conditions at PGA National, giving him a one-shot lead over Bernhard Langer after one round of the Honda Classic. He missed only two fairways, connected on 17 of 20 putts inside 25 feet, and made a 40-footer for birdie at the par-4 13th.
 
'Today was definitely my day hitting the ball,' said Wi, who has made only 14 cuts in 30 previous PGA TOUR starts, but finished tied for ninth earlier this year at the Buick Invitational to make a career-best $130,000. 'And I'm really happy that when you have the opportunity, you capitalize on it. That's really important to me.'
 
Marco Dawson, Robert Allenby, Joe Ogilvie and Cliff Kresge shot 67s on a day marked by 20 mph wind and even higher gusts. Brandt Snedeker, 2005 winner Padraig Harrington, Davis Love III and Brett Wetterich were among those who opened with 68s, and Jim Furyk led a group of four another shot back at 69.
 
Allenby was 4 under after four holes thanks in part to an eagle at No. 3, where he hit a 'ripper' of a drive, then knocked a 3-wood to 40 feet and made the putt.
 
'You know it's tough,' Allenby said, 'so you've just got to persevere.'
 
John Daly found conditions especially tough, and that had nothing to do with the course.
 
Daly withdrew after suffering what was announced as a rib injury on the 12th tee, his third hole of the day. He tried to stop his swing when he heard a fan's camera clicking, tried to hit another tee ball, said he couldn't handle the pain and went off to seek treatment in the tour's medical trailer. He declined comment.
 
Like Daly, the 49-year-old Langer got in the field on a sponsor's exemption.
 
Unlike Daly, he left PGA National in a fairly upbeat mood.
 
Langer, who teed off in the opening 6:45 a.m. group -- and got a 4 a.m. wake-up call -- bogeyed his opening hole, but made nothing but birdies and pars the rest of the way. He hit 15 greens in regulation, helping him score on a course playing longer than its 7,048 yards.
 
'I can only hit it so far. So you've just got to hit more clubs into the greens,' said Langer, the two-time Masters winner. 'What is key you is need to keep is in the short grass. I think it's extremely tough to score from the rough here. You need to drive the ball in the fairway and then try and hit greens.'
 
Easier said than done, of course. Just 20 of 142 finishers broke par, and the day's average score was just shy of 3-over 73.
 
'The golf course isn't all that long on the card, but it's playing very soft,' Furyk said. 'I've got holes where I'm not getting hardly any roll at all. I'm picking up some mud on the ball on some drives. The course is playing lush and that gives us a chance. If the greens were firm and fast, whoo, look out.'
 
Defending champion Luke Donald, seeking to avoid missing the cut in three straight stroke-play events, shot 77, good for a tie for 118th.
 
Wi, who missed the cut in three of his first five tour events this season, arrived here Monday and quickly determined the course to be one of the hardest he's seen. Yet even after a couple solid practice rounds and Thursday's best round, he knows there's still a lot more to do if he's truly going to contend this weekend.
 
'It's just Thursday,' Wi said. 'We've got three more rounds to go.'
 
DIVOTS
Paul Azinger (back spasms) and Fred Funk (back pain) withdrew, Azinger before the round and Funk after shooting 73. Azinger's early morning withdrawl gave Michael Allen a spot in the field; Allen opened with double-bogey and shot 77. ... Ryuji Imada withdrew after going 6 over on the first nine. ... Brad Faxon (77) took a triple-bogey 8 on the 18th hole, capping a five-hole stretch where he shot 6 over.
 
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  • Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

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    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


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    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

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    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

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    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

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    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

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    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee: