Byrd takes clubhouse lead at Riviera

By Doug FergusonFebruary 16, 2012, 11:14 pm

LOS ANGELES – The wind was blowing so hard when Jonathan Byrd woke up in his rental house on the Pacific bluffs that he worried about having to play Riviera. It worked out just fine Thursday in the Northern Trust Open.

Byrd had beautiful control of his irons for a 3-under 68, giving him the lead among early starters in gusts up to 20 mph.

“I wanted to go back to bed,” Byrd said.

Instead, he ran off three birdies in his opening seven holes and kept the mistakes to a minimum, dropping a shot on the 18th that was into the wind and kept him from reaching the green on the par 4.

K.J. Choi and Brendan Steele each opened with a 69, while world No. 1 Luke Donald was among those at 70.

The wind was so fierce – and it doesn’t take much at Riviera – that only seven players among the 72 who had morning tee times broke par. The others were Bubba Watson, Justin Rose and David Hearn, who double-bogeyed his last hole.

Pebble Beach winner Phil Mickelson was among those playing in the afternoon, with no letup from the wind. It was expected to be strong through Friday.

If Byrd were to stay in the lead by the end of the day, the 68 would be the highest score to lead after the opening round at Riviera since 1984, when seven players shot 70.

Byrd is sharing a house this week with several players, including Stewart Cink, Phoenix Open winner Kyle Stanley and Zach Johnson. They all played in the afternoon.

“We’re staying up on a bluff about five miles away,” he said. “I got out of bed this morning and walked outside, and I was pretty anxious about playing this golf course today because it was howling on top of that bluff. And it whipped all day. My approach was just to keep it in play and have a pretty conservative game plan.”

It worked better than he imagined. Byrd two-putted for birdie on the easy opening hole, stuffed a lob wedge into 5 feet on No. 3 and hit what he thinks was his best shot on the seventh, an 8-iron to a back pin for another short birdie.

The wind was out of the northeast, which is rare for Riviera, and while most of the holes are downwind, it was hard to get the ball close. Byrd said it helped that the greens were softer than he expected, a product of PGA Tour officials aware of how nasty it could get in the wind.

Choi loves playing in the wind – he gets his share of that in Dallas – but this was different.

“What makes Riviera Country Club so difficult is the targets are very small,” Choi said. “But if you have control of what you’re doing, then obviously it’s going to make it easier.”

What made it easy for Choi was a solid short game. He chipped it so well he rarely had to stress over par.

Bob Estes, who had been playing well to start the year, opened with an 80, which included a three-putt for double bogey on No. 17 from about 3 feet.

UCLA sophomore Patrick Cantlay, who made the cut in every PGA Tour event he played last year, opened with an 80. The Northern Trust Open also gave an exemption to Texas freshman Jordan Spieth, who had a 76.

Anthony Kim, in his hometown tournament, shot 78.

The average score from the morning wave was 73.8.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm