Tired Ol Jack Ch-Ch-Changes No Rain

By Golf Channel NewsroomMay 30, 2003, 4:00 pm
DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) -- It's not easy hosting a big party. It gets harder every year for 63-year-old Jack Nicklaus.
 
The founder and host of the Memorial Tournament yawned during interviews Thursday after shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round.
 
Jack NicklausHe made no apologies.
 
'I was so tired last night when I got done,' Nicklaus said. 'We're eating dinner about 8:30, 9 o'clock and we had some folks over, my sister's family. I just said, 'I'm going to bed.''
 
Apparently he still didn't get enough rest.
 
After completing his round, he was asked whether he felt he needed to spend more time on the putting green or the practice range, Nicklaus said, 'I think I'll probably go to bed and take a nap.'
 
CHANGES:
 
Count David Duval among those players who believe the 10 new greens at Muirfield Village Golf Club have made a huge difference.
 
David DuvalTrying to shake an extended slump, Duval said he played better than he scored in an opening-round 73 at the Memorial Tournament on Thursday.
 
'You can tell there's a big change,' he said. 'All of them are a little different, some of the breaks are a little different. It'll take some getting used to.'
 
Nicklaus, who designed the course, recontoured 10 greens and reseeded all 18 last fall. He also completely restructured the 17th hole to provide less room in the landing area for drives and to penalize those who strayed off the fairway or missed the green.
 
'The golf course played great,' said Nicklaus, who shot a 76. 'The greens were a nice speed. You had to be careful with your putts but yet they weren't ridiculous by any means.'
 
Lee Janzen played in the same group with Nicklaus. He said he has yet to get a handle on the new 17th.
 
'It's a much harder hole. I can't quite figure out how to play the hole yet,' he said. 'It's going to be an interesting tee shot, but the green is really probably the hardest shot on the hole. I hit a high and soft cut 5-iron today, but I was on the right side of the fairway so I didn't have the best angle. My ball hit and ran through the green. I know that a lot of guys are not going to be able to hit the green unless they hit the perfect shot.'
 
HUSTON'S PROBLEM:
 
A misunderstanding has forced John Huston to go through qualifying for the U.S. Open on Tuesday.
 
Huston spent the last month lounging around his home in Florida, recuperating from injuries to his shoulder and elbow. While he was away, he fell a spot in the world rankings.
 
The top 50 players in the world after last week's Bank of America Colonial received automatic spots in the U.S. Open. Trevor Immelman finished second in the Deutsche Bank - SAP Open TPC of Europe, moved up to No. 38 and dropped Huston one spot, to 51st.
 
Had Huston put in a productive week at the Colonial, he might have retained his reserved spot in the Open.
 
'If I would have felt a little bit better with my shoulder, I probably would have tried to play Colonial,' Huston said. 'I could have just as easily gone up a couple of spots.'
 
Huston is scheduled to go through qualifying at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md., close to next week's Tour stop at the FBR Capital Open.
 
DRIVE FOR SHOW:
 
Hank Kuehne belted a 339-yard drive on the par-4 closing hole and had just 77 yards left to the pin for his second shot. Kuehne hit his second shot 14 feet from the pin. He missed the putt and settled for par that capped a 5-over 77.
 
The drive of leader Charles Howell III on the 18th covered just 274 yards -- 65 less than Kuehne. Howell had 148 yards left to the hole and his 9-iron approach ended up 45 feet from the pin.
 
Howell, however, rolled in the birdie putt to cap an 8-under 64 for a one-stroke lead over Kenny Perry.
 
DIVOTS

Woody Austin took it out on himself -- punching himself three times in the thigh -- after missing a short putt to finish with a triple-bogey 7 on 18. Had he parred the hole, he would have been tied for second place with a 65. Instead, he's tied for 11th and four shots back.
Told that a thunderstorm was scheduled to hit the course late in the day, defending champion Jim Furyk said, 'What's new?' Only four rounds -- including Thursday -- in the last 14 years did not have some kind of rain delay.
Perry, in second place after winning the Colonial last week, is 24-under in his last four rounds.
 
Related Links
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


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    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.