Bradley fires opening 60, sets course record

By Will GrayMay 16, 2013, 5:34 pm

Having notched his first career PGA Tour win at TPC Four Seasons two years ago, Keegan Bradley likely has a stockpile of positive memories upon which to draw while playing the Dallas layout. In Thursday's opening round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship, the former PGA champion created several more.

Among the first players out in the morning wave with lift, clean and place conditions in effect, Bradley played his final three holes of the day in 4 under, grabbing the lead with a 10-under 60 that broke the course record in the process. The previous record, 61, was set by Billy Mayfair in 1993 and matched by current Golf Channel analyst Charlie Rymer in 1996, Justin Leonard in 2001 and Cameron Beckman in 2010.

'I was able to matchup unbelievable ball-striking with great putting,' Bradley said after the round. 'I drove the ball great so I had the ball in my hand pretty much all day long.'

Improbably, Bradley carded the ultra-low score despite a pair of bogeys. Beginning on the back nine, he notched five birdies in a six-hole stretch from Nos. 11-16, turning in 4-under 31. After bogeys at Nos. 18 and 1 dropped the three-time PGA Tour winner to 3 under, Bradley went on a tear. Birdies on holes 2, 3 and 5 were followed by an approach to the par-5 seventh hole that left less than 11 feet for eagle, a putt that moved him to 8 under.

Bradley then birdied the par-4 eighth hole, his 17th of the day, despite driving into a fairway bunker. Needing a par to tie the course record, he ended in style, landing his approach from 137 yards just 3 feet from the pin. The closing birdie, his 10th of the day, broke the course record and gave Bradley a three-shot lead over Charl Schwartzel when his round ended.

'First and foremost I want to win the tournament,' he added. 'This puts me in great position to do so.'

At day's end, Bradley's stats at TPC Four Seasons were remarkable: one eagle, 10 birdies, two bogeys, 24 putts, 15 of 18 greens hit in regulation and a front-nine 29, his second nine of the day, that tied the low nine-hole mark this year on the PGA Tour.

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

Tiger Woods teed off at 12:15PM ET alongside Justin Rose for Round 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.

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Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

In fact, she named her “Mona.”

For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

And that has her excited about this year.

Well, that and having a healthy back again.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.