Furyk experiments with two drivers in Masters preparation

By Ryan LavnerApril 5, 2013, 12:06 am

SAN ANTONIO – Jim Furyk appears to be taking a page out of Phil Mickelson’s playbook, experimenting with two drivers in the bag this week in preparation for the Masters.

Why put both a 9.5- and 10.5-degree Callaway RAZR Fit driver in play?

“At my length, there are a few holes that pose an issue for me at Augusta,” Furyk said Thursday at the Valero Texas Open, where he opened with a 3-under 69 to sit two shots off the lead. “There are a few drives that have always been a thorn in my side at that course, and in the back of my mind I’ve always been trying to figure out a way.”

The experiment didn’t go well in the opening round here, however.

Furyk used the 9.5-degree driver only once and “hit it awful.” (It went left.) Because he also has been struggling on the range with the club, Furyk said he likely will use only one big stick Friday, “retool” the 9.5 degree on the range and reevaluate. At the very least, he said, he will have two drivers in the bag when he plays practice rounds next week at Augusta.

“Right now, I’m not sure that I’m flying it that much further,” Furyk said. “But when the 9.5 hits, it’s got a lot more chase. The goal would be, if I could carry it farther, that would be good for Augusta.”

The holes that Furyk could potentially use the 9.5-degree driver, conditions permitting:

• 3, to cover the bunkers if the hole location is in the back

• 8, to go for the green in two if downwind

• 9, to give him more chase down the hill

• 14, to possibly get over the hill in the fairway (depending on conditions)

• 15, to give himself a chance to reach in two

And, most notably, the par-4 17th, his annual nemesis.

“I hit that (Eisenhower) tree at least twice every year,” Furyk said. “Right now I want to find something that I can airmail that thing with.”

Unlike Mickelson, who used a fade and draw driver at Augusta in both 2006 and ’11, Furyk is simply trying to find a longer driver without sacrificing accuracy.

To make room for the extra club, Furyk subbed out his pitching and gap wedges and implemented a “weaker” pitching wedge – 48 degrees. Now, he has 48-, 55- and 60-degree wedges.

Asked if he was concerned about playing Augusta with only three wedges, not his usual four, Furyk laughed.

“The course is so damn long, the only places I have to worry about hitting a wedge is basically the par 5s, and I can lay up to wherever I want in that case,” he said. “There are no wedges out there for me. They sit there and I never hit the damn things.”

Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''


Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

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.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"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.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


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.