Damron Fast Out of the Gate

By Marty HenwoodJuly 24, 2003, 4:00 pm
VICTORIA, British Columbia -- Patrick Damron may have his work cut out for him if he his sights set on catching older brother Robert in career earnings, but Thursdays opening round of the Canadian Tours Victoria Open was a good start.
 
The 24-year-old Orlando, Fla., resident opened with a 7-under 63 at historic Royal Colwood GC and will take a two-shot lead on White Rock, B.C.s Richard Zokol and former Tour member Steve Schneiter into play Friday. Michael Harris is three shots back, while Zoltan Veress and Americans Dave Christensen, Robert Hamilton, Ben Pettitt, Chris Wollmann and Stephen Woodard came in at 3-under 67.
 
Damron, who has made three of five cuts in his rookie season with a best showing of 13th in Austin, Texas, earlier this year, recently qualified for the PGA Tours Western Open. His older sibling, who played the Canadian Tour in 1996, has made $3.7 million on the PGA Tour and won the 2001 Byron Nelson Classic. Still, the younger Damron never gets tired of being referred to as Roberts younger brother.
 
It doesnt bother me at all, things could be a lot worse, said Damron. Facts are facts, and I am very proud of what Robert has been able to accomplish. Ill never mind being called his brother.
 
On Thursday, playing one of the most renowned courses in Canada, Damron turned in a scorecard that featured seven birdies and no bogeys. After missing every green in regulation over the first four holes, he began to find his groove and found a hot touch with the putter. With a course record-tying 62 hinging on an 8-foot birdie putt on 18, Damron left the stroke hanging just over top of the cup. Royal Colwood features a spectacular setting, with the fairways lined with towering fir and hemlock trees, and Damron knows the key to the week will be keeping it straight off the tee.
 
I like this course a lot, youve just got to avoid those huge trees. If the ball even touches one of those, it is dropping straight down or wont be found. But it is a beautiful track, and it was a good start for me.
 
Playing in his first Canadian Tour event since 2000, Zokol, himself a PGA Tour champion, had a rough start, snap-hooking his tee shot on the par-4 opening hole before getting up and down for par. He then followed that up with another par save on number two. After reaching the par-5 fifth in two, Zokol appeared to have a tap-in for birdie. But as he addressed his ball, he accidentally ground his putter, causing the ball to move slightly. While playing partners Michael Harris and Rob Johnson did not see the infraction, Zokol gave himself a penalty stroke on his way to a bogey-6. After informing a Tour Rules Official, Zokol went on to birdie the next hole.
 
Well, I prefer to think of it as a three-putt with a penalty, he said with a smirk when asked by a reporter if the fifth hole should be considered a four-putt. But, see, get a clear conscience and get birdie on the next hole.
 
Zokol earned his way back onto the PGA Tour thanks to a 13th-place finish on the Nationwide Tour money list in 2001. His 2002 campaign was cut short when he needed surgery to repair an arthritic joint in his right toe, and he is playing this PGA season on a medical exemption. But it hasnt gone as planned for Zokol this year. Hampered by constant back problems, the two-time World Cup team member has made just one cut in ten starts.
 
This week, he is playing in his home province, at a course he hadnt seen since the 1976 Canadian Amateur Championship. But being from B.C. and having had the chance to play the track all week, Zokol knows when the sun shines as it did Thursday, Royal Colwood is without a doubt one of Canadas golf treasures.
 
Just another beautiful day in B.C. If you get a day like this, you wont find a better environment to play than a course like this. Its a remarkable golf course, and always seems to play better than the time before. Its an absolute jewel.
 

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Victoria Open
  • Victoria Open Leaderboard
  • Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

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

    Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

    An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.



    Original story:

    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.