Caseys At the Bat
The latter has been the case thus far in 2000 for Casey Martin. His leg condition is deteriorating. His right to ride in a golf cart is currently in the hands of the Supreme Court. And he's struggling to maintain his PGA Tour playing privilege.
'It's been a real frustrating year,' said Martin, currently 178th on the money list. 'But all it takes is one good week to turn things around.'
This could be Casey's week.
Martin fired an 8-under-par 64 at Southern Hiland, one of three courses implored at the Invensys Classic at Las Vegas, to finish the first round within one stroke of the 18-hole lead.
Martin is in a three-way tie for second place with Olin Browne and Brad Faxon, one shot back of Bruce Lietzke.
Yes, Lietzke is back on the PGA Tour - for the 9th time this season. In fact, the 49-year-old has played in 15 less events than Martin this year, but still ranks one position higher on the money list.
Wednesday, Lietzke fired a nine birdie, no bogey round at the TPC at Summerlin. The soon-to-be Senior is seeking his 14th-career PGA Tour triumph, and first since this very event in 1994.
However, Lietzke doesn't have to worry about his playing status - he hasn't even made 20 starts in a season since 1989 - but Martin does. The former Stanford Cardinal has missed his last three cuts, and hasn't collected a top-10 all season.
Yet, just as Martin said, 'it takes just one good week to turn things around.' This would be the perfect week to do so. Over $4 million is on offer, with $765,000 going to the winner. Casey's only earned $124,000 this year.
The Invensys Classic, formerly the Las Vegas Invitational, is one of only two 90-hole events on the PGA Tour (Bob Hope Chrysler Classic). And you don't have to remind Martin of that.
'Certainly five days to think about being in contention is a bit tough,' Martin said. 'This event is huge because of the big purse, because you can make up a lot of ground in one week.'
A win this week won't only secure Martin's 2001 Tour card, but it will also place him near the top 40 on the money list with three full-field events remaining. The top 30 prior to the $5 million Tour Championship will earn a spot in the season-ending event.
One thing at a time, though.
There is a five-way tie for fifth place. Skip Kendall, John Cook, Bob May, Tom Byrum and Lee Janzen all shot 7-under-par 65s to finish the day within two strokes of the lead. May and Cook each played on the Desert Inn course, the third of the three courses in this year's rotation.
Two-time defending champion Jim Furyk is one of 22 players tied for 65th at 2-under-par. For the day, 116 of the 143 players in the field broke par.
Highlights: Woods shoots Saturday 69 at API
Tiger Woods made six birdies Sunday, including one at the home hole, to shoot 3-under 69 and move to 7 under par for the week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
When he walked off the golf course, he was four off the 11-under pace set by Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson and Bryson DeChambeau, all of whom were still on the course.
"I'm going to have to shoot a low one tomorrow, and probably get a little bit of help," Woods told Golf Channel's Steve Sands in a post-round interview. "But my responsibility is to go out there and shoot a low one first."
Woods didn't bogey the first hole on Saturday like he did the day prior - but he did drop at a shot at the par-3 second when he failed to get up and down from the bunker.
Luckily, it wouldn't take him long to get that stroke back. One hole later, at the dogleg-left, par-4 third, Woods ripped a 2-iron off the tee, hit a less-than-stellar approach long and right, and poured in this 38-footer for birdie to get back to even par on the day.
He followed with another at the par-5 fourth, smoking a drive 313 yards uphill, short-siding himself with his second shot, and playing this deft pitch to set up a tap-in 4.
After a par save from the bunker at 5, Woods missed the fairway right at the par-5 sixth, laid up with his second, spun a wedge to 15 feet with his third, and rolled in this third birdie of the day to move to 6 under for the week.
Woods' momentum was slowed by a bogey at 8, the product of an errant tee shot, and a missed birdie try at 9 left Tiger to make the turn in 1 under-35, minus-5 for the week.
He quickly returned to 6 under for the championship when he hit an approach from 186 to inside 10 feet at the par-4 11th and walked in the putt:
Following four straight pars, Woods for the second day in a row made an unlikely birdie at the par-5 16th after missing the fairway to the right and declining to layup.
Woods would drop one more shot coming in when his ball fried in the front bunker at 17, leading to a bogey, but this closing birdie at 18, his sixth of the day, got him into the clubhouse 3 under for the round and 7 under for the week. It also elicited a rare straight-down fist pump.
Two-time major champ Pettersen pregnant
PHOENIX – Suzann Pettersen is pregnant with her first child.
Pettersen’s husband, Christian Ringvold, confirmed the news with Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz.
Pettersen, 36, who married Ringvold in January of 2017, is due in the fall. The 15-time LPGA winner and two-time major champion has yet to make her first start this year. She’s an eight-time Solheim Cup veteran.
Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational
It was a 3-under 69 on Saturday for Tiger Woods for a 7-under total through three rounds. We tracked him at Bay Hill.
Tweets by GCTigerTracker
Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play
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.