Course Record Earns Pappas Rd 1 Lead

By Sports NetworkJuly 28, 2005, 4:00 pm
Nationwide TourWICHITA, KS -- Deane Pappas fired a 9-under-par 62 Thursday to grab the lead after one round of the Wichita Open on the North Course at Crestview Country Club.
Tom Scherrer, a two-time winner on the Nationwide Tour, stands alone in second place at 7-under-par 64. Kevin Durkin, Shane Bertsch and Charley Hoffman are one stoke further back at minus-6.
Pappas opened with a birdie on the par-4 third, but gave that stroke back with a bogey on the sixth. The South African then got a stroke back with a 12- foot birdie putt on the eighth.
The 37-year-old made it two in a row as he birdied the ninth from five feet out. Around the turn, Pappas dropped in a birdie putt on the par-4 11th, then caught fire down the stretch.
Pappas, a two-time winner on the Nationwide Tour, two-putted for birdie at the 14th and came right back to birdie 15 from 10 feet out to get to 5-under. He wasn't done, either. Pappas birdied 16 and 17 to move into a tie for the lead.
'I hit it pretty well and putted well today,' said Pappas. 'But I'll have to keep shooting low. No one else is going to slow down.'
He then holed out from a greenside bunker for eagle at the par-5 closing hole to post a 62. That total was one stroke shy of the tournament record, but did set a new course record. It was also a career-best score for Pappas.
'I got on a roll starting on No. 14,' said Pappas. 'The last five holes seemed easy to me today. It has been a while since I've had a streak like that. You have to putt well to have a streak like that.'
Scherrer played the back nine first on Thursday and sank a birdie on the 11th, his second. However, he tripped to a bogey at the next. The 35-year-old then rolled in back-to-back birdies from the 14th to move to minus-2.
The University of North Carolina alum picked up a birdie on the 17th. Scherrer then eagled the 18th to make the turn at minus-5.
Scherrer came right back with a birdie on the first, then cooled off with five straight pars. He got to minus-7 with a birdie on the par-4 seventh before parring his final two holes.
'I'm very happy with my round,' Scherrer said. 'I obviously played very well. I feel my game is going in the right direction.'
Troy Matteson, who won the Virginia Beach Open earlier this year, opened with a 5-under-par 66. He was joined in a tie for sixth place by Camilo Villegas, Matt Weibring, Alex Aragon, Jamie Broce, Stephen Collins and Jason Schultz.
Chris Couch, who is a two-time winner this season, and Joel Kribel lead a group of players one stroke further back at minus-4.
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

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    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.