DiMarco Leads BellSouth

By Sports NetworkApril 3, 2003, 5:00 pm
DULUTH, Ga. -- Chris DiMarco shot a 5-under 67 Thursday to take the lead after the opening round of the BellSouth Classic. DiMarco finished with a one-shot edge over a group of players that includes defending champion Retief Goosen.
 
Goosen was joined by Billy Andrade, Bob Burns, Aaron Barber, Brad Lardon and Jay Williamson in a tie for second at 4-under-par 68.
 
'Today was one of the better swinging rounds I've had where I was consistent with my iron play and had a lot of really good shots at the hole,' said DiMarco, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour. 'I was very much in control of my game.'
 
DiMarco, who has posted three top-10 finishes so far this year, got things started at the TPC at Sugarloaf with a birdie at the fifth. He then hit a sand wedge to four feet for a birdie at the par-5 sixth.
 
The 34-year-old birdied the par-4 ninth and converted a six-foot putt for a birdie at the par-5 10th. At the par-4 14th, DiMarco drained a 15-foot putt for a birdie and followed that up with a 20-footer for a birdie at the next hole.
 
DiMarco, who finished in a tie for 23rd at this event last year, stumbled with a bogey at the 17th but managed to hang on to the clubhouse lead as players start to ready themselves for the for the first major of 2003, the Masters, next week at Augusta National.
 
'It was definitely tough out there. The course isn't playing that long but the greens are like rocks,' said DiMarco. 'I like this course especially when it plays like this. I think it plays better fast and hard. There's some really hard holes out here.'
 
Goosen opened with a birdie at the first but stumbled with a bogey at the very next hole. The South African made the turn at even-par, but caught fire on the back side.
 
He birdied the 10th and two-putted for a birdie at the 13th. At the 16th, Goosen hit a 6-iron to six feet for a birdie and drained a five-foot putt at the 17th to finish one shot off the lead.
 
'I obviously feel pretty comfortable around this course. I like the way it sets up for me, and I like the greens,' said Goosen. 'Although it's playing shorter and the fairways are running. The greens are much more difficult to get close to the flags.'
 
Rookie John Morgan held a share of the lead with DiMarco, but found trouble at the ninth, his last, with a double bogey.
 
The young Englishman was joined by Fred Couples, Lee Janzen, Paul Stankowski, Mark Calcavecchia, Paul Azinger and Joey Sindelar in a tie for eighth at 3-under-par 69.
 
'We all know you have to putt well out here to score well,' said Stankowski. 'You've got to hit good shots. You can't just hit it all over the lot here.'
 
J.J. Henry, Mike Heinen, Bob Tway, Brandt Jobe, John Huston, Tom Pernice Jr. and Olin Browne finished three shots off the lead at 2-under-par 70.
 
Phil Mickelson, who is making his first start since the birth of his third child, had four birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey to finish in a tie for 57th at 1-over-par 73.
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the BellSouth Classic
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  • Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."