Eger Seizes Lead at Pebble

By Sports NetworkSeptember 3, 2004, 4:00 pm
Champions TourPEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- David Eger posted a 5-under-par 67 on Friday to take the first-round lead of The First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.
 
D.A. Weibring is alone in second place after a 4-under-par 68.
 
This is the inaugural year of the event and it is unique on the Champions Tour. The players are paired with two junior players and an amateur. Play is spread over Pebble Beach Golf Links and Bayonet Golf Course over the first two rounds before Pebble Beach takes over on Sunday.
 
Eger opened on the back nine at Pebble Beach and collected his first birdie at the par-3 12th. He knocked a four-iron to four feet and converted the putt.
 
He went on a run of birdies shortly after the two at the 12th. Eger hit a pitching wedge to 8 feet to set up birdie at the 14th, then made it back-to-back birdies at 15 when his sandwedge approach stopped 2 feet from the hole. He tallied his third birdie in a row at the 16th after his pitching wedge second left him with a 5-footer.
 
Eger came out quickly on his second nine as he hit a 9-iron to 6 feet at the first. He sank that birdie try, then parred the following four holes. At the 520-yard, par-5 sixth, Eger missed the green, but chipped to 6 feet, where he rattled in the birdie putt.
 
Trouble loomed for Eger at the par-4 eighth. He missed the green, then chipped to 10 feet. Eger's par putt did not fall into the cup, but the 52- year-old winner of last year's MasterCard Classic still has the lead after round one.
 
'I'd never played anything here before,' admitted Eger. 'Pebble Beach was benign today. There was no wind really and the greens aren't too hard or firm. I played well and saved pars when I needed to.'
 
Weibring, who tied for fourth last week at the Tradition, also started on the back nine at Pebble Beach on Friday. He sank a 20-foot birdie putt at the 10th, then holed an 8-foot birdie putt at the 15th and a 20-footer for birdie at 18 to make the turn at 3-under 33.
 
Weibring looked like he was going to distance himself from the field with his play early on his second nine. He holed a 12-foot birdie putt at the first and made it two in a row thanks to an up-and-down birdie from off the green at the par-5 second.
 
Things went downhill for Weibring shortly after the back-to-back birdies at one and two. He missed an 8-footer for par at the third, then found a greenside bunker at the par-3 fifth. Weibring could not save par from the sand, but did get within one of the lead at six, when he two-putted for birdie from 25 feet.
 
'I had a beautiful morning to play,' said Weibring. 'It's always great to come back here to Pebble Beach. I think the pros have been more excited than the kids are.'
 
Tom Watson, who won the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, shot a 2-under 70 and is tied for third place with reigning U.S. Senior Open winner Peter Jacobsen, Rodger Davis, Bruce Lietzke, Tom Purtzer, Jose Maria Canizares, Bruce Summerhays, Mike Reid, Gary Koch, and Jay Haas, who will be representing the United States in the Ryder Cup in two weeks.
 
Craig Stadler, who won last week's Tradition and is the elder circuit's leading money winner, shot an even-par 72 and is part of a large group tied for 19th place. Fuzzy Zoeller, Lanny Wadkins, Gil Morgan and Don January, who is making his first start in an official Champions Tour event since 1999, are also part of the logjam at even-par 72.
 
Related Links:
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.