Fernandez Leads in Florida

By Sports NetworkFebruary 14, 2003, 5:00 pm
NAPLES, Fla. -- Vicente Fernandez of Argentina posted a 6-under 66 Friday to lead after the opening round of the ACE Group Classic. Fernandez finished one stroke clear of Bruce Fleisher, Jim Thorpe and Mike McCullough.
Fernandez played the back nine first at TwinEagles Golf Club and found trouble out of the gate with a bogey at the 10th. He responded with a birdie at the par-3 12th and added a birdie at the 17th to make the turn at minus-1.
The 56-year-old caught fire on the front side and knocked an 8-iron to 10 feet for a birdie at the first. At the par-5 third, Fernandez two-putted for the first of three consecutive birdies to reach 5-under.
Fernandez held a share of the lead until the par-4 seventh. He dropped a 9-iron within two feet and converted for birdie to take the lead.
'I struck the ball well,' said Fernandez, a three-time winner on the Champions Tour. 'I took advantage of the iron shots I hit close to the hole.
'I didn't practice much during the off-season. Only played the Argentinean Open and the Argentinean PGA. I built up my golf appetite and when this year started, I really wanted to play.'
Thorpe bogeyed the par-4 fourth for his only mistake of the day. At the ninth, he hit a pitching wedge to five feet to begin a stretch of five straight birdies. Thorpe then got up and down for a birdie at the 17th and a round of 67.
'I drove the ball better today that I have in a while,' said Thorpe. 'This is a good course for me. If I play my game I'll be ok.'
Dave Barr, who became the first Canadian to win on the Champions Tour with his victory at the Royal Caribbean Golf Classic last week, had six birdies and two bogeys for a round of 68. Barr finished alongside Tom Watson, Bobby Walzel, Gil Morgan, Jim Dent, Bruce Summerhays, Gary Koch, Tom Jenkins, Isao Aoki, Terry Dill and David Eger in a tie for fifth.
Defending champion Hale Irwin struggled on the front nine with one birdie and two bogeys. The all-time winner on the Champions Tour found his groove with a birdie at the par-4 11th and added back-to-back birdies starting at the par-5 13th.
Irwin eagled the par-5 17th but found trouble with a bogey at the last to finish at 3-under-par 69. Irwin was joined by Wayne Levi and Mark Pfeil in a tie for 16th.
Des Smyth, the medalist at the Champions Tour's 2002 National Qualifying Tournament, made his debut on the circuit with a 2-under 70. The Irishman, who is the oldest player to ever win an event on the European Tour, is part of a group that features Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw.
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the ACE Group Classic
  • Full coverage of the ACE Group Classic
  • Champions Tour Finds a New Home on The Golf Channel
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    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

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    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

    Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''

    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.