Five Share Lead at Rainy Reno

By Sports NetworkAugust 21, 2003, 4:00 pm
RENO, Nev. -- Bob Tway, Steve Pate, Paul Stankowski, Andy Miller and Kirk Triplett posted matching rounds of 5-under-par 67 on Thursday to share the lead during the first round of the Reno-Tahoe Open.
Play was suspended due to thunderstorms in the area and the first round is slated to resume at 11:00 AM EDT. There were two suspensions on Thursday and nearly an inch of rain washed out Montreux Golf & Country Club.
Tway tallied a pair of birdies on the front nine but his round got going with a 50-foot birdie putt at the 11th. He added another birdie two holes later after he sank a 10-footer and he closed his round with a 20-footer for birdie at the last.
'It's always nice to shoot a good round,' said Tway, who won the 1986 PGA Championship but has not won on tour since 1995. 'It means nothing. We've got way too much golf left. It's nice to get off to a good start.'
Pate began his first round on the back nine and things did not get off to a good start. He drove into a bush at the 10th but his ball came to rest on the cart path where he received a free drop. Pate knocked an 8-iron to 20 feet and ran home the birdie putt.
Pate recorded birdies at 12 and 15 but did not record his next birdie until the par-5 fourth hole. He joined the logjam atop the leaderboard with a birdie at the eighth hole.
'I was real lucky,' said Pate, who owns six victories on the PGA Tour. 'I've been doing a lot of stuff real well for a couple of months.'
Stankowski got his round started with a 15-foot birdie putt at the 10th and a four-footer at the next hole. He birdied the 17th and tallied back-to-back birdies at three and four to claim his piece of first place.
Stankowski has missed significant time in the 2003 campaign after wrist surgery. He came back at the Western Open but it was too soon and the pain was so severe he withdrew. On Thursday, Stankowski was worried that he might have forgotten what it was like to compete on tour but the quick start soothed his doubts.
'I didn't know if I'd remember how to play after being off so long, but I birdied the first two holes and that pretty much got me going,' said Stankowski, a two-time winner on tour. 'It's so good to be back out.'
Miller, son of former player and current NBC analyst Johnny Miller, recorded an eagle, four birdies and a pair of bogeys before he reached the 616-yard, par-5 ninth hole. He missed the green left with his second shot but hit a wedge to seven feet to make birdie and join the pack in the lead.
'I hit it great today, what can I say?' said Miller. 'I hit every single fairway and really only had one three-putt hiccup.'
Triplett, who attended the University of Nevada, opened on the back nine and birdied the 15th then nearly aced the par-3 16th when his 7-iron hit the flagstick. He settled for birdie at 16 then birdied four of his first five holes on the second nine.
Triplett could have had sole possession of the lead but a bogey at the par-3 seventh cost him first place to himself.
'I'm thrilled,' said Triplett, who withdrew from last week's PGA Championship with a back injury. 'I don't want to say I've been playing awful, but I have. I think I hurt my back because I was swinging so bad.'
Dennis Paulson, Luke Donald, J.P. Hayes and Cameron Beckman carded rounds of 4-under-par 68 to share sixth place. Rod Pampling, who shared the first-round lead of the PGA Championship, is 4 under par through seven holes.
Related Links
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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.'"

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    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.