Gay Out Front Early at Chrysler

By Sports NetworkOctober 26, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Chrysler ChampionshipPALM HARBOR, Fla. -- Brian Gay fired a 7-under-par 64 on Thursday to take a two-shot lead over Mark Calcavecchia after the first round of the Chrysler Championship.
Calcavecchia shot a 5-under 66 at the Copperhead Course at Westin Innisbrook Resort.
Vijay Singh
2004 winner Vijay Singh is six back after a 1-under 70.
Heath Slocum, Daniel Chopra, Steve Elkington and Duffy Waldorf are knotted in third place at 4-under-par 67. Elkington and Waldorf are both on the outside of the top-125 mark on the money list needed to keep a PGA TOUR card for 2007.
This is a big week on TOUR as it is the final full-field tournament of the season. Next week is the TOUR Championship, but the real battle is for those players who have to get inside the top-125 on the money list come Sunday afternoon.
Calcavecchia is 128th, but is exempt for next year thanks to his win at the Canadian Open. He is only here to try and collect another win, but he will have to catch Gay.
Gay is not affected by the money list. He is 96th so he won't have to worry about where he'll be playing his craft next year, but he would like to collect win No. 1.
'My goal is to win golf tournaments. I win one first, then hopefully more,' said Gay. 'I think once you win, you learn a lot and then realize that you can do it.'
Gay flew out of the gate on Thursday. He knocked his third to seven feet at the par-5 first to set up birdie, then rolled in a 25-footer for birdie at the second.
Gay parred the third, but made an unlikely birdie at the par-3 fourth. He hit a 5-iron pin-high, but 40 feet left of the hole. Gay sank the long birdie putt, then tapped in a 3-footer for birdie at the fifth.
He appeared to be in trouble at the par-3 eighth when his tee shot fell near a bunker. Gay flopped his pitch over the bunker and the ball stopped 4 feet from the hole. He converted the par save to stay at 4 under par for the championship.
At the par-4 10th, Gay missed the fairway off the tee, but hit a 7-iron to the middle of the green. He sank the 30-foot birdie putt, then posted a memorable birdie at 13.
His long birdie try at the 13th stayed above ground for almost five seconds. This time the ball went in, but it reminded Gay of the 2000 Honda Classic. At that event, Gay was on the 17th hole and his putt seemed like it was going to fall in, but it took 13 seconds to sink. You are only allowed 10 seconds, so Gay was penalized.
After his sixth birdie, Gay added No. 7 at the 16th when his 8-iron approach landed eight feet from the stick. He holed the putt to take a two-shot lead.
'It was a great start,' acknowledged Gay. 'I didn't really hit it that good in the middle of the round, but I continued to putt well and when I got in trouble, I made a couple of good saves.'
Calcavecchia, who tied for ninth last week in Disney World, was only 1 under par when he made the turn. On his second side, the front nine at Westin Innisbrook, Calcavecchia started with a birdie at the first.
He recorded his first career birdie at the par-5 fifth, then drained a 6-foot birdie putt at the seventh. Calcavecchia closed out his round with a birdie at nine to get into sole possession of second place.
'I played well today,' said Calcavecchia. 'I actually never had any success here whatsoever. We caught a perfect day of weather and the scores weren't super low.'
Chad Campbell, who finished second here last year, opened with a 3-under-par 68. He is tied for seventh place with Will MacKenzie, Jeff Brehaut, Paul Goydos, Mark O'Meara, Jonathan Byrd and K.J. Choi.
The top-125 is not the only battle at hand this week. Next week is the TOUR Championship, which is exclusive to the top-30 on the money list. Ernie Els currently occupies the 30th spot and posted a 2-under 69 to open in a tie for 14th.
Carl Pettersson, who won his first PGA TOUR event here last year, carded an even-par 71 on Thursday and is part of a group tied for 46th place.
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  • Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

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    Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

    By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

    After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

     There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.

    It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

    It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

    “The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

    In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.

    Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

    Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

    “You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

    Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.

    Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

    If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

    For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

    Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.

    Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

    While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

    When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

    Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.

    After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

    The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

    That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

    The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

    While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.

    Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

    Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

    “We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

    The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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    Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

    John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

    That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

    Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

    Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

    Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.

    Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

    Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

    World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

    Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.