Goosen Perry Set Sony Pace

By Sports NetworkJanuary 16, 2003, 5:00 pm
HONOLULU - Retief Goosen and Kenny Perry fired matching rounds of 6-under-par 64 Thursday to share the opening-round lead of the Sony Open in Hawaii.
 
This week's event at Waialae Country Club is the PGA Tour's first full-field event of 2003. Last week's Mercedes Championships was reserved for winners from the 2002 PGA Tour calendar.
 
Chris DiMarco, Chris Riley and Brenden Pappas are tied for third place at 5-under 65.
 
Ernie Els, who posted the PGA Tour's lowest score in relation to par (31-under) at last week's Mercedes Championships, headlines a group at 4-under 66. Robert Gamez, Dicky Pride, Chris Smith, Shigeki Maruyama, Chad Campbell, Aaron Baddeley, Peter Lonard and Fred Funk joined Els in sixth place.
 
Goosen, the 2001 U.S. Open champion, was the first of the leaders into the clubhouse and it was a magnificent approach at the par-5 18th that put him there. He landed a 3-iron from 245 yards 15 feet from the hole and sank the eagle putt to reach 64.
 
'Just a soft 3-iron,' said Goosen, referring to the sensational shot at No. 18.
 
Goosen holed a clutch 15-footer for par at the fifth and that seemed to spark the remainder of his front nine. He drained an eight-foot birdie putt at six and made it two birdies in a row with a 15-footer at No. 7. Goosen two-putted from 30 feet at the par-5 ninth to polish off a front-nine, 3-under-par 32.
 
'I holed a good par putt at No. 5 and that got me going,' said Goosen, who outlasted Mark Brooks in a playoff to win the U.S. Open at Southern Hills. 'It was dead calm this morning but it was a club wind on the back nine.'
 
The South African made a 25-foot birdie putt at the 10th but collected seven pars in a row until the eagle at 18.
 
'The putter went dry in the middle of the round,' said Goosen. 'This week will be tough with the wind. It's a very tricky course with the wind - small greens and heavy rough.'
 
Perry, who lost a playoff to Brooks in a major, the 1996 PGA Championship, got off to a poor start with a three-putt bogey from 12 feet at the first. He recorded seven straight pars from there until a long eagle putt at nine.
 
Perry caught fire on Waialae's back nine with five birdies en route to a back-nine 30 and a piece of the first-round lead for the second year in a row at this event.
 
'I've been working on some new shots, and my caddie said this would be a practice-round week,' said Perry, whose last victory on tour came at the 2001 Buick Open. 'All of a sudden, I started executing some flawless shots.'
 
Els struggled with two bogeys in his first five holes but tallied an eagle, five birdies and a bogey the rest of the way for his 66.
 
'I had to find my bearings again,' Els said. 'It was a tough mental battle, but once I got over that, I thought about playing my game. It was a good round to establish a good score and get stuck into the week.'
 
The reigning British Open champion knows that this week will be more challenging than last week's scoring feast at Kapalua Resort.
 
'It's a lot more difficult to score on this golf course with a lot of par-4s and par-3s,' Els said. 'We don't normally kill those holes; we normally kill the par-5s.'
 
Vijay Singh, Sergio Garcia and Jim Furyk were part of a logjam at 3-under-par 67. Jerry Kelly, who earned his first PGA Tour victory here last year, posted a 2-under 68 in the opening round of his first title defense.
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Sony Open
  • Full coverage of the Sony Open
  • Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    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: