Hall of Famer Singh Leads in Houston

By Sports NetworkApril 21, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Shell Houston OpenHUMBLE, Texas -- Defending champion Vijay Singh fired an 8-under-par 64 on Thursday to tie the course record and lead after the opening round of the Shell Houston Open.
Gavin Coles shot a 7-under-par 65 to share second place with Brendan Jones.
Vijay Singh
Vijay Singh had eight birdies and no bogeys in his round of 64.
Singh, who was voted into the Golf Hall of Fame on Wednesday, played the back side first at Redstone Golf Club and picked up his first birdie of the day at the par-5 12th. Singh then two-putted for a birdie at the par-5 15th and kept on rolling with a birdie at the par-4 16th.
'Things like that doesn't just sink in,' Singh said of being chosen for the Hall of Fame. 'It's no big deal at this particular moment. I mean, it's a great feeling to have, but I think weeks and months from now, it's going to be a really big deal for me.'
At the par-4 17th, Singh dropped an 8-iron inside 16 feet and drained the birdie putt to make it three in a row. The former No. 1 player in the world then dropped his approach within a foot of the hole for a tap-in birdie at the par-4 second to move to 5 under.
'It sets up for longer hitters if you're hitting the ball straight,' said Singh. 'I drove the ball pretty straight and pretty long. When you do that, you have a lot of looks at the holes for birdies.'
Singh hit a wedge to 4 feet at the par-4 sixth and converted the short birdie try before his second shot to the par-4 seventh landed within 4 feet of the hole. Singh rolled in the putt for another birdie to move to minus-7.
The 42-year-old closed his round in style at the par-5 ninth and pitched his third shot to a foot for another kick-in birdie.
'You've got to focus on what you're doing,' said Singh, a two-time winner of this event. 'My focus this week is coming out here and playing the Houston Open. This is my real focus.'
Coles ran off back-to-back birdies from the second and drained a 40-footer for a birdie at the par-3 fifth to jump to 3 under. Coles then birdied the sixth and knocked his tee shot inside 10 feet for a birdie at the par-3 eighth.
The Australian tallied a birdie at the ninth and sank a 30-foot putt for a birdie at the 12th. Coles dropped his tee shot within 3 feet for a birdie at the par-3 13th to join Singh at 8 under but he found trouble at the par-4 16th after his second shot landed in a greenside bunker.
Coles was unable to get up and down for his only bogey of the day. He then parred his two remaining holes to finish within one shot of Singh.
'I just kept hitting it on the fairway and hitting it on the green and a few went in,' said Coles. 'Just every time I sort of looked at it, I seemed to read the right line.'
Jones started with a bogey at the 10th, but recovered with three consecutive birdies beginning at the par-3 13th. The Australian then tallied four birdies on the front nine to join Coles in a tie for second.
Jeff Maggert, Jimmy Walker, Tim Herron, Ted Purdy, Chris Smith, Carl Paulson, Greg Owen and Brett Quigley are knotted at 5-under-par 67.
John Daly, Joe Ogilvie, Brian Bateman, Paul Claxton, Tom Byrum and Geoff Ogilvy are one shot further back at 4-under-par 68.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Shell Houston Open
  • Full Coverage - Shell Houston Open
  • Getty Images

    Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

    By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

    Tiger Woods teed off at 12:15PM ET alongside Justin Rose for Round 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

    Getty Images

    Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

    By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

    Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

    As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

    Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

    This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

    The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.

    Getty Images

    Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

    PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

    She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

    “I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

    Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

    “Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

    She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

    “I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

    Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    “Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

    She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

    “They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

    Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

    While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

    “Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

    Getty Images

    Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

    PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

    In fact, she named her “Mona.”

    For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

    While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

    And that has her excited about this year.

    Well, that and having a healthy back again.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    “I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

    Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    “Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

    Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

    She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

    Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.