Herron Takes Control at Bob Hope

By Sports NetworkFebruary 1, 2003, 5:00 pm
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Tim Herron shot a 7-under 65 Saturday to open a four-shot lead at the Bob Hope Classic. Herron moved to 29-under-par 259 to match the 72-hole tournament record.
 
Jay Haas, who won this event in 1988, finished tied for second alongside Canada's Mike Weir at 25-under-par 263.
 
Herron is making only his second appearance at the Hope. While he usually passes on the tournament, the 2003 edition has been particularly kind to the former University of New Mexico star.
 
'You know, I've made a lot of decisions that backfired,' said Herron, who also tied the PGA Tour record for most strokes under par after 72 holes. 'I knew I've been putting well and driving it pretty well. I just knew that this would be a good tournament. When I saw the schedule, it fit perfectly in my schedule and decided to come play a Pro-Am.'
 
Herron played Indian Wells on Saturday and struggled early on with a bogey at the par-4 first. He settled down with three straight pars before a 10-foot birdie at the fifth sparked a run.
 
The 32-year-old hit his tee shot to 15 feet for birdie at the par-3 sixth and dropped a sand-wedge inside two feet for a birdie at the seventh. Herron then reached the green in two at the par-5 eighth and two-putted for his fourth consecutive birdie.
 
Herron hit a 7-iron to 15 feet for a birdie at the 10th and added back-to- back birdies starting at the par-3 13th to reach 28-under.
 
At the par-4 16th, Herron sent his drive in the left rough and hit his approach to the front of the green, 40 feet from the cup. He ran the putt home for birdie and nearly added to his advantage on the final two holes.
 
Herron's birdie try at 17 lipped out and he failed to convert at the last. Nonetheless, he built a favorable advantage heading into the final round of this marathon event.
 
'I enjoyed the day,' said Herron, who is looking for his first victory on tour since the 1999 Bay Hill Invitational. 'I've got to shoot low tomorrow. It's kind of the moral of the story in this tournament.
 
'All I can do is try to look positive. This game will beat you down very quickly, and you've just got to somehow stay positive.'
 
Weir had a disappointing season in 2002 without a single top-10 finish. He made his 2003 debut with a top-10 in Phoenix last week and has put himself in contention here after a fourth-round 67 at La Quinta.
 
'Obviously, I was not happy about my year last year. I think I needed time away from the game more than anything,' said Weir. 'I haven't done anything special. I just needed a little break from the game to refresh my mind, really, more than anything, to be really prepared to get out here and play golf.'
 
Chris DiMarco had seven birdies and one bogey for a round of 66. He finished tied for fourth alongside David Gossett at 24-under-par 264.
 
Stephen Ames, who held a share of the third-round lead, carded a 71 to finish one shot further back along with Chad Campbell at 23-under-par 265.
 
John Maginnes, Kenny Perry, Doug Barron, Steve Lowery and Pat Perez finished tied for eighth at 22-under-par 266.
 
Defending champion Phil Mickelson collected six birdies and three bogeys for a round of 69. He finished in a group at 18-under-par 270.
 
The 72-hole cut fell at 13-under-par 275 with 72 players making it through to the final round on the Palmer Course at PGA West.
 
Among those who did not qualify were David Duval, who was playing in his first event of the season, and reigning PGA Champion Rich Beem.
 
Related Links
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.