Irwin Shares Lead Player Shoots Age

By Sports NetworkJanuary 28, 2005, 5:00 pm
KAHUKU, Hawaii -- Defending champion Hale Irwin posted a 5-under-par 67 Friday to grab a share of the lead after the opening round of the Turtle Bay Championship. Irwin was joined atop the leaderboard by Allen Doyle, Keith Fergus and Gil Morgan.
Gary McCord, who finished second here to Irwin in 2002, carded a 4-under- par 68. He stands in a tie for fifth place with Bob Gilder, Jim Thorpe, Wayne Levi and MasterCard Championship winner Dana Quigley.
This event was not played in 2004 as it shifted from a late-fall event to an early season event.
Irwin has won this title four straight times from 2000-03. His experience on the Palmer Course at Turtle Bay Resort showed right away. He drained a 10-foot birdie putt at the first and came right back to convert a 25-footer for birdie at No. 2.
The all-time wins leader on the Champions Tour made it three straight to open his round as he two-putted for birdie at the par-5 third. Irwin followed with a 12-foot birdie putt at the fourth.
After missing a 10-footer for birdie at five, Irwin sank a 4-footer for birdie at six to move to 5 under through six holes. Any thoughts of challenging the course record of 61 died as Irwin posted eight straight pars around the turn.
Irwin then faltered to a three-putt bogey at the 15th. He closed with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 18th to grab a share of the lead.
'The start was essentially my day,' Irwin said. 'After the birdie at No. 6, it was like someone turned the tap off. I anticipated going low after that start, but it just didn't pan out.'
Doyle got his round going with a two-putt birdie at the third. He dropped in a 15-footer for birdie at six before an up-and-down birdie at the ninth. The 2004 Bayer Advantage Celebrity Pro-Am winner picked up another two-putt birdie at No. 12. Doyle then converted an 8-foot birdie putt at the 14th before parring the final four holes.
'I hit the ball good today,' said Doyle. 'I missed a couple of fairways. I thought scores might have been a bit lower today, but if you're tied for the lead you've got to be happy.'
Morgan had a steady round. He picked up one birdie over the first 11 holes. He then drained an eagle at the par-5 12th and birdied the 14th to move to minus-4. Morgan closed his bogey-free round with a birdie at the last.
Fergus had the most interesting round by far. He eagled the third, but tripped to a double-bogey at the fourth. He then dropped in back-to-back birdies from the fifth, then stumbled to a bogey at seven.
The 50-year-old Fergus came right back to birdie eight, but stumbled to another bogey at the ninth. He then birdied three of four holes from the 11th to move to 4 under. Like Morgan and Irwin, Fergus birdied the last for a share of the lead.
'That was plenty of action on the front side,' Fergus joked. 'I played solid on the back nine. I putted well today but just had a couple of errant irons.'
Gary Player matched his age on Friday, the fourth time he has done so on the Champions Tour, as he shot a 3-under-par 69. He was joined in a tie for 10th place by Hugh Baiocchi, Rodger Davis, R.W. Eaks, David Eger, Morris Hatalsky, Mike Reid, Bobby Wadkins, Bruce Lietzke, Dick Mast, Larry Nelson and 1998 champion Jay Sigel.
Related Links:
  • TGC Airtimes
  • Leaderboard - Turtle Bay Championship
  • Full Coverage - Turtle Bay Championship
  • Getty Images

    Romo set to make PGA Tour debut at Punta Cana

    By Will GrayMarch 20, 2018, 6:43 pm

    While much of the attention in golf this week will be focused on the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Tony Romo may send a few eyeballs toward the Caribbean.

    The former quarterback and current CBS NFL analyst will make his PGA Tour debut this week, playing on a sponsor invite at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic. The exemption was announced last month when Romo played as an amateur at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and he's apparently been hard at work ever since.

    "I'll be treating it very serious," Romo told reporters Tuesday. "My wife will tell you she hasn't seen me much over the last month. But if you know me at all, I think you know if I care about something I'm going to commit to it 100 percent. So like I said. you'll get the best I've got this week."

    Romo retired from the NFL last year and plays to a plus-0.3 handicap. In addition to his participation in the Pebble Beach event, he has tried to qualify for the U.S. Open multiple times and last month played a North Texas PGA mini-tour event as an amateur.

    According to Romo, one of the key differences between pro football and golf is the fact that his former position is entirely about reactive decisions, while in golf "you're trying to commit wholeheartedly before you ever pull the club out of your bag."

    "I'm not worried about getting hit before I hit the ball," Romo said. "It's at my own tempo, my own speed, in this sport. Sometimes that's difficult, and sometimes that's easier depending on the situation."

    Romo admitted that he would have preferred to have a couple extra weeks to prepare, but recently has made great strides in his wedge game which "was not up to any Tour standard." The first-tee jitters can't be avoided, but Romo hopes to settle in after battling nerves for the first three or four holes Thursday.

    Romo hopes to derive an added comfort factor from his golf in the Dallas area, where he frequently plays with a group of Tour pros. While Steph Curry traded texts with a few pros before his tournament debut last summer on the Tour, Romo expects his phone to remain silent until he puts a score on the board.

    "I think they're waiting to either tell me 'Congrats' or 'I knew it, terrible,'" Romo said. "Something along those lines. They're probably going to wait to see which way the wind's blowing before they send them."

    Romo will tee off at 8:10 a.m. ET Thursday alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.

    Getty Images

    Spieth vs. Reed random? Hmm, wonders Spieth

    By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – Monday’s blind draw to determine the 16 pods for this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play didn’t exactly feel “blind” for Jordan Spieth, whose group includes Patrick Reed.

    Spieth and Reed have become a staple of U.S. teams in recent years, with a 7-2-2 record in the Ryder and Presidents Cup combined. So when the ping-pong ball revealed Reed’s number on Monday night Spieth wasn’t surprised.

    “It seems to me there's a bit more to this drawing than randomness,” laughed Spieth, whose pod also includes Haotong Li and Charl Schwartzel. “It's not just me and him. It's actually a lot of groups, to have Luke List and Justin [Thomas] in the same group seems too good to be true. It might be some sort of rigging that's going on, I'm not sure.”

    WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Tee times

    WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

    Spieth will play Reed on Friday in the round-robin format and knows exactly what to expect from the fiery American.

    “I've seen it firsthand when he's been at his best. And we have history together in a couple of different playoffs, which is a match-play scenario,” Spieth said. “I've got to take care of work tomorrow and the next day for that day to even matter. But even if it doesn't matter, trust me, it will matter to both of us.”

    Getty Images

    U.S. Open champ Koepka (wrist) to miss Masters

    By Will GrayMarch 20, 2018, 6:12 pm

    Reigning U.S. Open champ Brooks Koepka will miss the Masters, according to a USA Today report.

    Koepka has been battling a left wrist injury since late last year, and he hasn't played since finishing last at the limited-field Sentry Tournament of Champions in early January. Weeks later he revealed that he had a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU) tendon but hoped to return in time for the season's first major.

    According to the report, Koepka only started putting this week and plans to begin hitting chips next week.

    "They said I would be about 80 percent, but I can't play 80 percent," Koepka said. "I either have to go full bore or not at all. I don't want to risk getting it re-injured and then be out a long time."

    Koepka has finished T-33 or better in each of his three prior Masters appearances, culminating in a T-11 result last year.

    Getty Images

    Spieth's agent leaving firm, but keeping Spieth as client

    By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 6:07 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – Jay Danzi has stepped down as COO of Lagardère Sports U.S., and will take one of the game’s most marketable players, Jordan Spieth, with him.

    In a press release, Danzi said, “after careful consideration I feel that it’s time for a new adventure.” Danzi will represent Spieth independently.

    “It’s been a privilege having Jordan be part of the Lagardère Sports’ family for the last five years and watching him grow from a promising young player to someone who transcends the game,” said Steve Loy, Lagardère Sports president of golf. “We are also grateful for Jay’s contributions over the years, in golf and other areas of our business.”

    Lagardère Sports underwent an aggressive expansion in recent years, acquiring numerous boutique firms including Danzi’s business and Crown Sports Management.

    Although losing Spieth, the world’s fourth-ranked player, and Danzi, who took over as Lagardère COO in February 2017, is a setback, the firm still has a number of high-profile clients including Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm and Patton Kizzire, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour this season.