Scott Wetterich on Top Oberholser Misses 59

By Sports NetworkMay 12, 2006, 4:00 pm
IRVING, Texas -- Brett Wetterich fired a 6-under 64 on the TPC at Las Colinas on Friday to move into a share of the lead after two rounds of the Byron Nelson Championship. Wetterich ended 36 holes at 10-under-par 130.
 
Adam Scott, who shared the first-round lead with Steve Lowery, posted his second straight 5-under 65 to join Wetterich in the lead.
 
Ernie Els
Ernie Els is seven back after a 1-under 69 Friday.
Joe Ogilvie carded the second-best round of the day as he posted an 8-under 62. He moved into a tie for third with Omar Uresti (66) at 7-under-par 133.
 
Ogilvie's round would have been the low round of the day if not for Arron Oberholser, who fired a 10-under 60 on the Cottonwood Valley Course to climb to minus-6. Oberholser, who missed a birdie putt at 18 with a chance to shoot 59, stands alongside Lowery (69) and Phil Tataurangi (66) in a tie for fifth.
 
Action for the first two rounds was split over the TPC at Las Colinas and the Cottonwood Valley Course. The weekend will be contested on the TPC at Las Colinas course.
 
Oberholser, who earned his first tour win earlier this year at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, birdied the first, then ran off three birdies over a four-hole stretch from the fifth to get back to even-par for the tournament.
 
The 31-year-old birdied each of the first four holes on the back nine. After a pair of pars, Oberholser birdied 16 and 17 to get to 10 under for his round.
 
Oberholser found the putting surface at the par-4 18th with his second shot.
 
Looking at a 15-footer for birdie to become the fourth player in PGA TOUR history to shoot 59, Oberholser missed the birdie try badly to the right. He tapped in for par, and his round of 60 helped him jump from a tie for 120th to a share of fifth.
 
'It was a lot of fun. Well, I think I'm improving. My consistency is getting better,' Oberholser said. 'I'm focusing more on the mental aspect of the game than I have been. So it's just been I'm settling in, I'm finding it more comfortable out here, and I'm starting to feel like I did when I played on the Nationwide Tour and the Canadian Tour.'
 
Scott played at Cottonwood Valley on Friday and opened with a birdie on the par-4 first. He then birdied the third to move to 7 under.
 
The 25-year-old parred his next five holes before dropping in a birdie on the par-4 eighth. Around the turn, Scott birdied the par-3 12th to get within one stroke of Wetterich.
 
Scott grabbed a share of the lead with a birdie at the par-4 14th, then parred his final four holes to cap off a bogey-free round.
 
'It's been a while since I've had one of them,' said Scott, referring to the fact he has gone 22 holes without a bogey. 'That was steady golf out there. I made couple of good par saves that kept everything going. Other than that, I'm playing pretty nicely.'
 
Wetterich got off to a slow start at Las Colinas as he carded just one birdie over his first six holes. He birdied seven and nine to move to 7 under.
 
The 32-year-old poured in three straight birdies from the 12th to fly up the leaderboard. However, Wetterich tripped to a bogey on the par-4 15th. The two-time winner on the Nationwide Tour got that stroke back with a birdie at the last.
 
'Yeah, I played solid out there today. I was just trying to be patient,' Wetterich said. 'I ended up making a lot more birdies than I thought I would. I had a bad bogey from the middle of the fairway. Other than that, I think I played pretty well.'
 
Luke Donald, Bob Estes, Trevor Immelman and Bo Van Pelt are tied for eighth place at 5-under-par 135. Dudley Hart and Tim Herron are one stroke further back at minus-4.
 
The cut line fell at 1-over-par 141 with 80 players advancing to the final two rounds. Among those who missed the cut were 1987 champion Fred Couples (142), Zurich Classic of New Orleans winner Chris Couch (143), 2003 U.S. Open Champion Jim Furyk (143), 2002 PGA champion Rich Beem (145) and 2004 British Open champ Todd Hamilton (147).
 
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  • Move over Lydia, a new Ko is coming to LPGA

    By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 5:11 pm

    Another gifted young South Korean will be joining the LPGA ranks next year.

    Jin Young Ko, the Korean LPGA Tour star, informed the American-based LPGA on Sunday night that she will be taking up membership next year. Ko earned the right by winning the LPGA’s KEB Hana Bank Championship as a nonmember in South Korea in October.

    Ko, 22, no relation to Lydia Ko, first burst on to the international spotlight with her run into contention at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry two years ago. She led there through 54 holes, with Inbee Park overtaking her in the final round to win.

    With 10 KLPGA Tour titles, three in each of the last two seasons, Ko has risen to No. 19 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

    Ko told GolfChannel.com Sunday afternoon that she was struggling over the decision, with a Monday deadline looming.

    “It’s a difficult decision to leave home,” Ko said after the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, when she was still undecided. “The travelling far away, on my own, the loneliness, that’s what is difficult.”

    Ko will be the favorite to win the LPGA’s Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award next year. South Koreans have won that award the last three years. Sung Hyun Park won it this year, In Gee Chun last year and Sei Young Kim in 2015. South Korean-born players have won the last four, with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko winning it in 2014. Ko was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand when she was 6.

    Piller pregnant, no timetable for LPGA return

    By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Gerina Piller, the American Olympian golfer and three-time Solheim Cup veteran, is pregnant and will not be rejoining the LPGA when the 2018 season opens, the New York Times reported following the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

    Piller, 32, who is married to PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, is due with the couple’s first child in May, Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz reported.

    Piller declined an interview request when GolfChannel.com sought comment going into the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Piller told the New York Times she has no timetable for her return but that she isn’t done with competitive golf.

    “I’m not just giving everything up,” Piller said.

    As parity reigns, LPGA searching for a superstar

    By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 4:00 pm

    Apologies to the LPGA’s golden eras, but women’s golf has never been deeper.

    With the game going global, with the unrelenting wave of Asian talent continuing to slam the tour’s shores, with Thailand and China promising to add to what South Korea is delivering, it’s more difficult than ever to win.

    That’s a beautiful and perplexing thing for the women’s game.

    That’s because it is more difficult than ever to dominate.

    And that’s a magic word in golf.

    There is no more powerful elixir in the sport.

    Domination gets you on the cover of Sports Illustrated, on ESPN SportsCenter, maybe even on NBC Nightly News if the “D” in domination is dynamic enough.

    The women’s best chance of moving their sport to another stratosphere is riding the back of a superstar.

    Or maybe a pair of superstar rivals.


    Photos: 2017 LPGA winners gallery


    A constellation of stars may be great for the devoted regular supporters of the women’s game, but it will take a charismatic superstar to make casual fans care.

    The LPGA needs a Serena Williams.

    Or the reincarnation of Babe Zaharias.

    For those of us who regularly follow the LPGA, this constellation of stars makes for compelling stories, a variety of scripting to feature.

    The reality, however, is that it takes one colossal story told over and over again to burst out of a sports niche.

    The late, great CBS sports director Frank Chirkinian knew what he had sitting in a TV production truck the first time he saw one of his cameras bring a certain young star into focus at the Masters.

    It’s this player coming up over the brow of the hill at the 15th hole to play his second shot,” Chirkinian once told me over lunch at a golf course he owned in South Florida.  “He studies his shot, then flips his cigarette, hitches up his trousers and takes this mighty swipe and knocks the shot on the green. It was my first experience with Arnold Palmer, and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, who is this guy?’

    “The thing about golf, more than any other sport, it’s always looking for a star. It’s the only sport where people will root against the underdog. They don’t want the stars to lose. They’re OK with some unknown rising up to be the story on Thursday or Friday, but they always want to see the stars win.”

    And they go gaga when it’s one star so radiant that he or she dominates attention.

    “It didn’t matter if Arnold was leading, or where he was, you had to show him,” Chirkinian said. “You never knew when he might do something spectacular.”

    The LPGA is in a healthy place again, with a big upside globally, with so much emerging talent sharing the spotlight.

    Take Sunday at the CME Group Tour Championship.

    The back nine started with Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie making the turn tied for the lead. There is no more powerful pairing to sell in the women’s game today, but there would be no duel. It would have been too far off script as the final chapter to this season.

    Parity was the story this year.

    Sunday in Naples started with 18 players within two shots of the lead.

    Entering that back nine, almost a dozen players were in the mix, including Ariya Jutanugarn.

    The day ended with Jutanugarn beating Thompson with a dramatic birdie-birdie finish after Thompson stunned viewers missing a 2-foot putt for par at the last.

    The day encapsulated the expanding LPGA universe.

    “I’ve never seen such crazy, brilliant golf from these ladies,” said Gary Gilchrist, who coaches Jutanugarn, Lydia Ko and Rolex world No. 1 Shanshan Feng. “It was unbelievable out there. It was just like birdie after birdie after birdie, and the scoreboard went up and down. And that’s why it’s so hard to be No. 1 on this tour. There’s not one person who can peak. It’s all of them at a phenomenal level of golf.”

    If Thompson had made that last 2-footer and gone on to win the CME, she would have become the sixth different world No. 1 this year. Before this year, there had never been more than three different No. 1s in a single LPGA season.

    Parity was the theme from the year’s start.

    There were 15 different winners to open the season, something that hadn’t happened in 26 years. There were five different major championship winners.

    This year’s Rolex Player of the Year Award was presented Sunday to So Yeon Ryu and Sung Hyun Park. It’s the first time the award has been shared since its inception in 1966.

    Thompson won twice this year, with six second-place finishes, with three of those playoff losses, one of them in a major championship. She was close to putting together a spectacular year. She was close to dominating and maybe becoming the tour’s one true rock star.

    Ultimately, Thompson showed us how hard that is to do now.

    She’s in a constellation we’re all watching, to see if maybe one star breaks out, somebody able to take the game into living rooms it has never been, to a level of popularity it’s never been.

    The game won’t get there with another golden era. It will get there with a golden player.

    Love's hip surgery a success; eyes Florida swing return

    By Rex HoggardNovember 22, 2017, 3:31 pm

    Within hours of having hip replacement surgery on Tuesday Davis Love III was back doing what he does best – keeping busy.

    “I’ve been up and walking, cheated in the night and stood up by the bed, but I’m cruising around my room,” he laughed early Wednesday from Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center in Birmingham, Ala., where he underwent surgery to replace his left hip. “[Dr. James Flanagan, who performed the surgery] wants me up. They don’t want me sitting for more than an hour.”

    Love, 53, planned to begin more intensive therapy and rehabilitation on Wednesday and is scheduled to be released from the hospital later this afternoon.

    According to Love’s doctors, there were no complications during the surgery and his recovery time is estimated around three to four months.

    Love, who was initially hesitant to have the surgery, said he can start putting almost immediately and should be able to start hitting wedges in a few weeks.

    Dr. Tom Boers – a physical therapist at the Hughston Orthopedic Clinic in Columbus, Ga., who has treated Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson, Greg Norman and Brad Faxon – will oversee Love’s recovery and ultimately decide when he’s ready to resume normal golf activity.

    “He understands motion and gait and swing speeds that people really don’t understand. He’s had all of us in there studying us,” Love said. “So we’ll see him in a couple of weeks and slowly get into the swing part of it.”

    Although Love said he plans to temper his expectations for this most recent recovery, his goal is to be ready to play by the Florida swing next March.