Zoeller Streck Lead Senior Players

By Sports NetworkJuly 13, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Ford Senior Players ChampionshipDEARBORN, Mich. -- Fuzzy Zoeller and Ron Streck shot 7-under- par 65s on Thursday to share the lead after one round of the Senior Players Championship.
Zoeller and Streck both carded eight birdies with one bogey at the 7,069-yard TPC of Michigan, where 58 players in a field of 78 were even par or better after the first day.
Jay Haas
Pre-tournament favorite Jay Haas is three back after his 4-under 68.
'The course is in immaculate shape,' said Zoeller, winner of the 2002 Senior PGA Championship. 'It's very vulnerable right now.'
Jim Thorpe and Scott Simpson completed bogey-free rounds of 5-under 67 and share third place with Bruce Lietzke.
Jay Haas and Allen Doyle -- winners of the year's first two majors -- are one shot further back in a group that also includes Tom Jenkins, Brad Bryant, John Jacobs and Tom Kite at minus-4.
Fred Funk ruined a perfect drive at the par-5 17th by knocking his second shot into the water on the way to a bogey. He finished at 3-under 69 and leads 14 players who are tied for 12th.
Funk, 50, made his Champions Tour debut last week at the U.S. Senior Open and finished tied for 11th place.
The TPC of Michigan greens are small and undulating, but conditions were ripe for scoring Thursday.
Streck started out with a poor chip shot and a bogey at the first hole, but went 8 under par the rest of the way. He birdied the third, seventh and ninth holes on the front nine -- all on putts inside 10 feet -- then collected five consecutive birdies beginning at the 13th.
'It was a good day after the start,' Streck said.
At the par-4 16th, Streck rolled in a 21-foot birdie putt. Two holes later, he saved par from a bunker at 18 by draining a 13-footer.
'I just didn't want to ruin the round on the last hole,' Streck said. 'I looked at it and thought, 'Don't mess this up by bogeying the last hole.' So I was lucky to make that.'
Streck owns a share of the first-round lead six days after missing the cut at the Senior U.S. Open following rounds of 72 and 77 at Prairie Dunes. He spent some time at home after that.
'I went home and put siding on my garage on Saturday and Sunday,' he said.
Zoeller birdied the second, third and fifth holes Thursday to make the turn at minus-3. He birdied three holes during a four-hole stretch beginning at the 10th -- including one on a 36-foot putt at the par-three 12th -- then stumbled to his only bogey of the round when he missed a 3-foot putt at the par-4 16th.
Two straight birdies to end his round placed Zoeller in a first-place tie with Streck. He finished his round with a 13-foot birdie putt at the par-4 18th.
'I played very well today,' said Zoeller, who tied for 23rd last week. 'Did I see it coming? Kind of. It's a golf course I enjoy playing. I have a good feel for it.'
This is the second of three straight majors on the Champions Tour and third overall this season. Haas won the Senior PGA Championship and Doyle edged Tom Watson last week at Prairie Dunes.
Watson, who will defend his Senior British Open title in two weeks, is one of the players tied for 12th place with Funk at minus-3.
Defending champion Peter Jacobsen opened with a 2-under 70 and is tied for 26th place.
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.