Notes Case of Beer Gets Better of Parnevik

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DUBLIN, Ohio -- If Jesper Parnevik wins this week's Memorial Tournament, maybe TOUR players everywhere will begin running barefoot in the dark.
 
'It was one of those stupid things,' Parnevik said Wednesday while tuning up for Thursday's opening round. 'I was on my boat in the Bahamas and we were docking and I was running inside the boat to do something and I ran a little bit too fast and didn't see a case of beer in the middle of the room and jammed my toe into it.'
 
He went to a doctor, but was told that there wasn't much that could be done anyway. So Parnevik had to make some adjustments.
 
Besides his bicycle-style hat with a turned-up bill and pastel, formfitting clothes, Parnevik is also wearing shoes that he sliced with a kitchen knife to give his aching left little toe more room.
 
At least now he's able to walk the course.
 
Who knows? It may even improve his game.
 
'I hope so,' he said. 'One thing I noticed is I hit it a lot higher because I'm hanging back on my right foot.'
 
TIGER ROAR:
The loudest cheers of the day accompanied an otherwise meaningless pro-am shot by Tiger Woods.
 
Woods' drive ended up in the middle of the fairway on the difficult, par-4 finishing hole at Muirfield Village Golf Club. He pulled out a 7 iron from 160 yards -- and holed it.
 
'That went the right distance,' he said with a wide grin.
 
HOMECOMING:
Ben Curtis grew up barely 10 minutes from the front gate at Muirfield Village Golf Club. The place has become almost a second home.
 
So it's not surprising that when Curtis returns each May for the Memorial, he's in demand. Relatives, high school classmates, family friends and neighbors regard the tournament as a reunion of sorts.
 
'It's good. This is the course I grew up watching the pros play on. It's where I wanted to play every year,' he said Wednesday. 'Now that I'm here, it's a dream come true, obviously. I've tried to treat it like any other week, but it's hard to do.'
 
There's a crowd at his parents' house. When he gets to the course, he greets a steady stream of people as he gets to the driving range. On the range, acquaintances stop by to offer encouragement. He signs more autographs than the sport's biggest names.
 
'I've been out here six hours and I don't think I've done three hours of work,' he said with a grin. 'But it's fine. It's just one of those deals where you have to put it in your preparation time. You've got to expect it. It's like a major for me.'
 
Curtis, whose actual hometown is Ostrander (pop. 405), has the Reebok contract to wear NFL logo shirts and hats. A huge Cleveland Browns fan, Curtis was wearing the orange and brown of his favorite team on Wednesday while practicing his putting.
 
NFL fans in the Columbus area are roughly divided between the Browns and Cincinnati Bengals.
 
'I'm pretty sure it's mostly Browns here,' he said. 'It could be more kids are leaning toward Cincinnati now because they've been better the past few years. At least when I was growing up, people my generation and older, are probably more Browns fans.'
 
Then he nodded to some boys on the other side of the gallery rope and said, 'These kids over here, you think they know Bernie Kosar?'
 
NO LUCKY CHARMS:
Lots of PGA TOUR players have their own superstitions. Some carry pictures of their kids, or mark their balls with coins given to them by their parents or spouses.
 
Stuart Appleby doesn't go for any of that stuff.
 
He used to have a special coin that he used for a marker. But then he lost it.
 
'I was a bit worried. 'Where's my coin? I've lost it! What am I going to do?' But I replaced it and -- what am I going to do? I still have to play golf tomorrow. Let's get on with it,' he said. 'I really don't want to get that way. I'm not a guy who has four tees in his pocket and only marks his ball with a 1997 coin or something like that. I just don't want to get paranoid.'
 
DIVOTS:
The 107-player Memorial field includes the top six players in the world golf rankings and eight of the top 10. ... The tournament annually recognizes those who have made major contributions to the game. This year's Memorial honorees are former TOUR player Dow Finsterwald Sr. and one of the original 13 founders of the LPGA, Louise Suggs. ... The team led by tournament founder Jack Nicklaus won the pro-am. ... Curtis has hit the longest putt on tour this year -- 100 feet, 1 inch -- on the 14th hole of THE PLAYERS Championship. ... A chance of showers is predicted for three of the four days of the tournament, which yearly seems hit by inclement weather.
 
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