Parnevik All Smiles in LA


It is Jesper Parneviks father who is the comedian, but it is obviously apparent some of the same humor genes were passed along from father to son.
Parneviks father, Bo, is considered the Bob Hope of Sweden, a famous comedian in his country.
His son is noted for being a little offbeat as well: Quirky clothes, including a hat with a turned up bill; a past nutrition regime that included eating volcanic ash; and naming his children, Peg, Penny, Phillipa and Phoenix.
Parnevik is also humorously tinkering with his game, though the reason for the changes are no laughing matter.
The first round of the Nissan Open gave Parnevik reason to smile. He shot a 6-under 65 to lead the first round of the tournament at Riviera Country Club over David Peoples, Jose Maria Olazabal, Toru Taniguchi and Billy Andrade.
Parnevik had been playing horribly the first part of the season, even joking with his caddie about it.
I had a bet with my caddie that wed keep playing until we won, Parnevik said. The way I was playing it looked like it was going to be a long year.
He had entered every PGA Tour event this season, and of the six events he missed two cuts and his best finish was a tie for 15th.
I hate playing bad golf, I guess everyone does, Parnevik said. I was putting in 10-12 hour days and not getting any results. I dont think Ive ever played this poor.
The cure for what ailed Parnevik was not surprisingly, fairly unorthodox. He was playing in the pro am on Wednesday and was faced with a 20-foot putt. On a whim he decided to try a cross-handed grip and made the putt.
I couldnt get comfortable over the ball, Parnevik said. I decided to try this. It felt weird at first.
He practiced it a bit after his round and decided to stick with it. It paid off, as he made two eagles Thursday on putts of 20 and 25 feet.
That took care of the putting woes, but he still had to fight flaws in his swing. Not that Parnevik is vain, but he was walking past a mirror Wednesday night in his hotel and took a look. While he was swinging he noticed he wasn't rotating his hip enough.
It was pretty simple, Parnevik said. I hit the ball (Thursday) 30 yards longer and straighter.
Going against conventional logic has never bothered Parnevik and the reason for the abrupt changes were simple.
When you are desperate, you are desperate, Parnevik said. Youll try anything as long as you think it will work.
Andrade was also struggling this season. He had missed the cut in all three tournaments he played in and took some time off the last two weeks to rest.
I didnt think a whole lot, Andrade said. I just let it happen.
The break was good for Andrade, who said it allowed him to get away from golf. I feel good about myself now and the way Im playing, Andrade said. I went out and played a great round of golf.
Olazabal is trying to capitalize on his victory last week at the Buick Invitational, and used a strong driver for the 5-under 66.
The drive on No. 5 was the only bad drive I had all day long, said Olazabal, who double bogeyed the hole. Sometimes you have to go backwards to make the changes you need.
Full-field scores from the Nissan Open