Records in Jeopardy at Bob Hope


An alert to the keeper of The Record Book: keep it off the shelf. After the first few weeks of this PGA Tour season, its abundantly clear the bound volume of tour records is in for some extensive re-writing.
The new entry has already been inked in (perhaps the keeper should use pencil), thanks to Ernie Elss 31-under par total at the Mercedes Championships in Hawaii. With players now in better athletic shape than ever, their swings fine-tuned by videos and computers, courses in perfect condition and all of the new hi-tech equipment ' led by Titleists new ball ' every scoring record in professional golf is in jeopardy.
'It started late last year, said Carl Paulson, with the cut 6-under at Disney. Thats just stupid. Then, the cut at Callaway Gardens was 5-under and thats a really hard course!
This week the worlds best players tee it up on some of the PGA Tours easiest courses. Five days of play at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in the California desert should yield something really stupid.
Just two years ago at the Hope, Joe Durant set a 90-hole tour scoring record by posting 36-under par. I think Joes record is in jeopardy, opined Chris Smith. I think this week 40-under is in play every week the scores just keep getting lower and lower. Thats the mind-set out here.
Four years ago at the Hope, David Duval grabbed the trophy by shooting the third 59 in PGA Tour history. I wouldnt be surprised if someone goes even lower than 59, said Spike McRoy. I shot 10-under par at the Mercedes and finished 40th. I shot 10-under par last week at Phoenix and finished 40th. I mean, its crazy out here.
Crazy-low could be the result this week. The four courses in this years Bob Hope have the following course records: 62, 61, 61 and Duvals 59 at the host course, Palmer Private at PGA West. Because this is a pro-am for the first four days, the courses are set up to play as easily as possible ' accessible hole-locations in the middle of watered, soft greens. The professionals benefit from the nod to the amateurs.
If the wind doesnt blow, records could fall. Golfs a pretty easy game when it becomes an indoor sport, said Fred Funk.
But Fred, how do you explain all of this low scoring? Simple, he said. These guys are good.