Another 62 separates Toms from the field by seven

By Associated PressMay 21, 2011, 2:29 am

FORT WORTH, Texas – David Toms has gone from a disappointing playoff loss to matching the PGA Tour scoring record for the first 36 holes of a tournament.

Toms shot his second straight 8-under 62 at Colonial on Friday to open a seven-stroke lead at the Crowne Plaza Invitational.

Coming off a playoff loss Sunday to K.J. Choi in The Players Championship, the 44-year-old Toms tied the mark of 124 set by Pat Perez in the 2009 Bob Hope Classic. Perez had rounds of 61 and 63.

Already off to another impressive start before a 2 1/2 -hour weather delay in the middle of his second round, Toms took full advantage after heavy rain softened the Colonial course and the wind stopped. On the eight holes he completed when play resumed, he had four birdies – and came up just short of two more.

“I came out and the conditions were perfect for scoring, and my mindset was to just keep making birdies, try to separate myself a little bit,” Toms said. “I just went out and played great the last eight holes or so, some of the best golf I’ve played in a long time.”

Steven Bowditch (64) and Charlie Wi (67), who finished before the delay, were tied for second with Mark Wilson (66) and John Senden (66). Wilson played in the same group with Toms.

Toms also was the 36-hole leader last week at TPC Sawgrass, where he needed a birdie on the final hole of regulation to get into a playoff. But he then missed a short par putt on the first extra hole. 

He hasn’t made another bogey since.

Toms started at Hogan’s Alley with his best score in 429 rounds – since a career-best 61 at the Sony Open in Hawaii in January 2006, in the last of his 12 PGA Tour victories. He matched that Friday and got halfway to his goal of finally winning again.

“I just still need to put those four rounds together and somehow get over the hump again,” he said.

For the second day in a row, Toms carded 31s on both nines.

When play was suspended, Toms had just teed off at the par-5 11th hole after saving par at No. 10 with a two-putt from 65 feet.

The wind was already whipping with the storm front approaching when he finished his front side with an aggressive play at No. 9, when he opted for driver instead of 3-wood off the tee. He then hit his approach inside 4 feet for birdie.

“It was a bonus to make birdie, but it was all about the best way to make par,” he said.

Toms made a 17-foot birdie putt at No. 11 after play resumed, then hit his approach at the 445-yard 12th hole to 5 feet for another birdie. He also birdied Nos. 15 and 17, and had putts rolling on line at 16 and 18 that came up short.

“It was late afternoon golf after a rain shower. I’ve done it hundreds of times at home in Louisiana. That’s what it felt like,” he said. “It was hot and humid, greens were receptive, fairways were receptive, the greens weren’t rolling very fast.”

Rory Sabbatini, the 2007 Colonial champion who lives in Fort Worth and plays the course often, shot 64 and was at 8 under with first round co-leader Chev Reavie (71).

Reavie had two birdies, a bogey and a double bogey through eight holes before the delay. After a birdie at Colonial’s longest hole, the 635-yard 11th and his second of the day, Reavie had a double-bogey 6 at No. 12, where he hit out of the same greenside bunker twice. Three holes later, his approach went into another greenside bunker and he had a bogey.

Wi opened with a 64 on Thursday. He was the only one of the top 11 in the first round who played in the afternoon when more wind made conditions tougher.

“When I got to the golf course (Thursday), I saw so many low numbers and I figured if I shoot 2 or 3 under in the afternoon, that would be a good round. To shoot 64 was a bonus,” he said.

The 39-year-old South Korean made that even better with a bogey-free second round, saving par at No. 11 with a 17-foot putt before holing out a birdie out of a greenside bunker at the 12th.

Bowditch had been away from the PGA Tour for more than three seasons before the 27-year-old Australian returned this year after regaining his card by finishing 17th on the Nationwide Tour money list last season.

After playing one time each on the PGA Tour in 2003 and 2005, Bowditch made only two of 22 cuts in 2006. Then he didn’t make it to the weekend rounds in any of his five events the following year.

Bowditch got his first career top-10 finish this year when he tied for ninth at Pebble Beach in February.

His only bogey Friday came on the 375-yard 17th hole when he drove into the left rough and hit his approach into a greenside bunker.

Bowditch was surprised to be done without any delays because there had been rain in the area all morning. But none fell early when the initial weather systems skirted around the Colonial neighborhood.

“The whisper was, when we teed off at 9 o’clock, that we were only going to get nine holes in,” Bowditch said. “That was basically what we were sort of looking at and getting your mind to a certain degree, ready for that.”

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Goat visor propels Na to Colonial lead

By Will GrayMay 25, 2018, 1:29 am

Jason Dufner officially has some company in the headwear free agency wing of the PGA Tour.

Like Dufner, Kevin Na is now open to wear whatever he wants on his head at tournaments, as his visor sponsorship with Titleist ended earlier this month. He finished T-6 at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his second tournament as a free agent, and this week at the Fort Worth Invitational he's once again wearing a simple white visor with a picture of a goat.

"I bought it at The Players Championship for $22 with the 30 percent discount that they give the Tour players," Na told reporters. "It's very nice."

Perhaps a change in headwear was just what Na needed to jumpstart his game. Last week's result in Dallas was his first top-35 finish in his last six events dating back to February, and he built upon that momentum with an 8-under 62 to take a one-shot lead over Charley Hoffman after the first round at Colonial Country Club.

While many sports fans know the "GOAT" acronym to stand for "Greatest Of All Time," it's a definition that the veteran Na only learned about earlier this year.

"I do social media, but they kept calling Tiger the GOAT. I go, 'Man, why do they keep calling Tiger the GOAT? That's just mean,'" Na said. "Then I realized it meant greatest of all time. Thinking of getting it signed by Jack (Nicklaus) next week (at the Memorial)."

Marc Dull (Florida State Golf Association)

Golden: Dull rude, caddie 'inebriated' at Florida Mid-Am

By Ryan LavnerMay 25, 2018, 1:03 am

Jeff Golden has offered more detail on what transpired at the Florida Mid-Amateur Championship, writing in a long statement on Twitter that Marc Dull’s caddie was “inebriated” before he allegedly sucker-punched Golden in the face.

In a story first reported by GolfChannel.com, Charlotte County Police responded to a call May 13 after Golden claimed that he’d been assaulted by his opponent’s caddie in the parking lot of Coral Creek Club, where he was competing in the Mid-Am finals. Golden told police that the caddie, Brandon Hibbs, struck him because of a rules dispute earlier in the round. Hibbs denied any involvement, and police found no evidence of an attack.

Golden posted a 910-word statement on the alleged incident on his Twitter account on Thursday night. He said that he wanted to provide more detail because “others have posed some valid questions about the series of events that led to me withdrawing” from what was an all-square match with two holes to play.

Golden wrote that both Dull and Hibbs were rude and disruptive during the match, and that “alcohol appeared to be influencing [Hibbs’] behavior.”

Dull, who caddies at Streamsong Resort in Florida, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“I’ve never seen an opposing caddie engage in so much conversation with a competitor,” Golden wrote. “On the eighth hole I had become extremely frustrated when my opponent and caddie were talking and moving. I expressed my disappointment with their etiquette to the rules official in our group.”

On the ninth hole, Golden informed the official that he believed Hibbs had broken the rules by offering advice on his putt. Golden won the hole by concession to move 2 up at the turn, and Hibbs removed himself from the match and returned to the clubhouse.

Golden wrote that after the penalty, the match “turned even nastier, with more negative comments from my opponent on the 10th tee.” He added that he conceded Dull’s 15-foot birdie putt on No. 10 because he was “sick of the abuse from my opponent, and I wanted the match to resemble what you would expect of a FSGA final.”

Though there were no witnesses to the alleged attack and police found little evidence, save for “some redness on the inside of [Golden’s] lip,” Golden wrote that the inside of his mouth was bleeding, his face was “throbbing” and his hand was also injured from bracing his fall. X-rays and CT scans over the past week all came back negative, he said.

Golden reiterated that he was disappointed with the FSGA’s decision to accept his concession in the final match. He had recommended that they suspend the event and resume it “at a later time.”

“The FSGA has one job, and that’s to follow the Rules of Golf,” Golden wrote. “Unfortunately, there’s no rule for an inebriated ‘ex-caddie’ punching a player in a match-play rain delay with no witnesses.”

Asked last week about his organization’s alcohol policy during events, FSGA executive director Jim Demick said that excessive consumption is “highly discouraged, but it falls more broadly under the rules of etiquette and player behavior.”

Dull, 32, was back in the news Wednesday, after he and partner Chip Brooke reached the finals of the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship. They lost to high schoolers Cole Hammer and Garrett Barber, 4 and 3.

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D. Kang, M. Jutanugarn in four-way tie at Volvik

By Associated PressMay 25, 2018, 12:50 am

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Amy Olson crossed paths with her coach, Ron Stockton, on her walk to the 18th tee at the Volvik Championship.

''Make it another even $20,'' Stockton said.

The coach was already prepared to give his client $35 for making seven birdies - $5 each - and wanted to take her mind off the bogey she just had at 17.

Olson closed the first round with a 6-under 66, putting her into the lead she ended up sharing later Thursday with Moriya Jutanugarn , Caroline Masson and Danielle Kang.

Do small, cash incentives really help a professional golfer?

''Absolutely,'' said Olson, who graduated from North Dakota State with an accounting degree. ''He'll tell you I'm a little bit of a hustler there.''

Olson will have to keep making birdies - and petty cash - to hold her position at Travis Pointe Country Club.

Jessica Korda, Minjee Lee, Nasa Hataoka, Lindy Duncan, Morgan Pressel, Megan Khang and Jodi Ewart Shadoff were a stroke back at 67 and six others were to shots back.

Ariya Jutanugarn, the Kingsmill Championship winner last week in Virginia, opened with a 69.

The Jutanugarn sisters are Korda are among six players with a chance to become the LPGA Tour's first two-time winner this year.

Moriya Jutanugarn won for the first time in six years on the circuit last month in Los Angeles.

''What I feel is more relaxed now,'' she said. ''And, of course I like looking forward for my next one.''

Olson, meanwhile, is hoping to extend the LPGA Tour's streak of having a new winner in each of its 12 tournaments this year.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


She knows how to win. It just has been a while since it has happened.

Olson set an NCAA record with 20 wins, breaking the mark set by LPGA Hall of Famer Juli Inkster, but has struggled to have much success since turning pro in 2013.

She has not finished best finish was a tie for seventh and that was four years ago. She was in contention to win the ANA Inspiration two months ago, but an even-par 72 dropped her into a tie for ninth place.

If the North Dakota player wins the Volvik Championship, she will earn a spot in the U.S. Open at Shoal Creek in Alabama. If Olson finishes second or lower in the 144-player field, she will enjoy an off week with her husband, Grant, who coaches linebackers at Indiana State.

''I'll make the best of it either way,'' she said.

Olson was at her best in the opening round on the front nine, closing it with four birdies in a six-hole stretch. Her ball rolled just enough to slowly drop in the cup for birdie on the par-3, 184-yard 13th. She had three birdies in five-hole stretch on the back, nearly making her second hole-in-one of the year at the par-3, 180-yard 16th. A short putt gave her a two-stroke lead, but it was cut to one after pulling and misreading a 6-foot putt to bogey the 17th.

Even if she doesn't hold on to win the tournament, Olson is on pace to have her best year on the LPGA Tour. She is No. 39 on the money list after finishing 97th, 119th, 81st and 80th in her first four years.

''Two years ago, I started working with Ron Stockton and whenever you make a change, it doesn't show up right away,'' Olson said. ''That first year was tough, but we've turned a corner and I've just found a lot of consistency in the last year. And, it's a lot of fun to go out there and play golf a little more stress free.''

Stockton helped her stay relaxed, walking along the ropes during her morning round.

''Maybe some people feel a little more pressure when their coach is there,'' she said. ''I'm like, 'Great. If he sees the mistake, he knows what can go wrong and we can go fix it.' So, I like having his eyes on me.''

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Club pro part of 6-way tie atop Sr. PGA

By Associated PressMay 25, 2018, 12:04 am

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Nevada club professional Stuart Smith shot a 5-under 66 on Thursday for a share of the first-round lead in the Senior PGA Championship.

Smith closed his morning round with a double bogey on the par-4 18th, and Scott McCarron, Tim Petrovic, Wes Short Jr., Barry Lane and Peter Lonard matched the 66 in the afternoon.

One of 41 club pros in the field at Harbor Shores for the senior major, Smith is the director of golf at Somersett Country Club in Reno.


Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship


McCarron won the Senior Players Championship last year for his first senior major.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer is skipping the event to attend son Jason's high school graduation, and Steve Stricker is playing the PGA Tour event in Texas.