Day Durant share clubhouse lead in Texas

By Associated PressMay 21, 2010, 6:27 am

HP Byron Nelson ChampionshipIRVING, Texas – Jason Day’ s stomach was acting up while he was on the driving range Thursday morning, an angry reaction to antibiotics that are supposed to wipe out a lingering, often-misdiagnosed sinus infection.

He was thinking about withdrawing from the Byron Nelson Championship. Then he realized it looked like rain and he’d left his umbrella in the car.

Walking to the parking lot, Day pictured himself getting behind the wheel and heading to his home in Fort Worth. He ended up toughing it out, and “it was probably a good idea,” he said with a smile.

Day birdied four of his first six holes on his way to a 4-under 66 for a share of the first-round lead when play was suspended late Thursday.

The threatening skies that sent Day fetching his umbrella never actually drenched the TPC Four Seasons course, but the radar looked so scary there was a delay of 3 hours, 44 minutes.

Joe Durant finished with an eagle and a birdie to match Day at 66. Steve Elkington, Hunter Mahan and Jarrod Lyle were still on the course with scores of 4-under.

Jason Day swings golf clubElkington will have two holes left, Mahan three and Lyle seven when play resumes at 7:15 a.m. Friday, pushing back the start of the second round by an hour. Thursday’s late starters are the first to go off Friday, which means it will be a long day for them.

Among those working overtime will be 16-year-old Jordan Spieth, a high school junior from Dallas and the reigning U.S. Junior Amateur champion. He’s the first high schooler to get a sponsor’s exemption into this event since Tiger Woods in 1993, and he showed he belongs by shooting even par through 11 holes.

Spieth woke up nervous and held his emotions in check during the delay by playing table tennis, shopping for souvenirs and putting. After a raucous ovation at his introduction, he ripped his tee shot down the middle, beyond his two playing partners. He parred the first four holes, then dropped in a birdie. He finished with a par putt and walked away saying, “I wanted to keep playing, I didn’t care how dark it was.”

Dustin Johnson was part of a group tied for second at 3-under, one shot behind. He’s No. 9 on the season’s money list, the top earner in this field.

Defending champion Rory Sabbatini was among a pack at 68.

Vijay Singh and Rickie Fowler got off to poor starts in their quests to qualify for the U.S. Open. Both need to be near the top of the leaderboard to get into the top 50 in the world rankings by Monday’s deadline, but both were stopped at 2-over. Fowler had two holes left, Singh three.

Although the weather made for a long afternoon, it helped Day. He used the down time to recover from the strength-sapping eight-plus holes he’d played.

“I just kind of sat down and rested,” Day said. “I just sat down at a table with a bunch of friends and my wife and we sat there and talked, drank a lot of water, tried to keep up with my nutrition at least in there.”

After the restart, he sure kept things interesting: two birdies, two bogeys and several scrambling pars – like on No. 1, his first full hole after the break. His tee shot was so poor it landed on the cart path, against a fence.

“I don’t think any player has been over there except me today,” he said.

Day’s season has been a lot like this round, spurts of great shots and bad ones, and ever-present illness.

His physical problems began at the season-opening tournament in Hawaii. He’s seen about six doctors trying to figure out what’s wrong. The diagnoses he’s heard include swine flu, bronchitis and allergies, and he’s been given a bunch of different medicines.

Turns out he has a chronic sinus infection. He was given a shot and a batch of heavy antibiotics that should finally clear things up – but only after they threaten to clean him out. That’s why he stood on the driving range wondering if 18 holes was a good idea.

“I really didn’t think I was going to play this morning,” he said.

Now the really weird part: The longer Day’s medical woes have dragged, the better he’s played. He’s had three top-25 finishes this season, all in the last five weeks.

Day suggests it’s because he’s practiced less and lowered his own expectations.

“I think I’m going out there and trying to play smarter golf,” said Day, who is only 22 but grew up being described as Australia’s answer to Tiger Woods. “I didn’t chip and putt as well as I would like to at the start of the year, and everything is turning around nicely now.”

That breakthrough, first PGA Tour win would be even better.

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Twitter spat turns into fundraising opportunity

By Rex HoggardMay 25, 2018, 6:30 pm

Country music star Jake Owen, along with Brandt Snedeker, has turned a spat on Twitter into a fundraising campaign that will support Snedeker’s foundation.

On Thursday, Owen was criticized during the opening round of the Web.com Tour’s Nashville Golf Open, which benefits the Snedeker Foundation, for his poor play after opening with an 86.

In response, Snedeker and country singer Chris Young pledged $5,000 for every birdie that Owen makes on Friday in a campaign called NGO Birdies for Kids

Although Owen, who is playing the event on a sponsor exemption, doesn’t tee off for Round 2 in Nashville until 2 p.m. (CT), the campaign has already generated interest, with NBC Sports/Golf Channel analyst Peter Jacobsen along with Web.com Tour player Zac Blair both pledging $100 for every birdie Owen makes.

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Noren so impressed by Rory: 'I'm about to quit golf'

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 5:33 pm

Alex Noren won the BMW PGA Championship last year, one of his nine career European Tour victories.

He opened his title defense at Wentworth Club in 68-69 and is tied for fourth through two rounds. Unfortunately, he's five back of leader Rory McIlroy. And after playing the first two days alongside McIlroy, Noren, currently ranked 19th in the world, doesn't seem to like his chances of back-to-back wins.

McIlroy opened in 67 and then shot a bogey-free 65 in second round, which included pars on the pair of par-5 finishing holes. Noren walked away left in awe.

"That's the best round I've ever seen," Noren said. "I'm about to quit golf, I think."

Check out the full interview below:

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Bubba gets to drive dream car: K.I.T.T. from 'Knight Rider'

By Grill Room TeamMay 25, 2018, 4:42 pm

Bubba Watson is a known car aficionado.

He purchased the original General Lee from the 1980’s TV show “Dukes of Hazzard” – later saying he was going to paint over the Confederate flag on the vehicle’s roof.

He also auctioned off his 1939 Cadillac LaSalle C-Hawk custom roadster and raised $410,000 for Birdies for the Brave.

He showed off images of his off-road Jeep two years ago.

And he even bought a car dealership near his hometown of Milton, Fla.

While recently appearing on the TV show “Jay Leno’s Garage,” the former “Tonight Show” host surprised Watson with another one of his dream cars: K.I.T.T.

The 1982 Pontiac Trans Am was made famous in the ‘80s action show “Knight Rider.”

Though, Bubba didn’t get to keep this one, he did get to drive it.

Bubba Watson gets behind the wheel of his dream car—the KITT from Knight Rider from CNBC.

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Cut Line: USGA readies for Shinnecock 'mulligan'

By Rex HoggardMay 25, 2018, 3:26 pm

In this week’s Memorial weekend edition, the European team adheres to the Ryder Cup secret formula, the USGA readies for the ultimate mulligan at next month’s U.S. Open and a bizarre finish at the Florida Mid-Am mystifies the Rules of Golf.

Made Cut

Cart golf. When the U.S. side announced the creation of a Ryder Cup task force following the American loss at Gleneagles in 2014, some Europeans privately – and publicly – snickered.

The idea that the secret sauce could be found in a meeting room did stretch the bounds of reason, yet two years later the U.S. team emerged as winners at Hazeltine National and suddenly the idea of a task force, which is now called a committee, didn’t seem so silly.

To Europe’s credit, they’ve always accomplished this cohesion organically, pulling together their collective knowledge with surprising ease, like this week when European captain Thomas Bjorn rounded out his vice captain crew.

Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald (a group that has a combined 47-40-13 record in the matches) were all given golf cart keys and will join Robert Karlsson as vice captains this year in Paris.

Perhaps it took the Americans a little longer to figure out, but Bjorn knows it’s continuity that wins Ryder Cups.



Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

The USGA’s mulligan. The U.S. Open is less than a month away and with it one of the most anticipated returns in recent major championship history.

The last time the national championship was played at Shinnecock Hills was in 2004 and things didn’t go well, particularly on Sunday when play had to be stopped to water some greens that officials deemed had become unplayable. This week USGA executive director Mike Davis was asked about the association’s last trip to the Hamptons and, to his credit, he didn’t attempt to reinvent history.

“Looking back at 2004, and at parts of that magnificent day with Retief (Goosen) and Phil Mickelson coming down to the end, there are parts that we learned from,” Davis said. “I’m happy we got a mulligan this time. We probably made a bogey last time, maybe a double bogey.”

Put another way, players headed to next month’s championship should look forward to what promises to be a Bounce Back Open.

Tweet of the week:

Homa joined a chorus of comments following Aaron Wise’s victory on Sunday at the AT&T Byron Nelson, which included an awkward moment when his girlfriend, Reagan Trussell, backed away as Wise was going in for a kiss.

“No hard feelings at all,” Wise clarified this week. “We love each other a ton and we're great. It was a funny moment that I think we'll always be able to look back at, but that's all it really was.”


Missed Cut

Strength of field. The European Tour gathers this week in England for the circuit’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, and like the PGA Tour’s marquee stop, The Players, the event appears headed for a new spot on the calendar next year.

As the PGA Tour inches closer to announcing the 2018-19 schedule, which will feature countless new twists and turns including the PGA Championship’s move to May and The Players shift back to March, it also seems likely the makeover will impact the European Tour schedule.

Although the BMW PGA currently draws a solid field, with this week’s event sporting a higher strength of field than the Fort Worth Invitational on the PGA Tour, it’s likely officials won’t want to play the event a week after the PGA Championship (which is scheduled for May 16-19 next year).

In fact, it’s been rumored that the European Tour could move all eight of its Rolex Series events, which are billed as “unmissable sporting occasions,” out of the FedExCup season window, which will end on Aug. 25 next year.

Although the focus has been on how the new PGA Tour schedule will impact the U.S. sports calendar, the impact of the dramatic makeover stretches will beyond the Lower 48.

Rules of engagement. For a game that at times seems to struggle with too much small print and antiquated rules, it’s hard to understand how things played out earlier this month at the Florida Mid-Amateur Championship.

In a story first reported by GolfChannel.com, Jeff Golden claimed he was assaulted on May 13 by Brandon Hibbs – the caddie for his opponent, Marc Dull, in the championship’s final match. Golden told police that Hibbs struck him because of a rules dispute earlier in the round. Hibbs denied any involvement, and police found no evidence of an attack.

The incident occurred during a weather delay and Golden conceded the match to Dull after the altercation, although he wrote in a post on Twitter this week that he was disappointed with the Florida State Golf Association’s decision to accept his concession.

“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.”

Because of the conflicting statements, it’s still not clear what exactly happened that day at Coral Creek Club, but the No. 1 rule in golf – protecting the competition and the competitors – seems to have fallen well short.