Kuchar Henry Share Pebble Lead

By Associated PressFebruary 5, 2004, 5:00 pm
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Matt Kuchar and J.J. Henry, who slipped from view after such promising rookie seasons, returned to the spotlight Thursday on a spectacular afternoon on the Monterey Peninsula with rounds of 7-under 65 for a one-stroke lead in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
For Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson, only the scenery changed.
Singh, closing in on the PGA Tour record for most consecutive top 10s, recovered from a difficult start with two remarkable birdies on his way to a 5-under 67 at Poppy Hills. Mickelson, playing in the same group, continued his solid play with a 68.
''I had some putts that went in and some putts that didn't go in, just like it was for everybody,'' Mickelson said.
The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is renowned for its celebrity field, stunning views and greens so soft and bumpy that only 6-inch putts are considered tap-ins.
On Thursday, it looked like a ''Welcome Back'' party for some of the leaders.
Kuchar, the former U.S. Amateur champion who had a charming run through the majors in 1998, won the Honda Classic two years ago but followed it up by finishing 182nd on the money list. Henry had two runner-up finishes as a rookie in 2001, but dropped into mediocrity the last two years.
''There's definitely a learning curve out here,'' Henry said.
The biggest surprise might have been Tommy Tolles, who shot a 66 at Pebble Beach.
Tolles, considered to be among the best young players when he nearly won the '96 Players Championship, watched his game slowly fall into disrepair until he was forced to play on the Nationwide Tour last year.
Getting back to the PGA Tour was a big deal. Starting his season with a 66, which included a chip-in on No. 17 that made him feel like Tom Watson, made it even better.
''On the Nationwide Tour, there were some tournaments you just didn't feel like this was a setting,'' he said. ''I was out here seven years, and I know what it's like. You can get competition wherever you go. But the atmosphere just isn't the same. There is only one PGA Tour.''
There's only one Pebble Beach, and Tolles really soaked it up.
It started on No. 1 with a birdie, ''a typical AT&T 10-footer, bounced around and eventually went in,'' Tolles said.
Despite hitting his approach onto the beach and taking a bogey at No. 10, he plugged away and got close to the leaders by chipping in from about 40 feet on the par-3 17th. It wasn't anywhere near the spot where Watson chipped in to win the '82 U.S. Open, but Tolles felt just as good.
''The feeling is incredible, but when there's 500 or 1,000 people around to cheer for you, it's icing on the cake,'' said Tolles, who was lucky to see that many people all year on the Nationwide Tour.
''It's just so unexpected that you just have this, 'Oh, I want to do cartwheels or somersaults.' But I'm too old for that,'' he said.
Defending champion Davis Love III was in no mood for acrobatics, opening with a 3-over 75 on the toughest of the three courses, Spyglass Hill.
Masters champion Mike Weir had a 73 at Spyglass.
Kuchar finished with three straight birdies at Poppy Hills.
Most of the celebrities, such as Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady, Kevin Costner and Ray Romano, were at Poppy Hills, but Singh and Mickelson were the top attraction.
Singh made a brilliant escape from the trees on No. 1, only to three-putt for bogey from just inside 4 feet. He also bogeyed the par-5 fourth hole to fall to 2 over.
''Two unforced errors, and I played well from there in,'' Singh said.
His fortunes changed on No. 10, one of the five par 5s on Poppy. His second shot went deep into the trees, leaving Singh no shot at the green except to take it over a pine. It came off perfectly, leaving him a short birdie.
''I had to hit it straight over the trees, but I've practiced that shot before,'' Singh said.
Then on the par-4 16th, he was in the trees to the right and hit an approach that caromed off the ridge and spun sideways down a ridge to about 10 feet for another birdie.
Singh has 11 consecutive top 10s, three short of the modern-day record held by Jack Nicklaus.
It was a good start to a long week, which features six-hour rounds with 360 players -- half of them amateurs -- scattered among three golf courses that have squishy fairways and bumpy greens.
Henry remembers watching Pebble Beach as a kid in Connecticut, when snow was piled up in his yard. To be playing is a treat, and to be tied for the lead -- even for one day -- was even better.
''You realize you're lucky to be out here,'' Henry said.
No need to tell that to Tolles.
Notes: Craig Stadler, 50, playing in his third PGA Tour event of the year, had a 68. He was one shot better than his son, Kevin Stadler, who is playing on a sponsor's exemption. ... Mickelson has begged out of the celebrity rotation the last two years at the Bob Hope Classic, but he's right in the middle of it at Pebble Beach. ''I forgot to call and request to get out of it,'' he said. ... Pat Perez, poised to win here two years ago until he hit two tee shots out of bounds on the back nine, opened with an 80 on Poppy Hills. The hot-tempered Perez is paired this week with Joe Pesci.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
  • Full Coverage - AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
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    Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 5:30 pm

    Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.

    Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
    (1) D. Johnson: 0-1-0 (2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0 (3) J. Rahm: 0-0-1 (4) J. Spieth: 1-0-0
    (32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1 (21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0 (28) K. Aphibarnrat: 1-0-0 (19) P. Reed: 1-0-0
    (38) A. Hadwin: 0-0-1
    (48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0 (43) C. Reavie: 0-1-0 (34) H. Li: 0-1-0
    (52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
    (60) L. List: 0-1-0 (63) K. Bradley: 0-0-1 (49) C. Schwartzel: 0-1-0
    Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
    (5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0 (6) R. McIlroy: 0-1-0 (7) S. Garcia: 1-0-0 (8) J. Day: 1-0-0
    (30) P. Cantlay: 0-1-0
    (18) B. Harman: 0-0-1 (20) X. Schauffele: 1-0-0 (25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-0-0
    (46) C. Smith: 1-0-0 (44) J. Vegas: 0-0-1 (41) D. Frittelli: 0-1-0 (42) J. Dufner: 0-1-0
    (53) Y. Miyazato: 0-1-0 (51) P. Uihlein: 1-0-0 (62) S. Sharma: 0-1-0 (56) J. Hahn: 0-1-0
    Group 9 Group 10 Group 11 Group 12
    (9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0 (10) P. Casey: 1-0-0 (11) M. Leishman: 0-1-0 (12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0
    (26) D. Berger: 0-1-0 (31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-1-0 (23) B. Grace: 0-1-0 (22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0
    (33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0 (45) K. Stanley: 1-0-0 (35) B. Watson: 1-0-0 (36) B. Steele: 1-0-0
    (58) I. Poulter: 1-0-0 (51) R. Henley: 0-1-0 (64) J. Suri: 1-0-0 (55) A. Levy: 0-1-0
    Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
    (13) A. Noren: 2-0-0 (14) P. Mickelson: 0-1-0 (15) P. Perez: 0-0-1 (16) M. Kuchar: 0-0-1
    (29) T. Finau: 1-0-0 (17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-0-0 (24) G. Woodland: 0-0-1 (27) R. Fisher: 0-1-0
    (39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0 (40) S. Kodaira: 0-1-0 (37) W. Simpson: 0-0-1 (47) Y. Ikeda: 1-0-0
    (61) K. Na: 0-1-0 (59) C. Howell III: 1-0-0 (50) S.W. Kim: 0-0-1 (54) Z. Johnson: 0-0-1
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    Romo starts hot, stumbles to 77 in PGA Tour debut

    By Will GrayMarch 22, 2018, 5:14 pm

    There was plenty of good, but also plenty of bad for Tony Romo in his PGA Tour debut.

    Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption, Romo shot an even-par 36 for his opening nine holes in the Dominican Republic. The former NFL quarterback bogeyed his first two holes, but steadied the ship with three birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 4-8.

    The early highlight of the round came at the par-4 fifth hole, where Romo drained a putt from across the green for his second straight birdie:

    But the back nine wasn't as kind for the 37-year-old, who dropped five shots in a four-hole stretch from Nos. 13-16. It added up to a 5-over 77 in the opening round, which left Romo ahead of only Guy Boros among the players who had finished in the morning wave.

    "I hit two poor tee balls. Just didn't commit to it, and ultimately just got put in a tough spot where you're just trying to make par," Romo said. "I hit a lot of good shots, and they ended up a couple times in some poor spots. But you learn the golf course as you play it throughout the week."

    Romo has played as an amateur partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and has played individually in U.S. Open local qualifiers and mini-tour events as an amateur. But this marks his first attempt to gauge his game against the best players in the world who are not in Austin for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

    Romo was even par through 12 holes before a three-putt bogey from the fringe on No. 13. A nasty lie in the rough led to a double bogey on the par-5 14th, and Romo had to hit provisional tee shots on both Nos. 15 and 16. While he ultimately found his original ball on both holes, he left with a pair of bogeys.

    "I really hit some good shots, and I'm close," Romo said. "I had a chance to be under par pretty easily there for a while, and then two or three shots on the back nine cost me. But that's golf."

    Romo will tee off at 1 p.m. ET Friday in the second round alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.

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    Horschel, Kisner & Perez join "Feherty," Monday, March 26 at 9 p.m. ET

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 22, 2018, 5:10 pm

    PREVIEW: Perez details rocky collegiate golf experience at Arizona State

    Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner and Pat Perez – each winners of multiple events on the PGA TOUR – will join David Feherty on his self-titled, Emmy-nominated series Feherty presented by Farmers Insurance®, Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

    “This might be the biggest group of benign social deviants I’ve ever had the privilege of speaking to,” said Feherty. “They’ve been responsible for nine career wins on TOUR collectively, but they’re each also capable of getting into some mischief.”

    The episode – filmed in Naples, Fla. – will touch upon several topics, including:

    • Their respective upbringings and corresponding introductions to golf.
    • Reflections on their junior golf and collegiate playing days, and how it helped prepare them to compete as a professional.
    • Contemplating which mulligan(s) they’d take in their life if given the opportunity.

    Future guests on Feherty this year include Paul Azinger, Stewart Cink, Boo Weekley and Paul Goydos, among others.

    A two-time Emmy-nominated host (Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host) Feherty has been described as “golf’s iconoclast,” by Rolling Stone, and “the last unscripted man on TV,” by Men’s Journal. His all-star lineup of golf-enthused and culturally relevant guests feature celebrities from across entertainment, sports and politics. To date, Feherty has sat down with four U.S. Presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump); sports legends Charles Barkley, Nick Saban, Stephen Curry and Bobby Knight; Hollywood icons Matthew McConaughey, Larry David and Samuel L. Jackson; World Golf of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson; and a host of current golf superstars including Paula Creamer, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Michelle Wie. Feherty is produced by Golf Channel’s original productions group, which also oversees production for Driver vs. Driver and Golf Films.

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    Match-by-match: WGC-Dell Technologies, Day 2

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 4:00 pm

    Here is how things played out on Day 2 of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, as 64 players take on Austin Country Club with hopes of advancing out of pool play. Click here for Day 1 match results:

    Group 1: Dustin Johnson (1) vs. Adam Hadwin (38)

    Group 1: Kevin Kisner (32) vs. Bernd Wiesberger (52)

    Group 2: Justin Thomas (2) vs. Patton Kizzire (48)

    Group 2: Francesco Molinari (21) vs. Luke List (60)

     Group 3: Jon Rahm (3) vs. Chez Reavie (43)

    Group 3: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (28) vs. Keegan Bradley (63)

    Group 4: Jordan Spieth (4) vs. Haotong Li (34)

    Group 4: Patrick Reed (19) vs. Charl Schwartzel (49)

    Group 5: Hideki Matsuyama (5) vs. Cameron Smith (46)

    Group 5: Patrick Cantlay (30) vs. Yusaku Miyazato (53)

    Group 6: Rory McIlroy (6) vs. Jhonattan Vegas (44)

    Group 6: Brian Harman (18) vs. Peter Uihlein (57)

    Group 7: Sergio Garcia (7) vs. Dylan Frittelli (41)

    Group 7: Xander Schauffele (20) vs. Shubhankar Sharma (62)

    Group 8: Jason Day (8) vs. Jason Dufner (42)

    Group 8: Louis Oosthuizen (25) vs. James Hahn (56)

    Group 9: Tommy Fleetwood (9) def. Kevin Chappell (33), 7 and 6: Avenging an opening-day loss, the Englishman won the first four holes and needed to make only three birdies in a monster rout of Chappell. The 2017 Presidents Cupper made five bogeys and conceded two other holes but still has a chance to win the group.  

    Group 9: Daniel Berger (26) vs. Ian Poulter (58)

    Group 10: Paul Casey (10) vs. Kyle Stanley (45)

    Group 10: Matthew Fitzpatrick (31) vs. Russell Henley (51)

    Group 11: Marc Leishman (11) vs. Bubba Watson (35)

    Group 11: Branden Grace (23) vs. Julian Suri (64)

    Group 12: Tyrrell Hatton (12) vs. Brendan Steele (36)

    Group 12: Charley Hoffman (22) vs. Alexander Levy (55)

    Group 13: Alex Noren (13) def. Thomas Pieters (39), 5 and 4: Noren made quick work of Pieters in what could be a match of future Ryder Cup teammates. Noren built a 4-up lead after seven holes and then cruised from there, moving to 2-0 this week and eliminating Pieters. In 30 holes this week, Noren has made 12 birdies and no bogeys.

    Group 13: Tony Finau (29) vs. Kevin Na (61)

    Group 14: Phil Mickelson (14) vs. Satoshi Kodaira (40)

    Group 14: Rafa Cabrera Bello (17) vs. Charles Howell III (59)

    Group 15: Pat Perez (15) vs. Webb Simpson (37)

    Group 15: Gary Woodland (24) vs. Si Woo Kim (50)

    Group 16: Matt Kuchar (16) vs. Yuta Ikeda (47)

    Group 16: Ross Fisher (27) vs. Zach Johnson (54)