Nelson Event Goes On Without Lord Byron
'The obvious challenge is to carry on and conduct a tournament that is fittingly celebrating of Byron's legacy,' Mac Wesson, president of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, said Thursday during the kickoff luncheon for this year's tournament.
While Byron Nelson's golf legacy included his 18 victories in 1945, with a mesmerizing streak of 11 in a row that may never be broken, he valued helping others more than his personal records.
The golfer known as 'Lord Byron' was the first to have a PGA TOUR event named after him in 1968. And his presence helped make the tournament a popular stop for players, whom he greeted as they finished their rounds, and the biggest charity fund-raiser on the PGA TOUR. It has given more than $94 million to charities since its inception.
Nelson died of natural causes Sept. 26 at his beloved ranch in Roanoke. He was 94.
'We will never forget the example Byron set. We lost a great friend and a true inspiration,' Wesson said.
'In some ways, it's a new beginning for us,' said golf commentator and Dallas-area resident David Feherty, the keynote speaker. 'Byron would consider this just to be another Byron Nelson (tournament). And we will go ahead exactly as if he were here with us. Because he is, and he always will be.'
Tournament chairman Brooks Cullum said plans are being made for a 'specific event to commemorate Byron' during the week of the April 26-29 tournament. He said there would also be reminders of Nelson on the TPC Four Seasons and Cottonwood Valley courses.
The luncheon Thursday began with a video that included highlights of Nelson's playing career and tributes from golfers such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.
'Byron Nelson was one of the greatest players of all time. Not only was he a great player, but a great person,' Palmer said.
Nelson's widow, Peggy, smiled throughout the showing of the video, which ended with an image of Byron Nelson walking in a field at his ranch with the sun setting in the background.
'Byron is where we all want to be someday,' Peggy Nelson told the crowd. 'In the meantime, though, we've got a tournament to run and I'll be there. ... Even if you don't see me on the first tee or at 18, I will be there, and I know you will be there because we all want Byron to say to every one of us, `I'm so proud of you.''
Those were the exact words Byron Nelson spoke to his wife before she left their home for a Bible study Sept. 26. When she returned, Peggy Nelson found her husband of nearly 20 years dead on the back porch, which faces the woodworking shop where he spent much of his free time.
Before a bit filled with self-deprecating humor and witty jabs at former and current golfers, Feherty had some poignant words for Peggy Nelson.
'Byron Nelson was one of the greatest gifts that the game of golf has ever been given, and we in this room were especially lucky, I think, to be close to him over these years,' Feherty said. 'And the fact that you looked after him, and that you made him happy, and that you made him comfortable and that he enjoyed every ounce of his life, I think we owe you a great debt of thanks.'
The purse for the tournament has increased to $6.3 million, up $100,000 over the past two years. It's the 12th increase in 13 years, since the total purse was $1.2 million in 1993-94. This year's winner will get $1.134 million. ... John Daly has accepted a sponsors exemption.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off
NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.
Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.
The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.
Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.
Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.
Third-round tee times for the 147th Open
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.
Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.
Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.
Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.
Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.
4:15AM ET: Gavin Green
4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed
4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose
4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton
4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley
5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner
5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson
5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)
5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood
5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello
6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford
6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma
6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele
6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood
6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na
6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin
7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim
7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira
7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters
7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li
7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker
7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink
8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook
8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris
8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim
8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari
8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson
8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell
9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka
9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott
9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren
9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone
9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett
10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler
10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell
10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau
10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen
10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele
10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood
11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson
Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.
He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.
“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.
At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.
Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.
“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”
Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?
Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.
Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.
“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”
Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.
Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.
“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.
More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.
“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”