Notes Furyk Solid in Return

By Associated PressJune 17, 2004, 4:00 pm
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. -- Jim Furyk didn't know if he would get the chance to defend his U.S. Open title.
In January, an MRI revealed torn cartilage in his left wrist and he decided to have surgery to repair it. His first competitive round of golf since then was Thursday at Shinnecock Hills in the U.S. Open.
He shot a 2-over 72, not good enough to be among the leaders but good enough to make him sound optimistic about the rest of the week.
'I just didn't get the ball in the hole and I made some poor decisions out there. That'll happen. It'll come,' he said. 'I'll be back tomorrow to grind it out and try to put some of those putts in.'
As defending champion, Furyk played in the traditional group with British Open champion Ben Curtis, who had 68, and U.S. Amateur champion Nick Flanagan, who had an 80.
There wasn't a whole lot of pressure on Furyk as defending champion since only one player in that position since 1991 has managed to finish better than 40th. Tiger Woods was 12th in 2001 as defending champion and four others didn't even make the cut.
Furyk started with birdies on Nos. 10 and 11, but the red number was gone with bogeys on two of the next three holes.
'I had the fast start, then made some bad mistakes,' he said. 'I got the good out of the way and the bad out of the way.'
Furyk said the round went as he expected, even having to rip a wedge out of the deep heather on the 14th hole.
'I knew I would have some bumps and bruises. I hit it in the rough my share, so the wrist felt good, actually felt better today than it has all week,' he said. 'I'm pretty darn happy with the physical side of my game. I hit a lot of fairways and greens, more than I would have expected a couple of weeks ago.'
Mark Calcavecchia wasn't making a fashion statement. He was helping his aching back.
'I saw Freddie's acupuncture lady last night,' Calcavecchia said, referring to fellow pro and back pain sufferer Fred Couples. 'My back wasn't as tight.'
The subject came up because Calcavecchia had two small needles in each ear, not misplaced jewelry but acupuncture pins to help with his lower back problem.
'When you hit them it hurts, other than that I don't notice them,' he said after shooting a 1-under 71, a round the 1989 British Open champion wasn't too pleased with.
'I hit the first six fairways and missed the last eight. I turned an 80 into a 71. I played awful. If there weren't 20 marshals and 5,000 fans on some of those holes I would have lost five balls today.
'It was just a struggle the last nine holes for sure. Those four or five lashes I took out of the heavy stuff on the back nine kind of took a toll on me. I'm ready to sit down.'
David Roesch felt rushed in his first round at a U.S. Open and wasn't too happy about it.
The 30-year-old mini-tour veteran had a 2-under 68 that came close to being a 69 or worse because of the USGA's pace of play policy.
'We were on the fourth, a par 4, I was in between clubs and a guy comes up to me and says `You've got a bad time. The next one's a shot,'' Roesch said, referring to a USGA official who informed the threesome individually they were behind the accepted pace of play. 'I don't know what's going on. I'm tying to play well. I'm a no-name and here comes this guy and tells me I have a bad time and we get to the next tee and we stand there. You tell me what's going on. I was mad. I don't know if I'll get in trouble for this.'
He won't.
USGA rules official Mary Bea Porter-King was with the group. She said they fell behind the pace and were told but it wasn't just Roesch.
'The group was behind and they were warned. There was no harm, no foul,' she said. 'He did rush his first putt and then made the second, which was key, and then we rush to the next tee and had to wait. His group, the one I was officiating, was out of position several times and it wasn't because of David's play. It was a mixture of things. I was concerned for him because he was playing so well and I didn't want him to get out of his rhythm.'
Roesch admitted he didn't know the policy and said he would talk to someone in the USGA about it so it wouldn't be an issue on Friday.
'I told him I would get him someone to talk to,' Porter-King said. 'He needs to understand how it's done.'
Under the USGA policy, a threesome has to play at a pace that would mean a round of no more than 4 hours and 32 minutes, while a twosome has to play at a pace of no longer than 3:55. Once a group has been warned, a player must play his stroke within 40 seconds. One bad timing is a warning, a second is a one-stroke penalty, a third an additional two strokes and a fourth means disqualification.
'Most kids can beat their dads but I can't beat mine,' Bill Haas, whose opening-round 73 was seven strokes behind Jay Haas, his father who was tied for the lead when play was suspended for the day.
Carlos Franco withdrew after playing 14 holes because of allergies. Franco, who was 9 over when he left the course, said the dust stirred up by the crowd caused his problem. ... ESPN and the USGA finalized a four-year extension through 2008. ESPN has been the exclusive cable partner of the USGA's U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Senior Open since 1982. ... When play resumed after a 2-hour, 12-minute weather delay, Spencer Levin, an amateur from Elk Grove, Calif., made a hole-on-one at the 179-yard 17th with an 8-iron. He finished with a 69 and was the day's low amateur.
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    Winning on Kerr's mind this week and beyond

    By Randall MellMarch 24, 2018, 2:11 am

    Cristie Kerr moved into position Friday to do more than win the 21st LPGA title of her career.

    She moved into position to claim an LPGA Hall of Fame point this week.

    Yes, winning is foremost on her mind at the Kia Classic, where she took the lead with an 8-under-par 64 in the second round, she’s on a larger quest, too.

    After turning 40 last fall, Kerr was asked what her goals are.

    “The Hall of Fame is attainable, if I stick with it,” she said.

    Kerr is five shots ahead of Lizette Salas (67), In-Kyung Kim (69), Hee Young Park (70) and Caroline Hedwall (70).

    It’s a good time for Kerr to get on a hot streak, with the year’s first major championship, the ANA Inspiration, next week. She has long been one of the best putters in the women’s game, but her ball-striking is impressive this week. She hit 17 greens in regulation Thursday, and she hit 16 on Friday.

    “I like winning,” Kerr said. “I like challenging myself. Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older, with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, `Man, why does my hamstring hurt?’ From working around this hilly golf course.”

    Kerr acknowledged Friday that her body is more vulnerable to time’s realities, but her mind isn’t.

    Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

    “The golf ball doesn't know an age,” Kerr said. “I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.”

    Kerr won two weeks after her 40th birthday last fall, boosting her LPGA Hall of Fame point total to 22. She is five points short of eligibility for induction. A player earns one point for an LPGA victory and two points for a major championship title. So there’s a lot of Hall of Fame ground to gain this week and next.

    It’s a long-term goal that motivates Kerr to take care of her body.

    “I don't think the golf changes,” Kerr said. “I think, physically, it gets harder as you get older. Like I said, I've got tape on my hamstring. I strained it, just a little bit yesterday, walking around this golf course. It's tough as you get older, just being fresh and rested. I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.”

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    Big names chasing Kerr into the weekend at Kia Classic

    By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 1:55 am

    CARLSBAD, Calif. - Cristie Kerr shot an 8-under 64 on Friday in the Kia Classic to take a five-stroke lead into the weekend.

    The 40-year-old Kerr had eight birdies in her second straight bogey-free round to reach 13-under 131 at rain-softened Aviara.

    ''I like winning. I like challenging myself,'' Kerr said. ''Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, 'Man, why does my hamstring hurt?' From working around this hilly golf course. The golf ball doesn't know an age. I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.''

    She has 20 LPGA victories, winning at Aviara in 2015. She won twice last year and helped the U.S. beat Europe in her ninth Solheim Cup appearance.

    ''It's tough as you get older just being fresh and rested,'' Kerr said. ''I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.''

    Lizette Salas, In-Kyung Kim, Hee Young Park and Caroline Hedwall were tied for second. Salas shot 67, Kim 69, and Park and Hedwall 70.

    ''I really like this golf course. I really like the environment,'' said Salas, the former University of Southern California player from Azusa. ''My family gets to come out. So much confidence at the beginning of the week, and definitely showed the first two days.

    Jeong Eun Lee was 7 under after a 69, and defending ANA champion So Yeon Ryu had a 70 to get to 6 under.

    Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

    Ariya Jutanugarn (72), Brooke Henderson (70) and 2016 winner Lydia Ko (71) were 5 under. Shanshan Feng (68) was another stroke back, and Singapore winner Michelle Wie (72) was 1 under.

    Lexi Thompson was 2 over after a 74, making the cut on the number in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills.

    Kerr opened with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-3 11th, added birdies on the par-4 16th, 18th and second, and ran off three in a row on the par-3 sixth, par-4 seventh and par-5 eighth.

    ''I don't think you can fall asleep on one shot,'' Kerr said. ''It's a really good golf course. I think I play better on courses that demand the focus, so I think that's why I've played well here in the past. ... I'm trying not to put limits on myself right now. I've got some good things going on with my swing.''

    She has long been one best putters and green-readers in the world.

    ''I can see the subtleties that a lot of people can't,'' Kerr said. ''It's a gift from God being able to do that. I've always had that, so I'm lucky.''

    Laura Davies withdrew after an opening 82. The 54-year-old Davies tied for second last week in the Founders Cup in Phoenix, playing through painful left Achilles and calf problems.

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    DJ hits 489-yard drive, but it doesn't count for history

    By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 12:22 am

    AUSTIN, Texas – Dustin Johnson is no stranger to big drives, but even for DJ this one was impressive.

    Trailing in his Day 3 match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Johnson launched a drive at the par-5 12th hole that traveled 489 yards, but that number comes with an asterisk.

    “He got lucky it hit the road,” smiled Kevin Kisner, who was leading the world No. 1, 3 up, at the time. “I thought he would make an eagle for sure, he only had 80 yards [to the hole]. He didn’t hit a very good putt.”

    WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

    WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

    Johnson’s drive, which was 139 yards past Kisner’s tee shot, is the longest recorded on the PGA Tour in the ShotLink era, surpassing Davis Love III’s drive of 476 yards in 2004 at the Tournament of Champions.

    The drive will not go into the record books, however, because the Tour doesn’t count statistics from the Match Play.

    It should also be noted, Kisner halved the 12th hole with a birdie and won the match, 4 and 3, to advance to the round of 16.

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    Durant leads Champions event in Mississippi

    By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 12:21 am

    BILOXI, Miss. - Joe Durant had three straight birdies in a back-nine burst and a shot 6-under 66 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' Rapiscan Systems Classic.

    Durant birdied the par-4 11th and 12th and par-5 13th in the bogey-free round at breezy and rain-softened Fallen Oak. Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairway.

    ''It just sets up nice to my eye,'' Durant said. ''It's a beautiful golf course and it's very challenging. The tee shots seem to set up well for me, but the greens are maybe as quick as I've ever seen them here. You really have to put the ball in the right spots. I played very nice today. With the wind swirling like it was, I'm really happy.''

    He won the Chubb Classic last month in Naples, Florida, for his third victory on the 50-and-over tour.

    Full-field scores from the Rapiscan Systems Classic

    ''Done this long enough, Friday's just one day,'' Durant said. ''Especially in a three-day tournament, you've got to go out and shoot three good numbers. Fortunate to put one on the board, but I know I have to back it up with a couple of good days because you can get passed very quickly out here.''

    Mark Calcavecchia was a stroke back. He won last month in Boca Raton, Florida

    ''It's probably my best round I've ever had here and it was a tough day to play,'' Calcavecchia said. ''The greens are just lightning fast. They're pretty slopey greens, so very difficult to putt.''

    Steve Stricker was third at 68. He took the Tucson, Arizona, event three weeks ago for his first senior victory.

    ''Just getting it around and managing my game I think like I always do,'' Stricker said. ''You get in the wrong position here with the greens being so fast and you're going to be in trouble. I did that a couple times today.''

    Billy Mayfair, Billy Andrade and David McKenzie shot 69. Jerry Kelly, the winner of the season-opening event in Hawaii, was at 70 with Wes Short Jr., Glen Day, Gene Sauers and Jesper Parnevik.

    Bernhard Langer opened with a 71, and two-time defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez had a 72.

    Vijay Singh, coming off his first senior victory two weeks ago in Newport Beach, California, had a 73.