OHair Early Leader in Dallas

By Associated PressApril 26, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 EDS Byron Nelson ChampionshipIRVING, Texas - Sean O'Hair wants to be known for his game, not how he was pushed into the professional ranks while still in high school by an overbearing father.
 
With the way O'Hair is playing these days, his past is becoming less of the story, though it's no less disturbing.
 
O'Hair shot a season-best 5-under 65 on Thursday in the EDS Byron Nelson Championship to take a one-stroke lead over defending champion Brett Wetterich and Anders Hansen after the tournament's first round without its namesake.
 
'You don't want to be known for other stuff,' the 24-year-old O'Hair said. 'My life is in a great spot. I've got two beautiful kids I love to death and I've got a beautiful wife who does nothing but support me. ... I'm very fortunate to be in the situation that I'm in.'
 
That wasn't always the case for O'Hair, who was pushed relentlessly by his father to be a star. He used to have to run a mile for every bogey and turned pro at age 17, a year before he finished high school.
 
Wetterich's 66 included an eagle 3 on the 554-yard 16th hole when he hit his approach within 7 feet of the pin. His 20-foot birdie attempt for a share of the lead at the closing 440-yard hole at the TPC Four Seasons course slid just left of the cup.
 
One of the things Wetterich treasured about his only PGA TOUR victory was the personal congratulation he got from Nelson at the 18th green after the final round. Wetterich was the last winner to have that privilege.
 
Nelson, the champion golfer known as 'Lord Byron' and in 1968 the first to have a PGA TOUR event named after him, died Sept. 26. He was 94.
 
'It is a little sad to not see Byron there. I really miss him,' Phil Mickelson said after his round of 69. 'But I don't think he's very far away from us. We still have all the great memories he's provided.'
 
Luke Donald, with his ninth consecutive Nelson round in the 60s, and Scott Verplank were among five players tied for fourth at 67. Another dozen players posted 68s.
 
When O'Hair was the Nelson runner-up to Ted Purdy as a PGA TOUR rookie two years ago, O'Hair's story became well-publicized. But by then, he had already severed ties with his father.
 
'I kind of had my life in order. ... Once the media kind of got involved in that situation, it made it a little bit more difficult for me,' O'Hair said. 'That stuff is long gone, and it's been long gone for a long time.'
 
O'Hair said he now talks to his father 'once in a while.' While he politely described their relationship as a 'good situation,' he didn't elaborate.
 
Coming off four consecutive top-15 finishes, O'Hair got off to a good start with birdies on the opening two holes at Cottonwood Valley, the easier of the two courses used for the Nelson's first two rounds. He finished with seven birdies and two bogeys, the last on the par-3 17th after 'the one bad swing of the day' left his tee shot in the bunker.
 
Before his last four tournaments, O'Hair started the season missing five of six cuts and tied for 56th at the Nissan Open.
 
'I went back to an old instructor of mine, and things are starting to click,' O'Hair said. 'Golf is just about confidence, and it's just going out there with the feeling I'm going to play well, and that just wasn't the case at the beginning of the season.'
 
It also helped to be back at Nelson. The only place O'Hair has finished better was at the 2005 John Deere Classic in Illinois.
 
Mickelson, No. 4 in the world ranking and highest-ranked player in the field, was 4 under in his first round since the Masters before his only three bogeys came on the last four holes. Afterward, he didn't want to discuss the swing changes he's been working on with new instructor Butch Harmon.
 
'I'm pleased so far, yeah,' Mickelson said. 'I hit the ball well, gave a few shots back in the end.'
 
Mickelson, No. 7 Vijay Singh and No. 11 Donald are the only three of the top 13 players in the world playing this week. Mickelson and Singh, who also had an opening 69, are past Nelson champions.
 
Rod Pampling and Ken Duke, the 2006 Nationwide Tour champion coming off a PGA TOUR-best runner-up finish last weekend at New Orleans, were in the group at 68. Both missed chances to do better.
 
Pampling had birdies on three of his first five holes at the TPC, including a 60-foot chip-in at the 490-yard No. 3. But he had an erratic back nine with three consecutive birdies sandwiched by four bogeys, missing the green on the final two holes.
 
Duke hit his drive at TPC's No. 14 out of bounds and three-putted at the 17th.
 
DIVOTS
Hansen had a bogey-free round. ... Hank Kuehne shot a 74 in his first PGA TOUR round since THE PLAYERS Championship in March 2006 before he had surgery on his left hip. His gallery included tennis standout Venus Williams, who he is reportedly dating. They rode on a golf cart together back to the clubhouse after his round. ... Friday's rounds will be the last for the Nelson at Cottonwood Valley, which has been used every year since 1994. A multimillion dollar redesign of the TPC course begins May 10.
 
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    Watch: Na punctuates caddie tiff with hole-out

    Microphones captured a fascinating and testy exchange between Kevin Na and his caddie, Kenny Harms, on Na's final hole, No. 9.

    Na was in the right rough, 185 yards from the green, which was guarded by water. He vacillated between a hybrid and an iron, but with either club he would have to hit "a 40-yard cut," as Harms termed it.

    "Over the green's dead," Harms warned.

    "It's not gonna go over the green, Kenny," Na replied.

    Na finally settled on an iron and said to Harms, "As long as you're OK with this club."

    "I'm not," harms replied. "I'm not OK with either one of them."

    "I'm going with this," Na ended the discussion.

    He missed the green with his approach shot, but avoided the water. After taking a free drop away from some TV cables, he had 92 feet 3 inches to the cup and of course, holed the pitch shot for a birdie-3, a 62 and a one-shot lead at the end of the first round.

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    Na (62) leads Hoffman by one at Colonial

    By Nick MentaMay 24, 2018, 10:38 pm

    Kevin Na leads the Fort Worth Invitational by one over Charley Hoffman following a first-round 8-under 62. Here's where things stand through 18 holes at Colonial.

    Leaderboard: Na (-8), Hoffman (-7), Emiliano Grillo (-6), Jhonattan Vegas (-6), Andrew Putnam (-6), Beau Hossler (-6)

    What it means: The veteran Na is in search of just his second PGA Tour victory in 367 events played. The 34-year-old's lone victory came at the 2011 Shriners to go along with nine runner-ups, the most recent of which was a tie for second at this year's Genesis Open. Na missed three straight cuts in April but has rallied back with a weekend stay at The Players and a T-6 at last week's Byron Nelson. Ranked 75th in the world, he is not currently qualified for the U.S. Open or the Open Championship. 

    Round of the day: Na turned in a clean card Thursday with six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 first, his 10th hole of the day. He closed with a chip-in birdie at No. 9 following a friendly disagreement with his caddie (more on that below). 

    Best of the rest: Hoffman was likewise bogey-free, drawing seven circles. The four-time Tour winner and typically steady performer has yet to register a top-10 finish this season.

    Biggest disappointment: Not that a round of 1 under is tragically disappointing, but Jordan Spieth has a pretty solid history of going low at this event and contending for the title. He's seven back through Round 1.

    Shot of the day: Satoshi Kodaira recorded the second albatross in tournament history when he holed a 3-iron from 234 yards at the first.

    Honorable mention: Na got into a pretty good back-and-forth with his caddie about whether to lay up or try to clear the water from the right rough at No. 9. Na went for it, avoided hazard, and holed this chip for birdie. 

    Quote of the day: "I told you." - Na, after his chip-in

    Golf Channel's NCAA Golf Coverage Continues Mon-Wed., May 28-30 With the NCAA Men's Golf Championships

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 24, 2018, 10:24 pm

    Two National Championships to be Decided Over a Three-Day Span – Individual (Mon., May 28) and Team (Wed., May 30)

     Eight of the Top-10 Ranked Programs in the Country Set to Compete; Reigning NCAA Men’s National Champions Oklahoma and Current Top-Ranked Oklahoma State Paired Together Starting Friday

     Buick and Stifel Co-Presenting Sponsors of Golf Channel’s Coverage of the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships

    ORLANDO, Fla., May 24, 2018 – Coming on the heels of Wednesday’s dramatic championship match where Arizona defeated Alabama in a playoff to claim their third women’s golf team national championship, Golf Channel returns to Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. next week for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf National Championships. Taking place Monday-Wednesday, May 28-30, Golf Channel’s coverage will feature nearly 30 hours of live tournament and on-site wraparound news coverage, showcasing the top men’s college golf programs in the country.

    NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage: Coverage begins on Monday, May 28 to crown the individual national champion and to track the teams attempting to qualify for the eight-team match play championship. Golf Channel’s coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29-30 will include all three rounds of the team match play, ultimately crowning a team national champion.

    In addition, Golf Central will surround live tournament action with pre-and post-event news coverage produced on-site at Karsten Creek Golf Club, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and online via Golf Channel Digital. News and tournament coverage also will be live streamed on Golf Channel Digital. College Central, Golf Channel’s online home for college golf, will provide comprehensive editorial coverage throughout the championships.

    Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

    Monday, May   28

    Individual   National Championship

    4-8 p.m.   (Live)

    Tuesday, May   29

    Quarterfinals,   Team Match Play

    11   a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

    Tuesday,   May 29

    Semifinals,   Team Match Play

    4-8 p.m.   (Live)

    Wednesday, May   30

    Team Match   Play National Championship

    4-8 p.m.   (Live)

    Stifel and Buick Sign on as Co-Presenting Sponsors for Golf Channel’s NCAA Golf Championships Tournament Coverage: New for 2018, Stifel Financial Corp. and Buick have signed on as co-presenting sponsors for Golf Channel’s tournament coverage of the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. In addition, Stifel has extended its partnership with the Fred Haskins Commission, Golf Channel and Golfweek as presenting sponsor of the Fred Haskins Award, given annually to nation’s outstanding male collegiate golfer.Golf Channel will announce the Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel following the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, on a live edition of Golf Central, Wednesday, June 6 at 6 p.m. ET. The show will include profiles on the top candidates for the award and a live interview with the winner, who also will receive an exemption to compete in the 2018 Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR. The Haskins Award honors the nation’s most outstanding male Division I collegiate golfer as selected by his peers, coaches and the golf media.

    Semifinal Teams in Match Play to Receive Invitations to Compete in East Lake Cup: The East Lake Cup, taking place in late October at historic East Lake Golf Club, will feature the top-performing teams from the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. Invitations for the field have been extended to Arizona, Alabama, Southern California and Stanford – semifinalists in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, and also will be extended to the semifinalists in the Men’s Championships. Modeled after the NCAA Golf Championships, the format for the East Lake Cup consists of an opening round of stroke play to crown an individual male and female champion and determine seeding for the following two days of match play competition. Golf Channel will air live coverage of the East Lake Cup Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31.

    College Central – Golf Channel Digital Coverage: Golf Channel will provide comprehensive coverage via College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, and Ryan Lavner, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

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    Country singer Owen shoots 86 in Web.com debut

    By Will GrayMay 24, 2018, 7:51 pm

    Country music star Jake Owen struggled in his Web.com Tour debut, shooting a 14-over 86 in the opening round of the Nashville Golf Open.

    Owen, who played as a 1 handicap earlier this year while teaming with Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, put three balls out of bounds over his first nine holes, including two en route to a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 18th hole. After making the turn in 46, Owen came home in 40 without making a single birdie.

    Owen is playing as an amateur on an unrestricted sponsor exemption, the same type used by NBA superstar Steph Curry on the Web.com Tour last year and by former NFL quarterback Tony Romo this year on the PGA Tour. Curry missed the cut after rounds of 74-74 at the Ellie Mae Classic, while Romo shot 77-82 at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship.


    Full-field scores from the Nashville Golf Open


    Owen tallied nine pars, six bogeys, two doubles and a quad in his opener and was the only player from the morning wave who failed to break 80. The closest player to him in the standings was two-time major champ Angel Cabrera, who opened with a 79.

    While Owen struggled against a field full of professionals, he took the setback in stride and even took to Twitter in the middle of his round to fire back at some of his online critics: