Perk Up Kiwi Takes Early Lead

By Associated PressMay 20, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Bank of America ColonialFT. WORTH, Texas -- Craig Perks carded a 6-under-par 64 Thursday to take a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the Bank of America Colonial. Perks, the 2002 Players Championship winner, stands one stroke clear of Jesper Parnevik.
 
Stewart Cink posted a 4-under-par 66. He shares third place with Tim Petrovic, Steve Flesch Jeff Maggert and John Senden.
 
Perks, a native of New Zealand, opened with a birdie on the par-5 11th after dropping his sand-wedge within a foot of the cup. He then ran off five straight pars at the Colonial Country Club.
 
'I got off to a great start. I hit a poor drive on 11, then hit a sand wedge real close,' said Perks. 'That kind of got me going. I did struggle with the driver a little bit, but hit some really, really good iron shots. And my short game was as good as it always has been.'
 
The 37-year-old rolled home a 15-foot birdie putt at the 17th and followed that up by chipping in for birdie at the next to head to the front side at minus-3.
 
Perks moved to 4 under after dropping a 9-iron within 8 feet of the cup at the par-4 third.
 
He birdied the par-4 sixth before another chip-in birdie at the seventh got him to minus-6. He parred the final two holes to cap a bogey-free round.
 
'I saw some good things last week, although the results really don't show it,' Perks said. 'I'm still really struggling with my driver, but I've been working hard. I think what paid off today, I didn't have to drive every hole. I hit a lot of 3-woods and 2-irons. I hit solid iron shots.'
 
Parnevik got off to a quick start with a two-putt birdie at the first and a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 2. He moved to 3 under as he dropped in a birdie at the fifth.
 
Parnevik, a five-time winner on tour, cruised to seven straight pars from there. At the 13th, he dropped a 7-iron within 10 feet and drained that birdie try.
 
The Swede tripped to a bogey at the next, however. He erased that mistake by rolling in a 20-foot birdie try on No. 15. Parnevik climbed into second place after dropping a wedge within 15 feet to setup his final birdie at the 17th.
 
'A great day. This is one of the courses I love to play every year, and I think the feeling is similar with most of the players on tour because it's a very old traditional style and it's not the grip it and rip it type of golf we play every week,' Parnevik said. 'I've been struggling pretty bad last year, and my No. 1 goal this year was to really make a strong effort to come back into the top 10 again.'
 
Defending champion Kenny Perry notched a 3-under-par 67. He shares eighth place with Chris Riley, Dennis Paulson, Carl Pettersson and Robert Allenby.
 
Olin Browne, the 1999 winner here, heads a group at 2-under-par 68. Among the notable players joining him there are Dallas-native Harrison Frazar, former Masters champion Mike Weir and five-time tour winner Stuart Appleby.
 
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    Paisley (61) leads Web.com Tour Championship

    By Associated PressSeptember 20, 2018, 11:56 pm

    ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Chris Paisley birdied four of the last five holes for a 10-under 61 and the first-round lead Thursday in the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship.

    The South African Open winner in January for his first European Tour title, Paisley played the back nine first at Atlantic Beach Country Club, holing a bunker shot for an eagle on the par-5 18th. On the front nine, he birdied the par-3 fifth and finished with three straight birdies.

    ''I think just all around was really good,'' Paisley said. ''I hit it well off the tee, which gave me a lot of kind of short irons into the greens and opportunities. I hit a lot of really good iron shots close, and then a few other bonus kind of things happened where I holed the bunker shot on 18 and holed a long putt on No. 8.''

    The 32-year-old Englishman missed the cuts in the first three Web.com Tour Finals events after getting into the series as a non-member PGA Tour with enough money to have placed in the top 200 in the FedEx Cup. The final card went for $40,625 last year, with Paisley needs to finish in a two-way tie for fourth or better to mathematically have a chance to secure one of the 25 PGA Tour at stake.


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    ''The nice thing was I won early in the year in Europe,'' said Paisley, a former University of Tennessee player. ''I've got the first two Final series events locked up, I think I'm in those. I'm not guaranteed to be in Dubai yet. But I just thought we have a house over here, my wife's American, my goal is to try to get on the PGA Tour, so it was a perfect opportunity to try and do it.''

    Cameron Tringale and Canadian Ben Silverman were two strokes back at 63. Tringale is tied for 83rd in the PGA Tour card race with $2,660, and Silverman is tied for 85th at $2,600.

    ''I hit a lot of good shots and made some good putts,'' Silverman said. ''Actually, it could have been lower, but I'm not complaining. Missed a couple putts inside 6x feet, but I'm not complaining at all, it was a great round.''

    Lucas Glover was at 64 with Ben Crane, Nicholas Lindheim, Matt Every, Trevor Cone, Denny McCarthy, Carlos Ortiz and Jose de Jesus Rodriguez. Carlos Ortiz and Jose de Jesus Rodriguez earned PGA Tour cards as top-25 finishers on the Web.com Tour regular-season money list, and McCarthy has made $75,793 in the first three Finals events to also wrap up a card. In the race for the 25 cards, Lindholm is 19th with $35,836, Every 30th with $25,733, Glover 40th with $17,212, and Cone 59th with $8,162

    The series features the top 75 players from the Web.com regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, and Paisley and other non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200. The top-25 finishers on the Web.com regular-season money list are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. The other players are fighting for the 25 cards based on series earnings.

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    McIlroy likely to join PGA Tour PAC next year

    By Rex HoggardSeptember 20, 2018, 11:28 pm

    ATLANTA – The upside of the PGA Tour’s sweeping changes to next year’s playoff finale, along with a host of other significant changes to the schedule, seems to be more engagement in circuit policy by top players.

    Jordan Spieth served on the player advisory council this season and will begin his three-year term as one of four player directors on the policy board next year, and Justin Thomas also was on this year’s PAC.

    Those meetings might become even more high profile next year.


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    “I'm not on the PAC. I'm probably going to join the PAC next year. Nice to sort of know what's going on and give your input and whatever,” Rory McIlroy said following his round on Thursday at the Tour Championship.

    McIlroy said he spoke with Tour commissioner Jay Monahan about the transition to a strokes-based format for the Tour Championship starting next year. Given his take on Thursday to the media it must have been an interesting conversation.

    “I like it for the FedExCup. I don't necessarily think it should be an official Tour win. I don't know how the World Ranking points are going to work,” said McIlroy, who is tied for fifth after a first-round 67 at East Lake. “There's a lot of stuff that still needs to be figured out. But in terms of deciding the FedExCup, I think it's good.”

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    Thomas (67) happy to feel no pain in wrist

    By Rex HoggardSeptember 20, 2018, 11:03 pm

    ATLANTA – When Justin Thomas arrived at East Lake he didn’t have very high expectations.

    After injuring his right wrist during the final round of the BMW Championship he spent last week in south Florida getting therapy after being diagnosed with a case of tendinitis and little else.

    He said he didn’t hit a full shot last week and didn’t expect much out of his game at the finale, but was pleasantly surprised with his play following an opening 67 that left him tied for fifth place and two strokes off the lead. But most of all he was pleased that he didn’t feel any pain in his wrist.


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    “I thought that I may not be playing very well because of my preparation being able to hit as few balls as I have, but no, in terms of pain, it's not an issue,” he said.

    Thomas explained that he tested the wrist earlier this week to be sure he was pain-free and conceded he considered not playing the Tour Championship in order to be as healthy as possible for next week’s Ryder Cup.

    “If it would have hurt at all, I wouldn't have played,” said Thomas, who will be a rookie on this year’s U.S. team. “No. 1 most important part is my future and my career. I don't want to do anything that's going to put me out for a while. But to me, second most important is Ryder Cup. I would rather not play this week and play the Ryder Cup and be fresh and make sure I'm going to get as many points for the team as possible.”

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    Fowler 'pain free' and tied for Tour Championship lead

    By Rex HoggardSeptember 20, 2018, 11:01 pm

    ATLANTA – The most important member of Team USA at next week’s Ryder Cup may be the team trainer.

    Justin Thomas began the season finale nursing a case of tendonitis in his right wrist and Rickie Fowler skipped the first two playoff events after being slowed by a right oblique injury.

    Neither player seemed impacted by the injuries on Thursday at the Tour Championship, with Thomas tied for fifth at 3 under and Fowler tied for the lead with Tiger Woods at 5 under par.


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    “I needed the 2 1/2 weeks or so of just sitting around really not doing a whole lot,” said Fowler, who tied for eighth last week at the BMW Championship. “It was definitely the right call. If I would have played through the first or second playoff events, there was really no benefit, especially looking at the ultimate goal being ready for the Ryder Cup and to have a chance to be here at East Lake.”

    Being rested and pain-free is a vast improvement over how he felt at the PGA Championship last month, when he underwent therapy before and after each round and had to wear tape just to play.

    “It's nice to be back swinging pain-free because I wouldn't have wanted to deal with how it felt during PGA week for a continued amount of time,” said Fowler, who finished his day with a bogey-free closing nine to secure a spot in Friday’s final group with Woods.