Singh returns to Colonial 1 stroke off early lead

By Associated PressMay 28, 2009, 4:00 pm
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FORT WORTH, Texas ' Vijay Singh stopped playing at the Colonial Country Club when Annika Sorenstam showed up in 2003. Hes finally back ' and among the leaders.
 
Singh shot a 6-under 64 on Thursday, leaving him a stroke behind Woody Austin, Tim Clark and Steve Stricker after the first round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational.
 
This is a good way to start a tournament, Singh said.
 
Singh played the event all but once from 1996-2002. He was scheduled to return in 03, then withdrew after making comments critical of the decision to allow a woman into the field. The gallery mocked his absence that week (his name on the side of chicken hats, T-shirts that read, Singh a different tune, Vijay), but folks seemed to have forgiven and forgotten on Thursday.
Fresh off a European Tour win at the BMW Championship, Paul Casey continued playing well, opening with a 66. (Getty Images)
He heard cheers when he birdied five straight holes in the middle of his round and people groaned along with him when he hit the flagstick on his 15th hole. The good vibe likely was aided by his pairing with Kenny Perry, a two-time champion, and Brian Gay, who was born in Fort Worth and considers this his favorite course.
 
Singh described the support from the gallery as no more than I had last week.
 
I havent been playing well so theyve been very quiet, he said, laughing. Maybe theyre going to start making noise here soon.
 
Singh and Perry walked off their final green leading the field. It didnt last, though, because Austin came in at 63 soon after, then Clark followed. All left for lunch expecting more low scores to come in because of the light winds and soft greens, but Stricker was the only player from the afternoon groups to join them.
 
If the wind blows, that is what is going to dictate the scoring here, Stricker said. But if it continues to be soft, I think the scoring is going to continue to be good.
 
Rory Sabbatini shot a 71 to open his bid to sweep the Dallas and Forth Worth events, something only done by Ben Hogan in 1946. Sabbatini is the 2007 champion of this event and the most recent winner because 08 champ Phil Mickelson is on indefinite leave to help his wife, Amy, who recently was diagnosed with breast cancer.
 
Paul Casey, playing his first tournament since moving up to No. 3 in the world rankings, opened with a 66. He won the BMW PGA Championship on Sunday at Wentworth in England for his third victory of the season.
 
Ian Baker-Finch, celebrating the 20-year anniversary of his Colonial victory, shot a 68 in his second competitive start in 12 years. The 48-year-old Australian, a television commentator for the last decade, hadnt played tournament golf in eight years since shooting 74-77 at Colonial to miss the cut.
 
Singh opened slowly, mixing one birdie with five pars. Then came a run of five straight birdies.
 
I thought, `Man, hes going to shoot 59, Perry said.
 
Singh narrowly missed several more birdie putts, often settling for tap-in pars. That includes the 15th, which mightve been a tap-in birdie the way it was coming in.
 
Perry tied him at 6 under with a birdie on their 17th hole, but Singh followed with a birdie putt from the fringe to reach 7 under. Then came his lone poor hole, the finale. Singh put his drive in a bunker, then his approach into a pond. After making his bogey putt, he flipped his replacement ball into the pond, too.
 
It was still his lowest round on the PGA Tour this year, and the fifth time in six tries that hes been in the 60s after doing so only twice in his first 28 rounds.
 
Im pretty pleased with what I did, Singh said.
 
Singh has made the cut in five of his six tries at the course known as Hogans Alley, finishing 11th twice and 12th in his most recent appearance. Hes blamed his long absence on conflicts with his European tour schedule.
 
I like the golf course, he said. The redo is really good. The layout is one of the best.
 
Perry loves everything about this place. The Kentucky native proudly calls it my home course because of how comfortable he feels here.
 
But Perry went out with a different game plan Thursday. He wasnt as aggressive as usual to avoid some of the pitfalls added since last years tournament. The strategy paid off as he didnt make a single bogey.
 
I usually hit driver everywhere, but now they put some strategic bunkering out there and I kind of had to scale back a little bit, he said.
 
Austins 63 was his best since going a stroke lower to win the 2007 St. Jude Classic.
 
It couldve been better, too.
 
I just had a boatload of chances and missed a couple of short ones early, he said. I made three in a row from long distance to kind of keep my spirits up and just kept on playing good and kept giving myself a ton of chances.
 
Clarks round also couldve been better. He missed a 3-foot putt on his final hole; if it had fallen, he wouldve tied the opening-round record for the tournament.
 
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    DJ triples last hole, opens with 76 at Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 6:18 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Dustin Johnson’s chances of winning The Open are likely already over.

    The world No. 1 hit his tee shot out of bounds on 18 on his way to a triple bogey, capping a miserable day that left him with a 5-over 76, 10 shots off the lead and in danger of missing the cut.

    Johnson didn’t talk to reporters afterward, but there wasn’t much to discuss.

    He didn’t make a birdie until the par-5 14th, bogeyed 16 and then made 7 on Carnoustie's home hole when his tee shot caromed out of bounds left.

    Johnson has missed the cut only once in nine previous appearances at The Open – in his first try in 2009.

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    'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

    By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

    “The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

    Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

    Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

    A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

    "Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told GolfChannel.com in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

    Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

    He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

    Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

    “It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

    "The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

    In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Web.com Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

    “I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

    The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”