Weir shoots 65 for share of lead in Canada

By Associated PressJuly 24, 2008, 4:00 pm
RBC Canadian OpenOAKVILLE, Canada ' Mike Weir gave Canadian Open fans what they came to see on another rainy day at drenched Glen Abbey.
 
The Canadian icon shot a bogey-free 6-under 65 on Thursday for a share of the lead with Anthony Kim and Eric Axley during the suspended first round. Only half of the players were able to finish the round that was delayed for 5 hours, 42 minutes.
 
Mike Weir
Mike
You want to take advantage of today because its only going to get a little firmer and faster, said Weir, his words punctuated by a clap of thunder that drew a smile and forced him to reconsider his answer. Maybe not with whats coming. Maybe not.
 
Richard Johnson, J.P. Hayes, Nicholas Thompson, Ryan Armour and Jason Allred shot 67s on the course saturated by 8 inches of rain in six days. John Senden and Charley Hoffman also were 4 under. Senden played nine holes, and Hoffman completed eight.
 
Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to use preferred lies.
 
Were playing lift, clean and place and, if you hit fairways, youre going to have great opportunities to go at flags, Kim said. The course isnt overly long. But if you can hit some 7-irons 15 feet and shake some of those in, youll be in good shape. I hit every fairway and that gave me a lot of opportunities to go at some pins.
 
Two-time defending champion Jim Furyk, a few minutes away from teeing off when play was suspended was 1 under at the turn.
 
A brief storm hit at about 1:30 p.m. and waves of showers followed, flooding bunkers and fairways on the course that many players thought would be unplayable after heavy rain Wednesday. Play resumed at about 6:30 p.m., and was suspended because of darkness at 8:49 p.m., leaving the course once again to the weary maintenance crew.
 
I heard in the locker room somebody said they were here until 3 in the morning, Weir said. Im sure they got a couple hours of sleep and were right back at it first thing. Theyve had their work cut out and theyve done a great job. It exceeded my expectations what I thought I was going to see out there.
 
Weirs 65, highlighted by 11 one-putt greens, matched his best score in the tournament and was his first opening sub-70 round of the year. He finished with a 5-foot birdie putt on the par-4 ninth, drawing one last round of cheers from the adoring fans who lined the fairways 10 deep in places.
 
It played probably about as easy as Glen Abbey can play given the balls not running out through the fairways on some of the doglegs, Weir said. You just kind of hit it to the corner and its just stopping there. With the greens being soft, you can fly the ball right to the hole and it would stop.
 
Trying to become the first Canadian winner since Pat Fletcher in 1954, Weir is back at Glen Abbey for the first time since a playoff loss to Vijay Singh in 2004. The 2003 Masters champion is making his 18th appearance in the event. He missed the cut in his first nine starts ' eight at Glen Abbey and one at Royal Montreal.
 
I did need to get over the struggles I had around here, Weir said. Finally shooting some good rounds in 2004 helped me get over the mental hurdle that I can shoot better than 70 out here.
 
With the national championship stuck in a difficult schedule spot after the British Open and before the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship, Weir is skipping the WGC event next week at Firestone.
 
This is like a major here and the PGA is a major, Weir said. Its (Firestone) a golf course Ive never played that well. Of the tournaments coming up, if I was going to skip one, that was going to be it. I really want to be ready for the PGA. The PGA is close to home for me, as well.
 
Kim, the Wachovia Championship and AT&T National winner, is coming off a seventh-place tie in the British Open. The 23-year-old American was back in form Thursday after adjusting his swing to cope with the strong wind at Royal Birkdale.
 
I really didnt feel comfortable until today, Kim said. Yesterday, playing 15 holes, my game was a little bit off. My putter was off. Everything was just a little bit rusty. I definitely feel like I have my legs under me now.
 
Axley, the 2006 Texas Open winner, closed with a 15-foot eagle putt on par-5 18th.
 
DIVOTS: Corey Pavin was preparing to strike a 2-foot birdie putt on his final hole when play was delayed. He waited nearly six hours before holing out for a 71. Weir won the Frys Electronics Open in October for his eighth PGA TOUR title, matching the late George Knudson for the most by a Canadian. Richard S. Johnson, the U.S. Bank Championship winner Sunday in Milwaukee, shot a 71.
 
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    Gooch chooses 'life over a good lie' with gators nearby

    By Ryan LavnerApril 26, 2018, 11:31 pm

    AVONDALE, La. – A fairway bunker wasn’t Talor Gooch’s only hazard on the 18th hole at TPC Louisiana.

    Gooch’s ball came to rest Thursday within a few feet of three gators, leading to a lengthy delay as he sorted out his options.

    Chesson Hadley used a rake to nudge two of the gators on the tail, sending them back into the pond surrounding the green. But the third gator wouldn’t budge.

    “It woke him up from a nap,” Gooch said, “and he was hissing away and wasn’t happy.”

    The other two gators remained in the water, their eyes fixed on the group.


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    “I’m sure we would have been fine, but any little movement by them and no chance I would have made solid contact,” he said.

    A rules official granted Gooch free relief, away from the gator, but he still had to drop in the bunker. The ball plugged.

    “I chose life over a good lie in that situation,” he said.

    He splashed out short of the green, nearly holed out his pitch shot and made par to cap off an eventful 6-under 66 with partner Andrew Landry.

    “It was my first gator par,” he said. “I’ll take it.”

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    Koepka's game 'where it should be' even after injury

    By Ryan LavnerApril 26, 2018, 11:18 pm

    AVONDALE, La. – Brooks Koepka didn’t look rusty Thursday while making six birdies in the first round of the Zurich Classic.

    Making his first start in four months because of a torn ligament in his left wrist, Koepka and partner Marc Turnesa shot a 5-under 67 in fourballs at TPC Louisiana.

    “It felt good,” Koepka said afterward. “It was just nice to be out here. I played pretty solid.”


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    The reigning U.S. Open champion felt soreness in his wrist the week after he won the Dunlop Phoenix in the fall. He finished last at the Hero World Challenge in December and then the following month at the Tournament of Champions before shutting it down.

    He only began practicing last week and decided to commit to the Zurich Classic after three solid days at Medalist. He decided to partner with one of his friends in South Florida, Marc Turnesa, a former PGA Tour winner who now works in real estate.

    Koepka hasn’t lost any distance because of the injury – he nearly drove the green on the 355-yard 16th hole. He’s planning to play the next two weeks, at the Wells Fargo Championship and The Players.

    “I feel like I’m playing good enough to be right where I should be in April,” he said. “I feel good, man. There’s nothing really wrong with my game right now.”

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    Like a tattoo: Ko shares early Mediheal lead

    By Randall MellApril 26, 2018, 10:45 pm

    Lydia Ko put herself in early position Thursday to try to extend her birthday celebration through Sunday at the LPGA Mediheal Championship.

    Ko, who turned 21 on Tuesday, is off to a strong start at Lake Merced Golf Club, where she has a lot of good memories to draw upon as she seeks to regain the winning form that made her the greatest teen phenom in the history of the women’s game.

    With a 4-under-par 68, Ko moved into a four-way tie for the lead among the morning wave in the first round. I.K. Kim, Jessica Korda and Caroline Hedwall also opened with 68s.

    All Ko has to do is look at her right wrist to feel good about returning to San Francisco. That’s where she tattooed the date April 27, 2014, in Roman numerals. That’s how she commemorated her Swinging Skirts victory at Lake Merced, her first title as an LPGA member. She won there again the following year.

    “This is a golf course where I've played well,” Ko said. “The fans have been amazing. They’ve been super supportive every single time I've come here, even since I played the U.S. Juniors here.”


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    Ko made it to the semifinals of the U.S. Girls’ Junior at Lake Merced in 2012.

    “It just brings back a lot of great memories,” she said.

    Ko got this week off to a good start with friends from South Korea and New Zealand flying to California to surprise her on her birthday. She was born in South Korea and grew up in New Zealand.

    “Turning 21 is a huge thing in the United States,” Ko cracked. “I’m legal now, and I can do some fun things.”

    Ko is looking to claim her 15th LPGA title and end a 21-month winless spell. Her ball striking was sharp Thursday, as she continues to work on improvements under her swing coach, Ted Oh. She hit 11 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens in regulation.

    “My ball striking's been getting better these last few weeks, which has been really nice,” Ko said at week’s start. “But then I've been struggling with putting, which was the aspect of the game that was going really well. I feel like the pieces are there, and just, sometimes, the hardest thing is to kind of put all those pieces together. Just have to stay patient, I know there are a lot of good things happening.”

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    Watch: Rose drops trou despite gator danger

    By Golf Channel DigitalApril 26, 2018, 10:12 pm

    We all know how fashion-conscious pro golfers are, and sometimes that even trumps modesty.

    Take Justin Rose, whose tee shot on the par-3 third hole in Thursday's opening round of the Zurich Classic found the water. But the ball was close enough to shore for Rose to try to play it. Not wanting to get his light-colored pants dirty - what is up with all the white pants on Tour these days, anyway? - he took them off to play the shot.

    If there were any gators in the water hazard - and this being Louisiana, there almost certainly were - they showed no interest in the Englishman.

    It was only appropriate that Rose should strip down for a shot, as his partner, Henrik Stenson, famously did the same thing (to an even greater degree) at Doral in 2009.

    Finally, just to provide some closure, Rose failed to get up and down.