Kisner leads RSM; Loves trail by 5

By Doug FergusonNovember 19, 2015, 8:59 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - Davis Love III and Davis Love IV did everything together Thursday at Sea Island.

They have the same pre-shot routine, a full practice swing before setting up over the ball. Both hit 3-wood off the tee and made birdie on the opening hole. Both wound up with an even-par 70 on the Seaside Course. And both have a lot of work to make up ground on Kevin Kisner.

Kisner hit 3-wood to about 25 feet on the fringe and made eagle on his next-to-last hole on the Plantation Course for a 7-under 65, giving him a one-shot lead based on par after the first round of the RSM Classic.

Jeff Overton, David Hearn and Tom Hoge each had a 6-under 64 on the Seaside Course.

The biggest crowd - which wasn't much on a day when storms threatened but never arrived - filled the bleachers behind the first tee to see some familiar faces.

Love, the 21-time winner on the PGA Tour, has lived at Sea Island since he was 4. They saw his son, known as Dru, go from a toddler with a plastic club to a 6-foot-5 junior at Alabama who earned a spot in the RSM Classic through a qualifier for the final exemption.


Those belonged mainly to Dad.

''I was a little flustered,'' Love said. ''I was running late and nervous for him, and then he hit it right down the middle and hit it stiff and made birdie. And I stopped worrying about him and started worrying about me a little more.''

Neither made many birdies on a soft, calm and cloudy day that was ideal for low scoring - 110 players in the 156-man field broke par. Love's round went the wrong direction with a poor tee shot that led to double bogey on the 13th hole. Dru Love caught his dad with a big tee shot and a two-putt birdie on the par-5 15th. On the final hole, Love had a 10-foot birdie putt to finish 1 under and just missed it.

This wasn't a father-and-son competition - at least not to the father.

Asked his goal for Friday, Dru Love smiled and said, ''Beat my dad.''

''I didn't beat him today,'' the son said. ''Obviously, my goal is to make the cut. I've got that in the back of my head. I'll try to be more patient. After I birdied the first hole, my expectations were a little high. I've played this course a lot and I've played it well. So I think I thought I could play better than I did.''

Making it easier for Dru Love was having Justin Thomas along for the ride. Thomas, who missed two short birdie putts at the end and had to settle for a 67, played two years with him at Alabama, and he made it feel like an old college match, even telling Dru Love, ''Nice save, Bigfoot,'' after a nifty up-and-down on the 16th.

Dru Love has a size-13 shoe and has been called that since his freshman year at Alabama.

Kisner had done everything but win this year. He has lost in a playoff three times - to Jim Furyk at Hilton Head, to Rickie Fowler at The Players Championship and in a four-man playoff at The Greenbrier Classic - and he was runner-up at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai two weeks ago.

''I haven't been disappointed in any stretch of golf coming down the stretch to have a chance. I always rate myself on that,'' Kisner said. ''I've just gotten beaten a few times, so hopefully I'll have a chance coming down with a couple-shot lead on Sunday.''

It is rare for fathers and sons to play together on the PGA Tour. Craig Stadler and son Kevin played in the 2014 Masters. Jay Haas has played numerous times with son Bill, a six-time tour winner. Jack Nicklaus played his final full season in 2000 when son Gary earned his Tour card.

Love is curious to see if his son can develop into a PGA Tour player.

''I hope that he's another one of these kids that come out here and is chasing me off,'' Love said. ''I hit a really good drive at 15 and I think Dru was 20 [yards] by me and Justin was 40 by me. I was like, 'Oh, they're going to run me off eventually.' It's fun to watch Dru play. ... I was proud of him. Heck of a first day.

''With everything going on around our family and him getting in this tournament and all the attention, I thought he handled it really well and played a good round of golf.''

Dru Love conceded to having a few nerves, too, though it helped to be with Thomas, and to know ''just about everyone in the stands behind us, everyone in fairway.''

And it helped to have his father along for the ride.

''We talked about normal stuff, mostly about what we're going to have for lunch and dinner,'' Dru Love said. ''He's good at leaving me alone when I need to be left alone. He tried to treat me like he would anyone else out there.''

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Romo turns in even in PGA Tour debut

By Will GrayMarch 22, 2018, 3:00 pm

After stumbling out of the gates, Tony Romo has found his footing in his PGA Tour debut.

Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption, Romo shot an even-par 36 for his opening nine holes in the Dominican Republic. The former NFL quarterback bogeyed his first two holes, but steadied the ship with three birdies from Nos. 4-8 while playing alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.

The early highlight of the round came at the par-4 fifth hole, where Romo drained a putt from across the green for his second straight birdie:

Romo has played as an amateur partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and has played individually in U.S. Open local qualifiers and mini-tour events as an amateur. But this marks his first attempt to gauge his game against the best players in the world who are not in Austin for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Romo, who plays to a plus-0.3 handicap, said earlier in the week that he expected some jitters once it came time to put a tee in the ground.

"You'll be nervous on Thursday on the first tee. Just going to be," Romo said. "I've got to get through the first three or four holes. If I can handle the nerves on the first three or four holes, I think that I'll settle in and hopefully just play the way I've been playing."

Click here to watch live first-round action on Golf Channel.

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Kim's missing clubs show up at sporting goods store

By Will GrayMarch 22, 2018, 1:58 pm

More than a month after they were lost on an American Airlines flight, the clubs I.K. Kim used to win last year's Ricoh Women's British Open turned up on the sale rack of a California sporting goods store.

Kim's clubs became lost in late January when she flew from Miami to San Diego, with the airline suggesting she simply rent a new set. A few weeks later, Kim shot a "What's in the bag" television segment which according to a Golfweek report caught the eye of three good samaritans in the San Diego area.

The three men recognized Kim's clubs for sale at a local Play It Again Sports, with the major winner's tools listed at $60 each. The store even had Kim's tour bag, complete with her LPGA player badge. Kim filmed the reunion with her bag - containing wedges and a few hybrids, minus the head covers - at the Carlsbad police station:

Kim was back in southern California this week for the Kia Classic, where she'll begin play Thursday morning at Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad.

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New dad Garcia removes shoes, wins match

By Rex HoggardMarch 22, 2018, 12:48 am

AUSTIN, Texas – In one of the day’s most explosive matches, Sergio Garcia rolled in an 8-footer for birdie at the 18th hole to defeat Shubhankar Sharma, 1 up, at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

The duo halved just nine holes on Day 1 at Austin Country Club, with Garcia going from 2 up through four holes to 1 down with five holes to play.

But the Spaniard rallied with five birdies over his final eight holes and pushed his record to 20-17-1 in the Match Play. He also gave himself his best chance to advance out of pool play since the format began in 2015.

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

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The victory continued what has already been a memorable week for Garcia, whose wife, Angela, gave birth to the couple’s first child last Wednesday.

“I already feel like I’m a winner after what happened on Wednesday,” Garcia said. “Obviously, it's something that we're so, so happy and proud of and enjoying it as much as possible.”

The highlight of Garcia’s round on Wednesday came at the 12th hole when he took a drop on a cart path. After considering his options, he removed his shoes and hit his approach from 212 yards to 29 feet for a two-putt birdie to halve the hole.

“I have spikes. So if I don't take my shoes off, I'm going to slip. It's not the kind of shot that you want to slip,” Garcia said. “I had tried it a couple of times on practice swings and I was already slipping a little bit. So I thought I would just take my shoes off, try to get a little bit in front of the hole and it came out great.”