Backing up the talk: Katrek in the hunt in the Championship flight

By Brandon TuckerSeptember 23, 2013, 10:39 pm

LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Just about everyone in the field this week had to, in all likelihood, take a week off work to compete in the four-round Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships at PGA West.

But your first round leader didn't. Following an opening round even par 72 on the Stadium Course at PGA West, Brian Katrek was up at the crack of dawn getting ready to host his radio show, Teed Off on Sirius-XM's PGA Tour Channel 93. After wrapping up at 8 a.m., he had some time to wind down before an 11:46 a.m. starting time on the Nicklaus Course for the 2nd round. He began the day two shots clear of three players: David Heinan, Hardeep Dhani and Michael Bunker.

Katrek, 40, didn't begin playing golf until the time he began covering it in the mid-1990s, which makes his ascent to scratch quite remarkable.

'I have the one job in the golf business that let's me play golf,' said Katrek. 'I'm very lucky. I get to play, I'm around some of the nicest people and greatest instructors. I was able to make up a lot of that ground in a hurry.'

A resident of the Atlanta area, he joined the local Am Tour in 2009. In 2013, he competed in six events, including the Myrtle Beach Classic major, and won the Atlanta Am Tour Championship with a two-day total of 153. This is his first time competing in the four-day National Championships, which means having to work in his radio show around his tee times for the week. As for on the golf course, he's keeping expectations pretty low.

'All these guys have jobs,' he said. 'A zero handicap is someone who shoots a really good score, two or three mediocre scores and maybe a bad one. 'That's what guys with jobs do.

'I'm just glad I got my good one out of the way.'

In round one, Katrek walked the golf course with a caddie on the bag. For round two, however, he was back in a cart. The reason? His caddie was starting a new job. 

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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.”