Bradley (60) breaks course record, leads by 3

By Will GrayMay 16, 2013, 10:50 pm

After a night of heavy rains in the Dallas area, players were afforded lift, clean and place conditions for the first round at TPC Four Seasons. Here’s the skinny heading into the second round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship, where several players were able to take advantage of their preferred lies, but none moreso than Keegan Bradley:

The leaderboard: Keegan Bradley (-10), Charl Schwartzel (-7), Harris English (-6), Ted Potter Jr. (-6), Robert Karlsson (-6), Angel Cabrera (-5), Ryan Palmer (-5)

What it means: Bradley quickly moved to the top of the leaderboard, creating a three-shot advantage while breaking the course record. Schwartzel sits close behind with several players shooting 66 or better, as those in the morning wave fared much better than those who faced a stiffer wind in the afternoon.

Round of the day: Taking full advantage of the lift, clean and place conditions, Bradley ended his round with an eagle and two birdies to set a course record, carding a 10-under 60 that broke by one shot a record held by four others, including Golf Channel's Charlie Rymer. It marked the lowest score of his PGA Tour career, and improbably Bradley fired the ultra-low round despite a pair of bogeys. In total, his scorecard read as follows: one eagle, two bogeys, five pars and a whopping 10 birdies. He took just 24 putts despite hitting 15 of 18 greens in regulation.

Best of the rest: Like Bradley, Schwartzel was able to take advantage of calm conditions during the morning wave. The South African made his way around TPC Four Seasons without dropping a shot, carding seven birdies en route to an opening 63 that put him in second place, three shots behind the leader. Making his debut in Dallas, the former Masters champion reached each of the 18 greens in regulation Thursday.

Biggest disappointment: Defending champion Jason Dufner has struggled to get his 2013 season on track, and Thursday’s round at TPC Four Seasons did little to help his cause. Despite holing out for eagle on the first hole, his 10th of the day (more on that below), Dufner struggled to an even-par 70 that included just two birdies against four bogeys. Still in search of his first top-10 finish of the season, the two-time PGA Tour champion will need a strong effort in the second round simply to secure a spot in the weekend.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can Bradley back up his record-setting performance? A winner here two years ago, he certainly knows what it takes to succeed in Dallas, and playing again alongside friend and occasional Twitter combatant Dufner will likely help calm whatever nerves exist on the first tee. He’ll need to keep up the pace, though, with major champions Schwartzel and Cabrera close behind.

Shot of the day: In a rare combination, Dufner receives both “biggest disappointment” and “shot of the day” honors. After turning in 2-over 37, the defending champ found the fairway at the par-4 first hole and quickly leveled his score for the day. From 129 yards, Dufner hit a wedge that bounced just past the hole before drawing back to the pin, dropping for an improbable eagle. He went on to shoot an even-par 70.

Quote of the day: 'First and foremost I want to win the tournament, and this puts me in great position to do so.” – Bradley, whose previous low on the PGA Tour was a 63.

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Woods talks about Ryder Cup prospects in third person

By Ryan LavnerAugust 21, 2018, 1:47 pm

Conversations between Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods have gotten a little awkward.

That’s what happens when Woods, the U.S. Ryder Cup vice captain, needs to assess the prospects of Woods, the player.

“We’re talking about myself in the third person a lot,” he said with a chuckle Tuesday at the Northern Trust Open. “That’s one of the most interesting conversations I’ve ever had and I’m having a lot of fun with it.

“I’m one of the guys on the short list, and sometimes I have to pull myself out of there and talk about myself in the third person, which is a little odd.”


The Northern Trust: Articles, photos and videos


After placing second at the PGA Championship, Woods finished 11th on the U.S. points list with just eight months of tournament results. Three of Furyk’s four captain’s picks will be announced after the BMW Championship in three weeks, and barring a late injury, it’s almost a certainty that Woods will be one of those selected.

Still, Woods was named in February as an assistant for his third consecutive team competition, even though he told Furyk at the beginning of the year that he envisioned himself as a player on the 2018 squad.

“I’m very close to making that happen,” he said. “It’s been a long year, and that’s been one of my goals, to make the team. To be a part of that team you have to be one of the 12 best players, and I’m trending toward that.”

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Woods on busy schedule: 'It's about pacing myself'

By Ryan LavnerAugust 21, 2018, 1:34 pm

At the beginning of the year, Tiger Woods was anxious to see how his fused back would hold up to tournament play.

Now he’s in the midst of one of his busiest stretches in years.

With the Tour Championship and Ryder Cup likely to be added to his schedule over the next few weeks, Woods could play seven events in a nine-week span.


The Northern Trust: Articles, photos and videos


“That is a lot of golf,” he said Tuesday at The Northern Trust. “It’s about pacing myself and making sure I don’t practice too much, don’t overdo it and make sure my training schedule goes well.

“One of the hardest things this year has been finding the right balance. As the summer has gone on, I’ve gotten better and felt better. This is a pretty important stretch.”

Woods has already played 14 events – his most since 2013, when he had 16 starts.

He’s committed to playing the first three playoff events, beginning with this week’s event in New Jersey. There’s a week off after the BMW Championship, and at No. 20 in the FedExCup standings, Woods doesn’t need to do much to punch his ticket to East Lake. He’s also virtually assured of being a U.S. captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup, held in France the week after the Tour Championship.

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Tiger Tracker: The Northern Trust

By Tiger TrackerAugust 21, 2018, 1:00 pm

Tiger Woods begins his FedExCup Playoffs run at this week's Northern Trust. We're tracking him at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J.


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Stock Watch: Will Bjorn buy or sell slumping Sergio?

By Ryan LavnerAugust 21, 2018, 12:07 pm

Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

RISING

Sneds (+9%): It doesn’t always happen, a Tour player shooting 59 and then finishing it off with a W, so it was satisfying to watch Brandt Snedeker go wire to wire at the Wyndham. An in-form Sneds now should edge out Kevin Kisner for one of Jim Furyk’s final captain picks.

Viktor Hovland (+6%): Watching the Oklahoma State junior maul the field at the U.S. Amateur, a question arose: How does the fifth-ranked player in the world not win more often? The U.S. Am was just his second title, anywhere, outside of Norway. That could all change, after he proved to himself that he could handle the best field and the stiffest challenge.

Lexi (+4%): She once again was penalized – for playing preferred lies in a different fairway – but Thompson still shot 17 under and tied for 12th in her first start since a self-imposed break to recharge her batteries. In the media tent she was refreshingly honest about the difficulties of being a 23-year-old superstar who never went to college and whose life is consumed by golf. Here’s hoping she can find a better balance (like, say, Michelle Wie) over the next few years.

Tyler McCumber (+3%): The world rankings don’t reflect it, but McCumber is playing the best golf of anyone in the world right now. In his past four starts on the Canadian circuit, he’s gone win-win-3rd-win and shot 90 under par with a scoring average of 65.88 and just two rounds higher than 68.

Nick Taylor (+1%): Playing for his Tour card, Taylor shot a bogey-free 63 Sunday at the Wyndham – with an eagle and birdie in his last four holes – to jump from 129th to 119th in the standings. That’s clutch.


FALLING

Billy Hurley III (-1%): A winner two years ago at Tiger’s event, Hurley is now headed back to second stage of Web.com Q-School after finishing 201st in the standings – by a point. A tough break for one of the game’s good dudes.

Kevin Stadler (-2%): He reminded us of the dangers of slamming clubs, after the head of his 7-iron flew off and struck a spectator in the head, requiring stitches. It was a scary scene – “It’s been a while since I’ve seen so much blood,” said playing partner Shaun Micheel – that could have been even worse.

Sepp Straka (-3%): There were plenty of stories of heartbreak at the Web.com Tour regular-season finale, perhaps none as crushing as Straka, who went 5 over for his last seven holes (including three consecutive bogeys to finish) to drop outside of the top-25 bubble.

Sergio (-4%): At last, some signs of life – his tie for 24th in Greensboro was his best finish on Tour since March – but he still didn’t make the playoffs, and it still might not be enough to sway Thomas Bjorn. For the captain it may come down to a question like this: Who would you rather have in Paris, Sergio or Russell Knox?