Damron Fast Out of the Gate

By Marty HenwoodJuly 24, 2003, 4:00 pm
VICTORIA, British Columbia -- Patrick Damron may have his work cut out for him if he his sights set on catching older brother Robert in career earnings, but Thursdays opening round of the Canadian Tours Victoria Open was a good start.
 
The 24-year-old Orlando, Fla., resident opened with a 7-under 63 at historic Royal Colwood GC and will take a two-shot lead on White Rock, B.C.s Richard Zokol and former Tour member Steve Schneiter into play Friday. Michael Harris is three shots back, while Zoltan Veress and Americans Dave Christensen, Robert Hamilton, Ben Pettitt, Chris Wollmann and Stephen Woodard came in at 3-under 67.
 
Damron, who has made three of five cuts in his rookie season with a best showing of 13th in Austin, Texas, earlier this year, recently qualified for the PGA Tours Western Open. His older sibling, who played the Canadian Tour in 1996, has made $3.7 million on the PGA Tour and won the 2001 Byron Nelson Classic. Still, the younger Damron never gets tired of being referred to as Roberts younger brother.
 
It doesnt bother me at all, things could be a lot worse, said Damron. Facts are facts, and I am very proud of what Robert has been able to accomplish. Ill never mind being called his brother.
 
On Thursday, playing one of the most renowned courses in Canada, Damron turned in a scorecard that featured seven birdies and no bogeys. After missing every green in regulation over the first four holes, he began to find his groove and found a hot touch with the putter. With a course record-tying 62 hinging on an 8-foot birdie putt on 18, Damron left the stroke hanging just over top of the cup. Royal Colwood features a spectacular setting, with the fairways lined with towering fir and hemlock trees, and Damron knows the key to the week will be keeping it straight off the tee.
 
I like this course a lot, youve just got to avoid those huge trees. If the ball even touches one of those, it is dropping straight down or wont be found. But it is a beautiful track, and it was a good start for me.
 
Playing in his first Canadian Tour event since 2000, Zokol, himself a PGA Tour champion, had a rough start, snap-hooking his tee shot on the par-4 opening hole before getting up and down for par. He then followed that up with another par save on number two. After reaching the par-5 fifth in two, Zokol appeared to have a tap-in for birdie. But as he addressed his ball, he accidentally ground his putter, causing the ball to move slightly. While playing partners Michael Harris and Rob Johnson did not see the infraction, Zokol gave himself a penalty stroke on his way to a bogey-6. After informing a Tour Rules Official, Zokol went on to birdie the next hole.
 
Well, I prefer to think of it as a three-putt with a penalty, he said with a smirk when asked by a reporter if the fifth hole should be considered a four-putt. But, see, get a clear conscience and get birdie on the next hole.
 
Zokol earned his way back onto the PGA Tour thanks to a 13th-place finish on the Nationwide Tour money list in 2001. His 2002 campaign was cut short when he needed surgery to repair an arthritic joint in his right toe, and he is playing this PGA season on a medical exemption. But it hasnt gone as planned for Zokol this year. Hampered by constant back problems, the two-time World Cup team member has made just one cut in ten starts.
 
This week, he is playing in his home province, at a course he hadnt seen since the 1976 Canadian Amateur Championship. But being from B.C. and having had the chance to play the track all week, Zokol knows when the sun shines as it did Thursday, Royal Colwood is without a doubt one of Canadas golf treasures.
 
Just another beautiful day in B.C. If you get a day like this, you wont find a better environment to play than a course like this. Its a remarkable golf course, and always seems to play better than the time before. Its an absolute jewel.
 

Related Links:
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    Garwood (64) leads Dick's Sporting Goods Open

    By Associated PressAugust 17, 2018, 9:53 pm

    ENDICOTT, N.Y. - Doug Garwood birdied the final three holes for an 8-under 64 and the first-round lead Friday in the Dick's Sporting Goods Open.

    The 55-year-old Garwood had nine birdies and a bogey, playing his final nine holes - the front nine at En-Joie Golf Club - in 6-under 31.

    ''Drove it well, hit the irons well, pitched well, putted well, thought well,'' Garwood said. ''I got to a point I was just making birdies and I kind of lost track of how it was going,'' Garwood said. ''That's always a good thing.''

    He won the 2016 SAS Championship for his lone PGA Tour Champions title.


    Full-field scores from the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open


    "I haven't been playing great this year, but I've been working hard on my game and things I've been working on are paying off,'' Garwood said. ''My golf, I take it a shot at a time, don't think about too far in advance because you really can't control, you know, the 13th hole tomorrow. It's just about the tee shot on No. 1.''

    Michael Bradley and Marco Dawson shot 65, Woody Austin and Clark Dennis followed at 66, and Bob Estes and Tom Gillis were at 67.

    ''It was a good day,'' Bradley said. ''I've traditionally not driven the ball well here and you've got to drive the ball good here to shoot a good score. I drove the ball well and made a few putts, so that was that.''

    Kenny Perry, the 3M Championship winner two weeks ago in Minnesota, had a 68. Bernard Langer and Miguel Angel Jimenez each shot 70. Langer won the 2014 tournament. Jimenez is coming off a victory at St. Andrews in the British Senior Open.

    Defending champion Scott McCarron had a 72. Kevin Sutherland also had a 72. He shot the only 59 in PGA Tour Champions history in the 2014 event. John Daly, the winner of the PGA Tour's 1992 B.C. Open at En-Joie, opened with a 73.

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    Kaymer: Don't deserve Ryder Cup spot even with win

    By Randall MellAugust 17, 2018, 9:50 pm

    Martin Kaymer is one of the most decorated Europeans of this generation, and one of the most thoughtfully honest as well, as he is demonstrating yet again at this week’s Nordea Masters.

    Kaymer, a two-time major championship winner, has helped the Euros win three of the last four Ryder Cups. He won the singles match that clinched Europe’s historic comeback win at Medinah in 2012.

    But with his run into contention Friday in Sweden, Kaymer told Sky Sports TV he didn’t believe that even a victory would make him worthy of playing for captain Thomas Bjorn’s Ryder Cup team in Paris next month.

    “Do you think I deserve to be on the game after the way I've been playing, and with just one win in Sweden?” he said. “Is that enough? I don't think so.”

    Kaymer shot a 3-under 67 at the Nordea Masters, leaving him tied for seventh, five shots off the lead and in position to make a run at his 12th European Tour title. He is hoping to capitalize on the opportunity in a season that has left him unsatisfied. He missed three of his previous four cuts coming to Sweden and has just two top-10 finishes this year.

    Kaymer made some thoughtful observations about the nature of golf’s challenges in the same week that LPGA star Lexi Thompson opened up about a personal struggle to build a life about more than golf.

    At 33, Kaymer said he feels as if he’s still just beginning to understand the game’s effect on him. Here is what he shared with reporters about that on the eve of the Nordea Masters:

    “I'm on the seventh hole, hopefully. You need some time to get to know and place yourself in the world of golf.


    Full-field scores from the Nordea Masters


    “In the beginning you can't know, you have zero experience. Then you play around the world and measure your game with the best in the world. Then you see good results and in my case underestimate yourself a little.

    “All of a sudden you win a major. You play a vital role in Ryder Cups. You win your second major. Then you need to adjust, because it's sometimes overwhelming and not understandable. It cannot only be talent, you need to ask yourself how you actually got here.

    “That realization took me a long time. That's why I would say I'm on the seventh hole, maybe seventh green.

    “It's just understanding who you are, what you do, what kind of life you live. For example, when you try to have a relationship with anyone -- it doesn't matter what kind of relationship -- people see you not for who you are as a person but as the athlete, what you have, what kind of success you had.

    “I never understood that, because I don't want to be treated that way, but I also understood by now that is who I am, because I am that athlete. I am the guy who makes a lot of money.

    “I never wanted to be seen that way, because I was raised different, and I wanted to be normal. But you are not normal when you do what I did. It took me a long time to understand, but now I can handle it better.”

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    S.H. Park eyes Indy title, LPGA awards after 'best round of year'

    By Randall MellAugust 17, 2018, 9:20 pm

    Sung Hyun Park’s hot finish Friday gives her more than a chance to win the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

    It gives her a chance to keep Ariya Jutanugarn from running away with the LPGA’s most important awards and honors heading into the final third of the season.

    Park’s 9-under 63 left her tied for the lead with Lizette Salas (69) at 13 under overall in the rain-suspended second round at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course in Indianapolis.

    “My best round of the year,” Park said through a translator.

    Jutanugarn, the Rolex world No. 1, put up a 65 and sits four behind the leaders.

    Park is No. 4 in the world rankings and feeling good about her weekend chances.

    “I’m going to do really well,” she said. “I feel really good about my game.”

    Jutanugarn has won an LPGA best three times this season, including the U.S. Women’s Open. She is dominating, statistically. She leads the tour in money winnings ($2,161,185), Rolex Player of the Year points, scoring average (69.44), putts per greens in regulation (1.72) and birdies (327).


    Full-field scores from Indy Women in Tech Championship


    Park is looking to equal Jutanugarn’s victory total for the season. Park won the Volunteers of America Texas Classic and also a major this year, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

    Park could overtake Jutanugarn as Rolex world No. 1 with a victory, depending on what Jutanugarn does this weekend.

    Park shared Rolex Player of the Year honors with So Yeon Ryu last season, with Jutanugarn winning the award the year before.

    Notably, Jutanugarn is giving her driver a rare appearance this week, putting it in her bag in both the first and second rounds at the friendly confines of Brickyard Crossing.

    “I like the way [the holes] set up, because I’m ab le to hit driver a few holes,” Jutanugarn said. “I missed some, but I hit a few pretty good ones, too.”

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    Podcast: Welcome our guest - Tiger Tracker

    By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 17, 2018, 7:47 pm

    Host Will Gray calls him “The man, the myth, the legend.”

    GCTiger Tracker, aka “TT,” makes his highly anticipated first guest appearance in a Golf Channel podcast, pontificating on everything from Tiger Woods’ run at the PGA Championship at Bellerive to the overall nature of Tiger’s comeback and what breakthroughs may lie ahead.

    Tiger Tracker, Golf Channel’s mystery man, continues to rigorously protect his identity as the foremost Twitter tracker of all things Tiger, but he does open up on his intense relationship with his growing legion of followers and his “trigger finger” when it comes to blocking those unworthy of his insight.

    “I’m more of a lover than a hater of Tiger Woods, but I’m a tracker,” TT tells Gray. “I call it like I see it.”

    Tracker goes deep on what he sees as his role in continuing to document Tiger’s comeback, including a sense of kinship in this journey.

    “I had 142,000 followers on the Monday of the Bahamas [late last year], and as we speak now, 296,000, more than double in that short span,” Tracker says. “That shows you what he’s been able to do, what we’ve been able to do together. Let’s be honest about that.”

    Listen in below: