Big Game James: Driscoll perseveres

By Randall MellOctober 20, 2011, 8:12 pm

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – James Driscoll drilled his tee shot into a hazard on his 15th hole at Disney’s Palm Course in the first round of the Children’s Miracle Network Classic.

After taking a drop, he drilled another shot in a hazard.

When you’re No. 125 on the PGA Tour money list in the season-ending event, wayward shots hurt more.

Given those were his third and fourth balls lost in hazards Thursday, Driscoll wouldn’t have surprised his fellow competitors if he started digging in his bag for some ibuprofen.

So caddie Bill Harke studied his player’s face leaving the tee box, searching for signs that a long year’s struggle might finally be taking its toll.

For all the resolve Harke saw, Driscoll may as well have just split the fairway with his tee shot.

“It’s great to see that in James, how he can hit a shot in a hazard and not be discouraged,” Harke said. “His fight’s unbelievable, always has been.”

Driscoll chipped in to salvage a double bogey, then closed his round with back-to-back birdies.

With an opening 6-under-par 66, Driscoll showed Harke lots of fight. He made eight birdies, an eagle, two bogeys and a double bogey. He had runs of four birdies in a row near the start of his round, and a run of eagle-birdie-birdie to start his back nine, but he also had those errant shots.

Driscoll said he isn’t fazed as the bubble boy this week, as the guy holding the final exempt spot on the money list knowing he has to stay in the top 125 in the year’s final event to keep full status.

“I don’t look at 125 as that special of a number,” said Driscoll, who grew up in Brookline, Mass. “The guys at 120 through 190 are kind of all in the same position. Everyone of those guys needs a good week this week to avoid Q-School. I don’t think the position I’m in is any different than about 40 other guys here.”

Driscoll, 34, has been riding down the money list and toward the bubble for the last month.

“I’ve kind of been under the same pressure from Vegas up until now to make a few dollars and get out of this position,” Driscoll said. “I obviously haven’t done it, but hopefully things will start coming together.”

With four missed cuts in his last five starts, Driscoll was asked if there is torment thinking back on lost opportunities that could have improved his money position coming to Disney.

“I guess anybody out here could do that,” Driscoll said. “It’s kind of a useless process to go through. I mean, the last nine holes at Reno, I probably spent a few dollars. Anybody out here can look at a stretch of holes where they didn’t capitalize. But that’s the game. There are ups and downs. Everyone goes through the same stuff, so it doesn’t do any good to dwell on it.”

Those four shots into hazards had Driscoll marching to see his swing coach, Sean Foley, on the driving range at Disney after the first round. He began working with Foley at Quail Hollow in the spring.

“He’s got a lot of knowledge of the golf swing,” Driscoll said. “He likes a lot of things I do in my golf swing, so I knew he wasn’t going to change a lot of things. The things he’s given me are really simple and helped a lot. Hopefully, he can get me straightened out.”

Driscoll’s been through these money-list rigors before. A year ago, he arrived at Disney outside the top 150 in money and missed the cut. He endured a return to the second-stage of Q-School in a bid to get his Tour card back and made it all the way through.

“I knew there would be a little bit more media attention,” Driscoll said of his bubble-boy status this week. “Other than that, it didn’t really affect my attitude. Obviously, I would rather be about 30 on the money list, but it is what it is. You deal with it and try the best you can.”

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Horschel (68) builds on momentum at Valero

By Will GrayApril 20, 2018, 12:32 am

Billy Horschel only ever needs to see a faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

While some players require a slow ascent from missed cuts to contending on the weekend, Horschel's switches between the two can often be drastic. Last year he missed three straight cuts before defeating Jason Day in a playoff to win the AT&T Byron Nelson, a turnaround that Horschel said "still shocks me to this day."

The veteran is at it again, having missed five of six cuts prior to last week's RBC Heritage. But a few tweaks quickly produced results, as Horschel tied for fifth at Harbour Town. He wasted no time in building on that momentum with a bogey-free, 4-under 68 to open the Valero Texas Open that left him one shot behind Grayson Murray.

"I'm a big momentum player. I've got to get the train moving forward," Horschel told reporters Thursday. "I've always been a guy who gets on a little roll, get that train moving and jump into the winner's circle. So yeah, it would have been great to win last week, but it was just nice to play four really good rounds of golf."

Many big names tend to skip this week's stop at TPC San Antonio, but Horschel has managed to thrive on the difficult layout in recent years. He finished third in both 2013 and 2015, and tied for fourth in 2016.

With a return next week to the Zurich Classic of New Orleans where he notched his first career win in 2013 and a title defense in Dallas on the horizon, Horschel believes he's turning things around at just the right time.

"Gets the momentum going, carry it into this week, next week, which I've had a lot of success at," Horschel said. "Really the rest of the year, from here on in I have a lot of really good events I've played well in."

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Three years later, PXG launches new iron

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 19, 2018, 11:22 pm

Three years is a long time between launches of club lines, but Bob Parsons, founder and CEO of PXG, says his company had a very good reason for waiting that long to introduce its second-generation irons.

“Three years ago, when we introduced our first generation 0311 iron, we made a commitment that we would not release a product unless it was significantly better than our existing product,” Parsons said. “:Our GEN2 irons are better than our GEN1 irons in every respect. We believe it’s the best iron ever made, and the second-best iron ever made is our GEN1 iron.”

PXG’s 0311 GEN2 irons, which officially went on sale today, feature what the company says is the world’s thinnest clubface. They have a forged 8620 soft carbon steel body and PXG’s signature weighting technology. The hollow clubheads are filled with a new polymer material that PXG says not only dampens vibration, but also produces higher ball speeds and thus more distance.

The irons come in four “collections” – Tour Performance, Players, Xtreme Forgiveness and Super Game Improvement.

Cost is $400 per iron, or $500 for PXG’s “Extreme Dark” finish. Price includes custom fitting. For more information, visit

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Maggert and Parnevik lead at Bass Pro Shops

By Associated PressApril 19, 2018, 10:49 pm

RIDGEDALE, Mo. - Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik shot an 8-under 63 in better-ball play Thursday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' chilly Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

''It was very relaxing for me because I felt like terrible,'' Parnevik said. ''I was so stiff this morning. It was freezing cold. I thought if I can just try to make some pars in case he ever makes a bogey, but I didn't even have to do that.''

Playing together for the first time in the team event, Maggert and Parnevik eagled the par-5 eighth and had six birdies in the cool and breezy conditions on Big Cedar Lodge's Buffalo Ridge course.

''We play well together,'' Maggert said. ''We both contributed a lot. Jesper had a lot of birdies and an eagle on our final nine. It was so cold this morning, I just was going to come out and just try to hit fairways and greens. Really I wasn't thinking about making birdies, I was just trying to play steady and give myself an opportunity to have some birdie putts.''

Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf

The next three rounds will be played on par-3 courses. Maggert and Parnevik will play the 18-hole Top of the Rock on Friday and Sunday, and the 13-hole Mountain Top on Saturday.

Mark Calcavecchia and Woody Austin were a stroke back. They also eagled No. 8. Austin won the 2016 title with Michael Allen. Calcavecchia won the Boca Raton Championship this year.

''I lucked in a few birdies on the back, but it was tough, tough conditions,'' Calcavecchia said. ''Even when it warmed up a little bit, it was still tough to make birdies out there. All in all, 7 under's a pretty good start.''

Bernhard Langer and Tom Lehman were at 65 along with Davis Love III-Scott Verplank, 2015 winners Billy Andrade-Joe Durant, Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett and Steve Flesch-David Toms.

''We kind of brother-in-lawed or ham-and-egged it or partnered it,'' Love said. ''Neither one of us were playing great, but we had one guy in every hole and that's kind of what you have to do. We're going to have to go to the par 3 courses and get two birdie putts on a hole is what you really want to do and we didn't do that enough today.''

Flesch won the Mitsubishi Electric Classic last week for his first senior title.

Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly were tied for 22nd at 68.

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Dredge, Quiros share early lead in Morocco

By Associated PressApril 19, 2018, 8:41 pm

RABAT, Morocco - Bradley Dredge reeled off three birdies in his last five holes to share the lead with Alvaro Quiros after the opening round of the European Tour's Trophee Hassan II event Thursday.

Quiros finished with two straight birdies as the big-hitting Spaniard joined Welshman Dredge on 5-under-par 67.

Dredge, who made seven birdies in all, has won twice before but his last triumph came in 2006.

Full-field scores from the Trophee Hassan II

Quiros, who has claimed seven victories, last won at the Rocco Forte Open in Sicily last year.

The joint leaders have a one-shot advantage over Oliver Fisher, Joakim Lagergren, Erik Van Rooyen and Lorenzo Gagli at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course.

Former U.S. Masters champion Danny Willett, without a win since his victory at Augusta two years ago, opened with a 1-over 73.