Rose Leads Play Called on Day 1

By Sports NetworkApril 8, 2004, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Justin Rose fired a 5-under-par 67 on Thursday to take the early lead of the 68th Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.
 
Chris DiMarco, who played in the same group as Rose, aced the par-3 sixth and posted a round of 3-under-par 69. Jay Haas, who turned 50 this year but elected to stay on the PGA Tour rather than play the Champions Tour, also carded a 3-under 69.
 
There was a weather delay of nearly two hours Thursday as rain pelted the course at various points throughout the round. At 4:07 p.m. ET, play was suspended until the golfers returned to the course at 6:15.
 
Some players did not finish and need to complete their first rounds, so competitors will return to Augusta National at 8:00 a.m. The second-round tee times will not be affected.
 
Tiger Woods, a three-time champion of this event, seemed to struggle coming into this week's Masters and Thursday's opening round did nothing to change that.
 
He played in the penultimate group in the opening round and is 4 over par through 14 holes. Woods made the turn in 40, only the second time he played nine holes in that number at Augusta. The other time was 1997 when he went on to shatter most tournament records at the Masters.
 
Woods is in good company at that score as defending champion Mike Weir is plus-4 and will begin his day on Friday at the par-3 16th tee.
 
'I never felt comfortable,' said Weir. 'Tomorrow morning I have to try to hit it and find something.'
 
Scoring was not good on Thursday as the course played fast before the storms. Augusta did not change that much after the delay as only 13 players are under par.
 
Padraig Harrington, with two top-4 finishes in the last two starts on the PGA Tour, shot a 74. Vijay Singh, the 2000 winner of the green jacket, posted a 75 and John Daly lumbered to 78 on Thursday.
 
Phil Mickelson, widely considered a pre-tournament favorite to finally win a major title, double bogeyed the par-3 16th en route to an even-par 72.
 
For the second consecutive year, there was no honorary starter and the opening round of the 2004 season's first major was bittersweet.
 
Bruce Edwards, the longtime caddie of former Masters champion Tom Watson, died early Thursday morning at his home in Florida after a yearlong battle with ALS. He was 49 years old.
 
Watson received the news Thursday morning before his 8:44 a.m. tee time. He shot a 4-over-par 76 in the first round.
 
'He's not with us in body anymore but I can tell you he's with us in spirit,' said Watson, referring to his friend Edwards. 'He could make you laugh at the worst times. If you ever ran across him, you knew what a genuine person he was.'
 
Also on people's minds on Thursday was Arnold Palmer. The four-time champion is playing in his 50th Masters and announced that this will be the last time he tees it up in the tournament.
 
He finished with a 12-over-par 84.
 
'It was tough and I didn't play very well,' said Palmer, who may take over as an honorary starter next year. 'I understand it's time. It's time to sit back, watch and enjoy.'
 
With one Masters career winding down, another was just getting started.
 
Rose flew out of the gate quickly in the first round with a pair of birdies at his first two holes, including a 30-footer at the first. He birdied the ninth to make the turn at 3-under-par 33.
 
Rose found his first bit of trouble at the 11th, the lone hole that was changed this year thanks to 36 pine trees. He three-putted from 20 feet for bogey at the hole but rebounded at 13 when he blasted out of a bunker to four feet to set up birdie at the par-5 hole.
 
At the challenging closing holes at Augusta, Rose played more like a seasoned veteran, not a 23-year-old playing in his second Masters. At 17, Rose sank a four-footer for birdie, then holed an eight-footer at the last to polish off his 67.
 
'Obviously I had the dream start, going birdie-birdie gets you into the tournament right from the start,' said Rose. 'I crushed my drive on the first hole and felt really comfortable after that.'
 
Rose burst onto the golf scene in 1998 when he tied for fourth place at the British Open as an amateur. He turned professional the next day but struggled to make cuts, missing his first 17 in a row.
 
He broke into the winner's circle at the 2002 dunhill championship and added a second victory at the British Masters. Rose thinks all of the struggles assist him on the course.
 
'I was putting a lot of pressure on myself,' admitted Rose, who hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation on Thursday. 'I really felt like what I've been through has made it much easier and made me able to get through the finish line in a couple of tournaments.'
 
DiMarco made it through the first five holes with pars. At the sixth, DiMarco hit a 5-iron just short of the hole, then watched as the ball trickled in for the first ace at six since 1972 when Charles Coody recorded a hole-in-one.
 
'It was just a very perfect shot,' said DiMarco, who withdrew after a first-round 82 last year. 'It was one of my best hole-in-ones I've ever made. I can promise you that.'
 
He also birdied No. 15 to polish off his 69.
 
Haas, like Rose, broke out early Thursday with an 8-foot birdie putt at the first and a tap-in birdie at the par-5 second. He hit his approach 45 feet from the hole at the fifth and three-putted, missing an 8-footer for par.
 
The 50-year-old knocked a 9-iron to a foot to set up an easy birdie at No. 7. Haas hit his second into a bank right of the bunker at 13 and after his ball settled, he putted six feet short of the hole. Haas drained the birdie putt at the par-5 hole to join DiMarco at minus-3.
 
'I played extremely well, drove the ball well, hit a lot of good iron shots, made some nice putts,' said Haas. 'I think somebody 50 can (win). I just happen to be there.'
 
Darren Clarke, the first-round leader in 2003, and Chris Riley are tied at 2-under-par 70. Ernie Els bogeyed the 17th, the last hole he played on Thursday, to fall to 2 under. Alex Cejka is also 2 under with the 18th left to play.
 
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    'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

    By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

    “The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

    Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

    Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

    A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

    "Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told GolfChannel.com in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

    Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

    He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

    Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

    “It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

    "The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

    In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Web.com Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

    “I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

    The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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    Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

    “They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

    “The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”