Sheehan Leads Gila River Classic After First Round

By Sports NetworkOctober 10, 2002, 4:00 pm
CHANDLER, AZ -- Patrick Sheehan fired a course-record nine- under-par 62 to take a one stroke lead after the first round at the Buy.Com Gila River Classic. Todd Barranger, who earlier in the day tied the course record of 63, is one stroke behind the leader. Jason Gore and Anthony Painter are lurking two shots back at seven-under.
John Elliott, Victor Schwamkrug, Chris Couch, Stiles Mitchell, Shane Bertsch, Dave Schreyer, Daniel Chopra, James McLean, Stan Utley, Patrick Moore, David Branshaw and Rob Bradley are all tied for fifth place at six-under 65.
Sheehan started his round off in fine fashion as he holed a sand-wedge from 117 yards out for an eagle two at the first. He became the second player to start the round by holing out, as Jaxon Brigman did so earlier in the day.
'That was a great start,' Sheehan said. 'But when I walked off the green, the lady there said I wasn't even the first to do that today. I'm thinking, dang, I didn't even get a skin.'
He continued his quick start with birdies at the second and fourth. Sheehan then started a run of three straight birdies at the par-5 sixth. He made the turn at seven-under-par 29.
'Everything was going my way at the start,' said Sheehan, who won the Buy.Com Price Cutter Charity Championship earlier this year. 'It was kind of scary for a while. You just kind of go with it. When you start thinking, you mess up.'
Sheehan cooled off on the back. He would complete a bogey-free round with birdies on 10 and 18. He ran home an 18-footer at the last hole to claim the course record.
'I missed about a five-footer for birdie at 11,' Sheehan explained. 'If I made that one, I might have started thinking about a 59. Eleven was frustrating. I struggled a little bit on the back. I wasn't doing anything wrong, just not getting as close.'
Barranger got off to nearly as hot a start as Sheehan. Barranger birdied the first, then birdied three straight starting at the third. He polished off the front nine with back-to-back birdies starting at No. 8.
Barranger carded three consecutive birdies beginning at the 13th, but had a hiccup at the 17th when he posted a bogey six at the par-5.
'Somebody's going to shoot 59 this week,' Barranger said. 'It's out there. I think I could have done it very easily today. It's not going to surprise me to see the record get broken.'
Barranger tied the Buy.Com tour-record of 26-under-par when he won the 2001 Buy.Com Dayton Open. During Thursday's round, 98 of the 144 players in the field shot par or better.
Wes Short, Rob McKelvey, Mark Wilson, John Adams, Doug Garwood, Todd Demsey, Eric Meeks, Brian Kamm, David Dyer, Hunter Haas and Kevin Stadler are four shots of the pace at five-under.
Gore and Moore are two of the four two-time winners on the Buy.Com Tour this season. Cliff Kresge, who is tied for 28th at four-under, and Arron Oberholser, who is minus-one, are the other two-time winners.
If one of these four were to win and become a three-time winner, that person would get the automatic Battlefield Promotion to the PGA Tour. Four players have previously gained this promotion -- Chris Smith in 1997 and Heath Slocum, Chad Campbell and Pat Bates in 2001.
Full-field scores from the Gila River Classic
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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.”