Walker Dynamite in Panama

By Sports NetworkFebruary 5, 2004, 5:00 pm
Nationwide TourPANAMA CITY, Panama -- Jimmy Walker fired a 5-under-par 65 on Thursday to take a one-shot lead with the opening round of the Panama Championship suspended due to darkness. This is the first time the Nationwide Tour has played an event in Central America.
Play was suspended due to darkness at 6:45 p.m. ET, with 15 players yet to finish their first round. Those players will return to the course at 8:00 a.m. Friday. The second round will begin as scheduled at 7:30 a.m.
Tom Scherrer, Richie Coughlan and Jon Mills all carded rounds of 4-under-par 66. Greg Bruckner also stands at minus-4 through 17 holes. Jason Caron and Jeff Freeman are one stroke further back at 3-under-par 67.
Walker opened his round with three straight pars at Panama Golf Club. He got on the board with a 25-foot birdie at the par-5 fourth and the 25-year-old came back with a birdie at the par-3 sixth.
After a string of five consecutive pars, he ran home a birdie at the par-5 12th. Walker came back with a birdie at the par-4 14th and capped a bogey-free round with a birdie on No. 16.
'I just played a really solid round today,' said Walker. 'I made a couple of good putts, including a 25-footer on No. 6 for birdie. I'm happy to start playing again. I took about two weeks off after the PGA Tour National Qualifying Tournament and then I got the bug back.'
Mills also started on the front nine and managed just one birdie at the fourth. On the back side, he notched back-to-back birdies from the 11th and made it three in four holes with a birdie on the 14th. However, he dropped a stroke at the 15th before coming back to birdie par-4 16th.
Scherrer got going with birdies at the third and ninth, before climbing to 4 under when he birdied Nos. 10 and 12. He stumbled to a bogey at the 16th but grabbed a share of second place with a birdie at the following hole.
'The chip-in on the third hole got me going because it could have easily been a bogey had it not gone in,' said Scherrer. 'You have to stay below the hole on this golf course. If you are long it is almost impossible to chip the ball back downhill.'
Coughlan birdied the par-4 first and moved to 3 under when he eagled the par-5 third. He birdied the seventh to get to 4 under, but dropped a shot at the following hole. After nine pars in a row, he birdied the last to get back to minus-4.
Bruckner birdied the third and eagled the fourth to quickly open his round at minus-3. He dropped a shot at the seventh, but came right back with a birdie at the next. He wrapped birdies at the 12th and 16th around a bogey on No. 14. He was on the 18th hole when action was halted for the night.
John Klauk and his brother Jeff, who won the Wichita Open last year, each carded rounds of 2-under-par 68. They are joined at minus-2 by Jim Rutledge, Darron Stiles, Brian McCann and Raul Fretes, who has only completed 17 holes.
Charles Warren, Jeff Quinney and Franklin Langham head a group of 10 players at 1-under-par 69.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - BellSouth Panama Championship
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    Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

    The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

    The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.

    This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

    After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

    “I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

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    Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

    Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

    “I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

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    Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

    To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

    “More punishment,” he said.

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    DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

    Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

    Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

    It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

    With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

    Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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    TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

    • Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

    • This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

    • Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    • In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

    • At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

    • Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

    • My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.