The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 27, 1998 · Page 30
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March 27, 1998

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 30

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Friday, March 27, 1998
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Page 30
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THE PALM BEACH POST FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 1998 placers s km p 3 on s in o p JPHMPJJJJI nn isionc WHAT: The Players Championship. WHERE: Ponte Vedra Beach. WHEN: Through Sunday. TV: Today 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., ESPN; Saturday 2 p.m., WPTV-5, WTVJ-6; Sunday 3 p.m., WPTV-5, WTVJ-6. Norman pulls out to have shoulder ready for Masters By Craig Dolch Palm Beach Post Staff Writer PONTE VEDRA BEACH Not wanting to risk missing the Masters in two weeks, Greg Norman withdrew from The Players Championship on Thursday to rest a sore left shoulder. Notebook A . . vy -v. r . h - h ) . - t'A , ! '. - xv' ! ? - . - o : J' - -J lst-round leader Glen Day is first to eagle No. 18 By Craig Dolch Palm Beach Post Staff Writer PONTE VEDRA BEACH Glen Day's nickname on the PGA Tour is "All," as in it takes him all day to play 18 holes. But the man known for his slow play can now - lay claim to the fastest finish in the 25-year history of The Players Championship. All Day did Thursday was become the first player to eagle the difficult 18th hole at the Stadium Course when he holed a 7-iron from 180 yards. The eagle came on the heels of a birdie he made at the par-3 17th hole. Day wore this 2-2 finish to shoot a 66 and vault into the first-round lead by a shot over Fred Couples and Rocco Mediate. And how did Day describe his historic shot? "Just pure luck," he said. "Somebody was going to get lucky. It just happened to be me." It was the first deuce on a hole that's been played more than 7,000 times since The Players moved to the TPC at Sawgrass in 1982. Day's ball hit just short on the right edge of the green, kicked left and rolled about 50 feet into the cup. "I stood out there and I just knew I could make it," he said. "I asked my caddy which way it would break. We had the grain written down." The Little Rock, Ark., native turned pro in 1988 and realized he couldn't compete on the PGA Tour. Day, 32, spent two years in Asia and three in Europe before returning to the Tour in 1994. Along the way he met Gary Nicklaus and eventually befriended Jack Nicklaus. Day and Jack Nicklaus' company worked together designing a course near Winston-Salem, N.C. (Salem Glen). Day's best finish was a second at Kingsmill, Va., in 1994, and he's 50th on this year's money list. When told that no non-winner has won The Players, Day shot back: "Yeah, and nobody had ea-gled 18 before." Couples has won here twice (1984 and '96) and held the lead for most of the first round. Couples' strong start was no surprise he owns three of the 11 lowest rounds shot at the Stadium Course. "I love this place," Couples said. Mediate also feels at home on this course he owns a home just off the second fairway. Like Day, Mediate also made a late move with birdies on four of the last five holes. "It is nerve-wracking playing here because I love this place so much," Mediate said. "It's actually better when I'm playing because that's when it's the most quiet and calm." Hobe Sound resident Jerry Kelly was alone in fourth place after a 68. Unlike the other leaders, he started with five birdies in the first seven holes before cooling off with a pair of bogeys and a birdie. "The front side was kind of a blur of birdies," Kelly said. "Then, when I bogeyed number nine, I decided to play fairways and greens after that. That (bogey) will jolt you back to reality." West Palm Beach's Mark Calcavec-chia chipped in at No. 18 to join 11 Ii i n ui iiiiiii in. .in urn. i-ii. mini uiuMuaiuumuiJiii inn in mi ."V A .i 7 x " " 4 Area player In bold. ""'aSTpaTT. 35-31-66 Fred Couples tl Rocco Mediate 32-3S or Jerry Kelly 32 36 68 '"joeOzak, 35-34-69 Billy Mayfair 36 -33 b9 Ben Crenshaw 34 -3b dm Phil Mickelson il'l, o Bruce Lietzke ll'l m Mark Calcavecchla 35 -34 ta ;. David Duval !?Sri!o ... David Frost 1?6q ' jeffMaggert 32-37 -69 len Mattiace 35-34 ta Nolan Henke 33-36 -69 Per-Ulrik Johansson Ted Tryba It'll m -, - Jim Furyk 35 -35-70 Billy Andrade 35-70 -'. 1 Mark OMeara " - 0 . a LeeJanzen .. Ronnie Black 36-34 70 Steve Jones 36-35 7 -' ' Tom Watson 35-3b 1 1 '- Brad Faxon 28"22 I ! John Cook lf? . , John Daly 4 David Toms , r? ,! Ernie Els 1-7 I Nick Price It'll-,! Craig Stadler 1 l? , Stewart Cink 37-34 71 Tommy Armour III 35-36 7 1 RetiefGoosen 38-33 71 Steve Pate 38-33 71 Robert Damron 36-35 7 1 Stephen Ames 34-37 71 Doug Barron 34-37 7 1 ' Andrew Magee 37-34 7 1 Scott Verplank 34-37 71 Donnie Hammond 38-33 7 1 KirkTriplett 36-3571 Steve Lowery 36-35 7 1 David Sutherland 34-38 72 John Huston 36-36 72 Frank Nobilo 35-37 72 - 4 Phil Blackmar 40-3272 Tiger Woods 37-3572 Russ Cochran 36-36 72 Bob Estes 37-35 72 Jose Maria Olazabal 36-36 72 Scott Gump 34-3872 Brandel Chamblee 37-35 72 Lee Rinker 35-37 72 Omar Urestl 37 Vi Jesper Pamevlk 35-37 72 BobTway 38-34 72 Justin Leonard 36-36 72 Tom Lehman 38-34 72 ' Scott McCarron 37-35 72 Stuart Appleby 35"?I Vijay Singh 37-35 72 Payne Stewart oo-oi I Tom Kite 36-3672 " PaulGoydos 38-3472 O Kevin Sutherland 35-37 72 Chns Perry 34-3872 '. Fred Funk 3-37 73 Mark Brooks 37-3673 i " Mike Hulbert 37-3673 Craig Parry 37-3673 MikeStandly 37-36 73 David Edwards 38-3573 Brian Henninger 38-3573 " Scott Hoch 37 3f lo Willie Wood 35-3873 Davis Love III 37-36 73 Larry Mize 35-3873 Joey Sindelar 37-36 73 Pete Jordan 36-3 7 73 Fulton Allem 1111Ia Brent Geiberger 38-36 74 Robert Gamez 383f lz Lee Westwood 37-3774 Skip Kendall 36-38 74 Shigeki Maruyama 38 -3674 TimHerron 37-37 74 ' Michael Bradley V, .i Gabnel Hjertstedt 36-38 74 Steve Strieker 36?S . Hal Sutton Ia Jay Haas 37-37-74 Larry Nelson Vt7a Doug Martin 37-3-4 ! John Adams 383f Z J ? Darren Clarke 38-3674 Dudley Hart - DavKlOgnn 37-37 -74 JeffSluman 35-74 ; Kenny Perry H'Va" ta MikeReid 36-38 74 . Colin Montgomery xf 'xf- Sandy Lyle 36-38 74 Joe Durant jr-ja io Guy Boros If "It-?! - Nick Faldo IIIr 11 Paul Stankowski Duffy Waldorf i Kelly Gibson 17S ; Corey Pavm 39-36 ,-75 Scott Simpson 39-3b is Loren Roberts &fTl Phil Tataurangi J 'j? 1 DonPooley 35-4075 BradFabe. Costantino Rocca 38 -38 lb P H. Morgan III t'ltllt Trevor Dodds SZ?I - Clarence Rose tl Neal Lancaster 7fi MarkWiebe 38-38 ib Grant Wane ,?',q 7t Wayne Grady w'SZr? n MarkMcCumbef 38-f ' TomPurtzer IfZll Frank Uckkter iV,7 77 RickFem 21 77 Jumbo Ozaki 4Ti3677 o elrown. . : : Jlfr tenn Clements .. Jay Don Blake lt d 7 Curtis Strange in 7H . Mm Carter 38 40 78 : I arrv Pinker 40 38 78 Zn 39 39- 78 Dan Forsman 79 M.e Sponger 0 39 79 TomByrum SfUaO Me Bnsky Uil an Bemhard Langer IT-In fii Bv Ray Brown 8 Mhae Chnst 38 3 Bl Norman said he felt some weakness in his left shoulder during Wednesday's practice round even though he felt well enough to hit balls afterward. But he awoke Thursday with pain in his left shoulder. Norman went to the course to see Dr. Frank Jobe, who found inflammation in his left shoulder. Jobe advised rest for 72 hours. Norman withdrew and he and his physical therapist, Pete Draovitch, flew back to South Florida. Norman, who said he fully expects to play at Augusta, believes he hurt the shoulder when he hit balls for six hours last weekend. "I forgot I was 43 instead of 23," Norman said. Norman said this was a new injury for him. He previously has battled hip and back problems. Price was almost right: Jupiter Island's Nick Price had a flawless round through 16 holes Thursday. He had hit every green and was four-under. But his 8-iron found the water on No. 17 for a double-bogey and he missed the green at No. 18 for another bogey. He settled for a 71, but was upbeat. "Just a bad finish," he said. "Other than that I played solidly. I was hitting it close most of the day; I didn't make too many long putts." Price, the world's sixth-ranked player, has finished fourth at Mercedes, 22nd at Phoenix and 36th at Doral before missing the cut last week at Bay Hill. I le sees his game headed in the right direction. "I've been playing solidly, but there's not a lot happening, not a lot going my way," he said. "But I'm playing my way through it. It will get better." Woods still struggling: Despite a favorable tee time Thursday, Tiger Woods' swing problems continued as he shot 72. "I didn't play well," Woods said. "I hit a lot of bad shots. I was fortunate to shoot even-par." Woods opened Bay Hill last week with a 64, but followed with rounds of 70, 73 and 77. Woods' group was eighth off the 10th tee Thursday, but he failed to take advantage of the benign conditions. "The greens were perfect out there," he said. "The course was to be had this morning. Asked about the significance of today's 1:04 p.m. tee time, Woods smiled and said: "It means I get to sleep in." Club talk BEN CRENSHAW Crenshaw uses a steel-shafted King Cobra driver with 9-degree loft. He carries a King Cobra 4-wood and an Orlimar 3-wood. He uses King Cobra irons. He has a 56-degree Wilson sand wedge. His putter is an 8813 Wilson Staff. What makes Crenshaw unique is what's outside his bag nothing. "I don't have an affiliation right now," he said. 30 Updates Call 511 and , enter 511 cate- gory 3816 to hear frequent updates throughout the TPC. 50 for up five minutes. E E E 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 7 7 8 8 8 -t-9 9 others at 69. It was Calcavecchia's ninth consecutive round under par, a stretch that included a victory at the Honda Classic and a fourth at Bay Hill. "I've been playing great, but I was actually a little off today," said Calcavec-chia, who has been battling allergies. The group at 69 included Ben Crenshaw, Phil Mickelson, Billy Mayfair, Jeff Maggert and David Duval. Lee Janzen and Mark O'Meara lead a group of six at 70. Among those at 71 are Jupiter Island's Nick Price, last week's winner, Ernie Els, Tom Watson, John Daly, Steve Jones and Craig Stadler. Tiger Woods shot a 72. But the story of the day was a man named Day. Asked about his "All" nickname, he said: "Because my first year on Tour I was a little bit faster than a snail, but not quite as good as a turtle." When several reporters couldn't understand his Arkansas drawl, he then produced the day's most memorable line as well as the shot: "I'm going to get offended," he said. "Rednecks have rights, too, you know." Noteworthy: Phil Blackmar shot 72 despite making an "8" on the par-5 ninth. He three-putted the hole and had to add a two-shot penalty when the wind Irowired his putter into the ball and he didn't replace it. . . . There were 12 balls hit into the water at the par-3 17th island green. JOE OZAKI The second-best of the three Ozaki golfing bothers had a share of the lead before finishing tied for fifth with a 69. "Good starting time. No wind. Greens were perfect," he said. Ozaki has missed his past three cuts on the PGA Tour this year, but was sixth here in 1 993 and e'gth in 1995. TOM WATSON Watson was pleased with his 71 considering he hit only 1 1 greens and eight fairways. But he kept his round together with his putter. He needed only 27 putts. "My overall play was skunky," he said. "I'm very happy with the score because I couldn't rely on my swing. My putting saved the round." itTf (ITWI Hit iffllf dim. flt..,m,Wi ft..iffl flft. iffl. iffli .irfl. iiWi urn nrT HI TtT rUTi. irt i iimiim I I , "-,,M 1 j , ' j 1 1 Selected spotlights on four rounds: Photos by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Glen Day (top) rejoices after becoming the first golfer to eagle No. 18 on the Stadium Course in Thursday's first round of The Players Championship. Day, who holed a 7-iron from 180 yards, also birdied No. 17. The strong finish enabled him to take a one-shot lead over Rocco Mediate and two-time TPC champion Fred Couples (above). No. 13, 357 yards, par 4 PLAYER: Glen Day. WHAT HE DID: Became the first player to hole out tor eagie ai ine xoin nuie at the TPC at Sawgrass. (It was also the day's lone eagle.) From 180 yards out, he hit a 7-irorj that hit just short of the green, kicked left and rolled 50 feet into the cup. WHAT HE SAID: l hit it exactly like I wanted to. I was just making sure that I hit it right of the swale. I knew if I I. iiiiii umiiii, Vi BEN CRENSHAW Crenshaw (69) hasn't made a cut in three tries and didn't break 80 in two of his last four rounds. Yet this shows he's recovering from off-season surgery on his right foot. "It's been so long. I'm just happy to finally hit some good shots." he said. He hit just 10 greens, but needed just 25 putts. ERNIE ELS Els, who won last week at Bay Hill, got it to four-under through 12 holes Thursday. But he bogeyed three of his last six holes to finish tied for 23rd at 71. "It was obviously not the finish I wanted because I was playing solid all day." he sad. "But I'm still under par and I'm still in the picture." l tf ijffi carried it to the V pin, it would have bounced over because the green was like concrete. I didn't think it had a chance to go in the hole until I heard the crowd roar." SCORING SUMMARY: One eagle. 12 birdies, 84 pars, 41 bogeys, six doubletiogeys. Scoring average: 4.271 (third-most difficult). ft tt, aA..A a

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