The first round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational is in the books with 75 players breaking par and another 13 shooting even. Not surprisingly, the scoring average for the day was 68.818.
Jeff Overton, Jason Bohn and Blake Adams are tied for the first-round lead after shooting 63s while Brian Davis is one stroke behind.
Overton and Adams also shared second last week with Brian Gay at the HP Byron Nelson Championship while Bohn and Davis are proof of the adage “beware the injured golfer.”
Bohn woke up with sharp pains in his left ear at 1 a.m. Thursday and was headed to see the doctor after completing his round. So was Brian Davis, who had an abscess on the top of his gum.
“The other guy looks worse than me,” Davis said, joking.
The abscess materialized Wednesday night. Davis said it was “pretty painful” and was looking forward to a good night’s sleep after the doctor cut the abscess out.
All in all, though, the distraction wasn’t a bad thing.
“You need something going on to take your mind off golf,” Davis said. “It’s just one of them things. I haven’t been playing that bad lately – it’s just making putts and today, I made the putts.
“It’s nice to be off to a good start. I’m obviously looking forward to the weekend.”
Blake Adams has just birdied the ninth hole to finish in a tie for the lead with Jeff Overton and Jason Bohn.
“Any time you birdie the last hole, it always makes dinner taste a little bit better,” the soft-spoken man from Georgia said. “I had missed two makeable putts on 6 and 8, so that was a nice one to have fall on 9.
“So I obviously look forward to my tee time tomorrow, and I will try it again.”
Adams’ 63 equals his career low, shot in the second round of the Verizon Heritage. That round marked a 14-stroke turnaround and was highlighted by just 18 putts that tied a TOUR record.
Adams was spot-on Thursday as he grabbed a share of the first-round lead for the second straight week. He hit 11 of 14 fairways, all but two greens and used just 27 putts.
“I think it was an absolutely perfect day,” Adams said. “The greens are perfect, rolling fantastic, the fairways are good. If you hit fairways and greens, you can obviously go low.
“I was expecting some low numbers out there, as I woke up and saw the forecast, but I was just fortunate to have a good number today.”
Just like co-leader Jeff Overton, Blake Adams is rode some momentum into the first round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational.
The PGA TOUR rookie started on the back nine at Colonial and shot a sizzling 30 that was as hot as the temperatures outside. He has just made his seventh birdie of the day at the fifth hole to move to 6 under.
So Adams is currently tied for third with Brian Davis – just one stroke off the pace being set by Overton and Jason Bohn.
Adams held the first- and second-round leads last week at the HP Byron Nelson Championship before finishing in a tie for second with Overton and Brian Gay.
Jason Bohn has three more payments from the $1 million he won at the 1992 Hole-in-One Shootout while still a student at Alabama. He turned pro to accept the prize and has never looked back.
Nor does he ever tire of talking about the ace.
"I hope I'm 85 years old and people are asking me about that million-dollar shot," Bohn said. "It's the whole reason why I sit here. There is no question, a big career changer. I love talking about it. I never will get sick and tired of talking about it."
Bohn had something else to discuss on Thursday when he shot a 63 to tie Jeff Overton for the lead at the Crowne Plaza Invitational. Included in that number was a par at the fourth hole -- a 247-yard par 3.
And how does that compare to the one where Bohn got his ace?
"There is no really comparison," Bohn said. "It was 135 yards. It was about half the distance. That was a life-changer. If I made an ace on No. 4, it probably will not be a life-changer, but I will still take it, trust me."
Watch Jason Bohn as he tells the PGA TOUR Network about his health issues and his first-round 63.
The 37-year-old veteran woke up about 1 a.m. with sharp, shooting pains in his left ear. Bohn had some blood in his ear, as well, and ended up spending a very restless night.
Not that it mattered on Thursday, though, as Bohn posted a career-low 63 at Colonial that left him tied with Jeff Overton for the lead. He rolled in a 12-footer for birdie at the first hole and then added seven more before his lone bogey at No. 18 dropped Bohn back into the tie.
"I'm anxious to kind of see a doctor about (my ear)," Bohn said. "But it didn't affect my play too much, so I'm not really complaining. ...
"I just putted very well. I drove my golf ball extremely well; put it in good position to attack flag sticks. "
Truth be told, Bohn wasn't too surprised when he started feeling those pains just after midnight Thursday. Both his sons had ear infections last week and he correspondingly caught a bit of a cold, as well.
The recent Zurich Classic of New Orleans winner had taken a two-week break after THE PLAYERS Championship so he came to Fort Worth last Friday to prepare for the tournament. He went to a doctor on-site to get an antibiotic on Wednesday.
"Everybody I've talked to said it's kind of a good thing, you kind of want it -- maybe the ear drum -- to bust open and allow it to get some drainage out of there," Bohn said.
Given the lack of sleep, he wondered how he would play on Thursday but never thought about withdrawing. Bohn went through his regular routine on Thursday morning and watched sudden movements that might throw off his equilibrium as he played.
He then proceeded to hit all but one fairway and three greens.
"I worked with my trainer this morning, went through all of my exercises,” Bohn said. “ My body seemed to be holding up really well.
"My biggest concern was when I was getting up and down off the floor really quickly, my balance was a little awkward. So I really paid attention when I was putting how fast I came up. How fast I walked around the green when my head is moving all over the place."
The main drawback? Bohn had had trouble carrying on conversations – and the questions from reporters after his round. Not to mention, all that applause for his eight birdies was distorted.
"When I got to the range and hit balls, I knew I was striking my golf ball well enough to get in a round," Bohn said. "I just knew I was not going to hear anybody talk. And everything out there sounded like, what is it Charlie Brown's mother, that wah-wah-wah -- (so I'd just) smile and wave." – Helen Ross
To replay Jason Bohn's round on Shot Tracker, click here .
JASON BOHN'S ROUND 1 STATISTICS
|Driving distance||Fairways hit||Greens in regulation||Putts needed||Sand saves|
|276.2 yards||13 of 14||15 of 18||26||1 of 1|
A new caddy and a new driver have helped fuel a hot streak that has seen Jeff Overton post two runner-up finishes in his last four starts.
Eric Larson, who has caddied for Mark Calcavecchia and Anthony Kim, is now toting Overton's bag. He's also playing with the TaylorMade SuperFast driver, which Overton says has added about 15 yards off the tee.
"I gained four and a half miles per hour my ball speed," he said. "It enables me to get my ball down there within 100 yards and really take advantage of some of these par 4s. I was able to do that today.
"I hit a bunch of good iron shots and just been riding that wave. It's been great."
Thursday's result was a 63 that left Overton in a tie for the lead with Jason Bohn. He birdied seven of his last 11 holes and shot 29 on the back nine -- the best score on that segment since Greg Kraft came up with the same number in 1999.
Overton broke 70 in all four rounds last year, which was his first appearance at the Crowne Plaza Invitational, as he tied for 13th. His low score prior to Thursday was the third-round 65 last season.
"I love the golf course," Overton said. "It's a great place. ... The place sets up very well for my game. Especially somebody hits a high draw, a lot of the holes set up very nicely for that. ...The greens are just perfect. I love greens that really roll well, and you hit good shots and you are going to get rewarded because the greens are nice."
As well as he finished, though, Overton started slowly on Thursday -- even though the hot, humid conditions were ripe for scoring.
Overton hit his opening drive 315 yards into the middle of the fairway, but put his second in a greenside bunker and couldn't get up and down to take advantage of the par 5. A wedge in his hands at No. 2 produced a 12-foot birdie putt but again, he couldn't convert.
Overton hung tough, though, and that 7-footer for par at the seventh hole was clutch. He followed with a 7-iron to 5 feet at No. 8 and the floodgates finally opened.
"I'm just, c'mon, man, the course, if there's ever a time it's there to be had today," Overton recalled. "After missing a few 10, 12 footers for birdie, the next thing I knew I made a good one off the back fringe on 10 and stuck a 5 iron in there on 11, after hitting it in the trees.
"It was, you know, it was one of those things that everything kind of clicked and it went together like a puzzle almost."
To replay Overton's round on Shot Tracker, click here .
JEFF OVERTON'S ROUND 1 STATISTICS
|Driving distance||Fairways hit||Greens in regulation||Putts needed||Sand saves|
|283.4 yards||7 of 14||14 of 18||25||0 of 1|
After dropping in a 6-foot birdie putt at the par-3 17th, Jason Bohn was at 8 under and one hole away from finishing with the outright lead. But a bogey at Colonial's closing par-4 18th dropped him back to 7 under, which ties him with Jeff Overton as the early clubhouse leader.
The 63 is Bohn's lowest round on TOUR since he shot a final-round 62 at the Wyndham Championship last August. It's also clear that Colonial is a course that he likes -- that 63 is the 10th time since 2006 that Bohn has posted a round in the 60s at Colonial.
To replay Bohn's round on Shot Tracker, click here .
Looks like Steve Marino will have another big gallery at the Crowne Plaza Invitational.
His mother grew up two blocks from Colonial Country Club and his second-place finish in last year's tournament brought friends and family out in droves. He ended up tied for second with Tim Clark after losing to Steve Stricker in a playoff.
"I really wasn't thinking about being in contention until after I shot 62 on Saturday and all of a sudden I just leap-frogged everybody," Marino recalled earlier this week. "... Sunday was just awesome. I played great. I hit the ball great. I had a lot of putts that almost went in but didn't. It was just real exciting.
"I was glancing over every now and then seeing my parents, that made me feel really good. Unfortunately, I didn't win but I did really well and I was really proud of the way I hung in there and handled myself."
Marino quietly climbed the leaderboard again on Thursday. He just finished off a 68 – his sixth straight sub-70 round at Colonial -- and is six strokes off the pace being set by Jason Bohn.
Marino, who is looking for his first PGA TOUR victory, has improved each time he played at Colonial. The UVa product tied for 24th in his first start in 2007 and has shared 10th and second the last two years.
"I think a lot of holes where guys are laying back off the tee with irons and fairway woods, I go ahead and hit the driver," Marino said. "If I'm hitting it well, which I've been every time I've been here, it's a huge advantage because I'm coming into holes with wedges where they're coming in with maybe 5-, 6-irons.
"That's purely what's been key for me here is driving the ball real well."
Marino's ball-striking hasn't been quite as solid this year as he would like and he’s only had two top-10s among his six finishes of 20th or better. But he hit 8 or 14 fairways and all but five greens on Thursday.
A win on Sunday would be a popular one.
"It's pretty much the only thing that I haven't done so far in my short career," Marino said. "I'm in all of the majors this year via my Top-30 FedEx(Cup) finish, so pretty much I'm trying to just get better every day and hopefully find myself in the winner circle some time this year."
Jeff Overton has just tied Jason Bohn for the lead with an 18-foot birdie at the 17th hole. Both are 7 under, although Bohn has four holes remaining.
Overton is playing in the Crowne Plaza Invitational for the second time. He tied for 13th last year – shooting rounds of 69-67-65-69.
Bohn and Overton have put some distance between themselves and the rest of the field. No one else is within four strokes – Woody Austin, Justin Rose, Bill Haas, Tim Clark, K.J. Choi, Vijay Singh, Justin Leonard and Brandt Snedeker are all on the course in a tie for third at 3 under.
Jason Bohn is working on what could be a career low – and maybe a course record -- at Colonial Thursday. He's played his first 13 holes in 7 under and owns sole possession of the lead.
Bohn set the tone for his round early with a 12-foot birdie putt on the first hole. His other birdie putts have come from 20, 15, 18, 6, 4 and 13 feet.
The course record at Colonial is a 61 shot by six players -- Keith Clearwater (1993), Lee Janzen (1993), Greg Kraft (1999), Kenny Perry (2003), Justin Leonard (2003) and Chad Campbell (2004).
Bohn, who won his second TOUR event earlier this year, has a solid record at Colonial. He's played in the Crowne Plaza Invitational four times previously and twice has finished among the top 25. He's never missed a cut and has nine rounds in the 60s, including a 65 in the second round last year.