By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Relatively benign conditions Thursday morning produced a spate of low numbers during the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship.
Nick Watney and Lucas Glover threatened the course record before finishing at 8 under and 7 under, respectively. Calm conditions and a few generous pin positions helped jump start more than a few rounds.
"Normally we get used to playing certain pin positions certain days, but they mixed a few up," Brian Davis said. "There's some easier pins today than normal, but as you can see from the scoring, there are birdies and eagles out there.
"I would say that anybody that shoots 5 , 6 under par is going to be somewhere around the lead at the end of the day."
Davis said the greens had some moisture in them early, and he was able to spin the ball effectively. Two bogeys in his last five holes were a disappointment, but the Englishman, who tied for fifth at THE PLAYERS in 2009, was pleased with the 69 overall.
"Any course suits you when you're playing well, no matter where you play," Davis said. "I do love this course in that most TPCs we play you've got to bomb it. This TPC you've got to bomb it but you've also got to shape the ball right to left, left to right, and obviously that's my game."
Jason Dufner, who joined Davis at 3 under, said the wind began to pick up as the day progressed. It was calm for his first 12 or 13 holes, then approached 10-15 mph as he played his final two or three.
Dufner, who estimated the wind was a one-club wind by the time he finished, said it was a huge advantage to have played in the opening wave.
"Thursday morning is usually the easiest golf course to come play," Dufner said. "So to have those calm conditions and get off to a good start, maybe get ahead of the field just a little bit with a good round.
"You'd kick yourself if you were 3 or 4 over early today for sure."
After a near-90 minute delay due to rain and lightning, the second round has resumed at the Wells Fargo Championship, where Bill Haas is still in the lead but now has company in the form of Phil Mickelson.
Mickelson isn’t the only one moving up the leaderboard, however. Brian Davis, J.B. Holmes and Matt Jones are all 4 under on their rounds and within three of Haas.
ORLANDO, Fla. – The Tavistock Cup, which since 2004 has been an interclub match between Isleworth’s and Lake Nona’s golf professional members, will have a different look this week.
For the first time, four clubs will compete for the Tavistock Cup, with 24 players involved in the competition. The first round of the two-day tournament at Isleworth Golf & Country Club begins in less than an hour (10:50 a.m. ET).
Monday’s format will consist of six matches of four-ball ( see schedule below). Tuesday’s competition will be singles matches.
Isleworth and Lake Nona will be two of the clubs in the competition, along with Albany and Queenwood. Albany is a new luxury resort community in The Bahamas and Queenwood is an exclusive private members’ club in the Surrey countryside near London.
Tiger Woods, fresh off his final-round 66 that bumped him up to 10th place at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship on Sunday, will compete for Team Albany. Reigning U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell leads Team Lake Nona ( team rosters below).
Tavistock Cup contestants play for prize money, team hole-in-one prizes and the title of World Golf And Country Club Champion.
The two-tournament will be broadcast live on the Golf Channel starting at Noon ET.
|TEAM ALBANY||TEAM ISLEWORTH||TEAM LAKE NONA||TEAM QUEENWOOD|
|Arjun Atwal||Robert Allenby||Ross Fisher||Thomas Bjorn|
|Ernie Els||Stuart Appleby||Retief Goosen||Darren Clarke|
|Trevor Immelman||Brian Davis||Peter Hanson||David Howell|
|Ian Poulter||J.B. Holmes||Graeme McDowell||Soren Kjeldsen|
|Justin Rose||Sean O’Hair||Henrik Stenson||Paul McGinley|
|Tiger Woods||Lee Janzen||Oliver Wilson||Adam Scott|
MONDAY’S FOUR-BALL MATCHES
|1||Arjun Atwal-Tiger Woods (Albany)||Thomas Bjorn-Adam Scott (Queenwood)|
|2||Robert Allenby-Stuart Appleby (Isleworth)||Peter Hanson-Henrik Stenson (Lake Nona)|
|3||Ian Poulter-Justin Rose (Albany)||Retief Goosen-Graeme McDowell (Lake Nona)|
|4||Brian Davis-J.B. Holmes (Isleworth)||Soren Kjeldsen-Paul McGinley (Queenwood)|
|5||Lee Janzen-Sean O’Hair (Isleworth)||Ross Fisher-Oliver Wilson (Lake Nona)|
|6||Ernie Els-Trevor Immelman (Albany)||Darren Clarke-David Howell (Queenwood)|
Brian Davis just became the second player to withdraw for the tournament, pulling out after shooting a 78 that included eight bogeys, one double-bogey and two birdies. Earlier in the day, Robert Garrigus pulled out after carding an 80.
Garrigus had a shoulder injury, and Davis cited exhaustion.
Things are certainly tightening up a bit.
Zach Johnson’s drive at the 14th hole clipped a tree on the right side of the fairway and dropped down into the rough, leaving him 270 yards to the green. His second shot came up a little short and landed in a greenside bunker.
Johnson, who had birdied three of his last four holes to take sole possession of the lead, blasted out to 5 feet. But his putt caught the lip and spun out to the right – and now he’s tied with Brian Davis.
Make that two in a row for Zach Johnson.
The veteran just took sole possession of the lead at the Crowne Plaza Invitational with a 22-footer at the 13th hole. It was his second straight birdie and third since he made the turn.
Johnson is now 20 under and one stroke ahead of Brian Davis. Bryce Molder is two strokes behind.
Brian Davis has some company at the top again. Zach Johnson just drained a 22-footer at the 12th hole to move to 19 under.
Right now, the two men are holding steady on pace to tie the tournament record set by Kenny Perry in his 2003 and ‘05 victories. Another birdie or two on the way home and the 72-hole mark is theirs.
The birdie was Johnson’s second in his last three holes. He’s already won twice in Texas at the 2008 and ‘09 Valero Texas Opens.
Jeff Overton just joined the logjam at 18 under when he holed a bunker shot for birdie at the 12th hole.
Overton, who turned 27 on Friday, has made five birdies and dropped just one shot to par in the final round. He’s been runner-up twice in his last four events, including last week’s HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Overton is tied with Zach Johnson and Bryce Molder, one stroke behind Brian Davis. He’s looking for his first TOUR victory.
Bryce Molder keeps applying the pressure, too. He’s playing with Brian Davis, and Molder just canned a 25-footer for a birdie.
That ties Molder, who is looking for his first TOUR win just like Davis, with Zach Johnson at 18 under. They trail Davis by a single stroke.