By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
LAS VEGAS -- James Driscoll's day didn't get off to an ideal start. Driscoll, the first player to tee off at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, had to hit a provisional tee shot after hooking his first one towards trouble left of the fairway. He couldn't have asked for a much better finish, though. He holed a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to post 8-under 63 and take the early lead at TPC Summerlin.
Driscoll found his first tee shot and made par on No. 1. "After that, I kind of figured things out," he said. He made birdie on four of the next six holes before a bogey at the par-3 eighth hole. He holed out from 81 yards for eagle on the par-5 ninth after laying up out of a fairway bunker to make the turn in 5-under 30.
"After the first couple of holes, everything kind of felt pretty good," Driscoll said. "I got the putter going and hit a lot of 3-woods out there off of the tees. I kept it in play and gave myself a lot of chances."
He fell back to 4 under after a bogey at the 11th hole before birdies at Nos. 12, 15, 16 and 18. He hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation, making bogey the two times he missed the green.
Driscoll started the 2013-14 season with a T-21 finish at last week's Frys.com Open. He had missed the cut at this event in each of the past two years, shooting 2-over 144 both times. This was his lowest score in 22 career rounds at this event.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- When does a 76 and missed cut feel OK?
When it leads to another $2,000 being donated to aid the families of vicimts in the Boston Marathon bombings.
James Driscoll, who lives two blocks from where the explosions took place, launched his Birdies for Boston campaign earlier this week with the proceeds going to One Fund Boston.
For every birdie he makes this week and next, Driscoll will contribute $1,000 to the charity. Saturday, he made two, bringing his total for the week to $9,000, before missing the secondary cut at the RBC Heritage.
He'll continue his efforts next week in New Orleans.
Driscoll made seven birdies in his two rounds at Harbour Town. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- James Driscoll still calls Boston home.
His apartment there is two blocks from where the Boston Marathon bombings took place.
About 50 friends were at a party at the finish line that day.
Two of them were between the explosions when they occurred.
Needless to say, the attack hit close to home for Driscoll, who was on his way to Harbour Town for the RBC Heritage earlier this week when it took place.
Though none of his friends or family were injured, Driscoll wanted to do something to aid the families of the victims. He's pledging $1,000 for every birdie he makes to The One Fund Boston (you can donate, too).
Driscoll thought he'd missed the cut RBC Heritage after he finished 2 over for the first two rounds. But Jesper Parnevik missed a six-footer early Saturday that moved 21 players above the cut line, including Driscoll.
That means Driscoll will have at least an extra round to pile up a few more birdies (a secondary cut will be made after the third round.) He's made seven birdies so far, including three on Friday. His efforts will continue next week in New Orleans.
As much as he tried to concentrate on golf, Driscoll admitted that at times he couldn't help but think about his hometown, which was on lockdown as authorities were on a massive manhunt for one of the two suspects.
"Before the round I was glued to the TV and the news," he said. "It's crazy when you watch the news it's like you're watching a movie. It doesn't seem real.
"I just hope they catch whoever did it and seek justice."
In the meantime, Driscoll was just appreciative of the support he was getting from fans and players.
"I've had tons of players ask if my family is OK and if I knew anybody close by," he said. "The crowds have been good. I can tell they've been pulling for me with what I'm trying to do."
So far, Driscoll, who has always held his hometown close at heart, has earned $7,000 so far to help the families of victims.
"I think that's where it gets its reputation as a crazy sports town; people rally so hard around the local teams that it's such a tight-knit community," he said. "People are quick to support one another and that's what I'm trying to do.
"Boston is where I'm from. I love the city. Everyone up there is family."
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- For the next two weeks, James Driscoll will donate $1,000 for every birdie he makes to the One Fund Boston, formed by Mass. Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino to help aid the victims in Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon.
Thursday at th RBC Heritage, Driscoll shot 74 but made four birdies in the process, including the one below he made from 14 feet on the 16th hole Thursday at Harbour Town.
For more about Driscoll's Birdies for Boston initiative, click here.
Driscoll has an apartment two blocks from where the Boston bombings took place. (Gross/Getty Images)
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon hit close to home for James Driscoll.
A native of Boston who splits time between his hometown and Jupiter, Fla., Driscoll keeps an apartment two blocks from where the explosions took place.
Monday, he was on his way to the airport for this week’s RBC Heritage when his phone lit up with text messages.
Driscoll had been invited to a party at Towne, a restaurant a couple of blocks away on Boylston Street, and two of his friends were caught in between the two blasts when they went off.
“I had probably 50 friends at a party at the finish line,” Driscoll said. “When the first one went off, one of my friends said she didn’t know what the heck it was. When the second one went off, she grabbed her friend's hand and started running toward the south end.
“When stuff like this happens around the country, you realize how tragic it is. But when it happens that close to home, it’s a different level of fear and anger and emotions.”
Driscoll spent most of Monday trying to track the story, first on the way to the airport then once he landed in Charlotte and again last night. No one he knows personally was injured in the attack.
“My friend, she just happened to stop to talk to a friend (before the first bomb went off). If she hadn’t stopped, she would’ve been right there.
“It’s just scary to think people are out there running around doing stuff like that and it could get worse before it gets better. It’s disgusting, really.”
James Driscoll rolled in a putt from 50 feet, 6 inches for birdie at the 13th hole in Friday's second round.
To watch exclusive online coverage of the 13th hole, check out PGATOUR.COM’s LIVE@ The Barclays
CROMWELL, Conn. -- James Driscoll grew up about 90 minutes north of TPC River Highlands and because of that said he expects a “rowdy” crowd for the final round of the Travelers Championship.
If he keeps playing the way he has so far, he might be right.
Driscoll chipped in for birdie on the first hole, then added another birdie on No. 3 to get to 12 under and in a tie for the lead with Brian Davis.
A standout as an amateur, Driscoll twice won the Massachusetts State Amateur. He also beat Luke Donald to reach the final of the 2000 U.S. Amateur.
On the PGA TOUR, it’s been a different story. Driscoll has gone 179 starts without a victory.
Neither has the player he’s tied with.
Davis has gone 237 starts without a win and has five career runner-up finishes. He ranks third on the all-time money list of players who have yet to win on TOUR.
Will that change today? Four of the last six winners here were first-time winners.
Following his third-round 66, James Driscoll reflects on his play in the 2012 Travelers Championship.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
CROMWELL, Conn. -- James Driscoll appeared to be on the fast track to success on the PGA TOUR.
At 18, he became the youngest ever winner of the Massachusetts State Amateur before winning it again two years later.
In 2000, he reached the finals of the U.S. Amateur after beating Luke Donald 2 and 1 in the semifinals. He would lose to Jeff Quinney in the championship match at Baltusrol but surely would win on the professional level.
More than a decade later, Driscoll is still looking for his first TOUR win.
After a second straight 66 at TPC River Highlands, he’s in position to get it just two strokes off the lead with one round to play in the Travelers Championship.
To win here would be extra special to Driscoll, who still keeps an apartment in Boston and has dozens of friends and family in attendance this week.
”If you're playing well, it's great to have everybody out here.,” Driscoll said. “If you're not playing well, it's frustrating because you want to play well for the people that are following you.”
They weren’t disappointed Saturday.
Driscoll made three birdies and an eagle, chipping in on the short par-4 15th.
This is the second year in a row Driscoll, who has made 179 starts on TOUR, has contended here. Last year, he shot a third-round 64 before finishing fifth.
Four of the last six winners here were also first-time champions.
“I think there will be maybe a bit of a rowdy crowd [Sunday],” Driscoll said. “I'm looking forward to it.”
So are they, especially if he wins.
PGA TOUR rookie Harris English led the list of eight players who qualified Monday for this year's British Open. He also set a course record in the process.
The qualifier, the only one held in the United States, took place Monday at Gleneagles Country Club in the Dallas suburb of Plano. As in previous years, it comes in between the PGA TOUR's two tournaments in the North Texas area, last week's HP Byron Nelson Championship and this week's Crown Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
English opened the 36-hole qualifier with a course-record 10-under 60 in the first round, with a string of six consecutive birdies at one point. He followed with a bogey-free 63 in the second round for a two-round total of 17 under. That was three shots better than Greg Owen.
Besides English and Owen, the other six qualifiers are Stephen Ames, Andres Romero, Justin Hicks, Bob Estes, Daniel Chopra and James Driscoll.
Another PGA TOUR rookie, Russell Knox, was tied with Estes, Chopra and Driscoll at 9 under but was the odd man out in the four-man playoff.
QUALIFIERS FOR BRITISH OPEN
|Pos||Player||Country||Round 1||Round 2||Score|
|1||Harris English||USA||60||63||17 under|
|2||Greg Owen||England||66||61||13 under|
|T3||Stephen Ames||Canada||69||61||10 under|
|T3||Andres Romero||Argentina||67||63||10 under|
|T3||Justin Hicks||USA||67||63||10 under|
|T6||Bob Estes||USA||66||65||9 under|
|T6||Daniel Chopra||Sweden||64||67||9 under|
|T6||James Driscoll||USA||66||65||9 under|
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It's a feeling more than anything, trying to get his driver in the right slot on the way down.
But once James Driscoll made the adjustment he was well on the way to a 67 that left him two strokes off Webb Simpson’s lead in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Driscoll, who is looking for his first PGA TOUR victory, birdied three of his last four holes at TPC Scottsdale to come home in 33. He two-putted the 15th and 17th, the latter a 321-yard par 4, and made a 13-footer at the 18th to cap the round.
"The front nine I didn't hit the ball very well but kind of kept myself in there with the putter," Driscoll said. "Then on the back nine I figured a thing out with my swing and hit it a little better, made a few putts and closed at 3 under on the back. So it was a good day."
Driscoll is hoping for three more good ones -- capped off by a Super Bowl win for his New England Patriots. Hey, it worked for Mark Wilson a year ago as he won the tournament and his Green Bay Packers took the Super Bowl.
"I can't wait," Driscoll said. "We've been spoiled, us New England fans with all our teams doing great over the last 10 years.I know it would be great to see them win and it would really stink to see them lose to the Giants twice in the Super Bowl. So as much as I want them to win, I really don't want them to lose. ...
“If they lose twice to Eli (Manning) that would not sit well with me."