By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Dustin Johnson withdrew from the HP Byron Nelson Championship on Tuesday, citing a bad back.
It marks the third straight week Johnson has missed because of injury.
Johnson withdrew from the Wells Fargo Championship because of inflammation in his left wrist. After an opening-round 74 at last week's PLAYERS Championship, Johnson withdrew, citing an injury to his lower back.
Tuesday, Johnson said via his Twitter account, "Tried to go but have inflammation in my facet joints. Some rest and daily therapy with my physical therapist, then I should be good!!"
Johnson opened the year with a victory in Maui. He pulled out of the following week's event on Oahu after the first round with the flu. He had recorded three straight top-15 finishes before pulling out at Quail Hollow.
Earlier Tuesday, Bob Estes also withdrew from the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Scott Langley will be playing in his first PLAYERS Championship this week. (Halleran/Getty Images)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Bob Estes withdrew from THE PLAYERS Championship before his round Thursday, citing illness.
Scott Langley replaced him in the field and with minutes to spare as Estes was in the second-to-last group of the day.
The 24-year-old was originally in the field -- until being bumped by Derek Ernst, who got in by winning the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow last week.
This is Langley's first PLAYERS Championship. He comes in off two straight missed cuts and has one top 10 this season, a tie for third at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Lucas Glover has enjoyed plenty of success at the Wells Fargo Championship. (Revere/Getty Images)
By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM
It was quite a
performance by Billy Horschel at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Horschel put on an incredible putting exhibition on his way to his first
PGA TOUR victory, not to mention his fourth straight top-10 finish.
We'll examine his statistics from Zurich as well as some tidbits in
preparation for this week's Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow
Club by going inside the numbers ...
1 Number of over-par rounds Billy Horschel has shot in his past 16 attempts. … Not only does Horschel own the longest cuts-made streak on TOUR at 23, but he’s doing it with ease. Horschel is a combined 49-under par during that stretch of four tournaments – all top-10 finishes.
6 Consecutive birdies for Horschel during a final-round stretch, Nos. 7 through 12 at TPC Louisiana during the Zurich Classic. … While this is tied for the longest birdie streak on TOUR this season, it is the longest birdie streak during the same round of golf. Sang-moon Bae (Northern Trust Open) and Chris Stroud (Puerto Rico Open) had six-birdie streaks over the course of different rounds. Robert Garrigus (Humana Challenge) had a five-birdie, one-eagle streak over the course of two rounds. Meanwhile, Russell Henley (Sony Open in Hawaii/Humana) had a seven-birdie streak over the course of two tournaments. You may recall Henley making five straight birdies to close his final round to win Sony. He then opened with two birdies the next week at Humana.
21 feet, 10 inches Fairway proximity for Horschel at the Zurich Classic. … When Horschel hit the fairway, he hit 93.55 percent of his greens in regulation. And his proximity from the fairway ranked first for the week. Horschel’s 8-under 64 in the final round was aided by 17 greens in regulation. Amazingly, Horschel hit just six of 14 fairways in the final round. He was just that good with his irons.
49 of 49 That
was Horschel’s conversion rate on putts inside of 5 feet at Zurich. ... There’s
plenty to love about Horschel’s recent putting. He was third in strokes
gained-putting at 1.768, picking up more than seven shots on the field average
in putting for the week. There’s more: Horschel didn’t have a three-putt all
week. Plus, he’s canned 46 putts outside of 10 feet in his past four starts. Yeah, not too shabby.
248 Number of consecutive holes Bob Estes has gone without a three-putt, the longest streak of the 2013 season. … It’s also an active streak with Estes not three-putting in 36 holes at the Zurich Classic, where he missed the cut. Estes’ last three-putt came on the fourth hole in Round 1 of the Shell Houston Open.
$2,283,973.21 Career earnings at the Wells Fargo Championship for Jim Furyk, the most by any player there. … Furyk, taking this week off, owns four top 10s in nine tries, including a win in 2006. What may surprise some people is the second-leading career money leader at Wells Fargo. Bet you wouldn’t have guessed Lucas Glover, who comes in at $2,249,340.86. Glover, the 2011 Wells Fargo champion who also has four top 10s, is coming off a T4 at Zurich where he was the 36- and 54-hole leader. Glover is scheduled to play this week.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS ARCHIVE
Week 2: Sony Open/Humana Challenge
Week 10: WGC-Cadillac/Tampa Bay Championship
Week 12: Arnold Palmer/Shell Houston Open
Week 13: Shell Houston/Valero Texas Open
Week 14: Valero/The Masters
Week 15: The Masters/RBC Heritage
By Tim Price, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
SAN ANTONIO -- The last time Bob Estes won the Valero Texas Open -- 19 years ago -- it came at a course that was anything but a bomb-and-gouge layout at the crafty A.W. Tillinghast-designed Oak Hill Country Club.
Though there are some similarities between the pushed up greens that the master Tillinghast designed and the earth eruptions that make up the green complexes on the AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio, the 47-year-old Estes has a hard time remembering all of them.
“That was almost like a full career ago,” Estes said Saturday after his 3-under 69 has him four shots out of Billy Horschel’s lead. “So much has changed since then. It’s still about managing your game. It’s still just golf.”
Estes, who played following the Crenshaw-Kite era at the University of Texas, appears cemented in the here and now. He shaved a stroke off the lead with his play in the third round and, with the way he plays on this TPC course that stresses the course management that Estes loves, he looks to have a shot at his first PGA TOUR victory since 2002 which would net him his first Masters appearance since 2005.
But Estes won’t budge through these 25 mph winds in San Antonio to look ahead. The Masters?
“I don’t like talking about it,” he said. “I’m just thinking about tomorrow. There’s plenty to stress out about, think about, playing in this wind.”
He’s made six of seven cuts this season. Though he’s not cracked the top 15, he does have a 16th place at the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation.
Last year at TPC San Antonio he had his season-best finish of tie for fourth. His Texas Open victory in 1994 was his first of four PGA TOUR wins.
He said he feels good about where he can miss on this golf course, places where he can still get up and down and avoid three-putts.
Though he’s in the top 35 in greens hit, his putting (26 strokes per round) is in the top five and his 4-for-4 sand saves is first.
“It’s just course management,” he said. “A lot of guys, when the wind is blowing, they have trouble keeping it down or playing the right shot, and sometimes you have to play some pretty good defense. You play too aggressively in certain places and you hardly have a chance to two-putt or get it up and down.”
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Bob Estes remains in the lead at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Thursday but he has more company at the top of the leaderboard now.
Estes, who is through 11 holes at Spyglass Hills, is tied with rookie Henrik Norlander, Heath Slocum and Ted Potter Jr. The other three are playing Pebble Beach and are through 10, 8 and 7 holes, respectively.
Slocum, who is making his 2013 debut, birdied No. 5, eagled the sixth and birdied No. 7. Norlander started on the back nine and turned in 32 thanks to three birdies, one bogey and an 11-foot eagle on the 18th hole. Potter, who won last year's Greenbrier Classic, has birdied four of his first seven holes.
Jason Bohn, who is playing with former Secretary of State Condoleeeza Rice, heads a group of 10 players at 3 under. He and Rice, who is one of two new female members at Augusta National, are through 10 holes.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Everyone has teed off in the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am but no one is going extremely low.
A pair of Texans, Bob Estes and Jimmy Walker, are leading at 3 under. Estes has played six holes at Spyglass while Walker is through three at Monterey Peninsula, starting on the back nine and making an eagle at the 10th hole and a birdie at No. 11.
Estes is playing in his second event of the season after tying for 16th at the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. On the other hand, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is Walker's fifth straight start with his best finish a tie for fourth at the Farmers Insurance Open.
A group of nine players are tied at 2 under, including Patrick Reed, Brendon Todd, Peter Tomasulo, Joe Durant, Seung-yul Noh, Lee Williams, Greg Owen, Kelly Kraft and Web.com Tour Player of the Year, Casey Wittenberg.
The skies are cloudy and scattered showers are expected to move in at midday. Another low pressure system enters the area overnight and brings a better chance of showers -- and possibly thunderstorms accompanied by hail -- for Friday.
To preview the 2013 PGA TOUR season, PGATOUR.COM is counting down the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2013. For an archive page with the top 100 players and for an explanation on how the list was compiled, click here .
2013 PREVIEW: Bob Estes is a four-time PGA TOUR champ whose last win came a decade ago. In the 10 years since that victory at the 2002 Kemper Insurance Open, though, he's only had six top-10 finishes. Hitting more greens -- the lanky Texan ranks 156th in GIR -- will be key to contending again.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: His second top-10 of the season came at The Barclays and sparked a FedExCup Playoffs run that saw Estes reach the BMW Championship for just the second time his his career. He went on to finish 58th in the FedExCup, which was the best of his career. –- Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: Bob is not opposed to change. He switches back and forth between left hand low and a conventional putter grip. Estes says left hand low is better on fast greens and he rolled it beautifully at Bethpage State Park with a T10 in The Barclays. It was one of two top-10 finishes that helped him win just over $1 million.-- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: Continues to maintain fringe value across the board. Reliable source of cheap cuts made and a bevy of top 25s. The wild card is how often he plays. In his heyday, he kept busy, so now that he's fully exempt and free from the reshuffle, we'd love to see him tee it up 25 times or so. Turns 47 in early February. Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
SOCIAL MEDIA: Find him on Twitter
2012 QUICK REVIEW
Regular Season ranking
Final Playoffs ranking
|Best finishes||T-4||Valero Texas Open|
|By the Numbers
Cuts made: 16
Rounds played: 78
Top-10 finishes: 2
Money List rank: 99th
Driving distance: 142nd
Driving accuracy: 105th
Greens in regulation: 156th
Strokes gained-putting: 85th
Scoring average: 47th
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
What is your prediction for Bob Estes in 2013? Fill out the form below and let us know
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Bob Estes had visions of winning The Barclays after 36 holes. Instead, he’ll get a spot in next week’s Deutsche Bank Championship.
Estes, who started the week ranked 103rd in FedExCup points, shot a final-round 3-over 74 to finish at 3 under for the tournament, tied for 10th. That will project him to 62nd in the FedExCup standings, which puts him in next week’s event and gives him an excellent shot at reaching the 70-man BMW Championship.
Estes was tied for third after 36 holes at 7 under but shot 72-74 on the weekend to drop out of contention.
Still, he will make his first start at the Deutsche Bank Championship since 2009.
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- In missing the cut in his last two starts, Bob Estes dropped from 87th to 103rd in FedExCup points going into The Barclays this week. He needed to do something -- fast -- to get his game in order and move inside the top 100 that advances to the Deutsche Bank Championship next week.
So in the five days between his missed cut at last week's Wyndham Championship and Thursday's first round at the Bethpage State Park Black Course, Estes made two key changes.
He adjusted his set-up, moving closer to the ball at address. And he changed his putting grip to put his left hand low.
Result? Estes is 7 under through the first two rounds at The Barclays after shooting a sizzling 5-under 66 in Friday's second round. That should leave him among the leaders going into the weekend.
By making the cut this week, Estes has put himself in position to advance. He knows at 103 in the standings, he can't afford to let up this weekend. He's treating his situation like he's back at Q-school, his back against the wall.
"Sometimes I think I'm focused, but I'm maybe not as focused as I could be," said the 46-year-old Texan. "So I played these two rounds more with that Q-school mindset and focus and discipline, and so that's allowed me to shoot the scores that I shot."
Estes said after his early exit at Wyndham, he realized something was wrong with his game.
"My good shots were OK but my bad shots were just too bad, so I knew something had to change," Estes said. "Your bad shots just can't be as bad as mine were last week.
"I only missed the cut by two shots, but still, the bad shots were just too far off line."
He hasn't produced many bad shots at Bethpage Black. Estes hit 21 of 28 fairways in the first two rounds, and an even more impressive 30 of 36 greens.
Meanwhile, having constantly changing his putting grip throughout his career, Estes has gone back to left-hand low. He’s made 35 of 38 putts inside 15 feet.
"I know I'm supposed to putt with the left hand below the right because mechanically that's just the way I set up to it correctly," Estes said. "But I get stubborn sometimes and I go back and forth.
"I should just stick with it, but maybe sometimes I've putted with the left hand below the right or maybe I didn't have the right putter, so sometimes that might confuse me or confuse the next guy. Maybe the putter that I'm using now matches up better with putting left hand low as compared to what I've putted with in the past."
Whatever the reason, he seems to have found the right combination this week.
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|