DUBLIN, Ohio – Derek Lamely has withdrawn after playing 11 holes in the first round, citing a wrist injury.
Lamely, who was playing in his second Memorial Tournament, was 10 over after making six bogeys and two double bogeys. He won the Puerto Rico Open presented by Banco Popular last year but has been having a difficult sophomore season, missing his last 12 cuts.
There’s a new 59 watch with Derek Lamely 9 under through his first 13 holes. That’s what happens when you make three eagles -- one of which came on the par-4 first hole at La Quinta.
Meanwhile, at the top of the leaderboard is Gary Woodland, who bashed his way to a 65 Saturday to get to 24 under for the week.
Not surprisingly, Woodland, whose ball speed is north of 200 mph, is third in the field in driving distance. The reason he’s in the lead? He’s hit 86 percent of his greens in regulation, which is currently second-best in the field.
That old saying about driving for show and putting for dough? We’re seeing it with Woodland this week.
It didn’t take long for Derek Lamely to lose his overnight lead in the second round of the Bob Hope Classic. That’s what happens when you make a quintuple-bogey 9 on the second hole on the Nicklaus Course.
A day after a 9-under 63 that’s exactly what Lamely did with a 9 on the par-4. As a result, he plummeted more than 40 spots on the leaderboard and is now six shots off the lead.
Lamely’s 9 is the second of the week. Brad Faxon made one in the opening round on the par-5 seventh hole at Silver Rock.
The lead, by the way, is now held by rookie Jhonattan Vegas.
Vegas, the first Venezuelan to play on TOUR, is playing in just his fifth event on the TOUR. His previous best round was a 67, which he shot three other times. He made the cut at last week’s Sony Open in Hawaii but did not finish because the field was cut to the low 60 to squeeze in the 36-hole finale on Sunday. Vegas’ best finish on TOUR was a tie for 24th at last year’s Puerto Rico Open.
Prior to Wednesday’s opening round at the Bob Hope Classic, Derek Lamely had never played with a hybrid in his bag. Judging by how he hit the one Callaway sent him, it might be in there for a while.
Lamely went driver-hybrid on the par-5 sixth hole, where he hit his approach shot to about 6 feet to set up one of two eagles on the day as Lamely finished with a 9-under 63 to lead by one.
“It goes just as far as my normal 2‑iron, but it's a lot easier to hit it,” Lamely said of the hybrid. “I’ve never been able to hit one and I finally got a good one.”
That eagle was amidst a bevy of birdies for Lamely, who shot 29 over his final nine holes -- the front nine on the Palmer Course. At the Bob Hope, though, Lamely knows he’ll have to keep that pace up.
In five of the last 10 years, the winning score has been at least 30 under.
“The golf course is there for the taking,” Lamely said. “If the weather stays perfect, which I've barely seen it anything other than perfect here, I would assume that would be the case for the next four days.
“You just got to go out there and try and make putts and just kind of keep your head down and just know that.” -- Brian Wacker
If there’s one place a 64 isn’t likely to hold up, it’s the Bob Hope Classic, where birdies are in abundance. Enter Derek Lamely, who closed in 29 en route to a 9-under 63 on the Palmer Course on Wednesday.
Lamely, a nominee for Rookie of the Year in 2010 who won the Puerto Rico Open presented by Banco Popular, had seven birdies and two eagles (on the par-5 sixth and the par-5 11th) and took just 24 putts.
Last season might have been feast or famine for Lamely -- he made just 13 of 28 cuts and he still earned just under $1 million -- but he didn’t exactly come out of nowhere. En route to his win in Puerto Rico, Lamely closed with rounds of 63-66. A year earlier, he finished fourth on the Nationwide Tour money list.
And the Bob Hope Classic does have a history of first-time winners.
As volatile as the race to get into the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup is, there’s just as much jockeying going on in the Kodak Challenge (just ask defending champ Kevin Streelman about the $1 million he won last year).
There’s already been a lot of movement today from the 15th hole at Sedgefield:
· Lee Janzen rolled in an easy 5-footer for birdie to move to 11 under, just one shot behind leaders Troy Merritt and Rickie Fowler.
· Carl Pettersson and Mark Wilson also birdied the hole to move to 10 under.
· Brandt Snedeker, who’s leading the tournament at the moment, was helped by his hole-out from the front-side bunker to record one of just three eagles on the hole Friday morning. That gets him to 10 under in the standings.
· Derek Lamely has the best shot on the hole, so far -- he holed out from 41 yards for eagle.
The Old White course doesn’t seem quite as generous on Sunday as it did during the third round. At least judging from the early results, that is.
By noon on Saturday, J.B. Holmes had already finished off a 60 and Derek Lamely and Matt Kuchar had already posted 63s. No one is threatening those numbers right now.
John Senden is 5 under through 12 holes, and that’s the best round currently on the course. The best scores in the clubhouse are 4-under 66s from Kevin Sutherland, Joe Ogilvie and Brent Delahoussaye. – Helen Ross
Derek Lamely and Matt Kuchar have followed the same path this week at The Greenbrier Classic, carding identical rounds of 69-69-63 to sit at 9-under 201. Their seasons, though, have been very different.
Lamely has struggled since winning the Puerto Rico Open presented by Banco Popular in March. In his last 11 events, a tie for 11th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational represents his only top-25 finish. He is currently No. 79 in the FedExCup standings. His 63 on Saturday equals the career-best he carded en route to victory in Puerto Rico.
Kuchar is still seeking his first win of the year, but he
entered The Greenbrier Classic on a hot streak, with four top-10
finishes in his last five starts. His 63 on Saturday equals his
career-best round on TOUR, but is the first time he has recorded
the number in a third round:
63 - third round, 2010 Greenbrier Classic
63 - fifth round, 2010 Bob Hope Classic
63 - fourth round, 2008 Bob Hope Classic
63 - second round, 2004 Zurich Classic of New Orleans
63 - second round, 2008 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
63 - first round, 2008 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
-- John Bush
Tee to green during the first two rounds of The Greenbrier Classic, Matt Kuchar had been extremely solid -- hitting 28 of 36 greens and 23 of 28 fairways. His putter, though, had let him down.
Kuchar went out in the third group on Saturday morning and made birdie on seven of his first 10 holes on the way to a 63. That round vaulted him to 9 under for the tournament and into the upper echelon of the leaderboard.
"Today I walk off happy after the way I putted," said Kuchar, who used just 25 strokes on the greens. "Just one of those things. I birdied the last hole yesterday to make the cut -- saw the putt go in and thought maybe things were gonna go my way. They did."
Kuchar said the playing conditions couldn't have been better on this relatively calm and comfortable Saturday morning. And his 63 wasn't even the lowest score of the early finishers -- J.B. Holmes, playing three groups behind, had a 60.
"It was just perfect out," Kuchar said. "Always looked like this course you could make a lot of birdies. ... It was nice. No humidity. The ball was still going a long way. Course was soft. It was fun to play, especially if you were making putts. I saw a lot of putts go in today."
When Derek Lamely finished one group ahead of Kuchar, he said he wouldn't be surprised to see someone shot the magic 59 on the Old White Course. Kuchar wouldn't rule it out, either.
"With a par 70, there's a lot of opportunities," Kuchar said. "You hit wedges in there. The greens are putting beautifully early this morning. Couple reachable par 5s on the back, so we may see a 59 by the time the day is over."
Kuchar, Lamely and Holmes are bidding to become the second straight player to make the cut on the number and go on to win. Carl Pettersson did it last week at the RBC Canadian Open, aided by a third-round 60.
"He gives us all hope," said Kuchar, who was five strokes off the overnight lead held by Jeff Overton when he finished. He’s afraid that Overton, who has finished third or better in four of his last nine starts, could run away and hide after he tees off at 1:55 p.m..
"I think the way Jeff Overton is playing, I think any bit back is too far back,” said Kuchar. “Jeff's playing great. I think the rest of us will hope to have a good tournament.
"You could shoot 57 and still may not be enough the way Jeff Overton is playing. He's certainly gonna make a lot of birdies. Just one of those things. I don't think you could make enough birdies to catch him."— Helen Ross
Derek Lamely made the cut on the number, and he knew he needed a good round just to avoid Saturday’s 54-hole cut.
He got that – and more – when the PGA TOUR rookie went out in the second group of the day and fired a bogey-free 63. The round equaled Lamely’s career low, shot during his run to victory at the Puerto Rico Open presented by Banco Popular.
“It’s out there,” Lamely said. “Somebody could shoot in the 50s today. Somebody could definitely make a hole-in-one – there could be multiple holes-in-one at 18 today.
“I just knew we were going to have really good weather and good greens teeing off this morning. It’s been out there all week. Just a matter of whether you could make some putts or not.”
Lamely, who used just 27 putts on Saturday, said his round could have been lower, too.
“I left probably four putts right in the middle, short, so it could have been maybe four shots better,” Lamely said. “So it’s out there. I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone shoot 59, 58, 60. It’s out there.”
When Lamely finished, he was 9 under for the tournament and five strokes behind the overnight leader, Jeff Overton. Overton, who shot a 62 on Friday, wasn’t scheduled to tee off until 1:55 p.m. – nearly three hours later.
So how far is too far back to catch Overton?
“Hopefully, we’re going to find out,” Lamely said. “There’s just no telling. You can shoot 59 or 60 so you can pass a lot of people. You know you have to go out and play well. You have to be aggressive. It’s just a little different mindset so it’s fun.
“Every week’s fun. Some weeks are a little harder, some weeks are a little easier like this week. The course is just a little easier but it’s still hard. You just have to go out and play well and make birdies.” – Helen Ross