Davis Love III takes time from his hosting and playing duties at the McGladrey Classic this morning to answer fans' questions in a Google+ Hangout. Grab your coffee and tune in live starting at 10 a.m. ET. You can join the conversation by tweeting from the Social Hub with the hashtag #PGATOURChat
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
SAN MARTIN, Calif. – The weather delays at last week’s Presidents Cup didn’t just impact the players. They also had an effect on an assistant captain, cutting into Davis Love III’s preparations for the season-opening Frys.com Open.
Love III is off to a solid start at CordeValle, though, after consecutive 69s. He was tied for 17th when he completed his second round.
“I’m a little rusty, which is to be expected,” he said. “I thought with the way the (Presidents Cup) schedule was, I was going to have plenty of time to hit balls. But then (with the delays) even our players didn’t have time to hit balls. Freddie was trying to get me out (to practice). On Sunday, I watched all the guys go through the first par-3, No. 4. I asked, ‘What do you want me to do now?’ He said, ‘The range is open. Go have fun.’
“Yeah, Sunday of the Presidents Cup, I’m going to go hit balls.”
Love, a 20-time PGA TOUR winner, said he’s played less than 72 holes since his last TOUR start, at the Wyndham Championship in August. That includes 15 holes last Tuesday at Muirfield Village when he filled in for an ill Zach Johnson in a Presidents Cup practice round.
“I needed a break (after Wyndham) because I had pushed myself a little over the edge trying to get to 15 tournaments after the surgery,” said Love, who turns 50 in April. “Then I got enjoying my break and it snuck up on me. But I have a good attitude and I’m having fun.”
He played 15 events on the PGA TOUR in 2013 with one top-10 (T-9, The Greenbrier Classic) after having surgery Feb. 8 to relieve numbness and weakness caused by spinal stenosis and joint bone spurs in the neck. He returned at THE PLAYERS Championship in May. He finished 162nd in the FedExCup standings to miss the Playoffs for the first time since 2008 and end a streak of 27 consecutive years inside the top 100 on the TOUR money list.
“I’m good,” Love said of his health. “Everything else feels great, the best in a long, long time. I’m starting to hit the ball where I want to hit it.”
Padraig Harrington enters the Reno-Tahoe Open at No. 123 in the FedExCup. (Halleran/Getty Images)
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Here’s a look at some featured groupsfor the first two rounds of this week's Reno-Tahoe Open at Montreux Golf & Country Club:
J.J. Henry-Stuart Appleby-Padraig Harrington: The defending champion, J.J. Henry, is playing with nine-time PGA TOUR winner Stuart Appleby and three-time major winner Padraig Harrington. Harrington, the 2008 PGA Championship winner, also is in next week’s PGA, while Henry is the third alternate. A victory at the Reno-Tahoe Open also will earn a player an exemption to Oak Hill. Henry, at No. 91 in the FedExCup standings, appears to have clinched his spot in the FedExCup Playoffs. Appleby and Harrington could use a good week, though. Harrington is 123rd in the standings, while Appleby is 124th. The top 125 after the Wyndham Championship qualify for the Playoffs.
Woody Austin-Ben Crane-Davis Love III: This threesome features three former TOUR winners who could use a good week to ensure a spot in the FedExCup Playoffs. Austin won this year’s Sanderson Farms Championship, his first TOUR win since 2007, but ranks 134th in the FedExCup. The 300 points he earned for his Sanderson Farms win are the only points he’s earned this season. Crane, a four-time PGA TOUR winner, is 122nd in the standings. He’s posted just two top-10s in 18 starts this season, including a T-8 at THE PLAYERS Championship. Love, who missed several months because of neck surgery in February, is 162nd in the FedExCup after finishing in the top-10 once in 12 starts. Love and Austin are both in the field for next week’s PGA Championship.
Davis Love III finished a season-best T-9 at The Greenbrier Classic earlier this month. (Fiume/Getty Images)
Three major champions make up the featured group at the Sanderson Farms Championship, which begins Thursday at Annandale Golf Club in Madison, Miss. With many TOUR players at The Open Championship, the Sanderson Farms Championship is an important opportunity for others to earn FedExCup points in advance of the playoffs. Here’s a look at some of the groups PGATOUR.COM will be watching:
David Toms-Davis Love III-Mike Weir: These three major champions tee off at 12:55 p.m. Thursday off the first tee. All three need to earn points before the Playoffs, as all three are ranked outside the top 160 in the FedExCup standings. Love III ranks 162nd, Weir is 166th and Toms is 169th.
Charlie Beljan-Michael Bradley-Rory Sabbatini: All three of these players have won in 2011 or later. Beljan dramatically won the finale of the 2012 season, the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, while Bradley and Sabbatini both won in 2011. Bradley claimed his second Puerto Rico Open that year (he also won in 2009) and Sabbatini won the Honda Classic.
Sean O’Hair-Chris Kirk-Stuart Appleby: Kirk, the 2011 Sanderson Farms Championship winner, is joined by two fellow PGA TOUR winners. Appleby, a nine-time PGA TOUR winner, lost in a playoff to Ernie Els the last time The Open Championship was at Muirfield, the site of this year’s championship. O’Hair’s fourth PGA TOUR victory came at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open. All three of these players will have their eyes on the FedExCup points list as well. Kirk is 26th and looking to qualify for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola for the first time. O’Hair (158th) and Appleby (132nd) are both outside the top 125.
Overnight co-leaders Zach Johnson and Camilo Villegas are already looking up the leaderboard and the morning wave hasn't even finished at TPC Deere Run.
Will they be able to make a run at the lead this afternoon? Here's a closer look at who and what to watch for this afternoon (all times ET):
Zach Johnson, 1:45 p.m.: The defending champion got of to a good start with a 64 in the opening round but will have to play catch up, which shouldn't be much of a problem. He's recorded 17 straight rounds in the 60s there and his last eight rounds there have been bogey free.
Steve Stricker, 1:45 p.m.: The three-time John Deere Classic champion continues to play well on a limited schedule, but he'll need something lower than another 67 to sniff the lead going into the weekend here.
Davis Love III, 1:45 p.m.: Two weeks ago, Love withdrew from the AT&T National with a hip injury after an opening-round 83. The following week he tied for ninth at The Greenbrier Classic. He's in decent shape again after a 67 Thursday.
Jordan Spieth, 2:25 p.m.: The 19-year-old is in danger of missing the cut after an opening-round 1-under 70. The projected cut is currently 2 under. It's already been a successful season for Spieth, however, who has locked up his card for next season.
Camilo Villegas, 2:45 p.m.: Like Johnson, Villegas will have some catching up to do despite opening with a 64. That said, the last time Villegas opened with a 64, he followed it with a 77 the next day and missed the cut at The Honda Classic earlier this year.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
BETHESDA, Md. -- Davis Love III became the second player to withdraw from the AT&T National, citing a hip injury.
Earlier in the day, Rory Sabbatini pulled out with a back injury.
Unlike Sabbatini, Love was able to finish his round, carding an 83 that included 10 bogeys, one triple bogey and one birdie, which came on the opening hole.
For Love, who closed with a 44, it was his highest score since the opening round of the 2010 Shell Houston Open, where he shot 80.