In the opening round from Redstone Golf Club, Jimmy Walker ties the course record of 63 and has a two shot lead at 9-under par.
Every golfer in the world has been there, and it happened to Nick O'Hern last week. In Round 1 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he hit the ball great -- but took 34 putts. He briefly considered filing for divorce from his trademark long putter, whom he'd been married to for 16 years.
O'Hern needed only 25 putts on Thursday. His 65 is likely to remain the lead against the afternoon groups currently out in force at Redstone.
"After last week on the greens, I thought maybe give the short putter a go. But I'm glad I didn't," O'Hern said. "It's natural for anyone to start tinkering if things aren't going according to plan. I didn't think I was putting badly, but nothing was going in, so that's when you probably think maybe a change is on the cards. But as I say, it's worked out pretty well."
O'Hern is trying to earn enough money to shake his Medical Extension status on TOUR, which he was forced to take after undergoing two knee surgeries after the 2010 PLAYERS.
"I had an ACL reconstruction on my right knee last year. I snapped it about 20 years ago," O'Hern said. "Just wear and tear it was time to get it fixed. I actually had my left knee done at the same time. So I have both knees operated on, went for the package deal and had them both done."
A healthy O'Hern is back to hitting fairways, which he knows he must do to compete on TOUR. He missed only two of them on Thursday.
"The big thing for me on this TOUR is driving the ball. I'm one of the shortest hitters, but I'm usually one of the most accurate," O'Hern said. "I haven't been accurate at all of late. My game revolves round hitting fairways and therefore I can hit greens and hopefully make putts."
You haven't heard a lot about Nick O'Hern in the last year or so. The man perhaps best known for beating Tiger Woods in the 2007 World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship has been battling knee issues for years, and it finally came to a head last summer.
O'Hern played in the 2010 THE PLAYERS Championship and was done for the year after injuring his knee during the event.
The Aussie, a left-hander who has used a long putter for years, is 6 under after 15 holes on Thursday at Redstone. He has the lead outright; Steve Stricker briefly reached 6 under before a bogey on the 16th.
O'Hern needs a big week. He has to earn $312,690 to retain full status on TOUR after being forced to take a medical extension.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Thursday, it was Alex Cejka’s albatross. Creating the excitement in the second round was Nick O’Hern’s hole-in-one.
The Aussie made the ace at the 12th hole at Pebble Beach. He used a 6-iron on the 202-yard hole, which was his third of the day.
O’Hern needs to build on that momentum, though. He shot 74 in the first round and is currently tied for 81st. But there’s time -- the cut comes after the third round when everyone has played all three course. – Helen Ross