By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
LAS VEGAS -- Jeff Overton and John Senden were in the first group off No. 10 on Friday morning at TPC Summerlin. Two of the three members of the 6:55 a.m. group are in second place after the morning wave completed play. Overton (63-68) and Senden (65-66) are both at 11-under 131, four shots behind Webb Simpson.
"This morning, the ball wasn't traveling as far, so I felt like I had to be aware of that," Senden said. "It was quite cool teeing off today."
Senden missed the cut at last week's Frys.com Open, the first event of the 2013-14 season, but said he's been helped by some short-game practice after last week's struggles.
Overton finished 16th at the Frys.com Open after a first-round 64. He's shot in the 60s in five of six rounds this season.
"I hit it really good today," said Overton, who's hit 31 of 36 greens this week. "I felt a lot better today, actually, than I did yeesterday, but the score wasn't quite as good. I hit two little wedge shots that I made bogey with, rather than making birdie, and basically that's a four-shot turnaround. Webb is lighting it up, so I have to get ready to go low tomorrow."
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
LAS VEGAS -- Jeff Overton has a 63.5 first-round scoring average in the 2013-14 season. He started last week's Frys.com Open with 64 en route to a T-16 finish, then shot 63 on Thursday at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
He couldn't have asked for a much better start, holing a pitching wedge for an eagle on the par-4 first hole at TPC Summerlin. "I had a tough little shot underneath a tree, and kind of hit a low, snap-hook pitching wedge and it rolled about 30 feet and died in the center," Overton said.
He made six consecutive pars before making birdies on Nos. 8 and 9 to shoot 4-under 31. He had another four birdies on the back nine, and saved par on the par-5 16th after hitting his second shot into the water in front of the green.
Overton recently strengthened his left-hand grip because of tendinitis in his left wrist. He seems to be in good form -- he has a 67.4 scoring average in five rounds this season -- after a difficult 2013. He had just two top-25s in 24 starts, and finished 108th in the FedExCup.
He'll be back on the course soon enough. He's scheduled to tee off at 6:55 a.m. Friday in the first group off the 10th tee. That means a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call and warming up in the cold.
"I'm going to try not to freeze," he joked.
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
SAN MARTIN, Calif. – Jeff Overton has the lead after the first round of the 2013-14 PGA TOUR season after shooting a bogey-free 64 in the first round of the Frys.com Open. He’s one shot ahead of Brian Harman, while Kyle Stanley is two shots back.
Overton parred his first seven holes Thursday, then finished the front nine with a birdie and an eagle. He shot a bogey-free 32 on the back nine with birdies on Nos. 12, 13, 17 and 18. “It was just one of those days that it went my way at the end,” Overton said.
The 2010 Ryder Cup team member has been working on a grip change for the past three months. He said he has worked to strengthen his grip because of tendinitis in his wrist. He finished eighth in last year's Frys.com Open after posting four rounds in the 60s, but had just two top-25 finishes last season.
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- Jeff Overton has been working on a grip change for the past three months. The change paid off Thursday with a 7-under 64 at CordeValle Golf Club that gave him a two-shot lead after the morning wave of the Frys.com Open's first round.
"My wrist has been bothering me," Overton said. "I've had a little tendonitis in it for a few years and (the new grip) allows my wrist to get a little more square at the top of my backswing without having to tweak it a little bit.
He made par on his first seven holes Thursday before finishing his front nine with a birdie and an eagle. He shot a bogey-free 32 on the back nine with birdies on Nos. 12, 13, 17 and 18. He played his last 11 holes in 7 under par.
He hit his 250-yard second shot on the par-5 ninth hole to 21 feet, then made the putt for eagle. He'd made a 25-foot birdie putt on the previous hole. He hit his third shot at the par-5 12th to 4 inches for another birdie, then chipped in at the next hole. He made a 30-footer for birdie at 17, then closed with another birdie after hitting his approach within 2 feet.
Overton finished eighth in last year's Frys.com Open after posting four rounds in the 60s. He had just two top-25 finishes last season. The first was an eighth-place finish at the season-opening Sony Open in Hawaii. He had just one more top-25 (T-7, Valero Texas Open) in his next 23 events. He finished 108th in the FedExCup, failing to advance past the first event of the FedExCup Playoffs, The Barclays.
"I couldn't ever get it all going at the same time," Overton said. He did Thursday.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Jeff Overton was disqualified Saturday after violating rule 14-3/10.3 for using an alignment device during his round.
"It's a shame but it's the rules," said Mark Russell, PGA TOUR vice president of rules and competition. "Not much we can do about it. ... We don't like to disqualify players but if that's what the rule says, we don't have a choice."
With the field backed up at the turn during the third round, Overton was waiting to tee off on the 10th hole. While he was waiting, Overton went over to the nearby practice green to practice a few putts.
Players are allowed to practice putting or chipping in those situations. But they cannot use any kind of artificial aid. Overton used a putting aid, which violates rule 14-3/10.3: Use of rod during round for alignment or as swing aid.
"You can go to a designated practice area and chip and putt if you'd like while you are waiting to play," Russell explained. "But you cannot use an artificial device. That's what he did. The penalty for that is disqualification."
Russell said another player noticed Overton using the practice aid on the green and asked a scoring official if that was legal. The official contacted rules officials, and John Mutch, a rules officlal with expertise in equipment-related rules, was consulted.
Mutch was the official who notifiied Overton of the disqualification after Overton struck his tee shot at the 11th hole, having just parred the 10th.
"Jeff's response? I don't think he was very happy," Russell said. "I certainly would expect that."
Overton said on his Twitter feed that he was informed by a rules official that he could chip and putt while he waited, but that he was not told to avoid using an alignment device.
"If ur gonna inform someone on a rule of something a person can do, make sure u remind them of the small things they can't do," he tweeted.
Overton had entered the third round 4 under for the tournament, just six strokes off the lead. He was still at 4 under when he was disqualified.
Newly engaged Jeff Overton opened with a 65 on Thursday at the Sony Open (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
By Ann Miller, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
HONOLULU — Two months ago, Jeff Overton was on one knee in Italy asking opera singer Christina Zimmer to marry him. Thursday, the couple was in Hawaii celebrating their engagement and the first full-field event of the 2013 PGA TOUR season.
Overton opened his eighth year on tour with a 5-under 65 at the Sony Open in Hawaii. He was a shot off Scott Piercy’s pace halfway through the first round at Waialae Country Club.
But back to November, when everything was “rocking and rolling.”
He and Zimmer went to Florence, where her mom grew up. He took her to Piazzale Michelangelo, on a hill on the south bank of the Arno River, overlooking the city.
“It seemed romantic,” Overton said. “It seemed like it made her think I’m romantic, even though she says I’m not.
“Got down on one knee right there, family was pretty close by and then they were there to take pictures and kind of celebrate. Worked out great.”
In other words, she said yes. They came home and bought a house in Florida and Overton went to work on his bunker play — “the worst part of my game.”
He has yet to win on TOUR, but Overton has four runner-up finishes and earned nearly $10 million. Last year, the 2005 Indiana graduate grabbed four Top 10s.
Thursday he went into four bunkers and got up and down each time. Overton drained par putts of seven and nine feet and birdied both par-5s from the bunker, from 19 feet at the ninth after plugging in the face, and 2 feet at the 18th.
He hit it close for birdie on the 12th and 13th, drained a 15-footer at the 17th and sank a nine-footer at No. 6 to nullify his only bogey.
“I’m really excited about it,” Overton said. “I don’t think I’ve ever shot this low here, never gone real low here. But it’s been weird because I should play good here. All the other courses that are extremely windy I generally play good on because I’m kind of a low spinner.”
His goal this year is to get that elusive win — “first thing.”
“That’s my biggest goal,” he says, “and more so I think it just comes from taking every shot … hit as good a shot as you can every time and play every single hole like it’s to win The Masters or a major.”
The engagement has not changed that strategy.
“Not at all,” Overton says. “Life is just good. There’s a different phase of life and just an exciting time, and just nothing really feels a whole lot different. Just nice and relaxing.”
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: Jeff Overton made steady progress last year, moving up 56 spots in GIR, 55 in scoring average and 22 in strokes-gained putting over his 2011 campaign. He's still looking for his first victory, though, and that will be priority No. 1 next year.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: The Indiana grad had already posted two top 10s when he came to the Deutsche Bank Championship ranked 83rd in the FedExCup. He dearly wanted to get to the BMW Championship which was being played the following week at Crooked Stick in his home state but Overton needed to work his way into the top 70 to get there. So he threw out a 64 in the first round at TPC Boston and went on to tie for seventh, moving safely to 40th and realizing the goal. –- Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: I will always remember Jeff at the Deutsche Bank Championship. He desperately wanted to qualify for the BMW Championship in his home state of Indiana. How did he respond? He tied for seventh at TPC Boston including rounds of 69-68 on the weekend. Overton took a lot of pride in playing in his home state and every Hoosier along the Wabash turned out at Crooked Stick to cheer him. -- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: League championships are won with him in the trenches. Racked up another 29 starts in 2012, making the cut in 22 with four top 10s and another seven top 25s. Easily among the best active never to have won a PGA TOUR event. Go ahead and give the recently engaged 29-year-old a long look in salary games at $1.563 million. -- Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
SOCIAL MEDIA: Find him on Twitter
2012 QUICK REVIEW
Regular Season ranking
Final Playoffs ranking
|Best finish||T-4th||Shell Houston Open|
|By the Numbers
Cuts made: 22
Rounds played: 101
Top-10 finishes: 4
Money List rank: 52nd
Driving distance: 68th
Driving accuracy: 82nd
Greens in regulation: 63rd
Strokes gained-putting: 53rd
Scoring average: 31st
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
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Check out the top five shots of the week from the CIMB Classic, AT&T Championship, and Web.com Tour Championship featuring Justin Bolli, Bernhard Langer, Jeff Overton, Nick Watney, and Tiger Woods.