By Michael Curet, PGATOUR.COM Contributing Writer
Doug LaBelle II and Mark Hubbard shared medalist honors with a 5-under 67 while Jason Gore and Jim Renner both fired rounds 4-under 68 in the Frys.com Open Monday qualifier held at the Bayonet and Black Horse course in Seaside, Calif.
LaBelle, a 38-year-old Scottsdale resident, played 23 events on the PGA TOUR in 2013 and made 14 cuts -- including a tie for 18th at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. He earned his way onto the PGA TOUR after finishing inside The 25 (24th) on the Web.com Tour in 2012.
Hubbard, a 24-year-old native of San Jose, Calif., qualified for the Web.com Tour in 2014 after finishing inside the top five on PGA TOUR Canada in 2013. He won The Wildfire Invitational presented by PC Financial.
The 39-year-old Gore, also a Californian, enters Thursday's Frys.com Open opening round with the most credentials among the qualifiers -- having won once on the PGA TOUR (2005 84 Lumber Classic) and seven times on the Web.com Tour. His win on TOUR in 2005 and three times on the Web.com Tour that year catapulted him from No. 668 to No. 88 in the Official World Golf Ranking by year's end.
Renner, a 30-year-old Bostonian, returns to the 2013-14 PGA TOUR after finishing 17th in the Regular Season money list on Web.com Tour this past season. The Johnson and Wales grad had four top tens on Web.com Tour in 2013. In his rookie PGA TOUR season in 2011, he tied for fourth at the Sanderson Farms Championship and finished fifth at the Reno Tahoe Open.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- Earlier in the day Tiger Woods said there was a 62 or 63 possible at CordeValle today. Well, Jim Renner and Will MacKenzie just proved him right.
Renner made 10 birdies and one bogey on his way to setting a course record Saturday. A big reason why: He had 13 one-putts, including eight on the front nine (his second nine holes of the day). It also helped that Renner hit 11 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens in regulation.
As for MacKenzie, he had nine birdies, an eagle and two bogeys after hitting all but one green in regulation.
“It was a big change of events considering from 7:30 to 8:30 I was sweating it out to see if I was even going to play today,” said Renner, who made the cut on the number at 1 over through his first two rounds. The second round was completed early Saturday. “It’s more or less just a relief to get to come out here and play.”
Renner’s iron play was also very good -- his average approach shot distance to the pin was just inside 28 feet (second in the field) and he leads the field in distance of putts made for the week.
And at 159th on the money list with just two top-10s in 19 starts -- he missed the cut in 10 of them -- it couldn’t have come at a better time as Renner tries to secure his card for next year. MacKenzie at 210th on the money list is in a more precarious position.
“That’s what I was kind of holding onto this morning,” he said. “I kind of felt like my game was heading in the right direction. To think that I was just going to miss the cut by one was just obviously not what you would like. It’s nice that I played a good round today and hopefully throw a good one at them tomorrow.”
Overnight leader Vaughn Taylor has just teed off in the Reno-Tahoe Open, but he finds himself four shots back of current leader Scott Piercy, who just set the course record in Round 3 with an 11-under 61.
Piercy made a six-foot putt for eagle on the 616-yard closing par-5 to best the previous course record of 62, which had been shot three times (Bill Glasson, 2005; Joe Ogilvie 2006; Parker McLachlin, 2008).
Piercy birdied Nos. 2 though 9 at Montreux, and after birdies at Nos. 14 and 15, the 59 watch was on for the third-year PGA TOUR player. His lone bogey came at No. 17, a 464-yard par-4, effectively ending the threat.
Other big movers in Round 3 include TOUR rookie Jim Renner, who shot a 7-under 65 and is currently in third place. James Driscoll also went low with a 66 to move to 7 under.
By Zak Kozuchowski, PGATOUR.COM
Smooth greens and soft conditions led to ultra-low scores in Round 3 at Annandale.
For many players, Round 3 was their second round of the day. But the physical challenge of playing 36 holes in mid-summer Mississippi heat was only evident in their sweat-stained shirts, but not their birdie-filled scorecards.
Behind Kirk sits a group of four players at 17 under, which includes George McNeill, Peter Lonard, PGA TOUR rookie Sunghoon Kang and former Viking Classic winner D.J. Trahan.
"The golf course is very vulnerable and the greens are perfect," Trahan said. "It's playing soft so you can attack and the greens are in awesome shape. They are rolling great. Some guys are making a lot of putts tomorrow."
Another PGA TOUR rookie, Jim Renner, carded a 62, which was the low round on Saturday. It vaulted him nearly 40 spots on the leaderboard, a shot behind the group of players at 17 under.
Tomorrow's weather forecast for Annandale calls for scattered thunderstorms and a high of 85 degrees.
"Hopefully it is a somewhat decent day where everyone can go out and play and get it in," Renner said. "That remains to be seen."
After a birdie on No. 16, Sunghoon Kang looked like he might pull away from the field at Annandale. He had eagled two par 5s, and had another par 5 to play, the 532-yard 18th. But Kang backed up with a bogey on the par-4 17th, and then drove his tee shot into the water on No. 18, leading to a par and a third-round 64. He is tied for the lead at 17 under with Chris Kirk, who is 7 under for his round.
Saturday's final group of Hunter Haas, Peter Lonard and Troy Matteson also failed to capitalize on their good position. The trio is stuck in neutral -- a combined 1 under on a day where players are going really low. Haas and Lonard are currently tied for sixth, while Matteson has fallen to all the way to 28th place.
Jim Renner, who began Round 3 in 45th place, has made eight birdies and an eagle for a bogey-free 62. His rounds of 69-69-62 are currently good for third place.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
CROMWELL, Conn. -- While the second round was just getting under way, Jim Renner was wrapping up his first with a birdie on the ninth hole to take the lead by himself at 7 under.
The 63 is a career low for Renner, a rookie on the PGA TOUR this season. It also falls one shot shy of the best opening-round score on TOUR this season.
Renner has a special connection to this event. Aside from being born in nearby Boston, it was the first tournament he came to as a kid. He was 14 years old.
“I remember how cool it was and how nice a life it would be,” Renner said.
Now he finds himself in the lead for the first time in a career that’s spanned multiple tours for the 27-year-old, including the Hooters Tour, where he won the 2010 Sunset Hills NGA Classic. He also won the 2009 Maine Open on that tour before eventually qualifying for the PGA TOUR after tying for 22nd at q-school last year.
As for Renner’s round, he made eight birdies and just one bogey, and had a streak of five consecutive birdies starting at the 12th hole. He’ll also have a quick turnaround with a 2:45 p.m. ET tee time in the second round.
“That’s one of the great things about how my tee time worked out,” said Renner, who never played TPC River Highlands before this week. “Hopefully I can ride a good start.”
The 27-year-old Renner is making his 12th start of the year. In his first 11 events, he made six cuts, including a season-best tie for 56th in his last outing, the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
CROMWELL, Conn. -- With conditions soft from more than an inch of rain on Thursday -- and lift, clean and place being used -- some players are going low at TPC River Highlands. Among them: Jim Renner, who made the turn in 29 after six birdies over seven holes on the back nine.
In case you’re wondering, the lowest score ever recorded here was a 61, recorded by five players (Kenny Perry was the last in 2009).
For Renner, this is just his 12th start of the year after tying for 22nd at q-school last year. He’s made six cuts but has yet to record a finish in the top 50.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera withdrew from the Wells Fargo Championship on Wednesday afternoon, citing an illness.
The Argentine was replaced in the field by PGA TOUR rookie Jim Renner. Luckily, Renner remained in Charlotte after playing a practice round on Tuesday instead of heading to Athens, Ga., for the Stadion Classic at UGA.
Steve Flesch made the first birdie of the rain-delayed Sony Open in Hawaii on Friday. He was in the first group off the 10th hole, which is a 351-yard par 4, when the first round began – a day late – as 12:10 p.m. ET.
Flesch hit his drive 275 yards into the fairway, chipped to 18 feet and made the putt. His playing partners, Joe Durant and Shane Bertsch, made pars.
The first birdie among the rookies came from Jim Renner, who was a late add to the Sony Open field when Ricky Barnes withdrew with a back injury. Renner made a 3 at the 10th hole when he tapped in from 5 inches after a pin-point chip from 51 yards.
HONOLULU – Ricky Barnes withdrew from the Sony Open in Hawaii on Wednesday, and PGA TOUR rookie Jim Renner has taken his spot in this week’s field.
Barnes cited a back injury as the reason for his decision to withdraw.
Renner’s inclusion in the field means 27 rookies will compete in the first full-field event of the season.
Renner will be paired with Jason Dufner and Jesper Parnevik in the first two rounds. That threesome tees off at 12:30 p.m. ET on Thursday and 5 p.m. ET on Friday.