By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
Johnson Wagner certainly wasn't looking forward to his opening tee shot at TPC River Highlands on Friday morning.
Wagner had finished 16 holes of his first round at the Travelers Championship when the downpour came late Thursday morning. Like everyone else, he waited for the next seven hours before the decision finally was made to suspend play until Friday.
The tee shot at the 17th hole is a daunting one under the best of circumstances. But at 7 a.m. – and the first strike of the day -- it can be even more nerve-rattling. There's water down the entire right side of the fairway and a challenging bunker in the fairway to the left.
Turns out Johnson, who was playing with the overnight leader, Michael Bradley, didn't need to be worried. He ended up making a birdie at the 17th and saving par at No. 18 on the way to a 65 that left him one shot behind Ryan Moore and Andres Romero.
"I was real happy to get that 17th tee shot out of the way," Wagner said. "It's just a tough hole. Easy if you put it in the fairway, but then I got to thinking about it last night, and I thought, oh, man, I could chunk it in the water and make double, but luckily I put that out of my head, hit it within about five feet and made it and had a nice up-and-down on 18."
Wagner, who won his second PGA TOUR event earlier this year at the Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun, said his putting was the catalyst in his solid start. The 65 was his lowest opening round of the season by four strokes and tied for his best of the season.
"Everything was pretty good," said Wagner, who needed just 25 putts over his first 18 holes. "I putted really well. I've never been so committed to my stroke, and I kept my head down. Didn't see any putts really go in. I was trying to listen for them and just really putted great. Gave myself a lot of opportunities on the back nine for birdies and capitalized on most of them."
Wagner was hoping he'd get some more golf in on Friday afternoon with tee times for those in Thursday morning’s wave scheduled from 5:30-7:30 p.m. ET. At least, though, he can go back to his RV and wait instead of hanging around the clubhouse. A nap and some TV are on his agenda.
"The course was so perfect on Tuesday, and it's definitely soft, but it's still in great shape and the fairways are real good," Wagner said. "I think the maintenance staff has done a good job of getting it ready with all that rain yesterday. Scores should be low today. If the weather stays good, scores should be low, so I don't think 5-under is going to hang in there for long."
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
CROMWELL, Conn. -- With rain having wiped out most of play Thursday, players were back on the tee Friday at 7 a.m. to resume the opening round. Ryan Moore and Andres Romero took advantage of the soft conditions with each finishing off rounds of 64 to take the early lead at TPC River Highlands.
Moore closed out his round with a pair of birdies on Nos. 17 and 18, hitting both approach shots inside 9 feet. In all, Moore, who tied for 13th here a year ago with a final-round 66, had five birdies, an eagle and just one birdie.
“I generally have not come out of rain delays or come out early in the morning and finished up rounds very well,” Moore said. “I’m going to go home and take a nap right now.”
Romero, meanwhile, birdied two of his final three holes, Nos. 7 and 8 (he started on the back). The Argentinian did most of his damage on the back nine at TPC River Highlands, however, with six birdies and one bogey to make the turn in 30 on Thursday. He bogeyed his first hole Friday -- No. 4 -- but rolled in putts from 13 and 17 feet, respectively, on the seventh and eighth.
Romero didn’t qualify for last week’s U.S. Open so he instead traveled to Argentina to play in an event there and finished second.
“I went to play there just to e in rhythm,” he said.
The final hole at Copperhead is a brutal par-4, but Andres Romero nearly eagled it on Thursday:
Andres Romero sticks his approach to a foot on the par-4 18th.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – No, your eyes are not deceiving you.
Alex Cejka did start the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am with a double eagle on the 10th hole at Monterey Peninsula Country Club. He had 240 yards for his approach and used a 3-wood.
The albatross has given Cejka a one-stroke lead over his playing partner Kevin Sutherland, who eagled No. 10, and Andres Romero, who is also playing Monterey Peninsula but started on the front nine.
Cejka’s double eagle is the first of 2011 and just the 11th since the start of the 2009 season.
Click here for Cejka’s first-round scorecard.
DOUBLE EAGLES IN 2010
|Carl Pettersson||Bob Hope Classic||La Quinta||5th||3rd|
|Steve Wheatcroft||St. Jude Classic||TPC Southwind||3rd||2nd|
|Shaun Micheel||U.S. Open||Pebble Beach||6th||4th|
|Shiv Kapur||Reno-Tahoe Open||Montreux||9th||2nd|
|Vijay Singh||Deutsche Bank||TPC Boston||2nd||3rd|
|Johnson Wagner||Viking Classic||Annandale||7th||2st|
DOUBLE EAGLES IN 2009
|Matthew Borchert||Valero Texas Open||LaCantera||14th||2nd|
|Paul Lawrie||British Open||Ailsa Champ.||7th||4th|
|John Senden||Deutsche Bank||TPC Boston||2nd||2nd|
|Nicholas Thompson||Frys.com Open||Grayhawk||11th||3rd|
Andres Romero is a player to watch on Monday at TPC Boston. He started the week ranked 100th – 30 spots away from advancing to the BMW Championship – but the Argentine has put himself in the thick of things.
Romero started the final round at 11 under and was projected at No. 67 overnight. He made bogey at his first hole on Monday, though, and dropped to No. 71.
Romero, who became the PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year when he made it to East Lake in 2008, has 16 holes remaining to make up the ground he lost. You can keep checking on how many shots back the 29-year-old is as the afternoon progresses by clicking here.
Andres Romero came to TPC Boston with the highest ladder to climb since he was the last man in the field at No. 100.
The 30-year-old from Argentina is making a strong bid to hang around another week, too. He’s 2 under through six holes and has moved within two strokes of the lead.
Equally important, Romero has moved up to 61st in the projected standings. He was 71st – one spot shy of the number that will advance to next week’s BMW Championship – after completing two rounds in 8 under so he needs to continue to play well.
Romero made it to THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola in 2008 and proceeded to win PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year honors. A year ago, though, Romero ranked 125th entering the Wyndham Championship, which is the final event before the Playoffs. He opted not to play, essentially forfeiting his potential spot, to work on his game and fell to No. 132.
Andres Romero aces the par-3 eighth hole in Saturday's second round at TPC Boston.
Andres Romero used a 6-iron to ace the par-3 eighth hole on Saturday. The hole is playing at 207 yards in the second round but is listed at 213 yards on the scorecard.
The hole-in-one moved Romero to 6 under for the tournament. A week ago, Romero had to drain a birdie putt of 40 feet, 6 inches on his 72nd hole at The Barclays in order to advance to this week’s event. Romero came in ranked 100th in points, the last man in the field.
The ace is the 30th on the PGA TOUR this year and the fifth in the history of the Deutsche Bank Championship. All five of those aces have come in the second round.
ACES AT THE DEUTSCHE BANK
|Andres Romero||2||8th||207 yards||6-iron||2010|
|Robert Allenby||2||16th||211 yards||4-iron||2006|
|Jonathan Byrd||2||11th||205 yards||6-iron||2006|
|Garrett Willis||2||11th||208 yards||4-iron||2003|
|Kevin Stadler||2||3rd||184 yards||n/a||2005|
Andres Romero has birdied four of his last five holes – and the flurry appears to have paid off with a trip to Boston.
The Argentine rallied in a big way after making consecutive double bogeys at Nos. 12 and 13 before the birdie barrage began.
Romero shook off the frustration, though, when he staked his approach to 13 inches at No. 14. He then made an 11-footer at No. 15, chipped in at the 17th and drained a 42-inch putt at the 18th hole.
When he finished, Romero had moved 15 spots to No. 100 in the FedExCup, which is the cutoff of the Deutsche Bank Championship.
After rounds of 71 and 68, Andres Romero was in good shape heading into today’s round at the AT&T National. Not anymore.
Romero has four bogeys and a double bogey through 15 holes, dropping him 43 spots on the leaderboard and into a tie for 60th at the moment. Should Romero par in, he’d shoot 76 and match his worst round of the year. -- Brian Wacker
Andres Romero, looking for his first TOUR win since breaking through in New Orleans two years ago, is the leader at 5 under through 12 holes.
Four players are tied at 4 under: Justin Rose (through 13 holes), Michael Letzig (through 13 holes, K.J. Choi (through 10 holes) and rookie Michael Sim (through 8 holes).
Among the notables on the course: Ernie Els (3 under), Phil Mickelson (2 under), Rory McIlroy (2 under), Vijay Singh (1 under) and Jim Furyk (1 under).