Watch John Rollins roll in a birdie putt at the 18th hole Thursday.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- John Rollins rolled in his longest putt of the day, a birdie putt just inside 22 feet, to cap off a 7-under 63 in Thursday's first round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
That puts him just one stroke off the lead held by Ryan Palmer, who shot 62 from a morning tee time. Both players are members at Colonial.
Rollins produced the low round of any player teeing off in the afternoon.
The three-time TOUR winner is making his 11th start in this event but has rarely experienced much success at Colonial. He's missed the cut seven times and his best finish is a tie for 24th in 2007.
The 63 is his best round at Colonial by four strokes.
Click below to listen to Rollins discuss his round with SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio's Bill Rosinski.
John Rollins needed to chat with a rules official to get a ruling on the 17th hole during the third round of the Northern Trust Open. Got a caption for this photo? Leave it in our comments section below and, as always, please keep it clean.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Phil Mickelson has just teed off but he now has company at the top of the leaderboard in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
A round of 65 that included birdies on his last two holes has propeled two-time major champion Angel Cabrera to 11 under. Keegan Bradley is also at that number with two holes remaining while John Rollins has just made back-to-back birdies on his 11th and 12th holes of the day to join them.
Robert Garrigus shot 66 and is 10 under for the tournament. Ryan Moore has made five birdies in his 17 holes and is also 10 under.
Mickelson, who shot 60 in the first round after narrowly missing birdie putts on his last two holes, has just parred the first hole. He is playing with Jason Dufner and Rickie Fowler.
Pat Perez, who went to Arizona State and lives in Scottsdale, was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. Perez made a double-bogey 6 on the 17th hole but signed for a 5.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- The Coachella Valley is bathed in sunshine Sunday morning as the leaders of the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation get set for the final round on the Palmer Private Course.
Scott Stallings owns a five-stroke advantage over Roberto Castro, Stewart Cink, Charles Howell III, John Rollins and Charley Hoffman. Stallings, who did not make a bogey in his first 54 holes, is looking for his third PGA TOUR win in 58 starts.
Four of the five players tied for second are trying to end lengthy victory droughts while Castro is seeking his first win. Howell's last victory came in 2007, Cink and Rollins last won in 2009 and Hoffman is seeking his first since the 2010 FedExCup Playoffs.
The deficit is admittedly daunting. But over the first three rounds, the Palmer Course averaged nearly two-and-a-half strokes under par and the course gave up a 59 to David Duval when he won the tournament in 1999. Stallings and Cink both shot 66s the first time they played the Palmer this week while Howell and Castro had 67s and Rollins shot 70.
Cink, who lives in Atlanta, used today's NFL playoff game between the Falcons and San Francisco 49ers to size up Sunday's competition.
"The Falcons are about a four-and-a-half point underdog, and does that translate into a five-shot deficit?" he said. "I'm probably a 14-point underdog tomorrow with a five-shot deficit. So I think I have a bigger challenge than they do.
"They have Matt Ryan. I don't have another person to be my quarterback tomorrow. I have to be my own quarterback and receiver."
Should the 27-year-old Stallings go on to win, he would become the third player in his 20s to win in the first three TOUR events of 2013. The last time that happened was in 1977 (Jerry Pate/Phoenix Open, Bruce Lietzke/Tucson Open and Tom Watson/Bing Crosby National Pro-Am). Tom Watson also won the fourth week on TOUR in 1977 at the Andy Williams-San Diego Open Invitational.
Stallings would also become the sixth player under the age of 30 with three of more TOUR wins, joining Dustin Johnson (7), Rory McIlroy (6), Anthony Kim (3), Webb Simpson (3) and Keegan Bradley (3). He'd also get a second straight trip to the Masters.
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: A four-year victory drought waits to be ended next season. Interestingly, though, one of the game's best ball-strikers fell from 16th to 72nd in GIR last year -- a drop of nearly three percentage points -- and three yards farther in proximity to the hole.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: John Rollins qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs for the sixth straight year on the strength of five top 10s. One of those came when he broke 70 in every round and tied for fourth at the Travelers Championship, a year after sharing second there.
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: Rollins started the season so strong with a T10 at the Sony Open followed by a third-place finish at the Farmers Insurance Open and a T8 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He had won $700,000 by the first week of February. I’m guessing he was frustrated at the finish. Rollins’ last top ten was at the Travelers Championship. That’s unusual, because he is such a consistent player. -- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: In the aggregate, an average season with five top 10s and $1.489 million, lowest among 38 golfers with at least five top 10s. He converted on just one top 40 after the Fourth of July, and that was a T35 at the Frys.com Open. At 37 years of age, he's hardly primed for the free agent pile, but the absence of dynamic output limits his usage deep in rosters. -- Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
SOCIAL MEDIA: Find him on Twitter
2012 QUICK REVIEW
|Regular Season ranking
|Final Playoffs ranking
|Best finishes||3rd||Farmers Insurance Open|
|By the Numbers
Cuts made: 15
Rounds played: 77
Top-10 finishes: 5
Money List rank: 59th
Driving distance: 47th
Driving accuracy: 51st
Greens in regulation: 72nd
Strokes gained-putting: 100th
Scoring average: 64th
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
What is your prediction for John Rollins in 2013? Fill out the form below and let us know
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- John Rollins knew the back nine at TPC Scottsdale was there for the taking. After all, both par 5s are reachable, the 16th was only playing 124 yards on Saturday and the 17th is a drivable par 4.
And Rollins, playing in the second group off the 10th tee, wasted little time taking advantage -- making the turn in 31 on the way to a third-round 65 that moved him to 8 under for the tournament.
"You can kind of make some hay on the back nine and I did that," Rollins acknowledged. "(That) just kind of got the round going. The front nine is obviously the tougher of the two nines this week. I played solid but I just seemed to struggle distance-wise on the front. ...
"The conditions were great. There was very minimal wind, and it's warmer today so the ball's going. The golf course has played firm and fast probably more than I've ever seen it in the past so it's been nice."
Rollins has also been playing nice-ly this year. He tied for 10th in his 2012 debut at the Sony Open in Hawaii and finished solo third last week at Torrey Pines. He's ranked eighth in the FedExCup, as a result.
Rollins credits a "come-to-Jesus meeting" with his caddy, sports psychologist Morris Pickens and his wife Heather as being instrumental in his early-season surge. Pickens had evaluated Rollins' stats and determined that he needed to put some more emphasis on his short game.
"(Morris) is really good with drills, really good with ways to practice -- not from a technical standpoint but from a mental and a quality standpoint," Rollins said. "Just saying I going to go out and work on my chipping for two hours doesn't necessarily mean you get anything done. So he put together a plan to challenge me with my practice in my chipping and wedge play."
The results in Rollins’ first three-and-a-half starts speak for themselves.
"My short game really has kind of been, even the 12 years I've been out here, has kind of been the missing link consistency-wise," Rollins said. "The weeks I play well are the weeks I typically chip and putt well. We really attacked my wedge play and putting and chipping and distance control from 125 yards and in. That was my main focus the last month of the offseason before I came to Hawaii.
"It's been a huge saving grace for me to come out and feel more comfortable to at least have the confidence that I can get the ball up and down -- where if I miss a fairway on a par 5 I can lay it up to a number and still make a birdie."
LA QUINTA, Calif. – John Rollins just aced the seventh hole on the Nicklaus Course, using a wedge on the 128-yard hole.
With the ace, Rollins, who had started on the back and shot 32, moved to 5 under. But he dropped a stroke with a bogey at the par-5 eighth and is playing his final hole now.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM Site Producer
So much for Bubba Watson’s lead. He now has company at 10 under in the form of Webb Simpson and John Rollins. They’re 3 and 2 under in the third round, respectively, while Watson is even par through his first three holes.
Very quietly, Simpson has put together a nice year after a little bit of a down season in 2010, which was his second on the PGA TOUR.
It’s been a total turnaround in 2011, though. In nine starts, Simpson has a half-dozen top-25s, including two top-10s, which of course includes his runner-up finish in Tampa.
Already, Simpson has made more money this year than he did in all of 2010 and he’s obviously well on his way to adding to that this week.
Rollins on the other hand has been more of a head-scratcher. Statistically, he’s been solid. On the scorecard, though, he’s just not putting up the numbers.
In 10 starts, Rollins has missed the cut five times and he has just one finish inside the top 40 -- a tie for 20th in Tampa.
This week, however, Rollins missed just two fairways and eight greens in regulation through his first two rounds. And of the eight times he did miss the green, he made par or better seven times. In other words, he’s simply putting the ball in the hole better than he has all year.
Friday marked just the third time this season that John Rollins has posted consecutive rounds in the 60s. And he's been well-rewarded at the midway point of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, too, standing just two strokes off the lead held by Bubba Watson.
Rollins followed up a first-round 67 with a 69 on Friday that included four birdies, the last of which came courtesy of pin-point 6-iron from 172 yards that produced a 3-foot putt on his final hole.
"It's great to finish with a birdie," Rollins said. "I played good for two days. Happy with the way I've been hitting the ball and had a lot of opportunities. I just feel very comfortable with where I am."
Rollins is a three-time winner on the PGA TOUR, the most recent coming at the 2009 Legends Reno-Tahoe Open. He's struggled putting four rounds together this year, though, and his best finish is a tie for 20th.
That’s why the week's strong start is so encouraging.
"I played good," Rollins acknowledged. "Three under par out here is a good score. The greens are pretty fast, getting faster. I don't want to say burn out, but they're drying up. It's down grain and it's hard to control shots into the green. The ball just kind of seems to want to release out. So it's tough to get close to some of the holes. But you can get some good scores if you're really sharp."
Rollins certainly has been. And as a result, he’s got a chance to turn the season around.
"I've hit the ball well and given myself a lot of opportunities,” he said. “So I've got to be very pleased with where I am and we'll see how the week works out."