Following his opening-round 65, Cameron Tringale talks about his play in the 2012 Zurich Classic of New Orleans with John Maginnes from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
AVONDALE, La. -- Relying on a short game he called "really tidy," Cameron Tringale birdied his final four holes to grab a share of the lead after the first round of the Zurich Classic.
Tringale, who has tied for eighth in his last two starts, continued to build on that momentum as he pulled even with Ken Duke at the top of the leaderboard. His round of 7 under included just 23 putts.
Four of the best came on the closing holes as Tringale made a 25-footer at No. 15, a 10-footer at the 16th and a 20-footer at No. 17. He had a "weird yardage" at the par-5 finishing hole so he hit his second shot left of the bunker, chipped on and made a 6-footer to cap the round.
“I didn't really think about the four birdies when I finished -- 'Wait, how many was that?'" Tringale said with a smile. "It's nice when you go and get in those zones and you're just seeing the shots and that's really what I was doing all day."
The Californian, who played at Georgia Tech, actually played his final 13 holes in 8 under. He made his only bogey at the par-3 third when the wind caused him to misjudge his tee shot and he missed a 4-footer to save par.
"From then on, it was just fairways and I'd say greens but the truth is I missed a few," Tringale said. "But my short game was really tidy, was always chipping it up to tap-in length and just putted the ball well. When I had chances to make birdies I was making them and made a couple 20-footers as well. So, turned into a good day."
Asked to explain his success of late, Tringale said he simply feels like he's hitting on all cylinders -- particularly from 100 yards and in.
"I guess I feel comfortable with my game so I guess I don't feel
like I have anything I'm trying to avoid," Tringale said. "I can
just go out there and try to hit the shots that need to be played
and be confident that I can hit them instead of trying to play away
from certain shots. I feel comfortable hitting them all.
"And my short game has been really good. That always frees you up to, you know, maybe be a little more aggressive with your approaches."
Check out the top five shots of the week from the Valero Texas Open and Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf, featuring highlights from Bobby Clampett, John Cook, Ben Curtis, Bill Lunde and Cameron Tringale.
The final group of Ben Curtis, David Mathis and Cameron Tringale will tee off in about 15 minutes with Curtis leading by two over Mathis and three over Tringale.
Curtis, playing out of the 126-150 category, is making just his fourth start of the season this week, with his only made cut being a tie for 14th in Puerto Rico. A three-time winner on the PGA TOUR, Curtis is in search of his first win since the 2006 84 Lumber Classic. He has just two top-10 finishes since 2009.
Because of his 2003 British Open victory, however, Curtis maintains fully-exempt status on the European Tour, where he’s fared a little better and if nothing else gotten in some competitive reps with three starts in January and February -- he tied for 48th at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, tied for 47th at the Qatar Masters and tied for 13th at the Dubai Desert Classic.
This week in San Antonio, he opened with a pair of bogey-free 5-under 67s. It’s the first time since the first two rounds of the 2011 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open that Curtis has posted back-to-back rounds in the 60s.
Through the first 36 holes at TPC San Antonio, Curtis is second in driving accuracy, tied for third in greens in regulation and sixth in strokes gained-putting.
Dating to 2000, four second-round leaders of the Valero Texas Open have held on for the win -- Eric Axley was the last to do it in 2006.
Mathis is coming off tying his season-best round, a 67, despite hitting just eight fairways at TPC San Antonio.
In 11 starts this year, he’s also made just one cut (Puerto Rico, where he tied for 25th) and in two previous starts at the Valero Texas Open, he missed the cut both times.
Mathis’ best finish on TOUR is a tie for eighth at the 2011 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Once again, Tringale is in contention in Texas. A year after finishing in a tie for fifth in this event, he birdied five of his first six holes in the second round to shoot 65 to get within three of the lead.
A few weeks ago, Tringale tied for eighth in Houston.
His only other top-10 finish of the year was a tie for fourth at the Farmers Insurance Open in January, which matched his best finish on TOUR (T4, 2011 Greenbrier Classic).
Fabian Gomez is unsuccessful in his last swing at catching Bill Lunde, making Lunde the Kodak Challenge winner.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Bill Lunde is now $1 million richer.
Fabian Gomez has just hit his second shot from the 17th fairway. He needed to hole the shot for eagle to tie Lunde and force a playoff for the Kodak Challenge and its hefty bonus.
Gomez gave it a good try – landing 8 feet right of the pin. Earlier in the day, Cameron Tringale also had the opportunity but he ended up 17 feet away.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Sure, he missed the cut. But Bill Lunde is certainly paying close attention to the final round of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.
At least to what happens at the 17th hole, that is. That’s because two players – Cameron Tringale and Fabian Gomez – could tie Lunde and force a playoff for the Kodak Challenge title and its $1 million bonus if either holes out for eagle there.
Lunde just texted a PGA TOUR media official to see whether tournament officials opted to move the tees up. They didn’t – although at 472 yards the par 4 is playing 19 shorter than it did on Saturday.
And Lunde has just dodged one bullet. Tringale’s second shot at the 17th hole did not find the cup, settling instead 17 feet from the pin.
Gomez, who started on the front nine, will get to the 17th hole around 3:15 p.m.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Bill Lunde missed the cut at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. And if that wasn’t frustrating enough, now two players stand between him and the $1 million Kodak Challenge bonus.
Lunde's lead is still two shots over Cameron Tringale but now Fabian Gomez has been added to the mix. Lunde is 19 under while Tringale and Gomez are both 17 under.
The Kodak Challenge consists of a player's best score any 18 of the 30 holes chosen for the competition. Gomez had played 18 entering this week's CMN Hospitals Classic.
When Gomez parred the 17th on the Magnolia Course -- this week's Kodak Challenge hole -- on Friday he was able to wipe out the triple bogey he made on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach earlier this year, changing his score from 14 under to 17 under.
So either Gomez or Tringale can tie Lunde if they can hole a shot from the fairway at the 17th this weekend. Should that happen, there would be a playoff at the same home after competition ends on Sunday.
An eagle on the 485-yard par for would be a challenge, but it's not unprecedented. There have been five eagles at the 17th during the tournament, most recently by Charles Warren in 2009.
Cameron Tringale's odds of catching Kodak Challenge leader Bill Lunde this week are not very favorable. But at least they aren't impossible.
Tringale needs to eagle the final Kodak Challenge hole, the 485-yard par-4 17th on the Magnolia Course at the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. Obviously, that will require a lengthy hole-out with his approach shot.
It has been done before.
In fact, Charles Warren made eagle on that hole just two years ago. That was the first eagle at the 17th since Lanny Wadkins pulled off the same trick in 1998, and just the fifth eagle on that hole since 1983.
If Tringale can eagle the hole, he could force a playoff with Lunde, who currently has a two-shot advantage in the race for the title and the $1 million prize. Lunde can clinch the title in regulation with an eagle.
In the event of a tie at the conclusion of the event, a playoff will be held on No. 17 until a winner is declared. Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic officials are prepared to place lights on the 17th to allow a playoff after dark, if necessary.
Last year, Troy Merritt defeated Rickie Fowler and Aaron Baddeley on the first playoff hole.