FORT WORTH, Texas – Scott Verplank has withdrawn from this week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial because of a wrist injury.
Kyle Reifers, the first alternate, will take his spot in the field.
Verplank, the native Texan, has made 21 starts at Colonial, dating back to 1985 when he played here as an amateur. His best finish came in his last appearance, in 2010 when he finished tied for fifth.
The 47-year-old Verplank has battled wrist problems for the last couple of years. Two weeks ago at THE PLAYERS Championship, he withdrew in the second round with a wrist injury.
Reifers is making his 14th start of the season. His best finish was a tie for 21st at the Shell Houston Open.
PGATOUR.COM’s countdown of the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2012 begins today.
Each day, we’ll also post a note in TOUR Report with the latest list of players.
That will give you an opportunity to weigh in on how you think those players will perform next year – and whether you think we have them ranked too low or too high. After all, just like snowflakes, no two lists will be the same.
So for the debut of this year’s list, here are Nos. 91-100. Click on each player’s link for his preview page, including this year’s new addition of the Three Wise Men – Chris DiMarco, Arron Oberholser and Craig Perks, who offer their takes on each of the players on the list .
Don’t forget to let us know what you think.
NORTON, Mass. – Scott Verplank has withdrawn from the Deutsche Bank Championship due to a nagging injury to his left wrist.
His departure after shooting a 78 in the first round means that Verplank’s stay in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup has ended. He came into the week ranked 86th in the standings and only the top 70 when the Deutsche Bank Championship concludes on Monday advance.
Scott Verplank withdrew from the John Deere Classic on Thursday after carding a 7-over 78. No reason was given by Verplank.
Verplank is the third player to withdraw from the tournament today -- David Toms and Robert Garrigus were the others. Verplank had one triple bogey, one double bogey, three bogeys and just one birdie on the day.
By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM
BETHESDA, Md. -- Davis Love III, who is vying for low American honors this week, admits Rory McIlroy's eight-shot lead will make Sunday a little less interesting.
"But you still try to do it the best you can,'' he said. You never know.
Love, who shot a third-round 70 and is tied for 10th at 2 under, pointed to McIlroy's meltdown at the Masters this year when he led by four and Greg Norman's in 1996, when he led by six, as tournaments where one swing really made the difference between winning and losing.
"(Rory's) obviously playing fantastic golf,'' Love said. "He was, I'd say, one swing from winning the Masters and then he hits it in the fairway on 10 and I think it was over.
"A lot like Greg Norman that year. Greg, one swing, give him one swing back and he turns one of those doubles into a par, and he probably wins. He can shoot low, there's no question about that."
Someone asked if Love remembered what it was like to be 22, like McIlroy is, and innocent.
"I think he's about 27 in golf years,'' Love said. "He's very polished on experience. When I was 22, I didn't have the wealth of experience he has. Scott Verplank winning a pro event (the 1985 Western Open as an amateur), I don't think we've seen a rookie come out with his composure and be ready to play on our Tour right away like he is. (Rory) and Rickie Fowler I think are a lot alike. They're both very mature, very well rounded, smart guys that know where they want to go and how to get there. They're not just trying to figure it out; they're trying to win."
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Before the horn blew Saturday afternoon, six players were fortunate to finish the third round. Of course they were only able to do so because they were well off the lead and had an early tee time.
Of those already in the clubhouse, Aussie Matt Jones had the best round, a 3-under 69, to jump 22 spots on the leaderboard and into a tie for 38th at the moment.
Zach Johnson also finished his round, shooting a second straight 70, while Scott Verplank and Carl Pettersson each shot 71.
Last year’s Kodak Challenge winner Troy Merritt shot 73, while Kevin Chappell, who got into the tournament when Jeff Maggert withdrew with an injury, struggled to an 80.
By Stan Awtrey, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- The tape on his left wrist is a reminder that there’s something wrong, but it isn’t enough to convince Scott Verplank that he can’t still compete under the right circumstances. Consider The Heritage to fall in that category.
Verplank shot a 4-under 67 on Saturday at Harbour Town and stands at 9 under going into the final round, well within striking distance of the title. He is hopeful that his experience on the course (this is his 19 th Heritage) and the increasingly speedy greens (“as fast as they’ve ever been here,” he said) can help level the playing field in his behalf.
As far as the wrist? Well, it’s there.
“I’m literally day-to-day,” Verplank said. “I’ve had good luck in the last month, six weeks of maintaining strength, doing a few different things that I wasn’t doing before and I’m pretty lucky or feel pretty pleased to be here.”
Verplank has a degenerative bone issue in his wrist. He’s tried an assortment of treatments, from cortisone injections to heat and ice, but must deal with the chronic pain. He’s trying to avoid surgery.
“I do not want to have to do anything different than what I’ve done; I do not want to have surgery,” he said. “I don’t want to get old, either.”
Verplank, 46, is looking for his first PGA TOUR victory since the 2007 Byron Nelson Championship. He was in contention at the Shell Houston Open, only to be outgunned by Phil Mickelson in the final round.
By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
HUMBLE Texas -- It would have been a great story.
But honestly, it still is.
Scott Verplank couldn’t grip a club four weeks ago. He went to the range at The Honda Classic every day and tried to hit balls. He wanted to play. He simply couldn't.
Two weeks in a row was just too much for his left wrist -- what’s left of it -- to handle. Heck, he wondered if golf, period, was too much.
So before you think about what he didn’t do Sunday afternoon, remember what he did do.
He finished second to Phil Mickelson at the Shell Houston Open. He shot a pair of 65s on Friday and Saturday -- with his precise, steady and definitely not long game -- to put him in contention on a bomber’s course. He threw out six birdies in the first 13 holes. He took a two-shot lead, then headed home tied with Mickelson.
He closed with a 68 on a day when knew he didn’t have control of his clubs. He could feel the wiggles. He knew he couldn’t get the clubface on the ball the way he wanted to.
He pulled off the best finish since losing a three-way playoff to Bubba Watson (Corey Pavin was the other player) at the Travelers Championship last year.
He played in just his third tournament of the year.
And, yes, he was disappointed he didn’t play better the last four holes, but ...
"You know, I guess, you know, other than if you don't win, second I guess is the next best deal," Verplank said. "It's nice that I hadn't forgotten how to play. I didn't have a whole lot of confidence. If you're hurt, you don't have a whole ton of confidence in your body, it's hard to have confidence in anything.
"So, you know, I was a little -- I was less than 80 percent today. I wasn't quite as -- not -- no excuse. I didn't have the same kind of strength in my grip, and I just didn't have as good a control over the club face. But, for 13 holes I hung in there pretty tough, you know, and Phil obviously played great. I mean, I was I birdieing every other hole, and I couldn't pull away from the guy. He was birdieing every hole. It was good. We had a good time playing together. I'm happy the see him win since I didn't.”
Verplank wasn’t sure if the wrist would hold up. He’s been through MRIs and cortisone shots and . . . well, you name it. Right now, no doctor is ready to cut into his because no one had ever operated on a wrist with bone degeneration like his.
It doesn’t hurt. It’s just not strong enough to keep the club stable.
"I have no pain," Verplank said. "I can just tell by kind of the more of the mechanics of it. It wasn't holding steady like I needed to do. The last five, six holes was more like I'd been trying to get ready to play a tournament. It will be alright. Give it a week off, hopefully I'll get back -- at least get back to where I was at the start of this week."
The issue causes problems with both hitting shots and putting.
"You know, as wimpy as putting is, you know, I can't grip the club like I want to to hold the face the way I want to," he said. "I mean, it's not far off, but I can't quite, you know, get it the way I want it to give me my best stroke or whatever.
"I could just tell today -- even though when I was playing good, I still wasn't hitting the ball as consistent as I did last couple of days. I could tell I didn't have the same kind of solidness through impact. You know, when you can feel the club wiggling a little bit, that's not a great feeling."
But playing a second straight week? Contending? That feeling was pretty sweet.
Verplank has played his entire career on guts. He was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes and has had two surgeries on his right elbow, one on his left and struggled with a shoulder problem, too.
He’d like nothing more than to be playing at Augusta next week, but that . . . well, that’s a much more disappointing feeling than not winning in Houston.
He finished double-bogey, bogey last year to miss an automatic invitation by a shot.
"That was a lot harder to take," he said. "The last round of the Masters last year I was 7 under with two to play on Sunday, and I ended up messing it up."
He’s taking this wrist thing in stride. His doctor -- Carlen Yates -- is talking to a specialist at the Stedman Clinic in Vail, Colorado. They’ll figure out the next step while he rests up, hopeful that he’ll be able to play the Valero Texas Open and Heritage after the Masters. Then, he’ll decide about THE PLAYERS-Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial-HP Byron Nelson Championship three-week stretch.
SCOTT VERPLANK'S SCORECARD:
Scott Verplank, 46, still leads by one shot at the turn at the Shell Houston Open. Some interesting facts from what could be his sixth career PGA TOUR win:
Most Years from First Victory to Last:
|28 years, 11 months, 20 days, Raymond Floyd (March 17, 1963-March 8, 1992)|
|28 years, 2 months, 17 days, Sam Snead (January 17, 1937-April 4, 1965)|
|*25 years, 7 months, 30 days, Scott Verplank (August 4, 1985-April 3, 2011)|
*With a win Sunday in the Shell Houston Open
Only three players to win on TOUR spanning four different decades:
|Sam Snead (January 17, 1937-April 4, 1965)|
|Raymond Floyd (March 17, 1963-March 8, 1992)|
|*Scott Verplank (August 4, 1985-April 3, 2011)|
It's been smooth sailing for Scott Verplank ever since he rolled in a long par putt on the first hole.
Verplank has added a couple of birdies since then, including one at the par-4 sixth when he rolled in a 10-footer for birdie.