Franklin Corpening had quite a gallery despite his early Sunday tee time. (Halleran/Getty Images)
By: Fred Albers, PGA TOUR.COM Correspondent
Boo Weekley found a way to overcome what has been a bad year of putting. He hit is so close to the cup that it took putting out of the equation. On the fifth hole, he eliminated the putter altogether with a 73-foot chip-in birdie. Weekley entered the tournament ranked 185th in strokes gained-putting. This week, he had putting rounds of 31, 26, 27 and 28 putts while ranking 33rd in strokes gained-putting. His ball-striking was spot-on the entire tournament. Weekley ranked sixth in greens in regulation but most importantly, he led the field in proximity to the hole. He averaged 25 feet, 8 inches. There is no doubt Weekley was the best ball-striker this week. It seems appropriate that shot making made the difference on Ben Hogan’s course.
Ball marker: Zach Johnson did not play well in the opening round and now we know why. He lost his ball marker. Johnson’s wife, Kim, made a marker several years ago that Zach uses for inspiration. It contains phrases and bible verses he reads during competition. On Thursday, that marker could not be found and Johnson struggled to a 69. He found the marker wedged between two pieces of paper in his golf bag and proceeded to shoot 65-68-66 to finish just two shots back of Boo Weekley.
Family affair: The most touching moment of the tournament took place before noon. That’s when Franklin Corpening finished off a 62. He is from Fort Worth and was a “Champion’s Choice” invitee. A huge local gallery walked the entire 18 holes with their favorite son and their early morning cheers echoed throughout the property. As Corpening exited the course, his Dad and Mom were there for hugs and tears. Matt Kuchar stopped to congratulate him on the way to the range. Corpening says his entire family rarely gets to see him play and to shoot a 62 with his family watching, is a moment he will forever remember.
Chipping: It all seemed so easy for Scott Stallings and it all came apart so quickly. Stallings shot 6 under on the front nine, turning in 29. A three-putt bogey from 15 feet on the 10th hole was an unforced error but Stallings immediately rebounded with a birdie on the 11th. He was 13 under and just two yards off the 15th green when the round unraveled. Stallings’ ball was in the seam, separating green and rough. The ball was sitting down and he “fatted” the chip into a bunker. It took Stallings two swipes to get out of the sand before he finally one-putted for a double bogey. The whole collapse took less than two minutes. Stallings’ body language was good, as he parred the next three holes to finish T4. Every golfer in the tournament has a sad story to tell, but there might have been a different tournament winner if Stallings could replay those 120 seconds of frustration.
Consistent: Matt Kuchar did not win but he gave himself a chance because of his consistency. He had a total of four bogeys the entire week. Kuchar hit 52 of 72 greens and didn’t have more than 29 putts in any round. He successfully scrambled for par 16 of 20 times. Kuchar ranked seventh this week in strokes gained-putting and stayed in the tournament by making a 55-footer on the 12th green. Kuchar is such a steady player, he was right there for the win if Boo Weekley had faltered.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.