Notebook: Kuchar's caddie on the bag for Weibring

October 25, 2012
Bill Nichols, PGATOUR.COM Contributor

MCKINNEY, Texas - Matt Weibring has a couple of things working in his favor this week. He lives in Plano, a 15-minute drive from TPC Craig Ranch, so he is armed with local knowledge. And he's got Lance Bennett on his bag.


Bennett, who lives in the Dallas area, caddies for Matt Kuchar on the PGA TOUR. Weibring and Kuchar use the same instructor, Chris O'Connell, who works out of the Plano instruction facility, D.A.'s Golf Learning Center, owned by D.A. Weibring, Matt's father.

Weibring shot 68, playing the final 10 holes in 4-under. D.A. led a large gallery of family and friends.

"It was a good finish,'' Matt said. "You've got to pick your spots out here. You can't be too aggressive because you've got a lot of holes with 4- and 5-irons coming in.''

BOMBERS: The Tour has no shortage of long hitters. Thirty-four players have driving distance averages of more than 300 yards.

Luke List tops the list at 323.5, followed by Christopher DeForest (319.9), Brian Anderson (318.7), Jamie Lovemark (317.5) and Tag Ridings (314.5).

"A lot of people hit it long these days,'' said Edward Loar, who shot a first-round 67 on Thursday, two strokes off the lead. "I think you see it more out on this Tour than the PGA TOUR because this Tour you've got a lot of courses where you just smash it because there's not as much rough.''

Loar, 6-4, 220, said modern players are a different breed.

"I used to be the biggest guy,'' the 35-year-old said. "Now I look down the range and there are a lot of guys my size. Everybody looks a lot more athletic; the fitness is a lot better.''

Watch the PGA TOUR card ceremony live on Sunday on PGATOUR.COM. Details are here.

SCORING OPPORTUNITY: Brice Garnett was even when he got to No. 14, a 330-yard par-4 that rolls downhill with water guarding the left side.

Garnett's drive rattled the flagstick and came to rest five feet past the hole. His one-putt eagle got him to 2-under, which is where he finished.

"That was the only drive I hit straight,'' Garnett said, laughing.

No. 14 was the easiest hole, playing to a 3.3-stroke average.

"It's a fun hole,'' said co-leader Tag Ridings, who birdied 14 with a 3-wood off the tee. "It's almost too short. A lot of guys are hitting hybrids.''

STAT OF THE DAY: Only four players who led or shared the first-round lead have gone on to win the Tour Championship: Stewart Cink (1996), Steve Flesch (1997), Bob Heintz (1999) and Brendan Steele (2010). They all went wire-to-wire with at least a share of the lead in each round.

Cliff Kresge and Justin Bolli are in a familiar spot tied for the lead at the season-ending event. Bolli led after the second round and shared the third-round lead with Nick Watney in 2004, finishing T3. Kresge shared the lead after the first and second rounds in 2006 but tied for 10th.