Sunday, December 28, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Stroud leads while Watney is 2-over at Wyndham

Davis High graduate Nick Watney — shown here taking a shot at last week's PGA Championship — shot a 2-over 72 in the first round of the Wyndham Championship on Thursday. AP photo

By
From page B8 | August 16, 2013 |

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Chris Stroud doesn’t want any rust in his game for the PGA Tour’s playoffs. Ross Fisher just wants to make it that far.

Stroud and Fisher each shot 6-under 64 on Thursday to share the first-round lead in the Wyndham Championship.

Eight players — defending champion Sergio Garcia, Matt Jones, Robert Garrigus, Jordan Spieth, Trevor Immelman, Morgan Hoffman, Patrick Reed and Andrew Svoboda — shot 65.

John Senden and Stuart Appleby were among the five players at 66 at the final tournament before golf’s postseason begins next week.

Davis High graduate Nick Watney may have been looking forward to the postseason, as he struggled to a 2-over 72. The former Blue Devil did manage three birdies, but three bogeys, as well as a double bogey on No. 14, hurt his cause.

Stroud, meanwhile, had eight birdies during his best round of the year, which came at the Donald Ross-designed course that had vexed him through the previous five years.

“I’ve even told people I love this golf course,” Stroud said. “I have no idea why I don’t play well here.”

Stroud could’ve easily skipped this week and rested up for the playoffs. He arrived at No. 48 on the points list and — unlike so many other players here this week — is assured of a spot in the playoff field.

He has played this tournament every year since the crosstown move but made it to the weekend only once — tying for 73rd last year.

After missing the cut at PGA Championship by a stroke, he said he “told my caddie, ‘I got to play next week.’

“I’m playing too well to go home and just sit and get rusty,” Stroud added. “I said I want to get sharp for The Barclays. Let’s go to Greensboro, low expectations since I haven’t played that great here.”

Those expectations might have been raised after a strong first round in which he made a quick charge up the leaderboard with three straight birdies.

The 31-year-old Texan, who started on the back nine, stuck his tee shot roughly 2 feet from the flagstick on the par-3 seventh and sank that putt to briefly move to 7 under.

He bogeyed the next hole after sending his tee shot into a water hazard, then pushed a 5-foot birdie putt wide on the par-4 ninth and settled for a par. That capped a round that was two strokes better than his six 66s this year, most recently last month at the Sanderson Farms Championship.

Fisher, a four-time winner on the European Tour who’s a rookie on the PGA Tour and at No. 162 on the points list, was in the day’s final threesome to start on the back nine, and he made his climb late.

“My manager said, ‘You’ve got nothing to lose. Just go out there all guns blazing and see what happens,’ ” Fisher said. “I know what I’ve got to do, and I’ve just got to go enjoy it, and if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen. … I don’t want it to end here.”

He eagled the par-5 fifth when he landed his approach shot about 7 feet from the flagstick and sank the ensuing putt, then joined Stroud at 6 under two holes later with a 30-foot birdie putt. He could have overtaken him, but missed a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 8 before pushing a 40-foot birdie putt a few inches wide on No. 9.

Garcia, who claimed a two-stroke victory here last year, hit 17 greens during his bogey-free round. He is trying to become the first player since Sam Snead in the 1950s to win this tournament in consecutive years.

“It was a great round today, but it’s only Thursday,” Garcia said.

The greens were a hot topic of conversation among the players. The putting surfaces are a year more mature after a 2012 conversion from bent grass to Bermuda grass in an attempt to keep them firm and true to Ross’ intent.

Stroud said the greens “roll like pool tables,” Garrigus compared their speed to those found in major tournaments and Svoboda called them the fastest Bermuda greens he’s ever played.

“It’s unbelievable, the difference from where they used to be,” Garrigus said. “It’s very refreshing.”

Some bubble players are trying to play their way into the top 125 on the points list, which would earn them spots at The Barclays next week in New Jersey.

Peter Hanson, who at No. 126 was the consummate player on the bubble, gave himself a good push with a 68. Appleby, at No. 123, is in good shape with his strong round.

But No. 129 Padraig Harrington shot a 73 to put his playoff fate in jeopardy. Immelman, at No. 148, needs a win to make it.

Jones, who is safe this year at No. 51 on the points list, can relate. He finished 126th in 2009 and 127th two years ago after rough weeks at this tournament.

“I’ve definitely been there before,” Jones said. “I know what they’re going through. It’s not a comfortable feeling.”

Comments

comments

Wire and staff reports

.

News

 
 
Yolo makes hydrogen connection

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

NYC officer mourned at funeral as tensions linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
N. Korea uses racial slur against Obama over hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

AirAsia plane with 162 aboard missing in Indonesia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Sacramento man convicted for 2011 bar shooting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Drugs, stolen car lead to women’s arrests

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

USA Weekend calls it quits

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Supplies collected for victims of abuse

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sweet success: Cancer Center helps young patient celebrate end of treatment

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Reserve tickets soon for Chamber’s Installation Gala

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Holiday hours continue at The Enterprise

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Covell Gardens hosts New Year’s Eve dance

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

UC Davis debate team wins national championship

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Portuguese breakfast set for Jan. 25

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

At the Pond: It all started with kayaking on Putah Creek

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Find the first cabbage white butterfly, and win a pitcher

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Does pre-eclampsia raise autism risk?

By Phyllis Brown | From Page: A6

 
Long will talk about value of hedgerows for adjacent farms

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
It’s a wonderful life — and a wonderful state

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

College sees benefits in loan guarantees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Tickets for New Year’s Eve party going fast

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

.

Forum

This cat is on life No. 7

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B4

 
 
It was a busy, black-eye year for disease control

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Say thanks to the caregivers

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Rifkin’s statement is offensive

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Bombing is not the answer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Just Us in Davis: Despair and hope for the new year

By Jonathan London | From Page: A10

Commission’s list needs vetting

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Writer’s arguments fall flat

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A11

Cuba policy changes highlight a momentous opportunity

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
.

Sports

DHS boys get good film in tournament loss

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Sacramento survives Knicks in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Kings cruise past Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Lady Blue Devils top Tigers to reach Ram Jam title game

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Sports briefs: Republic FC to host camp series

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
College bowl roundup: Sun Bowl goes to the Sun Devils

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Kaiser’s trauma center in Vacaville earns verification

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Rob White: Davis tech community is growing

By Rob White | From Page: A9

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

 
First Northern adds Peyret to agribusiness loan team

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Obituaries

Ruth Allen Barr

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Charles ‘Bud’ Meyer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, December 28, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8