Thursday's Golf Capsules
Friday, June 29, 2012
BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Bo Van Pelt kept bogeys off his card and picked up an extra shot when his wedge spun back into the hole for an eagle. It’s a formula that would work well at a U.S. Open, which is what Congressional felt like Thursday in the AT&T National.
On a day when the temperature was in the 90s and only seven players managed a score in the 60s, Van Pelt opened with a 4-under 67 to grab a one-shot lead over Vijay Singh, Brendon De Jonge and Jimmy Walker, who bogeyed his final hole.
Tiger Woods was never under par in the afternoon and opened with a 1-over 72.
So this is what the U.S. Open was supposed to look like.
The venerable Blue Course took a beating last year in the so-called toughest test in golf when unfavorable weather conditions in the weeks leading up to the U.S. Open and overnight rain during the championship made Congressional a pushover. Rory McIlroy had a record score of 16-under 268 for an eight-shot victory.
The AT&T National was more of a grind.
Woods missed the U.S. Open last year while recovering from injuries to his left leg. He won at Congressional in 2009 the last time the AT&T National was played here, and he won at 13-under 267. That was nothing like the course he faced Thursday.
Billy Hurley III, who went to the Naval Academy and spent five years in the service, joined Pat Perez and Jason Day at 2-under 69.
SENIOR PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Bruce Vaughan shot a 6-under 64 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead over Fred Funk in the Senior Players Championship, the third of five Champions Tour majors.
The 55-year-old Vaughan matched the lowest round of his career and tied the first-round record in the event. He won the 2008 Senior British Open for his lone Champions Tour title.
Vaughan capped his bogey-free round with a birdie on par-5 18th, holing an 8-foot putt after hitting his approach into a greenside bunker.
Fred Couples, the winner last year at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y., was two strokes back at Fox Chapel along with Tom Lehman, Michael Allen and Joe Daley.
Greg Norman opened with a 67 in his first Champions Tour event since 2009.
PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (AP) — France’s Gregory Bourdy and India’s Jeev Milkha Singh shot 7-under 65 to share the first-round lead in the Irish Open, while home favorite Rory McIlroy was five strokes back after a sloppy finish at Royal Portrush.
Bourdy was in one of the last groups of the day in the round that was delayed by rain and lightning.
McIlroy, the U.S. Open champion, bogeyed two of his last three holes for a 70 on the Dunluce Links. Fellow Northern Irish stars Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke shot 71.
Englishmen Mark Foster and Andrew Marshall were a stroke back along with Australia’s Matthew Zions, Sweden’s Oscar Floren, Finland’s Mikko Ilonen and France’s Edouard Dubois. Ireland’s Padraig Harrington had a 67.
John Daly opened with a 70, and Keegan Bradley had a 73.
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