Tuesday, January 27

Some stars fizzle at Hazeltine
By David Kraft

CHASKA, Minn. -- Ernie Els was beaten and battered as he walked to the locker room Thursday afternoon. He plopped into a chair and sat back, looking like a dazed fighter struggling to his corner.

Daly's 'big blow'
Take Hazeltine's unique water-dominated hole off John Daly's scorecard, and he was 2-under par.

But Daly's 11 on No. 16 along the lake left him at a 5-over 77 for Thursday's first round of the PGA Championship.

His forgettable hole broke down like this: Tee shot into the marsh, penalty stroke, tee shot into the water, penalty stroke, tee shot into the left hazard, approach near the grandstand, pitch over the green into the water, penalty stroke, chip back over the green, chip onto the green, putt.

"I hit a 3-wood that was just in the rough on the right. They said it was in the hazard. I said OK, so I go back and hit a 2-iron. I hit it pretty dang good and I guess a gust came up and it went back in the water. I drop-kicked a 3-wood and barely got over the hazard. I wa smore or less in shock.

"I tried to punch out and hit it left. Then I hit a lob-wedge from 75 yards. There must have been something like a root under the ball. It flew over the green and into a hazard. So everything that could go wrong went wrong on that hole."

Hustling to finish his round before darkness ended the day, Daly birdied No. 9 to finish at 33 for the front nine. But the 16th hole left a bad taste.

''Hopefully I can salvage something out of the day and go shoot 2- or 3-under and make the cut,'' Daly said.

Jokingly, or perhaps not, Daly said he'd try on Friday to aim for the left hazard right away. ''I can get on the green in three and at worst make bogey,'' he said.

One-hole meltdowns have been a notable part of Daly's up-and-down career, just as his bouts with alcohol and gambling have been.

Was there a time in his past when he would've quit after a hole like that?

''Eight or nine years ago I might've packed it in,'' Daly said. ''It's a big blow.''

--Associated Press

And he was at even par. He's within shouting distance of the lead.

Imagine the guys who really struggled Thursday during the first round of the PGA Championship at Hazeltine National.

It's cliché, but apropos: You can't win the tournament in the opening round, but you can go a long way toward losing it.

Among the case studies Thursday: Sergio Garcia, Mark O'Meara and Kirk Triplett (75), Tim Herron and Paul Azinger (76), David Toms, Scott Verplank, John Daly and Jerry Kelly (77), Jeff Maggert, K.J. Choi, British Open playoff runner-up Thomas Levet and Matt Kuchar (78), Darren Clarke (79) and Jesper Parnevik (82).

After coming back to finish on Friday, Phil Mickelson shot a 4-over 76. So did Chris DiMarco. Scott Hoch shot 80. Dudley Hart shot 82.

If Thursday's scores hold, the cut will be at around 4-over. The top 70 and ties will play the final two rounds.

"It wasn't an easy day," said Garcia. "I tried as hard as I could. I hit about four or five really bad shots that you can't hit, and I just didn't get really hot."

Garcia started on the 10th hole and shot 39 on the back nine, with a double-bogey at the 16th hole. Clarke and Hoch also double-bogeyed 16. O'Meara made a double at the par-3 17th. DiMarco made back-to-back double bogeys on 16 and 17. Toms made a pair of doubles as well.

Parnevik made three double bogeys (Nos. 6, 8 and 18) and added four more bogeys for good measure. He didn't make a birdie.

His day was so bad that he forced the Woods-Els-Toms threesome to wait on the ninth green while he played from just in front of the green. Trouble was, Parnevik was playing 18.

Mickelson, still majorless, didn't help himself Thursday. He made just two birdies (both on par 5s), but offset that with three bogeys and a double bogey on the par-4 10th.

He missed five of seven fairways on the front and four of nine greens in regulation.

Friday morning, he bogeyed the 18th hole to finish his round.

"The people are going crazy and having fun, and I'm struggling out there," said Toms. "They are trying to lift me up as much as possible, but I don't think I was going to be lifted today."

He wasn't alone.

Thursday: Furyk, Funk share first-round PGA lead

PGA Championship -- First-round scorecards

PGA Championship first-round scores

Wind makes things interesting at Hazeltine

Kraft: Tiger under par despite driver problems

Frozen Moment: Furyk's run

British invasion: Youngster Rose again near the top

Notebook: Cordial reception for Monty

Harig: Big hitters beware, here comes the little guy

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