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Keep the applause coming

Outback Pro-Am news and notes

The bad

David Eger's day couldn't have started much worse.

His second shot on the par-4, 395-yard first hole sailed over the green. Six shots later, the ordeal mercifully ended with an 8.

"I was pretty shell-shocked there for about an hour," said Eger, who entered Saturday in second place after 66 on Friday.

Lying two, Eger found himself on the down slope behind the green and buried in some thick rough. In hindsight, Eger said he would have approached that third shot differently.

"What I should have done was go ahead and make a bogey on the first hole and try to make it up from there, rather than try to make a par on the first hole and end up making an eight," he said.

Eger tried to chip his third shot up a steep bank and got caught in some fairway rough. His next two shots with his utility club rolled up short of the green and a two-putt gave him quadruple bogey.

"You just have to chalk that up to experience," he said.

And the good

Nick Price tinkered with his driver last week, settling on a new one for Friday's opening round.

Bad idea.

"It backfired on me," Price said. "The first nine holes (Friday) I hit one fairway."

After what he called a "pitiful" 39 on the front nine, he used his 3-wood exclusively on the back to salvage 73. Saturday, he put his old driver back in play.

The result? Price tied for the low round of the day (65) with Mark Wiebe.

"I'm just happy that even though I got off to a bad start (Friday), I'm still in it," the 51-year-old South African said. "Realistically, that 39 I shot on the front nine (Friday) is going to cost me."

By the numbers

2 PGA Tour wins and Champions Tour wins for Mark Wiebe, a 50-and-over tour rookie.

7 Stroke difference between Tom Watson's score on the front nine Saturday (35) and the front nine Friday (28).

8 David Eger's score on the first hole, quadruple bogey.

12 Stroke difference between Friday's and Saturday's rounds for Jim Thorpe (71-83).

27 Players, out of 75, who were under par after two rounds.

20,000+

Estimated attendance on Saturday, the largest crowd to attend an Outback Pro-Am round.

Around the course

Things will get started early today. The first tee time is 7:50, and the leaders are scheduled to tee off at 9:51 and end by 3 p.m. The early finish is to allow NBC to televise the NHL playoff game between Detroit and Nashville. … Clearwater's Walter Hall shot a second-round 71 and was 1 over through two days, tied for 32nd.

Brandon Wright, Times correspondent, and Rodney Page, Times staff writer

The happiest

Tampa resident Gary Koch, above, carded 33 on the back nine — including eagle on the par-5 12th — to finish at 69 for the second straight day. Koch, an NBC analyst and six-time PGA Tour winner, also added a pair of birdies on the back.

"I was happy to turn it around on the back nine," said Koch, who graduated from King High and Florida. "It was tough in the early going, and I'm kind of proud of myself that I hung in there."

Pro-am

Jim Albus and Robert Eanell lead the pro-am with a team score of 20 under. The top 16 pro-am teams advanced to today's final round. Fulton Allem and the Bucs' Derrick Brooks, above, were 19 under. The other four celebs who will play today: former Bucs quarterback Vinny Testaverde, former Ray Fred McGriff, former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann and former NASCAR driver Dale Jarrett.



Catch a star

Outback Pro-Am news and notes 04/19/08 [Last modified: Sunday, April 20, 2008 7:51pm]
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