When the wind blows as it did Thursday during the first round of the Doral-Ryder Open, only those whose games are in good shape will survive.
"If you mis-hit a shot, it's totally exaggerated," said Raymond Floyd, who had only 21 putts in shooting 68 to tie Jim Thorpe for the first-round lead. "My philosophy in strong wind is to get confident with your shot. You can hit perfect shots and they end up bad. You have to realize that and keep plugging. And you have to make your short putts, because the wind blows you around on those."
Winds gusted up to 40 mph at Doral's "Blue Monster" course and only players who teed off in the morning were able to break 70. In fact, only Floyd, Thorpe and Orlando's Dick Mast, who shot 69, were able to break 70.
Tarpon Springs' John Huston was one of five players tied at 70. Defending champion Greg Norman shot 71.
But there were some notable numbers on the board: Jack Nicklaus shot 80. In fact, he was unable to beat his son Gary, who had a 74. Floyd's son, Robert, a high school senior, shot 77. Johnny Miller, who won at Pebble Beach last month, had a 45 on the front nine and shot 83.
Floyd was floored
at Suncoast Classic
Floyd, 51, said he is still smarting from his loss three weeks ago at the GTE Suncoast Classic in Tampa, a Senior PGA Tour event where he shot a final-round 66, only to see Rocky Thompson tie a Senior PGA Tour record with a final-round 61 to win the tournament over Floyd by one shot.
"A golf tournament is a golf tournament," Floyd said. "I'm trying to win every time I tee it up, it doesn't matter where it is. I was pretty lucky to give myself a chance, but he shot a great score. A 61 is supposed to get the money."
The way Price figures,
numbers don't add up
Including his 1992 PGA Championship victory, Nick Price has won 11 times around the world, more than any other player. Yet he is third in the world rankings determined by Sony, a rating system that spans three years and heavily weights the most recent. Norman is first, followed by Nick Faldo.
"I've been on holiday back home in Zimbabwe, and all my friends want to know why I'm only third," said Price, who shot 75 Thursday.
"Whatever system they have needs to be changed. It doesn't make sense to be ranked behind guys who haven't won half as much as I have the last couple of years."
_ BOB HARIG