DiMarco Leads Halfway Through Round Three

After finishing second twice this year Chris DiMarco is in position to clench his first PGA Tour victory since the Phoenix Open in 2002.

dimarco_fistpump.jpgAfter rain delayed play for much of the day the Zurich Classic got off the ground at 3:30 ET and continued until dark halted play part way through round three at TPC Louisiana. Officials gave credit to recently upgraded drainage for good playing conditions despite the weather.

Chris DiMarco’s impressive play against Tiger Woods at the Masters just three short weeks ago opened the eyes of many to his tremendous potential. Most importantly for Dimarco is that his performance at Augusta has given him needed confidence this weekend. He stands atop the leader board once again. “I played nice and got off to a great start, birdieing the first hole and then made a great birdie on four and birdied seven and eight back-to-back,” DiMarco said. “Being 4 under right now, I’m very happy.”

Atwal Takes the Lead Down in the Bayou

Arjun Atwal used a second round 68 to take the lead by one heading into the weekend.

Arjun Atwal PuttingThe India-born Arjun Atwal fired another solid round Friday in New Orleans to put himself in great position to win his first PGA Tour event. He had six birdies and two bogeys en route to his 68. Atwal was tied for the lead after the first round with Chris DiMarco but now finds himself atop the leaderboard all on his own. He leads J.J. Henry by one shot heading into the weekend, and DiMarco and Tim Clark are three shots back at eight under par. Lucas Glover sits at -7 and rounds out the top five going into Saturday’s action.

Vijay Singh, who won last week in Houston and is also the defending champion this week in New Orleans, shot a 71 on Friday and remains near the top of the leaderboard in striking distance. The other notable at the top of the leaderboard is Padraig Harrington, who also had a so-so round of 71 to stay in the hunt. These two will both be looking to go low tomorrow on “moving day” to put pressure on the leaders.

Els Goes Low to Lead the BMW Asian Open

Ernie Els fires a 62 to lead by four after two rounds at the BMW Asian Open.

ernie_els_par3.jpgErnie Els followed up Thursday’s 5-under par, 67 with a 10-under par 62 on Friday to take a four stroke lead in the BMW Asian Open. The World Number 3 had eight birdies and an eagle to shoot the lowest round ever at Shanghai’s Tomson Pudong Golf Club in Shanghai, China. However, since the players were allowed preferred lies, his round will not be counted as a course record.

Ernie’s nearest competition lies four shots back and is a virtually unknown Kiwi, Eddie Lee. Lee fired a second round 66 to get to 11-under. Raphael Jacquelin of France shot consecutive 67s to sit at 10-under and all alone in third. Thomas Bjorn, Simon Wakefield and Jean Van De Velde (yes, that’s the guy who so infamously choked at the British Open) sit tied for fourth at 8-under par.

DiMarco, Atwal Lead First Round in New Orleans

Chris DiMarco and Arjun Atwal lead the first-round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans with Vijay Singh lurking two strokes back.

dimarco_fistpump.jpgChris DiMarco and Arjun Atwal share the lead at seven-under after the first-round at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Defending champion Vijay Singh, coming off of a win at last week’s Shell Houston Open, is two-strokes back.

The Player’s Club of Louisiana is the home of this year’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans. The Zurich Classic has moved to the year-old TPC of Louisiana from its prior host course, English Turn. Many players whom did not play in the pro-am and only had the chance to play one practice round were unfamiliar with the new course. The windy conditions did not help their unfamiliarity with the course too much either.

First Round Seized by Tschetter

40-year old Kris Tschetter leads in first round action at the Franklin American Mortgage Championship benefitting the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital.

Kris_Tschetter.jpg“Mom-on-Tour” and leader Kris Tschetter is sitting pretty in the clubhouse tonight after firing a 3-under 69 battling wind and rain. When asked if she considers herself a good player in tough conditions, Kris stated, “I don’t really mind playing in bad weather. I figure it’s the same for everyone, so you just have to stay patient. But for the last few years with my back, it was hard because my back gets so stiff, it’s hard to keep swinging. I just try not to let it bother me. I think a lot of players show up, ‘Oh, this is going to be a long day,’ and their attitude gets bad right away.”

Using a therapy that takes the inflammation out of her back called an ARP machine, advanced recovery performance, Tschetter credits an improvement in her game to this system, “I’ve already seen such a difference. I’m not as tired when I get done playing, and they say that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’m leasing one of their machines. I’ll tell you what, it’s unbelievable how much it’s helped me.”

Scotty Cameron by Titleist Futura Phantom Mallet Review

Can the new Titleist/Cameron Futura Phantom Mallet replace my beloved Red X? You bet!

Futura Phantom Mallet BackhighLast fall, I switched from an old Ray Cook M1-X to a Scotty Cameron Red X. My review of the Red X reveals my findings: that it’s is a solid mallet putter that replaced my favorite club of a decade and earned a spot in my bag.

Quite frankly, I figured it would remain there for a decade itself.

Oh how things can change. And change they did when I putted with the Scotty Cameron by Titleist Futura Phantom Mallet.

I’ve never been a fan of those “funky” mallets, like the original Futura or the recently reviewed V-FOIL GT by Bobby Grace. The Ping Doc, the Ben Hogan Baby Ben – they all just look too weird. The Futura Phantom Mallet, however, blends the performance of the Futura with the more classic looks of a mallet.

U.S. Open Qualifying

U.S. Open qualifiers take place in Japan on Memorial Day and in England on D-Day. Intentional? Nah. Funny? Sure!

ESPN proudly presents this “Did You Know…”

Did you know… that a U.S. Open qualifier will be held in Japan on Memorial Day (May 30) and in England on D-Day (June 6).

“That was not by design,” USGA Executive Director David Fay said with a laugh. Intentional? No. Somewhat amusing? You bet!

Nike Platinum: The Ad

The new Nike ONE Platinum ad is out. What will you see?

Nike PlatinumThe new Nike ad is spreading in the airwaves, through your cable, and on the Internet (though it’s not yet on NikeGolf.com).

The commercial begins with a black screen. White text appears that says “We gave you a wedge with more feel. You showed us what it could do.”

Video of Tiger hitting his chip on the 16th at Augusta appears.

The black screen reappears along with the text “We gave you a ball with more control.”

The video shows Tiger’s ball rolling down the hill, crawling towards the hole, pausing, and then rolling gently, flashing the Nike logo for all to see.

The black screen and text reappear, saying “And you didn’t center the logo?”

BMW Asian Open

Miguel Angel Jimenez looks to defend his title at the BMW Asian Open.

jimenez_mullet.jpgThe European Tour heads to Shanghai this week for the BMW Asian Open at the Tomson Pudong Golf Club. Last year, Miguel Angel Jimenez claimed his third victory of the year at this event. Jimenez is joined by World Number Three Ernie Els and other members of last year’s victorious European Ryder cup squad.

At this event last year, The European Tour made its first visit to China. Since then, the Tour has sanctioned other events there and the BMW Asian Open is the fourth tournament in China this year.