Wind kicks up and kicks out Jones Quadruple-bogey on No. 17 carries him to 6-over

TPC notebook

March 29, 1997|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- In the first round of The Players Championship, only two tee shots went in the water at No. 17, the island par-3 at the TPC at Sawgrass that is one of the most photographed holes in golf.

The wind picked up yesterday, Steve Jones matched Thursday's total all by his lonesome, and in the process found himself on the wrong side of the cut. The 1996 U.S. Open champion needed three tries to get on the green and took a quadruple-bogey 7, which took him from 2-over for the tournament to 6-over.

The cut was 2-over.

"The rough was tough, but the wind was tougher," said Tom Lehman, one of Jones' best friends on the PGA Tour.

Besides Jones, Corey Pavin, Payne Stewart, Tom Kite, Phil Mickelson and Jesper Parnevik, one of the steadiest hands on the tour this year, also went home.

Vijay Singh, at 4-under, made the cut in his 31st consecutive event since the 1995 NEC World Series of Golf. That's the longest streak on the Tour since Kite made 37 cuts from 1988-90.

Tiger tracks

Tiger Woods trails Steve Elkington by nine strokes after a 73 dropped him to even, but he isn't fretting.

"I'm here for the weekend," Woods said. "Who knows? I was in worse shape at Pebble Beach."

Woods was well off the pace at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in January, but closed to within one stroke of Mark O'Meara with a 63 on Saturday and a 64 on Sunday. He got to under at the turn yesterday, but bogeyed Nos. 10 and 13.

"I drove it great, but I had a lot of good putts that never wanted to go in," Woods said. "I'm hoping the wind blows up even more. That way, the guys behind the leaders can shoot a good round and move up."

If at first

Tommy Tolles' swing has been like a snowflake, no two alike.

"Over the last four or five years, I have probably gone through 550, 600 golf swings, even more putting strokes," Tolles said. "I will always go back to what I know works, but I am always willing to change it to see if there is something better. I'm not a total idiot. I make a mistake once or twice, and I don't do it anymore."

Tolles has a share of third place after a 5-under 67. He's still looking for his first win on the PGA Tour. Tolles shared second here last year.

Pub Date: 3/29/97

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