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Dec 20, 2012 7:47pm
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KIAWAH ISLAND, S. Pat Angerer Elite Jersey .C. —The
breakthrough moment Thursday wasnt just the sun shining over Kiawah Island. It
was Carl Pettersson breaking 70 for the first time in 21 tries at the PGA
Championship to take the lead, Rory McIlroy flashing that boyish smile and
bashing tee shots. And yes, even John Daly showing there might be another cycle
left in that up-and-down career. Pettersson, a winner earlier this year in South
Carolina down the coast at Hilton Head, got the best of the weather on a steamy
day on the Ocean Course and didnt waste the opportunity. He made three birdies
in four holes, never dropped a shot and wound up with a 6-under 66. “There
really wasnt much wind on the front nine, so I knew I had to keep going low
because I figured the wind would get up,” Pettersson said. “The wind started
blowing a little bit on the back nine, and I carried on solid play. So it was a
great day for me.” It was a good day for Tiger Woods, nothing more. Despite
having to get up-and-down for bogey on three holes, he made enough birdie putts
for a 69, a reasonable start as he tries to end the longest drought of his
career in the majors. This is his 14th major since he won his last one in 2008,
and the last one of an otherwise good season. “Anything in the 60s is going to
be a good start in a major championship,” Woods said. “And Im right there.” He
had plenty of company, some players who had not been heard from in a while,
others that were all too familiar. Gary Woodland, who started the season with a
new coach (Butch Harmon) and injured himself working too hard on the changes, is
feeling better and hitting it longer than ever. He opened with a 67, as did
McIlroy and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano. “I drove the ball the best Ive driven it
all year,” Woodland said, one of the most powerful players in the game. “And
when I drive it like that, Im playing a game that most guys cant play out here.”
Daly made an eagle on the par-5 11th hole and was in the group at 68 that
included former U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy and defending PGA champion
Keegan Bradley, who had a birdie-eagle start before he settled into his round.
Adam Scott, in his first major since throwing away the British Open with four
bogeys on his last four holes, quickly got back into the mix with a 68, one of
the better scores from the late starters. The flags started to ripple in the
afternoon, though not enough to make Kiawah as frightening as it can be. With so
much rain over the last week, including storms that limited practice time before
the championship began, the greens were soft and fairways slow. Those were the
kind of conditions McIlroy had when he shattered the scoring record at the U.S.
Open last summer at Congressional. More than soft conditions, though, was that
bounce in his step while walking down the fairway after blistering his tee
shots. He hit 10 drivers, most of them were he was aiming. McIlroy was
bogey-free, and while he failed to make birdie on a couple of the par 5s, he
picked up a shot on the field at the 249-yard 14th hole, which features severe
slopes off every corner of the green. Leave it to the 23-year-old from Northern
Ireland to hit a towering 3-iron that settled 12 feet from the flag, one of only
six birdies on the par 3 in the first round. McIlroy has been a disappointment
in the majors this year—much of his season has gone the wrong direction since
he briefly rose to No. 1 in the world after winning the Honda Classic in March
—but got a pep talk from putting coach Dave Stockton and has spent more time
playing instead of practicing technique. Perhaps some luck is starting to come
his way, too. Last month at the British Open, he drilled a young kid in the head
and the ball bounced out-of-bounds. On Thursday, he badly pulled his tee shot on
the scary par-3 17th. The ball could have gone anywhere except that it hit a
woman on the hip and bounced toward the green into a bunker. That led to a
simple up-and-down for par, one of the few nervous moments McIlroy had all day.
“Its becoming a habit hitting people in the majors, so try not to do that
again,” McIlroy said. Sure, he missed some birdie opportunities, though he was
more interested in some of the birdies he made and was satisfied with his start.
“It was a fair reflection of how I played,” he said. There was no doubting that
Thursday might have been the best chance to post a score. More storms are in the
forecast for later in the week, and just enough wind could make it more
difficult to find birdies. “Im expecting this to be the best day of the week,”
McIlroy said. “I think everyone is. So we know that theres going to b e a bit of
wind coming in and maybe a bit of bad weather. Its just something that youre
going to have to deal with, and Im just happy that I got off to a great start.”
Equally thrilled was Daly, who showed up 21 years ago as the ninth alternate in
the PGA Championship and introduced his “grip-it-and-rip-it” style to win by
three shots at Crooked Stick. Daly hasnt had his full PGA Tour card in more than
six years, though he is starting to show some form. He tied for fifth last week
in the Reno-Tahoe Open, his highest finish on the PGA Tour since 2005. “To just
free wheel it is the only way I can get my confidence back instead of worrying
about bad breaks and worrying about this and worrying about what somebody else
is doing,” Daly said. “I only need to worry about what Im doing and go out and
attack and play golf and enjoy it.” There was plenty to like in the opening
round. Stifling heat, sure, but this is the South in August. Sweat was pouring
off the faces of players as early as 8 a.m. Splendid views of the Atlantic over
the dunes made it tolerable, as did the number of birdies available. Three of
the last four major champions used belly putters, and Pettersson kept that topic
alive with a long putter that he anchors to the chest. He has been using a broom
putter since he was a sophomore in college, and he is opposed to the idea of
banning any putter that anchors to the body. If it were that easy, he reasons,
everyone would be using them. Thats not to say he wouldnt adapt if the putters
were ever banned, a possibility as early as 2016. “Well, Id have to,” said
Pettersson, a Swede who moved to North Carolina as a teenager and became an
American citizen last year. “Ive got a high school diploma. What else am I going
to do?” Andrew Luck Game Jersey . Defensive Building
Blocks – The Cardinals defence showed a lot of improvement as last season went
along. Jerrell Freeman Black Jersey . Wozniacki from
Denmark needed only about one hour to defeat third seeded Kanepi of Estonia to
win the tournament on Seouls Olympic Park hard courts Sunday. http://www.indianapoliscoltsteamstore.com/adam-vinatieri-jersey
. His outburst over a non-call on what he felt was a foul on Sanna Nyassi late
in the game saw the team fined by the league for “unprofessional conduct of team
staff” and Marsch ejected from the match. Pat Angerer Jersey . The Braves optioned
outfielder Jose Constanza to Triple-A Gwinnett. As expected, the Braves also
called up right-hander Julio Teheran from Gwinnett to start Sundays game and
optioned backup catcher J. Andrew Luck Womens Jersey . —Chicago Fire
coach Frank Klopas knew that Sporting Kansas City would be pushing the issue on
a sweltering night at Livestrong Sporting Park, and his team was ready to
capitalize when the right opportunity presented itself. KANSAS CITY, Kan. —
Matt Kenseth won for the second time in the Chase for the Sprint Cup
championship in a caution-marred race at repaved Kansas Speedway. The fast new
surface and a hard tire contributed to Sundays race-record 14 cautions, a season
high for the Sprint Cup Series. “You know, everybody has been asking all season
long where the cautions have been,” points leader Brad Keselowski said. “Well,
they flew to Kansas and theyve been hanging out here because there was caution
after caution.” Nobody was immune from the problems, either, as at least five
title contenders had issues. Jimmie Johnson led 44 laps early, but crashed hard
after spinning by himself. He had to stop at least a half-dozen times on pit
road for repairs over two caution periods to salvage a ninth-place finish. “I
have never in my 30 years of racing seen anyone perform that kind of surgery and
not lose a lap,” team owner Rick Hendrick said about the No. 48 teams work on
the car. It was good enough to keep the Chase margin unchanged with Keselowski,
who finished one spot ahead in eighth and maintained his seven-point lead in the
standings with four races remaining. “Im glad to have survived the carnage and
brought back a decent car,&quoot; Keselowski said. Andrew Luck Limited Jersey. “Whew! Just a
tough day.” Martin Truex Jr. finished second, Paul Menard was third in the first
race back for crew chief Slugger Labbe, who served a six-race suspension for an
infraction at Michigan. Kasey Kahne finished fourth and was followed by Tony
Stewart, who overcame both a spin during the race and a pit road penalty for
leaving his stall with equipment still attached to his car. Clint Bowyer, from
nearby Emporia and the winner last week at Charlotte, finished sixth to maintain
fourth in the Chase standings. He trimmed his deficit by three points to 25
behind Keselowski. Regan Smith, in his second race filling in for Dale Earnhardt
Jr., was seventh. Earnhardt is expected to be cleared to return to the No. 88
Chevrolet next week at Martinsville after sitting out two races because of two
concussions in a six-week span. Keselowski, Johnson and Jeff Gordon rounded out
the top 10. Denny Hamlin was 13th to remain third in the standings, but he lost
five points and now is down 20 to Keselowski. For Kenseth, it was his second win
in three weeks, but not enough to put him back in the title picture. Although he
gained two spots in the standings, hes still ninth in the Chase and 55 points
out. ’ ’ ’ 

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