Posted at 2:03 p.m., Thursday, May 24, 2007
Colonial postponed by rain; Anthony Kim leads
By Stephen Hawkins
After walking off the 12th green with a bogey, Kim birdied the last six holes the PGA Tour's longest birdie streak this season for a 7-under 63 and a one-stroke lead today in the suspended first round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
"I gave myself quite a talking to, probably stuff I shouldn't be saying," said Kim, a 21-year-old tour rookie.
Kim was among 57 players exactly half of the 114-player field to finish play Thursday before an afternoon thunderstorm flooded the course. Play never resumed after the second weather delay of the day, and the round was suspended until Friday.
Ted Purdy, at 7 under before a bogey on his 16th hole, and Jeff Maggert completed rounds of 64. Nathan Green and Jeff Quinney were together in the first group and shot 65s, as did Peter Lonard.
Frank Lickliter was 5 under through eight holes with six birdies and a bogey when play was suspended the second time. Kevin Na, paired with Lickliter, was 4 under with five birdies and a bogey.
Jim Furyk, No. 3 in the world ranking and the only one of the top 12 at Colonial, was 1 under through five holes.
Kim was 1 under after his bogey at the 417-yard 12th hole. He missed the fairway with his drive, came up short of the green on his approach and pushed a 7-foot par putt past the hole.
After Kim finished talking to himself, he hit his tee shot at the 171-yard 13th hole inside 4 feet. His birdie putt at the 448-yard 14th hole was even shorter before the first suspension of play because of weather.
There was a delay of 1 hour, 22 minutes before Kim went out and finished his round with four more birdies all ranging from 9 to 17 feet then tried to explain the round-ending surge that gave him his lowest score since turning pro late last year.
"There really wasn't one thing. Usually when something turns around during a round you can tell. I don't know what it was," he said. "Maybe it was taking the head cover off finally and putting it, or opening my eyes. Something changed, and I don't really know what it was."
Only Patrick Sheehan, who shot a 62 in 2005, has had a better opening round at Colonial.
Kim, who lives in Dallas, took off last week after his miserable performance at The Players Championship, where he had rounds of 78 and 83. That followed a three-week stretch in which he tied for third at New Orleans and fifth at Wachovia.
"I forgot about that Players Championship round until you told me about it," Kim quipped when asked if Thursday was a revenge round. "This is obviously my rookie season."
Defending champion Tim Herron, who before a two-hole playoff victory last year hadn't won since 1999, shot a 67 his best opening round in his 14 tournaments this season. He hasn't had a top-10 finish since winning at Colonial, where he had a first-round 67 last year.
Herron was among 30 players who completed rounds under par. Others included Fort Worth resident Mark Brooks (67), Trevor Immelman (69) and Davis Love III (69).
Purdy began his round with a three-putt bogey at the 407-yard 10th hole, then had five birdies in a seven-hole stretch. He was 7 under after his 10-foot birdie putt at No. 6, but missed the fairway and the green at No. 7 a straight 432-yard hole.
Two nights before the Colonial, Purdy cast about 100 votes for "American Idol" champion Jordin Sparks, the 17-year-old daughter of retired NFL player Phillippi Sparks, one of his golfing buddies and a fellow board member at the Phoenix country club where they are both members.
"Her family is just a real positive family. I'm trying to bring that to my golf game," Purdy said. "She inspired me today."
Green and Quinney were on the 17th green when play was stopped for the first time. They had traded the lead a hole earlier, when Quinney made a birdie to go to 5 under, a stroke better than Green after his tee shot at the par 3 plugged into the sand and he made a double bogey.
During the delay, Green pondered the 10-foot birdie putt he would make on his first shot after play resumed. That got him back even with Quinney, who it 17 of 18 greens.
"It was good to go in and regroup," Green said.