1997 Buick Invitational - First Round Notes


It was business as usual at Torrey Pines. The perfect weather and excellent courses condition provided for good scoring. The North course scoring average was about 2.5 strokes lower than the South's (69.782 and 72.256, respectively). Three of the top four leaders played the North course, whose par-5 holes yielded 11 eagles, as compared with the "mere" 4 eagles scored on the par-5 holes of the South course. Olin Browne's 65 on the South course could well be considered the best round of the day, in spite Bob Tway's 64 on the North. Taylor Smith, who doesn't want to be remembered as the "putter guy" (in reference to his disqualification last season, for using a putter with a non-conforming grip, which precluded him from a playoff for the title with Tiger Woods at the Walt Disney Classic), came out of three weeks of new fatherhood to quietly shoot a 65. Jay Don Blake played a solid round of "fairways and greens" also for a 65 on the North.

  • Shot of the Day: Holed fairway shot on the par-4 5th (North) by Ronnie Black for an eagle 2.

  • Making The Best of It: Frank Lickliter, currently tied for 5th place with a 66 (North), who was the last player to make the field, when Dave Rummels withdrew.

  • Experience Counts: Three of the top seven players are previous winners of this event: Tway 1986, Blake 1991, and Forsman 1990. Stadler, who won here in 1994, is tied for 8th with a 67 on the South.

  • Amateur Performance: Sixteen-year old John Ray Leary had 1 birdie, 8 bogeys and a double for an 81 (South) and last place. Mike Samoles had 2 birdies and 3 bogeys for a 73 (North).

  • The Swedish Are Coming: Adam Mednick shot 68 (North), Jesper Parnevik 70 (South), and Gabriel Hjertstedt 71 (South).

  • Pro-Am Results: The individual (professional) categories were won by Steve Stricker and Tom Byrum (South course, $675 each), and by Scott Simpson (North course, $750). The team competitions were won by Guy Boros's team (South course) and Greg Twiggs's team (North course).


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