Winning is nice, but a 59 is divine In his much-ballyhooed TV appearance last night, LeBron James spoke endlessly about the importance of his teammates and winning and championships — all the typical fodder you'd expect to hear from a professional athlete. Which is what made David Duval's comments yesterday at the John Deere Classic — where Paul Goydos shot a first-round 59 — all the more striking. Duval, whose own 59 helped him win the 1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, was asked about that week and said the win itself actually took a back seat to breaking 60.
"To me, at that instant, making that putt was more important than winning the golf tournament, frankly," Duval said after a 4-under-par round of 67 Thursday afternoon at TPC Deere Run.
Duval also said he doubts 59 will remain the PGA Tour gold standard. A pair of Japanese players already have carded 58s in non-Tour competition, but he said the number to look for is 14-under par.You go, girls! Seriously, get moving ... The AP's Alan Robinson
Given the speed of play — or, more precisely, the lack of speedy play — during the first round ... it appeared that nearly every threesome took on Oakmont Country Club at a deliberate, take-all-precautions pace on Thursday. The mid-90s temperatures and tricky putting conditions didn't help.
One of the first golfers on the course, Mhairi McKay of Scotland, found her group warned for slow play after only four holes. The threesome finished in 5 hours, 34 minutes, or exactly one hour longer than the pace sought by the United States Golf Association.
The Masters champion, who needs a top-two finish to be able to call himself the sport's best player for the first time in his career, came to the 455-yard 18th – the ninth hole of his second round – on level par.
But he left it five over, 12 shots behind the leader Darren Clarke and on course to miss the halfway cut. During a heavy downpour Mickelson blasted his drive into the water down the left and did the same with his next attempt.
The TV commentator – and former winner of the title – Wayne Riley told Mickelson that the second ball was actually playable, but the left-hander apparently had not declared the third to be a provisional and under the rules of golf had to play it.
Erpenbeck told an FBI agent who visited him in prison there was $250,000 cash buried between the No. 3 tee box and the No. 6 green, but it had deteriorated during the eight years it was buried in a soft-sided, blue-colored cooler.
Any money that FBI agents ultimately salvage will by applied to the $34 million Erpenbeck was ordered to forfeit as part of his 2003 bank fraud conviction, said Fred Alverson, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart.
"The treasure hunt will continue," Alverson said. "If there is more buried money out there, the FBI will pursue it."