Golf: John Rollins

W2W4: Moving day at the Nelson

May, 19, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- It's Saturday and that's traditionally "moving day" on the PGA Tour. To make a move Saturday, golfers must adjust to the wind, which is expected to blow like it did Friday (15 to 20 mph, highest gust of 28). A few things to watch Saturday:

* Since 79 players make the cut, they'll be going off both tees in groups of three. That also means a cut will be made after Saturday's third round so that players can be paired for the final round.

* Get to the course early. The tee times start at 9:35 a.m. and Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson both have early tee times. Els tees off on No. 1 at 9:35 a.m. and Mickelson tees off at 9:45 a.m. off No. 1.

* Can Jason Dufner keep chipping balls in the hole? He did it twice Friday, including a chip-in from just off the green on No. 18, which gave him a one-shot lead. Before New Orleans, the question with Dufner might have been whether he could handle the lead on the weekend. But now that he's won a PGA Tour event, he's liable to be comfortable as he tries to hold it for 36 more holes.

* Matt Kuchar continues to play well fresh off his Players Championship win. I'll be honest: I thought Kuchar might be mentally worn out from that win. But he's hitting the ball well and putting his way toward the top of the leaderboard. As confident as Kuchar is, don't count him out.

* Keegan Bradley dropped a stroke on No. 12, his third hole, but came back with six birdies (he had four bogeys total) to shoot 68. Bradley took advantage of calmer conditions in the morning Friday. He probably won't be as lucky today. Still, the defending champion beat everybody in the wind last year.

* Neighbors Chad Campbell and Ryan Palmer will be playing together Saturday. So it won't be tough for local fans -- they are both from Colleyville, Texas, located between Dallas and Fort Worth -- to follow them as both are in the final threesome.

* Wind. Mother Nature seems to love to put a stamp on this tournament. She blew a mighty wind over the weekend last year. And while the forecast doesn't call for winds with gusts up to 40 mph like last year, it's looking like 25 mph or so. It will certainly impact the golf.

* TCU fans can come out and pull for a couple of former Frogs golfers. J.J. Henry, sporting his purple shirt Friday, shot 68 in the second round and is 4-under for the tournament. J.J. Killeen made the cut on the number at 2-over.

* Who could go low from way back? Keep an eye on Brian Gay. We talked about him before the tournament and he made the cut on the number. He likes the course and has gone low here before.

* Sleeper group: Vijay Singh, Gary Woodland, John Rollins. All three have played well in spurts this week and could feed off each other playing in the middle of the tee times at 10:35.

Stock report: Who's up, down for Nelson

May, 15, 2012
As the HP Byron Nelson Championship approaches, let's take a quick look at a few golfers on the rise the past few weeks and some that aren't trending as well as they'd like (among those in the Nelson field):


Matt Kuchar: He won The Players Championship and comes in feeling good. It's not easy to win in consecutive weeks, but Kuchar is playing well and tied for sixth at last year's Nelson. He's a threat this week.

John Rollins: Not a name you expected, was it? But if you're looking for a sleeper this week, Rollins isn't a bad choice. Of the eight cuts he's made, Rollins has finished in the top-25 seven times. So if he plays on the weekend, he's likely to find a way to get himself in the mix.

Adam Scott: His game is in good shape as he enters an event that he won in 2008. He's got the all-around game to survive windy conditions (and it seems that the wind has a tendency to blow for at least one or two rounds at TPC Four Seasons Resort at Las Colinas) and hoist the trophy again.


Rory Sabbatini: A local favorite (he lives in Fort Worth) -- he'll have his large cheering section as usual -- has made the cut in just six of his 13 events this season. He's missed the cut in four of his last five tournaments.

Y.E. Yang: A major winner who lives in Dallas, Yang has just one top-25 all season and missed the cut at The Players thanks to a first-round 80. That was, however, his first missed cut in seven events. He's due for a break through.

Keegan Bradley: This is relative, of course, but he missed two cuts before making it to the weekend at The Players. He has no top-25s in his last four starts, which for Bradley in the last year has to be considered a bit of a slump. Maybe defending his title at the Nelson is just what he needs to get his early-season form back.