Golf: Ryan Palmer

Ryan Palmer on the U.S. Open

June, 14, 2013
Ryan Palmer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from the U.S. Open to discuss the course, greens, weather and golf tradition.

Listen here.

Ryan Palmer, Graham DeLaet share lead at Colonial

May, 24, 2013
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Colleyville's Ryan Palmer and Canadian Graham DeLaet share a one stroke lead at 9-under in the second round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.

Annika Sorenstam joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what it was like to play in the Colonial, the state of the game of golf and whether she thinks Tiger Woods will break Jack Nicklaus' record.

Listen Listen
Palmer, part of the afternoon wave of starters, has 15 holes remaining.

Play was delayed for a little over two hours in the early afternoon by lightning.

Four golfers are tied at 8-under. Of that group, Dallas’ Jordan Spieth, Josh Teater and Steve Flesch have completed their rounds. Matt Kuchar has 12 holes remaining.

The projected cut line will eliminate scores of even par and higher. Area pros on the wrong side of the cut line include Justin Leonard and Colt Knost.

Colonial suspended due to lightning

May, 24, 2013
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Play in the second round of the 67th Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial was suspended at 12:18 this afternoon due to lightning. A few players in the morning wave have not yet finished their second round.

Annika Sorenstam joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what it was like to play in the Colonial, the state of the game of golf and whether she thinks Tiger Woods will break Jack Nicklaus' record.

Listen Listen
Dallas teenager Jordan Spieth managed to complete his round and is one shot off the lead. The 19-year-old shot 67 today and is 8-under par.

Canadian Graham DeLaet currently leads at 9-under after a second-round 67.

Joining Spieth at 8-under is tour journeyman Steve Flesch, Josh Teater and overnight leader Ryan Palmer of Colleyville. Palmer was scheduled to begin his second round at 1:28 p.m. before the weather delay.

Flesch has three holes remaining in his second round.

Teater, a 34-year-old from Kentucky, reached 11-under 11 holes into his second round, but ran into tree trouble and bogeyed three of his last seven holes. Playing partner Boo Weekley got to 10-under, but went four over on his last five holes.

Ryan Palmer takes advantage of local knowledge

May, 23, 2013
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Local knowledge helped Colleyville resident Ryan Palmer forge an 8-under 62, good for the first-round lead Thursday at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial at Colonial Country Club.

Annika Sorenstam joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what it was like to play in the Colonial, the state of the game of golf and whether she thinks Tiger Woods will break Jack Nicklaus' record.

Listen Listen
A few golfers in the afternoon wave have not yet finished their rounds.

Palmer, a member at Colonial and a regular in the club’s afternoon "big game," turned in a bogey-free card with eight birdies, including four in a row on Nos. 14-17.

Palmer’s 62 matched the record low first round at Colonial. Patrick Sheehan in 2005 and David Toms and Chez Reavie in 2011 also share the record.

Another Colleyville resident, John Rollins, rolled in 22-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to finish with a 7-under 63, good for solo second.

Morgan Hoffmann, David Hearn and Graham DeLaet are tied for third after matching 6-under 64s.

Another stroke back and tied for sixth with 65s are Matt Kuchar, Daniel Summerhays, Matt Every and Morgan Hoffmann.

Among those at 5-under and still on the course is 19-year-old Jordan Spieth of Dallas.

Colleyville's Palmer races to early Colonial lead

May, 23, 2013
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Colleyville resident Ryan Palmer raced out to an early first-round lead at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial with an 8-under 62.

Morgan Hoffman was in second after a 64, and Matt Kuchar, Daniel Summerhays, Matt Every and Tommy Gainey were another shot back at 5-under.

Palmer began his round on No. 10 and had no bogeys and eight birdies, including four in a row on No. 14-17.

Kuchar said Colonial never plays easy, but getting a crack at the tight par-70 layout on a day with a wind speed of no more than 10 mph instead of the normal Texas wind of 20 mph was an advantage for the early starters.

The afternoon wave began teeing off at noon.

HP Byron Nelson: Round 2 notebook

May, 17, 2013
IRVING, Texas -- Guan Tianlang chose to dwell on the lessons learned and not the fact that after playing in three PGA tournaments with the best players in the world, he finally missed his first cut.

The 14-year-old amateur sensation from China lost his chance at remaining for the weekend after a second-round 77 at the HP Byron Nelson Championship on Friday. He finished with a 36-hole total of 147. Players shooting 141 and higher missed the cut.

[+] EnlargeGuan Tianlang
Tom Pennington/Getty ImagesGuan Tianlang missed his first cut Friday at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
"I just think I learned a lot in these last two rounds and just didn’t play my best out there today, and I still learned a lot. I still have a lot more to learn," he said.

Guan gained attention by making the cut at the Masters in April and again at the tour stop in New Orleans, becoming the youngest to make a cut on the PGA Tour.

On Friday, the damage came early for Guan. He double-bogeyed his third hole and, after a birdie, finished his first nine with five consecutive bogeys for a 41. Then the eighth-grader settled down and was 1 under through the first eight holes of his second nine, but he finished with a double-bogey.

"The last couple of holes on the first nine, I think I didn’t play bad, just got in the wind and got some bad luck, but that’s golf," Guan said.

"I calmed myself down a little bit and got better on the back nine."

Guan said he is unsure of his schedule but he has a couple of tournament invitations.

Local favorite: Jordan Spieth made it to the weekend a couple of times at the Nelson while in high school at Dallas Jesuit.

He made it again this year, but as a professional with a shot at a paycheck. Spieth followed an opening-round 69 with a 68 on Friday and is tied for 30th at 3 under.

He said he thinks the difference between those first two starts at this tournament and this week has nothing to do with money.

"It's the fact that I've been playing with a pretty full schedule and obviously this isn't the only one you're prepping for and it's one that I single out, but it's an event in a long stretch of a PGA Tour year," he said.

He said he felt more "loose and settled in" this time.

In his first two appearances at the Nelson, Spieth finished tied for 16th in 2010 and tied for 32nd in 2011.

Since turning pro, the 19-year-old has recorded three top-10s and has $699,472 in earnings.

Sweet recovery: No doubt in Ryan Palmer’s mind which of his shots stood out the most in a second-round 68. He pointed to a 6-iron on a 175-yard third shot to the par-5 16th that he "flushed" to within 5 feet.

"That had to be my best shot of the day," said the Colleyville resident, who converted the putt and made birdie on a hole on which he encountered tree trouble because of his tee shot.

Palmer opened with a 65 and is tied for fourth at 7 under.

Huh in the mix: John Huh is tied for fourth at 7 under. The Lewisville resident shot a second-round 64 with eight birdies.

"A 64 is not too bad right now," Huh said. "I drove the ball beautifully and made some putts, so I’m pleased with the way I played today."

Notes: Duffy Waldorf, the last of six alternates to gain late entry this week, not only made the cut but finds himself tied for 13th after a second consecutive 68. ... John Daly will be around for the weekend after shooting a 66 that included six birdies. He’s tied for 30th at 3 under. ... Former UT-Arlington golfer Zack Fischer shot 65 on Friday to easily make the cut. Fischer, a native of Texarkana, earned his Nelson spot in open qualifying. He's tied for 43rd at 2 under.

Keegan Bradley takes 3-shot lead to weekend

May, 17, 2013

IRVING, Texas -- Keegan Bradley is 11-under and leads the HP Byron Nelson Championship by three strokes over Sang-Moon Bae and Tom Gillis through two rounds at TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas.

Ben Crane joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the Byron Nelson Championship, his Golf Boys boy band group and more.

Listen Listen
Bradley followed up his course-record 60 with a 1-under 69 on Friday.

Bae recorded a second consecutive 66 and is 8-under. Gillis, seeking his first PGA Tour title, fired a 63 in the morning wave.

Area resident John Huh shot 64 in the morning and was one of three players tied at 7-under, joining Charl Schwartzel and Ryan Palmer. A host of players, including Angel Cabrera, are another shot back at 6-under.

Among players who missed the cut and won't be around for the weekend is 14-year Chinese prodigy Guan Tianlang, who shot 77 on Friday after opening with a 70.

Emotional Ryan Palmer puts trust in caddie

May, 16, 2013

IRVING, Texas -- Local pro Ryan Palmer puts ultimate trust in caddie James Edmondson’s club decisions in just one tournament every year -- the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

Ian Fitzsimmons and Chuck Cooperstein, broadcasting live from the Pavilion at the HP Byron Nelson, are joined by Keegan Bradley, who shot a 10-under 60 in the opening round.

Listen Listen
"This is the one week, his week. He might as well be in here," Palmer said in a post-round interview following a 5-under 65 that has him in a tie for sixth.

When the 36-year-old Colleyville resident asks his caddie for a distance, all he gets is a club.

"I found myself looking at the yardage a little more, but he wouldn’t give it to me. He would say 'hit this 8-iron' and I was like 'how far is it?' It’s kind of strange."

The first time Palmer let Edmondson do the steering at the 2011 Nelson, Palmer made it to a playoff. His Nelson track record prior to that was not impressive.

"I’ve been able to keep that feeling the last couple of years," Palmer said. "I think I’ve shot 65 Thursday every year, or 64 maybe."

It has been an emotional week for Palmer since learning of the death of lifelong friend Clay Aderholt, who was killed in a traffic accident in the San Antonio area seven days ago.

Palmer wore a cap with his friend's initials on Sunday when he finished fifth at The Players Championship. Palmer said he signed that cap and gave it to Reid, his friend’s 4-year-old son and gave a black one to Clay’s dad.

"Maybe we can honor him even more on Sunday afternoon," Palmer said.

[+] EnlargeGuan Tianlang
Tom Pennington/Getty ImagesChinese sensation Guan Tianlang, 14, shot even par in his first round at the Nelson.
Young guns: Jordan Spieth, 19, who made headlines in this event as an amateur, opened with a five-birdie, four-bogey 69 in his first Nelson round as a professional. The only amateur in the event this year, 14-year-old Chinese sensation Guan Tianlang, opened with an even par 70.

Practical jokers: Pair Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia and watch sparks fly. Pair Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner and expect a practical joke.

"He loves to mess with me," Bradley said of Dufner.

Before the two Ryder Cup teammates played together Thursday, Bradley found his clubs scattered about in the locker room.

"I left my clubs, which is a huge mistake," Bradley said. "It was my fault. He took my clubs out and they were all over."

Bradley, who fired a 10-under 60 on Thursday, said he is a little reluctant to retaliate.

"I’m too scared to do anything too much because I don’t know what he will do," Bradley said. "He could throw my clubs in the water or something. I did remove something from this locker and he’s going to need it. We’ll see if he can find it."

Bradley and Dufner, joined by Matt Kuchar, draw a 12:20 tee time for Friday’s second round.

International flavor: Of Thursday’s 52 pairings of threesomes, only one was composed entirely of internationals.

The grouping of Martin Kaymer, Charl Schwartzel and Angel Cabrera seemed to feed off each other’s company, combining to go 14-under.

South African Schwartzel, playing in his first Nelson, led the group with a 7-under 63, two strokes better than Argentina’s Cabrera. Kaymer, a German, shot 2-under.

No delay: Following thunderstorms that drenched the course, workers at TPC Four Seasons were at it early before Round 1, sacking over 100 bags of debris that washed up from a creek that cuts through the course. Most of the debris was on holes 9, 11 and 14. Play began on time at 7 a.m.

Players to watch: Byron Nelson Championship

May, 15, 2013

IRVING, Texas – It's time for the start of the North Texas swing on the PGA Tour, and that begins with a stop in the backyard of the late Byron Nelson.

Lance Paczkowski, the marshal and escort for Tiger Woods last weekend, joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what happened with Woods and Sergio Garcia.

Listen Listen
The HP Byron Nelson Championship, as it has for the past few years, is trying to make the most of being the tournament directly after The Players Championship. There won't be any rematch of feuding golfers Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia, for instance. Neither is in the field. Phil Mickelson isn't here, either.

But there are some top Americans and international players competing at the TPC Four Seasons Resort & Club this week. Let's take a look at some of the golfers to watch in the event, which starts Thursday:

Jason Dufner: All this talk about "Dufnering" doesn't happen without the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Dufner, the defending champion, arrived in Dallas in March and appeared slumped over and out of it as kids were busy reading a story in a classroom at J. Erik Jonsson, a school supported by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, which also runs the Nelson. The photo went viral even before Dufner flew out of town and the golfer was a great sport about it. It helped publicize the tournament in a way no one expected.

But joking aside, Dufner can play. He won last year's event thanks to a clutch par putt on the final hole to beat surprise contender Dicky Pride, continuing his best career year. He was the runner-up to Zach Johnson the next week at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. He ended up on the Ryder Cup team and made more than $4.8 million last season.

Dufner's not as hot this season as he was coming into the event last year (after winning in New Orleans). He is still looking for his first top-10 of the season, though he’s made nine of 11 cuts. A final-round 80 dropped him out of a chance at a top-10 at The Players Championship last weekend.

Jason Day: He has to be one of the favorites here because of how well he plays in this event. He won it in 2010, his first time playing in the tournament, and has top-10s in his other two appearances. Day had a 68 in the final round of The Players, earning him a top-20 finish.

Day has played just twice since his third-place finish at the Masters and has made the cut in all 10 of his events in 2013. The Australian nearly withdrew before winning the Nelson in 2010. He felt ill because of medicine for a sinus infection, but stayed in the tournament and won by two strokes over Blake Adams, Brian Gay and Jeff Overton. It was a strange final hole that year as Day hit his approach shot into the water on 18, giving Adams, his playing partner, an opening. But Adams didn't know where Day hit his shot and he ended up in the water too. Day bogeyed the hole to get the win.

Matt Kuchar: He blew into the Nelson fresh off a win at The Players Championship last year. It's not the same in 2013, but Kuchar is as close to an automatic top finisher as you can get on the PGA Tour this year. He has made the cut in all 14 events he’s played and he’s got four top-10s. He likes the Nelson, making the cut in all five of his attempts. His best finish was a tie for sixth two years ago.

Keegan Bradley: It was the Nelson that marked the emergence of Bradley on the PGA Tour. He won rookie of the year honors that season -- 2011 -- and was the rookie of the year. That included a major victory at the PGA Championship that season. But it was the Nelson where he posted his first victory. And he did it coming from behind. He entered the final round four strokes back of Ryan Palmer and shot a 68 to tie Palmer and force a playoff. He won on the first playoff hole (the 18th). He won with a total of 3-under for the event, the highest in relation to par at the Nelson since 1981. It was windy and the players had a tough time, but Bradley survived. He has missed his last two cuts, but he has finished fifth or better in five tournaments this season.

Jordan Spieth: It was at age 16 that Spieth was the biggest story at the Nelson, getting himself into contention on Sunday before finishing tied for 16th as an amateur. He played well under pressure in his first PGA Tour event. Three years later, Spieth is 19 and a pro on the PGA Tour. He made the decision this year to take sponsor’s exemptions rather than go full time on the Tour. But for that to be smart, Spieth had to play well early in the season. He has, earning more exemptions and a chance to finish in the top-125 of the money list to earn his card for next season. The Dallas native has three top-10s this season already and is certainly comfortable in Irving.

Marc Leishman: I know he's probably not a familiar name to many, but in flipping through the top finishers at the Nelson the past four years, his name pops up. Leishman tied for third last year and was in the top-12 in three of his four Nelson appearances. He showed he could hang in under pressure at the Masters, tying for fourth. He posted two more top-10s since and can handle the wind. He’s one to watch.

Don't forget about: Ryan Palmer (two straight top-10s at this event); J.J. Henry (TCU alum has made 10 cuts in 11 appearances); Louis Oosthuizen (has major pedigree and playing well); Ben Crane (he's hot right now and had a top-10 at The Players).

W2W4: 14 guys within 4 strokes of lead

May, 20, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- It should be a fun final round with so many players bunched up on the leaderboard, hoping to pass Jason Dufner for a victory. Here are some things to keep an eye on:

* Wind. It's not supposed to blow quite as hard, but we should get some 10 to 15 mph winds and gusts that could hit 20 mph or so. That's enough to impact shots and make certain holes difficult.

Those holes would include No. 11, where if the wind blows across like it did Saturday, it could give players a chance to go for the green knowing they'll get help from the wind in keeping the ball out of the water. The downside: It can blow balls across the road and cause big numbers. Just ask Keegan Bradley, who likely had his tournament hopes dashed Saturday with a triple bogey on the hole.

* Early bird gets the worm. If you want to see someone play fast, check out Ryuji Imada. He's first off at 7:10 a.m. and is playing by himself (or with a marker if he chooses). Imada shot 79 on Saturday after shooting 67-68 the first two rounds.

* Players to watch early in the round: Jhonny Vegas (7:26 a.m.), Nick O'Hern (8:06 a.m.), Ricky Barnes (8:22 a.m.), Brian Davis (8:39 a.m.) and Todd Hamilton (former British Open winner from Westlake, Texas, tees off at 8:48 a.m.).

* Players will go off No. 1 tee all day in twosomes. Phil Mickelson, still the biggest draw of this event, tees off at 10:45 a.m. and is playing with Shane Bertsch.

* Six of the final 10 pairings include someone from Texas. That includes Fort Worth's J.J. Henry, who plays with Dufner in the final group starting at 12:15 p.m. Expect to see plenty of purple as TCU fans will be cheering on Henry. His caddie, Pete Jordan, also played golf at TCU.

* Vijay Singh is one of the bigger names on the leaderboard and is back in contention. He'll be in the third-to-last group with Jonas Blixt. They tee off at 11:57 a.m. If Singh continues to putt well, he'll have a chance as he sits two back of the leader.

* Three players to watch that are four strokes back: Ryan Palmer, Matt Kuchar and Bradley. They'll tee off right after one another (starting with Palmer at 11:12 a.m.)

* 2010 champion Jason Day is one back of the leader and fell behind because of a bogey at No. 18.

* Dufner will be tough to beat. He's used to being in the lead and taking care of business, as his win three weeks ago at New Orleans showed. He had a top-10 finish here last year.

Neighbors lose ground in final pairing

May, 19, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- The day didn’t go as planned for Colleyville residents Chad Campbell and Ryan Palmer in the final pairing of the HP Byron Nelson Championship on Saturday.

Palmer shot a 2-over 72 and Campbell was one back at 73.

“It’s always nice to play with guys you know,'' Palmer said. "I hit the ball pretty well. Unfortunately, I had the worst putting day I’ve had in a while. I wasn’t able to get the speed right.’’

The backyards of Palmer and Campbell in their North Texas suburb are only 500 yards apart. Palmer calls Campbell his best friend on Tour. They were joined in the final grouping by Jason Dufner.

“When one person starts making birdies, it usually gets the others going, too. But nobody in our group ever got it going today,’’ Palmer said.

Said Campbell: “I always enjoy playing with Ryan, unfortunately neither one of us had a very good day.

“It was tough out there. I got off to a bad start, fought back, and struggled coming in, bogeying the last two.’’

Palmer (4-under) is paired with Jason Bohn in Sunday's final round with an 11:12 a.m. start. Campbell (3-under) and Padraig Harrington are scheduled for a 10:54 start.

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.

Round 3 times: Threesomes of both tees

May, 18, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- Since 79 players made the cut (2-over), they'll go off in threesomes Saturday starting at 9:35 a.m. at TPC Four Seasons Resort & Club at Las Colinas.

The complete list is here. Some highlights:

* Ernie Els is in a group with Jerry Kelly and Brandt Jobe at 9:35 a.m. off No. 1 tee.

* Phil Mickelson tees off right after that at 9:45 a.m. with Andres Romero and Scott Brown.

* Defending champion Keegan Bradley is in the 11:25 a.m. group with Marc Leishman and Ryuji Imada.

* The Players Championship winner Matt Kuchar tees off at 11:35 a.m with Dicky Pride and Pat Perez.

* Leader Jason Dufner joins Colleyville, Texas, neighbors Chad Campbell and Ryan Palmer at 11:45 a.m.

Colleyville neighbors tied at 6-under

May, 18, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- The chance to be paired with Colleyville neighbor Chad Campbell in Saturday’s HP Byron Nelson Championship was on the mind of Ryan Palmer after concluding his round with a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 18.

Palmer and Campbell, a couple of native West Texans from Andrews and Amarillo, respectively, head into the weekend in a multi-way tie at 6-under.

“It would be great to have the chance to play with Chad on Saturday,’’ said Palmer, who had an even-par round of 70. “Our backyards are about a 5-wood from each other. He’s my closest friend on Tour.’’

Palmer said because of the nomad nature of golf professionals, he sees Campbell more on the road than he does at home, but there said there are occasional friendly golf rounds for the two.

Palmer set up the birdie on No. 18 by covering the flagstick with a 164-yard 6-iron. He gave three fist pumps after converting the putt -- when it dropped, again after taking the ball out of the hole and once more when making his way off the green.

“It’s great to birdie the last hole anytime, but especially today,'' Palmer said. "It is hard to come back after shooting a low round (64 on Thursday), and it was a hard-fought day.’’

Ryan Palmer, caddie in tune for lead

May, 17, 2012

IRVING, Texas -- Ryan Palmer’s gut decision to trust virtually all on-course decisions to caddie James Edmondson worked so well at the 2011 HP Byron Nelson Championship, he’s sticking with the game plan again.

So far, so good. Palmer, a resident of nearby Colleyville, Texas, who lost in a sudden-death playoff last year to Keegan Bradley, owns the first-round Nelson lead after shooting a 6-under 64 Thursday at TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas.

Player and caddie were again in sync.

“It was a continuation of last year, and we did it to the exact tee today, every tee shot, every second shot,’’ said Palmer.

“For some reason this golf course we have figured something out,’’ Palmer said. “I think it works here because we are so mentally in tune -- we go to other courses, we try it, it’s like are we really doing it or just going through the motions?’’

Palmer said that just like last year, he didn’t move until Edmondson put the bag down and half the time the caddie handed the club to him, Palmer didn’t even know what club it was.

Once in the round, player was handed a club by caddie for an approach to a back-right pin on No. 15.

Said Palmer: “He told me to hit this and drive it hard and low and I said, ‘What’s the carry on the pin?’ And he said 'I don’t care. I want you to hit it here,’ and I hit it to eight feet and made a birdie.’’

The 35-year-old recorded three birdies on each nine but struggled for scambling pars on his final four holes.

“I had big pull hooks on my last four tee shots,’’ Palmer said. “I fought my way in. My short game was awesome, but I was disappointed by the way I kind of locked up on my tee shots.’’

Friday’s forecast is for winds to pick up in the afternoon. That’s fine with Palmer, who is scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m.

“Blow wind blow! Looking at the forecast, my draw is exciting because they are saying 20 to 30 (mph) tomorrow and picking up at 12:45 hopefully, because I’ll be done,'' said Palmer.

He doesn't need a caddie for remaining tournament strategy.

“Shoot a low number early, come out tomorrow morning with calm conditions and maybe we can build on it and set myself up for a big weekend," he said.