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The begining of golf

I do not think anyone really can say when the game of golf was first played, but there are many stories about the start, Robin Williams has a great story about the start of golf.

The Scott’s who are given credit for the game, organized a club in St. Andrews, Scotland in 1754 and called it the Society of St. Andrews Golfers.

Some 70 years of developing and expanding the game, King Willam 1V  became a patron of the club, and the name was changed to The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.

I had an opertunity to see this golf club and it is really a historic place.

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Without Tiger others have a chance to win

Luke Donald made a quadruple bogey earlier this week. Mark Calcavecchia whiffed on a chip Saturday.

Bad mistakes? Absolutely.

But to win at PGA National, one must overcome blunders, which Donald and Calcavecchia have done with ease.

Donald shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday, Calcavecchia finished with 67, and the two former Honda Classic champions wound up tied withMatt Jones (71) atop the leaderboard at PGA National. All three were at 6 under, one shot better than Brian Davis (73) and Jose Coceres (68), who lost a four-way playoff at PGA National a year ago.

“There’s a lot of danger out there,” Donald said. “There’s some very daunting shots, a lot of scary shots with a lot of water around. So you have to really stand up there and hit good, solid shots.”

 
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He’s hit plenty of those.

A bogey-free 64 on Thursday started him on his way, but the quadruple – an 8 on the 14th hole Friday – knocked him well off the pace. He has been flawless from there, with five birdies and no bogeys in the 22 holes since.

“Obviously, other than that, I’ve played very solid this week,” said Donald, who won the 2006 Honda at Mirasol.

Calcavecchia’s game has been just as good.

He made a bogey on the second hole Saturday when his drive nestled against a palm tree, and he decided to take a left-handed whack to advance the ball a few yards. But he missed everything, and eventually made what had to be described as a good bogey.

It was his only mistake.

The two-time Honda winner (1987, 1998) birdied the next two holes, connected again at the par-4 12th, and made nothing but pars the rest of the day.

“It’d be pretty special to win a tour event three miles from your driveway,” said Calcavecchia, who’ll defend his title next week at the PODS Championship and who splits his time between homes in South Florida and Arizona. “I’ve done it in Phoenix, winning three different decades. So that’d be pretty neat too. I’m sure I’ll be nervous tomorrow.”

Chances are, so will Jones.

The tour rookie is 6-for-6 in cuts this season, with four finishes in the top 30 so far. The Nationwide Tour graduate has never had a chance like this, but showed he might be ready for the big time by making birdie on his final hole Saturday to pull into the three-way tie.

Those three are hardly the only ones with an opportunity Sunday.

Ben Crane (71), Dudley Hart (72) and Cliff Kresge (66) were two shots back, Ernie Els and Robert Allenby were in a group of five players sitting three shots off the lead, and in all, a whopping 25 players were within five strokes of first place.

Among those five shots back: Arron Oberholser, bad shoulder and all.

Oberholser, who will head to Minnesota for further examination of his long-injured shoulder after the final round, shot Saturday’s low round, a 65. He could have matched Donald’s low round of the tournament, but missed a 2 1/2-foot birdie try after his approach hit the pin on the final hole.

“A 65, for the way I feel, feels like a 60,” said Oberholser, who has tried for months to get the shoulder problem correctly diagnosed and doesn’t plan to play again until the CA Championship at Doral. “I feel like about half of what I normally am right now.”

The Honda Classic leader after the first round is Luke Donald with a bogey free 64

Luke Donald’s opening round in The Honda Classic was far from perfect. He missed five greens and seven fairways, including five straight on the back nine.

And conditions at windy, cool PGA National were hardly optimal for scoring.

Yet somehow, Donald found a way to post the Honda’s best score in three years.

A bogey-free 64 Thursday gave Donald a one-shot lead over Brian Davis and a two-shot edge on Matt Jones after the first round of the Honda – an event Donald won two years ago when it was at nearby Mirasol, a considerably easier track.

“I did a lot of good things around the greens and when I had my chances I took them,” Donald said. “I didn’t drive it particularly well. I need to improve that. I probably hit only half the fairways, which is not quite good enough. Apart from that, everything was very good.”

 
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Donald posted the lowest round at a Honda since Padraig Harrington shot a final-round 63 to win in 2005 at Mirasol, and the 64 was the best in 571 tournament rounds since the event moved to PGA National – where Mark Wilson’s winning score a year ago was 5 under. Wilson shot a 73 on Thursday.

“Golf is just a tough game sometimes,” Donald said. “It sometimes gets you down, and we’ve all been there before, but luckily right now I feel pretty confident about my game. I feel confident about where I’m heading, and I’m definitely going the right direction.”

He wasn’t alone in feeling that way.

Matt Jones (66) was alone in third, two shots off the pace, with a slew of others – including Ernie Els, the world’s No. 4 player – three shots back. Els was one of only 10 players to make birdie at the arduous, 508-yard, par-4 10th, which was his first hole of the day.

“This is really my first full event, so to speak, of the year over here, so I needed to get off to a good start,” said Els, whose PGA Tour campaign for 2008 began with a first-round exit last week in the Accenture Match Play. “I was a little nervy this morning to force myself to get off to a good start, and I’ve had that now, so I can start building on that.”

Jose Coceres, who lost to Wilson in a four-man playoff last year, and Jesper Parnevik were in a group within four shots of Donald at 68.

“You’ve almost got to have a major mentality here,” Parnevik said.

He already overcame a major problem here this week.

Parnevik fell ill playing in Mexico last weekend; a dirty drinking glass, he said, was the culprit that left him unable to eat any solid food since Saturday and took 11 pounds off his already-slim frame.

His preparation on Wednesday consisted primarily of getting intravenous fluids in the tour’s medical trailer. But even with a 6:50 a.m. tee time, Parnevik – who, like Donald and a bunch of other South Florida residents, only lives a few minutes from the course – battled his way to a 68.

“Everybody that lives here knows that this can happen,” Parnevik said. “But how it goes from almost 90 (32 C) to 43 (6 C) here in a couple days is hard for a lot of people to understand.”

Much like the Florida temperatures the last few days, Jimmy Walker’s game went from hot to cold in a real hurry.

Walker was ninth alternate at the start of the week and only got in the field because another alternate – Michael Sim, who replaced Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger – withdrew.

For a while, Walker took full advantage of the chance. He was within one stroke of Donald as he went to the par-4 15th, but double-bogey there derailed his run at the lead and he finished with a 67.

Mike Weir of Bright’s Grive, Ont., and Jon Mills of Oshawa, Ont. each finished 3-over 73.

Donald gets introduced as a former Honda champion, but he doesn’t really feel like one, since being at a different venue gives the tournament a decidedly different feel. After winning in ’06 at Mirasol, Donald’s debut at the Honda’s new home last year was forgettable – a first-round 77 doomed his repeat chances.

This time, he’s back in the ideal position.

“If you get a strong wind, constant wind, it’s still not an easy golf course,” Donald said. “Anything under par is a good score.”

Divots: Tadd Fujikawa hasn’t made a cut since turning pro last summer, and that streak looks safe. The 17-year-old from Honolulu shot 78. ..Joe Ogilvie (80) made a quadruple-bogey and triple-bogey within a five-hole span, but still beat Kevin Stadler by a shot. .. Chris DiMarco (75) took a quadruple-bogey on the par-3 15th after hitting two tee balls in the water. .. Tommy Armour III withdrew after nine holes, citing illness and elbow pain. He made two bogeys and two double-bogeys before departing.