Musings and Mulligans

Roy Lang III is The Times Assistant Sports Editor. He played golf at Centenary College. He has covered six major golf championships and also covered last year’s Ryder Cup. As an added bonus, both Hal Sutton and David Toms are on his speed-dial.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Sutton Back On Tour

It had been well more than one month since Hal Sutton played an official round on the PGA Tour. But you really wouldn't have known that today.

Sutton was striking the ball particularly well at Cottonwood Valley en route to an even-par 70. Only a bad break and missed opportunities with his short game prevented an under-par round.

"I hit the ball well considering I havent played any," said Sutton, who has not played since The Players Championship. "It feels alright to be out here. Sometimes when you come back and you haven't done very much you're a little antsy about what the results might be."

Sutton began with two bogeys on the front nine, but quickly rallied to start the back with a pair of birdies. A birdie on No. 13 got the former Centenary star to 1-under for the event.

On the par-5 16th Sutton went for the green with an fairway metal. The approached looked perfect, but landed just short of the pin and kicked into the left rough. With very little green to work with and a short pitch, Sutton knocked it eight feet by and missed the ensuing birdie putt.

The most recent U.S. Ryder Cup captain bogey the final hole to shoot 70. He is tied for 68th and moves over to the tougher TPC at Four Seasons Resort Course on Friday. The way it looks, he will have to shoot at least 1-under par to play on the weekend. Sutton has not made a cut in 2005.

"We had a lot of crosswind holes out there today," Sutton said. "When you're riding the wind and you catch it flush, and you have exactly the right club sometimes you hit it through the green. Over is never very good. You're chipping downhill. This rye grass is like wire, it doesn't want to come out of it."