Bill Nichols

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Inside the Ropes at Colonial

FORT WORTH _ Australian Stuart Appleby made a charge that made you think of his last comeback victory, when he shot 59 to win last year’s Greenbriar Classic.
But that seemed like a distant memory by the time Appleby putted out on 18.
After shooting 31 with four birdies on the front nine, he went from hot to up in flames. He bogeyed 12 after his drive hit a tree and bounced into a bunker on 11. Then he bogeyed 13, suffered triple bogey on 14, took a breath with a par on 15, and then closed bogey-bogey-bogey.
His back-nine 43 dropped him into a tie for 16th. But even after that wheels-off performance, Appleby was a stand-up guy.
``As a player you have to make mistakes, but the course and the wind conditions certainly can add to the recipe of disaster,’’ he said. ``I probably haven’t had a chalk-and-cheese nine holes like that in a long time. I hadn’t made a cut for a while, so it was nice playing on the weekend.’’
David Toms will not become the second player to sweep the Dallas-Fort Worth events. He’s not playing this week’s HP Byron Nelson Championship.
With the events trading dates, they will also feature different leaderboards. Only three of the top-10 finishers at Colonial are entered in the Nelson _ runner-up Charlie Wie, Chez Reavie, who tied for fifth, and John Senden, who tied for eight.
Bo Van Pelt, Zach Johnson, Robert Karlsson, Kevin Stadler and Bill Haas will not be at the Nelson
After the low scoring of the first two rounds, Colonial fought back the final two days. David Toms’ 15-under 265 was six behind Zach Johnson’s record mark last year, and two back of Steve Stricker’s score in 2009.
Colonial surrendered 14 eagles, 10 fewer than last year.
Charlie Wi was poised to give South Korea its second straight victory over David Toms. But instead of getting his first PGA Tour win, Wi notched his fourth runner-up finish. He has had one each season, starting with 2007.
``I kept it interesting until the last hole, so I’m pleased with that,’’ Wi said. ``I back-doored into finishing second a couple of times. But this was the first time where I was going head to head, so this is an experienced that is going to help me out in the future.’’
Bo Van Pelt was even through nine holes, on the verge of putting himself to sleep. But he made an alarming eagle on 10, holing a wedge from 141 yards. Then he birdied 11, bogeyed 12, and birdied 14, 17 and 18 to finish third, his best this season.
``It was a wild back nine,’’ Van Pelt said. ``I’ve let a few rounds slip away this year, so to finish like that is nice.’’
Van Pelt had a similar final round at the Masters, where he tied for eighth. After playing the front nine at even with a birdie and a bogey, he eagled 13 and 15 and then bogeyed 16 and 17.

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