ROCK SOLID ROUND TOUR UNKNOWN SHARES LEAD.Byline: Rich Hammond Rich Hammond
Los Angeles Daily News sports writer. Instrumental in bringing the Los Angeles Kings hockey organization closer to the fans. He is the atypical "what a guy" to Kings fans everywhere.
Rich Hammond on himself. Staff Writer
As hundreds of golf fans clamored for a glimpse of Tiger Woods Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled. during the first round of the Nissan Open The Northern Trust Open, formally known as the Nissan Open and originally known as the Los Angeles Open, is a regular golf tournament on the PGA Tour. It is played annually in February in Pacific Palisades, California. , Brent Schwarzrock played the most meaningful round of his career Thursday morning in almost complete anonymity.
About a dozen followers watched as Schwarzrock shot a 5-under-par 66 at Riviera Country Club The Riviera Country Club is a country club with a championship golf course. It is located in Pacific Palisades, California, within the city limits of Los Angeles, California. The country club opened in 1926, with George C. Thomas, Jr. as the course architect. to earn a share of the first-round lead, and none of them likely knew what a whirlwind week it has already been for the Georgian.
The 28-year-old journeyman from Sea Island, who has never finished higher than 18th in a PGA Tour The PGA Tour is an organization that operates the USA's main professional golf tours. It is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA. Its name is officially rendered in all caps as “PGA TOUR". event, was the 12th alternate for the Nissan, which means that a dozen players had to drop out for him to land a spot in the field.
He got a phone invitation at 6 a.m. Tuesday at his Georgia home, secured plane tickets for himself and caddie Henry Diana, and set off to play a golf course he had never seen. The two arrived in Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. at 4 a.m. Wednesday morning, which didn't leave time for a practice round, since Riviera was being used for the Nissan Pro-Am that day.
``I didn't think there was any chance that I'd get in here,'' Schwarzrock said. ``On Monday, they said I was No. 7 and I didn't even go to the course. But on Tuesday, I kept getting calls, saying, 'You're third alternate, you're second, you're first.'
``I thought, 'My God, I guess I'm going to have to go to L.A.' ''
With a dose of beginner's luck beginner's luck
exceptional luck supposed to attend a beginner and plenty of long, straight drives, Schwarzrock birdied four of his first 10 holes and survived two back-nine bogeys to tie Sergio Garcia, Tom Scherrer Thomas Cregg Scherrer (born July 20, 1970) is an American professional golfer.
Scherrer was born in Skaneateles, New York. He has had one PGA Tour victory to date.
He played for the American team in the 1991 Walker Cup. and Kirk Triplett for the lead.
``Sometimes playing a course blind isn't too bad,'' Triplett said. ``You don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. where the pitfalls are, so a lot of times you shoot your best score the first time you play a course.''
While he's in town, Schwarzrock might be wise to visit nearby Hollywood and chat with an agent or two. Woods' story, that of a golfing prodigy bred for success, has been told countless times, but Schwarzrock is an unknown hero.
He turned pro in 1995, setting out to play local minitours, far from the spotlight of the PGA Tour, until a back injury took him off the course. Schwarzrock moved from Winter Park, Fla., to Sea Island, Ga., disappointed with the direction his life was taking, and accepted a job at the local golf course.
``At the time, I wasn't going anywhere, I was just spinning my wheels,'' Schwarzrock said. ``I wasn't even an assistant pro or anything, I just helped out the caddies and things like that. I was tired of golf and I didn't want people to know I played.''
People found out, however, when members saw Schwarzrock swing.
``They said, 'Have you ever tried to make the tour?' and I said, 'Yeah, only for about 10 years,' '' Schwarzrock said.
He played on the Nike Tour in 1998 and earned a spot on the PGA Tour in Qualifying School that winter. Back problems again plagued Schwarzrock, who last December had to return to Q-School.
He needed to shoot 32 on the back nine in the final round of Q-School school to earn his tour card, and that's what he did, although his tie for 31st forced him to be an alternate in most events.
Even in the tight-knit golf community, Schwarzrock is a relative unknown. When asked if he was friendly with PGA Tour veteran Davis Love III Davis Milton Love III (born April 13, 1964) is an American professional golfer.
Love was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina before turning professional in 1985. , a Sea Island resident, Schwarzrock deadpanned, ``Yeah, I live in a trailer in his front yard.''
An unheralded game and a sense of humor Noun 1. sense of humor - the trait of appreciating (and being able to express) the humorous; "she didn't appreciate my humor"; "you can't survive in the army without a sense of humor"
sense of humour, humor, humour . Can stardom be far behind?
``He has as much talent as any player out here,'' said Diana, his caddie. ``He's a tremendous driver of the ball and when he starts to take advantage of it the way Tiger does, you're going to hear his name a lot.''
Photo: Brent Schwarzrock, whose best PGA Tour finish is 18th, shot a 66 to tie for the lead.
Tina Burch/Staff Photographer