Marino right at home at Congressional

By DOUG FERGUSON
Associated Press

BETHESDA, Md. — Steve Marino used to consider it a treat the few times he played Congressional as a teenager. It was a thrill on Thursday to play bogey-free in the first round of the AT&T National and shoot 5-under 65 for a one-shot lead.

Marino, who grew up a half-hour away in Fairfax, Va., birdied three of his opening four holes, never had a par putt longer than 5 feet and finished off his round with an 8-foot birdie to be in the lead after any round for only the second time in his career.

“I played a bunch of junior golf growing up here, all over the D.C. area, so it feels great to get off to this good start,” Marino said. “And I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.”

It’s already been a big week for Jeff Overton and Frank Lickliter, who were among those at 66.

Overton had missed six of his last seven cuts, working harder than ever with nothing to show for it, until the 36-hole qualifier Monday outside Detroit for the British Open. He was the medalist, earning his first trip to a major.

“It just carried over from there,” he said.

Lickliter, whose wife gave birth to twin sons in January, took them to Christ Church in Georgetown to have Storm and Steel christened.

“It was fantastic,” he said. “We celebrated all day, so there went practice on Wednesday.”

But it must have been inspirational for Lickliter, who had not made a cut in his last six tournaments dating to the EDS Byron Nelson Championship. After four birdies on his front nine, he recovered from a pair of bogeys with consecutive birdies, including a 5-iron that was among the best he ever hit.

He hit a big drive on the 522-yard sixth hole, converted to a par 4 for this tournament, then hit a 5-iron from 210 yards over the water to about 12 feet from the flag.

“Best shot I’ve hit in the last four years,” he said.

Rod Pampling and Bob Estes also were at 66, while the large group at 67 including Anthony Kim and Notah Begay III, a teammate of Tiger Woods at Stanford who received one of the sponsor’s exemptions.

Woods, the tournament host and star attraction on the PGA Tour, is out for the rest of the year recovering from knee surgery. Thursday’s attendance in gorgeous weather was 17,000, which was 1,345 fewer than last year when the AT&T National made its debut.

It didn’t look that big, perhaps because the fans were scattered among various groups.

Among the most vocal were following Marino, which doesn’t happen to him anywhere else on the PGA Tour.

“I got some crazy friends that came out to watch me this week,” he said. “And today, I think it’s safe to say it was probably going to be the mildest day, especially if I keep playing well. I know tomorrow is July 4th, and I’m teeing off in the afternoon. So that gives them plenty of time for to get looped up.

“They’re rowdy, but it definitely feels good to have them out there supporting me.”

Even better was the Blue Course, which was a real monster when this tournament was held for the first time last year. Congressional will host the U.S. Open for the third time in 2011, and the rough was U.S. Open quality a year ago.

This year, it was significantly less severe, but still punishing.

“The rough is probably half as tall as it was last year,” Marino said.

Among the six birdies Pampling had was the 14th hole, where he drove into the rough and hit his approach to 4 feet. He was asked what would have happened a year ago from the same spot.

“I would have been trying to hit it short of the bunkers and then chip on,” Pampling said. “It’s fantastic. It gives you a chance. But you can get a flier lie and go long, and then you’re in trouble. Ryuji Imada was about where I was in the rough and he went over the bunker. He did well to make bogey.”

Defending champion K.J. Choi was among 34 players who shot in the 60s. Choi had a 68, while the group at 69 included Hunter Mahan.

Fred Couples, who took over Woods’ duties as host on Wednesday during opening ceremonies, shot a 71.

Another big improvement were the greens, which were criticized last year as too bumpy. They became crusty in the late afternoon, when temperatures climbed into the lower 90s, but there were few complaints.

“If the greens stay this smooth, I think everyone is going to enjoy the course,” Kim said.

Scores with relation to par from the first round of the AT&T National, played July 3 at the par-70, 7,255-yard Congressional Country Club (Blue) in Bethesda, Md. (Note: a-amateur):

  1. Steve Marino 65

    -5 2. Jeff Overton 66

    -4 2. Frank Lickliter II 66

    -4 2. Rod Pampling 66

    -4 2. Bob Estes 66

    -4 6. Alex Cejka 67

    -3 6. Notah Begay III 67

    -3 6. Billy Mayfair 67

    -3 6. Anthony Kim 67

    -3 6. Stuart Appleby 67

    -3 6. Tommy Armour III 67

    -3 6. Fredrik Jacobson 67

    -3 13. John Rollins 68

    -2 13. Robert Allenby 68

    -2 13. K.J. Choi 68

    -2 13. George McNeill 68

    -2 13. Jesper Parnevik 68

    -2 13. Brad Adamonis 68

    -2 13. Robert Garrigus 68

    -2 13. Tim Herron 68

    -2 13. Jim McGovern 68

    -2 13. Tom Pernice, Jr. 68

    -2 23. Hunter Mahan 69

    -1 23. Olin Browne 69

    -1 23. Nick Watney 69

    -1 23. Cliff Kresge 69

    -1 23. Jose Coceres 69

    -1 23. Charles Warren 69

    -1 23. Kevin Sutherland 69

    -1 23. Patrick Sheehan 69

    -1 23. Eric Axley 69

    -1 23. Dean Wilson 69

    -1 23. Gavin Coles 69

    -1 23. Kevin Streelman 69

    -1 35. Nick O'Hern 70

    E 35. Bill Haas 70

    E 35. Vaughn Taylor 70

    E 35. Billy Andrade 70

    E 35. Jeff Maggert 70

    E 35. Fred Funk 70

    E 35. Joe Durant 70

    E 35. John Senden 70

    E 35. Jim Furyk 70

    E 35. J.B. Holmes 70

    E 35. Bo Van Pelt 70

    E 35. Mark Wilson 70

    E 35. Johnson Wagner 70

    E 35. Charles Howell III 70

    E 35. Jonathan Byrd 70

    E 35. Todd Hamilton 70

    E 35. Davis Love III 70

    E 35. Michael Allen 70

    E 35. Todd Demsey 70

    E 54. John Merrick 71
    + 1 54. Camilo Villegas 71
    + 1 54. Rich Beem 71
    + 1 54. Stephen Leaney 71
    + 1 54. Parker McLachlin 71
    + 1 54. Jason Day 71
    + 1 54. Jason Gore 71
    + 1 54. Ben Crane 71
    + 1 54. Lucas Glover 71
    + 1 54. Pat Perez 71
    + 1 54. D.J. Trahan 71
    + 1 54. Steve Stricker 71
    + 1 54. Fred Couples 71
    + 1 54. Andres Romero 71
    + 1 54. Tim Wilkinson 71
    + 1 69. Brian Davis 72
    + 2 69. Shane Bertsch 72
    + 2 69. Brandt Snedeker 72
    + 2 69. Arron Oberholser 72
    + 2 69. Ryan Armour 72
    + 2 69. J.P. Hayes 72
    + 2 69. Sean O'Hair 72
    + 2 69. Mike Weir 72
    + 2 69. Brian Gay 72
    + 2 78. Tim Clark 73
    + 3 78. Tim Petrovic 73
    + 3 78. Marco Dawson 73
    + 3 78. Charlie Wi 73
    + 3 78. J.J. Henry 73
    + 3 78. Corey Pavin 73
    + 3 78. Mathew Goggin 73
    + 3 78. James Driscoll 73
    + 3 78. Charley Hoffman 73
    + 3 78. Trevor Immelman 73
    + 3 78. Bart Bryant 73
    + 3 78. Dudley Hart 73
    + 3 78. Rocco Mediate 73
    + 3 78. Brett Rumford 73
    + 3 92. Peter Lonard 74
    + 4 92. Tag Ridings 74
    + 4 92. Matt Kuchar 74
    + 4 92. Justin Bolli 74
    + 4 92. Mathias Gronberg 74
    + 4 92. John Mallinger 74
    + 4 92. Ryuji Imada 74
    + 4 92. Steve Flesch 74
    + 4 92. Chris Riley 74
    + 4 92. Matt Jones 74
    + 4 102. Cameron Beckman 75
    + 5 102. Jeff Quinney 75
    + 5 102. Ryan Moore 75
    + 5 102. Troy Matteson 75
    + 5 102. Steve Lowery 75
    + 5 102. Chez Reavie 75
    + 5 102. a-Drew Weaver 75
    + 5 109. Greg Kraft 76
    + 6 109. Joe Ogilvie 76
    + 6 109. Nicholas Thompson 76
    + 6 112. Paul Goydos 77
    + 7 112. Will MacKenzie 77
    + 7 112. Kevin Stadler 77
    + 7 112. Ryan Palmer 77
    + 7 116. Lee Janzen 78
    + 8 116. Ken Duke 78
    + 8 WD. Steve Elkington WD


    WD. Craig Kanada WD


    WD. Shigeki Maruyama WD
Welcome to Golfweek.com's comments section.
Please review the posting guidlines here: Golfweek.com Community Guidelines.
All accounts must be verified using Disqus email verification

  • PGA
  • CHMP
  • WEB
[[PGAtourn]] Full Leaderboard >
Prev
  • [[player._CurPos]]
  • [[player._Lname]], [[player._Fname]]
  • [[player._TournParRel]]
  • [[player._Thru]]
Next
[[CHMPtourn]] Full Leaderboard >
Prev
  • [[player._CurPos]]
  • [[player._Lname]], [[player._Fname]]
  • [[player._TournParRel]]
  • [[player._Thru]]
Next
[[NWIDtourn]] Full Leaderboard >
Prev
  • [[player._CurPos]]
  • [[player._Lname]], [[player._Fname]]
  • [[player._TournParRel]]
  • [[player._Thru]]
Next