- The Washington Times - Friday, July 3, 2009

It would seem there is an application for everything on Apple’s iPhone - including a way to improve a pro golfer’s performance.

D.A. Points would endorse the idea Thursday after firing a 6-under 64 in the first round of the AT&T National at Bethesda’s Congressional Country Club less than two weeks after buying a new phone.

“It works so good,” said Points, who shot his best PGA Tour round since 2006. “I had my caddie video me, and then I get right on it and e-mail it straight to my instructor [Brian Mogg], and he looks at it. We can almost do a lesson over the phone.”

Points made the purchase in a mall in the Orlando, Fla., area before playing in last week’s event in Hartford, Conn. He frequently found the fairway but wasn’t happy with the way he was swinging. He finished tied for 59th.

So he started toying with his phone, quickly receiving feedback to tinker with his swing.

“I didn’t know if it would work,” Points said. “[Mogg] said, ‘It’s amazing. I can see frame-by-frame, I can see your club face perfectly, everything.’ ”

The adjustments - not to mention an early tee time to help exploit greens made receptive after some rain Wednesday night - bolstered Points’ chances of contending this week. He had seven birdies and a bogey.

Points, a four-time winner on the Nationwide circuit, is enjoying his best year on the PGA Tour. He has collected three top-10s after entering the season with just one in 66 career starts.

A victory, though, would make it even better.

“Lucas Glover is one of the best players in the world, and he wins the U.S. Open a couple weeks ago, and everybody was acting like they’d never, ever heard of him,” said Points, who is ranked 167th in the world. “The guy’s a good player, and I feel like I’m a good player. Maybe you haven’t heard of me and maybe you have, but I’m hoping to be around for the next few days.”

Ears wide open

Fred Funk is two weeks removed from surviving four rounds on Long Island at the U.S. Open and is coming off a share of second at the Champions Tour event in Endicott, N.Y.

At Congressional, though, the message from the galleries isn’t quite the same for the Takoma Park native who once coached at Maryland.

“Here I hear ‘Fear the turtle’ and ‘Go Fred’ and all that other stuff,” Funk said. “Up at Bethpage, I hear ‘Hey, Funk you.’ There’s a little difference in crowd. New York and D.C., they’re not the same.”

Funk probably needed a little encouragement after grinding through the first round. He double-bogeyed his first hole, parred the next 16 and completed the day with a birdie to finish with a 71.

“I just wasn’t hitting it very solid,” Funk said. “I was pleased with the 71 with the way I’ve played. I’ve been hitting my irons beautiful, but today my irons were horrendous.”

Weekley’s boo-boo

Boo Weekley, who emerged as a fan favorite in part because of his star turn at the Ryder Cup last fall, struggled the past few months while coping with an injured left shoulder.

Still, the charismatic 35-year-old might not be too far off, shooting a 67 in the first round while continuing to work his game into shape.

“The way I started the day, it was ugly,” Weekley said. “I kind of held in there. We’re still making some bad swings right now, and I’m just trying to figure it out.”

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