Ball Doesnt Bounce Tigers Way

By Associated PressApril 7, 2005, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tiger Woods looked stunned as the ball sped past the hole toward the edge of the 13th green. A collective gasp came from the crowd as the ball kept going, going, going, finally trickling down a hill into a creek in front of the green.
 
Incredibly, the best player of his time had just putted - yes, putted - a ball into the water.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods had problems all over the course on Thursday.
Just four holes into a Masters he came into brimming with confidence, Woods had committed one of golf's ultimate sins. What began as a putt for eagle ended with a nice 2-putt just to save a bogey. Still to be determined is whether it will cost Woods the chance to snap a major championship drought that's lasted nearly three years.
 
Things didn't get any better on a day when Woods tossed clubs, kicked his bag, and watched one of his shots hit a pin and go into a bunker before darkness halted his struggles after only 12 holes.
 
And just for good measure, Woods had to sit through a review by Masters officials over whether he was standing astride the hole while tapping in a putt on the 14th hole. After looking at video, officials ruled there was no violation.
 
Woods finished the day 2-over through 12 holes, already six shots off the lead. And that was just two days after telling the media his game was peaking.
 
'I know my ball striking is there,' Woods said.
 
Whether he felt the same after a gloomy day on rain-soaked Augusta National wasn't known. After being driven in from the course when play was suspended by darkness, Woods declined comment and quickly drove off with a rules official.
 
Whatever he was thinking couldn't have been good.
 
Woods not only putted a ball in the water, he also duck-hooked a drive into a tree on No. 2 and then sprayed his next shot into the trees all the way on the other side of the fairway.
 
Disgusted with himself, Woods kicked at his bag as he walked up to the ball in the woods. He then hit his next shot into a greenside bunker and had to hole a 25-footer for par.
 
And even when Woods hit it good, bad things happened.
 
His wedge on the first hole hit the pin, only to kick back and roll into the front bunker. What likely would have been a birdie turned into a bogey, further dampening his mood.
 
And he didn't get much sympathy from one of his competitors.
 
'He's had a few good breaks over his career,' Chris DiMarco said. 'It's golf. It's just the way it is.'
 
Woods had to start on the back nine when thunderstorms forced Masters officials to juggle tee times. He was 1-over after three holes when he came to the 13th, which traditionally ranks as one of the easiest holes on the course.
 
Woods reached the green of the par-5 with a tough shot out of the pines, but his ball bounded some 70 feet past the pin tucked in front. He lined up his eagle putt, gave it a rap with his putter and watched as it raced past the hole, picked up speed and rolled off the green.
 
Woods was walking toward the hole when the ball disappeared, going down the hill and rolling into the water. He took his cap off in disbelief as his caddie, Steve Williams, ran for the bag he had left on the next tee in case his boss wanted to try to wedge it out of Rae's Creek.
 
Instead, Woods called over a rules official and placed another ball where his had originally been. Then he putted again, this time for par. That putt ended up about a foot from the hole, and Woods tapped in for bogey.
 
Woods will return to the fourth hole Friday to complete his round on a nine that doesn't offer as many birdie possibilities as the back. While only 24 players finished, Woods is in an 11-way tie for 36th, meaning a lot of players are already between him and the lead.
 
Woods, who won here in record fashion in 1997 and had three green jackets by the time he was 26, has not won a major championship in his last 10 tries.
 
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    Pepperell among co-leaders early in Qatar

    By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 5:06 pm

    DOHA, Qatar – Eddie PepperellGregory Havret, and Aaron Rai made the most of calm early morning conditions at Doha Golf Club to set the pace in the opening round of the Qatar Masters at 7-under-par 65 on Thursday.

    Havret went bogey free, Pepperell made one bogey and eight birdies, while fellow English golfer Rai eagled his last hole to add to five birdies.

    One shot behind the leaders were four players, including former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari of Italy and former champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain.

    Defending champion Jeunghun Wang of South Korea started with a 68, and Race to Dubai leader Shubhankar Sharma of India shot 69 despite a double bogey on the 15th hole.


    Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters


    Pepperell, who is fast gaining a reputation on the European Tour for his irreverent tweets and meaningful blogs, showed his clubs can also do an equal amount of talking after missing cuts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Malaysia.

    Pepperell birdied Nos. 10, 11, 14, 16 and 18 with a single blemish on 13 after starting on the back nine. He made three more birdies on his back nine.

    He was joined on top of the leaderboard by Havret, who made five birdies in six holes from the sixth, and Rai, who eagled the last.

    ''I surprised myself, really,'' said Pepperell, who finished third in Portugal and Netherlands last year.

    ''I've made some changes this week with personnel, so I've been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it.

    ''I hit some quality tee shots, that's the area I feel that I've been struggling with a bit lately. We had a good time.

    ''It's definitely a bigger picture for me this week than tomorrow and indeed the weekend. I'm not overly-fussed about my early season form.”

    Molinari, a three-time champion on the tour including last year in Morocco, started with eight straight pars, and then made seven birdies in his last 10 holes, including a chip-in for birdie on the last.

    ''I hit every green apart from the last one. I hit a lot of fairways, I had a lot of chances for birdie,'' said Edoardo, the older brother of Francesco.

    ''Last week in Oman, I had a decent week, I had a bad first round and then three very good rounds. It's been the case for the last few weeks so my focus this week was to try and get a good start.''

    Oliver Fisher of England was the best among the afternoon groups with a 6-under 66, joining Molinari, Quiros and Germany's Marcel Schneider in a tie for fourth.

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    Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

    By Tiger TrackerFebruary 22, 2018, 4:45 pm

    Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.


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    Honda Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 22, 2018, 2:15 pm

    The PGA Tour heads back east to kick off the Florida Swing at PGA National. Here are the key stats and information for the Honda Classic. Click here for full-field tee times.

    How to watch:

    Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET

    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET


    Purse: $6.6 million ($1,188,000 to the winner)

    Course: PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (par-70; 7,140 yards)

    Defending champion: Rickie Fowler (-12) won by four, picking off his fourth PGA Tour victory.


    Notables in the field:

    Tiger Woods

    • Making his fourth start at the Honda Classic and his first since withdrawing with back spasms in 2014.

    • Shot a Sunday 62 in a T-2 finish in 2012, marking his lowest career final-round score on the PGA Tour.

    • Coming off a missed cut at last week's Genesis Open, his 17th in his Tour career.


    Rickie Fowler

    • The defending champion owns the lowest score to par and has recorded the most birdies and eagles in this event since 2012.

    • Fowler's last start was at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he failed to close a 54-hole lead. Fowler is 1-for-6 with 54-hole leads in his Tour career, with his only successful close coming at last year's Honda.

    • On Tour this year, Fowler is first in scrambling from the fringe, second in total scrambling and third in strokes gained around the green. 


    Rory McIlroy

    • It's been feast or famine for McIlroy at the Honda. He won in 2012, withdrew with a toothache in 2013, finished T-2 in 2014 and missed the cut in 2015 and 2016.

    • McIlroy ascended to world No. 1 with his victory at PGA National in 2012, becoming the second youngest player at 22 years old to top the OWGR, behind only Woods. McIlroy was later edged by a slightly younger 22-year-old Jordan Spieth.

    • Since the beginning of 2010, only Dustin Johnson (15) has more PGA Tour victories than McIlroy (13). 

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    Lexi, J. Korda part of four-way tie in Thailand

    By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 1:01 pm

    CHONBURI, Thailand – Three-time tour winner Minjee Lee of Australia finished with a superb eagle putt to be among the four leaders after Day 1 of the LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club on Thursday.

    Lee sank a 45-foot putt on the 18th hole to card a 6-under-par 66 to tie for the lead with 2016 champion Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, and local hope Moriya Jutanugarn.

    ''I just hit the collar. I didn't know if I was going to have enough. Such a big break there. I'm glad it caught the hole,'' Lee said.

    ''It's a second-shot golf course. Your approaches are really important, and obviously being in the right spots with the undulation. And if you have a hot putter that's going to help.''


    Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand


    Lee won the Vic Open near Melbourne this month and opened her 2018 LPGA tour account last week at the Women's Australian Open, finishing fifth.

    Thompson, who won this event in 2016 by six shots with a 20-under total and tied for fourth last year, started her latest round in style with an eagle followed by a birdie only to bogey the third hole. She carded four more birdies.

    ''It definitely helps to get that kind of start, but I was just trying to keep that momentum and not get ahead of myself,'' Thompson said.

    Her compatriot Korda had a roller-coaster round which featured eagles on the first and 17th holes, five birdies, a double bogey on the sixth, and two bogeys.

    Jutanugarn was the only player among the four to end the day without a bogey.

    ''I had a good start today, it was better than I expected,'' said Jutanugarn, who was seventh here last year.

    She's trying to become the first Thai winner of the tournament.

    Two-time champion Amy Yang and world No. 2 Sung Hyun Park were among six players at 5 under.