Dont Look Back Jack Tiger Wins No 13

By Associated PressAugust 12, 2007, 4:00 pm
PGA ChampionshipTULSA, Okla. -- A season of first-time major winners ended with a familiar champion -- Tiger Woods, who seems to win them all.
 
Challenged only briefly Sunday along the back nine of steamy Southern Hills, Woods captured the PGA Championship to win at least one major for the third straight season and run his career total to 13 as he moves closer to the standard set by Jack Nicklaus.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods has now won the PGA Championship four times. (Getty Images)
Woods closed with a 1-under 69 for a two-shot victory over Woody Austin, a gritty journeyman whose consolation prize was earning a spot on the U.S. team for the Presidents Cup.
 
Ernie Els also made a brief run at Woods, but the ending was all too familiar.
 
The only thing different about this title was how it ended. Woods became the first major champion in seven tries to make a par on the 72nd hole at Southern Hills. And it was his first major as a father, walking into the scoring room with wife Elin holding their 2-month-old daughter, Sam Alexis.
 
Naturally, the kid was dressed in red.
 
'That's a feeling I've never experienced before,' Woods said. 'To have her here, it brings chills to me. I was surprised she was out here, to see her and Elin there. It's just so cool.'
 
Woods, who has never lost a tournament when leading by more than one going into the last round, stretched his three-shot lead to five with back-to-back birdies that appeared to siphon all the drama out of the final major of the year. Austin made a surprising charge, however, and Woods three-putted for bogey on the 14th that dropped his lead to one.
 
That was as close as it got.
 
Woods hit two perfect shots on the 15th and holed a 10-footer for birdie, pointing to the cup after it fell.
 
'Winning becomes almost a habit,' Els said after his 66. 'Look at Tiger.'
 
Woods, who finished at 8-under 272, now has more majors than the rest of the top 10 in the world combined. At age 31, he is well ahead of the pace Nicklaus set when he won his record 18 professional majors. Nicklaus was 35 when he won his 13th.
 
Austin closed with a 67 and earned plenty of crowd support as the working class hero.
 
Austin, a 43-year-old former bank teller playing in only his 15th major, had a 12-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole that would have tied him for the lead, but it slid by on the left. He never seriously threatened birdie the rest of the way in closing with a 67.
 
The highlight was a 60-foot chip-in for birdie on the 12th, with Austin tugging on his ear to get the crowd to pump it up.
 
'I was trying to get them to go crazy for someone else, so he'd know there's someone else out here,' Austin said. 'There's no roar like his. It was nice to hear the loudest one I've ever heard for me.'
 
But it wasn't enough.
 
After his three-putt bogey on the 14th, Woods hit every fairway and every green the rest of the way. Woods' final stroke was a 3-foot par on the 18th hole, and he took his time. In the last major at Southern Hills, Retief Goosen three-putted from 12 feet that forced him to win the U.S. Open the following day in a playoff.
 
Woods removed the ball from the cup and stuck it in his pocket, then removed his cap and thrust both arms in the air as sweat poured down his face from a fourth straight day with temperatures topping 100.
 
He won for the fifth time this year -- no one else has won more than twice -- and for the second straight week, coming off an eight-shot victory in the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone.
 
Stephen Ames, who played in the final group with Woods, made bogey on the first two holes and wound up with a 76.
 
Arron Oberholser settled down after a bogey-bogey start for a 69 that gave him a tie for fourth at 1-under 279 and secured a spot in the Masters next year. John Senden shot 71 and also finished at 279.
 
Els said if had been watching from home, he would have bet the house on Woods winning his 13th major. Inside the ropes, the Big Easy played as though he had an ace up his sleeve. Birdies on two of the first five holes at least got his name on the leaderboard, and Els kept plugging away with another birdie on the eighth that briefly drew him to within two shots.
 
Woods was two groups behind, and after a sluggish start, he began to separate himself from his challengers. He followed a 5-foot birdie on the seventh with a 25-foot birdie putt from just off the green at the par-5 eighth. Woods backpedaled as the ball drew near the hole, then slammed his fist in celebration.
 
But his knee buckled slightly on the slope, and he appeared to wince. His walk was steady down the ninth fairway, but that five-shot lead was anything but that.
 
Els continued to gamble, waiting for the 10th green to clear and belting driver on the 366-yard dogleg to just left of the green, leaving him a simple up-and-down for birdie. And even though he missed a 6-foot birdie on the 11th and took bogey on the 12th with an approach into the back bunker, the South African didn't back down.
 
He two-putted for birdie on the 13th, then hit his tee shot on the 14th about 4 feet behind the hole for another birdie to reach 6 under, only two shots behind. And when Woods three-putted the 14th, the lead was a single shot.
 
'I felt like, you know, I got myself into this mess, now I've got to go earn my way out of it,' Woods said. 'I did some serious yelling at myself going to the 15th tee.'
 
The bigger threat turned out to be Austin.
 
Wearing the same shirt he had on when he closed with a 62 to win in Memphis, he ran off three straight birdies starting at No. 11, the most unlikely coming at No. 12 when he chipped in from the front of the green to a back pin.
 
The cheers died in the final hour and the outcome was inevitable.
 
Until proven otherwise, Woods simply doesn't lose when he has the lead going into the final round. He took control of this tournament with his record-tying 63 in the second round, and became the fifth player to shoot 63 in a major and go on to win.
 
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  • If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

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    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''