Four Lesser Names Vs the Biggest Name

By Associated PressApril 12, 2008, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The four names ahead of Tiger Woods going into Sundays final round belong to guys who could have spent the last few years in golfs version of a witness-protection program. Steve Flesch, to pick one, is so little known that when he walked into the interview room at the Masters a day earlier, he was introduced as Steve Fresh.
 
Fresh, though, is a lot better than some of the mispronunciations Brandt Snedeker has endured. At a tournament site not too long ago, the second-year pro sheepishly let on that hed been called, among other things, Snotlicker. Neither third-round leader Trevor Immelman, whos at 11 under, nor Paul Casey, whos the bottom slice of the sandwich at 7 under, had similar tales to tell. But give them time.
 
Those who still remember Zach Johnson coming out of nowhere'actually, it was Iowa'to hold off Woods at Augusta National last year have to be wondering what the odds are of it happening again. Casey has no problem acknowledging hes one of them.
 
Asked about the intimidation factor of being pursued by the greatest golfer of not just this era but perhaps every other, the Englishman said, I dont think its a case of guys quaking in their boots. Its just they are not as good as he is.
 
Though all of them were Woods equal on Saturday, give or take a shot, one round does not a career make. The four have a combined total of six PGA Tour wins, 11 European Tour wins and zero majors. Tiger has four Masters titles among his 13 major wins, 64 on the PGA Tour and 34 in Europe.
 
Who is that guy in fifth place? Snedeker said. Oh, Tiger Woods, yeah, that guy. (Laughter).
 
Yeah, Im sure hes going to be a factor. His name is going to be on the leaderboard somewhere tomorrow. Its going to be there on the back nine. You have to realize that Trevor and all of us in front of him, if we go out there and play a good round of golf; hes going to have to play an extremely great round of golf to beat us.
 
I know Tiger is going to go out there and shoot 4- or 5-under tomorrow, knowing him, the way he plays. And as good as hes playing right now, he played a hell of a round today, and that does not bode well for us if we think were going to be able to shoot 1- or 2-under and win this golf tournament.
 
Flesch didnt start thinking of himself as prey until he arrived at the final green and waited for a rules official to sort out where Phil Mickelson, his playing partner, would drop his ball after bouncing an approach shot off the TV tower.
 
I figure, you know, what the heck, Im on 18, I have some time, I might as well look, Flesch said.
 
You cant get too caught up in it out here, but theres that Woods guy, and everybody is always looking. I was looking because I was curious like everyone else, what did Tiger shoot today? I was just trying to keep my attention off the 4-footer I had for birdie to be honest with you.
 
If somebody had a Coke and a pizza, Flesch added, I might have had a slice of that, too.
 
A slice was what Woods hit off the 18th tee for the second straight day, and while his scrambling in round three was not quite as eventful as Friday, he still had to squeeze his approach between the boughs of a few pine trees to get home and salvage a par.
 
Not very big, is how Woods described his escape route. Probably, I dont know, four feet across, something like that.
 
He signed for a 68, his best round at Augusta National since he won back in 2005. It still left him six shots behind Immelman, whose 69 could have been at least two shots higher if not for a few fortuitous blades of grass on the bank fronting the pond on No. 15. He hit a sand wedge on his third shot at the par-5, then watched with some trepidation as it spun back off the putting surface and down the steepest part of that bank toward the drink.
 
I just hit it so flush with so much spin and it came out on too low of a trajectory. You know, once it came back, I knew there was a chance it was going to go in the water. I must say, the South African said, I couldnt quite believe it when it stayed up.
 
Speaking of unbelievable, every one of the four delivered a set piece to the effect that all they had to do was worry about playing their own game, and how playing in the final round of a major was something they practiced for, dreamed about and couldnt wait to wake up and face.
 
But then reality intervened in the form of a question, not unlike the cold snap and 25-to-35 mph gusts of wind expected to rake Augusta National come Sunday.
 
In reality, someone asked Snedeker, how difficult is it to get the name Tiger Woods out of your head for tomorrow?
 
When I figure out how to do that, he replied, I think Ill be able to charge some guys out here and get them to pay me. If he gets off to a great start tomorrow its going to be in everybodys head. And thats something, as long as we acknowledge it and know it and try to counteract it and realize, hey, he is not going to be a factor in the next golf shot that I hit, youve got a chance of overcoming it.
 
But to sit here and say we are not going to be thinking about Tiger Woods tomorrow is crazy because we are, Snedeker said, just like everybody else in this room is and just like everybody else in this world is.
 
Were human, he said. What can we say?
 
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    Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

    Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

    The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


    2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


    And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

    Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

    Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

    Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


    Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

    Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

    Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


    Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

    Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

    Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


    Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

    Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


    Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

    Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


    Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

    Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


    Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

    Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


    The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


    Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


    And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

    Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


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    Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

    Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.