A game that taught Tiger how to break par

By Associated PressJune 30, 2009, 4:00 pm
AT&T NationalBETHESDA, Md. ' Even when he was just learning to play golf, Tiger Woods never had any trouble breaking par. He owes that to his father making sure the bar was never set too high.
 
Earl Woods used to determine how many perfect shots his son needed to reach the green, then added two for the putts. As he got older and could hit the ball farther, par was reduced until it became regulation.
 
The biggest argument Tiger and I have ever been involved with was changing his par, Earl Woods said in a 2000 interview. I changed the par from 8 to 7 and he would complain, No, no, no. And then he would shoot sub-par. He never developed a comfort zone.
 
Woods recalled those days during his press conference Tuesday, especially when his father lowered par.
 
Say it was a par 4 and it took me four to get there, the first time I got there in three, par automatically went down, Woods said. Sometimes, he didnt know that I would lay up a couple times, not get the ball to the green, so I wouldnt have to drop par. And then he started catching on and hed drop par anyway. It was his way of being creative enough where it taught me never to be afraid to go low.
 
If I had a hot day, run with it.
 
Strangely, though, Woods doesnt prefer to play tournaments where he has to shoot 65 just to keep in contention.
 
Woods career-best is a 61, and he has won 28 times on the PGA Tour when his score was 270 or lower. He goes into the AT&T National having finished at par or better at every tournament over the last two years.
 
GOYDOS ON THE GO: Paul Goydos tied for second last week at the Travelers Championship, which came with a big check and a small consolation. He moved into position to qualify for the British Open on a special, cumulative money list.
 
The British Open exempts the top two players (not already eligible) on a money list that includes The Players Championship, Memorial, St. Jude Classic, U.S. Open, Travelers Championship and this weeks AT&T National.
 
Goydos earned $528,000 at Hartford, putting his total on the special money list at $759,467. That puts him atop the list among players not already eligible, leading U.S. Open runner-up Ricky Barnes ($588,762), John Mallinger ($584,319) and Kevin Na ($584,150).
 
PRO-AM PLAN: Starting next year, not playing in the pro-am wont necessarily mean being disqualified from PGA Tour events.
 
Under a plan the policy board adopted Tuesday, some players might have the option of skipping the round of golf with amateur clients in exchange for attending a corporate function during the tournament, such as a dinner or cocktail party with top clients.
 
The idea originated from the Tour Championship two years ago, when the greens at East Lake were in such bad shape from the heat that the pro-am was canceled and players instead took part in a Q&A with amateurs at breakfast.
 
The sponsors loved it, Davis Love III said. Thats what got this thing going.
 
Love said the players ultimately would have the last word in case they need to participate in the pro-am to see the golf course. But he said it might help some players decide to play a tournament if they otherwise would miss because of family obligations.
 
Under the guidelines, anyone finishing in the top 30 on the money list of FedEx Cup standings could pick two tournaments where they can elect something other than the pro-am. Also, no more than three players per tournament could sign up for something other than the pro-am. Most of the arrangements would be decided a month in advance.
 
MAJOR STREAK: Phil Mickelsons wife, Amy, is to have surgery Wednesday to learn the scope of her breast cancer. Mickelson has already said it was unlikely he would play in the British Open during the early stages of her treatment.
 
If thats the case, it would end the longest active streak in the majors.
 
Mickelson has played 61 dating to the 1994 U.S. Open ' he missed the Masters that year after breaking his leg while skiing. Next line would be Vijay Singh, who now has played 60 consecutive majors.
 
No one from this generation is likely to match the major streak set by Jack Nicklaus, who played 146 in a row from the 1962 Masters through the 1998 U.S. Open.
 
ENEMY TERRITORY: Tiger Woods didnt have a full appreciation of his market at the AT&T National.
 
Its one thing for Woods to play with a celebrity in the pro-am, even an NFL quarterback. Its quite another when that quarterback is Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys, playing before fans who live for the Washington Redskins.
 
I didnt realize it was going to be this big a deal, Woods said.
 
It will be the second quarterback Woods has played with in a pro-am this year. He played with Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts at the Quail Hollow Championship.
 
The difference might be in crowd reaction.
 
Its going to be a fun round, but also an interesting one, Woods said. Granted, he used to getting booed, and it is what it is.
 
DIVOTS: The Barclays will be held at Ridgewood Country Club in 2010, then move to Plainfield Country Club in 2011. Rich Beems effort to raise money for Dallas Cowboys scouting assistant Rich Behm, injured when the teams practice facility collapsed, raised $10,321. It started out as Beem wanting only to auction the clubs he used at the two Dallas-area tournaments. Rhode Island Country Club will host the U.S. Womens Amateur in 2011, and The Country Club in Cleveland will host it a year later. Kenny Perry went over the $30 million mark in career earnings last week.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK: Fred Couples won his first PGA Tour event in 1983 at Congressional when it was called the Kemper Open.
 
FINAL WORD: Fans actually knew who I was for once. ' U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover on the support he received in Hartford.
 

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  • Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.