Immelman Enjoys Shot at Tiger

By Associated PressFebruary 27, 2004, 5:00 pm
CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Trevor Immelman plopped his bag onto the practice range about 40 feet away from Tiger Woods, paying no attention to the No. 1 player he faces in the second round of the Match Play Championship.
He respects Woods, but isn't intimidated by him.
Trevor ImmelmanHe sees their match Friday morning at La Costa Resort as an opportunity, not a crossroads.
'I don't think it's going to make or break my career,' Immelman said. 'I'm 24 years old, and hopefully I'm going to be around for a long time competing in big tournaments like this.'
It seemed as if everyone was going to be around La Costa forever on Thursday, when rain flooded the golf course and caused the second round to be postponed.
The World Golf Championship resumes Friday with two rounds of matches.
The only other time he played with Woods was at the American Express Championship last fall outside Atlanta, a stroke-play event in which Woods opened with a 67 and went on to win, while the young South African had a 70.
Still, Woods is no stranger.
Immelman works with Claude Harmon, the son of Butch Harmon, so Woods' name and swing has come up before.
'I've watched Tiger Woods' golf swing probably a million times, whether it be on TV or on video or on computer,' Immelman said. 'It's great for me to be able to there in the front row and watch it. I can appreciate all the work that he's put in and what he's achieved. But I'm not one of those guys who is just going to watch.
'That doesn't get into my head at all.'
Woods, who survived a scare from John Rollins to win 1-up with birdies on his last two holes, will be trying to tie the Accenture Match Play Championship record with his eighth consecutive victory.
The first six victories in that streak, of course, came last year by winning.
This one could be a struggle, for him and everyone else.
Fifteen of the first 32 matches went at least 18 holes, which Woods attributed to the greens being quick and bumpy, a combination that doesn't allow for a lot of putts going in the hole.
And one round into the five-day affair, nothing looks like a sure thing.
Vijay Singh played gritty Jerry Kelly. Robert Allenby faced fellow Australian Adam Scott. Stuart Appleby played Chris DiMarco, a rematch from Sunday singles at the Presidents Cup, where DiMarco prevailed.
Phil Mickelson plays British Open champion Ben Curtis, who is starting to feel good about his putting.
All of that was put on hold by overnight rains that left much of La Costa under water.
By the end of the day, there was plenty of blue skies and warm sunshine, but also lakes in the middle of the fairway and water that spilled over the banks of creeks and made the golf course unplayable.
'The main concern is the casual water in the fairway,' said Mike Shea, senior rules director for the PGA Tour.
The nearest point of relief appeared to be Palm Springs.
The golf course received 1 1/4 inches of rain Sunday night, and La Costa doesn't drain very well. Add the 1 3/4 inches of rain that fell overnight, and it was unplayable.
'We just couldn't play the game properly,' Shea said.
The forecast is considerably brighter, and Shea expected the tournament to be back on schedule by the end of play Friday.
Shaun Micheel was glad that officials didn't start the second-round matches without being certain they could finish.
'That would be such a momentum-killer,' Micheel said. 'And momentum plays a big role in match play.'
The only difference could be conditioning - by the players, not just the course.
Most of the 32 players remaining are in good enough shape to walk 36 holes in one day - especially since they're not carrying their own bags - but Micheel said it could become a mental test late Friday afternoon.
'I think you'll start to see some loose shots by the end of the day,' he said.
Woods worked for about an hour on the range and putting green, so the day wasn't a total waste.
It felt like one to David Toms.
He's coming off surgery to remove bone spurs from his left wrist, and this is only his second tournament of the year. He would prefer to play instead of practice, but he had no choice.
'I want to stay sharp. I needed to play golf today,' he said. 'I don't need to be out beating a bunch of balls.'
Related Links:
  • Scoring - WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.