Notes Furyk Injured Tigers Funky Hair

By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 PresidentGAINESVILLE, Va. -- At first, it looked like a romantic scene, perhaps from a picnic in a park. Jim Furyk lay in the shade on the grass, on his back with his knees up, while wife Tabitha kneeled over him and smiled.
Only this was the rough just off the No. 5 fairway during first day of the Presidents Cup on Thursday. Furyk was hurting -- muscle spasms on the right side of his ribcage -- and his wife was trying to comfort him.
Jim Furyk
Jim Furyk receives treatment on his back as wife Tabitha looks on.
Furyk called for a chiropractor, Tom LaFountain, who massaged Furyk's ribcage while playing partner Fred Funk putted at the fifth green. LaFountain gave Furyk several more massages throughout the round. At the ninth tee, Furyk lay face-first on the ground while LaFountain massaged some more. The spasms particularly gave Furyk trouble on his backswing, although he played a solid round in a match against Vijay Singh and Mark Hensby that ended in a tie.
``I'll be OK. I'll be ready to go tomorrow,'' said Furyk, who said the injury was an aggravation of something he felt at last week's 84 Lumber Classic. ``I'm in a little bit of pain. I probably need some rest for it to subside, and I don't think I'm going to get any this week.''
U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus was less optimistic. He called Furyk's status ``uncertain'' for Friday and put Furyk in the final grouping in Friday's fourballs to give his player extra time for therapy in the morning.
Furyk and Tiger Woods are scheduled to play Stuart Appleby and Mark Hensby. If Furyk can't play, Woods will play a singles match against either Appleby or Hensby, as chosen by International captain Gary Player. If Furyk withdraws during the match, Woods will finish 1-on-2 against both Appleby and Hensby.
``He'll either tell me he can start and play or he'll tell me he can't,'' Nicklaus said. ``I don't have an input in that. I think the spirit of the matches are that we want everybody to play.''
David Toms had no physical problems in his first competitive round of golf since his health scare last weekend.
As for his golf game, that's another matter. On Thursday, Toms and Stewart Cink were routed 6 and 5 by Mike Weir and Trevor Immelman in foursomes.
``I'm sure he's far more disappointed in his golf than he is his health,'' U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus said.
Toms was airlifted to a hospital during last week's 84 Lumber Classic and was diagnosed with a condition related to an abnormal heartbeat. He is taking medication and will have a procedure done next week.
``David said he's feeling fine,'' Nicklaus said. ``He hit the ball well, just didn't make any putts. He's quite ready to go. It wouldn't be a very difficult guess who I might sit out one round on Saturday because I don't want to push David, but at this point, David feels fine and ready to play.''
No wonder Tiger Woods didn't want to expose his hairdo.
The world got its first glimpse at Woods' new 'do Thursday when he had to wear a suit and tie for the opening ceremony of the Presidents Cup. Essentially, it looks as if someone took a paint brush and put huge light-blond splotches in Woods' hair.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods looked more like a leopard on Thursday.
Woods covered up the look when he donned a hat for the actual matches later in the day. Woods also refused to take off his hat for reporters after his practice round on Wednesday.
Asked to explain the new look, Woods said: ``Just having fun. Got to do it while I've still got it.''
Former Presidents Bush and Clinton, who have worked together to raise money after the tsunami and Katrina disasters, were paired again Thursday for the more leisurely duty of launching the sixth edition of the Presidents Cup.
``You can tell us apart,'' Clinton told the crowd during the opening ceremony, ``because he's the guy who jumps out of airplanes when he's 75 and 80, and I'm the guy that tore his leg up falling off a 9-inch step in Greg Norman's house.''
Clinton also praised the decision to call the 2003 Presidents Cup in South Africa a draw when darkness halted play after three playoff holes between Tiger Woods and Ernie Els.
``I love the way they ended that tournament two years ago,'' Clinton said. ``I kept thinking if they had been in office instead of me, we'd have peace in the Middle East.''
Emcee Stone Phillips got into the act by noting that both former presidents are avid golfers.
``President Bush has been known to play from the blue tees on occasion,'' Phillips said. ``And President Clinton has been known to venture into red state territory.''
Bush said the importance of the fund-raising efforts mean much more than any political differences between himself and Clinton.
``I'm a little tired of people saying 'You're the odd couple,''' Bush said.
When the U.S. team realized there was table tennis available at their accommodations this week, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods couldn't wait to pick up the paddles.
``Within 30 seconds, Phil and Tiger are playing pingpong -- real blood and guts,'' teammate Fred Funk said.
Funk doesn't know who won, but he used the story to illustrate the camaraderie among the Americans.
``We just hate reading that we're not a team of togetherness,'' Funk said, ``just because we get beat at the Ryder Cup.''
International team captain Gary Player put Michael Campbell in the wrong country during the opening ceremony.
Player spoke of the huge crowds that welcomed Campbell back to Australia -- instead of New Zealand -- after Campbell's U.S. Open victory this year. Player was quickly corrected.
``Guys, when you get to 70, you're allowed a mulligan,'' said Player, who turns 70 in November.
The five Presidents Cup rookies went 3-1-1 during the opening day foursomes Thursday. Angel Cabrera and Trevor Immelman were on winning pairs for the International team, and Scott Verplank helped gain a point for the Americans. Mark Hensby was involved in a tie match for the Internationals, while teammate Nick O'Hern was the only first-timer to lose.
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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

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    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.