Notes Injured Hand Big Heart for Cayeux

By Associated PressAugust 18, 2005, 4:00 pm
AKRON, Ohio -- Marc Cayeux wanted to play all 18 holes Thursday at the NEC Invitational, although he fully expected to quit midway through the round whenever his injured left hand began bleeding.
It turned into a dream day at Firestone.
The 27-year-old golfer from Zimbabwe overcame nerves at the start, an embarrassing moment on his 16th hole and a painful wound on the spot he grips the club to post a 1-over 71.
Marc Cayeux
Despite a serious injury to one of his hands, Marc Cayeux was able to play all 18 holes with playing partner Tiger Woods on Thursday.
Cayeux not only played with Tiger Woods, he had the world's No. 1 player as a caddie.
He finished his round by nearly chipping in from behind the ninth green. Woods walked over and tended the flag as Cayeux tapped in.
``If you had said I would be 3 or 4 over par, I would have taken it,'' Cayeux said.
Woods sounded more impressed with Cayeux's round than his own 66 that gave him a share of the lead.
``Incredible. Absolutely incredible,'' Woods said. ``The fact that he went out there and played, and grinded it out like he did was absolutely fantastic. It was fun to watch. He had a hard time hanging onto the club, but he gutted it out.''
Cayeux, who qualified by winning the Vodacom Tour Championship on the South African tour, burned his hand last week lighting a barbecue grill and played with an open wound the size of a nickel.
He wore a glove that baseball catchers typically have under their mitts, with extra padding at the base of the fingers, and his bandage was changed after he had played four holes.
And then there was the nerves playing with Woods.
Cayeux watched the world's No. 1 player rip his opening tee shot 305 yards down the middle of the 10th fairway. He could barely contain a grin, then turned to his caddie and whispered.
``That was an eye-opener,'' he said. ``The main thing is not to try to imitate him.''
Cayeux saved himself with par-saving putts on eight of nine holes, and a sand wedge into 6 feet for birdie on his 10th hole. He seemed to settle down, but had a jarring moment on the par-3 seventh.
When he went to mark his ball on the green, he noticed the words ``PRACTICE'' written on the side.
A ball from the driving range somehow wound up in his bag. Cayeux summoned Woods and Niclas Fasth, then a rules official. Because it was the same ball he had been playing, there was no penalty.
He pulled out a regular ball on the next tee, marked it with two yellow dots, then turned to Woods with a smile and said, ``This one is not a practice ball,'' as both players broke down in laughter.
Cayeux's score left him in a tie for 23rd in the 72-man field.
Graeme McDowell injured muscles around his spine when he was in a car accident last month, and he nearly withdrew from the PGA Championship last week.
He tried to play again at the NEC Invitational, and lasted 13 holes before he pulled out.
``I'm certainly on the road to recovery, but I'm just not quite on top of my body right now,'' McDowell said. I just need a rest, and it needs a bit of work.''
McDowell still gets last-place money of $30,000 that counts toward the European tour money list.
Vijay Singh looked uncomfortable at times Thursday, for good reason.
``Just a little stiff in the lower back, but nothing that a good night's rest won't sort out,'' Singh said through a PGA Tour media official. ``I've been stiff for a whole week, but it's getting better.''
Singh's knee was sore at the Canadian Open last year, and he went on to beat Mike Weir in a playoff.
The Fijian, angered by stories about him last week at the PGA Championship, declined to meet with the media after his round and spoke only to ESPN.
Davis Love III is trying to put last week behind him, but it wasn't easy. He shot 74 in the final round of the PGA Championship to finish two shots behind Phil Mickelson, missing birdie chances on the last four holes.
``What frustrates me about the whole thing is I never hit the 18th fairway,'' Love said of the 554-yard par 5, the easiest hole at Baltusrol. ``That's what kills me. You've got the easiest hole on the golf course, and I put it in the bunker every day.''
Thomas Bjorn finished one shot behind Mickelson when his 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole rimmed out of the cup, leaving the Dane temporarily stunned.
But he got over it quickly.
``I take a lot of positives from that, but I also realize that we've got to go on from there,'' Bjorn said after a 70. ``Last week is over with and it didn't turn out the way we wanted, but it turned out in a good way. So we'll go from here and try and win some golf tournaments.''
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    Pepperell among co-leaders early in Qatar

    By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 5:06 pm

    DOHA, Qatar – Eddie PepperellGregory Havret, and Aaron Rai made the most of calm early morning conditions at Doha Golf Club to set the pace in the opening round of the Qatar Masters at 7-under-par 65 on Thursday.

    Havret went bogey free, Pepperell made one bogey and eight birdies, while fellow English golfer Rai eagled his last hole to add to five birdies.

    One shot behind the leaders were four players, including former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari of Italy and former champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain.

    Defending champion Jeunghun Wang of South Korea started with a 68, and Race to Dubai leader Shubhankar Sharma of India shot 69 despite a double bogey on the 15th hole.

    Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

    Pepperell, who is fast gaining a reputation on the European Tour for his irreverent tweets and meaningful blogs, showed his clubs can also do an equal amount of talking after missing cuts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Malaysia.

    Pepperell birdied Nos. 10, 11, 14, 16 and 18 with a single blemish on 13 after starting on the back nine. He made three more birdies on his back nine.

    He was joined on top of the leaderboard by Havret, who made five birdies in six holes from the sixth, and Rai, who eagled the last.

    ''I surprised myself, really,'' said Pepperell, who finished third in Portugal and Netherlands last year.

    ''I've made some changes this week with personnel, so I've been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it.

    ''I hit some quality tee shots, that's the area I feel that I've been struggling with a bit lately. We had a good time.

    ''It's definitely a bigger picture for me this week than tomorrow and indeed the weekend. I'm not overly-fussed about my early season form.”

    Molinari, a three-time champion on the tour including last year in Morocco, started with eight straight pars, and then made seven birdies in his last 10 holes, including a chip-in for birdie on the last.

    ''I hit every green apart from the last one. I hit a lot of fairways, I had a lot of chances for birdie,'' said Edoardo, the older brother of Francesco.

    ''Last week in Oman, I had a decent week, I had a bad first round and then three very good rounds. It's been the case for the last few weeks so my focus this week was to try and get a good start.''

    Oliver Fisher of England was the best among the afternoon groups with a 6-under 66, joining Molinari, Quiros and Germany's Marcel Schneider in a tie for fourth.

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    Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

    By Tiger TrackerFebruary 22, 2018, 4:45 pm

    Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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    Honda Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 22, 2018, 2:15 pm

    The PGA Tour heads back east to kick off the Florida Swing at PGA National. Here are the key stats and information for the Honda Classic. Click here for full-field tee times.

    How to watch:

    Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream:

    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream:

    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream:; CBS, 3-6PM ET

    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream:; CBS, 3-6PM ET

    Purse: $6.6 million ($1,188,000 to the winner)

    Course: PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (par-70; 7,140 yards)

    Defending champion: Rickie Fowler (-12) won by four, picking off his fourth PGA Tour victory.

    Notables in the field:

    Tiger Woods

    • Making his fourth start at the Honda Classic and his first since withdrawing with back spasms in 2014.

    • Shot a Sunday 62 in a T-2 finish in 2012, marking his lowest career final-round score on the PGA Tour.

    • Coming off a missed cut at last week's Genesis Open, his 17th in his Tour career.

    Rickie Fowler

    • The defending champion owns the lowest score to par and has recorded the most birdies and eagles in this event since 2012.

    • Fowler's last start was at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he failed to close a 54-hole lead. Fowler is 1-for-6 with 54-hole leads in his Tour career, with his only successful close coming at last year's Honda.

    • On Tour this year, Fowler is first in scrambling from the fringe, second in total scrambling and third in strokes gained around the green. 

    Rory McIlroy

    • It's been feast or famine for McIlroy at the Honda. He won in 2012, withdrew with a toothache in 2013, finished T-2 in 2014 and missed the cut in 2015 and 2016.

    • McIlroy ascended to world No. 1 with his victory at PGA National in 2012, becoming the second youngest player at 22 years old to top the OWGR, behind only Woods. McIlroy was later edged by a slightly younger 22-year-old Jordan Spieth.

    • Since the beginning of 2010, only Dustin Johnson (15) has more PGA Tour victories than McIlroy (13). 

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    Lexi, J. Korda part of four-way tie in Thailand

    By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 1:01 pm

    CHONBURI, Thailand – Three-time tour winner Minjee Lee of Australia finished with a superb eagle putt to be among the four leaders after Day 1 of the LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club on Thursday.

    Lee sank a 45-foot putt on the 18th hole to card a 6-under-par 66 to tie for the lead with 2016 champion Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, and local hope Moriya Jutanugarn.

    ''I just hit the collar. I didn't know if I was going to have enough. Such a big break there. I'm glad it caught the hole,'' Lee said.

    ''It's a second-shot golf course. Your approaches are really important, and obviously being in the right spots with the undulation. And if you have a hot putter that's going to help.''

    Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand

    Lee won the Vic Open near Melbourne this month and opened her 2018 LPGA tour account last week at the Women's Australian Open, finishing fifth.

    Thompson, who won this event in 2016 by six shots with a 20-under total and tied for fourth last year, started her latest round in style with an eagle followed by a birdie only to bogey the third hole. She carded four more birdies.

    ''It definitely helps to get that kind of start, but I was just trying to keep that momentum and not get ahead of myself,'' Thompson said.

    Her compatriot Korda had a roller-coaster round which featured eagles on the first and 17th holes, five birdies, a double bogey on the sixth, and two bogeys.

    Jutanugarn was the only player among the four to end the day without a bogey.

    ''I had a good start today, it was better than I expected,'' said Jutanugarn, who was seventh here last year.

    She's trying to become the first Thai winner of the tournament.

    Two-time champion Amy Yang and world No. 2 Sung Hyun Park were among six players at 5 under.