Notes Slimmer Tiger still on road to recovery

By Associated PressAugust 3, 2008, 4:00 pm
WGC-Bridgestone - 125wAKRON, Ohio ' PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem saw Tiger Woods for the first time since his season-ending surgery, and reported Sunday that the No. 1-ranked golfer was his usual self, except for being about 10 pounds lighter and walking with a slight limp.
 
He lost 12 or 13 pounds after surgery, gained a few back, Finchem said. He looks kind of thin.
 
Woods and Finchem were at Congressional Country Club to speak with the members about the club hosting the AT&T National for six years after the 2012 U.S. Open. Results of the vote are not expected until later this month.
 
And did the commissioner tell Woods how much he missed him?
 
No, I said we missed him ' the collective enterprise, Finchem said with a grin. You guys, tournaments, sponsors, the fans in Venezuela who watch us on TV. Everybody misses him.
 
Finchem said he had no indication when Woods might return, but little doubt how he will return.
 
The doctors set a minimum of six months, so thats what Im assuming, Finchem said. And he seems fine. He seems his usual self. He was limping a little bit at Congressional, but he said he started his rehab and he was excited about that because he had been bored to death.
 
In my mind, its only a question of when he starts coming back. And theres no doubt in my mind hell be the same Tiger hes been, Finchem added.
 
APPLYING SPIN
 
Despite bogeying three of the final four holes to turn a one-shot lead into a withering two-stroke defeat, Phil Mickelson forced a smile and repeatedly said how well he thought he played in his final-round 70 at the Bridgestone.
 
In his first two statements about his round, he described six good shots in the final five holes, and said he hit three great shots at No. 14 and played the 16th hole great.
 
Asked if he could take any positives out of his late slide, Mickelson said, I played great, I really played well. I played great today. I felt like I should have shot 63 or 64, had countless birdie opportunities from 6 to 15 feet and then I make three bogeys on the last four holes and turn a 64 into a 70.
 
So I feel like Im playing well, I just need to get that final piece of scoring down.
 
RYDER CUP UPDATE
 
Steve Stricker fell out of contention with a 75 in the third round of the Bridgestone Invitational and then closed with a 70 to tie for 43rd ' but he actually made up ground in the Ryder Cup race for Americans.
 
Stricker is still No. 8 in the standings ' the top eight are automatic selections ' and only 24 points behind Boo Weekley in the rankings, which end next week with the PGA Championship.
 
There was some jumbling right behind them, although Woody Austin remained in ninth place about 180 points back. That translates to roughly $90,000 in earnings he must make at Oakland Hills.
 
As for the reshuffling?
 
Hunter Mahan birdied his last two holes for a 68 to tie for 10th in Akron, moving up one spot to No. 10 in the rankings. D.J. Trahan tied for eighth at Firestone and moved up one spot to No. 11. Rocco Mediate tied for 52nd and fell two positions to No. 12. They are followed by Sean OHair and Zach Johnson (who switched spots at Nos. 13 and 14) and Brandt Snedeker.
 
STRAIGHT MAN
 
Peter Lonard should be able to afford that ticket back across the pond.
 
The Aussie joked earlier this week that he had to win to afford the airfare to Germany to see a musician friend play a concert.
 
Lonard followed rounds of 69, 66 and 72 with a closing 66 to finish at 7-under 273 at the Bridgestone, good for a tie for sixth with Darren Clarke. Lonard had tied for fourth a year ago in Akron.
 
Asked the secret to his recent success, he cracked: Maybe I hit it straighter than I used to. Maybe Im smarter. I dont know, its definitely not smarter.
 
DATE CHANGE
 
The 2009 Bridgestone will be a week later on the calendar, Aug. 6-9. It will still precede the PGA Championship, which will be Aug. 13-16 at Hazeltine.
 
HES BAA-AACK
 
Josh Stuber, the crunchy-cream pie chef who became a golf celebrity for a weekend, is back working at Firestone Country Club.
 
Stuber was on the loading dock putting pies in a cart during the third round of the 2006 Bridgestone Invitational when Tiger Woods overshot the ninth green. The ball clicked off the cement sidewalk and then caromed all the way up and over the roof of Firestones clubhouse.
 
The ball clanged around on the roof before sliding off and nearly hitting Stuber in the head. He thought someone was making fun of him, throwing a ball his way. After looking around, he picked up the ball and stuffed it into his pocket. Then he hopped in a golf cart and left the course, hoping to cash his weekly paycheck.
 
Back on the course, tour officials, security people, police and almost everyone else started an in-depth search for the ball. A review of a tape taken from a clubhouse security camera showed a man with a white chefs hat picking up a ball. Someone identified that man as Stuber.
 
By the time he returned to the course, Woods had taken a free drop, made a bogey to complete a 6-under 64 and took a one-shot lead. He won the next day in a playoff.
 
Woods later signed the ball for Stuber ' To Josh. Nice catch, Tiger Woods.
 
Stuber later left his job at the course and worked at a Chinese restaurant but recently returned to the cooking staff at Firestone.
 
Thankfully, no shots came even remotely close to him on Sunday.
 
DIVOTS
 
A year after only one person (winner Tiger Woods) finished under par, there were 26 subpar scores. The victory was Vijay Singhs 20th since turning 40, extending his own PGA TOUR record (Sam Snead is second with 17). It was the fourth time that Singh won a tournament the week before a major championship. Singh also became the oldest player ' by more than 7 years ' to win a World Golf Championship event. Paul Caseys 65 was the low round of the day.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard
  • Full Coverage
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

    A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

    In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

    “I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

    Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    “I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

    Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

    “We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

    How does she feel?

    “I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

    Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

    New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

    Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

    She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

    “I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

    Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a 6-under-par 66, she is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

    Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

    Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

    “Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

    Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

    “I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”

    You Oughta Know: LPGA's Sunday scenarios

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:17 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – The CME Group Tour Championship is loaded with pressure-packed subplots Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club.

    Here’s what You Oughta Know about the prizes at stake:

    Race to the CME Globe

    Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park are 1-2 in CME Globe points. They are best positioned Sunday to take home the $1 million jackpot in the season-long competition.

    Thompson and Park are tied for fifth in the tournament, one shot off the lead. If either of them wins, she will take home the jackpot.

    The way it’s unfolding Thompson is a good bet to take home the jackpot by merely finishing ahead of Park, unless they both stumble badly on Sunday.

    Ariya Jutanugarn is also one shot off the lead. She must win to take home the jackpot, but she would also need Thompson to finish ninth or worse and Park to finish eighth or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points to make a bold Sunday charge.

    Stacy Lewis is one shot off the lead with a longshot chance at the jackpot. She must win the tournament while Thompson finishes 26th or worse, Park finishes 12th or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points makes a bold Sunday charge.

    So Yeon Ryu and Shanshan Feng are among others who still have a shot at the $1 million prize, but they have fallen back in the pack and need bold Sunday charges to take home the jackpot.

    Rolex Player of the Year

    The Rolex Player of the Year Award remains a four-player race.

    Ryu (162), Feng (159), Park (157) and Thompson (147) all have a chance to win the award.

    Park and Thompson are best positioned to make Sunday moves to overtake Ryu.

    Park needs to finish sixth or better to win the award outright; Thompson needs to win the tournament to win the award.

    It’s simple math.

    The top 10 in the tournament will be awarded points.

    1st - 30 points

    2nd – 12 points

    3rd – 9 points

    4th – 7 points

    5th – 6 points

    6th – 5 points

    7rd – 4 points

    8th – 3 points

    9th – 2 points

    10th – 1 point

    Vare Trophy

    Thompson took a 69.147 scoring average to Naples. Park needs to finish nine shots ahead of Thompson to have a shot at the trophy.

    Money-winning title

    Park leads the tour in money winnings with $2,262,472. Ryu is the only player who can pass her Sunday, and Ryu must win the tournament to do so. Ryu is tied for 32nd, five shots off the lead. If Ryu wins the tournament, she also needs Park to finish worse than solo second.

    Rolex world No. 1 ranking

    World No. 1 Feng, No. 2 Park and No. 3 Ryu are separated by just three hundredths of a point.

    Because they are so close, the scenarios for overtaking Feng are head spinning.

    At No. 4, Thompson is a full average ranking point behind Feng, but she could become the sixth different player this season to move to No. 1. Thompson, however, has to win Sunday to have a chance to do so, and then it will depend on what Feng, Park and Ryu do. Again, the scenarios are complex.

    Cook leads RSM Classic by three at Sea Island

    By Associated PressNovember 19, 2017, 12:28 am

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to increase his lead to three strokes in the RSM Classic.

    Cook, a shot ahead after a second-round 62, had five birdies and a bogey - his first of the week - to reach 18-under 194 with a round left at Sea Island Golf Club's Seaside Course.

    ''Putting is key right now,'' Cook said. ''Been able to make a lot of clutch putts for the pars to save no bogeys. Hitting the ball pretty much where we're looking and giving ourselves good opportunities on every hole.''

    Former University of Georgia player Chris Kirk was second after a 64.

    ''I'm really comfortable here,'' Kirk said. ''I love Sea Island. I lived here for 6 1/2 years, so I played the golf course a lot, SEC Championships and come down here for the RSM Classic. My family and I, we come down here a few other times a year as well.''

    Brian Gay was another stroke back at 14 under after a 69.

    ''I love the course,'' Gay said. ''We keep getting different wind directions so it's keeping us on our toes. Supposed to be another completely different wind direction tomorrow, so we're getting a new course every day.''


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    J.J. Spaun had a 62 to get to 13 under.

    ''I just kind of played stress-free golf out there and kept the golf ball in front of me,'' Spaun said. ''I had a lot of looks and scrambled pretty well, even though it was only a handful of times, but pretty overall pleased with how I played today.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour.

    ''I think with an extra year on the Web this past year, I really grew mentally and with my game, just kind of more confidence,'' Cook said. ''I was able to put myself in contention on the Web.com more this year than I have in the past. I think I've just, you know, learned from experiences on the Web to help me grow out here.''

    He planned to keep it simple Saturday night.

    ''I've got my parents here and my in-laws are both here as well as my wife,'' Cook said. ''Go home and just have a good home-cooked meal and just kind of enjoy the time and embrace the moment.''

    Kirk won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2015 at Colonial.

    ''It's nice to be back in contention again,'' Kirk said. ''It's been a little while for me. But I felt great out there today, I felt really comfortable, and so hopefully it will be the same way tomorrow and I'll keep my foot on the pedal and stay aggressive, try to make some birdies.''