Notes Tiger Sergio Ready for One Another

By Associated PressSeptember 20, 2006, 4:00 pm
36th Ryder Cup MatchesSTRAFFAN, Ireland -- Tiger Woods didn't say much, but the look in his eye and his short answer showed he was aware of Sergio Garcia's comments in Switzerland, and more than willing to play him.
Woods is 7-11-2 in the Ryder Cup, a performance Garcia duly noted three weeks ago during the European Masters.
'Fortunately for us, he doesn't have a great Ryder Cup record,' Garcia was quoted as saying. 'So I'm looking forward to hopefully going out there and meeting him two or three times.'
Garcia has played with Woods three times in the final group. Woods won all three, including the British Open at Royal Liverpool this summer.
'As far as the Sergio comments, hopefully we can get together out there and play,' Woods said.
Garcia denied making the comments but did not back down.
'I definitely don't mind playing him,' he said. 'I've played him before in the Ryder Cup, and I've been fortunate enough to do pretty well against him. I guess I've had some nice partners.'
Garcia is 2-1 against Woods at the Ryder Cup. He and Jesper Parnevik beat Woods and Tom Lehman in foursomes in 1999; Garcia and Lee Westwood beat Woods and Mark Calcavecchia in foursomes in 2002; and Woods and Davis Love III beat Garcia and Westwood in fourballs that same year.
The Irish must have wondered what all the fuss was about.
True, the wind was howling and the rain went horizontal as a storm moved into the area. That's not unusual in these parts. But it was enough for Ryder Cup officials to shut down The K Club for three hours Wednesday, giving them time to inspect the damage.
The course reopened at 9:45 a.m., after forcing fans to wait in parking lots that were miles away.
'We were worried about all of the structures and what we call 'loose impediments' that were around the site until we could conduct a full review in daylight,' Ryder Cup tournament director Richard Hills said.
Gusts were about 40 mph, and Hills said anything beyond that could have created dangerous situations for spectators. He was more worried about tables, chairs and umbrellas taking flight than any problems with grandstands or three-story corporate chalets.
The storm was from remnants of Hurricane Gordon, which steadily has weakened as it crossed the Atlantic. Ireland's state forecasting system says the weather will remain wet or storm on Thursday, with more rain Friday.
What will that do to the practice rounds?
'These are top professionals of Europe and America. They have played here before,' European Tour chief George O'Grady said. 'I don't think our forecast is so bad that we won't be able to play tomorrow, but we'll do everything we can to start on time Friday.'
The weather raised a couple of issues, however.
The opening ceremony is Thursday near the practice range, and that might have to be moved indoors. Officials also acknowledged a Monday finish is possible. Rules officials also are debating whether to play preferred lies, meaning players can clean mud off their golf balls and replace them in the fairway.
Captains Tom Lehman and Ian Woosnam will have to agree on that.
'We will resist the temptation of playing preferred lies as far as we possibly can,' O'Grady said. 'But if both captains wish to do it. ... I don't think it would demean the tournament.'
Paul McGinley of Ireland said he believes bad weather will favor the home team if it continues through the weekend.
'The Americans, I know they were cringing when the plane landed in Dublin airport and it was blowing an absolute gale and lashing rain,' McGinley said.
The U.S. team is usually known for its sense of fashion, if not its good play in recent Ryder Cups. But Woosnam might have done the Americans one better with his attention to detail on rain suits.
'I spent six months working on the rain suits, because I know what the weather can be like here,' Woosnam said. 'I've tried to get the very best out of the waterproofs.'
Woosnam's main duty this week is pairing players with different games, personalities and even languages, while somehow making it work.
He can draw on his own Ryder Cup playing days for some help.
Woosnam remembers being paired in 1993 with Bernhard Langer of Germany, who has a reputation for calculating everything down to the smallest detail.
Before the alternate shot match, Langer told Woosnam he could leave him 101 or 80 meters for any approach shot. During one match, he asked Woosie how long of a shot to leave into the green.
'Just hit it down there, it doesn't bother me. I'll just get on with it,' Woosnam said.
The pairing might have been apples and oranges, but it worked. Woosnam and Langer won, 7 and 5, in the opening match over Payne Stewart and Paul Azinger. Oddly enough, it was the only time the two were paired in foursomes.
Woosnam isn't totally up to speed on how this course might play into his hands.
A reporter asked him Wednesday about how The K Club works nicely if he chooses to pair a big hitter with a short hitter in foursomes. The par 5s are all even-numbered holes (Nos. 4, 10, 16 and 18), allowing the long hitter to hit the tee shot. The par 3s are even-numbered holes except for No. 3.
'I haven't thought of that,' Woosnam said as the room broke up in laughter. 'I think that's something we'll discuss; we're going to have a team meeting tonight and we're going to have a look at that. That's a good point, who is going to be comfortable hitting more often off the par 3s than the others.'
It's been quite a year for Brett Wetterich, the only player to go from Q-school to the Ryder Cup in one year. Along the way, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Oak Hills High School in Cincinnati.
That might have been the biggest surprise of all.
'I don't think my high school really liked me too much, and it was kind of weird when they called me and said they were going to induct me into their Hall of Fame,' he said.
And why didn't he get along with the school?
'I don't know if I should go into that one,' Wetterich said. 'I spent a lot of time in the principal's office, I should say.'
Other athletes who went to Oak Hills include Mark and Kim Rodenbaugh, who were part of the U.S. Olympic swimming team in 1984; former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Bill Wegman; and Pete Rose Jr.
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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.