Notes Tiger Woods a late arrival Bad hair day

By Associated PressApril 6, 2009, 4:00 pm
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AUGUSTA, Ga. ' The fans lined up behind the wooden gates along the first fairway, waiting for 8 a.m. so they could go onto the course for the first practice round of the Masters. Thats usually the best time to see Tiger Woods.
 
But he wasnt on the first hole, or even the second hole.
 
Bubba Watson was among the first to go off, no doubt looking for Woods to join some elite company. By midmorning, photographers were on the prowl and fans began to murmur, Has anyone seen Tiger.
 
The four-time Masters champion took a detour from his infamous Dawn Patrol. Woods did not show up until about 4 p.m., wearing only sneakers as he putted and worked in the short-game area. He finally teed off at No. 10, but after finishing the 14th hole, made a detour to the 18th hole and called it a day.
 

 
BAD HAIR DAY: Rory McIlroy already is known as the teenager from Northern Ireland with the mop of brown hair.
 
That might change.
 
Its starting to annoy me a little bit. Its getting a little much, McIlroy said. I might get it cut whenever I come back from this little stint after Hilton Head. It wont be much. Ill just get it trimmed and see how it goes.
 
Someone asked if he would get it cut before winning a major.
 
Depends how fast I win a major, he replied.
 

 
ADVICE FOR A CHAMPION: Trevor Immelman has not won since he slipped on the green jacket last year. He has struggled to adjust to the recognition as a Masters champion and the additional demand on his time.
 
I wasnt used to that kind of a thing, he said.
 
Indeed, winning the Masters can be a life-changing moment, especially for a player who had never won a major. But his mentor, Gary Player, offered him a sage piece of advice when he ran into Immelman on Monday.
 
He himself said it was such a big change in his life, Player said. Yes, it is. I said to him today, And when you win a second time, or you win another major, it will change again. Its a process of change. The more majors you win, what a demand you will be in. But what a wonderful position to be in. Isnt that what we all want?
 
Player said Immelman needed time to get over the shock of celebrity, but thats to be expected.
 
Its a very big change, Player said. But a lovely change.
 

 
WRONG ATTENTION: Dustin Johnson found himself facing a small circle of TV cameras Monday, which might not be unusual considering he grew up a few hours away in South Carolina and is making his Masters debut.
 
Johnson, however, was in the news for other reasons.
 
He was arrested last week and charged with driving under the influence near his home in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
 
I know I made a mistake, Johnson said. The only thing I can do is learn from it.
 
Johnson said he did not know when he would next have to go to court, but he said Augusta National would have enough of his attention that he could concentrate on the Masters, and deal with his off-course issues later.
 
He said there have been no repercussions from his sponsors.
 
I have a good relationship with them, and theyve been supportive, he said. I know I let some people down.
 

 
LATE START: Anthony Kim decided to fly up to Augusta National last month to see the course before his Masters debut.
 
But he never got to the club.
 
I came the night after Doral, got in about 9 p.m. and woke up and it was raining, he said. So I just left that day.
 
He played in the Shell Houston Open last week, and didnt arrive until Monday.
 
It was so special, driving out there, even though we were stuck in traffic, Kim said. I was anticipating driving down Magnolia Lane, which we didnt get to do, but we went to the back (of the parking lot). It was very special to finally come up here and walk on the grounds.
 
But even that didnt last long. He only got in five holes of practice.
 

 
TRAVELING COACH: Kevin Sutherland is back in the Masters for the first time in six years, and so is his swing coach. Don Baucom loves coming to Augusta National, but its never easy.
 
Baucom is a teaching pro at Antelope Greens, an executive course in Sacramento, Calif. The Masters is in the northeast corner of Georgia. But theres just one problem.
 
I dont like to fly, Baucom said.
 
When he first came to Augusta National, the coach figured he would just take the train. It went from Sacramento to Chicago, and ran four hours late. From there, the train went to Washington, D.C., again arriving four hours late. He took the next train to South Carolina, then rented a car to drive to Augusta.
 
It was rough, Baucom said. I had private quarters in the train, but I kept getting thrown from my bed.
 
It was so bad that he had no choice but to fly home ' his first time on a plane. He made it safely, but only after being so nervous that the flight attendant asked him to help push the drink cart to keep him busy.
 
This time, Baucom decided to drive. It took him four days, a little longer than usual because of a sand storm on Interstate 40 that led to a five-hour delay. But that was a minor inconvenience.
 
My wife did a lot of driving, he said. I sleep great in the car.
 
Baucom goes to about three tournaments a year ' all on the West Coast.
 

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  • Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."