Notes Tigers take on fast greens Leftys letdown

By Associated PressMay 2, 2009, 4:00 pm
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. ' Quail Hollow Club has made overtures about hosting a PGA Championship or Ryder Cup.
 
After dealing with treacherous, lightning-fast greens on Saturday, Tiger Woods almost thought he was playing in a major.
 
We were kind of joking out there today, theyre tying to audition for a major championship down the road, Woods said after shooting a 2-under 70 to remain in contention.
 
The only difference is theres no rough right now. You add rough, make it a par-70 and there you go.
 
The rough was cut from a normal 4 inches to 2 for this tournament, but the greens were made much faster. With no rain until Saturdays late-day thunderstorm ' which came after Woods had finished his round ' things only got quicker.
 
Man the greens were fast, Woods said. They were hard, fast and crusty. Any putt above the hole, you didnt have a good chance of making it because it was going to wobbling all over the place. You had to hit your irons well, hit it below the hole, to give yourself a putt at all.
 
Woods had 29 putts Saturday that included a three-putt on 17 in a bogey-bogey finish that dropped him from the lead.
 
But Woods, who won here in 2007, made clear he wasnt complaining about the major-like conditions.
 
Yeah, I kind of like major championships, he said.
 
LEFTYS LETDOWN: So much for another Tiger-Phil Sunday showdown.
 
After their electric pairing and surged up the leaderboard on the final day of the Masters, Woods and Phil Mickelson were poised for a similar finish at Quail Hollow heading into the weekend.
 
Mickelsons 3-over 75 on Saturday ended those thoughts.
 
Its disappointing to play that round, said Mickelson, who fell to 3-under. I was playing much better than that.
 
Mickelson played the first six holes at 2-over before consecutive birdies gave him confidence. Then his round came undone with double bogey at the par-5 10th.
 
Ten killed me, Mickelson said. I had 5-iron in there, and if I just missed it left of the pin I should make 4. Instead I hit it in the bunker and make 7. That was where the turning point was. I felt like I tripled a hole and just didnt get it going from there.
 
Mickelson closed with seven pars and a bogey for his worst round since he missed the cut at the Houston Open last month.
 
Well, Im not really in contention to win, Mickelson said. But Im going to try to get out (Sunday) and play a good round and carry a little bit of momentum for next week.
 
ADOPTED HOMETOWN: Brendon de Jonge put himself into a contention with 5-under 67 that brought smiles to the fans of his adopted hometown, far from the troubles of his native country.
 
After leaving Zimbabwe to attend Virginia Tech, de Jonge stayed in the United States, moving to Charlotte 3 1/2 years ago. He earned his PGA Tour card after spending last season on the Nationwide Tour.
 
He had a large following in a round that included had eight birdies and three bogeys to move to 8-under.
 
Several family members have joined de Jonge in the U.S., but his parents still live in the Africa country where political unrest has led to a nearly worthless currency, crippling poverty and critical shortages of food and basic goods.
 
I try to make a point to get back once a year, at worst once every two years, de Jonge said. The political situation is obviously deteriorating terribly with the hyperinflation and everything thats going on.
 
You know its just said because it was a great place to grow up. Its a wonderful lifestyle.
 
His parents still lead a decent life, de Jonge said, and they dont want to move.
 
LEES WEEKEND DEBUT: U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee is assured his first professional paycheck. Stumbling over the final two holes on Saturday may cost him money.
 
The 18-year-old New Zealander made his first cut in his second tournament after turning pro and was at 9-under on the 17th tee. But Lee hit his tee shot into the water for a double bogey on the par-3.
 
Lee then missed a 5-footer for par on 18 to finish with a 70. He sat at 6-under.
 
IN YOUR LAP: Now thats an unplayable lie.
 
Jason Dufners opening tee shot Saturday sailed left and into the crowd, landing in the lap of 18-year-old Miranda Cooper of nearby Shelby, N.C.
 
By the time Dufner reached the scene, all the fans had shuffled out of the immediate area except Cooper, who was still sitting in her folding chair, ball in her lap and her hands covering her face in embarrassment.
 
Youve got to play it where it lays, PGA Tour rules official Tony Wallin jokingly told Dufner.
 
Wallin then put a marker under Coopers chair. She got up and Dufner got to drop the ball in that spot without penalty. He reached the green, then three putted for bogey.
 
Dufner recovered to shoot 71 and was at 7-under.
 
DIVOTS: Anthony Kims hopes of defending his title were squashed with a 78 that included a 42 on the front nine. Y.E. Yang of South Korea, who won the Honda Classic earlier this year, bogeyed the first hole before recovering for a blistering 66, the best round of the day. He was at 7-under. After making his second cut in his first full season following knee surgery, Brad Faxon shot 80 to drop to 7-over. The thunderstorm delayed play for 1 hour, 12 minutes with only the final two groups still on the course.
 
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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."