Notes Woods Faldo Shake Hands

By Associated PressJuly 19, 2006, 4:00 pm
135th Open Championship HOYLAKE, England -- For those hoping to see a heavyweight fight on the first tee Thursday at the British Open, they'll have to settle for golf.
The tabloids have been buzzing all week about Tiger Woods and Nick Faldo playing together the first two rounds, fueled by Woods' comments Tuesday that he would be surprised if Faldo wanted to talk.
But there was talk and a handshake Wednesday afternoon on the practice range.
According to photographers who were across the street on the range, Faldo and Woods chatted briefly, then shook hands. Faldo later circled behind him and spoke with swing coach Hank Haney as Woods continued to hit balls.
The frosty relationship stems from Faldo making critical comments, which eventually made their way back to the Woods' camp, of a bad swing by Woods at the 2005 Buick Invitational.
One tabloid noted they had not spoken a word since that tournament. Then again, Woods and Faldo are so far removed from each other that they might not have seen each other in 18 months.
John Daly swapped his driver for a guitar, playing at the famous Cavern venue that helped start the Beatles on their rocket path to stardom.
Taking time off from his British Open preparations, the 1995 champion received warm applause for his rendition Tuesday night of 'Knocking on Heaven's Door' and 'Lost Soul,' a song he wrote himself.
'I was a little bit nervous considering all the great bands that have played here,' he said. 'But I know I am not that good, so it took the edge off. I'll be more nervous at Hoylake when the tournament starts.'
Daly will play Thursday with Colin Montgomerie and Stuart Appleby.
The late Mark McCormack, a pioneer in sports marketing whose handshake deal with Arnold Palmer led to the creation of IMG, was selected Wednesday for the World Golf Hall of Fame through the Lifetime Achievement category.
McCormack, who died in May 2003, will be inducted Oct. 30 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., along with Larry Nelson, Vijay Singh, Marilynn Smith and the late Henry Picard.
'Very few things could have pleased me more than to get word that Mark had been chosen for induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame,' said Palmer, who will introduce him at the ceremony.
After making the deal with Palmer, McCormack signed Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, giving him the 'Big Three' in golf.
He later formed a media division (TWI), which became the world's largest non-network producer of televised sports. Among tournaments created by IMG is the HSBC World Match Play Championship in England, and McCormack was behind the development of the Official World Golf Ranking, used by the four majors to determine their fields.
Brad Faxon got in another practice round Wednesday, but it might be his last at Royal Liverpool.
Asked how he was doing, Faxon winced and said, 'Depressed.'
He was sixth alternate when he flew from Rhode Island to Hoylake on Monday, hopeful that none of the players ahead of him on the list would show up and enough players would drop out for him to get a starting time Thursday.
Trevor Immelman withdrew Tuesday night because his wife gave birth to their first child (a boy they named Jacob), and the news went out soon enough for first alternate Andrew Buckle of Australia to catch a flight from St. Louis.
The second alternate is Jesper Parnevik, who lives in Florida. He was in his native Sweden on holiday, but when he heard he moved up to first alternate, he came to Royal Liverpool.
'I don't think Brad was too happy to see me,' Parnevik said.
Then again, the Swede wasn't all that thrilled when he stored his clubs in the locker room Wednesday afternoon.
'It's getting slimmer,' Parnevik said of someone else withdrawing.
His last hope might be Seve Ballesteros, who has not played the British Open since 2001 and has a history of saying he will play tournaments, only to withdraw before they start.
But the Spaniard is using his son as a caddie this week, and he did play in the French Open last month, badly missing the cut.
'It looks like he's keen on playing,' Parnevik said. 'I don't think he's played here before, and he wants to play.'
No one in the field has played Royal Liverpool, last used in the rotation in 1967.
If Parnevik does get in, at least he'll have his regular caddie.
Lance Ten Broeck was coming to Britain, anyway, because he will try to qualify for the Senior British Open on Monday.
Mark Calcavecchia wanted to beat the heat Wednesday, and he was on the steps of the clubhouse at Royal Liverpool shortly after 5 a.m., wife Brenda along as his caddie.
One problem.
'The door was locked, and we couldn't get the clubs,' Calcavecchia said.
They knocked on the door until an attendant came by, only to inform them that the course would not open until 7 a.m.
'That wasn't going to work,' Calcavecchia said.
He got his clubs, headed to the first tee and was done playing by 9 a.m.
Five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson believes too many modern players are too comfortable to develop a winning mentality, and he quoted Shakespeare to state his case.
The 75-year-old Australian, who won the title 50 years ago on the Royal Liverpool links for his third straight claret jug, says there is so much money in the game that players are happy to finish in the top 10.
'I think not too many people actually want to win desperately or have it in their makeup that they really squirm if they don't win,' he said on the eve of the 135th Open. 'I think a lot of people are content to be not the managing director but to be a general sales manager or something like that. The responsibility of the top is too much for most people.
'I think, as Henry IV said, 'Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown'. Not everybody wants the crown.'
Related Links:
  • Tee Times - 135th Open Championship
  • Course Tour - Royal Liverpool
  • Full Coverage - 135th Open Championship
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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.