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
    Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Getty Images

    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

    Getty Images

    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

    Getty Images

    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

    Getty Images

    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.