Notes Woods Wows Again at 14

By Associated PressJune 6, 2004, 4:00 pm
DUBLIN, Ohio -- No, it wasn't a videotape replay.
 
Tiger Woods once again pulled some magic out of his black Nike hat in the final round of the Memorial Tournament on Sunday when he made a miraculous par on the 14th hole - from almost the same spot as he did in 1999.
 
Five years ago, Woods holed a sand wedge from ankle-deep rough behind the green to hold off Vijay Singh and win the first of his three consecutive Memorial Tournament titles.
 
He made an almost identical shot Sunday, although he ended up in third place, six shots behind Ernie Els.
 
'It was close to it, wasn't it?' Woods said. 'I think that was a par as well. The only difference is I had the lead (in 1999).'
 
Woods trailed Els by four shots as he came to the 14th tee. But Woods mishit a 4-iron that went wild to the left and plopped in the middle of a small stream that meanders about 50 yards left away from the landing area.
 
After taking a drop, Woods hit his iron approach long and it bounced into the thick hay behind the narrow, par-4 green, under a spectator's camp stool.
 
The ball was almost covered by heavy, thick grass, but he was able to get a sand wedge under it with a powerful swing. The ball floated high into the air and landed softly on the green, gradually picking up speed as it headed down a slope toward the hole and - beyond that - the same stream. Instead the ball slammed into the pin and dropped out of sight.
 
A broad smile crossed Woods' face as he shook his head. He looked at his caddie, Steve Williams, and said, 'Wow!'
 
Television commentators called it one of the greatest pars ever - at least since the last time Woods did it on the same hole.
 
'How about that, huh?' Woods said with a laugh. 'That was another one of my greasy pars there.'
 
Top 10 List
Ben Curtis waited 11 months to finally finish in the top 10 of a PGA Tour event.
 
An unknown who stunned the golf world with his upset victory at the 2003 British Open, Curtis shot a closing even-par 72 to tie Retief Goosen and Jay Haas for eighth place at the Memorial. He had rounds of 68, 69 and 73 heading into the final round.
 
Curtis grew up about 20 minutes from Muirfield Village, the site of the Memorial, and often visited the tournament as a spectator when he was a kid.
 
He had struggled since winning at Royal St. George's last July, but thinks he now is close to turning things around as the U.S. Open approaches in two weeks at Shinnecock Hills.
 
'It's a little frustrating but I'm happy to finish with a good tournament,' Curtis said. 'Overall I'm quite happy. I still have things to work on. But my next tournament will be the U.S. Open and if play like I did this week I feel like I'll have a good chance.'
 
2005 Honorees
Betsy Rawls and Cary Middlecoff were announced Sunday as the 2005 honorees of the Memorial Tournament.
 
Each year the tournament selects players, living or dead, who have made lasting contributions to golf. This year's honorees were Lee Trevino and Joyce Weathered.
 
Rawls joined the LPGA Tour in 1951 and went on to win 55 tournaments - including eight major championships - before retiring in 1975.
 
Middlecoff, who died in 1998 at the age of 77, won 40 tournaments around the world including two U.S. Opens and a Masters.
 
They will be honored at ceremonies they day before the start of next year's Memorial.
 
Divots
Els joins Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson as the only players to win at both Muirfield Village and the course's namesake in Scotland, Muirfield. ... Els played the par-5 holes in 10 under for the tournament, and was 6 under on par-4s and 2 under on par 3s. ... Couples has now finished first, second, third and fourth at the Memorial. ... Defending champion Kenny Perry shot a 69, making four consecutive birdies at one point, to finish in a tie for sixth with Stephen Ames.
 
Related links:
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    Watch: Tiger's Saturday birdies at Honda

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 24, 2018, 9:20 pm

    Tiger Woods was in almost total control of his game for the majority of his third round Saturday at PGA National. And although he was once again bit by the Bear Trap, the 14-time major winner tapped in for birdie at the par-5 18th to post a round of 1-under 69 and fight his way back to even par for the week.

    Four back to start the day, Woods parred his first seven holes before pouring in his first birdie via this flagged iron from 139 at the par-4 eighth:

    Woods hit three more quality approaches at 9, 10 and 11 but couldn't get a putt to drop.

    The lid finally came off the hole at No. 12 when he holed a key 17-footer for par to keep his scorecard clean.

    One hole later, Woods added a second circle to that card, converting this 14-footer for a birdie-3 that moved him back into red figures at 1 under par for the week.

    Unfortunately, the Bear Trap would ensnare Tiger for the second day in a row. Woods, whose iron play had looked as crisp as it had in years, sailed approaches long and left at both the par-3 15th and par-3 17th, leading to bogeys which erased the two birdies he worked so hard to secure.

    But just like on Friday, Woods rallied back with a late birdie, this one at the home hole, to steal back a shot.

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    O. Fisher, Pepperell share lead at Qatar Masters

    By Associated PressFebruary 24, 2018, 5:13 pm

    DOHA, Qatar - Oliver Fisher birdied his last four holes in the Qatar Masters third round to share the lead at Doha Golf Club on Saturday.

    The 29-year-old Englishman shot a 7-under 65 for an overall 16-under 200. Eddie Pepperell (66) picked up shots on the 16th and 18th to catch his compatriot and the pair enjoy a two-shot lead over American Sean Crocker (67) in third.

    David Horsey (65) was the biggest mover of the day with the Englishman improving 31 places for a share of fourth place at 12 under with, among others, Frenchman Gregory Havret and Italian Andrea Pavan.

    Fisher, winner of the 2011 Czech Open, made some stunning putts on his way in. After an eight-footer on the par-4 15th, he then drove the green on the short par-4 16th for an easy birdie, before making a 12-footer on the 17th and a 15-footer on the 18th.

    Like Pepperell, Fisher also had just one bogey to show on his card, also on the 12th hole.


    Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters


    ''I gave myself some chances coming in and thankfully I made them,'' said Fisher, who has dropped to 369th in the world rankings.

    ''You can quite easily make a few bogeys without doing that much wrong here, so it's important to be patient and keep giving yourself chances.''

    Pepperell, ranked 154th in the world after a strong finish to his 2017 season, has been a picture of consistency in the tournament. He was once again rock-solid throughout the day, except one bad hole - the par-4 12th. His approach shot came up short and landed in the rocks, the third ricocheted back off the rocks, and he duffed his fourth shot to stay in the waste area.

    But just when a double bogey or worse looked imminent, Pepperell holed his fifth shot for what was a remarkable bogey. And he celebrated that escape with a 40-feet birdie putt on the 13th.

    ''I maybe lost a little feeling through the turn, but I bounced back nicely and I didn't let it bother me,'' said the 27-year-old Pepperell, who hit his third shot to within four feet on the par-5 18th to join Fisher on top.

    The long-hitting Crocker is playing on invites on the European Tour. He made a third eagle in three days - on the par-4 16th for the second successive round.

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    Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

    By Tiger TrackerFebruary 24, 2018, 4:45 pm

    Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.


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    Uihlein fires back at Jack in ongoing distance debate

    By Randall MellFebruary 24, 2018, 4:32 pm

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Wally Uihlein challenged Jack Nicklaus’ assault this week on the golf ball.

    Uihlein, an industry force as president and CEO of Titleist and FootJoy parent company Acushnet for almost 20 years, retired at year’s start but remains an adviser.

    In an interview with ScoreGolf on Friday, Uihlein reacted to Nicklaus’ assertions that the ball is responsible for contributing to a lot of the troubles the game faces today, from slow play and sagging participation to the soaring cost to play.

    Uihlein also took the USGA and The R&A to task.

    The ball became a topic when Nicklaus met with reporters Tuesday at the Honda Classic and was asked about slow play. Nicklaus said the ball was “the biggest culprit” of that.

    “It appears from the press conference that Mr. Nicklaus was blaming slow play on technology and the golf ball in particular,” Uihlein said. “I don’t think anyone in the world believes that the golf ball has contributed to the game’s pace of play issues.”

    Nicklaus told reporters that USGA executive director Mike Davis pledged over dinner with him to address the distance the golf ball is flying and the problems Nicklaus believes the distance explosion is creating in the game.

    “Mike Davis has not told us that he is close, and he has not asked us for help if and when he gets there,” Uihlein said.

    ScoreGolf pointed out that the Vancouver Protocol of 2011 was created after a closed-door meeting among the USGA, The R&A and equipment manufacturers, with the intent to make any proposed changes to equipment rules or testing procedures more transparent and to allow participation in the process.

    “There are no golf courses being closed due to the advent of evolving technology,” Uihlein said. “There is no talk from the PGA Tour and its players about technology making their commercial product less attractive. Quite the opposite, the PGA Tour revenues are at record levels. The PGA of America is not asking for a roll back of technology. The game’s everyday player is not advocating a roll back of technology.”

    ScoreGolf said Uihlein questioned why the USGA and The R&A choose courses that “supposedly” can no longer challenge the game’s best players as preferred venues for the U.S. Open, The Open and other high-profile events.

    “It seems to me at some point in time that the media should be asking about the conflict of interest between the ruling bodies while at the same time conducting major championships on venues that maybe both the athletes and the technology have outgrown,” he said. “Because it is the potential obsolescence of some of these championship venues which is really at the core of this discussion.”