Pettersson leads PGA; Woods, Singh in contention

By Associated PressAugust 10, 2012, 6:31 pm

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – Tiger Woods' uphill chip rolled gently toward the hole before stopping right on the edge of the cup.

After waiting a bit, he walked over, tapped the ball in with his wedge and walked away with a smile.

So close to a vintage Tiger highlight.

Woods led briefly at the PGA Championship in strong wind Friday before falling back behind Carl Pettersson during the second round. Woods putted beautifully across the Kiawah Island greens, making birdies at Nos. 2, 4 and 12. A bogey at the par-3 eighth was the only blemish on his front nine.

Through 12 holes, he was at 5-under par, a stroke behind Pettersson.

Woods is trying for his 15th major championship and first since 2008.

It was his putter that put him atop the leaderboard, albeit not for long. Woods made an 18-footer to save par on No. 3, and his birdie putt from about 40 feet on the following green dropped in as well.

Woods needed only nine putts through the first seven holes. He's also swinging pretty well. Woods' tee shot on the par-5 second carried so far it came to rest in an area where fans were walking across the fairway at the time. He reached the green in two and made a birdie.

On No. 9, his chip nearly dropped for a birdie. One hole later, his luck was a bit better when his 3-footer for par rolled all the way around the lip before falling in.

Pettersson, the first-round leader, started on the back nine Friday and made a couple early bogeys, but he rebounded. On No. 1, he flubbed his approach into the sand, but holed out from there for a birdie to go to 6 under.

Vijay Singh shot a 3-under 69 and was in third place at 4 under. In the morning, many players were just trying to survive with the wind whipping around the course. The 49-year-old Singh hasn't won on the PGA or European tours since 2008, but after finishing tied for ninth at last month's British Open, he figures to be in solid position heading into this weekend.

At one point, Singh, Phil Mickelson (71) and Michael Hoey (70) were the only players with completed second rounds under par.

''It's one of the tougher conditions I've ever played, and put this golf course in the middle of all that, it becomes even more brutal,'' Singh said. ''I would have taken 72 when I started off.''

The past 16 majors have been won by 16 different players.

Singh's last major title was the PGA Championship in 2004, and he's been solid so far this week. He began moving up the leaderboard Friday with birdies on three of the first seven holes.

''I just started believing that I can do it,'' Singh said. ''I was so negative for a long, long time. I had great sessions on the driving range and just couldn't take it on the golf course. I finally started to believe that I could do what I'm doing on the driving range.

''A little tweak to my golf swing during the British Open kind of helped, as well.''

After mostly calm conditions for the opening round, players returned to find flags blowing stiffly in the wind and some threatening clouds hanging low. It eventually began raining, but there were no delays early in the second round.

''You have to challenge and take on the crosswinds,'' Mickelson said. ''We had about a five- or 10-minute spurt there where the wind just started gusting 35 or so and it started raining.''

Despite the elements, Mickelson was hanging around at even par through 36 holes.

Alex Noren wasn't so fortunate. He started the day at 5 under, a shot out of the lead, before shooting 80. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano was also a shot behind Pettersson after one round. He bogeyed his first two holes Friday en route to a 78.

''It's playing tough in this wind, especially,'' Fernandez-Castano said. ''During the round, I was trying to set up little goals just to keep me motivated.''

Adam Scott shot a 75 to fall to 1 under, but he remains in contention after missing out on a British Open victory by bogeying his last four holes.

''I certainly feel like I've been received very well the last couple weeks since I've been back and it's great to have support,'' Scott said. ''I may have won a few more fans. Unfortunately it was from not winning the tournament, but maybe I can change that here over the weekend.''

Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.



Original story:

Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.



Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''


Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.