Pettersson wins Wyndham Championship

By Associated PressAugust 17, 2008, 4:00 pm
Wydham ChampionshipGREENSBORO, N.C. ' Carl Pettersson was one imperfect hole from leading the full final two rounds of the Wyndham Championship. It was that brief slip-up that propelled the Swede to victory in his adopted hometown.
 
Pettersson won his local tournament for his first PGA TOUR victory in two years, shooting a 2-under 68 on Sunday for a two-stroke victory at Sedgefield Country Club.
 
Irked by a bogey on the 11th hole that temporarily dropped him into second place, Pettersson responded with three birdies during the four-hole stretch that followed to finish at 21-under 259 and earn $918,000.
 
Not getting it up and down on 11 kind of (ticked) me off, Pettersson said. I kind of told myself, Im letting the tournament get away from me again. That was where the tournament was won for me.
 
Scott McCarron briefly led midway through the final round before fading into second with a 68. Rich Beems second straight 63 left him four strokes off the lead, with J.J. Henry (62) and rookie Martin Laird (63) another shot behind him.
 
But there was never any question that the last day of the PGA TOUR's final pre-playoff event was anything but a two-man showdown.
 
Pettersson made his move immediately after slipping out of the lead for the first time since Friday, when his tournament-record 61 in Round 2 shot him up the leaderboard. He began the back nine with consecutive bogeys, falling one stroke back to 19 under when he missed an 8-foot par putt on the 11th.
 
I kind of felt like I let the tournament slip away on 10 and 11, Pettersson said.
 
McCarron gave the stroke back on the 12th, missing a 13-foot birdie putt and lipping out a 4-foot par attempt during just his second bogey, then saying afterward that I thought I kind of let it go on that hole.
 
I told myself on the next tee box, I got my momentum. Ive got to put the pressure on Scott and hit a great tee shot. Ive got a chance to really put the hammer down,' Pettersson said. And I managed to do it.
 
Pettersson birdied the 13th for a one-stroke lead, then went back up by two shots with a birdie on the par-5 15th ' the easiest hole on the course for everyone but him, after two bogeys and a par on it. This time it was McCarrons turn for trouble; he sent his second shot into the sand, recovered and lipped out an 8-foot birdie putt.
 
That hole has not been very good to me, Pettersson said. Finally feel like you got one back on that hole.
 
McCarrons bogey on the 17th all but locked up Petterssons first victory since the 2006 Memorial. Among those joining in the celebration were N.C. State coach Richard Sykes and former Wolfpack teammate Tim Clark, who tied for sixth.
 
Pettersson is a Swede who moved to Greensboro as a teen, played at North Carolina State, lives a 90-minute drive away in Raleigh and serves on the tournaments board.
 
It will be a great satisfaction just to think about, you know, pulled it off and did it and its a wonderful feeling, Pettersson said. Doesnt happen that often in golf unless youre Tiger Woods.
 
McCarron ' who had used two early birdies to erase the two-stroke lead that Pettersson brought into the round ' was denied his fourth career victory and first since 2001. It was the second top-10 finish of the year for the PGA TOUR veteran who sat out the 2007 season after having surgery to repair a tendon in his right elbow.
 
Second place is obviously tough to swallow right now, but Ill probably be pretty happy here when I realize Ive got a job for the rest of the year, McCarron said.
 
Beem and Henry both finished strong and propelled themselves off the FedExCup bubble and into the playoffs, which begin later this week at The Barclays.
 
I knew I had to play my butt off just to make it up there, Beem said. I didnt want to have four weeks off, you know, and Im glad at least I got into the first one.
 
Beem had birdies on four of his last six holes, jumping 52 spots to 114th, while Henry, who birdied four of his final five holes, moved up 42 spots to 135th. Laird, who shared the first-day lead with Bob Heintz before falling off the pace, wound up jumping 36 spots to 128th.
 
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    Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

    By Tiger TrackerFebruary 23, 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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    J. Korda fires flawless 62, leads by 4 in Thailand

    By Associated PressFebruary 23, 2018, 12:48 pm

    CHONBURI, Thailand – Jessica Korda shot a course-record 62 at the Honda LPGA Thailand on Friday to lead by four strokes after the second round.

    Playing her first tournament since having jaw surgery, Korda made eight birdies and finished with an eagle to move to 16 under par at the halfway point, a 36-hole record for the event.

    ''That was a pretty good round, pretty special,'' she said. ''Just had a lot of fun doing it.''


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    Korda is the daughter of former tennis player Petr Korda. She leads from another American, Brittany Lincicome, who carded a 65 to go 12 under at the Siam Country Club Pattaya Old Course.

    Minjee Lee of Australia is third and a shot behind Linicome on 11 under after a 67. Lexi Thompson, the 2016 champion, is fourth and another shot behind Lee.

    Korda is making her season debut in Thailand after the surgery and is playing with 27 screws holding her jaw in place.

    She seized the outright lead with a birdie on No. 15, the third of four straight birdies she made on the back nine. Her eagle on the last meant she finished with a 29 on the back nine, putting her in prime position for a first tour win since 2015.

    ''The best part is I have had no headache for 11 weeks. So that's the biggest win for me,'' she said. ''Honestly I was just trying to get on the green, get myself a chance. I birdied four in a row and holed a long one (on 18). I wasn't expecting it at all. It was pretty cool.''

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    Simpson, Noren share Honda lead after challenging Rd. 1

    By Doug FergusonFebruary 23, 2018, 1:25 am

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Tiger Woods had what he called ''easily'' his best round hitting the ball, and he didn't even break par at the Honda Classic.

    Alex Noren and Webb Simpson shared the lead at 4-under 66 in steady wind on a penal PGA National golf course, and felt as though they had to work hard for it. Both dropped only one shot Thursday, which might have been as great an accomplishment as any of their birdies.

    ''When you stand on certain tee boxes or certain approach shots, you remember that, 'Man, this is one of the hardest courses we play all year, including majors,''' said Simpson, who is playing the Honda Classic for the first time in seven years.

    Only 20 players broke par, and just as many were at 76 or worse.

    Woods had only one big blunder - a double bogey on the par-5 third hole when he missed the green and missed a 3-foot putt - in an otherwise stress-free round. He had one other bogey against three birdies, and was rarely out of position. Even one of his two wild drives, when his ball landed behind two carts that were selling frozen lemonade and soft pretzels, he still had a good angle to the green.

    ''It was very positive today,'' Woods said. ''It was a tough day out there for all of us, and even par is a good score.''

    It was plenty tough for Adam Scott, who again stumbled his way through the closing stretch of holes that feature water, water and more water. Scott went into the water on the par-3 15th and made double bogey, and then hit into the water on the par-3 17th and made triple bogey. He shot 73.


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    Rory McIlroy was at even par deep into the back nine when he figured his last chance at birdie would be the par-5 18th. Once he got there, he figured his best chance at birdie was to hit 3-wood on or near the green. Instead, he came up a yard short and into the water, made double bogey and shot 72.

    Noren, who lost in a playoff at Torrey Pines last month, shot 31 on the front nine and finished with a 6-foot birdie on the ninth hole into a strong wind for his 66.

    The Swede is a nine-time winner on the European Tour who is No. 16 in the world, though he has yet to make a connection among American golf fans - outside of Stillwater, Oklahoma, from his college days at Oklahoma State - from not having fared well at big events. Noren spends time in South Florida during the winter, so he's getting used to this variety of putting surfaces.

    ''I came over here to try to play some more American-style courses, get firmer greens, more rough, and to improve my driving and improve my long game,'' Noren said. ''So it's been great.''

    PGA champion Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger and Morgan Hoffmann - who all live up the road in Jupiter - opened with a 67. There's not much of an advantage because hardly anyone plays PGA National the other 51 weeks of the year. It's a resort that gets plenty of traffic, and conditions aren't quite the same.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the South African who now lives primarily in West Palm Beach, also came out to PGA National a few weeks ago to get a feel for the course. He was just like everyone else that day - carts on paths only. Not everyone can hole a bunker shot on the final hole at No. 9 for a 67. Mackenzie Hughes of Canada shot his 67 with a bogey from a bunker on No. 9.

    Woods, in his third PGA Tour event since returning from a fourth back surgery, appears to be making progress.

    ''One bad hole,'' he said. ''That's the way it goes.''

    It came on the easiest hole on the course. Woods drove into a fairway bunker on the par-5 third, laid up and put his third shot in a bunker. He barely got it out to the collar, used the edge of his sand wedge to putt it down toward the hole and missed the 3-foot par putt.

    He answered with a birdie and made pars the rest of the way.

    ''I'm trying to get better, more efficient at what I'm doing,'' Woods said. ''And also I'm actually doing it under the gun, under the pressure of having to hit golf shots, and this golf course is not forgiving whatsoever. I was very happy with the way I hit it today.''

    Woods played with Patton Kizzire, who already has won twice on the PGA Tour season this year. Kizzire had never met Woods until Thursday, and he yanked his opening tee shot into a palmetto bush. No one could find it, so he had to return to the tee to play his third shot. Kizzire covered the 505 yards in three shots, an outstanding bogey considering the two-shot penalty.

    Later, he laughed about the moment.

    ''I was so nervous,'' Kizzire said. ''I said to Tiger, 'Why did you have to make me so nervous?'''

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    Players battle 'crusty' greens on Day 1 at Honda

    By Randall MellFebruary 22, 2018, 11:52 pm

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods called the greens “scratchy” on PGA National’s Champion Course.

    Rory McIlroy said there is “not a lot of grass on them.”

    Morgan Hoffmann said they are “pretty dicey in spots, like a lot of dirt.”

    The first round of the Honda Classic left players talking almost as much about the challenge of navigating the greens as they did the challenge of Florida’s blustery, winter winds.

    “They looked more like Sunday greens than Thursday,” McIlroy said. “They are pretty crusty. They are going to have a job keeping a couple of them alive.”

    The Champion Course always plays tough, ranking annually among the most challenging on the PGA Tour. With a very dry February, the course is firmer and faster than it typically plays.

    “Today was not easy,” Woods said. “It's going to get more difficult because these greens are not the best . . . Some of these putts are a bit bouncy . . . There's no root structure. You hit shots and you see this big puff of sand on the greens, so that shows you there's not a lot of root structure.”


    Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

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    Brad Nelson, PGA National’s director of agronomy, said the Champion Course’s TifEagle Bermuda greens are 18 years old, and they are dealing with some contamination, in spots, of other strains of grasses.

    “As it’s been so warm and dry, and as we are trying to get the greens so firm, those areas that are not a true Tifeagle variety anymore, they get unhappy,” Nelson said. “What I mean by unhappy is that they open up a little bit . . . It gives them the appearance of being a little bit thin in some areas.”

    Nelson said the greens are scheduled for re-grassing in the summer of 2019. He said the greens do have a “crusty” quality, but . . .

    “Our goal is to be really, really firm, and we feel like we are in a good place for where we want them to be going into the weekend,” he said.