Tewell Takes Control of the Legends
Tewell used a 6-iron to sink his second shot from 173 yards on the par-4 opening hole. It was the highlight of a round of 6-under 66 that left him at 9-under 135 for the tournament.
One stroke behind was his playing partner, Stewart Ginn, who shot 67. Tom Jenkins shot the low round of the day, a 65 that left him tied with Hale Irwin, two strokes back at 137.
The shot of the day, of course, belonged to Tewell, who started the second round tied for eighth place. Moments earlier, he had been adjusting his setup on the driving range. Suddenly, he realized how well the move worked, making eagle to climb six spots on the leaderboard.
'I equate it to NASCAR,' Tewell said. 'The car ran well after I made the adjustment.'
This is the 25th year of the Legends of Golf, the tournament largely credited with spawning the senior tour.
For the second year, the course is being played on the King & Bear Course at World Golf Village, a layout designed by Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, neither of whom are among the 'legends' in this 57-player field.
Tewell, who won four events in 25 years on the PGA Tour, doesn't consider himself among the greats.
'I can't think of much Doug Tewell has done for the senior tour other than pluck about $4 million out of it,' he said.
The winner of the Legends will receive $306,000, the largest first-place prize on tour so far this season.
Irwin is going for his third victory of the young season. He came into Saturday one stroke off the lead, and finished at 7-under after a round of 70 that could have been better.
The tour's money leader underclubbed on the par-3 14th and hit into the water. His third shot failed to make it out of the rough and he made double bogey. He finished with two birdies to work his way back up the leaderboard.
Tewell's only bogey came on the par-5 18th, when he left his lay-up second shot at an awkward distance - 48 yards - and had to ease up on a wedge to get the ball over a high bunker, yet still stop on the green. He wound up in the bunker and needed two putts to get down.
'I probably should have just gone for it on the second shot,' Tewell said. 'Everything was straight As up to there.'
Ginn, meanwhile, made birdie on No. 18, and a three-stroke advantage was trimmed to one.
'It's a game now,' Ginn said. 'Now, we've just got to go out and play golf tomorrow.'
First-round leader Ed Dougherty, hampered by a cold, shot 73 and fell four strokes behind.
News, Notes and Numbers
*Bruce Lietzke teamed with Bill Rogers to run away with the two-man, best-ball format that most of the older players competed in Friday and Saturday. Players can only enter one event, and Lietzke, 50, chose to pair with his college roommate to vie for the $48,000 first prize instead of the six-figure winner's check in the main, medal-play event.
'It's not the first time I've passed up money,' Lietzke said. 'Golf isn't in my top 10 priorities, but friendships are.'
Full-field scores from the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf
Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic
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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Woods happy to help Furyk at Ryder Cup
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods didn't hesitate when Jim Furyk asked him to become a vice captain at the upcoming Ryder Cup.
Woods said Wednesday that Furyk asked he and Steve Stricker “a while ago” whether they were interested in being assistants in Paris as the Americans try to win a Ryder Cup on foreign soil for the first time in 25 years.
“He’s one of my best friends,” Woods said of Furyk, “and whatever he wants, whatever he needs, I’m there to help him. We’re worked well the last couple of years in the cups together.”
Though Woods has said that he wants to be a playing vice captain, he has been an assistant at each of the past two international team competitions.
Furyk, Woods and Stricker were all assistants at Hazeltine, where the U.S. won in a rout.
“Jim is very detailed, very smart, very analytical, and he’s just a fantastic leader,” Woods said. “For him to ask Stricks and I together, it will be special for both of us.”
Woods to hit '4 or 5' drivers each day at Honda
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Those hoping Tiger Woods will wield the driver early and often this week at PGA National likely will be disappointed.
Depending on wind direction, he said he will only hit “four or five” drivers each round.
During Wednesday’s pro-am, Woods hit driver on six holes. He found two fairways with the big stick and found the right rough four times, though a few of those misses were only a few yards off the fairway.
In two starts this year, Woods has struggled mightily with every club off the tee, but driver has been especially troublesome. He has found only 36 percent of the fairways so far (30 of 84).
The Champion Course here is a par 70, with water and bunkers often lining the fairways. Putting the ball in play off the tee will be at a premium, and so Woods opted for a low, penetrating 2-iron six times in the pro-am.
Woods said he did not make any equipment changes following the missed cut at Riviera.
TT postscript: One birdie in casual pro-am round
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Here are a few observations after watching Tiger Woods’ pro-am round Wednesday at the Honda Classic:
• As expected, the stress level was minimal at PGA National. He had a short warmup (considering it was still freakin’ dark when he was about to tee it up, at 6:45 a.m.) and generally took little time contemplating shots, except for a few clubs off the tee.
• Tiger spent a lot of time chipping, pitching and putting after completing a hole. No surprise there. He didn’t play a practice round Monday or Tuesday, and he hasn’t competed here since 2014. Gotta get in that work.
• He hit six drivers Wednesday. That’s probably one or two more than he will in competition, depending on wind direction. Two of those drives found the fairway. The other four were varying degrees off-line in the right rough, none more wild than his push slice on the difficult sixth hole that was probably 60 yards right. At least it was playable over there – water runs all the way down the left side.
• It’s not quite a stinger, but he hit more than a few 2-iron shots off the tee, with a sweet, little draw. That’ll play quite nicely here.
• We said it for a few rounds at Torrey Pines, and then again for one day at Riviera, but here goes: Woods appears to have taken the left side of the course out of play. Whether that remains true after playing under “game speed” this week, who knows?
• Woods made only one birdie, after getting up and down out of the greenside bunker on the par-5 third. His pro-am stat line, for those interested: 7 of 14 fairways, 12 greens and 31 putts and shot around 2 over. Again, he was not really trying.
• Best shot of the day? His fairway-bunker shot on the sixth hole (while playing his second ball). He skied a mid-iron from 187 yards to kick-in range. A little more of that, please.