Tiger Donald Share Lead at Medinah

By Associated PressAugust 19, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 PGA ChampionshipMEDINAH, Ill -- Tiger Woods atop the leaderboard was about the only thing that made Medinah look like a major.
 
The PGA Championship became a barrage of birdies on Saturday, turning the final major of the year into a wide-open affair until Woods fired off three straight of his own and suddenly made it look like an open-and-shut case.
 
He matched the course record with a 7-under 65, giving him a share of the lead with British-born Luke Donald, who lives in the Chicago area and got plenty of support on his way to a 66.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is poised for his second major of the year and 12th overall.
Donald might need more than that to stop Woods on Sunday.
 
Woods is 11-0 in the majors when he has at least a share of the 54-hole lead, and he got there with one last birdie on the par-3 17th. His 12-foot putt nearly spun out of the hole, and Woods pointed his finger at the cup as if telling his golf ball to behave.

He had a one-shot lead last month at the British Open and pulled away early for a two-shot victory. He was tied for the lead seven years ago at Medinah in the '99 PGA Championship and held off a 19-year-old Sergio Garcia.
 
'We know he's a good closer, so we're going to have to give it our best,' said Garcia, whose 67 left him four shots behind.
 
Woods soared into the lead with a string of splendid shots, starting with a 3-iron from 250 yards over Lake Kadijah to 6 feet on the par-3 13th. Then came a bunker shot to 2 feet on the par-5 14th, and a 9-iron from a sand-filled divot to 3 feet on the 15th.
 
All that went wrong was a three-putt bogey on the next hole, ending his streak of 50 holes at par or better.
 
'In most major championships, you make pars and sprinkle in a couple of birdies here and there and you're looking pretty good,' Woods said. 'Today you would have just been run over, which is different.'
 
He and Donald were at 14-under 202, tying the 54-hole record in relation to par at this major. David Toms was at 14-under 196 through three rounds when he won the PGA in Atlanta five years ago.
 
Ten players were tied for the lead at one point.
 
Woods came along and it looked like it might be a one-man show until Donald hit his tee shot into 4 feet on the 17th to join him.
 
They still have plenty of company, and some of those faces are familiar.

Mike Weir, who shared the 54-hole lead with Woods in 1999 at Medinah, also shot 65 despite a bogey on the final hole. He was at 204.
 
One shot behind was U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, one of the few who was able to recover from a mistake. He took double bogey on the first hole, but scratched out a 68 to finish at 205. Garcia and former PGA champion Shaun Micheel (67) were another shot back.
 
'There's still a bunch of guys. Basically, 9 to 14 (under) all have a chance to win tomorrow,' Woods said.
 
But it all starts with Woods, going for his third straight victory and second straight major title against a fresh face. Donald won his second PGA Tour event in February at the Honda Classic, but has struggled in the Grand Slam events.
 
'It's going to be a little different. I haven't really contended in a major before,' said Donald, who stayed in Chicago after going to Northwestern, where he won the NCAA title in 1999. 'This will be a little bit different pressure.'
 
Woods will try to become the first player in the 90-year history of the PGA Championship to win twice on the same course, having captured the Wanamaker Trophy in 1999 by hanging on against Garcia.
 
This round was full throttle.
 
Woods and Donald watched the early round on television and saw plenty of birdies, knowing what they had to do.
 
'It looked like it could be had out there,' Woods said. 'I felt like I had to go get it.'
 
What might have been great rounds at other majors were just ordinary at soft, vulnerable Medinah.
 
Masters champion Phil Mickelson cured flaws in his swing and fired at the pins, leaving himself tap-in birdies that carried him into a brief share of the lead through nine holes. But his putter let him down, a flop shot on the 18th didn't reach the green and he had to settle for a 68, leaving him six shots behind.
 
'It will take a 7- or 8-under-par round to have a chance,' he said.
 
Weir still had a hard time believing he could shoot 65 in a major and pick up only one shot against the leaders. Even more unnerving is chasing Woods, although he's eager for another chance.
 
'I know everybody's expectations are that he's going to go out and win the championship, because he's done it so many times from the front,' Weir said. 'But there's always time to stop the streak, so hopefully, I can do it.'
 
The scoring was no surprise.
 
The air was thick with humidity and heavy clouds hung over Medinah after rain pounded the course overnight. Greens that already were soft and spongy became like Velcro and allowed players to take dead aim at the flag.
 
'The PGA of America can't control Mother Nature,' Weir said. 'What can you do? It is what it is. You've got to make some birdies.'
 
Did they ever. Medinah came alive with cheers that resounded from all corners, a far different atmosphere from the groans often heard at a U.S. Open. The pace was so hectic that 10 players were tied for the lead at one point.
 
But for all the birdies, perhaps the most important putt of the day was for par.
 
Woods started his round by spraying a 3-wood deep in the trees on the right, and his punch shot clipped branches before settling into thick rough well short of the green. All he could do was pound a wedge 35 feet by the hole.
 
After studying the line halfway between the ball and his hole, his par putt dropped on the final turn and Woods slammed his fist. He followed that with a tee shot that never left the flag as it sailed over Lake Kadijah and settled 7 feet away for birdie.
 
'I was off and running,' Woods said.
 
With so much drama, about the only aspect to this tournament that turned into a dud was the race for the Ryder Cup team.
 
Davis Love III was one shot out of the lead, needing eighth place at Medinah to earn a spot on his seventh straight team, and he sure proved himself early. With U.S. captain Tom Lehman watching from across the second green, Love holed a bunker shot for an early share of the lead. He holed another bunker shot for birdie at the fifth to reach 9 under.
 
But that was as good as it got. Love made too many bogeys, not nearly enough birdies, shot 73 and was in a tie for 18th.
 
Other Ryder Cup hopefuls also languished.
 
Stewart Cink shot 73 and Lucas Glover shot 77 to fall out of contention. Barring a big charge from Tim Herron on Sunday, there probably won't be a change in the standings, giving the American team four Ryder Cup rookies.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - PGA Championship
  • Full Coverage - PGA Championship
  • Full Coverage - 36th Ryder Cup Matches
  • Getty Images

    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

    Getty Images

    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

    Getty Images

    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

    Getty Images

    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.