Tiger happy with play not happy with finish

By Associated PressMarch 15, 2009, 4:00 pm
2007 WGC CA ChampionshipDORAL, Fla. ' Tiger Woods 72nd and final tee shot in the CA Championship drifted way right, struck a tree and bounced perfectly into the center of the fairway.
 
It might have been the only break of his week.
 
Woods shot a final round of 4-under 68 on Sunday, a bogey-free performance that wasnt nearly enough to win the CA Championship. He ranked below the midpoint of the field in putting, and still found a way to tie for ninth at 11-under 277.
 
Im happy with the way I played, Woods said. I didnt say the way I finished.
 
Woods has never finished outside the top 10 at Doral, a place where hes won three times. He came into the week saying he was ready to win again, even though it was his first stroke-play tournament since last summers U.S. Open.
 
But his putting was a bit off all week; by Woods count, at least 18 putts either lipped out or just barely missed in the first three rounds. It was the only real sign of rust following his eight-month layoff after knee surgery last year, and he came into Doral having gotten only two rounds in late last month at the Accenture Match Play Championship.
 
He needed only 26 putts Sunday, three fewer than his average over the first three rounds.
 
The good news is, I got better each and every day, Woods said. My ball-striking, my feel, got better each and every day.
 
Woods will likely play Bay Hill in two weeks, which would probably be his final start before the Masters next month.
 
Ive been away so long, I figured it would take me a lot longer to get back, Woods said. But you know, this week was a big week for me.
 

 
CLOTHES MAKE THE MAN: Maybe his clothes got in the way.
 
Henrik Stensons week to remember ended with a round to forget.
 
Stenson, the Swede who stripped down to his boxers in a memorable scene to play an errant shot from mucky water in Thursdays opening round, shot an 11-over 83 on Sunday, falling to 10 over for the week.
 
It was the worst score at Doral since 2002, when Brad Elder shot 83 in the third round.
 
Stenson birdied the first hole Sunday, and then went on a freefall. He made only one more birdie the rest of the day, after hitting his approach to 4 feet at the par-4 16th.
 
Everything else on his card was a mess.
 
Stenson made triple bogey at the par-4 14th, double bogey at the par-4 sixth, and eight other bogeys on the day, including one at the last. He hit only three of 14 fairways in the final round.
 
The last time a pro was worse at Doral was 1994, when Greg Towne shot 87 in the opening round, on the same day that Brian Kamm and Scott Ford. That was also the year Johnny Miller shot 83 in both the first and second rounds.
 
Such a big number is really rare at Doral: Over the last decade, the pros have failed to break 80, on average, once every 194 rounds.
 

 
AIKENS DAY: Thomas Aiken was planning to fly 3,800 miles from Miami to Madeira for this weeks European tour stop.
 
He might change that itinerary.
 
The South African ' who has struggled just to keep his European card in the past ' shot a final-round 65 on Sunday and finished tied for seventh. He earned $192,500, which means he should retain his card with ease.
 
And with that, hes already hoping to see his globetrotting schedule calm down a bit.
 
Its definitely a life-changing thing, said Aiken, who had the days best score. I dont think its quite hit me yet.
 
Aiken played on the Nationwide Tour in 2007, then survived the European tours Q-School. He kept some status by finishing 131st on the Order of Merit last year, making the equivalent of $207,175.
 
Already this year, hes at $282,750.
 
It takes a lot of weight off your shoulders, Aiken said.
 

 
SIXTYSOMETHINGS: Going back to 1970, only 10 players had shot four straight rounds in the 60s at Doral without winning.
 
Its now happened to Jim Furyk twice.
 
Furyk shot 31 on the back side Sunday, capping off a round of 5-under 67 that got him into third place behind Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney at the CA Championship ' but left him just short of winning at Doral for the second time.
 
I gave it a good run, Furyk said.
 
Furyk also had four rounds in the 60s at Doral in 2003, the year he lost to Scott Hoch in a Monday playoff.
 
Front nine was frustrating, couldnt get it going, Furyk said. Back nine was the exact opposite.
 
Furyks rounds were 68-68-69-67 this week. It was the third time hes posted four sub-70 rounds at Doral; he also did it on his way to winning in 2000.
 
The only other player in the field without a 70something on his card this week was Mickelson, who became the fourth Doral winner in the last four decades to manage the feat. Tiger Woods did it in 2006, Furyk in 2000 and Greg Norman in 1996.
 
Watney shot 70 Sunday, his worst round of the week by three shots and keeping him out of the four-in-the-60s club at Doral. Camilo Villegas was in the 60s in each of the first three rounds, before shooting 71 on Sunday. Justin Leonard also had a chance at breaking 70 four times, but also shot 71 in his final round.
 
Mickelson, Vijay Singh and David Toms all shot in the 60s all four days in 2005, when Tiger Woods rallied in the final round to beat Mickelson by one.
 
The others to do it were Scott Verplank (2000), Russ Cochran (2000), Mark McCumber (1993), Paul Azinger (1993), Sandy Lyle (1993) and Fred Couples (1992).
 

 
GEORGIA ON HIS MIND: Davis Love III will go to Bay Hill in two weeks, essentially with a spot in the Masters for his taking.
 
Love finished tied for 28th at Doral. He thought about playing this week at the Transitions Championship near Tampa, decided to take the week off instead to go turkey hunting, and will return at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
 
Love came into the week at No. 50 in the world rankings; if hes in the top 50 on that list after Bay Hill, hell head back to Augusta, where his streak of 70 straight major appearances ended last year.
 
If he falls from the top 50 after Bay Hill, Love will play in Houston the following week ' needing nothing less than a win to reach the Masters.
 

 
HERE AND THERE: Pat Perez shot 1-over 73 on Sunday, but rolled in a 70-footer at the last hole for birdie and took some deep, theatrical bows, to the delight of the packed grandstand. Billy Mayfair didnt have a round under par all week, finishing 10 over. Ian Poulter said hes been playing with a cyst on his right wrist, but had it treated this week and hopes to avoid surgery.
 

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  • 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.