Tiger Singh Share Lead in Charlotte

By Associated PressMay 4, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Wachovia ChampionshipCHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Tiger Woods hit his stride early with three birdies through five holes and a collection of par saves that kept his round going. Vijay Singh came to life late with an eagle-birdie flurry to rescue an otherwise shaky round.
 
It left them atop the leaderboard on a chilly Friday at the Wachovia Championship, setting up the possibility of a showdown so desperately missing at the majors, at a tournament that has all the trappings of a major.
 
Woods missed birdie putts of 3 feet and 6 feet, and he finally dropped a shot on the final hole by hitting into the pine trees left of ninth fairway and settled for a 4-under 68. Playing in the group behind, Singh played his final three holes in 3 under for a 71.
 
They were at 6-under 138 and tied for the lead among early starters at Quail Hollow, happy to be in the clubhouse as rain threatened.
 
'I've got to go fix a few things,' said Woods, who hit only five fairways and twice swatted his bag with the handle of his driver after watching tee shots sail into the trees. 'I'm very pleased with my score. I felt I pretty much have maximized my rounds.'
 
First-round leader Padraig Harrington took three quick bogeys at the start of his round and was spiraling down the leaderboard in the afternoon, while Jason Bohn, Carl Petterson and Ted Purdy took turns trying to join Woods and Singh at the top.
 
Ken Duke, the Nationwide Tour player of the year in 2006, had a second straight 70 and was at 140.
 
Phil Mickelson hit only one fairway on his front nine and traded birdies with bogeys on his way to a 71, which left him in the group at 141 along with Stewart Cink (71) and Anthony Kim (69). Jeff Maggert challenged for the lead until he found the water twice on the final two holes, taking double bogey on the 17th and bogey on the 18th. He shot 74 and was at 2-under 142.
 
In only its fifth year, the Wachovia Championship already is considered one of the premier stops on the PGA Tour because of the demanding test at Quail Hollow, which has tight, tree-lined fairways of a U.S. Open and severely sloped greens that cause players to aim away from some flags, as they would at the Masters.
 
Michael Jordan played Woods in the pro-am earlier this week, adding some sizzle to a steamy day. Now, the thought of Woods and Singh dueling on the weekend is equally enticing.
 
They haven't been in contention at the same tournament on the weekend since the Deutsche Bank Championship last September outside Boston, where Woods overcame a three-shot deficit with an 8-under 63 in the final round to win by two.
 
But they were only halfway through the tournament, and Woods hardly looked invincible.
 
Even with temperatures in the 50s, Woods stayed on the practice range with swing coach Hank Haney for nearly two hours, trying to sort out a swing that made him rely too much on the putter.
 
'Today was part of a pretty good balance,' Woods said. 'I missed a couple of short ones, but also got away with a couple of bad drives and made a pretty good up-and-down after a terrible iron shot. All in all, pretty balanced.'
 
He quickly moved up the leaderboard with a chip to 3 feet for birdie on the par-5 10th, a 20-foot putt on the 12th and a sand wedge into 8 feet on the short but tricky 14th.
 
What saved his round was par, none bigger than the par-5 15th. After getting stuck behind a bush and hitting out into the rough, Woods had 5-wood up the hill for his third shot and came up short. He pitched to 8 feet and escaped with par. He also made par on the 16th with a chip to a foot from short of the green, and on the 18th when he carved an iron around the trees to just short of the green.
 
The other big save came at No. 3, when Woods badly pulled an iron left of the green. He was some 50 feet away, but bumped a 7-iron up the slope and barely on the green, watching it roll to within 8 feet.
 
He was poised to extend his lead with a flop shot to 3 feet on the par-5 fifth, but missed badly to the left and had to make a 4-footer just to get his par. Three holes later, he hit sand wedge 6 feet below the hole and missed that one.
 
Woods was four shots clear of Singh walking toward the eighth green, but a loud cheer behind them indicated that would change. Singh hit 3-iron over the water to the par-5 seventh, catching the ridge just right so the ball rolled 3 feet from the cup for eagle. He followed that with a sand wedge to inside a foot for a birdie on the eighth.
 
That allowed him to overcome a miserable finish to his back nine, when he made bogey from the bunker on the 16th, again bailed out right on the par-3 17th and failed to save par, and three-putted from 10 feet for bogey on the 18th.
 
'I couldn't get the greens this morning,' Singh said. 'Maybe the temperature change must have done something to my hands. Finishing eagle-birdie, that was very comfortable.'
 
DIVOTS
John Daly made four double bogeys and a quadruple bogey on his way to an 87, his highest score on the PGA Tour since he shot 87 in the final round of the Bay Hill Invitational, when he had an 18 on one hole. It was the 50th time that Daly has shot 80 or higher on the PGA Tour. ... Woods' playing partners, Paul Stankowski and Craig Perks, finished at combined 26 over par.
 
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  • Park collapses; leaderboard chaos at CME

    By Nick MentaNovember 18, 2017, 8:47 pm

    Sung-Hyun Park started the day with a three-shot lead and slowly gave it all back over the course of a 3-over 75, leaving the CME Group Tour Championship and a host of season-long prizes up for grabs in Naples. Here’s where things stand through 54 holes at the LPGA finale, where Michelle Wie, Ariya Jutanugarn, Suzann Pettersen and Kim Kaufman share the lead.

    Leaderboard: Kaufman (-10), Wie (-10), Jutanugarn (-10), Pettersen (-10), Stacy Lewis (-9), Karine Icher (-9), Austin Ernst (-9), Lexi Thompson (-9), Jessica Korda (-9), Pernilla Lindberg (-9)

    What it means: It wasn’t the Saturday she wanted, but Park, who already wrapped up the Rookie of the Year Award, is still in position for the sweep of all sweeps. With a victory Sunday, she would claim the CME Group Tour Championship, the Race to CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, and the money title, as she ascends to No. 1 in the Rolex world ranking. Meanwhile, Thompson, too, could take the $1 million and Player of the Year. As those two battle for season-long prizes, a host of other notable names – Wie, Jutanugarn, Pettersen, Korda, Lewis and Charley Hull (-8) – will fight for the Tour Championship.

    Round of the day: Kaufman made four birdies on each side in a bogey-free 8 under-par 64. A lesser-known name on a stacked leaderboard, she seeks her first LPGA victory.

    Best of the rest: Amy Yang will start the final round two behind after a 7-under 65. The three-time LPGA Tour winner could pick up her second title of the season after taking the Honda LPGA Thailand in February.

    Biggest disappointment: On a day that featured plenty of low scores from plenty of big names, Lydia Ko dropped 11 spots down the leaderboard into a tie for 23rd with a Saturday 72. The former world No. 1 needed two birdies in her last five holes to fight her way back to even par. Winless this season, she’ll start Sunday four back, at 6 under.

    Shot of the day: I.K. Kim aced the par-3 12th from 171 yards when her ball landed on the front of the green and tracked all the way to the hole.

    Kim, oddly enough, signed her name to a scorecard that featured a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. It was all part of a 1-under 71.

    Watch: Pros try to hit 2-yard wide fairway in Dubai

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 18, 2017, 5:20 pm

    While in Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour prestented a little challenge to Ross Fisher, Richie Ramsay, Nicolas Colsaerts and Soren Kjeldsen. On a stretch of road outside of town, the four players had to try and hit a 2-yard wide fairway. Check out the results.

    Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

    By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the season-ending Tour Championship as he attempts to win a third straight title on the European Tour and a second career Race to Dubai crown.

    The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for a 7-under 65 Saturday and overall 15-under 201.

    The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

    Rose is looking to be Europe's season-ending No. 1 for the second time. His leading rival for the Race to Dubai title, Tommy Fleetwood, is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

    Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

    ''So, last day of the season and I've got a chance to win the Race to Dubai,'' Fleetwood said. ''It's cool.''


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    Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Race to Dubai title, is tied for 13th on 10 under after a 67.

    Fleetwood had a lead of 256,737 points going into the final tournament and needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

    Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey.

    Rose, who made some long putts for birdies apart from chipping in on the 13th hole, looked to be throwing away his advantage on the par-5 18th, when his second shot fell agonizingly short of the green and into the water hazard. But with his short game in superb condition, the reigning Olympic champion made a difficult up-and-down shot to stay ahead.

    ''That putt at the last is a big confidence-builder. That broke about 18 inches right-to-left downhill. That's the kind of putt I've been hoping to make. That was a really committed stroke. Hopefully I can build on that tomorrow,'' said Rose. ''I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard. If I slip up tomorrow, he's (Fleetwood) right there. He's done everything he needs to do on his end, so it's a lot of fun.''

    The last player to win three tournaments in a row on the European Tour was Rory McIlroy, when he won the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone and the PGA Championship in 2014.

    Fleetwood was 1 over after seven holes but turned it on with a hat trick of birdies from the eighth, and then four in a row from No. 13.

    ''I wanted to keep going. Let's bring the tee times forward for tomorrow,'' quipped Fleetwood after closing with a birdie on the 18th. ''Just one of them strange days where nothing was going at all. A couple sloppy pars on the par 5s, and a bad tee shot on fifth and I was 1-over through seven on a day where scoring has been really good ... Ninth and 10th, felt like we had something going ... it was a really good last 11 holes.''

    If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


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    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.