Tiger Struggles on Day 1 at Southern Hills

By Associated PressAugust 9, 2007, 4:00 pm
PGA ChampionshipTULSA, Okla. -- Tiger Woods kicked his putter, dropped his putter, even flipped it in the air and caught it after it made a 360-degree spin.
What he didn't do is make many tough putts with that putter, which is one reason he left Southern Hills on Thursday with a score that didn't represent the way he felt he played in the first round of the PGA Championship.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods opened with a 1-over 71 Thursday at Southern Hills. (Getty Images)
'I felt like I hit the ball better than my score indicates, which is good,' Woods said after his 1-over-par 71 left him six strokes behind Graeme Storm. 'That's a good sign heading into the next three days. I just need to clean up my round a little bit.'
If he cleans it up, he could be scary. What else can you say about a player who beat the field by eight strokes at a tough Bridgestone tournament last week?
And if he gives away a stroke here, a stroke there? That doesn't seem like too big a deal for a player like Woods. Well, unless you count the Masters. His bogey-bogey finish on Thursday didn't look too devastating at the time. Only he essentially repeated that on Saturday. When he lost to Zach Johnson by two, he was blaming those miscues more than anything that happened in the final round.
That, another second-place finish at the U.S. Open and a lackluster 12th place at the British has left Woods on the verge of going 0-for-the majors for the first time since 2004.
He has long acknowledged that no year, even if it includes four victories like this one, can be deemed 'great' if at least one of those wins doesn't come at a major.
Does that add more pressure here at 'Glory's Last Shot?'
'No,' he said. 'I've just got to go play, go out and grind like I always do.'
The first round in the stifling 95-degree heat was the ultimate definition of a grind.
It got off to a good enough start. Woods shook hands with Bob Tway and Rich Beem, jokingly told a rules official he only had 16 clubs in his bag, then teed off with a 6-iron on No. 10, the short dogleg right that simply begs to be birdied. Woods did to quickly get into red numbers.
He hit a wedge within 4 feet on No. 15 for another birdie, chipped in on No. 17 to save par, managed his way around the first eight holes at 3 under and briefly found himself in the lead.
Then the wind started swirling -- doing nothing to keep Woods from soaking through his white shirt, but keeping him guessing when it came to club selection.
He was well off on No. 18, hitting into the bunker short of the elevated green. Bogey there.
He went from under par to over on Nos. 7 and 8, hitting a shot into a front bunker on 7 -- similar to his shot on 18 -- then coming up short of the green with a 3-iron on the par-3 eighth.
'Good shots didn't always end up where we thought it would be,' Woods said.
Not all the shots were good.
Woods didn't even wait for his sand shot on 7 to land on the green, well in back of the hole, before he turned away in disgust. His pitch onto the eighth green was pedestrian and when he missed that putt, he stuck his hand out in dismay.
There was an eagle putt on No. 5 that cruelly stopped on the lip of the cup. Another eagle putt on 13 rimmed around the cup and kicked out.
It was one of those days where he got breaks in some spots, didn't in others. Had trouble with the wind, not so much with the heat.
'That's one of those reasons you run all those miles out there in the heat and stay in decent shape,' Woods said.
Puncturing that theory was the fact that John Daly, hardly a physical specimen, was winning the tournament at 3 under when Woods left the course for the day.
'When he gets going, as we all know, he can shoot in good numbers,' Woods said.
So can Tiger. And with three days to go, nobody is counting out the world's best player.
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    Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

    By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

    One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

    Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

    "I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

    Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

    "I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

    Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

    "Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm