Tiger Stumbles Out of the Gate as Host

By Associated PressJuly 5, 2007, 4:00 pm
AT&T NationalBETHESDA, Md. -- Hosting his own tournament for the first time, Tiger Woods bogeyed his first two holes.
 
Then came the rain.
 
It didn't get much better after that. After a brief delay, Woods continued to be a much more gracious host than he planned. By the time his round was over, he had missed a 2-foot tap-in, hit a man in the face with a drive and tossed his putter in frustration at his bag several times.
 
His Thursday scorecard at the inaugural AT&T National included seven bogeys in a 3-over round of 73, tied for 77th place and seven shots behind five co-leaders: Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk, K.J. Choi, Joe Ogilvie and Stuart Appleby.
 
Woods putted 34 times, including three three-putts, and he missed every attempt longer than 8 feet.
 
'It's one of the worst putting rounds I have had in years,' Woods said. 'I'm going to have to figure out something for (Friday) because evidently what I'm doing is not even close to being right. I've got to fix it. I've got to get back in this tournament.'
 
Woods hadn't played since finishing second at the U.S. Open three weeks ago, and he said he still had the fast greens of Oakmont in his mind on a damp, humid day at Congressional Country Club. He kept leaving his putts short, sometimes well short, frustrating both himself and a large gallery that kept showing its appreciation by shouting out remarks such as: 'Hey, Tiger, thanks for bringing golf to D.C.'
 
Since the U.S. Open, Woods has become a father and had to deal with the last-minute logistics of joining Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus as the only golfers to host a PGA Tour event. Even so, he said he wasn't any more nervous than usual at hole No. 1.
 
'That was the easy part, getting out there and playing,' Woods said. 'The other responsibilities, that's something you don't normally do. Once I get back inside the ropes, I get back in my comfort level, and I felt at peace going out there and competing.'
 
At peace, but not at his best. His first tee shot landed in the thick rough, and his first putt of the day lipped out, prompting a puzzled look as he rubbed his upper lip with his index finger. He bogeyed the par-3 No. 2 after misplaying a sand shot, then was standing at the No. 3 tee box in the rain when the horn sounded to stop play.
 
The delay was only 18 minutes, but it seemed to calm Woods. He birdied two of the next three holes but was woefully inconsistent the rest of the round. He figured his final putt at No. 16 was a gimmie, so he tried to tap it in with an awkward stance and missed.
 
At No. 18, his tee shot hit a man in the face and shoulder. Woods gave the man an autographed glove and apologized, then went on to bogey the hole with another miss from 2 1/2 feet.
 
Meanwhile, 28 players were under par on 7,204-yard, par-70 course that was expected to be a tough test with its high rough and long par 4s.
 
'There's a bunch of guys up there right now,' Woods said. 'I've got three rounds. I can't get them in one.'
 
The leaderboard is an eclectic mix of styles, ranging from the long-hitting Singh to older, lay-up players such as 51-year-old Fred Funk and 47-year-old Corey Pavin, who are both one stroke off the lead. In the star partnership of Phil Mickelson (74) and Adam Scott (72), Brad Faxon outshone them both as the third member of the threesome, beating might with accuracy with a steady 69, even as his partners consistently out-drove him.
 
'When they put the deep rough like they have this week, that's my equalizer,' Funk said. 'The harder the golf course, the better for me in my opinion.'
 
Mickelson, who is battling a left wrist injury, was rusty in his first tournament since missing the cut at the U.S. Open. Mickelson didn't wear a brace and blamed two bogeys and a double bogey on his putting rather than his injury.
 
'I was told that it may hurt, but I won't be doing any more damage,' Mickelson said. 'So I've been going after it pretty good, and it does hurt, but as long as I am not doing any more damage I'm OK.'
 
The last time Woods played a competitive round at Congressional, he finished 19th at the 1997 U.S. Open. On that Sunday, he finished his round and said: 'The suffering's over. This golf course beat me up.'
 
Ten years later, he was ready to beat up his putter.
 
'I'm about ready to break this thing,' he said.
 
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  • 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.''


    DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

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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.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon: