Tiger thinking his way around a short course

By Associated PressNovember 13, 2009, 6:57 pm

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP)—Tiger Woods had a stiff breeze at his back as hestood on the 13th tee, his hand resting on the cover of his driver as hecontemplated how to navigate the 354 yards to the green.

With his brawn, Woods could hit driver close to the green, maybe onto theputting surface, for an easy birdie.

He chose to use his brain.

Woods pulled out the 3-iron and hit another ball down the middle of thefairway. It’s a shot the fans have been used to seeing over the first two daysof the Australian Masters, where the world’s No. 1 player has opened with roundsof 66-68 to build a three-shot lead.

Why not go for it? The pin was on the front half of the green, and Woodsknew it would be a difficult pitch.

“If the pin was in the back part of the green, I would have probably hitdriver and gotten it down there, because then you have the entire green to pitchup,” he said.

He hit wedge to about 8 feet and missed the putt. On the same hole, RodPampling hit driver to about 40 yards short of the green and pitched the ballthrough the green and into the back bunker. He had to scramble for par. That wasall the evidence Woods needed that he made the right choice.

Such are the holes that make Woods enjoy a track like Kingston Heath, whichhad 7,059 yards is the shortest he has played all year. He has won at TorreyPines and Firestone more than any other courses in the world, and both areconsidered beasts.

Kingston Heath is for managing the game, not mashing the ball.

“I think it’s great,” Woods said. “I’ve certainly always enjoyed playinggolf courses where you have to think and plod your way along. As I said earlier,you don’t need a golf course of 7,500 yards for it to be difficult. With some ofthe angles you have out here, you can hit a lot of drivers and 3-woods and getthe ball down there, but there’s a price.

“If you miss the ball on the wrong side, it’s going to run into bushes orbunkers where it’s unplayable,” he said. “If you do lay it back, then you havepretty tough iron shots. There’s plenty of options out there. You just have topick one and go with it.”

It has been reminiscent of Royal Liverpool, where Woods chose to hit driveronly once over 72 holes on his way to victory in the 2006 British Open. And itis not unlike Muirfield Village this year, where the fairways were fast underhot weather, and Woods only occasionally hit driver off the tee and rallied fora four-shot victory.

He has hit driver five times each round at Kingston Heath, only whennecessary—either into the wind on a long par 4, or a par 5 where bunkers can’tbe reached, or on the ninth when he can take the fairway bunkers out of play.

That’s what he did Friday, and while he missed three birdie putts inside 10feet and twice had to hole tough putts for par, he doesn’t look as though he’sabout to give anyone much help.

Woods was at 10-under 134 and in the final group with Jason Dufner , theunheralded American who shot 67 and was three shots behind along with GregChalmers (69) and James Nitties (71) of Australia.

Woods hasn’t been perfect, and didn’t feel as though he hit the ball cleanlyin the second round. Even so, he said he has yet to miss a shot in the wrongspot, which would make it difficult to save par.

Kingston Heath began to show a different personality. The course wasrelatively soft on Thursday, mainly because of the forecast for sunshinethroughout the week. It was faster on Friday, the ball bouncing onto the greensinstead of spinning back.

“I know it’s going to get drier and drier as we go along,” Woods said.“I’m going to have to hit the ball really well, and on top of that, manage thegame well on these greens because they are going to start to get a little morespring to them.”

One of the Australians asked Woods where Kingston Heath would rate if itwere in America and received more publicity. He couldn’t answer the question,and not because he shies away from ranking anything.

“It would be hard to get it to stay this dry in America,” he said.“Because in America, they think green is perfect conditions for a golf course.Everyone tries to make the golf courses look like Augusta by soaking it. Whenyou do that, you make it softer, and you make it easier for us. So when you dothat, you have to make the golf courses longer.”

Chalmers was asked if Woods was tougher to beat on a course suited for bighitters, or on a course where thinking is required.

The Australian only smiled.

“Can you find any venue that he’s been to that he hasn’t had a greatadvantage?” Chalmers said. “He’s got power, and he’s got a great mental gameand a great short game. We could talk all day about how great he is. He’s divinginto a very deep talent pool. Unfortunately, my end is not as deep. But I’mhoping I can find the bottom.”

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm