Tiger Wins PGA Championship Going Away - COPIED

By Associated PressAugust 21, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 PGA ChampionshipMEDINAH, Ill -- No tears, no sweat.
 
One month after an emotional victory in the British Open, Tiger Woods won the PGA Championship with a ruthless display of efficiency Sunday, closing with a 4-under 68 for a five-shot victory and his 12th career major.
 
He became the first player in history to go consecutive years winning at least two majors. And now, only Jack Nicklaus and his 18 professional majors stand in the way of Woods becoming golf's greatest champion.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods won his third PGA Championship in dominating fashion.
Woods started with a 10-foot birdie to seize the lead. He finished with a tap-in par to match his scoring record at the PGA Championship, finishing at 18-under 270 and walking off the 18th green with a broad smile.
 
That wasn't the case at Hoylake last month, where Woods sobbed on his caddie's shoulder after winning his first major since his father died in May. He paid tribute to Earl Woods again, his voice steady this time. He even managed a wisecrack about how his father taught him to putt.

'I kept saying all day, 'Just putt to the picture.' He actually knew what he was talking about,' Woods said.
 
This celebration was routine. Woods plucked the ball out of the cup and put it in his pocket, thrust his fists in the air and gave a thumbs-up sign as he walked over to pick up the Wanamaker Trophy.
 
'This is sweet. This is really sweet,' he said.
 
He became the first player to win the PGA Championship twice on the same course. Woods outlasted Sergio Garcia by one shot at Medinah in 1999. This one was never close.
 
Woods twice made birdie putts over 40 feet, and the margin of victory might have been greater had he not aimed for the middle of the green and lagged for par over the closing holes.
 
Shaun Micheel won the battle for second place, about the only drama on a sunny afternoon outside Chicago.
 
Even the race for the Ryder Cup fizzled, with no change in the standings.
 
So much for those worries about Woods after he missed the cut at the U.S. Open. He now has won his last three tournaments, the first time he has done that in five years.
 
'Jack Nicklaus, he's the only other guy I've ever seen who looks more comfortable leading on the back nine of a major than playing the first hole of a tournament,' Chris DiMarco said. 'And that's pretty scary. He just puts the hammer down.'

Nicklaus was home in North Palm Beach, Fla., watching his grandchildren play golf, but he saw enough of the final round on television to appreciate how easy Woods made it look.
 
'He's that good,' Nicklaus said. 'The guy is playing just great golf, terrific golf. From what I saw, he certainly was in total command.'
 
Nicklaus won his 18 majors over 25 years. Woods has won 12 in his first 10 years on the PGA Tour, and there doesn't appear to be anyone capable of stopping him.
 
Luke Donald was tied for the lead going into the final round at Medinah and didn't make a single birdie, closing with a 74 to finish in a tie for third at 12-under 276 with Adam Scott (67) and Garcia (70).
 
'He's just too good,' Micheel said after a 69, although he never got within five shots of Woods after the fourth hole. 'Unless you're at the top of your game, you just can't play with him.'
 
Woods is now 12-0 when he has at least a share of the 54-hole lead.
 
'Tiger just doesn't back up,' said Steve Stricker, who made a late bid for the Ryder Cup. 'He doesn't let anybody get close to him, especially in the last round.'
 
So dominant was this performance that Woods made only three bogeys the entire week, including a harmless one on the par-3 17th hole over Lake Kadijah when he was playing it safe. All that cost him was the scoring record in relation to par. He settled for 18 under, the same score he posted at Valhalla in 2000.
 
It was the fifth major that Woods won by at least five shots. He now has won his 12 majors by a combined 56 shots, while Nicklaus won his 18 majors by 44 shots.
 
That Woods has never lost a 54-hole lead in a major was enough to make some believe it was due to happen, especially on a soft course yielding low scores and a strong cast of contenders behind him.
 
He went 10 years before missing a cut in a major. Would this be the one he blew in the final round?
 
U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy found water on the second hole and three-putted from 8 feet on No. 3 to disappear. Garcia chunked a wedge and made bogey on the par-5 seventh to stall his momentum. Mike Weir got within one shot of Woods at No. 5, but he couldn't keep up the pace and fell back to a 73.
 
Donald was in contention at a major for the first time, but not for long.
 
They were tied atop the leaderboard and in the wardrobe department -- both wore a red shirt -- as thousands crammed in around the putting green, the first tee and down both sides of the fairway. Donald had equal support, not only from winning an NCAA title at Northwestern, but sticking around to make Chicago his home.
 
Cheers of 'Luuuuuuke' followed him toward the first tee, but those hopes faded quickly. Woods hit 7-iron into 10 feet, and kept his head so still over his birdie putt that he didn't look up until it was inches from dropping for birdie.
 
No one caught him the rest of the day.
 
Donald caught a bad break when his ball landed in a muddy divot on No. 4, leading to his first bogey in 40 holes. He missed a 5-foot birdie on the par-5 fifth, and that effectively ended his tournament.
 
The only drama left was the U.S. Ryder Cup team, and that also turned into a snoozer.
 
Tim Herron needed a two-way tie for seventh and was looking good with two birdies on his first five holes, but he followed that with two straight bogeys and never recovered, shooting 73. Stricker made a late surge, needing to finish third. He got as high as a tie for sixth until the birdies dried up, he finished with a bogey for a 69 and tied for seventh.
 
Davis Love III finished with three straight bogeys, completing a 73-76 weekend.
 
The top 10 players who earned a spot on the team were Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, David Toms, Chad Campbell, DiMarco, Vaughn Taylor, J.J. Henry, Zach Johnson and Brett Wetterich.
 
Tom Lehman will make his two captain's picks Monday morning, with Stewart Cink likely to be one of them. Cink was 12th in the standings and closed with a 69 while paired with vice captain Corey Pavin.
 
The question was whether he would consider Lucas Glover for his raw skill or Love for his experience, or perhaps someone else.
 
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”



    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.