Tigers 66 puts him in contention at the Masters

By Associated PressApril 8, 2011, 7:29 pm

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The fist kept pumping. The cheers kept growing. The ball kept dropping.

In the fading sunlight of Augusta National, Tiger Woods finally looked like himself again.

Rory McIlroy goes to the weekend at the Masters with a two-stroke lead, a worthy reward for two superb days of golf by the 21-year-old from Northern Ireland.

But all eyes will be on the guy who's three shots back, in a position that used to be more familiar. Woods shot a 6-under 66 Friday, his best round at the Masters since he captured the last of his four green jackets in 2005.

'I've played myself back in the championship,' he said.

Woods hasn't gone this low at the Masters since he shot 65 in the third round of the '05 tournament when he went on to beat Chris DiMarco in a playoff.

A lot has changed since then. Woods is mired in the longest winless streak of his career – 20 tournaments over 17 months – and he's still dogged by a sex scandal that ended his marriage and tarnished his image.

After a sluggish start to the second round, Woods got going with three straight birdies around the turn, a perilous par save at the 11th, then strung together three more birdies through the middle of the back nine.

Woods just missed making it four in a row, pushing a slick putt at No. 16 wide of the putt. But he ended with a flourish, knocking his approach from under the trees to within 10 feet of the pin. He rolled that one in and pumped his fist one last time.

'Anytime you shoot 66 in a major, it's going to be good,' Woods said. 'I'm very pleased about that. Very pleased.'

Rory McIlroy fretted about an errant chip that nearly slid into the water, a few putts that didn't fall in the cup on the back nine. That's about it.

The shaggy-haired kid put together another strong round, shooting a 69 that left him at 10-under 134 midway through the year's first major.

'I drove it good. I gave myself a lot of opportunities. I just didn't make as many putts as I would've liked on the back nine,' McIlroy said. 'But I can't really complain. I'm in the lead going to the weekend at the Masters.'

He's clearly gotten over any bad memories from last year's British Open, where he opened with a 63 and fell apart the next day in a howling wind to shoot 80.

McIlroy went 29 holes before he made his first bogey at the picturesque 12th hole, where his tee shot plopped into a bunker and he couldn't get up and down. Otherwise, he showed a maturity beyond his years.

Among those he will be trying to hold off is Woods, who played in the next-to-last group and got off to a rough start. His very first tee shot found a bunker, leading to bogey. He took another with a weak chip at No. 3, the shortest par-4 on the course. Then another with three putts at the seventh.

Then, suddenly, he resembled the Tiger of old.

'I just kept staying patient,' Woods said. 'That's all I was trying to do.'

McIlroy will be paired in the final group Saturday with one of his playing partners from the first two days, Jason Day.

The 23-year-old Australian is another of golf's up-and-comers, and he showed no respect for a course he's playing for the first time this week. Day made eight birdies in the best round of the tournament, a 64 that sent him surging up the leaderboard. He's only two shots behind McIlroy's 10-under 134 total.

The third member of their group, 22-year-old Californian Rickie Fowler, also was in contention. He posted a 69 - meaning the threesome combined for a 14-under score - and was in a group at 139.

'It was fun playing with Rory and Rickie out there,' Day said. 'I can't even remember shooting 8 under. It was just a lot of great golf and I'm looking forward to the weekend.'

Of course, this is all new to him.

'I'm sure I will be very nervous,' Day said. 'I'll try to relax tonight and just go out there and have fun.'

While the focus at this Masters has been on youth, let's not forget the older guys.

Fred Couples, the 1992 champion, was in contention for the second year in a row. Even with a balky back, he strolled around the course as though he owns the place on the way to a 68 that took his score to 139.

'I know the course more than most people,' he said, 'and that helps.'

The 51-year-old Couples made a serious run at another green jacket last year. He led after the first round and wound up sixth, seven strokes behind winner Phil Mickelson.

This time, he opened with a 71 and really turned it on for Day 2, making five birdies and two nifty saves at the end of his round. If Couples can keep it going for two more days – no certainty, given his chronic back problems – he'll have another shot at becoming the oldest major champion ever.

'Can I still win?' Couples mused. 'Yeah, I think I can go out there tomorrow and shoot a very good score. Then I'd have to do something crazy on Sunday.'

The defending champ has a lot of work to do.

Mickelson scrambled for a 70 in the first round despite hitting fewer fairways than anyone in the 99-player field. His erratic play continued Friday, forcing him to spend more time saving pars than chasing birdies.

'I left too many chances out there,' he said. 'We've got the weekend to look forward to, and fortunately, I'm not in that bad of a spot. If I can shoot a good round, I can get back in it.'

The world's top-ranked player was heading home.

PGA champion Martin Kaymer played better after an opening 78, but even a closing birdie for a 72 wasn't nearly enough to end his Augusta misery. He's never made the cut in the year's first major, missing out for the fourth time in a row.

In fact, the last three major winners failed to advance. U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell and British Open champ Louis Oosthuizen also failed to make the cut.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

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

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


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

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.