Tigers Return Fuels Post Season Feel

By Associated PressAugust 30, 2007, 4:00 pm
DeutscheBank Logo 2007NORTON, Mass. -- The crowd following Tiger Woods around the TPC Boston grew steadily throughout the morning sunshine until it lined the length of the 18th fairway as he finished his pro-am Thursday at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
 
It was about the same size of the gallery following the leaders in the final round last week at The Barclays.
 
Maybe that's why some people believe the playoffs don't start until Woods shows up.
 
'Let's be honest about it,' Rich Beem said. 'There's only one person that really matters in this playoff system, and that's Tiger Woods. If Tiger is not playing, you're not going to have a whole lot of validity. If he's not playing, then how serious can we be about this?'
 
Woods skipped the first round of the PGA TOUR Playoffs last week at Westchester, saying his body and mind needed a brief vacation after back-to-back victories in stifling heat, the second title coming at the PGA Championship.
 
He looked plenty refreshed on the refurbished TPC Boston during the pro-am round, playing without a bogey and without much effort on his way to a 63. That's the same score he had the last time he was on this course, when he turned a three-shot deficit into a two-shot victory over Vijay Singh in the final round last year.
 
Woods went 10 days without picking up a club, but doesn't appear to have lost momentum anywhere but the playoff standings.
 
By skipping The Barclays, which Steve Stricker won with a birdie-birdie-birdie finish, Woods fell from No. 1 to No. 4, nearly 5,000 points behind Stricker with three tournaments remaining.
 
He didn't break much of a sweat when he heard that.
 
'I know I've slipped in the standings, but there's plenty of points out there, and I'm just going to go out there and get some Ws,' Woods said. 'It makes things pretty exciting coming down to the last few weeks.'
 
Woods has his own ideas how he would change the system, such as starting with fewer players. But even though he skipped the first playoff event -- and some proclaimed this new model a failure with his absence alone -- he seems to have embraced the concept.
 
He said he would play the next three events, even if he were to clinch the FedExCup before arriving at East Lake. It is mathematically possible for Woods to be the runner-up the next three weeks and win the FedExCup.
 
Which means more?
 
'I'd rather take the Ws instead of three 2s,' Woods said. 'Just me.'
 
He said going winless over the next three weeks but still capturing the FedExCup would be similar to winning the Arnold Palmer or Byron Nelson awards, given each year for the player who earned the most money or had the lowest scoring average on the PGA TOUR.
 
'It's a year-long award,' Woods said. 'But would you much rather have Ws throughout the year than win that award at the end of the year? Ask any guy out here, they'd much rather win tournaments.'
 
It's still too early to handicap the rest of these inaugural playoffs, and fickle as golf is, there's no guarantee that Woods will even finish second, let alone, win at the Deutsche Bank or anywhere else.
 
But it helps to have history, and he has plenty of that over the next two weeks.
 
The front nine in the final round last year at TPC Boston remains one of the sharpest stretches of golf in his career. He played the first seven holes in 6 under par, including two eagles, and coasted home to a 63.
 
Woods also is a three-time winner at Cog Hill outside Chicago, site of the BMW Championship next week, and he twice has finished second at East Lake in the TOUR Championship.
 
To get to the finish line, Woods figured he needed to be at full strength. He has not played four straight tournaments since early in the 2000 season, and had no regrets spending time on his boat instead of at The Barclays last week.
 
Jack Nicklaus, in town for a Presidents Cup meeting, understood completely.
 
'It was really important when I played my last event that I was just as fresh as I was for my first event of the year,' Nicklaus said.
 
Woods doubts that will happen.
 
Asked if he was just as recharged as when he won the Buick Invitational in late January, he smiled and said, 'No.'
 
'It is a long season, and that the whole idea of not playing a lot throughout the year, so that when you do play, you're fresh,' he said. 'You're able to go in with the same energy level each and every time.'
 
The energy level figures to be raised Friday when the Deutsche Bank Championship, and not just because it's the second round of these playoffs. Because the tour groups players based on their playoff standing, Woods will play the first two days with Phil Mickelson and Singh, the first time ever for those three in the same group.
 
That's the marquee group, but not the top group by seeding. Stricker moved atop the standings and will be joined in his group with K.J. Choi and Rory Sabbatini.
 
For the second straight week, the playoffs didn't get all the top players.
 
Ernie Els withdrew so he could spend a week at home in London as his kids go back to school, and Scott Verplank took this week off to recharge and give himself his best shot of winning at East Lake, one of his favorite courses. Tom Lehman also withdrew.
 
There's a good chance at least one other top player won't be in Chicago.
 
'You've always got a guy that doesn't feel like he's ready to go, gets to the tournament week and pulls back,' commissioner Tim Finchem said. 'Candidly, I thought we might have a little bit more of it than we did.'
 
But he's got Woods this week. Some might say that's all that matters.
 
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  • Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    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.

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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.