Westwood fires 66 Tiger shoots 68 in Shanghai

By Associated PressNovember 4, 2010, 2:49 pm

WGC-HSBC ChampionsSHANGHAI -- Lee Westwood didn’t feel as though he had to prove why he was No. 1 in the world. With one quality shot after another Thursday in the HSBC Champions, he sure served up a reminder.

Westwood closed with two strong birdies for a 6-under 66, leaving him one shot behind Ryder Cup teammate Francesco Molinari in pristine weather at Sheshan International.

Tiger Woods, no longer No. 1 for the first time in more than five years, made one improbable par and three straight birdies on his way to a 68 that left him very much in the mix of this World Golf Championship.

The surprise, to some degree, was Westwood.

It was only his second stroke-play competition in three months, and only his second round of golf since Oct. 10. His mistake wasn’t even his own doing, as he found a clump of mud on his ball in the seventh fairway, leading to a bogey.

Otherwise, it was the kind of round expected from the world’s No. 1 player.

“I don’t think I need to reinforce why I’m No. 1 in the world,” Westwood said. “I think you get there as a result of having good performances. But it’s nice to go out there and show everybody that there is a particular reason why I got to that stage.”

The Asian influence in the tournament regarded as “Asia’s major” shone through behind Yuta Ikeda of Japan, who bogeyed his last hole and shot 67, and rising Korean star Seung-Yul Noh, who also had a 67. They were joined by Henrik Stenson, coming off his worst season and seeing some signs of progress.

Luke Donald of England joined Woods at 68, while defending champion Phil Mickelson had a 69. PGA champion Martin Kaymer, who has gone to No. 3 in the world, opened with a 72.

Westwood, Woods, Kaymer and Mickelson all can go to No. 1 in the world this week.

Molinari tried to take some of the spotlight off the battle of the world ranking. He turned a potential bogey into a birdie on the third hole when his approach went over the green, leaving him a quick chip down the hill. He chipped in, the start of four straight birdies that carried him to the opening 65 that put him atop the leaderboard.

“Everything seems in the right place at the moment,” Molinari said.

Perhaps most inspiring for Woods is that he was coming off his longest layoff—four weeks—since he returned to golf at the Masters. It looked as though he had never left. In his previous competition, Woods was 9 under through 15 holes in his victory over Molinari in Ryder Cup singles at Celtic Manor.

He wasn’t that sharp, but he was a little lucky.

Already 1 over for the tournament, he drove into a cluster of trees and bushes on the 15th. He figured he had no hope until caddie Steve Williams told Woods when he got to his ball, “I think we might have a shot.”

The ball was behind some hedges, with sprigs sticking up around his ball. With a 4-iron, Woods played away from the sprigs, through a gap in the hedges, shaping the ball from left to right to get it just left of the green. From there, he navigated a tricky, downhill chip to about 3 feet for the most unlikely par.

“I was able to build some momentum from there,” Woods said.

He birdied the next hole with a sand wedge to 2 feet, then turned it on over the back nine, starting with a 5-wood form 247 yards that settled about 18 feet from the cup for a two-putt birdie. He birdied the next two holes, added a 20-foot birdie on the seventh and ended his round with a 6-foot par save.

“I hit a lot of good golf shots,” Woods said. “I felt like I was able to control my distance well coming into the greens, and also putted really well today.”

Westwood, still trying to manage an injury to his calf that affects his right ankle, had not played a round of golf since Oct. 10 at the Dunhill Links Championship at St. Andrews. His expectations were nil. The golf was quite good.

“I just went out there with a pretty clear mind,” Westwood said. “I was a little rusty in places with my scoring, but I putted nicely. All in all, I think I probably deserved about a 66.”

He did just about everything well. Westwood hit a solid drive and a 6-iron to 15 feet for birdie on the 15th hole, one of the strongest holes at Sheshan. He hit driver on the par-4 16th that pitched about 10 feet from the hole and trundled over the green, but escaped with birdie by holing an 18-foot putt.

And like Woods, he was helped by a par. Westwood pulled his 5-wood into the water on the par-5 second, but hit a nice pitch and made the par putt, then finished in style with a 5-wood just left of the green on the par-5 eighth, and a 25-foot birdie putt on his last hole.

 

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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.


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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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