Woods (68) carries 7-shot lead to Rd. 4 at Bridgestone

By Associated PressAugust 3, 2013, 11:29 pm

AKRON, Ohio – With an elite field chasing the lead, Tiger Woods decided to play keep-away.

Already up by a staggering seven shots through 36 holes thanks to a career-tying best of 61 in the second round, Woods shot a solid 2-under 68 on Saturday in the Bridgestone Invitational to maintain that same seven-stroke lead.

It was as if he was turning around and daring the world's best players to come after him. No one really could.

''You know, today was a day that I didn't quite have it,'' said Woods, who was at 15-under 195. ''But I scored. And that's the name of the game, posting a number, and I did today. I grinded my way around that golf course.''

Now he's only 18 holes away from making even more history in a career of historic accomplishments. He'll be competing against the record book as much as the elite field.

''It's kind of tough to pick up seven or eight shots on Tiger around here,'' said Henrik Stenson, a distant second after a 67. ''It would take something spectacular on my behalf or any of the other guys around me, and obviously a very, very poor round for him.''


Highlights: Woods in control through 54 at WGC-Bridgestone

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational: Articles, videos and photos


Woods, by the way, is 41-2 when leading after 54 holes in a PGA Tour event.

A victory would be his eighth at Firestone Country Club and in the Bridgestone and its forerunner, the NEC Invitational. That would match the tour-record eight he already has at Bay Hill and the eight wins Sam Snead had at the Greater Greensboro Open.

Woods also could capture his 79th victory on the PGA Tour, drawing him within three of Snead's record of 82.

''I'll just go out there and execute my game plan,'' he said. ''It all starts with what the weather is doing, and then I build it from there. We'll see what I do tomorrow.''

Unlike in a second-round 61 that could easily have been a 59 or even lower, Woods didn't recover from all of his errant shots. He bogeyed the ninth, 14th and 16th holes, failing to bounce back from wayward shots.

Yet he still was good enough to put himself in position for yet another lopsided victory, one that will likely mark him as the player to beat next week in the PGA Championship at Oak Hill.

''Any time you can go into a major tournament or any tournament with a win under your belt, it's nice,'' Woods said. ''It validates what you're working on and you have some nice momentum going in there.''

Of course, Woods has failed to win his last 17 major championships. No longer is it a lock that, with 14, he'll surpass the mark of 18 by Jack Nicklaus.

Woods began the third round with a seven-shot lead after rounds of 66 and the career-best 61 - the fourth time he has gone that low, also matching the tournament record originally set by Jose Maria Olazabal in 1990.

Jason Dufner was third, eight strokes back after a 67, and Luke Donald (68), Bill Haas (69) and Chris Wood (70) followed at 6 under.

Dufner said Firestone isn't all that unique because it is just one of a number of places where Woods dominates.

''Yeah, he has a pretty good track record here,'' he said. ''There's quite a few events out here that he does really well. Torrey Pines comes to mind, Bay Hill comes to mind, the Memorial. So he obviously feels comfortable on those courses, and it's our job to try and chase him down if we can.''

Defending champ Keegan Bradley, with a 71, was another shot back along with Miguel Angel Jimenez, who put up a 65. Rounding out the top 10 were 2011 Bridgestone winner and reigning Masters champ Adam Scott and Zach Johnson.

Woods has overwhelmed everyone in a glittering field that includes 48 of the top 50 players in the world ranking.

Much like he did a day earlier, Woods started out fast. He birdied the first two holes (he had also eagled No. 2 in the second round). He rolled in a 12-footer at No. 1 and then two-putted from 40 feet at No. 2, most likely causing the rest of the players to just shake their heads.

From there, however, he proved merely human. He parred the next six holes and then drove into the sheer face of a fairway bunker and took a bogey at the ninth hole.

He played the back nine 1-under par - including yet another shot for the highlight reel.

At the par-4 13th, he airmailed his iron shot over the green and into heavy, grabby rough. But he got a sand wedge under the ball, popping it straight up. It landed on the green and rolled right to the pin, clanging off it and into the hole for birdie from 40 feet away.

''Certainly, it wasn't a shot I was trying to make. I was just trying to get it down there where I could get a par and get out of Dodge and dodge a bullet,'' he said. ''It just happened to go in.''

Of course, the ball often happens to just go in for Woods at World Golf Championship events like the Bridgestone.

He has won 17 times in 41 starts - a success rate of 41 percent - while finishing in the top 10 an amazing 32 times in WGC events.

At Firestone, he's had winning streaks of four (2005-09) and three (1999-2001), and also has a tie for second and two fourth-place finishes.

<>Woods looked back on his round and gave it a thumbs-up.


''It ended up being a dead push for the day,'' he said about hanging on to the same lead he began the day with. ''That's not too bad, either.''

Not too bad at all.

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Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.