Woods Up and Down at Tough Torrey Pines

By Associated PressJune 13, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenSAN DIEGO -- Tiger Woods made four bogeys and an eagle Friday to start his second round of the U.S. Open, an uneven effort at unforgiving Torrey Pines, where short bursts of momentum get lost as quickly as a ball in the ankle-high rough.
Woods was 3 over par through eight holes, six behind Stuart Appleby and Rocco Mediate. Mediate opened with two birdies on the front nine, then gave one back after hacking away in the rough on No. 10.
Playing in the group with Woods, Phil Mickelson endured three straight bogeys to go to 3-over for the tournament, while Adam Scott was 1-under for the day to move to 1-over for the tournament.
The surprising first-day leaders, Justin Hicks and Richard Streelman, disappeared almost as quickly as they took to the course. Streelman made a triple-bogey 6 on No. 3 en route to a 6-over 77 that left him at 3-over. Hicks made the turn in 39 and was 5 over through 12 holes.
In all, Torrey Pines was looking like the biggest winner, showing its teeth with the kikuya rough moist and tangly and the greens getting firmer. On Thursday, only 11 players broke par, and with the entire field either on the course or done for the day, it looked like that number would dwindle for the second round.
In a strange way, though, the tough set-up produced lots of beneficiaries. With Mediate and Appleby leading at 3-over, the 10-shot cut rule was looking very much in play. Midway through the afternoon round, 84 of 154 players were projected to make the cut.
That included Vijay Singh, who shot 78 to balloon to 7-over but insisted, I still played really well.
If you look at the mistakes, its really silly ones, he said.
Though they were few, good scores were possible.
British Open champion Padraig Harrington shot 4-under 67, the best round of the tournament, to make the cut, and D.J. Trahan and Davis Love III shot 2-under 69. Sergio Garcia had a 1-under 70.
Garcia was 4 over for the tournament while Trahan and Love III were each 1 under. Love was in contention after missing the Masters, ending a streak of 70 straight majors, and getting to the U.S. Open through qualifying.
If I win the U.S. Open, it doesnt make up for missing the Masters, said Love, the 1997 PGA champion who has been rehabbing from surgery on his left ankle. It just means that Im in the Masters the next few years. But that was disappointing.
Woods is seeking his 14th major, which would leave him only four short of the record held by Jack Nicklaus. He is playing his first tournament since the Masters, after which he had surgery to clean out his left knee.
The route through Torrey Pines is no easy walk, as he is finding.
Starting on the back, he opened with a three-putt'the same way he closed his first round Thursday'that put him 2 over. After another bogey on No. 12, though, Woods hit his approach on the par-5 13th hole to 10 feet and made the putt for an eagle.
But he was in bunkers and the rough for most of the rest of his first nine, which resulted in a bogey on 16 and another on 17.
Mediate, meanwhile, started with two birdies over his first four holes and didnt make a bogey until No. 10, when his tee shot bounded down a cart path and into the rough, forcing him to hack into a bunker. He couldnt get up and down and dropped a stroke, to 3-under.
Appleby made birdies on Nos. 7 and 9 to pull into a tie for the lead.
Thats where Streelman had been until about 30 minutes into his round, when he dropped off the leaderboard completely with his triple-bogey. He wasnt blaming the course.
Optimal scoring conditions, I felt, Streelman said. There are certain places you cant miss the ball on some of these short sides and approach shots and par-3s. And I did that three or four times. You have to pay the price in the U.S. Open.
Among those who had their chances in the morning rounds, but couldnt cash in, were Luke Donald, two-time champion Ernie Els and 2006 winner Geoff Ogilvy, all of whom got to 2-under for a time.
Els closed with two birdies to shoot 72 and finish at even. Ogilvy shot 73 to also finish at even, failing to make another birdie after he sank a 25-foot downhill putt on No. 5. And Donald made three bogeys on the back to shoot his second straight 71.
The greens are usually a little more forgiving in the morning, the putts are smoother, and you can control your ball better, Donald said. Other than that, it wasnt too different.
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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.