Woods in Attack Mode Early at Carnoustie - COPIED

By Associated PressJuly 19, 2007, 4:00 pm
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland -- Between shots, Tiger Woods looked as though he was on his way to pop a casserole in the oven. When he took off his oversized gloves, he warmed right up to chilly Carnoustie.
 
Woods got off to a strong start Thursday in his quest for a third straight British Open title, shooting a 3-under 33 before the turn to put himself near the top of the leaderboard on a dreary morning along the North Sea.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods gets in and out of trouble Thursday at Carnoustie. (Getty Images)
Ireland's Paul McGinley birdied four of the first seven holes to claim the early lead, while 2005 U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell of New Zealand and South Korea's K.J. Choi, who's won twice on the PGA TOUR this year, were in contention.
 
Choi shot a 2-under 69, even with a pair of bogeys coming down the brutal finishing stretch. Campbell matched Woods with a 33 on the front side and held at 3 under with only the 18th hole to play.
 
Fredrik Andersson Hed of Sweden was at 3 under while still working through the front side, his score bolstered by an eagle at No. 6.
 
Woods, seeking his fourth Open championship overall and 13th major title, birdied No. 3 to get into the red, then made an eagle at the par-5 sixth. He waved his putter to the cheering gallery after the ball dipped into the cup on the 578-yard hole known as Hogan's Alley.
 
Choi, coming off wins at the Memorial and AT&T National, birdied four of the first six holes, his only slip-up on the outgoing stretch coming at the seventh when he missed a sharp-breaking putt from about 3 feet to save par.
 
McGinley also took advantage of conditions that looked ugly but were primed for going low.
 
Morning showers softened up the greens. The breeze whipping in off the North Sea wasn't too imposing. And the knee-high rough that made things so tough in 1999 -- the last time a British Open was held at 'Car-Nasty' -- was shaved down this time around.
 
The only thing to complain about was the temperature, struggling to break 50 degrees in what passes for summer in Scotland.
 
As he stepped up to the first tee, John Rollins blew into his hand, trying to keep it warm. Then, as he sized up his second shot, he let out a big exhale. Yep, he could see his breath.
 
Of course, after the searing heat of Royal St. George's in 2003 and the sun-baked fairways of Royal Liverpool a year ago, this was more like a British Open. Butch Harmon watched the early starters tee off from the second-floor window of his hotel room.
 
'It's the skybox,' the coaching guru quipped.
 
Woods, his new daughter back home in Florida, was trying to become the first golfer in more than a half-century to pull off an Open three-peat. Peter Thomson claimed the claret jug from 1954-56, and only three others have won three straight years in a championship that dates to 1860.
 
Thomson, who won five times overall and was runner-up on three other occasions, expects Woods to be posing with the trophy come Sunday.
 
'He has a chance to win eight in a row,' said the revered Aussie, now a member of the Royal & Ancient. 'If I could do it, surely he could.'
 
No matter who wins this time, there's unlikely to be an Open finish like the last one at this hallowed patch of coastline.
 
Jan Van de Velde went to the final hole in 1999 with a three-stroke lead, needing a mere double-bogey to claim the title for France. Instead, he banged the tee shot far right of the fairway, hit the next shot off a grandstand and wound up in the Barry Burn, which led him to shed his socks and shoes, roll up his pant legs and delve into the frigid creek for a possible shot.
 
He eventually decided to take a penalty drop, but that scene remains an enduring legacy from the last Open at Carnoustie -- especially when Van de Velde took a triple-bogey 7 and lost to Paul Lawrie in a playoff.
 
Van de Velde didn't qualify for this year's Open, his career on hold as he deals with a mysterious illness. He underwent tests just this week in hopes of discovering the cause of his debilitating pain.
 
Lawrie, a native son from right up the road in Aberdeen, is the last European to win a major. The eight-year winless drought has stirred up no shortage of theories why the continent that dominates the U.S. in Ryder Cup doesn't fare as well individually.
 
'Now is the time,' said Colin Montgomerie, who's never won a major in his long, illustrious career. 'I think one of us should come forward. I think we are good enough to come forward now and win.'
 
Paired with Woods, Lawrie wasn't given much chance of a repeat at the scene of his greatest triumph. One prominent British bookie put the odds at 200-to-1.
 
Still, Lawrie hopes more people will come to appreciate his remarkable triumph in '99, when he overcame a 10-shot deficit on the final day by shooting a 4-under 67 on a course where the best cumulative score was 6 over.
 
It will take a much better score than that to win this time.
 
Related Links:
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    Pepperell among co-leaders early in Qatar

    By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 5:06 pm

    DOHA, Qatar – Eddie PepperellGregory Havret, and Aaron Rai made the most of calm early morning conditions at Doha Golf Club to set the pace in the opening round of the Qatar Masters at 7-under-par 65 on Thursday.

    Havret went bogey free, Pepperell made one bogey and eight birdies, while fellow English golfer Rai eagled his last hole to add to five birdies.

    One shot behind the leaders were four players, including former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari of Italy and former champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain.

    Defending champion Jeunghun Wang of South Korea started with a 68, and Race to Dubai leader Shubhankar Sharma of India shot 69 despite a double bogey on the 15th hole.


    Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters


    Pepperell, who is fast gaining a reputation on the European Tour for his irreverent tweets and meaningful blogs, showed his clubs can also do an equal amount of talking after missing cuts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Malaysia.

    Pepperell birdied Nos. 10, 11, 14, 16 and 18 with a single blemish on 13 after starting on the back nine. He made three more birdies on his back nine.

    He was joined on top of the leaderboard by Havret, who made five birdies in six holes from the sixth, and Rai, who eagled the last.

    ''I surprised myself, really,'' said Pepperell, who finished third in Portugal and Netherlands last year.

    ''I've made some changes this week with personnel, so I've been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it.

    ''I hit some quality tee shots, that's the area I feel that I've been struggling with a bit lately. We had a good time.

    ''It's definitely a bigger picture for me this week than tomorrow and indeed the weekend. I'm not overly-fussed about my early season form.”

    Molinari, a three-time champion on the tour including last year in Morocco, started with eight straight pars, and then made seven birdies in his last 10 holes, including a chip-in for birdie on the last.

    ''I hit every green apart from the last one. I hit a lot of fairways, I had a lot of chances for birdie,'' said Edoardo, the older brother of Francesco.

    ''Last week in Oman, I had a decent week, I had a bad first round and then three very good rounds. It's been the case for the last few weeks so my focus this week was to try and get a good start.''

    Oliver Fisher of England was the best among the afternoon groups with a 6-under 66, joining Molinari, Quiros and Germany's Marcel Schneider in a tie for fourth.

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    Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

    By Tiger TrackerFebruary 22, 2018, 4:45 pm

    Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.


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    Honda Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 22, 2018, 2:15 pm

    The PGA Tour heads back east to kick off the Florida Swing at PGA National. Here are the key stats and information for the Honda Classic. Click here for full-field tee times.

    How to watch:

    Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET

    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET


    Purse: $6.6 million ($1,188,000 to the winner)

    Course: PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (par-70; 7,140 yards)

    Defending champion: Rickie Fowler (-12) won by four, picking off his fourth PGA Tour victory.


    Notables in the field:

    Tiger Woods

    • Making his fourth start at the Honda Classic and his first since withdrawing with back spasms in 2014.

    • Shot a Sunday 62 in a T-2 finish in 2012, marking his lowest career final-round score on the PGA Tour.

    • Coming off a missed cut at last week's Genesis Open, his 17th in his Tour career.


    Rickie Fowler

    • The defending champion owns the lowest score to par and has recorded the most birdies and eagles in this event since 2012.

    • Fowler's last start was at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he failed to close a 54-hole lead. Fowler is 1-for-6 with 54-hole leads in his Tour career, with his only successful close coming at last year's Honda.

    • On Tour this year, Fowler is first in scrambling from the fringe, second in total scrambling and third in strokes gained around the green. 


    Rory McIlroy

    • It's been feast or famine for McIlroy at the Honda. He won in 2012, withdrew with a toothache in 2013, finished T-2 in 2014 and missed the cut in 2015 and 2016.

    • McIlroy ascended to world No. 1 with his victory at PGA National in 2012, becoming the second youngest player at 22 years old to top the OWGR, behind only Woods. McIlroy was later edged by a slightly younger 22-year-old Jordan Spieth.

    • Since the beginning of 2010, only Dustin Johnson (15) has more PGA Tour victories than McIlroy (13). 

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    Lexi, J. Korda part of four-way tie in Thailand

    By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 1:01 pm

    CHONBURI, Thailand – Three-time tour winner Minjee Lee of Australia finished with a superb eagle putt to be among the four leaders after Day 1 of the LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club on Thursday.

    Lee sank a 45-foot putt on the 18th hole to card a 6-under-par 66 to tie for the lead with 2016 champion Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, and local hope Moriya Jutanugarn.

    ''I just hit the collar. I didn't know if I was going to have enough. Such a big break there. I'm glad it caught the hole,'' Lee said.

    ''It's a second-shot golf course. Your approaches are really important, and obviously being in the right spots with the undulation. And if you have a hot putter that's going to help.''


    Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand


    Lee won the Vic Open near Melbourne this month and opened her 2018 LPGA tour account last week at the Women's Australian Open, finishing fifth.

    Thompson, who won this event in 2016 by six shots with a 20-under total and tied for fourth last year, started her latest round in style with an eagle followed by a birdie only to bogey the third hole. She carded four more birdies.

    ''It definitely helps to get that kind of start, but I was just trying to keep that momentum and not get ahead of myself,'' Thompson said.

    Her compatriot Korda had a roller-coaster round which featured eagles on the first and 17th holes, five birdies, a double bogey on the sixth, and two bogeys.

    Jutanugarn was the only player among the four to end the day without a bogey.

    ''I had a good start today, it was better than I expected,'' said Jutanugarn, who was seventh here last year.

    She's trying to become the first Thai winner of the tournament.

    Two-time champion Amy Yang and world No. 2 Sung Hyun Park were among six players at 5 under.