Woods Begins 10th Season on Tour

By Associated PressJanuary 25, 2006, 5:00 pm
2005 Buick InvitationalEven after 10 years defined by his 10 major championships, there are times when Tiger Woods still feels as though he has something to prove.
The chill of a Pacific breeze was in his face Tuesday morning when he reached his ball in the sixth fairway, seemingly too far away to reach the green.
'No chance to get there?' he said to his caddie.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods makes his 2006 debut this week at the Buick Invitational.
Steve Williams shrugged his shoulders and told him it was 275 yards to the front of the green, a long way considering the wind and temperature in the 50s that keeps the ball from traveling as far.
'Let me show you my stuff,' Woods said with a smile, grabbing a driver from the bag.
He ripped a low, piercing shot that held its line until tumbling into the first cut of rough, a few yards short of the green. And this brought another smile.
'That,' he said, 'was pure.'
There were few signs of rust for Woods, who makes his 2006 debut at the Buick Invitational after taking the second-longest break of his career.
He missed two months because of knee surgery at the end of the 2002 season, returning at the Buick Invitational and winning by four shots. He took six weeks off this time, a self-imposed break to recover from a long year in which he spent more time on the range trying to refine his swing.
More than just the six weeks, Woods made it a point not to touch a club until the calendar changed.
'Once the new year came around and I started to realize I only had a couple more weeks to prepare, to start getting ready, then my mind kind of switched over,' Woods said. 'Before that, I basically had made a decision not to touch a club until the following year.'
He spent four days skiing, and the rest of December in southern California to be near his father, who is fighting a losing battle with cancer. Woods said only that Earl Woods was 'hanging in there.'
Woods is the defending champion at Torrey Pines, where the field isn't as strong as it was a year ago. Only three of the top 10 players from the world ranking are at the Buick Invitational, the others being Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia. Ernie Els is making his '06 debut at the Qatar Masters, joined by Vijay Singh.
Woods and Garcia, not the best of friends, will be grouped with Stuart Appleby the first two rounds, starting Thursday on the shorter, easier North Course at Torrey Pines that plays about three strokes easier than the South Course, site of the 2008 U.S. Open.
'I can't wait to get out there and compete,' Woods said. 'I've missed the competition. I've missed the rush of trying to shoot low numbers and win tournaments.'
A year ago, the Buick Invitational was a launching pad.
Woods had not won a stroke-play event on the PGA Tour in 16 months when he took advantage of late mistakes by Tom Lehman and Luke Donald, to win by three shots. Swing changes with Hank Haney kept rounding into form, and Woods went on to win the Masters, British Open and two World Golf Championships.
Woods said there is still room to improve, although he is much farther along than he was last year.
'I don't have as far to go to get ready for the Masters this year,' he said. 'Last year, I had a long way to go. I had a lot of different things I needed to fix to be ready for Augusta. This year, it's not as many. The list is a lot shorter, and the changes aren't as big.
'From that standpoint, I've got a head start on last year.'
There are other changes outside of golf. The Tiger Woods Learning Center, an after-school project for kids in the Anaheim area, will have its grand opening Feb. 10. And he recently completed a $38 million purchase of a 10-acre property in south Florida that stretches from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Atlantic Ocean.
Woods didn't say when he would move from Orlando, Fla., or where he would play, although he has an invitation from Jack Nicklaus to the exclusive Bear's Club.
'I told Tiger that he is more than welcome,' Nicklaus said. 'He may choose to come to The Bear's Club, and he may choose not to come here ... may not want to feel like he's imposing on my situation while he's trying to break my record. He's certainly been invited.'
Woods said he likely would keep a house or villa at Isleworth, a course that he said was ideal for major preparations.
And that's ultimately what matters to him this year, just like always.
'Hopefully, I can put together some wins and have a more successful season than I did last year,' he said.
Torrey Pines has been friendly to him over the years.
Woods and Mickelson are the only three-time winners of the Buick Invitational, and Woods' worst finish in this tournament was a tie for 10th in 2004, when he missed a playoff by two shots.
'I've been playing here since I was 12,' Woods said. 'I've had some success here even in the junior ranks. The golf course just suits my eye.'
Mickelson, who grew up in San Diego, has been playing it even longer, and still likes to sneak out with the public, although that hasn't happened in a few years.
'I think Torrey Pines South is the hardest golf course I've ever played day in and day out,' Mickelson said.
Related Links:
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    Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

    By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

    The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

    Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

    There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

    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.

    Playing with the pros

    Tiger, DJ and Faxon

    Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

    Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

    Rory faces criticism

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

    President at the Presidents Cup

    Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

    Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

    Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

    Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

    Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

    Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

    Cart on the green

    Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

    Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

    Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

    Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

    Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

    Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

    Trump golf properties


    Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

    Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


    Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

    Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

    Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

    Reportedly fake TIME covers

    Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

    Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

    Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

    Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

    Pros comment on the president

    Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

    Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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

    Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.