Woods Earned Title at 12th Hole

By Associated PressJuly 17, 2005, 4:00 pm
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- A small group of caddies huddled around a TV in the Royal & Ancient locker room, watching the engraver work furiously to finish off Tiger Woods' name on the claret jug as the British Open champion made his triumphant stroll up the 18th fairway.
 
``He could have done that 30 minutes ago, couldn't he?'' one of them asked rhetorically.
 
At least.
 
Woods effectively won his 10th career major about 75 minutes earlier, still six holes from finish. Three putts, in bang-bang-bang succession, effectively choked all the drama out of the 134th Open.
 
Colin Montgomerie made bogey on the difficult par-4 13th hole. Just behind at the short par-4 12th, Jose Maria Olazabal took bogey, too, before Woods tapped in for a birdie.
 
A tenuous two-stroke cushion over his two closest challengers became an overwhelming four-shot advantage for the world's best player.
 
Game over.
 
The rest of the day was a mere victory lap for Woods, who went on to a five-stroke victory over Montgomerie, with Olazabal landing another shot back in a tie for third.
 
``Tiger made the birdie on 12,'' Monty said, as brutally honest as ever, ``and that was that.''
 
Woods, who became only the third golfer to win 10 major championships, shot a bogey-free 34 on the front side that could have been much lower. His approach at No. 6 hit the flagstick, the ball deflecting back off the green. A punch wedge at 7 spun right by the cup, and Woods missed a 6-footer coming back. Another birdie got away at the eighth, a hole he nearly aced before botching a 4-footer.
 
When Woods made bogey at No. 10, a repeat of the Masters seemed possible. Back in April, the greatest closer in golf squandered a two-shot lead at Augusta National with bogeys on the final two holes, forcing a playoff against Chris DiMarco.
 
Granted, Woods bounced back to claim his fourth green jacket on the 19th hole, but this wasn't the same dominating golfer who won seven of 11 majors at the beginning of the new millennium
 
Woods' dominating facade took another hit at U.S. Open, when two late bogeys cost him a chance to run down Michael Campbell.
 
So, when Woods drove into a pot bunker at No. 10, leading to his first bogey of the round, a buzz swept across the Old Course. Could their beloved Monty pull off his first major? Could Olazabal get an Open to go with his two Masters wins.
 
Then came the 12th. Woods unleashed a monstrous drive and chipped to 4 feet. Olazabal put his ball in a gorse bush, came up short of the green, chipped to 12 feet and missed the par-saving putt.
 
At virtually the same time, Montgomerie stood over a 6-footer to save par. He, too, watched the ball slide by the hole.
 
Woods went to 14-under, Olazabal and Montgomerie to 10-under.
 
The Spaniard also moaned about his bogey at No. 6, which dropped him three strokes behind Wood.
 
``I had some bad swings on 6 and 12, and that's where my chances were done,'' Olazabal said. ``If I'd played those two holes well, then it could've been a different story.''
 
Maybe. But Woods had positioned himself well the first three days, starting out 66-67 and scrambling for a 1-under 71 Saturday even while driving twice into the prickly bushes, costing him a pair of one-stroke penalties.
 
Woods came to the final round with a two-shot advantage over Olazabal and a three-stroke cushion over Montgomerie and Retief Goosen.
 
The South African wasn't a factor, stumbling out of contention with bogeys on the first two holes and four of the first eight. He finished at 74 -- not as embarrassing as his collapse on the final day of the U.S. Open, but another poor showing with a major championship on the line.
 
Even though there were plenty of major winners and highly ranked golfers lined up behind Woods, no one seriously challenged. Eighteen players were within six strokes at the start of the day, and Bernhard Langer was the only one to break par, posting a 1-under 71 that wasn't nearly good enough.
 
When the official end came, the engraver having carved all 10 letters into the hallowed trophy in time for Woods to hold it aloft, Sean O'Hair settled onto a bench in front of that clubhouse TV. He had finished 5-under, 9 strokes back in a tie for 15th.
 
``I'm going to take a week off, then try to figure out how to compete with that guy,'' the PGA Tour rookie said.
 
``You had a good week,'' an R&A worker remarked.
 
O'Hair shook his head.
 
``I'm not even close,'' he said, glancing toward the TV, ``to that guy.''
 
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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.