Woods finally sees red just not on leaderboard

By Associated PressJune 22, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 U.S. OpenFARMINGDALE, N.Y. ' He didnt need to hear any more.
 
Do you beat yourself up over this one, the question began, or
 
Yes, Tiger Woods said abruptly.
 
This once, at least, the best player in the world wasnt interested in alibis, never mind that a very tidy one was available. Woods got stuck in the bad half of the draw, weather-wise, from the start of play Thursday and beat every other player in the super-soaked flight at this U.S. Open. That was only good enough to tie for sixth place.
Some of Woods' frustrations stemmed from his putter and the weather issues at Bethpage Black. (Getty Images)
The sun was trying to peek through the clouds on a breezy, overcast morning at Bethpage Black, but Woods wasnt interested in that, either. For five days, he had seen little besides rain and gray skies. Now he was seeing nothing but red.
 
I striped it this week, he said after finishing at even-par 280. I hit it just like I did at Memorial.
 
That was two weeks ago in Ohio, where Woods found every fairway in the final round and came from four strokes back on the last day to win.
 
Unfortunately, he said, back in the moment, I didnt make anything.
 
I hit so many putts that ' my good ones are not going in, and then my bad ones arent even close. Its a little bit slow and bumpy, but you have to be committed to hitting it that hard, and I left a lot of putts short. And then, when I tried to hit it harder, I gunned it past the hole.
 
He tugged the bill of his black cap lower.
 
I didnt make the adjustment the right way, he said.
 
Nearly every time Woods loses, he pins the blame on the shortest club in his bag. This time, there was no second-guessing him. He made only 14 birdies all week, and left two more very makable ones sitting on the final two greens. In hindsight, the 3-footer Woods missed for bogey at No. 15 in the opening round became a template for the rest of his tournament.
 
Most weeks, Woods is among the boldest putters out there, because hes supremely confident in his ability to make the short ones coming back. But here he seemed positively spooked. Steady rains forced USGA officials to leave the lawn mowers in the shed, and the greens, which were just shaggy at the start of play, soon became pockmarked and bare in some spots, inexplicably fast or slow in others.
 
Everybody had to negotiate the same surface, of course. But they drove a world-class control freak like Woods to distraction. He craves consistency above almost everything else, and Mother Nature simply refused to go along. If you want to know why Woods rarely shows up anymore for the PGA Tours swing through the West Coast in late winter, when rain plays havoc with the poa annua putting surfaces, thats the short answer.
 
He didnt expect to find them at Bethpage, despite having endured at least one day of rain-soaked greens en route to his U.S. Open title here in 2002.
 
This is a great golf course, Woods said. Its just that the USGA just got the short end of the stick on the weather. We have yet to play it hard and fast the two years weve played. It was kind of getting that way in 2002 in the beginning of the week until it rained on Friday.
 
This golf course, he added, almost wistfully, would play so different.
 
If Woods was looking for consolation, there was plenty. Returning from knee surgery that sidelined him nearly eight months, he has finished in the top 10 or better in every stroke-play event hes entered since. Woods also became the first Open champion since Curtis Strange two decades ago to finish in the top 10 defending his title.
 
Then again, top 10s never meant that much to Tiger. For the first time in five years, he doesnt have the trophy from a major title in the glass cabinet back home, which should be motivation enough to start beating up on the other players when they gather next month at Turnberry for the British Open.
 
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  • Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

    Getty Images

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    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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.

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    Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

    Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

    The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.