Woods Keeps Open Hopes Alive

By Associated PressJune 17, 2005, 4:00 pm
PINEHURST, N.C. -- Tiger Woods dragged his putter and marked up the ninth green in a show of disgust. When he missed his short birdie putt on the last hole, he stepped off the green and shouted an obscenity.
 
For a guy who spent the week preaching patience, Woods had a hard time Friday keeping his.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods reacts to one of his three birdies Friday.
Woods drew a mild rebuke from the USGA for damaging the green on the ninth hole and some disapproving stares from the crowd around the 18th green for cursing. When the day ended, though, his party line hadn't changed.
 
'You can't have highs and lows,' Woods said. 'Yeah, I get frustrated out there and excited out there, but you try to keep everything down, keep it as level as you possibly can.'
 
Woods remained in contention for his third U.S. Open title and his second major of the year, overcoming his anger with a good finish for a 1-over 71 that left him right where he began the day - three shots off the pace.
 
The round was more plodding than spectacular but it certainly had its moments, beginning on the second tee when Woods had his caddie, Steve Williams, take scissors to his shirt because it felt too tight when he finished his swing.
 
That was interesting to all watching, but what happened on the ninth green wasn't so entertaining to Open officials.
 
Woods had putted from the front edge of the green on the par-3 and ran it past some 12 feet. He missed the putt coming back and, as he walked toward the cup, he pushed down on his putter and dragged it heavily on the green in frustration.
 
The putter clearly marked up a line on the green several feet long, and Woods sheepishly tried to pat it down after tapping in his putt for bogey.
 
'I wasn't exactly very happy with myself,' Woods said.
 
Woods didn't attempt to apologize for the incident, and he wasn't penalized for it despite the USGA saying his actions 'may be understood as a breach of etiquette.'
 
In a statement, the organization said that since it was a one-time occurrence, it did not qualify as a 'serious breach' that would require a penalty. The USGA also said a rule prohibiting scraping the putting surface for testing purposes wasn't broken because Woods had just a tap-in left and wasn't trying to test the green.
 
Woods tried to cast the incident in a humorous light.
 
'I just roughed up the green and went back and mowed it back down again,' he said.
 
The bogey at No. 9 was the third on the front side for Woods, who started the day with a 15-foot birdie putt on the second hole to get to 1-under-par for the tournament. He was six shots off the lead as he made the turn, then ran off a string of pars before reaching the 492-yard par-4 16th, the hardest hole on an extremely hard course.
 
Woods made it look easy, booming a drive that almost made it to a crosswalk that wasn't supposed to be reachable. He then feathered a 9-iron to about 8 feet and made the birdie putt.
 
Woods nearly saved the best for last. After another massive drive on the 18th hole, he had a wedge to the green and hit it to about 8 feet once again. The putt was relatively simple, uphill and breaking a bit to the right, but Woods didn't give it enough pace and it fell off on the low side.
 
Clearly unhappy, Woods walked a few steps off the green and cursed loudly at himself.
 
'I really wanted that one,' he said.
 
Woods, whose last U.S. Open win came in 2002 at Bethpage, is at 1-over 141 after rounds of 70-71. He wasn't unhappy with Thursday's opening round, and he was pleased with the second round despite missing the last putt and 3-putting the sixth and ninth holes.
 
'Days like today typify a U.S. Open,' Woods said. 'You've just got to go out there and be as patient as possible and grind away.'
 
Patience might not have been the word people watching Woods would have used to describe the round. But Woods, who has a history of having minor blowups on the course, is just as adept in refocusing himself and moving to the next shot once he's let off steam.
 
That happened again on Friday, one reason why Woods likes the position he's in going into the weekend.
 
'If you finish the week even par, you're going to be looking really good, and the guys are coming back,' he said. 'That's just the way it's going to be. No one is going to run off with it, not with these conditions and these pin locations.'
 
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - 105th U.S. Open
  • Full Coverage - 105th U.S. Open

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    Rahm, Koepka both jump in OWGR after wins

    By Will GrayNovember 20, 2017, 1:19 pm

    Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka both made moves inside the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking following wins in Dubai and Japan, respectively.

    Rahm captured the European Tour season finale, winning the DP World Tour Championship by a shot. It was his third worldwide victory of 2017 and it allowed the Spaniard to overtake Hideki Matsuyama at world No. 4. It also establishes a new career high in the rankings for Rahm, who started the year ranked No. 137.

    Koepka cruised to a nine-shot victory while successfully defending his title at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix. The victory was his first since winning the U.S. Open and it helped Koepka jump three spots to No. 7 in the latest rankings. Reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele, who finished second behind Koepka in Japan, went from 30th to 24th.

    After earning his maiden PGA Tour victory at the RSM Classic, Austin Cook vaulted from No. 302 to No. 144 in the world. Runner-up J.J. Spaun jumped 48 spots to No. 116, while a hole-out with his final approach helped Brian Gay rise 73 spots to No. 191 after finishing alone in third at Sea Island.

    Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas with Rahm and Matsuyama now rounding out the top five. Justin Rose remains at No. 6, followed by Koepka, Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson. Rory McIlroy slid two spots to No. 10 and is now in danger of falling out of the top 10 for the first time since May 2014.

    With his return to competition now less than two weeks away, Tiger Woods fell four more spots to No. 1193 in the latest rankings.

    Love to undergo hip replacement surgery

    By Rex HoggardNovember 20, 2017, 1:08 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Two days removed from arguably the most hectic week of his year, Davis Love III will undergo replacement surgery on his left hip.

    Love, who hosted and played in last week’s RSM Classic, said he tried to avoid the surgery, but the pain became too much and he will undergo the procedure on Tuesday at the Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center in Birmingham, Ala.

    “I had a hip problem the last few years, and I had a hip resurfacing trying to avoid hip surgery because I’m a chicken, but after playing [the CIMB Classic and Sanderson Farms Championship] I realized it was an uphill battle,” Love said.


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    Love said doctors have told him recovery from the procedure will take between three to four months, but he should be able to start work on his chipping and putting within a few weeks.

    Love, who missed the cut at the RSM Classic, said earlier in the week that his goal is to become the oldest PGA Tour winner and that the only way to achieve that was by having the surgery.

    “Now I’m excited that I’ve crossed that bridge,” said Love, who will turn 54 next April. “Once I get over that I can go right back to the Tour. I won after a spine fusion [2015 Wyndham Championship] and now I’d like to win with a new hip. That’s the reason I’m doing it so I can get back to golf and keep up.”

    LPGA awards: Ryu, S.H. Park tie for POY

    By Randall MellNovember 20, 2017, 1:56 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – In the end, the CME Group Tour Championship played out a lot like the entire 2017 season did.

    Parity reigned.

    Nobody dominated the game’s big season-ending awards, though Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park came close.

    Thompson walked away with the CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot and the Vare Trophy for low scoring average. If she had made that last 2-foot putt at the 72nd hole Sunday, she might also have walked away with the Rolex Player of the Year Award and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Park shared the Rolex Player of the Year Award with So Yeon Ryu. By doing so, Park joined Nancy Lopez as the only players in LPGA history to win the Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year titles in the same season. Lopez did it in 1978. Park also won the LPGA money-winning title.

    Here’s a summary of the big prizes:

    Rolex Player of the Year
    Ryu and Park both ended up with 162 points in the points-based competition. Park started the week five points behind Ryu but made the up the difference with the five points she won for tying for sixth.

    It marks the first time the award has been shared since its inception in 1966.

    Ryu and Park join Inbee Park as the only South Koreans to win the award. Park won it in 2013.


    Vare Trophy
    Thompson won the award with a scoring average of 69.114. Sung Hyun Park finished second at 69.247. Park needed to finish at least nine shots ahead of Thompson at the CME Group Tour Championship to win the trophy.

    There were a record 12 players with scoring averages under 70.0 this year, besting the previous record of five, set last year.


    CME Globe $1 million prize
    Thompson entered the week first in the CME points reset, but it played out as a two-woman race on the final day. Park needed to finish ahead of Thompson in the CME Group Tour Championship to overtake her for the big money haul. Thompson tied for second in the tournament while Park tied for sixth.

    By winning the CME Group Tour Championship, Jutanugarn had a shot at the $1 million, but she needed Park to finish the tournament eighth or worse and Thompson to finish ninth or worse.


    LPGA money-winning title
    Park claimed the title with $2,335,883 in earnings. Ryu was second, with $1,981,593 in earnings.

    The tour saw a tour-record 17 players win $1 million or more this season, two more than did so last year.

    Ryu came into the week as the only player who could pass Park for the title, but Ryu needed to win to do so.


    Rolex world No. 1 ranking
    The top ranking was up for grabs at CME, with No. 1 Feng, No. 2 Sung Hyun Park and No. 3 So Yeon Ryu all within three hundredths of a ranking point. Even No. 4 Lexi Thompson had a chance to grab the top spot if she won, but in the end nobody could overtake Feng. Her reign will extend to a second straight week.


    Rolex Rookie of the Year
    Park ran away with the award with her U.S. Women’s Open and Canadian Pacific Women’s Open victories among her 11 top-10 finishes. She had the award locked up long before she arrived for the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

    Ko ends first winless season with T-16 at CME

    By Randall MellNovember 20, 2017, 1:07 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Lydia Ko carved a hybrid 3-iron to 15 feet and ended the most intensely scrutinized year of her young career with a birdie Sunday at the CME Group Tour Championship.

    “Nice to finish the season on a high note,” Ko said after posting a 3-under-par 69, good for a tie for 16th. “Obviously, not a top-10 finish, but I played really solid. I feel like I finished the season off pretty strong.”

    Ko posted two second-place finishes, a third-place finish and a tie for fifth in her last eight starts.

    “Ever since Indy [in early September], I played really good and put myself in good positions,” Ko said. “I felt like the confidence factor was definitely higher than during the middle of the year. I had some opportunities, looks for wins.”

    Sunday marked the end of Ko’s first winless season since she began playing LPGA events at 15 years old.

    Let the record show, she left with a smile, eager to travel to South Korea to spend the next month with family after playing a charity event in Bradenton, Fla., on Monday.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    Much was made of Ko beginning the year with sweeping changes, with new equipment (PXG), a new coach (Gary Gilchrist) and a new caddie (Peter Godfrey).

    In the final summary, it wasn’t a Ko-like year, not by the crazy high standards she has set.

    She saw her run of 85 consecutive weeks at No. 1 end in June. She arrived in Naples holding on to the No. 8 ranking. She ends the year 13th on the LPGA money list with $1,177,450 in earnings. It’s the first time she hasn’t finished among the top three in money in her four full years on tour. She did log 11 top-10 finishes overall, three second-place finishes.

    How did she evaluate her season?

    “I feel like it was a better year than everyone else thinks, like `Lydia is in a slump,’” Ko said. “I feel like I played solid.

    “It's a season that, obviously, I learned a lot from ... the mental aspect of saying, `Hey, get over the bads and kind of move on.’”

    Ko said she learned a lot watching Stacy Lewis deal with her run of second-place finishes after winning so much.

    “Winning a championship is a huge deal, but, sometimes, it's overrated when you haven't won,” Ko said. “Like, you're still playing well, but just haven't won. I kind of feel like it's been that kind of year.

    “I think everybody has little ups and downs.”