Woods makes turn at 1 over on tough day at Pebble

By Associated PressJune 18, 2010, 4:27 am
2010 U.S. OpenPEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Tiger Woods was great from tee to green, but a less-than-perfect putter kept him from making an early move on the first day of the U.S. Open.

He was hardly alone.

On a windy, difficult day at Pebble Beach, where momentum lasted only as long as the walk to the next tee box, Woods had eight straight pars and a bogey to make the turn at 1 over par. He was the only player to hit every green in regulation through nine holes—and that included a solid approach from a fairway bunker on No. 2—but missed from 12, 15 and seven feet on the first three greens.

He missed a six-footer to save par on the par-4 ninth and made the turn two shots behind clubhouse leaders K.J. Choi, Mike Weir, Ian Poulter and Rafael Cabrera-Bello.

For comparison’s sake, Woods shot 6 under par in the first round back in 2000 when he shattered the U.S. Open record and won by 15 strokes. This year, he came into the U.S. Open not on a roll, but trying to round his game into shape after taking time off after sordid details of his personal life went public over the winter.

Tiger Woods 1st round U.S. Open
Tiger Woods was the only player to hit every green in regulation through nine holes. (Getty Images)
He received a nice ovation before teeing off on the par-4 first hole. His approach almost went in the hole but skidded 12 feet past, and thus began the string of eight straight pars.

Brendon de Jonge, Soren Kjeldsen, Weir and Choi were among the handful of players to reach 3 under, though none could stay there.

Weir saw how quickly Pebble could give and take away on a day with bright sunshine, temperatures in the low-60s and north winds at about 10 mph. Weir chipped in for birdie from the greenside rough on 16 to get to 3 under, then promptly pushed his tee shot on No. 17, part of a bogey-bogey finish that dampened an otherwise good day.

“You don’t want to finish a round like that. It’s never a good thing,” Weir said. “But it wasn’t because I was looking at the scoreboard and looking at where I am in the tournament. Because it’s Thursday, and I just happened to hit a couple of poor shots.”

When Woods made the turn, there were two players in the lead at 2 under— John Rollins and Heath Slocum, but each had a long way to go.

“It’s survival,” said Tim Clark, after shooting a 72.

Trying to keep the course playable, the USGA decided to water the greens before the round began. It made what could have been an impossible day merely difficult.

“If we didn’t put the corrective water on it and got this kind of wind, then the golf course could’ve gotten away from us,” USGA secretary Tom O’Toole said.

Phil Mickelson played in the morning and ran into trouble almost everywhere he went. He hit one ball onto the beach on No. 17, another that went careening off the rocks and into the ocean on 18. He left a ball in a bunker on No. 4 and missed a four-foot birdie putt on No. 6. All part of a frustrating day that left this year’s Masters winner at 4-over 75.

“I don’t believe I should have shot over par,” Mickelson said. “I putted horrific. You’re going to make some bogeys, going to hit a couple of bad shots here and there. But I gave myself plenty of opportunities and just couldn’t get the ball in the hole.”

Choi had the most up-and-down round, starting bogey-double bogey but coming back with six birdies over the next 16 holes to get to red numbers.

“This course, it looks like it’s wide-open fairway, but in the teeing ground, in the mindset, you look right, look left, either way is very tough,” Choi said. “And you can’t stop in the bouncing, so you’re very scared on the tee shot.”

Cabrera-Bello is making his debut at the majors. He was the first person to tee off on No. 10. No pressure there, right? The 26-year-old Spaniard opened with a birdie and briefly got to 2 under before finishing at 70.

He was one of many who had brief stints at the top of the leaderboard.

Mikko Ilonen birdied his first two holes early in the morning but then began a freefall that left him at 4-over 75.
Sweden’s Robert Karlsson was briefly at 2 under, but hit a chip up to the eighth green that reached the crest of the hill and rolled back, only a few paces from where he started. He made bogey there, the beginning of another freefall. He shot 75.

Kjeldsen spent most of the morning in the lead, making three birdies over the first six holes. But Pebble caught up to him, too. He made four bogeys on the back to finish at 1-over 72.

Edoardo Molinari got to 2 under but finished with a pair of double-bogeys to finish at 75.

Dustin Johnson, the winner of the last two AT&T National pro-ams—played at Pebble every February—briefly got to 2 under before a four-putt on No. 14 dropped him off the leaderboard. Just as quickly, he was back in a group at 1 under.

Still, he was finding out, as all these players know, that Pebble Beach in February is much different than Pebble Beach in June.

Earlier in the week, Choi said his goal was to shoot par all four days, and if he did that, he figured he’d be in pretty good shape.

After Day 1, he wasn’t changing his opinion.

“Every day,” he said, “even par is a good situation.”
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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.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

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.

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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.

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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