Woods opens with historically bad rounds at Firestone

By Associated PressAugust 7, 2010, 12:15 am

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AKRON, Ohio – Things got so bad for Tiger Woods off the tee in Friday’s second round of the Bridgestone Invitational that he had to supply his own soundtrack.

“Get in the hole!” he sneered under his breath at an errant iron shot into the par-3 seventh hole, repeating the cliched phrase so often yelled by the loudest of his fans.

Woods followed up his worst round ever at Firestone Country Club, a 4-over 74 on Thursday, by matching his second-worst round, a 72. When he left the course, the seven-time winner of the Bridgestone stood 13 shots off the lead – but just two shots out of last place in the 81-player field.

In his 261 PGA Tour starts, he has played the first 36 holes worse in only four tournaments.

It wasn’t just bad scores, however. The biggest problem is that Woods has almost no idea where his ball is going off the tee.

He hit only three of 14 fairways in the second round. A closer look shows he hit seven tee shots into the right rough – sometimes far, far to the right – and three other times he pounded the ball into the high grass on the left.

In other words, he was all over the course, visiting spots that the game’s best seldom see.

He bolted after his round, walking away from reporters after signing his scorecard and then hustling to his waiting luxury SUV. But on Wednesday, he was asked about his driving.

“Of late I’ve been driving the ball so much better,” he said.

He did not back that up on the course. His play speaks volumes about where he is just a week before the final major of the year, the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

Woods came into the Bridgestone ranked ninth in the U.S. Ryder standings, with the top eight assured of spots on the team. He repeatedly said during a pretournament interview that he intended to play his way on, instead of forcing American captain Corey Pavin to select him with one of his discretionary picks.

But Woods is not showing that his game is in shape with just 10 days remaining until those eight automatic qualifiers for the U.S. side are finalized.

Woods hit his first drive of the day (on the 10th hole) far to the right and ended up bogeying. On the next tee, he slashed the ball far to the left, scattering the gallery, but ended up making a par.

After walking off the second tee, he turned back to playing partner Lee Westwood, who was also spraying the ball off the tee, and said, “So how are we doing so far?” Both laughed.

Woods didn’t hit a drive into the fairway until his eighth hole, about the same time a fan yelled, “Welcome back, Tiger, to your home away from home.” On the next hole, he drove directly behind a large fir tree. He whacked a 3 iron off the low-hanging branches, the ball going across the fairway and hitting another tree there. He then chipped 12 feet past the hole and missed the par putt.

It was like that all day long, with Woods finding trouble repeatedly.

Woods, ranked No. 1 in the world for the past 269 weeks, was paired the first two days with Westwood, who is No. 3. Both of them hacked up the course in the second round, with Westwood shooting a 76 to stand at 147, a shot behind Woods.

“Neither of us played very well, did we?” said Westwood, who is battling an injured right calf that caused him to withdraw from the remainder of the Bridgestone and next week’s PGA. “We’re all human. We all have bad days.”

The two did talk to each other or their caddies from time to time. There was an occasional smile.

“What can you do? Cry?” Westwood said with a laugh. “You try and pass the time as fast as possible.”

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

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.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

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.