Woods pleased with first-round 75 at Blackwolf Run

By Associated PressJuly 5, 2012, 9:12 pm

KOHLER, Wis. – Given the chance to show that she had the game to match her famous family name, Cheyenne Woods did just fine.

Woods shot a 3-over 75 in the first round of the U.S. Women's Open on Thursday - a round that wouldn't quite measure up to the best days of her uncle, Tiger Woods. But it wasn't bad for a 21-year-old recent Wake Forest graduate who just turned professional and is playing in her first Open.

''I feel pretty good about my round overall,'' Woods said. ''It's a tough course, and I'm just happy to have survived.''

The crowd at Blackwolf Run certainly knew about Woods' famous family ties. Woods said she heard occasional whispers coming from the crowd and had her share of fan support.

''Everyone out here has been really, really supportive, cheering us on,'' Woods said. ''I'll give them props for coming out today because it's definitely hot out there.''

Woods grew up in Arizona and is used to temperatures over 100 degrees - but the combination of high temperatures and humidity was challenging.

''I'm a little drained after that almost six-hour round, but I'm just happy to be here and excited to be a part of the U.S. Open for the first time,'' Woods said.

Woods was 3 over through nine holes, then had back-to-back birdies, only to finish with bogeys on two of her last three holes.''I felt like I held in there pretty good,'' she said.

Woods said she expected to hear from her uncle later in the day.

''He's always been supportive of my career and excited that I'm taking this next step,'' Woods said.

Earlier this week, Woods said she isn't shying away from the famous family association, despite the expectations that might come along with it.

''I wouldn't really say that they're negatives, the expectations and the pressure, because I've grown up with that,'' Woods said. ''And I think that it has helped me get to where I am today and prepare me for this next level, because it is a lot more pressure playing out here for money, playing in front of a crowd. The camera is on you at all times. So I think that that has helped me.''

Besides, she said, there are plenty of plusses to having her uncle on speed dial.

''He's the best player in the world, and I have him at my fingertips if I need help,'' Woods said. ''So, it's nice to have.''

Woods said she has turned to her uncle for occasional swing advice, but mostly relies on him for emotional support.

''Not necessarily advice, but support,'' she said. ''That's probably the biggest thing I can get, his support. Knowing he's excited I'm here, and that feels good he's there to support.''

Woods said she was in a baby stroller the first time she saw her uncle play in person, in 1992.

''That was the first time I ever watched,'' she said. ''I don't remember it, but I was there.''

Through watching her uncle, she quickly developed a love of golf - and the skills she hopes will turn it into a career.

''It's something that I always wanted to do since I was five years old and I started playing golf,'' she said. ''Watching Tiger play as I grew up, I knew I wanted to get out there one day. When I did graduate from Wake Forest, I knew that was the next step. It was the next step in my career, and hopefully I'll be here for a while.''

And she said she's ready for the expectations and comparisons to continue, even if she doesn't think they're valid.

''I mean, I've always said that I'm going on my own path,'' she said. ''I have my own progression that I've taken. And just accomplishing my goals and doing what I can do because Tiger is a very elite athlete. Not everybody can be Tiger Woods. So I just do what I can do to be the best that I can.''

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Players winner to get 3-year exemption into PGA

By Rex HoggardFebruary 21, 2018, 8:01 pm

Although The Players isn’t golf’s fifth major, it received a boost in that direction this week.

The PGA of America has adjusted its criteria for eligibility into the PGA Championship, extending an exemption for the winner of The Players to three years.

According to an official with the PGA of America, the association felt the winner of The Players deserved more than a single-year exemption, which had been the case, and the move is consistent with how the PGA Tour’s annual flagship event is treated by the other majors.

Winners of The Players were already exempt for three years into the Masters, U.S. Open and The Open Championship.

The change will begin with this year’s PGA Championship.

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Thomas: Playing in front of Tiger even more chaotic

By Randall MellFebruary 21, 2018, 7:52 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Justin Thomas may be going from the frying pan to the fire of Tiger Woods’ pairings.

Translation: He’s going from being grouped with Woods last week in the first two rounds at the Genesis Open to being grouped directly in front of Woods this week at the Honda Classic.

“Which might be even worse than playing with him,” Thomas said Wednesday.

Typically, the pairing in front of Woods deals with a lot of gallery movement, with fans racing ahead to get in position to see Woods’ next shot.

Thomas was quoted after two rounds with Tiger at Riviera saying fans “got a little out of hand,” and saying it’s disappointing some golf fans today think it’s “so amusing to yell and all that stuff while we’re trying to hit shots.”

With 200,000 fans expected this week at the Honda Classic, and with the Goslings Bear Trap pavilion setting a party mood at the 16th green and 17th tee, that portion of the course figures to be quite lively at PGA National.


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Thomas was asked about that.

“I touched on this a little bit last week,” Thomas said. “I think it got blown out of proportion, was just taken out of context, and worded differently than how I said it or meant it.

“I love the fans. The fans are what I hope to have a lot of, what all of us hope to have a lot of. We want them cheering us on. But it's those certain fans that are choosing to yell at the wrong times, or just saying stuff that's completely inappropriate.”

Thomas said it’s more than ill-timed shouts. It’s the nature of some things being said.

“It's one thing if it's just you and I talking, but when you're around kids, when you're around women, when you're around families, or just around people in general, some of the stuff they are saying to us is just extremely inappropriate,” he said. “There’s really no place for it anywhere, especially on a golf course.

“I feel like golf is pretty well known as a classy sport, not that other sports aren't, but it has that reputation.”

Thomas said the nature of the 17th hole at PGA National’s Champion Course makes it a more difficult tee shot than the raucous 16th at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Typically, players like to hear fans get into the action before or after they hit shots. Ill-timed bluster, however, makes a shot like the one at Honda’s 17th even tougher.

“That hole is hard enough,” Thomas said. “I don't need someone yelling in my ear on my backswing that I'm going to hit it in the water, to make it any harder. I hope it gets better, just for the sake of the game. That's not helping anything. That's not helping grow the game.”

Those who follow golf know an ill-timed shout in a player’s backswing is different than anything a fan says at a football, basketball or baseball game. An ill-timed comment in a backswing has a greater effect on the outcome of a competition.

“Just in terms of how much money we're playing for, how many points we're playing for ... this is our jobs out here, and you hate to somehow see something that a fan does, or something that they yell, influence something that affects [a player’s] job,” Thomas said.

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Rory: Phil said RC task force just copied Europe

By Randall MellFebruary 21, 2018, 7:21 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am two weeks ago, Rory McIlroy quizzed Phil Mickelson about what the Americans got out of the U.S. Ryder Cup task force’s overhaul.

McIlroy and Mickelson were paired together at Pebble Beach.

“Basically, all they are doing is copying what the Europeans have done,” McIlroy said.  “That's what he said.”

The Europeans claimed their sixth of seven Ryder Cups with their victory at Gleneagles in 2014. That brought about a sea change in the way the United States approached the Ryder Cup. Mickelson called out the tactics in Gleneagles of captain Tom Watson, who was outmaneuvered by European captain Paul McGinley.


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The Americans defeated Europe at Hazeltine two years ago with that new European model.

“He said the first thing they did in that task force was Phil played a video, a 12-minute video of Paul McGinley to all of them,” McIlroy said. “So, they are copying what we do, and it's working for them. It's more cohesive, and the team and the core of that team are more in control of what they are doing, instead of the PGA of America recruiting and someone telling them what to do.”

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 21, 2018, 7:00 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.