Woods rallies from poor start at Dubai

By Associated PressFebruary 12, 2011, 6:30 pm
European TourDUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Tiger Woods overcame a poor start in windy conditions Saturday to shoot a par 72, one shot behind leader Rory McIlroy and two others going into the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic.

On dusty day in the desert when the wind reached 28 mph, Woods showed an uncanny ability to repeatedly rally. He finished with a total of 7-under 209, behind second-round leader McIlroy (75), Denmark’s Anders Hansen (71) and South Africa’s Thomas Aiken (74). Woods is in a seven-way tie for fourth.

Woods shouldn’t even be in contention going into Sunday. But the tough conditions took their toll on most of the top players, with McIlroy finishing at 3 over and Sergio Garcia – who was eight shots ahead of Woods after nine holes – finishing at 3 over and tied with Woods and five other players.

In an uneven round, Woods had an eagle, four birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey.

“The fact I was able to battle from 4 over par and put myself with a chance going into tomorrow, I’m proud of that,” Woods said. “Hopefully, I can build on that.”

Woods started badly with bogeys on the first two holes, mostly from errant drives that went well left of the fairway. He pulled a shot back on the third with a birdie. But he bogeyed the eighth and ended up with a double bogey on the ninth after his approach shot got caught up in the wind, dropped just short of the green and rolled in the water.

At the turn, Woods showed some of his trademark resilience. He responded with an eagle on the 10th, chipping in from 35 feet. He followed that with a birdie that seemed to settle him down. But after running off several pars, his putting woes returned with a bogey on No. 16 – prompting Woods to swear before ending with “Come on Tiger.”

The former top-ranked player pulled out on all the stops on 17, driving to the back edge of the green on the 359-yard hole. But his chip ran past the hole and he missed an easy birdie putt.

He played cautiously on the 18th, choosing to lay up rather than drive the green. It paid off when he managed to curl in a 30-foot putt, prompting a fist pump as the gallery cheered.

“I just had to stay patient,” Woods said. “I made two mistakes with two bad swings at 8 and 9 that cost me four shots right there. I had three par 5s and 17 drivable.

“So I figured the back nine, I could make up some ground and hope the leaders did not pull away.”

Woods is seeking his first tournament victory in more than a year. He won in Dubai in 2006 and 2008.

McIlroy, who won his only European Tour event here in 2009, also had a dreadful start on a day when about two-thirds of the field didn’t break par. He had three straight bogeys to hand the lead to Garcia, including a drive on the second that landed in sandy scrub and one on the third that ended in the bunker.

Like Woods, McIlroy was able to turn his game around on the back nine with a birdie and a string of pars.

“There’s been a few rounds that I let get away from me … and I didn’t let that happen today which was a positive sign,” McIlroy said. “And I’m still, you know in the lead, tied for the lead … I’m still in there with a great chance. It’s just very bunched at the minute and now a lot of guys have a chance to win.”

Of all the contenders, Garcia had the most dramatic change of fortunes. After opening with a bogey, the 31-year-old Spaniard made a run with two birdies over his next four holes to take sole possession of the lead.

But Garcia fell apart on the back nine, carding two bogeys and then a double bogey on the 17th after his drive hit a tree and he had to drop a ball. That handed the lead back to McIlroy and several others for good going into Sunday’s final.

Garcia said his failure to hold the lead was “unfortunate” but insisted he played as well as he could in the conditions.

“I didn’t play the back nine that badly. I hit a couple of bad shots, but I was holding it nicely,” Garcia said.

Top-ranked Lee Westwood is tied for 13th at 5-under, while No. 2-ranked Martin Kaymer is eight shots behind the leader after a 76.

There is still a small chance that the tournament results could see a changing of the guard at the top.

Westwood could lose the top ranking if Kaymer wins and he finishes lower than second, and if Kaymer finishes second and Westwood is out of the top 10.

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.

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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.