Woods Rebounds after Early Double Bogey

By Associated PressJune 12, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenSAN DIEGO --Theres only one Tiger Woods.
Theres more than one Justin Hicks.
While Woods was going through an up-and-down opening round at the U.S. Open on Thursday, the relatively unknown Hicks was grabbing the lead.
Nobody was happier to see Hicks, the Nationwide Tour player, succeed than another Justin Hicks'one who just happens to be a club pro in the area and played the Buick Open at Torrey Pines earlier this year.
Hicks, the club pro, walked the gallery with the U.S. Open leaders wife, and they all celebrated when Hicks, the tour pro, finished with a score of 3-under 68, good for the clubhouse lead with about half the field still on the course.
A lot of weird stuff going on out there today, Hicks said.
It was very strange, indeed, to watch Woods hook his opening tee shot into the deep kikuya rough en route to a double-bogey that put him in catch-up mode from the start. He rallied with three birdies through the rest of the front nine to get under par, but gave that back with a double-bogey on No. 14.
He finished at 1-over 72, four shots behind but knowing it couldve been much worse. Woods, coming off knee surgery and playing his first competitive round since Sunday at the Masters, made three long putts as part of his scrambling back nine to stay in contention.
Getting into the flow of the first round, Woods said when asked what his biggest challenge was in the comeback. It helps when you hit six shots on the first hole.
Woods was part of the days glamour threesome, along with Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott, the top three players in the world.
Mickelson, playing without a driver in his bag, overcame a balky putter early to finish at even par. Scott, playing with a broken right pinkie, finished 2 over.
Mickelson was 3 over at one point, looking on the verge of a meltdown after scraping a 5-wood through the gnarled rough on No. 12 and watching it go a grand total of about 15 feet.
He saved bogey there, though, then got on a roll with two straight birdies and found himself in the running on a course he played often as a kid. Mickelson is a native of San Diego.
We were all in our own little area, Mickelson said of the threesome. When youre tackling a U.S. Open golf course, its so tough that youre trying to just be in your own world and play it strategically the best you can, hit the best shots.
The USGA made a big deal about providing better scoring opportunities this year than in the past'the Open has been won with a score of par or higher for the last three years'but the results showed only a faint glimpse of a kinder, gentler set-up.
At 69, Rocco Mediate, Stuart Appleby and Eric Axley were the only other players to break 70 with about half the 156 players done. In the clubhouse at 1-under 70 were Robert Karlsson, Lee Westwood and Rickie Fowler.
A few players got as low as 4-under but quickly saw how the course could give, then take away. Steve Stricker got there by snaking in a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 16 (he started on the back), but played the last nine in 6-over 41 to finish at 73.
Patrick Sheehan was alone in the lead briefly at 4-under before he got mixed up in the kikuya. Standing ankle-high in the rough near the 15th green, he tried to get a wedge on the ball but only popped it up and advanced it about a foot. His next shot came up short of the green, too, and he made triple-bogey. He finished at even-par 71.
Then there was Hicks, who opened his round on the back and shot 33 after nine holes during which he did not make a single par. Among the highlights were his chip-in on No. 11 for a birdie.
It was kind of nice to hear a little roar when that happened, he said.
Among those roaring was the other Hicks, who played here in January, when Torrey Pines looked much different, and tamer, than it does this week. That, in turn, caused the Nationwide Tour to call their Hicks and tell him theyd pulled him out of their event in Panama City, figuring he was all set for the week in San Diego.
I told them, well, Id really like to play in Panama City if I could, because I wasnt playing in the Buick, Hicks said.
Some confusion ensued, though it was short-lived.
And only one Hicks will be remembered for holding the U.S. Open lead, even if it turns out to be for just a few short hours.
Who am I? he said. Well, I think Im just another one of the guys out there playing the Nationwide Tour, trying to earn his PGA Tour card. Theres a lot of great young players in America, and were all out there trying to earn our way up.
Surely, the other Justin Hicks would second that.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Open
  • 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.

    Getty Images

    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.