Woods Sets Sights on Dubai Title

By Associated PressFebruary 1, 2006, 5:00 pm
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Tiger Woods put his clubs away, forgot about golf as best he could and concentrated on his vacation.
He's ready to get back to work.
Woods won the Buick Invitational in a playoff Sunday in San Diego, his first tournament of the season after a six-week break -- the longest of his career. Now, after a 20-hour flight to the Persian Gulf, he'll make a third attempt at winning the Dubai Desert Classic, which begins play Thursday.
'After taking that much time off, to come back ... to put the pieces together so quickly in the year is a nice little bonus,' Woods said Wednesday.
He reportedly is being paid about $3 million to play in one of the flagship events of the PGA European Tour. The entire purse for the event is $2.4 million.
The Emirates Golf Course is a palm-lined oasis in the middle of Dubai, a booming city of 1.5 million. In 2001, Woods lost on the 72nd hole to Thomas Bjorn. In 2004, he finished five strokes behind winner and Florida neighbor Mark O'Meara.
During his break, Woods went more than three weeks without touching a club. He stayed home, spent time with his wife, Elin, and went skiing with O'Meara and his family.
'As far as thinking about any golf course, I made sure I didn't do that,' said Woods, who turned 30 on Dec. 30. 'And if I did think about my golf swing, I made sure it was brief. ... It was nice to get away and just have some fun with the family and friends and put the sticks away.'
The Dubai tournament drew a record crowd of 43,000 when Woods played two years ago. Without him last year, attendance was down by 3,000.
'Tiger Woods has that appeal to bring in the crowds,' said Mohamed Buamim, vice chairman of Golf in Dubai, the body that promotes the game. 'We can only expect the biggest crowd in the history of the tournament.'
The world's top-ranked player is joined by No. 3 Retief Goosen and No. 5 Ernie Els, the defending champion. Also in the field are Colin Montgomerie, David Howell, Henrik Stenson and Darren Clarke.
Els has won the tournament a record three times and will set a PGA European Tour record if he makes the cut Friday. He is tied with Bernhard Langer at 69 straight, a mark the German set in 1996.
Opened 18 years ago in a desert on the outskirts of the city, the Emirates Golf Club is now surrounded by gleaming skyscrapers and traffic-choked highways. But the weather is almost always warm and sunny on this tip of the Arabian peninsula.
The jewel of the club is the Majlis Course, which has been stretched to 7,264 yards -- about 150 yards more than it was five years ago when Woods first played the course. The greens are flat and lush, a relief for players who often complain about bumpy surfaces early in the year on the U.S. West Coast.
'It's nice to putt on greens that are smooth again,' Woods said.
The Desert Classic is the third and final event of three straight weeks of PGA European Tour play in the Middle East. Chris DiMarco of the U.S. won the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship two weeks ago. Henrik Stenson of Seden, who plays in a threesome with Woods on Thursday, won the Qatar Masters on Sunday.
'It's just fun to be out with the world's No. 1,' Stenson said. 'I think I'll have the motivation up for sure
Related Links:
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    Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

    Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

    The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

    2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

    Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

    Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

    Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

    Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

    Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

    Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

    Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

    Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

    Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

    Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

    Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

    Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

    Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

    Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

    Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

    Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

    Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

    The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

    Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

    And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

    Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

    Photo Galleries: Best of ...

    Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

    Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.