Woods Singh Headline Buick Open

By Associated PressJuly 27, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Buick OpenGRAND BLANC, Mich. -- Tiger Woods usually shows up to play the PGA Tour stop near the Motor City, and he insists it has nothing to do with the millions Buick pays him to promote its automobiles.
The world's top-ranked golfer will compete in this week's Buick Open for the fourth straight year and the seventh time since his first full season on tour eight years ago.
Woods signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the automaker in 1999, and agreed to another five-year deal in 2004 believed to be worth more than $40 million.
``I came here before I started representing Buick because I enjoy it,'' Woods said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press. ``I come to tournaments I enjoy -- and this is one of them -- period.
``I've fallen in love with the course, and the environment. I've never been a fan of TPC courses, so it's nice to play old-school courses like this one that are laid out right in front of you. It's not one of the hardest, but it's fair and you know you have to go low.''
Defending champion Vijay Singh needed a 23-under 265 last year to hold off John Daly by a stroke and Woods by two.
Woods is making his regular stop at the Buick Open, which starts Thursday, two weeks after winning the British Open and two weeks before shooting for his 11th major title. Woods said he's not preparing for the PGA Championship while he competes this week because he hasn't played Baltusrol. But he is following a pattern he has developed before competing in golf's four annual marquee events.
``I generally don't like to go into a major just dry,'' he said. ``I generally will play two weeks prior to a major. I usually take the week off right before.
``I enjoy the two weeks prior to a major because I'm still in a competitive mode, and success or failure, whatever it is that week, at least I know what to work on when I'm at home. I've done pretty well with that formula.''
Warwick Hills, about 60 miles north of Buick's headquarters in Detroit, is a relatively short course with receptive greens and without extremely tight fairways. It's usually one of the easiest courses on the PGA Tour, and with rain soaking the course recently it will be even more susceptible to low scores.
``It's not a place where power is going to dominate,'' said Jim Furyk, the tournament's all-time money leader. ``I think guys that are good from 100 yards and in can really do well here.''
Singh is one of three players to win the Buick Open twice. He has a chance to be the first champion to repeat since Tony Lema in 1965, and the first to win the tournament three times.
``I'm not going to think about that,'' he said.
Singh entered the 2004 Buick Open with three victories -- the same total he has this year -- before picking up his fourth of nine titles en route to player of the year honors.
``If I can do what I did last year it's going to be unbelievable,'' he said. ``I feel like I played better this year than I had last year to this point, but I just have to finish it off like I did last year.''
Woods and Singh, the No. 2 player in the world rankings, are joined in the field by top players such as Furyk, Fred Funk and Chris DiMarco.
Fans always flock to Woods, like they do everywhere, but Daly also draws a crowd in an area that prides itself on its blue-collar ways.
``The fans here are unbelievable,'' he said. ``Everybody is real close. The roar at No. 2 (where he made an eagle from 142 yards) last year on Sunday was probably one of the loudest I've heard in my life.
``The fans are great everywhere I go, but the fans here are unbelievable.''
Woods has been consistent at the Buick Open, another factor in his affection for the tournament.
Since opening with a 72 in 1997, he has broken par 23 straight times and has eight consecutive rounds in the 60s, tying Furyk's tournament record. Woods won here in 2002, then tied for second and third. In six appearances, he has finished no worse than 11th.
``There are very few golf courses that you play over the course of a year that you really enjoy the lines off the tees, and I've always felt comfortable here,'' he said. ``I think my record kind of reflects that.''
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    Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

    The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

    Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

    Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

    Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

    Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.

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    Garcia cruises to five-shot win in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

    SINGAPORE - Sergio Garcia played 27 holes on the last day without dropping a shot to win the Singapore Open by five strokes Sunday in an ominous display of his newfound self-belief as he prepares to defend his Masters title.

    Still brimming with confidence after claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, Garcia started his new season with a runaway victory at the Sentosa Golf Club, finishing at 14-under 270.

    Returning to the course just after dawn to complete his third round after play was suspended on Saturday because of lightning strikes, Garcia finished his last nine holes in 4 under for a round of 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.

    With organizers desperate to avert the constant threat of more bad weather and finish the tournament on time, Garcia promptly returned to the first tee shortly after and fired a flawless 3-under 68, cruising to victory with 10 straight pars as his rivals floundered in the stifling humidity.

    ''It may have looked easy, but it wasn't easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there,'' Garcia said. ''It's always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren't easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.''

    Garcia's closest rivals at the end were Japan's Satoshi Kodaira (71) and South African Shaun Norris (70). Both birdied the last hole to share second spot but neither was ever close enough on the last day to challenge the leader.

    Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

    ''I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that,'' Kodaira said.

    Jazz Janewattananond (71) and his fellow Thai Danthai Bonnma (73) finished equal fourth at 8 under, earning themselves a spot in this year's British Open, while American Sean Crocker, who was given an invitation to the event after turning pro late last year, also won a place at Carnoustie by finishing in a tie for sixth.

    Garcia made just three bogeys in 72 holes and his victory provided the 38-year-old with the 33rd title of his professional career and his sixth on the Asian Tour.

    He has also won three titles in the last 12 months, including the Masters, and his game looks to be in better shape now than it was a year ago.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for Augusta National because of the steamy conditions and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament, which is regularly stopped because of inclement weather.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore a year ago, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    "I'm extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can't wait to get a cold shower,'' Garcia said. ''I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn't miss many shots.''

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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.