Woods Tries to Extend Streak - Sort Of

By Associated PressSeptember 27, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 WGC American Express ChampionshipCHANDLER'S CROSS, England -- Keeping track of records can get muddled when Tiger Woods travels around the world, so there was a debate Wednesday whether his winning streak was dead or alive.
The answer was both.
'It ended two weeks ago,' Woods said.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is hoping to find his winning focus this week.
After five straight victories from the British Open in July to the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston the first week of September, Woods lost in the first round of the World Match Play Championship at Wentworth.
But that's a European Tour event.
'I'm going for six in a row on our tour,' Woods said at the American Express Championship, where he is defending his title at a World Golf Championship that counts as official on all six of the major tours. 'But not six in a row tournament-wise, because I've played two since then and lost both.'
The other loss was at the Ryder Cup, still a popular topic this week.
Woods also won six straight on the PGA Tour at the end of 1999 and the start of 2000, although he finished sixth in between that streak at the Johnnie Walker Classic, another European Tour event. That matched the second-longest streak on the PGA Tour, barely more than halfway home to the record not even Woods believes will be broken.
Byron Nelson, who died Tuesday at his ranch in Texas, owns the record of 11 consecutive victories in 1945.
'His record is still remarkable that particular year,' Woods said. 'His 12th event, he finished second, and then he won the very next one. So that's 12 out of 13, and the worst he finished was second. That's pretty good. And 18 (victories) in one year. I don't play that many tournaments, so I can't get to 18.'
Asked whether 11 in a row was possible now, Woods said probably not.
'The competition is so much deeper now,' he said. 'Back in his day -- I actually talked to him about this -- he said he had to beat four or five guys every week. And when you're hot, that's not hard to do. That's not the case anymore. It's 40 or 50 now, so it's a lot different.'
This might be one of the easier weeks.
Sure, the World Golf Championships attract the best players from around the world. The criteria for this one is top 50 in the world ranking, and money leaders from the PGA, European, Australasian, Japan, South African and Asian tours.
Phil Mickelson and Vaughn Taylor are the only Americans from the Ryder Cup not at The Grove, an estate north of London. Taylor didn't qualify and Mickelson likely is done playing until the Bob Hope Classic. The only European who didn't qualify was Paul McGinley.
Others who withdrew include Ben Curtis and U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, who are new fathers; and Davis Love III, who wanted to spend time with his family after his daughter's friend was killed in a car accident.
That leaves only 63 players in the world, a small number of players for anyone to beat.
And some of them are still hung over from the Ryder Cup, figuratively and literally.
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem was staying at The K Club last week during the Ryder Cup, and just his luck, he and his wife were in a room directly above the Europeans' team room where they celebrated a resounding victory.
'We dozed off around 6 a.m.,' Finchem said.
Lee Westwood went unbeaten while playing all five matches for the second straight time, and he was so weakened by a chest cold that he took a nap before the party. He limited himself to about five celebratory drinks.
'It's the most sober I've ever been on Monday morning after a Ryder Cup,' he said.
Still coughing and wheezing on Wednesday, he was hard-pressed to recognize that a World Golf Championship was at stake this week, with a $7.5 million purse. It reminded him of Hilton Head, described by many as a working vacation because of the enormous buildup to the Masters, which is held the week before.
'Any time after something you've really built yourself up for, it's always difficult to get up the next week,' he said.
Jim Furyk felt the same way.
He has long supported the Million Dollar Challenge in South Africa, missing only the year it was held the week after the Presidents Cup. And he wouldn't mind being home this week, in part because he has been away from his two small children for the last two weeks.
'If I had my druthers, I would never play the week after a Presidents Cup or a Ryder Cup because it's an emotional high or letdown either way,' Furyk said. 'If you play well and the team wins and you have a great time, it's tough to get your thoughts back in it. If the team loses, you're in a grouchy mood and you don't want to turn around and think about, 'What am I going to work on tomorrow? How am I going to get ready for this tournament?''
Woods and Furyk are on their third week in Britain and Ireland.
'I'm just looking forward to getting back to the States and seeing the sun,' Woods said.
Then again, he hasn't exactly lit it up over here. A first-round loss at Wentworth. Another Ryder Cup rout in Ireland. His last chance is the American Express Championship, and a chance to keep alive his winning streak, even though it's really dead.
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.