Woods 8 shots off Greenbrier lead after 1-over 71

By Bailey MosierJuly 5, 2012, 7:20 pm

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. – Something had to give.

Tiger Woods has already won Jack’s event, Arnie’s event and his own this season. In a year when we’re still debating whether he’s ‘back’ or not, whether he’s the ‘old’ Tiger or a ‘new’ one and whether he’ll win a major this season, we couldn’t possibly expect him to take Sam Snead’s event, too.

Or can we?

On Thursday, Woods opened The Greenbrier Classic in 1-over 71 on a day when everyone around him was going low.

Tiger Tracker: Opening-round 71

Photos: Tiger Woods through the years

“The golf course is definitely a course you could tear apart today,” Woods said. “The greens are firm but slow and (if you) drive the ball in the fairway, you’re going to have a bunch of holes where it’s going to be 9-iron on down.”

Vijay Singh posted a 7-under 63 after his morning jaunt around the Old White TPC Course. Woods’ playing partners Webb Simpson and Steve Stricker posted red numbers – 5 under and 1 under, respectively.

But Woods’ day wasn’t as fruitful. His scorecard was dotted with four birdies, three bogeys and one costly double bogey on the par-5 17th due to an errant tee shot and a missed 2-footer for bogey.

“(The 2-foot putt on 17) was a simple little tap-in putt and I blocked it,” Woods said. “I just blocked it.”

Woods looked like a different Tiger than the one who was in control just a few days ago, Sunday at Congressional, where he shot 2-under 69 to win the AT&T National by two over Bo Van Pelt.

“I was a little bit off with my game,” Woods said. “On top of that, I didn’t have the speed of the greens at all.”

Call it a little bit off, call it fatigue from his win last week or call it unfamiliarity with the course at The Greenbrier, where he’s teeing it up for the first time as a professional. Whatever it was, Woods’ opening 1-over round leaves him well off the pace after 18 holes.

That might have concerned Woods at other points throughout his two-year ‘slump’ post-Thanksgiving 2009, but this is a new Tiger. This is the Tiger who leads the PGA Tour in number of wins this season. This is a Tiger who’s regained his confidence and has some perspective.

Not to suggest that he’s the Tiger of old, but he’s slowly but surely coming into his own. When things don’t go immediately as planned, he understands that every day, every round, is part of the process.

Woods may be eight shots back, but there’s plenty of golf left to be played.

Because of thunderstorms and lightning in the area Tuesday, Woods was unable to get in a practice round. He played Wednesday in the pro-am, but it wasn’t quite the preparation he would have liked at a course he’s seen very little of. After his first round Thursday, Woods learned a thing or two.

“I had to take Wednesday a little bit more seriously than I usually do because I hadn’t played the golf course,” Woods said.

“It takes a little bit of time, especially under tournament conditions. The ball goes a little bit further, adrenaline, and now I understand. I get the feel of the golf course now.”

With knowledge comes power and with 54 holes left to play at The Greenbrier Classic, Woods has plenty of time to pick up the slack and put himself in position for another legendary win this season.

Getty Images

Rahm focusing on play, not shot at No. 1

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 9:06 pm

SAN DIEGO – Jon Rahm’s meteoric rise in the world rankings could end with him reaching No. 1 with a win this week at Torrey Pines.

After winning last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, his fourth title in 51 weeks, Rahm has closed the gap on Dustin Johnson – less than 1.5 average points separates them.

With Johnson not playing this week, the 23-year-old Spaniard has a chance to reach the top spot for the first time, but only if he defends his title at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

“Beating Dustin Johnson is a really, really hard task. It’s no easy task,” he said Tuesday. “We still have four days of golf ahead and we’ll see what happens. But I’ll try to focus more on what’s going on this week rather than what comes with it if I win.

“I’ll try my best, that’s for sure. Hopefully it happens, but we all know how hard it is to win on Tour.”

Rahm has already become the fourth-youngest player to reach No. 2 in the world, behind Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. 

Getty Images

Rahm: Playoff wasn't friendly, just 'nervous'

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 8:53 pm

SAN DIEGO – Too chummy? Jon Rahm says he and Andrew Landry were just expending some nervous energy on the walk up to the fairway during the first playoff hole of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

“I wouldn’t have been that nervous if it was friendly,” Rahm said with a smile Tuesday. “I think it was something he said because we were talking going out of the first tee.

“I didn’t know Andrew – I think it was a pretty good time to get to know him. We had at least 10 minutes to ourselves. It’s not like we were supporting each other, right? We were both in it together, we were both nervous together, and I felt like talking about it might have eased the tension out of both of us.”

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

On Sunday, two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange saw the exchange on TV and tweeted: “Walking off the tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me? Talking at all?”

Strange followed up by saying that, in a head-to-head situation, the last thing he’d want to do was make his opponent comfortable. When his comments went viral, Strange tweeted at Rahm, who won after four holes: “Hopefully no offense taken on my comment yesterday. You guys are terrific. I’m a huge fan of all players today. Made an adverse comment on U guys talking during playoff. Not for me. A fan.”

Not surprisingly, the gregarious Rahm saw things differently.

“We only talked going out of the first tee up until the fairway,” he said. “Besides that, all we said was, ‘Good shot, good putt, see you on the next tee.’ That’s what it was reduced to. We didn’t say much.” 

Getty Images

Tiger grouped with Reed, Hoffman at Torrey Pines

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 8:35 pm

SAN DIEGO – Tiger Woods will make his 2018 debut alongside Patrick Reed and Charley Hoffman.

The threesome will go off Torrey Pines’ South Course at 1:40 p.m. ET Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open. They begin at 12:30 p.m. Friday on the North Course.

Woods is an eight-time winner at Torrey Pines, including the 2008 U.S. Open, but he hasn’t broken 70 in his last seven rounds on either course. Last year, he shot rounds of 76-72 to miss the cut.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

Reed, who has grown close to Woods after being in his pod during the past two international team competitions, is coming off a missed cut last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Hoffman, a San Diego native, has only two top-10s in 20 career starts at Torrey.

Other featured groups for the first two rounds include:

• Jon Rahm, Jason Day and Brandt Snedeker: 1:30 p.m. Thursday off South 1, 12:20 p.m. Friday off North 10

• Rickie Fowler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele: 12:30 p.m. Thursday off North 10, 1:30 p.m. Friday off South 1

• Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama: 12:40 p.m. Thursday off North 10, 1:40 p.m. Friday off South 1

Getty Images

Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion

By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 7:54 pm

Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.

Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.

“While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.

It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.

“What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”

The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.

“I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”