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.

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“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.

Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

"I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.

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With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

"I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."