Big Three Dont Deliver

By Brian HewittJune 12, 2008, 4:00 pm
San Diego--Tiger Woods three-putted the par 5 18th hole Thursday in the first round of the U.S. Open to finish with a 72.
It was only his second three-putt in his last 126 holes at Torrey Pines South.
The 72 was one over par.
Of his 64 PGA TOUR victories, only two have occurred when Woods failed to shoot par or better on the first day.
You can imagine Tiger, playing in his first competition since left knee surgery two days after The Masters in early April, wasnt feeling especially chipper after the round.
And you can imagine the figurative rain his day dumped on the parade the grouping of Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott was supposed to be.
Mickelson scrambled on the back side for a 71. Scott struggled to a 73. These same three will play together Friday afternoon. Only now they will be chasing the lead score of 3-under par.
Heres a verbatim excerpt from Tigers post-round press conference:
Q: Feeling anything now with it (the knee)?
A: Um-hum.
Q: Was the knee bothering you at all during the round? Can you talk about that?
A: Its a little sore.
Q: How different is it than before the surgery, say going into Augusta.
A: No, two, two totally different pains. Augusta was a lot different than this one.
Q: Have you felt any pain like that in your preparation?
A: Yes.
Q: So you kind of knew what to expect coming in?
A: Yeah.
And so it went.
Woods day began with a slap-in-face double bogey on the first hole that resulted from a hooked drive into the left rough followed by a chip back to the fairway, a short iron over the green, a chip to five feet and two putts.
You couldnt ask for a worse start, Woods said. And the three putt on the last wasnt so god either.
In between Woods made birdies on four, eight, and nine. He carded wonderful par saves on 12, 13 and 15. A pulled stinger 3-wood into the left bunker on 14 led to a double there.
Then Woods realized that maybe it hadnt been so bad after all.
To make two double bogeys and a three-putt and only be four back, he said, thats a great position to be in, because I know I can clean that up tomorrow.
The big question at the moment: How will the knee feel Friday? Will soreness and/or stiffness settle in? Stay tuned.
Meanwhile Scotts problem was a broken bone in his right hand that had prevented him from doing the kind of preparation he had wanted prior to this week. He confirmed that the accident took place in London the night of the Champions League final in Russia.
A friend, he said, slammed my hand in the door.
Maybe, one wag suggested, he needs some new friends.
Mickelson, who grew up in San Diego, had plenty of friends in the huge gallery that followed this marquis grouping. But none of them were much help when he bogeyed Nos. 5, 6 and 7. The Thrill rallied on the back, birdieing both the par 5s despite the odd decision not to carry a driver in his bag.
For the record, this is a guy who once carried two drivers at The Masters and routinely sticks five wedges into his bag if he thinks he needs them.
I dont really want to hit it past 300 yards on the par 4s because it starts running into the rough, he explained. So he used his 3-wood or his hybrid off the tee all day long.
To his credit, Mickelson admitted he ruined his own game plan by making too many loose swings that left him playing too many second shots out of the rough. Short and crooked, he said.
But Mickelson clearly finished with more momentum than Woods or Scott. And at the end of the round, he had straightened his problems off the tee.
So there you have it. The USGA had a great idea placing the worlds three top-ranked players in the same group. But nobody really ever should have expected an abundance of fireworks.
This is, after-all, a U.S. Open set-up. Two of the protagonists are trying to play their way back into shape in a hurry. And it was, after all, only Thursday.
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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 ...

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    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.

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    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.