March Sadness For Tiger

By Brian HewittMarch 24, 2008, 4:00 pm
Actually, not.
 
Parts of the rest of the golf world may be sad now that Tiger Woods riveting streak is over. And dont get the idea that Woods is relieved, in any sense, because he didnt win the WGC - CA Championship at Doral Monday morning.
 
But sad?
 
Nah.
 
His next tournament is the Masters in three weeks. The sum total of his focus is now lasered on that tournament.
 
Woods fell two short of winner Geoff Ogilvy at Doral. And afterward he said this: I made too many mistakes.
 
Among them were four 3-putts over the 72 holes. That he ended up that close to first place, Woods said, was a great sign.
 
Woods wound up fifth at 15-under also behind three players'Vijay Singh, a resurgent Retief Goosen and Jim Furyk'tied for second. Ogilvy made just one bogey all week and didnt three-putt once.
 
Never, in recent memory, had there been such unanimous consent, before the start of a PGA TOUR event, who the eventual winner would turn out to be. From announcers, to TOUR pros, to swing gurus, to golf writers, to radio talk mike jockeys to fans of other sports.
 
The two words on the tip of every tongue were: Tiger Woods.
 
There was such a body of work and evidence to support his support. He had won seven straight tournaments worldwide coming into Doral, and that included five in a row on the PGA TOUR.
 
He had followed an opening 67 with a 66 on Friday to comfortably pull to within one shot of 36-hole leader Ogilvy. We had seen this script unfold before and that is why we were so surprised when Woods posted an even par 72 in a third round that began Saturday and didnt conclude (because of rain delays) until Sunday morning.
 
Woods third round included one bogey, one birdie (none on the four par 5s) and 16 pars. To use a NASCAR metaphor, Woods became stuck in neutral at a very inopportune time.
 
By the time the players got back on course for the final round, Woods trailed leader Ogilvy by five shots. He birdied the first and second holes and appeared poised to mount a familiar charge. Then, almost shockingly, he bogeyed the third (a hole that gave him driving problems all week) and the fourth. Then a photographers trigger finger in Woods backswing on No. 9 led to another bogey. And soon Woods body language was uncharacteristically negative.
 
When play was called Sunday Woods had seven holes remaining and five shots to make up on Ogilvy, who had nine holes left. Worse, Singh (-15), Furyk (-15), Graeme Storm (-14), Goosen (-13) and Adam Scott (-13) stood between Woods and the lead. Steve Stricker had already finished a blazing third round 63 and also sat at 13 under par.
 
And those guys, Ogilvy pointed out late Saturday, are not mugs.
 
That, too, was shocking in golf circles. All week long this WGC-CA had been guaranteed a great story line. Either Woods would win and take the streak with him to Augusta or a player would take him down and become the latest Tiger tamer. Fact is, four guys tamed Tiger at Doral.
 
When the horn blew to start play Monday morning, Woods promptly tugged his tee ball on the par 5 12th into a bunker. It forced a lay-up for his second. Not a good omen. But he made birdie on that hole and added birdies on 15 and 17 before running out of holes.
 

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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry