No Shinnecock Fiasco Gulbis Out of Action

By Brian HewittJune 6, 2007, 4:00 pm
You may remember the traffic jam that resulted at the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinnecock when members and their guests were allowed to play the golf course the Sunday before the championship. There were even instances when members asked professionals (while they were playing practice rounds that day) if they could join their group.
This will not be a problem this weekend at Oakmont.
Mike Davis, the USGAs course set-up guy, told me the course will be closed Thursday and Friday afternoon while he and his staff plot out the hole locations for the championship. Davis also said the course will be closed for play to members most of Saturday and all of Sunday.
Meanwhile Davis is amused at how Oakmonts members, notorious golfing sadists, have finally gotten behind his idea for the new tee box that can stretch the par-3 eighth hole to 288 yards. Originally, he said, the members thought he was out of his mind when he broached the idea.
Then Oakmont head pro Bob Ford stepped in and said the championship needed a par-3 that would put a longer club in the hands of the players. Now, Davis says, the members are urging him to use the back tee box all four days. Davis said that wont happen. Hes in love with the back left hole location but thinks its too difficult to get at from the back tees. So when the hole is located back left, the tee box used will be the one from the next spot up, approximately 255 yards to the hole.
Add Hank Haneys name to the list of those predicting high scores for next week. Haney, Tiger Woods swing coach, accompanied Tiger during his practice round Monday at Oakmont.
I think every course I see is the hardest ever, Haney said. But this time I really think Im right.
The rough, Haney said, seems like the hardest that I have ever seen at a major, the ball just goes straight to the bottom.
The greens, Haney added, are just so severe.
As for Tigers game, Haney said, I feel like it is coming along; he really hit the ball quite well in the Memorial (last week) and hopefully that is a good sign. He finally got a good score on Sunday with his 67.
Finally, Haney said he expects Woods to use anywhere from four to seven drivers a round depending on the hole and tee box locations.
It has been called, among other things, a painters hat, a Castro hat and a military hat.
It is what Ryan Moore is wearing on his head on the golf course these days.
Nobody else owns one. Yet.
Whether it becomes a trend remains to be seen. But the good folks at PING apparently think it will. According to Chance Cozby, PINGs TOUR rep, the distinctive chapeau Moore now doffs after every birdie, was already in the companys apparel pipeline before Moore approached them.
Moore, the 2004 U.S. Amateur champion and a member of PINGs stable, decided he wanted to wear the same kind of hat he wears when hes not playing golf. The reason: Comfort. I like wearing this hat socially, he told the PING people. Id like to wear it on the golf course.
After Moore birdied five of the last six holes at the Memorial Sunday to finish alone in second place, many people took notice. Cozby said there were a lot of calls to the companys north Phoenix headquarters Monday about the distinctive headgear they have now dubbed The Ryan Moore Hat.
And, yes, The Ryan Moore Hat will be coming soon to a pro shop near you. An exact shipping date has not yet been determined. And, Cozby concedes, its not a hat for everybody. He said hes not holding his breath waiting for PING staff players Mark Calcavecchia or Chris DiMarco to request a Ryan Moore Hat.
Its not for everybody and we dont expect it to be, Cozby says.
Meanwhile, back on the golf course, Moore followed up his Sunday performance in Columbus with a pair of Monday 68s at sectional qualifying to play his way into next weeks U.S. Open at Oakmont.
Its interesting to note that one year before Moore won his U.S. Amateur at Winged Foot he qualified for match play in the 2003 U.S. Amateur at Oakmont where he lost 1-up in the first round to Lee Williams. He knows the track.
In short, Moore belongs on anybody's list of dark horses for next week. And he wont be hard to spot.
The agent for injured Natalie Gulbis is already predicting she will be returning less than two weeks for the CVS Caremark Charity Classic in Rhode Island June 18-19.
The CVS is a 20-player team event with 18 holes each day. The defending champions are Nick Price and Tim Clark. Gulbis and her partner, Juli Inkster, will be the first women to play in the event popularized by local heroes Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon. The venue is Rhode Island Country Club.
Gulbis withdrew from last weeks Ginn Tribute on the LPGA Tour with a bad back. A Monday examination in Maryland showed two herniated disks in her lower back. Surgery has not been prescribed and Gulbis people say doctors have predicted a fast recovery.
She was also forced to the sideline for this week's McDonald's LPGA Championship, the LPGA's second major of the season. Gulbis tied for fifth at Bulle Rock in 2005.
NO 88s:
A quick check with PGA TOUR officials revealed that circuit has no 88 rule similar to the one Michelle Wie dodged last week on the LPGA.
The LPGAs rule says any non-member who cards an 88 or worse in an LPGA event is ineligible to play in LPGA events the rest of that calendar year.
Wie withdrew in the first round at the Ginn Tribute after being 14 over par through 16 holes.
Spains Pablo Martin, recently of Oklahoma State and a winner already this year on the European Tour, is making his professional debut this week at the Stanford St. Jude Championship in Memphis.
An announcement was expected Thursday from Nike that that company had won a hotly-contested bidding process for Martin's services.

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Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - McDonald's LPGA Championship
  • Full Coverage - Stanford St. Jude Championship
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    Tiger can't commit, goes OB on 16: 'That’s on me'

    By Will GrayMarch 18, 2018, 11:05 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Standing on the 16th tee with the leaders in sight and the roars of the crowd still ringing in his ears, Tiger Woods contemplated three different options for his most critical tee shot of the week.

    He couldn’t decide on any of them, and as a result deposited his chances of winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational into a backyard adjacent to the fairway.

    Woods was only one shot back through 15 holes, but with the leaders well behind him on the course he knew he needed at least a birdie on the par-5 16th to keep pace. Instead, he pulled his tee shot left and out of bounds, leading to an untimely and costly bogey on the easiest hole on the course.

    “I was caught,” Woods said. “I couldn’t decide what I was going to do.”

    In Woods’ mind, he had three options: “fit” a driver left to right with the shape of the fairway, “bomb it over the top” of the dogleg or just hit a 3-wood “straight away.” He opted for the driver, but after missing right the first three days he sent his ball sailing left.

    Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

    Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

    “I bailed out and hit a bad shot,” Woods said. “And that’s on me for not committing.”

    Woods went on to bogey the next hole, but after a par save on No. 18 he finished the week in a tie for fifth at 10 under for his third straight top-12 finish. Given the sizzling close of Rory McIlroy, an eagle on 16 likely would have still left him looking up at the Ulsterman on the leaderboard.

    “Even though I got up there, I just knew I needed to keep making birdies,” Woods said. “Those guys had so many holes behind me, where I just birdied the same holes and so if they made birdie on those holes, I would have to keep going. I got to 16, I figure I’ve got to play the last three holes in 3 under to have a chance and probably force a playoff. And maybe that wouldn’t have been good enough the way Rory is playing back there.”

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    McIlroy (64) storms to Arnold Palmer victory

    By Nick MentaMarch 18, 2018, 10:48 pm

    Rory McIlroy fired a bogey-free, final-round 64, birdied the 72nd hole in Tiger-esque fashion and stormed to a three-shot victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here’s how Rory ended his winless drought, and how the aforementioned Woods made a Sunday charge before collapsing late:

    Leaderboard: McIlroy (-18), Bryson DeChambeau (-15), Justin Rose (-14), Henrik Stenson (-13), Woods (-10), Ryan Moore (-10)

    What it means: This is McIlroy’s 14th PGA Tour victory and his first worldwide win since Sept. 25th, 2016. That was the day he walked away from East Lake with both the Tour Championship and the FedExCup. It was also the day Arnold Palmer passed away at the age of 87. With the win, McIlroy reasserts himself as a force following a winless 2017 in which he was plagued by a nagging rib injury. The four-time major winner will make one more start at next week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and then make his way to Augusta National, where he looks to complete the career Grand Slam.

    Round of the day: Two back to start the final round, McIlroy made his eight birdies in bunches. He circled three of his last four holes on the front nine – Nos. 6, 7 and 9 – to make the turn in 3-under 33 and work his way into the mix. Following three pars at 10-12, he caught fire, ripping off five birdies in his final six holes. He took the outright lead at 14, chipped in at 15, and sealed the deal at 18.

    Best of the rest: DeChambeau made McIlroy earn it, cutting the lead to just one when he eagled the 16th hole as McIlroy was walking to the final tee. A par at 17 and a bogey at 18 netted him 68 and solo second.

    Big disappointment: This is Stenson’s fourth top-five finish at this event in the last six years. The overnight leader by one, he went 71-71 over the weekend and bogeyed 18 to finish fourth.

    Biggest disappointment: Woods made a vintage Sunday charge at Bay Hill before bogeying two of his final three holes and settling for a final-round 69 and a tie for fifth.The eight-time API winner was minus-5 on the day and just one off the lead when he sniped his tee shot at the par-5 16th out of bounds to the left. He bogeyed both 16 and 17 before making a scrambling par at 18 to finish the week 10 under par.

    Shot of the day: McIlroy’s birdie putt at 18.

    Remind you of anything?

    Quote of the day: "It means a lot. You know, the last time I won a PGA Tour event was the day Mr. Palmer passed away, so it's a little bit ironic that I come here and win. He set a great example for all of us players to try and follow in his footsteps. If everyone on Tour could handle themselves the way Arnie did, the game of golf would be in a better place. ... To be able to win his event, I wish I walked up that hill and got a handshake from him but I'm so happy to my name on that trophy." - McIlroy

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    TT postscript: Masters hype builds after final-round charge

    By Tiger TrackerMarch 18, 2018, 10:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Here are some thoughts from walking one last loop alongside Tiger Woods on another steamy afternoon at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    • What might have been. Woods transformed Bay Hill into an absolutely electric atmosphere when he started the back nine with three birdies in four holes to get within a shot of the lead. Dressed in his traditional red and black, it was a second straight Sunday where we were treated to watching him try to catch the leaders down the stretch.

    • But the momentum he had built up disappeared with a single tee shot, as Woods pulled his drive on the par-5 16th out of bounds and into someone’s backyard. His chances for a ninth tournament title were effectively ended with one errant swing, as he bogeyed the easiest hole on the course and then bogeyed the next for good measure.

    • While the closing stretch was disappointing, it was still another remarkable week for Woods considering where his game stood a month ago. His 3-under 69 in the final round lifted him to 10 under for the week, and he ended up in a tie for fifth. He’s now on the cusp of the top 100 in the world rankings, and he’ll head to the Masters on the heels of three straight top-12 finishes for the first time since 2008.

    Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

    Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

    • It didn’t take long after his final putt dropped for Augusta National to become a topic of conversation. Woods has played only once since 2014, and he plans to make a return trip before the season’s first major to re-acclimate himself with the course and make sure his yardage book “is still good.”

    • Taking the long view on things, Woods was all smiles about his comeback that remains a work in progress. “If you would have asked me at the beginning of the year that I would have had a chance to win two golf tournaments,” Woods said, “I would have taken that in a heartbeat.”

    After going T-2 and T-5 in this latest fortnight, Woods will now have two weeks off before he tees it up for a chance to win his fourth green jacket, his first major since 2008 and his first tournament anywhere since 2013. Can. Not. Wait.

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    Highlights: Tiger (69) makes charge, collapses

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 18, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Tiger Woods made a vintage Sunday charge at Bay Hill before bogeying two of his final three holes and settling for a final-round 69 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    The eight-time API winner was 5 under on the day and just one off the lead when he sniped his tee shot at the par-5 16th out of bounds to the left. He bogeyed both 16 and 17 before making a scrambling par at 18 to finish the week 10 under par, in a tie for fifth.

    "I didn't commit to it," Woods said of his drive at 16, where he attempted to fly his ball over the fairway bunkers, rather than hitting a cut or laying back. "And that's on me for not committing."

    Starting five off the lead, Tiger got rolling with with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.

    Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which he walked in.

    A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.

    A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.

    Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.

    Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at the par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.

    His momentum was slowed by his first bogey of the day at No. 9, the product of an errant drive and its ensuing complications. As a result, Woods made the turn 2 under on his round, 9 under for the week, and still five off the lead, like when he started the day.

    But Woods wouldn't wait long to make up for his mistake, immediately responding with another flagged iron and birdie at No. 10.

    He continued his assault on Bay Hill's par-5s at the 12th, getting up and down from the sand for a birdie-4 that moved him to 11 under par, just two off the lead.

    This roll at 13 giving him his third birdie in four holes, and the charge was officially on, as Woods was suddenly just a shot back.

    Just when it looked like Woods was primed for a late run at his 80th PGA Tour victory, Woods stepped to the tee at the par-5 16th, where he had missed wide right three days in a row, and ripped his drive out of bounds into a backyard miles left.

    He made 4 on his second ball for a bogey-6 and dropped another shot at the par-3 17th, ending his chances.