OHernOh Well

By Brian HewittFebruary 23, 2007, 5:00 pm
2007- WGC-AccentureMARANA, Ariz. -- So Tiger Woods, the focal point of every tournament he enters, has lost in the third round at the WGC-Accenture Match Play to little-known Aussie named Nick O'Hern, the same player who stopped him in this event two years ago.
 
The streak that Tiger didn't really think was a streak is over now. Woods had won seven straight PGA TOUR events. Now he can focus on a streak that's more important to him: Winning his third straight major - at Augusta in April.
 
It was extremely interesting to note, after two rounds, the credentials of the other 15 players, besides Woods, that remained alive in the draw.
 
Henrik Stenson, the last man to beat Woods in a medal play event, earlier this year at Dubai, had stopped Zach Johnson and K.J. Choi.
 
Nick OHern, the last man to beat Woods prior to the third round in this event, had gotten past Lucas Glover and Rory Sabbatini.
 
Charles Howell III, who had a more recent winning streak than Woods by virtue of his win at the Nissan Open last week, had won both of his matches (Stuart Appleby, Sergio Garcia) before they reached the 16th hole.
 
Trevor Immelman, the last man to win a PGA TOUR event in which Woods was entered (last July at the Cialis Western Open) had dusted Thomas Bjorn and beaten Chris DiMarco.
 
Chad Campbell, the last man to beat Woods in this event, 1-up in the third round last year, had gotten past Angel Cabrera and upset Jim Furyk.
 
Shaun Micheel, the last player to beat Woods in an individual match play event (last year at the HSBC Match Play) had stunned Adam Scott and eliminated Rod Pampling.
 
Paul Casey, the last player to win an individual match play event in which Woods was entered (the same HSBC Match Play) had gotten by Mike Weir and Colin Montgomerie.
 
And finally Geoff Ogilvy, the last player to win a major championship (the 2006 U.S. Open) in which Woods was entered, had cruised past Steve Stricker and come from behind to beat Jose Maria Olazabal.
 
Almost everybody left in the field, it seemed, had a reason to believe that Woods had reason to believe that he had a score to settle.
 
And everybody knew how long Woods memory was. Asked before the tournament began to recount his earliest match play memories, Woods said, Yeah, I played in the Southern California Junior Match Play. We played at El Dorado and I lost in the quarterfinals. It as something that I didnt understand because I won, I think, two or three matches and got to the quarters. I shot 69 that day; got to the 18th hole and lost.
 
I didnt quite understand that. I just came home and told Dad, I dont understand. I shot a better score than he did, but he won the match. That doesnt seem right. He explained it to me. That was the first time I had ever experienced anything like that before. So we went out the next couple of days and played match play.
 
Woods said he thought he was 13 at the time and the name of the player who beat him, he thought, was James Mohan.
 
Somewhere, James Mohan is shivering.
 
Tiger learned. He won three straight U.S. Juniors in match play followed by three straight U.S. Amateurs in match play. He also won this event in 2003 and 2004. My, how he learned.
 
The whole idea is to put as much pressure as you can on your opponent right from the first tee until its over. Keep hitting a bunch of fairways, keep hitting the ball on the green, giving yourself chances and forcing your opponent to make a mistake. Thats the hard part. Thats also the fun part as well.
 
Against O'Hern, Woods never led.
 
Meanwhile the only fun last years champion, Ogilvy, was having in 2006 at this event was after the last hole. His first four matches went 19, 21, 21 and 19 holes, respectively. It was his first appearance in the WGC-Accenture Match Play and it was exhausting. In his third round victory over Mike Weir he was four down with four to play.
 
Psychologically, Ogilvy was just happy to be in the semi-finals. And it showed. Tom Lehman posed no problem in the semi-finals where Ogilvy won 4 and 3 and Davis Love III succumbed in finals 3 and 2.
 
The physical part wasnt so bad, Ogilvy said. We play all the time. But from a stress standpoint, he added, it was like three golf tournaments in one week.
 
And strategies are all over the map. Immelman insisted he played the guy, his opponent in match play. Stenson said, I think I try to play the course as well as I can and see where that takes you.
 
To the winner will go the spoils'$1.35 million and pile of FedExCup and world ranking points'and a well-earned rest.
 
I definitely had to take it easy for a few weeks, Ogilvy said of last year. I didnt play the week after. If I had, I would have been no good. The way I did it. And I drove home, too, from La Costa to Scottsdale, and that was a six-hour drive in the car, so it was lots of sleep the next few days.
 
Good sleep.
 
Ogilvy, Immelman, O'Hern, Campbell, Stenson, Justin Rose, Stephen Ames and Casey all advanced Friday.
 
As for Woods, right about know? You can be certain he's thinking more about the Masters than he is thinking about Nick O'Hern.
 
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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.

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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.

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    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