Tiger And The Leaders

By Brian HewittApril 12, 2008, 4:00 pm
At the outset of Sundays final round of the 2008 Masters there will be two tournaments to follow.
 
The first one will revolve around the efforts of World No. 1 Tiger Woods to storm back from a six-shot deficit and win the first leg of what billions of golf fans hope will be a calendar Grand Slam.
 
The second tournament will be the one that centers around the current leaders. After 54 holes Trevor Immelman sits at 11-under par thanks to a gritty Saturday 69 at Augusta National that moved him to 11-under par. He will be paired in the final grouping, for the second straight day, with 2007 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Brandt Snedeker. Snedeker survived three straight bogeys on the back nine and trails Immelman by two.
 
I put myself right back in the golf tournament, Woods said moments after posting a Saturday 68 that materialized with the help from the weather that never got as nasty as had been predicted.
 
Trouble for Tiger was he posted his score before Immelman, who struggled early, birdied 13, 14 and 18 to re-extend his lead and make Woods Sunday task more difficult.
 
An historical reminder here: Woods has won 13 major championships (including four Masters) but has never come from behind on Sunday to win a major.
 
The number one story line at the beginning of the week centered, of course, around whether Woods would win at all.
 
His Saturday tee time got delayed by 40 minutes when a strong but swift line of thunderstorms hustled their way through the Augusta hour during the lunch hour.
 
This was nothing like the four hour and 18 minute play that disrupted The Masters two years ago on Saturday. Phil Mickelson emerged as the winner that Sunday. And a lot of people believed he was the real leader of the golf tournament after 36 holes with his 5-under total.
 
Alas for Phil, he stumbled to a third round 75, three shots behind Woods.
 
All of this did a measure of disservice to Immelman, who had fashioned a pair of 68s to get to 8-under at the halfway mark. It also wasnt entirely fair to Snedeker who trailed Immelman by one at the halfway point.
 
Most of the smart money early Saturday was on Mickelson mainly because of history. Prior to last years T24 finish at Augusta, he had posted eight straight top 10s in this event. Besides winning in 2006, he had broken through at Augusta National in 2004 with a birdie on the 72d hole that edged Ernie Els and produced his first victory in a major championship.
 
All Masters are different, as upset winner Zach Johnson proved last year. But all Masters are members of the same family. And the history of the tournament has proven that, while longshots can run first, the favorites usually parlay skill with experience when the finish line nears.
 
The other topic of conversation that merited attention as the third round moved forward was Sundays course set-up. Masters officials had been hinting all week long that certain hole locations on Sunday would be benign, thus assuring a return to the so-called Sunday roars at the Masters.
 
The tumult and the shouting that emerges in waves from Amen Corner during the final round of a hotly-contested Masters are like nothing else in golf. But weather forecasters have predicted high winds which could, if they attack the players Sunday, make eagles and birdies scarcer than a face value ticket. We can only hope the paid professionals are wrong again.
 
Speaking of Amen Corner, traditionally the stretch that begins on the par 4 11th and concludes at the par 5 15th, its thunder was being stolen. Through 36 holes the most difficult hole on the golf course was the par 4 10th, followed, in order, by No. 11 and the par 4 9th. The fourth most difficult hole, in terms of average score over par, was the par 4 7th.
 
That meant the toughest stretch on the golf course was 7-11. Amen corner was becoming something of a breather.
 
Sunday, of course, will be a different. It always is. There will be Woods. And there will be the winner. If the two become one and the same, Tiger Mania once again will dwarf everything else in golf.
 
At least until the conclusion of the next major, the U.S. Open in California in June.
 
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Related Links:
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    Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

    By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

    The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

    Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

    There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

    Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

    Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

    None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

    An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

    In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


    Playing with the pros

    Tiger, DJ and Faxon

    Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

    Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

    Rory faces criticism

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


    President at the Presidents Cup


    Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

    Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

    Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


    Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

    Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

    Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


    Cart on the green


    Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


    Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


    Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

    Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

    Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


    Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


    Trump golf properties

    Vandalism

    Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

    Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

    Finances


    Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

    Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

    Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

    Reportedly fake TIME covers


    Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


    Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

    Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

    Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


    Pros comment on the president

    Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

    Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.