Tiger Woods

By Brian HewittDecember 7, 2006, 5:00 pm
Phil Mickelson flashes across golfs sky once again like a meteor. And we pay strict attention.
 
But Mickelson is not the story of the day in his sport.
 
Lefty conducts a four-day clinic at the BellSouth in Atlanta: Off the charts statistics; 28 under par; 28th PGA Tour victory; and two drivers in the bag simultaneously, an equipment choice he promises to continue at this weeks Masters in Augusta.
 
And the ladies in the California desert upstage him.
 
Karrie Webb returns from a forgotten place and holes a wedge that disappears into the 72d hole from more than a 100 yards away moments after we hear her caddie, in a half whisper, pray for it to be the right club today.
 
Then Michelle Wie, Lorena Ochoa and Natalie Gulbis'playing in the same group, stir us with their attempts to join Webb in a playoff at the LPGAs first major of the year.
 
Wie, 16, and Gulbis, 23, both fall one shot short. Both are still looking for their first LPGA victory. We will be watching closely. How can we not?
 
Ochoa, 24, stripes a 5-wood from 223 yards away that stops 12 feet from the hole. She drains the eagle putt and instantly exorcises the demons that invaded her psyche last year, most notably at the U.S. Womenss Open.
 
Webb birdies the first playoff hole and makes us wonder where she had been. She had been written off by harsher critics. She is only 53 weeks older than Tiger Woods. And isnt his career just coming into full flower?
 
To be sure, whats coming into full flower, in case you hadnt noticed, is the bud that is womens golf. Annika Sorenstam, the best female player in the world, wasnt a factor Sunday in California and the Kraft Nabisco still gave us high drama, high quality golf and high network visibility.
 
We even got yet another great call from CBS announcer Verne Lundquist, who, it seems, manages to be on the mike whenever anything great happens in golf. How Do You Do, he shouted at precisely the right volume at precisely the right time after Webbs eagle wedge found the hole.
 
How do you do?
 
The LPGA does quite nicely for itself these days, thank you very much.
 
Even better for womens golf, their Sunday-beautiful-Sunday came the week after the men commanded golfs theater at The Players Championship and the week before the men demanded that same theater at this weeks Masters. It came in between the two biggest days of the year in college basketball. It was serendipitous.
 
And already there is a buzz in anticipation of the McDonalds LPGA in June followed, weeks later, by the U.S. Womens Open.
 
Will it be Wies time? Is all that quality range time Gulbis has been spending with Butch Harmon about to pay off in spades? Will Annika come roaring back? How much will all of this push Paula Creamer? Can Webb win another major (shes only two behind Sorenstam now with seven)?
 
These are just a few of the questions we are now asking about womens golf.
 
It wasnt all that long ago we were asking what was wrong with the LPGA.
 
Karrie Webb won the tournament Sunday in California.
 
Womens golf won the day.
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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


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Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

@tommyfleetwood_1

A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.