Jack discusses his distant relationship with Tiger

By Doug FergusonApril 11, 2013, 4:25 pm

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Jack Nicklaus has shared his secrets and strategy about Augusta National with anyone who wanted to learn from a six-time Masters champion, a list that includes Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Nicolas Colsaerts. But not Tiger Woods.

Nicklaus said he's never had a sit-down with the man who is trying to break his records.

In fact, he said they hardly talk at all.

'I never really had a conversation with Tiger that lasted more than a minute or two – ever,' Nicklaus said on Thursday morning after hitting the ceremonial first tee shot. 'He stayed away from me from a conversation standpoint. Never had a conversation on the Masters in general. I've said, 'Hello, how are you doing? Nice playing this year. You've played very well.' End of conversation. People ask me, 'Has Tiger ever talked to you about his record?' Never one word.'


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Nicklaus said he was surprised Woods hasn't talked to him about the Masters, though he's not the least bit offended. Woods, after all, figured out the course quickly. He won the Masters three times in his first six years as a pro.

'He's got his own focus and what he does, and I respect that,' Nicklaus said. 'I respect when somebody is involved in their deal. They concentrate on what they do and not what you did. That's OK. It's not my position to go talk to him about it. I respect that. I wouldn't intrude on that.'

Even so, it offered some rare insight into the relationship between Woods and Nicklaus, with whom he has been linked ever since Woods was a youngster and kept a timeline of the milestones Nicklaus achieved in his career.

They spent time together at the Presidents Cup during the four times Nicklaus was captain, and Nicklaus has sat at his side during the champion's interview the five times that Woods won the Memorial. Nicklaus even shared one story from the Presidents Cup when he noticed Woods and Mickelson spending time together. Nicklaus had ready plenty of stories about the tension between them.

'I said, 'You guys seem to get along.' And he said, 'Yeah, we get along fine.' I said, 'What’s all this about that other stuff?' He says, 'I don't know. Just press stuff.' So I said, 'You guys want to play together?' And he said, 'I'd rather not.'

'The point being, he's got a little bit of his number,' Nicklaus said. 'And he doesn't want anyone to get really close to him because he feels like he's got a little dominance over them. I understand that. You've got to respect that.'

Nicklaus and Woods played together only once in the majors, the opening two rounds of the 2000 PGA Championship at Valhalla. They also were teammates in the old 'Battle at Bighorn.' Woods once told a story of asking Nicklaus about all the rivalries he faced during three decades and how Nicklaus told him, 'Just make sure you're always part of the conversation.' Nicklaus said even that chat in South Africa didn't last very long.

'I get along fine with Tiger. I like Tiger. I don't have an issue with Tiger. There's always pleasantries and so forth,' he said.

Woods moved from Orlando, Fla., to the West Palm Beach area last year after building a home along the ocean with his own miniature range. The speculation was which golf club Woods might join, and he settled on The Medalist. Several other pros are members at The Bear's Club, which Nicklaus built as his home course in Florida.

'I asked him when he came to Florida if we wanted to come to The Bear's Club,' Nicklaus said. 'He stayed away from it. He didn't want to intrude where I was. He never told me why, but other people told me, 'He says he didn't feel comfortable being there where I was because that was a record he was trying to break.' I said, 'I don't care about that. We'd like to have you if you want to play and be part of it.' He comes out and plays quite often. I'd include him in everything.

'But everybody has their own personality. That's not a fault. It's not a criticism. It just is what it is.'

So what kind of golf talk is Woods missing out on?

Nicklaus spoke mainly about taking risks only when the percentages and the situation called for it and realize that a shot into the middle of just about any green at Augusta National will leave a reasonable chance at birdie.

He still thinks about the 3-wood he hit into the water on the 15th hole that cost him in the final round of the 1971 Masters.

'One shot shouldn't be a shot that puts you out of the tournament,' Nicklaus said. 'I needed to make 4. I didn't need to make 3. I should have laid the ball up. Why put yourself out of the tournament on one shot? That's the thing I stress.

'I wouldn't take risks unless it was necessary to take risks,' he said. 'These guys that come to me and ask me about the tournament, basically what I tell them is there's a half-dozen shots on this golf course (where) you can put yourself out of the tournament.'

He mentioned the tee shot on the par-5 second hole; the second shot into No. 11; the tee shot on the par-3 12th. The tee shot and the second shot on the par-3 13th; and the second shot on the par-5 15th.

'Think about what you're doing on them,' Nicklaus said. 'If you've got a 50-50 chance of doing it, certainly I wouldn't be doing it. If you've got a 90-10 chance, think real hard about it, and try to make sure you eliminate the 10. It's a golf course that when you make a mistake, it's really difficult to make up for it.'

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Watch: Fathauer dunks one off flagstick for eagle

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 17, 2018, 7:45 pm

The NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest will take place Saturday night in Los Angeles, but Derek Fathauer kicked things off a little early with this eagle in the third round of the Genesis Open.

Playing his second shot on the par-4 third hole at Riviera Country Club, Fathauer dunked one off the flagstick and into the hole for an eagle-2:

The shot got the the 32-year-old, in search of his first PGA Tour victory, under par for the round and into the mix early on Moving Day.

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Luiten in three-way tie at Oman Open

By Associated PressFebruary 17, 2018, 4:17 pm

MUSCAT, Oman - Joost Luiten showed a return to form after a mediocre 2017 as he moved into a three-way tie for the lead in the Oman Open on Saturday.

The Dutchman shot a second straight 6-under 66 - the joint best score of the day - to move to 12-under 204. He was joined at the top by Matthew Southgate (69) and Frenchman Julien Guerrier (66) after the third round at the Greg Norman-designed Al Mouj Golf Club.

England's Chris Wood (69), another man on the comeback trail, was in fourth place at 11 under, but it could have been a lot better if not for a bogey-bogey finish. Adrian Otaegui (66) was a shot behind Wood while pre-tournament favorite, France's Alexander Levy (67), was at 9 under.

The 90th-ranked Luiten credited some hot iron play for his success after a cracked driver set him back last year when he had just two top-10 finishes the whole season.


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''I cracked my driver in my first tournament of the year in Abu Dhabi and it took me almost six months to get another one that I really liked. Once you are not driving the ball well, it puts pressure on other parts of your game,'' said the 32-year-old Luiten. ''My iron play did not get me into trouble at all today.''

Southgate was quick off the block with three birdies in his first three holes. But the Englishman then made two bogeys and a double bogey in his next four holes, and a birdie on the ninth saw him make the turn at even-par.

That forced him to think differently for the back nine and he was rewarded with three birdies.

''It was quite funny really,'' Southgate said. ''We birdied the ninth and I walked off and said to my caddie Gary ... 'We've just shot level par, so let's just pretend that we've made nine solid pars and that we haven't holed a putt and haven't made a birdie. Let's just start again on the 10th'.''

The 32-year-old Guerrier started his round with a monster 48-foot birdie putt and had an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys.

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J.Y. Ko increases lead; Lydia focuses on positives

By Associated PressFebruary 17, 2018, 3:33 pm

ADELAIDE, Australia - Jin Young Ko continued her domination of the Women's Australian Open, shooting a 1-under 71 Saturday to increase her lead to four strokes after three rounds.

The South Korean, who led after each of the opening two rounds of the LPGA tournament, had a three-round total of 11-under 205 at Kooyonga Golf Club.

Australian golfer Hannah Green moved into second place after the round of the day, a 66.

Green, 21, is seeking to become the first Australian to claim her national crown since Karrie Webb won the last of her five titles in 2014. Webb, who is playing a part-time schedule in 2018, missed the cut Friday by one stroke.

Green birdied her first three holes on Saturday and then added two more on the eighth and ninth. Two more birdies followed on the back nine with her only dropped shot a bogey on the 17th.


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"I was very pleased with my ball striking," Green said. "I have put myself in contention so I'm very happy with how things are panning out.

"It was a real shame about Karrie missing the cut, but I know she has got different plans."

South Korea's Hyejin Choi (70), was tied for third, five strokes behind. Australia's top-ranked golfer Minjee Lee was tied for fifth after a 69, six off the lead.

Former No. 1 Lydia Ko shot a 71 and was eight strokes behind.

"It's always nice to be able to start the season on a good note, and I've obviously got tomorrow," Lydia Ko said. "Hopefully, I'll be able to finish off on a high note."

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Cantlay, McDowell, Saunders share lead at Riviera

By Doug FergusonFebruary 17, 2018, 3:51 am

LOS ANGELES - Tiger Woods waited 12 years to get back to Riviera and lasted only two days.

Woods had three straight bogeys early on the back nine Friday and didn't play well enough to make up for his misses. He had a 5-over 76 and missed the cut in the Genesis Open for the first time in nine appearances as a pro.

He was at 6-over 148, one shot worse than his PGA Tour debut as a 16-year-old at Riviera.

''I missed every tee shot left and I did not putt well, didn't feel very good on the greens,'' Woods said. ''And consequently, never made a run. I knew I had to make a run on that back nine, and I went the other way.''

Patrick Cantlay ran off three straight birdies toward the end of his morning round, starting with a tap-in on the par-3 sixth when he missed a hole-in-one by a fraction of an inch, and shot a 69. He was tied with Graeme McDowell (66), the former U.S. Open champion who is trying to work his way back from a two-year slump.

They were at 7-under 135.

Sam Saunders also was at 7 under, making back-to-back birdies until it was too dark to continue. He had three holes remaining in his second round. Ryan Moore bogeyed his final hole for a 68 and was one shot behind at 136.

Rory McIlroy overcame a few short misses on the front nine for a 69 and was at 2-under 140.


Full-field scores from the Genesis Open

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Cantlay was coming off a three-putt bogey when his tee shot at the par-3 sixth - the hole with a bunker in the middle of the green - landed above the flag and to the right, and then rolled back down the slope just over the right edge of the cup.

''I actually missed a little to the right, but it's a bowl back there so as long as you get the number right, it should be pretty close,'' Cantlay said.

He followed with a short iron into 5 feet for birdie, a 15-foot birdie on the next hole and then a wild drive that led to a bogey on his final hole.

McDowell has gone 59 starts worldwide since his last victory and has fallen out of the top 200 in the world. He had missed four straight cuts dating to late last year, though he felt he was hitting it well in practice. What helped was seeing some good scores.

''All I'm missing is a couple little numbers and a little bit of confidence,'' McDowell said.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson shot a 69 and gets to stick around for the weekend. He was at 1-over 143. Bubba Watson, who won in 2014 and 2016, has fallen out of the top 200 in the world after a two-year drought. He shot a 70 and was at 4-under 138, and then headed for the NBA All-Star weekend to play in the celebrity game.