Notes: A breakdown of Woods' 77 career Tour wins

By Doug FergusonMarch 27, 2013, 12:55 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Even before Tiger Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational for the eighth time, he was asked on several occasions what it was about Bay Hill that brings him so much success. Finally, he gave an answer that applies to more than just him.

''Once we figure out what courses we like, we tend to play those,'' Woods said.

Brendan Steele finished his round Saturday and was on the range making small talk when he was asked about his schedule the next few weeks, such as the Texas Open.

''Nah, I don't think I'm going to play there,'' Steele said with a slight grin.

The light came on for the reporter who realized that San Antonio is where Steele won for the first time. He laughed.

''I won, I tied for fourth last year,'' he said. ''How could I not play?''

Woods has established a schedule that is easy to predict. It's based on the courses where he does well.

His 77 wins on the PGA Tour have come at 25 tournaments. He has won only eight tournaments just once - the Las Vegas Invitational (1996), Byron Nelson Classic (1997), BellSouth Classic (1998), Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (2000), Canadian Open (2000), The Players Championship (2001), Deutsche Bank Championship (2006) and Wells Fargo Championship (2007). The only events he continues to play are The Players, Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo.

Woods won what is now the Cadillac Championship on six courses (Valderrama, Mount Juliet, Capital City, Harding Park, The Grove, Doral), the Match Play Championship on two courses (La Costa, Gallery at Dove Mountain), Tournament of Champions on two courses (La Costa, Kapalua) and the Tour Championship on two courses (Champions, East Lake). In the majors, he has won the British Open on two courses (St. Andrews twice, Hoylake) and the PGA Championship on three courses (Medinah twice, Southern Hills, Valhalla).

He has won two tournaments at La Costa (Tournament of Champions, Match Play twice), Torrey Pines (Farmers Insurance Open seven times, U.S. Open), Pebble Beach (National Pro-Am, U.S. Open) and Doral (Ford Open twice, Cadillac twice).

The last time Woods won a tournament the first time seeing the course as a professional? The 1998 BellSouth Classic at the TPC Sugarloaf.

Of the 34 golf courses on which he has won on the PGA Tour, only five have been on original TPC designs - Boston, Sawgrass, Sugarloaf, Summerlin, Las Colinas.


SLUMPING: Robert Allenby managed a smile when someone told him to remember to show up Sunday at Bay Hill.

The Arnold Palmer Invitational was the first time that Allenby played on Sunday in a full-field PGA Tour event since the St. Jude Classic last June. Since then, he has missed the cut 16 times in official events and withdrew once. He finished 69th in the Bridgestone Invitational (a World Golf Championship with no cut) and tied for 79th in The McGladrey Classic, where he missed the 54-hole cut after more than 78 players made it to the weekend.

He might not have been around for the weekend at Bay Hill. But when club pro Rod Perry made a bogey on the final hole in the final group Friday, that let in eight players, including Allenby. Fittingly, Allenby played with Perry on Saturday.

''I told him, 'I know you hate to finish with a bogey, but thanks,''' Allenby said.


DIVOTS: The LPGA's season finale will be played at Tiburon Golf Club at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Fla. The Titleholders was held last year at TwinEagles Golf Club across town. The Titleholders also is boosting the biggest prize in women's golf to $700,000 for the winner. Na Yeon Choi earned $500,000 last year. ... Tiger Woods has won his last nine PGA Tour events by at least two shots. ... Keegan Bradley cracked the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time with his tie for third at Bay Hill. He became the 89th player to reach the top 10 since the ranking began in 1986. Justin Rose, the runner-up at Bay Hill, moved up to a career-best No. 3. ... Tiger Woods won for the sixth time on a Monday, only one of them planned - the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2006, which traditionally ends on Labor Day. ... Rory McIlroy is playing the Houston Open pro-am with former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith and race car owner Roger Penske.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Tiger Woods has won $7,319,360 in his career at Bay Hill. That's more than the total prize money combined from the first 13 years of the Arnold Palmer Invitational ($6,702,910).


FINAL WORD: ''The pre-shot routine used to be one sentence. Now it's a paragraph.'' - Johnny Miller.

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.

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Ortiz leads LAAC through 54; Niemann, Gana one back

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 8:15 pm

Mexico's Alvaro Ortiz shot a 1-under 70 Monday to take the 54-hole lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship in Chile.

At 4 under for the week, he leads by one over over Argentina's Jaime Lopez Rivarola, Chile's Toto Gana and Joaquin Niemann, and Guatemala's Dnaiel Gurtner.

Ortiz is the younger brother of three-time Web.com winner Carlos. Alvaro, a senior at Arkansas, finished tied for third at the LAAC in 2016 and lost in a three-way playoff last year that included Niemann and Gana, the champion.

Ortiz shared the 54-hole lead with Gana last year and they will once again play in the final group on Tuesday, along with Gurtner, a redshirt junior at TCU.

“Literally, I've been thinking about [winning] all year long," Ortiz said Monday. "Yes, I am a very emotional player, but tomorrow I want to go out calm and with a lot of patience. I don't want the emotions to get the better of me. What I've learned this past year, especially in the tournaments I’ve played for my university, is that I have become more mature and that I have learned how to control myself on the inside on the golf course.”

In the group behind, Niemann is the top-ranked amateur in the world who is poised to turn professional, unless of course he walks away with the title.

“I feel a lot of motivation at the moment, especially because I am the only player in the field that shot seven under (during the second round), and I am actually just one shot off the lead," he said. "So I believe that tomorrow I can shoot another very low round."

Tuesday's winner will earn an invitation to this year's Masters and exemptions into the The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur, sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open, and final qualifying for The Open.