Notes: Stricker tries to move on from Ryder Cup

By Doug FergusonNovember 27, 2012, 10:59 pm

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Steve Stricker had a harder time getting over the Ryder Cup than any other disappointment he has faced in 24 years as a pro, including those dark years when he lost his PGA Tour card.

Stricker and Tiger Woods didn't win a match all week, and Stricker lost the singles match to Martin Kaymer that allowed Europe to retain the cup. Most painful was failing to get up-and-down from a standard chip behind the 17th hole.

''I feel a lot of responsibility there for not winning a point, Tiger and I not winning a point,'' Stricker said Tuesday. ''The first week or two it wasn't much fun just trying to sleep, to tell you the truth. But yeah, that one hurts, and I think it still hurts a lot of us just because of how it all played out.''

Europe rallied from a four-point deficit on the last day to win the cup for the second straight time. Stricker still hasn't watched highlights of the final day, even though he has been told everything fell into place for Europe.

Stricker has said there are plenty of failures in golf, and the key is how a player can pick himself back up. He went from having limited status on Tour to winning Comeback Player of the Year – two years in a row – and reaching No. 2 in the world.

''When I struggled a lot with my game in the mid-2000s, that was disappointing, but the only guy I was letting down was really myself,'' he said. ''It takes on a new level when you've got a team to deal with, and you're letting other guys down. I wish we could change it, but they did all the right things that day, and we did some poor things that day. We'll all learn from it and hopefully move on.''

PAR IS YOUR FRIEND: What would happen if a Tour player shot even par at every tournament? At the very least, he'd still have his card.

Throw out the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, the four major championships, and count the tournaments opposite the World Golf Championships. Count the money earned for finishing at even par. The total comes out to $817,142, which would be the equivalent of finishing 111th on the money list.

The biggest check for finishing a tournament at even par was $119,867 at the Memorial, followed by $113,750 at the AT&T National. Tiger Woods won both those events.

DIVOTS: The European Tour schedule features a couple of changes, including the Malaysian Open moving from one week after the Masters to the same week as the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. Louis Oosthuizen is the defending champion in Malaysia. Also, the Omega Masters in Switzerland is no longer the starting point for Europeans earning Ryder Cup points. That distinction goes to the Wales Open. ... Jake Higginbottom, the 19-year-old amateur from Australia who won the New Zealand Open last week, has turned pro for this week's New South Wales PGA Championship. Higginbottom also will play the Australian Open and Australian PGA Championship.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Jeff Overton and Brendon De Jonge led the PGA Tour with the most tournaments – four – in which they shot in the 60s all four rounds without winning.

FINAL WORD: ''I know how it feels when you win a major championship, and it feels incredible. And that's something that I would like to have happen again.'' – Woods.

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

Tiger Woods teed off at 12:15PM ET alongside Justin Rose for Round 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.

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Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

In fact, she named her “Mona.”

For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

And that has her excited about this year.

Well, that and having a healthy back again.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.