Sean OHair Jim Furyk lead Deutsche Bank Championship

By Doug FergusonSeptember 5, 2009, 4:00 pm
DeutscheBank Logo 2007NORTON, Mass. – Sean O’Hair hasn’t made many birdies lately. He saw more than his share Saturday in another day of low scoring at the Deutsche Bank Championship, and some of them were even his own.

O’Hair was 8-under par in an eight-hole stretch in the middle of his round, sending him to a 7-under 64 and a share of the lead with Jim Furyk after 36 holes on the TPC Boston.

O’Hair and Furyk, who made six birdies in his round of 67, played in the same group with Retief Goosen, who had a 67 and wound up two shots behind. The threesome combined to make 17 birdies and one eagle.

“It can either help your or it can really hurt you,” O’Hair said of watching his partners keep making putts. “If you get impatient out there, it can be a detriment. But with the attitude I had out there the last couple of days, it was nice.”

No one needed to make birdies quite like Tiger Woods.

Tiger Woods at Deutsche Bank Championship
Tiger Woods turned things around on his back nine Saturday, making four birdies at the TPC Boston. (Getty Images)

He was on the cut line when he made the turn and was desperate to secure a tee time for Sunday and make up as much ground as he could. After an unlikely par save from a buried lie in the bunker, Woods gave himself seven consecutive birdie putts inside 12 feet. He made four of them for a 67, although he still was seven shots behind.

O’Hair and Furyk were at 12-under 130, two shots clear of Goosen and Marc Leishman, who had a tournament-low 62. Nearly half the field of 99 players shot in the 60s.

Scott Verplank made an eagle for the second straight day on his way to a 68, leaving him a group of players at 9-under 133 that included Justin Leonard, Mike Weir, Kevin Sutherland and John Senden, who recorded the rarest shot in golf.

Senden made a double eagle on the par-5 second hole, holing out from 250 yards with a 4-iron. He shot a 64.

“It looked like it was just going to roll to the back of the green or just over the back,” Senden said. “And then when the I saw the cheers go up, I knew it was in the hole, so it was exciting.”

Most of the excitement came in the morning, however, as O’Hair, Furyk and Goosen lit up the scoreboard in pristine conditions. The best viewing belonged to Geoff Ogilvy in the group behind them.

“When you’re watching the group ahead of you throwing birdie after birdie, you know you have to keep making them,” said Ogilvy, who managed a 68 and was in the large group at 8-under 134.

Furyk, winless in more than two years, went 25 consecutive holes without missing a green until he found a fairway bunker on No. 15 that led to bogey. Even so, he was steady as ever and feeling better about his chance of ending his drought. He has never gone two consecutive seasons without winning since he joined the PGA Tour.

“I didn’t expect to go out there and hit 13 fairways and 18 greens today,” he said. “I hit a few bad shots, got loose once in a while, but was able to score well all day.”

Everyone in his group did that. They were a combined 34-under par after two rounds.

“I’m not sure I’ve ever played in a group where all three guys played so well,” Furyk said. “We saw a lot of good golf and a lot of good golf shots, and obviously I saw some putts go in. We all made our share of putts.”

There were only five holes where no one made birdie.

Steve Stricker shared the 18-hole lead with Furyk and appeared to be on his way toward catching him with consecutive birdies as he was approaching the turn. That changed with one bad tee shot and several missed putts inside 6 feet.

Woods, meanwhile, didn’t need a leaderboard to realize he was hovering around the cut at 1 under.

“I saw a lot of media guys out there, so I thought I’d better turn this thing around and make them go away,” he said.

It started with pars – a 12-footer at No. 9, a tricky 5-footer on the 10th and a superb save from the plugged lie in the face of a bunker at No. 11, followed by a 20-foot putt. From there, Woods hit everything inside 12 feet and made some, although he was increasing frustrated by missed birdie chances of 7 feet at No. 13, 10 feet at No. 15 and 10 feet at no. 17.

“They haven’t been lipping in, they’ve been lipping out,” Woods said. “That’s about par for the course right now.”

He was at 5-under 137 needing a low round Sunday to get back into the mix for the Labor Day finishes. And as the first two days have shown, low scores certainly are out there.

Woods attributed so many missed chances at Liberty National on putts that often broke multiple times before reaching the hole. He worked some on his short game during his three days at home, no more than usual.

“I really putted well on the weekend, I just didn’t make a lot of putts,” he said. “When you’re lipping out a lot of putts, you’re not putting poorly. Those greens were a tough read for a bunch of people.”

Woods has a hard time finding much fault with anything this year, except for not winning a major. His five victories are twice as much as anyone else, and he still holds the No. 1 stop in the FedEx Cup standings going into the second week of the playoffs.

The big surprise is Heath Slocum, who was planning a trip to Switzerland this week for the Omega Masters on the European Tour until he won last week at Liberty National. That moved him from second-to-last place at No. 124 to No. 3, right behind Woods and Stricker.

Players have been debating whether Slocum earned too many points, and they tried to balance his rocket rise with the notion that he did beat a field at The Barclays that included the top 124 players on the PGA Tour.

The top 100 qualified for the Deutsche Bank (minus Paul Casey, who is injured), and that number will be pared to the top 70 players in points going to the third round next week at the BMW Championship outside Chicago.

Woods is virtually a lock to at least contest for the $10 million prize that comes with the FedEx Cup, especially the way he has played over the last two months—two victories, two runner-up finishes.

“This last stretch, I think I’ve hit the ball pretty good,” Woods said. “I’ve putted well in stretches. Some people have alluded to other things, but that’s not too bad for my last four events. The overall year has been very consistent.”

He missed the FedEx Cup playoffs last year recovering from knee surgery. The last time he played the Deutsche Bank was in 2007, when he tied for second, four shots behind Phil Mickelson. Woods took nine more putts than Mickelson that day.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.