Tiger falls back as Senden ascends

By Doug FergusonNovember 11, 2011, 1:34 am

SYDNEY – In the lead for the first time all year, Tiger Woods got the same result as his last time atop the leaderboard.

He couldn’t break par.

Woods bogeyed his first three holes Saturday in the Australian Open, and it didn’t get much better from there. He managed only two birdies on a good day for scoring, shot 3-over 75 and went from a one-shot lead to six shots behind John Senden.

It was only the third time since Woods’ last win two years ago that he had at least a share of the lead after a round. And it was the third time he was over par.

This round made him a long shot to end the longest drought of his career. Only once has he won a tournament when trailing by six shots or more going into the final round, and that was nearly 14 years ago in Thailand.

Senden, who won the Australian Open five years ago at Royal Sydney, birdied his last two holes to finish off a 9-under 63, giving him a one-shot lead over Jason Day going into Sunday at The Lakes.

Day celebrated his 24th birthday with a 68, giving him a shot at winning in his first trip home to Australia in nearly five years.

Greg Chalmers had a 67 and was two shots behind, followed by Nick O’Hern (66) and Nick Watney (68), one of eight Americans who came to the Australian Open to get ready for the Presidents Cup next week at Royal Melbourne.

“I just got off to an awful start,” Woods said. “The round should have been an easy 71, no problem. I played the par 5s bad, I didn’t take care of 13. But if I take care of the par 5s and make a couple of putts, it’s a 1 or 2 under round. But I made nothing today.”

In the lead for the first time since the final round of the Chevron World Challenge last year, it didn’t take long for him to start chasing.

Woods hit two good shots, but the approach was a yard long and tumbled off the side of the green to leave him a tough chip that he conservatively put 15 feet by the hole. Then came an approach from the adjacent fairway at No. 2 that went over the back of the green and left another challenging pitch that he put 30 feet by the hole.

The third bogey came from a poor pitch from short of the third hole that ran 15 feet long.

Woods followed with a 7-foot birdie on the fourth, but settled into a routine of fairways, greens and two-putt pars that on this day caused him to lose ground with the leaders.

Scoring is better on the back nine, but that’s where Woods fell apart.

After missing a short birdie on the 10th, he hooked his drive on No. 11 that rattled around a portable toilet and settled under a pine. Looking for a way out, Woods said to photographers crowded by his line, “Can you get the hell out of the way?”

There wasn’t noticeable anger in his voice, but it showed his frustration in the round. He chipped from under the tree, through a patch of sand and next to a crushed beer can where the gallery had been sitting. Then, he hooked a fairway metal into the gallery, pitched on to about 45 feet and settled for bogey.

That was followed by a pulled iron shot into a bunker on No. 12 for another bogey, and his luck got worse on the 13th when he tried to drive the green, and his flop shot went just long enough that it sat atop a hill over the green instead of running back down the slope within easy birdie range.

Woods closed with a 73 at the Chevron World Challenge last year, losing a four-shot lead to Graeme McDowell, who beat him in a playoff. Before that, Woods was tied with Vaughn Taylor in the opening round of The Barclays in 2010, then shot 73 in the second round.

Asked if he were disappointed, Woods replied, “Well, 75s are never exciting.”

He wasn’t giving up on his chances to win for the first time since the Australian Masters two years ago in Melbourne.

“I need to play good on that front nine. Anything can happen on the back nine,” Woods said. “If I can just play a good, solid front nine and get things going on the back nine, they have some easy holes on the back nine. If I can shoot some low scores, I’ll be right there.”

Senden was the odd man out when International captain Greg Norman made his two picks for the Presidents Cup. He went with Aaron Baddeley, based on his play in the Tour Championship.

Senden still put himself in position to make this a great trip home.

“Today was moving day and there is a long way to go,” he said. “Shooting 9 under, you don’t do that very often and you have to take it when you can get it and put yourself in a good spot.”


Watch Australian Open final-round coverage Saturday at 8PM ET on Golf Channel.

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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.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.