Tigers Nationwide Tour Sergios schedule

By Doug FergusonAugust 4, 2009, 4:00 pm
WGC-Bridgestone - 125wAKRON, Ohio ' Tiger Woods has never played on the Nationwide Tour, although he had reason to feel like he did at the Buick Open. Going into the final round, only one of the 13 players within five shots of his lead was ranked inside the top 100 ' Ben Crane at No. 73.
Of his 69 victories on the PGA Tour, this one came against the weakest field based on the world ranking.
Woods received only 36 ranking points.
The only two tournaments in which he received fewer points for winning was the Johnnie Walker Classic in Thailand in 2000 (24 points) and the Dunlop Phoenix on the Japan Golf Tour in 2005 (34 points).
In his other three victories this year, Woods received 50 points at the AT&T National, 60 points at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and 62 points at the Memorial.
WATNEYS WORLD: Nick Watney has been lobbying Fred Couples over the last couple of weeks, and it has nothing to do with being at No. 14 in the Presidents Cup standings with two tournaments remaining before the top 10 qualify for the team.
Watney was the highest-ranked American (No. 34 this week) who accepted an offer to play in the World Cup in China over Thanksgiving week, and now all he has to do is find a partner.
His first choice is Couples, who won the event four times in the 1990s with Davis Love III as his partner.
Couples, the U.S. captain for the Presidents Cup, turns 50 in October yet still remains competitive. He had a chance to win the Northern Trust Open at Riviera and the Houston Open, both times finishing third. He is No. 86 in the world.
Hes slow-playing me right now, Watney said with a grin, referring to Couples not giving him an answer. I think hed be perfect for the event. Hes won like $80 million in the offseason.
Ben Curtis and Brandt Snedeker represented the United States last year. It has been tough to find players because of the travel to China and giving up the Thanksgiving holiday.
Watney, who won the Buick Invitational, wasnt about to turn down his chance.
I grew up watching the World Cup, he said. Its something Ive always wanted to play.
Now if he can just get Couples to join him. Both players work under swing coach Butch Harmon.
SERGIOS SCHEDULE: The next two weeks might go a long way toward determining what Sergio Garcia does this fall.
The Spaniard has had an awful year on the PGA Tour, with his only top 10 at the U.S. Open. He is No. 121 in the FedEx Cup standings, and only the top 125 qualify for the PGA Tour Playoffs that begin with The Barclays.
Garcia has played only 11 times on the PGA Tour this year and needs 15 events to maintain his membership. He is playing the Bridgestone Invitational this week, then the PGA Championship. Depending on how he does, he might need to add the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro to become eligible for the playoffs.
And if that doesnt work out, Garcia might have to throw in a tournament from the Fall Series.
ALWAYS IMPROVING: Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington is renowned for tinkering with his swing. He is always trying to get better, and made it clear Tuesday that he would go to great lengths ' any length ' to improve.
If somebody told me I had to go to a deserted island for the next two years and I would improve my game, the hard part would be telling my wife, Harrington said. Because that is what I would do. Thats always been my makeup. If I thought that was the way to improve my game, thats what I would be doing.
Then came one more gem.
And the hard part for my wife would be telling the kids that were moving.
DIVOTS: The PGA Championship released its field for next week at Hazeltine. It did not offer an exemption to Minnesota-native Tim Herron, who is No. 220 in the world ranking. Herron currently is the eighth alternate. While overnight TV ratings for the Buick Open were up 167 percent from a year ago, that wasnt the only big difference. Buick promotions manager Larry Peck said the Sunday gate was up 900 percent from the previous year. Lorena Ochoa, the No. 1 player in womens golf, did not have a top 10 in any of the four majors.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Of the 80 players at the Bridgestone Invitational, 33 PGA Tour members have not won this year.
FINAL WORD: You learn a lot more when youre losing. 'Padraig Harrington, winless since the PGA Championship
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - 2009 WGC - Bridgestone Invitational
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

    Getty Images

    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

    Getty Images

    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

    Getty Images

    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.