Woodland leads Spieth; Woods has first career MDF

By Doug FergusonJanuary 26, 2014, 1:45 am

SAN DIEGO – Tiger Woods was right. The South Course at Torrey Pines is playing about as tough as it did for the U.S. Open in 2008.

But that's the only similarity.

Woods won that U.S. Open. He won't even have a tee time in the final round at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Gary Woodland used power to his advantage Saturday – oddly enough, everywhere but on the par 5s – to pick up five birdies in his round of 2-under 70 that gave him a one-shot lead over Jordan Spieth and Marc Leishman going into a final day that won't include Woods.

Instead of getting back into the tournament, the defending champion and eight-time winner at Torrey Pines delivered a shocking performance. Woods went seven straight holes making bogey or worse and wound up with a 79, matching his worst score on American soil.

Woods left town without speaking to reporters and with an ''MDF'' next to his name, which probably should have been ''OMG.''


Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, videos and photos


That's the PGA Tour's acronym for ''made the cut, did not finish.'' Because more than 78 players advanced to the weekend, there was a 54-hole cut for top 70 and ties. Only one other player, club pro Michael Block, had a worse score than Woods.

''You get going south on this golf course, you can definitely put up some numbers in a hurry,'' Woodland said when he heard about Woods' score. ''I don't think he's too concerned about it.''

There's plenty for everyone to be concerned about at Torrey Pines – a beast of a course, thick rough, rock-hard greens, and nearly two dozen players so close to the lead that Sunday could be wide open.

Woodland was at 8-under 208. It was the highest 54-hole score to lead this tournament since Dave Rummells at 4-under 212 in 1993.

Spieth had a one-shot lead to start the third round and it was gone quickly. He missed a 30-inch par putt on the opening hole and took a double bogey on No. 5. His biggest putt might have been a 6-footer for par on the 14th, and Spieth looked confident the rest of the way to salvage a 75.

Leishman had a relatively boring round of 72 on a gorgeous day along the Pacific – one birdie, one bogey, 16 pars. That might be what it takes on this monster of a course that features rough that might even make the USGA blush.

''If you let bogeys worry you on that golf course, it's going to be a pretty long day,'' Leishman said. ''You don't have to do a whole lot wrong to have a bogey.''

The average score on the South through three rounds was 74.24, compared with 74.97 during the U.S. Open. And keep in mind, the field for the Farmers Insurance Open is almost entirely PGA Tour or European Tour players.

San Diego native Pat Perez, who used to work the practice range as a teenager during this event, salvaged a 72 and was two shots behind with Morgan Hoffman (72). Ryo Ishikawa had a 69 and was in a large group at 5-under 211 that included Nicolas Colsaerts (75) and Andres Romero of Argentina, whose 67 was the best score of the day.

''When you play with Gary, who hits it 40 yards farther than I do, it doesn't look that hard,'' Perez said. ''Where he hits it is unbelievable. But it was a lot harder today.''

Twenty-two players were separated by four shots going into Sunday.

Everything was in place for a good show except for the tour's two biggest stars. In the first network telecast of the year – and the first Sunday in golf without going against the NFL playoffs – Woods was out of the tournament and Phil Mickelson pulled out Friday night after making the cut because of muscle pain in his back.

Woodland has been heading north since winning the Reno-Tahoe Open last year. He contended at The Barclays, lost in a playoff in Malaysia and now feels confident about who's in charge at San Diego. Yes, the South is a beast. But the Kansas native hits it a long way.

Then again, he made par on all of them, including a three-putt pars on the sixth and 18th holes. That was OK, for Woodland had nothing more than a wedge in on No. 1, and he collected a pair of birdies on the par 3s. His only lapse was a double bogey on No. 17 from a bad lie in the bunker and a three-putt.

''If I drive the ball in play, I'm playing a little different golf course than most guys are playing,'' Woodland said.

Spieth, with a chance to move into the top 10 in the world with a win, hits the ball plenty far. He just wasn't very straight. The Texan pulled his opening tee shot and struggled to find fairways the rest of the day. He hit only five of them.

The steady finish left him confident about collecting his second PGA Tour win.

''Only one shot back and a bunched leaderboard,'' Spieth said. ''It's going to take a good score tomorrow. ... I'm excited about tomorrow. I had some great saves down the stretch today, so take that momentum.''

Woods thought he had some momentum, coming off a birdie on the 17th hole and in the fairway on the par-5 18th with a shot at the green. He went into the water and made double bogey, then made another double bogey on the first hole with a three-putt. It was his first time with back-to-back double bogeys since the 2011 PGA Championship. And it only got worse from there.

Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.


Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.

Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta 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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LaCava: Woods wouldn't talk after H.O.R.S.E. match

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 2:27 pm

The competitive streak within Tiger Woods knows no bounds - even on the basketball court, according to caddie Joe LaCava.

LaCava has been on Woods' bag since 2011, and he recently shared a story on "Inside the Ropes" on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio about a clash between the two men over a seemingly friendly game of H.O.R.S.E. Actually, it turned into nine straight games (and nine straight wins) for LaCava, who exploited a weakness in Woods' on-court strategy while leaning on a mid-length jumper of his own:

"The thing with him was if I missed a shot, which I missed plenty of shots, but if I missed the shot he'd go back down to the 3 (point line) because he liked to make the 3," LaCava said. "But it's harder obviously to make a 3, and I'd go right back to the baseline 12-footer, and he couldn't make it."

It's a short list of people who have beaten Woods nine times in any athletic pursuit, let alone in a row. But for LaCava, the fallout from his afternoon of on-court dominance was less than subtle.

"He did not talk to me the rest of the day," LaCava explained. "I didn't even get the old text, 'Dinner is ready,' because I stay across at the beach house. I didn't even get that text that night. I had to get take-out. He didn't announce he wasn't (talking), he just did it. I'm telling you, nine games in a row. Like I said, he's so competitive, even at something like that."

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 3, Tiger Woods

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:45 pm

After returning to competition at the Hero World Challenge in December 2016, Woods started the new year with an ambitious slate of tournament starts as he eyed his first full season since 2013. But he made it only three rounds, looking rusty en route to a missed cut at Torrey Pines before withdrawing abruptly in Dubai.

The “spasms” that led to that withdrawal turned out to be something far more serious, as Woods underwent his fourth and most invasive back surgery in April, a lumbar fusion. It brought with it an extensive rehabilitation, and at the Presidents Cup in September Woods humored the prospect that he might never again play competitive golf.

At Liberty National he also faced some scrutiny for an off-course incident from months prior. In May he was arrested for suspicion of DUI, an incident that produced a startling roadside video of an intoxicated Woods struggling to follow instructions from the arresting officer after driving erratically.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


While he was not drinking at the time, Woods was found to have a mix of several prescription medications in his system, including multiple painkillers. He checked himself into a private drug treatment program in July to address his dependency issues, and in October he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving.

But the incident was barely a memory when Woods again made a return to competition in the Bahamas at the tournament he hosts. This time around he exceeded nearly every expectation, twice shooting 4-under 68 while tying for ninth among the 18-man field. Having re-tooled his swing following fusion surgery, Woods appeared relaxed, happy and healthy while briefly taking the lead during the tournament’s second round.

What lies ahead for Woods in 2018 remains uncertain, as the stop-and-start nature of this past season serves as a cautionary tale. But after a harrowing arrest and another serious surgery, he seems once again focused on his game, intent on chasing down a new crop of elite talent, some of whom are barely more than half his age.

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:30 pm