Woods converts 54-hole lead into Players win

By Doug FergusonMay 12, 2013, 11:28 pm

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Tiger Woods had the last word against Sergio Garcia by winning The Players Championship on Sunday.

Woods ended a weekend of testy words with Garcia by doing what he does best – closing out tournaments, even if he let this one turn into a tense duel over the final hour at the TPC Sawgrass. Tied with Garcia with two holes to play, Woods won by finding land on the last two holes for par to close with a 2-under 70.

If only it were that simple for the Spaniard.

Garcia was standing on the 17th tee shot, staring across the water to an island as Woods made his par. He took aim at the flag with his wedge and hung his head when he saw the ball splash down short of the green. Then, Garcia hit another one in the water on his way to a quadruple-bogey 7. He completed his stunning collapse by hitting his tee shot into the water on the 18th and making double bogey.

Woods was in the scoring trailer when he watched on TV as Swedish rookie David Lingmerth missed a long birdie putt that would have forced a playoff. It raced by the cup, and Lingmerth three-putted for bogey.

''How about that?'' Woods said to his caddie, Joe LaCava as he gave him a hug.


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Video: Woods wins The Players as others falter


Woods won The Players for the first time since 2001 and joined Fred Couples, Davis Love III and Steve Elkington as the only two-time winners at the TPC Sawgrass. It was his 78th career win on the PGA Tour, four short of the record held by Sam Snead.

Lingmerth closed with a 72 and finished two shots behind along with Kevin Streelman (67) and Jeff Maggert, who also was tied for the lead until finding the water on the 17th to make double bogey. The 49-year-old Maggert birdied the 18th for a 70.

Garcia took 13 shots to cover the final two holes – 6 over par – and tumbled into a tie for eighth.

Woods made this drama possible by hooking his tee shot into the water on the 14th hole and making a double bogey, dropping him into a four-way tie with Garcia, Maggert and Lingmerth. The final two holes came down to Garcia and Woods, most appropriate given their public sniping at each other this weekend.

It started Saturday when Garcia complained in a TV interview that his shot from the par-5 second fairway was disrupted by cheers from the crowd around Woods, who was some 50 yards away in the trees and fired them up by taking a fairway metal out of his bag. He said Woods should have been paying attention, and it became a war of the words the next two days.

''Not real surprising that he's complaining about something,'' Woods said.

''At least I'm true to myself,'' Garcia retorted. ''I know what I'm doing, and he can do whatever he wants.''

When they finished the storm-delayed third round Sunday morning, Garcia kept at it, saying that Woods is ''not the nicest guy on tour.''

Woods had the last laugh. He had the trophy.

Garcia, when asked if he would have changed anything about the flap with Woods, replied, ''It sounds like I was the bad guy here. I was the victim.''

The real villain was the infamous 17th hole, which knocked out Garcia and Maggert.

''When you've got water in front of the green, that's not a good time to be short of the green. You know, it was close,'' Maggert said. ''What can I say? A wrong shot at the wrong time and you get penalized on this golf course.''

It was at the 17th hole five years ago where Garcia won The Players Championship, when Paul Goydos hit into the water in a sudden-death playoff. This time, the island green got its revenge on him. Garcia hit a wedge and felt he caught it just a little bit thin, which is usually all it takes.

''That hole has been good to me for the most part,'' Garcia said. ''Today, it wasn't. That's the way it is. That's the kind of hole it is. You've got to love it for what it is.''

Woods finished on 13-under 275 and earned $1.71 million, pushing his season total to over $5.8 million in just seven tournaments. This is the 12th season he has won at least four times – that used to be the standard of a great year before he joined the PGA Tour in 1996 – and this was the quickest he has reached four wins in a year.

It also was the first time Woods has won on Mother's Day.

''Sorry, Mom,'' he said into the camera. ''I think she might have had a heart attack. I was in control of the tournament, and I just hit the worst shot I could possibly hit.''

Typical of Woods these days, there were questions about where he took the drop – some 255 yards from the hole. NBC Sports analyst Johnny Miller suggested it was ''borderline'' where he took the drop. But Mark Russell, vice president of competition for the PGA Tour, said there was nothing wrong with the drop. Woods conferred with Casey Wittenberg, who said there was ''no doubt'' that Woods took the drop in the right spot.

''He asked me exactly where it crossed,'' Wittenberg said. ''I told him I thought it crossed on the corner of the bunker, right where he took his drop. And it's all good.''

Woods wound up with a double bogey, and he nearly fell out of the lead on the 15th until he saved par with an 8-foot putt. He followed with another up-and-down from the bunker on the par-5 16th for birdie. Garcia, playing in the final group behind Woods, two-putted the 16th to regain a share of the lead and then walked over to the 17th tee where it ended with two swings.

Woods and Garcia played four tension-free holes Sunday morning to complete the third round, and they shook hands without words when they finished – Woods with a 71, Garcia with a 72 to share the 54-hole lead with Lingmerth.

With a three-way tie, Garcia wound up in the final group because he was first to play at the start of the third round.

Garcia, however, continued to fuel the bad feelings between them.

He told Sky Sports, ''I'm not going to lie, he's not my favorite guy to play with. He's not the nicest guy on tour.'' And then he told Golf Channel, ''We don't enjoy each other's company. You don't need to be a rocket engineer to figure that out.''

Woods downplayed the episode and said it didn't matter who joined him on the tee. ''I'm tied for the lead, so I'm right there.''

And that's where he usually wins. Woods now is 52-4 in his PGA Tour career when he has at least a share of the lead going into the final round.

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.