Woods falls nine back at Australian Masters

By Doug FergusonNovember 12, 2010, 2:38 pm

JBWare MastersMELBOURNE, Australia – Tiger Woods is in the same spot Down Under as he’s been everywhere else in the world – trying to catch up to the leaders and on the verge of becoming an also-ran.

Right when it looked as though Woods was poised to give himself a chance at winning for the first time all year, he struggled in blustery conditions Friday at the JBWere Masters and wound up with a 1-over 72.

That put him nine shots behind Adam Bland, who is leaving Sunday night for the second stage of Q-School on the PGA Tour. Bland played in the same side of the draw as Woods, in 20 mph wind that blew sand out of the bunkers, and finished strong for a 4-under 67.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods had four bogeys in the second round. (Getty Images)

Bland was at 10-under 132 and had a two-shot lead over Andre Stolz, who also had a 67. No one else was within three shots of them, while Sergio Garcia had the best round of the day – also in a strong wind – and his best score of the year with a 65 to get within six shots.

The JBWere Masters is the final title defense of the year for Woods, and he hasn’t come close in any of the others. His best finish in a title defense was a tie for 15th at the BMW Championship in Chicago.

Woods again played two perfect shots on the par-5 17th for a two-putt birdie, and again took himself out of an easy birdie with a poor tee shot on the par-5 18th. This one was on a dirt path, and Woods’ attempt to hook it around a tea tree didn’t work out. It sailed toward a corporate box, and he had to settle for par.

He was at 1-under 141 and tied for 16th with Camilo Villegas (70).

“It was frustrating, because I hit the ball well pretty much off the tee, and wasn’t quite as sharp with the irons,” Woods said.

Just like on Thursday, when he opened with a 69, Woods didn’t make a putt longer than 8 feet. The problem Friday was that most of those putts were for par.

Bland, a left-hander from Australia, played the Nationwide Tour this year and didn’t come close to finishing in the top 25 to earn his PGA Tour card. Instead, he leaves for California after the week for the second stage of Q-School, and the only reason he didn’t go over early to inspect the courses was he thought he might find some confidence at Victoria.

So far, he has.

“I haven’t been playing well, so I thought I would use this event to try and get a little bit of confidence, and hopefully build some game, something I can go over there with, that can get me through those two stages,” Bland said.

Woods is looking for confidence, too, and not finding it.

This was the strongest wind he has faced since the Ryder Cup on Friday morning, and that lasted only an hour when the opening session was halted because of wet conditions.

Woods had a hard time trusting his new move under coach Sean Foley, trying instead to simply work the ball with the wind and get by. But he made careless bogeys, either though his iron play or short game, and kept falling further behind.

Asked about the progress with his swing change, Woods said, “It was tougher today.”

“When the wind blows this hard, just like anybody I tend to revert back to some of the old stuff,” he said. “I struggled with that today. I tried to be as committed as I possibly could. It was a little more difficult than I thought it should have been, but I got through it.”

The rain began falling soon after Woods hooked his final tee shot, and more – much more – is expected.

The forecast was for heavy rain to start falling overnight and throughout much of the third round, this after Melbourne already has gone through an unusually wet time of the year.

That could soften Victoria, which has been playing so firm that players are aiming at spots on the greens, and sometimes the fairway, to try to get the ball close to the hole.

“It will be a lot more target golf,” Bland said.

Stuart Appleby, not among the five players the Australian Masters promoted, had a 69 and was in the group at 2-under 140. Geoff Ogilvy, who has been home in Australia for the last six weeks and is not going back to America until he defends his title in Hawaii, birdied the last two holes for a 70 that brought him back to even par.

Saturday is shaping up as a big one for Woods. With only 15 players in front of him, he is still in the game. Even so, it continues a troubling pattern for a former No. 1 player in search of his first win in a year.

When he failed to birdie the 18th from about 15 feet above the hole – it stayed a foot left of the cup the whole way – it marked the seventh time in 14 tournaments this year that Woods went into the weekend at least nine shots behind.

The closest he has been to the lead through 36 holes was at the Masters – two shots – in his return to golf, which now seems like a lot longer than seven months ago.

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.