Woods game is gone with the wind in Australia

By Doug FergusonNovember 12, 2010, 11:34 pm

JBWare Masters

MELBOURNE, Australia – In wind strong enough to blow sand out of the bunkers and kick up dust along the sandy terrain, Tiger Woods squeezed his eyes shut as he tried to clear his vision.

That was the least of his problems Friday in the Australian Masters.

He found himself going back to his old swing to help cope with the blustery conditions at Victoria Golf Club, and he turned in a performance that fans around the world are used to seeing this year.

One day after a promising round, Woods began a slow slide down the leaderboard.

With consecutive bogeys on the back nine that killed his momentum, Woods shot a 1-over 72 in the second round and wound up nine shots behind Adam Bland, who played in the same conditions and shot a 4-under 67.

Bland, who will be in the second stage of PGA Tour qualifying school next week, was at 10-under 132 and had a two-shot lead over Andre Stolz, who won in Las Vegas six years ago when Woods was going through his last swing change.

For Woods, it was the seventh time in 14 tournaments that he was at least nine shots behind going into the weekend. The Australian Masters is his last time as the defending champion, and he hasn’t come close the four other times. His best finish in a title defense was a tie for 15th at the BMW Championship in Chicago. He was nine back after two rounds at Cog Hill, too.

“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.

Woods was at 1-under 141, tied with Camilo Villegas, who shot a 70.

He began his second round aiming for the front right bunker on the 257-yard par 4, hit into the middle bunker but still left himself a simple sand save for birdie. Then came the par-5 ninth, where he ripped a driver to set up another birdie.

Those were the highlights.

Through two rounds, he is tied for third in fairways hit and tied for sixth in greens in regulation. But he is tied for 104th in putting.

“I over-read every putt because the greens were slower than yesterday,” Woods said.

Still, most disappointing was his first big test in the wind as he continues to learn a new swing from Sean Foley. It was howling and raining at the Ryder Cup, but play was stopped after an hour because of soggy conditions. Woods had to cope with 20 mph wind for some five hours at Victoria, and he didn’t do it very well.

“It was tougher today,” he said. “When the wind blows this hard, just like anybody I tend to revert back to some of the old stuff. 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.

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 and brought him back to par.

As ordinary as Woods looked, the bigger surprise was Sergio Garcia. He took two months off after the PGA Championship to clear his head, returning last month to two tournaments in Spain. He signed up for the Australian Masters in the spring. Otherwise, he might not be here.

But it’s working out well.

Garcia thrives in the wind because of his pure ball-striking, and when a few putts fall, the game can be fun again. Still, the 30-year-old Spaniard wasn’t ready to declare himself back to form with one good round.

“It’s slowly getting better, but I can go out there tomorrow and shoot 75,” he said. “I’m just taking it slowly. I’m just taking the positives out of everything. Don’t get me wrong – I’m trying to shoot the best score I can, but making sure a bad round doesn’t get to me too much.”

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 on Sunday night for the second stage of Q-school.

“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.

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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.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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