Woods puts on show to win JBWere Masters

By Doug FergusonNovember 15, 2009, 2:05 pm
JBWere Masters

MELBOURNE, Australia – Tiger Woods gave the record crowds at the Australian Masters everything they could have wanted with his victory Sunday, except a definitive answer when he would return.

“I promise it won’t be as long,” Woods said to yet another warm ovation.

Woods took the lead for good with a 7-iron to within 4 feet for birdie on the fifth hole, and he hardly missed a shot the rest of the way for a 4-under 68 and a two-shot win over Australia’s Greg Chalmers.

Tiger Woods
Australian fans applaud Tiger Woods' JBWere victory. (Getty Images)

He won for the seventh time this year, and the 82nd time worldwide in his career. Woods now has a trophy from every continent where golf is played. Australia, the 13th country where he has won an individual event, had been the missing link.

“I’ve never won down here, so now I have won on every continent, except for Antarctica,” Woods said. “I haven’t played the Antarctica Four-Ball yet. But to have won on every playable continent, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. And now I’ve done that.”

It had been 11 years since Woods last competed in Australia, at the 1998 Presidents Cup. Since then, he has won 13 majors and 72 times around the world, becoming the face of golf and one of the most famous athletes in the world.

More than 100,000 fans who passed through the gates of Kingston Heath gave him rock-star treatment.

Woods put on quite a show.

One day after he lost his swing and nearly fell out of contention, Woods hit every fairway and only ran into trouble when a photographer standing too close clicked twice in the middle of his swing, leading to his lone bogey.

Starting the day in a three-way tie for the lead, Woods began his final round with a 3-wood to the par-5 first hole that landed next to the hole and rolled 30 feet away, producing the first of many roars from thousands of fans surrounding the green, some of them perched in trees.

After his birdie on the fifth, he followed with his most exquisite shot of the day – from 82 yards away to a firm green just over a ridge, the pin on a slope feeding toward a deep bunker. Playing a 56-degree wedge for a flatter shot, it bounced 30 feet from the flag, checked slightly and trickled down the slope to 2 feet.

“It came off perfect,” he said.

Chalmers, who hasn’t won on his native soil since 1998, found consolation in his runner-up finish. It was one of the biggest weeks of golf in Australia, energy not felt since the glory days of Greg Norman.

He stayed within range of Woods on the back nine, but failed to convert a couple of good birdie chances and shot 70.

“It was like a football crowd brought to the golf, and for us as players, I have only experienced that a handful of times, and I’ve never experienced it in Australia at all,” Chalmers said. “That was special. It really was very exciting, and it made you play better. Even though I finished second, I’m thrilled that he’s here. I wish he would come every couple of years. I’m sure we all do.”

Asked on live television, the closing ceremony and in his press conference about returning, Woods only said, “I would love to.”

“I want to come back, no doubt,” Woods said.

He said he would go over his 2010 schedule during the holidays, although Australians are assured of at least seeing him in two years at Royal Melbourne for the Presidents Cup.

Woods received a $3 million appearance fee to play in the Australian Masters. Half of that fee was paid by the Victorian government, which estimated the economic return at $20 million.

“He over-delivered,” said Ian Baker-Finch, the former British Open champion helping out with local TV analysis.

Woods wasn’t too shabby on the golf course, either.

One week after he fell apart in the final round at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai, Woods sorted out his swing problems overnight and was precise as ever around Kingston Heath. He saved par with a 10-foot putt on the ninth, and he reached the 574-yard 12th hole into the wind with a 3-wood for a key birdie.

The only mishap came on the 13th, with a sand wedge in his hand.

“I thought I was in control of the tournament after I made that birdie on 12,” Woods said, “and then a photographer took the control right away from me.”

The photographer, standing unusually close, took two pictures in the middle of his swing, and the ball sailed right of the green. Still fuming on the par-5 14th, he failed to make birdie and left himself open to Chalmers cutting into the lead.

On the next hole, however, Woods hit an 8-iron that had the crowd buzzing during its entire flight, the cheers getting louder as it covered the flag and rolled 6 feet beyond the hole. He made the last birdie he needed.

The result was Woods slipping into a jacket after winning the Masters – this one Australian gold, not Augusta green, but it will do. He finished at 14-under 274 and earned about $250,000 from a purse that was half the size of his appearance fee.

American Jason Dufner, who received an exemption between tournaments in Asia, shot 70 and tied for third with Frenchman Francois Delamontagne (69). James Nitties, part of that three-way tie for the lead going into the last round, shot 73 to finish fifth, while fellow Australian Adam Scott recorded his second straight top 10 finish with a 69 to tie for sixth.

Asked what legacy he would leave behind, Woods smiled and said, “I got a W. That was the goal this week.”

No matter the country, the time zone or the size of the gallery, that’s one thing that doesn’t change.

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

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Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

 There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

“The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

“You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

“We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.