Woods three back after bogey-free 68

By Doug FergusonNovember 10, 2011, 7:19 am

SYDNEY - Tiger Woods played his first bogey-free round in nine months, a big development in any tournament he plays. It nearly got lost Thursday in the Australian Open, which featured an albatross from Adam Scott and another meltdown for John Daly.

Jarrod Lyle had a 7-under 65 at The Lakes for a one-shot lead over Dustin Johnson and Nick Watney, two of the eight Americans warming up for the Presidents Cup next week.

Thousands of fans who stood atop sand dunes had reason to be impressed with Woods in his first tournament in Sydney in 15 years. He hit the ball clean, usually where he was aiming and rarely got in trouble in blustery conditions for a 4-under 68, his lowest score to par in the first round of any tournament this year.

The last time he played bogey free was the second round of the Dubai Desert Classic on Feb. 11.

“I hit it really good today,” Woods said. “It was rewarding that I hit the just like I have at home.”

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Even so, most of the fans following him missed all the excitement.

There was quite a buzz as Woods headed to the eighth tee. The gallery looked down the fairway on the 550-yard par 5 to see Scott celebrating a 6-iron from 220 yards downwind that landed 10 feet in front of the cup and went in for an albatross. That helped the Australian overcome a sloppy start and sent him to a 69.

It was his first albatross since he was 17 in the Greg Norman Junior Masters.

“That’s quite a while between drinks,” Scott said. “It gave me a boost, for sure. There were a lot of people there, and a lot of hands went in the air.”

Two groups behind Woods was Daly, who doesn’t have a pretty record Down Under and it got downright ugly.

It started on the short par-4 10th when Daly tried to drive the green. He thought his ball was in the front bunker, but after blasting out to about 4 feet, he realized he had hit a practice ball from the adjacent range. That’s when he was told his ball was in the back bunker, and with a penalty shot and a three-putt, he wound up with a triple bogey.

Daly was annoyed, then hit his second on the par-5 11th into the water. Then he hit another into the lake. And another. And another. The final tally was seven balls, and it might have been more except that he had none left in his bag.

Daly turned over his scorecard to Hunter Mahan and Craig Parry and walked off the course. Daly later said on Twitter, “when u run out of balls u run out of balls. yes, I shook my player’s partners hands & signed my card w/rules official.”

In 2002, Daly threw his putter into the pond and failed to sign for a 78 at the Australian PGA, and he was fined $5,600. Two years ago, he smashed a spectator’s camera into a tree at Royal Sydney during the Australian Open.

The rap sheet is even longer in the United States, from his 18 on the sixth hole at Bay Hill to the time he swatted a moving ball on the turtleback greens of Pinehurst No. 2 in the 1999 U.S. Open.

“You always hear a story about John Daly doing something,” Mahan said. “Right in the middle of it. Great.”

Parry came to Daly’s defense, saying he had the right club to reach the 11th green, but failed to realize the strength of the wind.

Tour officials sounded as though they had seen enough. Brian Thorburn, chief executive of the PGA of Australia, said it was withdrawing its invitation for Daly to play in the Australian PGA in two weeks at Coolum.

“The PGA does not need this kind of behavior tarnishing the achievements of other players and the reputation of our tournaments,” Thorburn said in a statement. “John is not welcome at Coolum.”

Thursday was a welcome sight for Woods.

He caught the worst of the weather, with a 20 mph wind strong enough to shoo away clouds and put a premium on accuracy. Good scores were posted earlier in the day, starting with the 65 by Lyle.

Johnson had a sluggish start, only to turn it around with five straight birdies, most of them from inside 4 feet. Another guy headed to the Presidents Cup also fared well, even if he won’t be competing next week. That would be U.S. captain Fred Couples, who had a 67.

Woods was in serious trouble off the tee only once, and hit a bullet under a tree and through the green that allowed him to save par on the third hole. Another poor tee shot wound up in the adjacent fairway on the par-5 eighth, but that led to his first birdie of the day.

The opening seven holes at The Lakes are a matter of hanging on, with the scoring holes starting at No. 8. Woods started the back nine with consecutive birdies, then picked up another on the par-4 13th with a beautiful bunker shot to a tough green. He failed to birdie two of the par 5s on the back nine, three-putting from the back of the 14th green, and pulling his second shot on the 17th, lucky for the kikuya grass to grab the ball before it rolled down the bank and into the water.

He was three shots out of the lead, significant in that he has been taking himself out of mix early in the other tournaments he has played. This is an important stretch for Woods, who is playing three times in a span of four weeks, his most golf activity since the spring.

“I’m in a good spot,” Woods said. “Hopefully, the weather will be calm in the morning.”

Watch Round 2 of the Australian Open on Golf Channel Thursday at 8PM ET.

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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.

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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.