Woods trails Choi by 3 in Round 1

By Doug FergusonDecember 1, 2011, 9:40 pm

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – K.J. Choi opened with five straight birdies. Tiger Woods looked as good as he did in Australia, making his fourth birdie with a 3-iron to an elevated green on the par-5 fifth that covered the flag.

And then, without warning, the wind showed up Thursday in the foothills of Sherwood Country Club.

Choi held his own in gusts up to 30 mph and finished with a 6-under 66, giving him a three-shot lead over Woods and Steve Stricker in the Chevron World Challenge.

They were the only three players to break 70 in the 18-man field in the final official event in America this year.

'Anything under par is a good day today with the wind up,' said Woods, a four-time winner of this event and the tournament host. 'If the wind stayed down, you're going to have to shoot probably 68 or below for it to be a good score.'

Five of the six players who broke par – Jim Furyk, Nick Watney and Rickie Fowler were at 71 – had most recently played at blustery Royal Melbourne in the Presidents Cup.

Choi figures he had even a greater advantage. He lives in Dallas.

'I was used to playing in the windy conditions, not only playing in Melbourne, but also living in Dallas, where there's 20- to 30-mile wind every other day,' Choi said. 'I'm used to practicing in those conditions. I've become very comfortable in those windy conditions.'

The notorious Santa Ana wind was in the forecast, with some projections of 60 mph gusts.  

But when the elite field arrived at Sherwood, there was not even a breeze. Woods and Stricker birdied the opening two holes with relative ease. Woods added another birdie on No. 4 with a 25-foot putt, and then came his 3-iron from 229 yards to 18 feet for an eagle attempt that burned the edge.



He was standing on the sixth green, 15 feet behind the hole, when a big gust backed Woods off his putt and scattered leaves raced across the fairway behind him.

On the next hole, Stricker was staring over an iron shot that was drawing right at the flag. A strong gust swatted the ball out of the sky and dropped it 20 feet short of the green into the deep rough.

Watney was motoring along at 2 under when he had a birdie putt on the 14th. He addressed the ball, backed off and watched it move, costing him a one-shot penalty. A new rule that would eliminate the penalty stroke if deemed that the wind moved the ball after address is not effective until Jan. 1.

Watney took a positive out of that bogey.

'I might be the last player in history to be penalized under that rule,' he said. 'That could be a trivia question one day.'

Best that he not hold his breath on that one.

Jason Day was among the leaders until the wind gobbled up his approach on the par-5 16th, leading to double bogey. Then he hit into the trees on the par-3 17th and injured his right thumb trying to play out of the mess. He made another double bogey, and then finished with a bogey for a 74.

Matt Kuchar, coming off a World Cup win with Gary Woodland in China, was 4 under until he made triple bogey on the 16th, bogeyed the 17th and had to settle for a 72.

Woods also made a bogey on the 16th after popping up a tee shot and running into trouble with his attempt to lay up. Earlier on the ninth hole, he had a nasty lie on the side of a hill with a large branch in his way, and he moved the ball only about 10 yards. But those were the rare mistakes.

He looked very steady for nine rounds in the wind in Australia. In more gusts at Sherwood, he didn't look much different. He was in control of his irons and even when he did miss off the tee, it wasn't by much.

'It looks like he's getting a lot of confidence back again,' Stricker said. 'It looks like the Tiger of old, really, and it's great to see. We need him out there playing, and playing well.'

Stricker hit a superb shot on the 10th with the wind at his back. After hitting driver that left him an awkward yardage – about 50 yards to a front pin – he nipped a wedge that just carried onto the green and checked up 3 feet away. He birdied the 18th to join Woods in second place, although Woods will be in the final group Friday with Choi.

Choi, even though he was three groups behind Woods, saw enough of him in the opening round. The fourth and fifth holes go in opposite direction of the second and third holes, and what Choi saw caught his attention, particularly the 3-iron that Woods hit on No. 5.

'I think he is really 80, 90 percent back to his form again,' Choi said. “I'm very happy about playing with him tomorrow. Tiger is a good friend. He's got a very strong will. He's got the right mental attitude right now, and I think it's going to be a very fun day tomorrow.

'I watched him play a couple of holes today, and I was very impressed at the way he was swinging, at his rhythm, at the power he had,' Choi said. 'It almost seemed like watching the old Tiger back in the day.'


Follow the Chevron World Challenge on Golf Channel and NBC. Airtimes: Golf Channel, 3-6 PM and 8:30-11:30 PM ET Friday, 1-3 PM ET Saturday and Sunday. NBC, 3-6 PM and 8:30-11:30 PM ET Saturday and Sunday.

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

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.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


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.


Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


President at the Presidents Cup


Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

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.