Tiger Impresses In Time of Failure

By George WhiteOctober 27, 2005, 4:00 pm
Sometimes you learn a lot more about people in their moments of failure than you do in their moments of success. And in this instance, Tiger Woods showed an awfully lot in his moment of failure.
Tiger missed the cut last week ' you already know that. It was one of the greatest upsets in the history of golf ' yes, I said history of golf ' when he couldnt survive to play the final two rounds at the Funai Classic. It was in his hometown of Orlando, at a place where he had already won two times, Disney.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods made no excuses to the media following his second missed cut of the year.
He had won six times this year, including two majors and the WCG-American Express. In his last eight tournaments before the Funai, he had won three times, finished second three times and third another. Disneys courses are relatively easy ' they have to be to get the amateurs around without darkness sneaking up on them. Bob Sowards made it. So did Brett Wetterich and Gavin Coles. There is D.A. Points and Joey Snyder III and Mark Wilson. Hmmm but no Woods, Tiger.

His houseguest for the week, old Stanford teammate Notah Begay, must have been shocked. Begay made the cut. Tiger didnt! But ' Tiger handled it beautifully.
He had hardly seen an MC (missed cut) in his career. Oh, there was that time in Canada in his second year as a pro ' but Tiger wasnt really TIGER WOODS yet, and we figured that was a sometime thing. Then he didnt miss one for seven years and we realized that this was a once-in-a-blue-moon happening. But it happened at the Byron Nelson - that was a pretty good tournament, you know ' and he missed by just one shot.
Then came the Funai Classic. And he missed again. Perhaps never has golf been presented with such a dubious circumstance. He missed not just by one shot, but by three.
And when it was over, do you think he whined? Do you think he alibied? Do you think he made excuses?
Uh-uh. He blamed himself ' totally. He didnt blame the amateur partners. He didnt blame a bad break, he didnt blame the courses ' he took the blame squarely upon his own shoulders.
The problem, he said, was painfully obvious ' he had a two-way miss going, and he never could correct it. By two-way, he meant he was missing both way left and way right. 'You can't aim a two-way miss, even if those fairways are 300 yards wide,' he said. 'If you get it hitting both ways, it's tough to play..'
He gave us absolutely no high-and-mighty folderol ' none. He, in his own mind, was just another schmoe who had missed the cut. And ' good for him! He talked, he smiled once or twice, he did interviews when asked ' he was just about as average a guy as he could be. And - oh ' if it helps any, Vijay Singh and Chris DiMarco missed the cut, too.
Tiger was trying a new driver for a couple of days. Obviously the old one is back in his bag now.
My driving wasn't very good, said Woods. The only thing I did well was, I putted well. I just could not get it (the driver) right.
I've hit it left so many times and all of a sudden I hit it two-way right. It goes both ways.
I think it's just the driver. It does work ' unfortunately, I didn't have the swing to make it work. My swing was so bad that it just wasn't working at all.
It was impressive, to say the least. Back at the Nelson, though, he reacted similarly when he missed the cut. I just didnt have it today, he said, simply enough.
You've got to give it everything you've got, got to have some good breaks along the way and I've definitely had my share, he had said then.
The tour has simply become too competitive for anyone ' even Tiger Woods ' to make it through 142 events without missing a cut. That was Woods streak for seven years. But one thing the missed cuts do ' they give us a chance to see Tiger when something goes wrong. And, you know, what we have seen is pretty good stuff. This guy can take heartbreak with the best of them.
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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials phoned Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial. 

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.