Tiger Steamrolls Lefty Smoked

By George WhiteFebruary 28, 2003, 5:00 pm
CARLSBAD, Calif. -- He steams into the fourth round, gaining momentum every day that goes by. Tiger Woods slipped into overdrive Friday, dusting off Australias Stephen Leaney, 7 and 6, at the World Golf Championships-Match Play Championship.
Next up is Scott Hoch, who is 47 years old, 20 years Tigers senior. Woods is obviously favored to steamroll into the semifinals Saturday afternoon, but there are some signs that Hoch may not be as easy as it would seem.
Hoch has made just three bogeys in three rounds, all three-putts. He has been very sharp tee-to-green. Woods has made just one bogey, that coming Friday, also a three-putt.
There will be no dream final of Woods versus Phil Mickelson.
Mickelson was a casualty Friday, going to the sidelines with a 3-and-2 loss to Jerry Kelly.
Kelly will face David Toms, who overcame a bout of food poisoning to defeat Germany's Alex Cejka. Toms was hospitalized early Friday morning, but recovered enough to birdie the last hole and win 1-up. No player ever led by more than one hole in the match.
Defending champion Kevin Sutherland, who had set a tournament record with eight straight victories, finally lost to youngster Adam Scott, 2 and 1.
Scott, 22, will face 49-year-old Jay Haas in the quarterfinals. Hass edged out 46-year-old Nick Price in 20 holes. Haas closed the match by nearly acing the 220-yard, par-3 second.
Australian Peter Lonard and Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke will also square off Saturday morning. Lonard beat countryman Robert Allenby, while Clarke won the final two holes to beat Jim Furyk, 2-up.
Clarke won the 2000 event by topping Woods in the 36-hole final. But Woods says he's a very different player from back then.
Yeah, he said simply. Yeah, definitely.
The formula for victory was simple for Woods on Friday: get off to a quick lead, make a couple of great shots, and keep up the pressure. Leaney lost the first hole by snap-hooking his tee shot. Woods won the second with a birdie, and captured the third with an eagle.
By the seventh hole, Woods was already 6-up. He had two hole-outs on the day and breezed around on a perfect day at La Costa.
He just got off to a bad start, said Woods of Leaney. He had a pull-hook off the tee at the first. The second hole, I dont know, it looked like he had a shot to get to the green. He hit the tree coming out and it hit the water. The next hole, he hit a pretty good shot, and it happened to hit on the fringe and skipped over the back.
And he never seemed to get going, never seemed to get the momentum going. When that happens, youve got to keep the pressure on him.
When you are Leaney and ranked No. 48th in the tournament, you just dont have enough moxie to overcome such a miserable start.
I never really had a chance and he showed why he is the best in the world, said the 34-year-old Australian. He just doesnt make mistakes. I knew that was the key, I knew he wasnt going to make mistakes and I guess that puts pressure on you from the start.
Woods spent nine weeks away from the game over the New Years, rehabilitating from arthroscopic knee surgery. He returned three weeks ago with a win at the Buick Invitational and played well at the Nissan Open last week, firing a 65 the last day. It appears that he is steadily rounding into form in this, his third week.
I took a huge layoff and it took me a little while to get back to the rhythm, but I feel like Im back now. Im back in the rhythm of playing. I have a better sense of where the clubs at.
Now comes Hoch, and Woods admits he is a little leery of his older opponent.
Scotts a wonderful match-play player, said Tiger. Theres no doubt about that. He drives it very straight. Hes also one of the best iron players we have out here on tour. From tee to green, its going to be a tough match.
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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.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.