Woods Completes World Domination

By George WhiteMarch 2, 2003, 5:00 pm
Tiger Woods put another giant checkmark on his list of tournaments Sunday. He had never before won the WCG-Accenture Match Play Championship, but that one is now in the books. Woods took care of that with finality when he toppled David Toms, ranked No. 6 in the pre-tournament ratings, 2 and l, in 35 holes.
 
The Match Play Championship was the only one of the four World Golf Championship events that Woods had not won. He has played in 14 WGC events and won seven of them

Its really pretty cool to have all four, said Woods. I guess theyre all different in their own right, but Im extremely happy to win this one. And this one was tough all week Im pretty stoked about it.

Woods dropped a four-foot putt for par on the 17th hole in the afternoon to finally subdue the pesky Toms. For most of the morning it looked a Tiger runaway, but he made three bogeys in the afternoon as the greens got progressively slicker and Toms made a tight match of it.
 
Adam Scott won the consolation match in an all-Australian affair, 1-up, over Peter Lonard after zooming ahead by six holes after only eight had been played. That match, too, tightened up considerably, Scott hanging on the last two holes to win.
 
Tiger led 4-up at the end of the morning round and increased it to 5-up when he birdied the first hole of the afternoon. He appeared on his way to a quick TKO, but suddenly Toms threw a major scare into the world No. 1.
 
Match play is a very fickle thing, said a tired Woods after it was finally over. Theres so many different things that go, just the momentum, how it ebbs and flows.
 
Toms birdied Nos. 2 and 3 back-to-back to get back into it, now only three holes down. Woods birdied the sixth hole to go back up by four, but then sprayed the ball badly on Nos. 8 and 9 for bogeys. Suddenly it was tight again, Tiger up by only two as the homeward half began.
 
Giving him those holes back-to-back like that with bogeys, not like he made back-to-back birdies ' I gave him those two holes, said Tiger. And thats ' you just cant do that in match play.
 
And I didnt putt well today. My speed was off. The greens were so fast out there. I dont know what they were rolling, but they were rolling pretty quick.
 
The match tightened further when Toms birdied the par-5 11th and Woods didnt. Now the big five-hole lead was reduced to the minimum, Woods 1-up as they played the 12th. The two traded holes again before the 17th, which Toms started by blocking his tee shot into the right rough with a tree in his line to the flag. Woods, after a perfect drive, hit a 7-iron 195 yards, the ball skipping into a bunker. However, he was able to get up-and-down in two shots for the win.
 
Im not going to quit ' thats not my nature, said Toms. Its a battle within yourself and I was able to overcome that.
 
The fact that Toms was never able to get the lead loomed large all day. I think that was huge from the momentum standpoint, that he never really got all the momentum, said Tiger. He got a lot of it, but he didnt get all of it.
 
Toms was impressed all week by Woods and the way he had to play. Hes the greatest player in the world, he said, but this week ' with the soft conditions ' he had to go to a different type game to win matches.
 
You guys dont realize for a guy who hits the ball that hard, as much spin as he puts on it ' he had to just chip the ball around the golf course, Toms said in praising Woods. If he hits it on the nose, the ball spins back off the green. So every time he stepped up, he was hitting one to two more clubs than he normally would (because the course was so damp.)
 
Woods was involved in only one other struggle all week, the Saturday semifinal with Scott. Tiger shot a 5-under 67 in the regulation 18, but so did a hot Scott. Woods won the first extra hole when Scott blew his first putt three feet past the flag, then missed the comeback attempt for a bogey.
 
Woods shot 3-under while stopping Carl Pettersson, 2-up, in the first match. Pettersson was 1-under in the 17-hole set. Woods defeated K.J. Choi while shooting 2-under for 15 holes, then buried Stephen Leaney with a six-birdie, one-bogey performance.
 
Next he toppled Scott Hoch, 5 and 4, during a day when Hoch was shooting 3-under in the 14 holes they played. Woods had five birdies and an eagle. Next came the 5-under par in the semis against Scott ' a total of 22-under for just 77 holes. If youre keeping score, thats an average tally of better than 68 for every 18 holes.
 
Woods has now won two of the three tournaments he has entered since coming back from knee surgery in the off-season. He won the Buick Invitational three weeks ago and finished three shots out of the lead at the Nissan Open two weeks ago.
 
Im starting to feel good, Woods said. Theres no doubt about it. I was on a tear, actually, from 99 into 2000. It kind of rolled over into it.
 
I started to putting the pieces together at the end of last year. At the Grand Slam I started to play better. My practice sessions at home, Im starting to hit some balls. I was starting to work on some things that I know I used to do in my golf swing that I havent been able to do because of my leg, and things were starting to come together, and Im pretty excited about that.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage of the Accenture Match Play Championship
  • Tiger Decides to Skip Dubai
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    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


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    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x