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
  • Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

    A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

    In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

    “I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

    Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.

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    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

    “I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

    Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

    “We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

    How does she feel?

    “I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

    Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

    New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

    Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

    She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

    “I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

    Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a 6-under-par 66, she is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.

    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

    Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

    Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

    Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

    “Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

    Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

    “I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”

    You Oughta Know: LPGA's Sunday scenarios

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:17 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – The CME Group Tour Championship is loaded with pressure-packed subplots Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club.

    Here’s what You Oughta Know about the prizes at stake:

    Race to the CME Globe

    Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park are 1-2 in CME Globe points. They are best positioned Sunday to take home the $1 million jackpot in the season-long competition.

    Thompson and Park are tied for fifth in the tournament, one shot off the lead. If either of them wins, she will take home the jackpot.

    The way it’s unfolding Thompson is a good bet to take home the jackpot by merely finishing ahead of Park, unless they both stumble badly on Sunday.

    Ariya Jutanugarn is tied for the lead. She must win to take home the jackpot, but she would also need Thompson to finish ninth or worse and Park to finish eighth or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points to make a bold Sunday charge.

    Stacy Lewis is one shot off the lead with a longshot chance at the jackpot. She must win the tournament while Thompson finishes 26th or worse, Park finishes 12th or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points makes a bold Sunday charge.

    So Yeon Ryu, Shanshan Feng and Brooke Henderson are among others who still have a shot at the $1 million prize, but they have fallen back in the pack and need bold Sunday charges to take home the jackpot.

    Rolex Player of the Year

    The Rolex Player of the Year Award remains a four-player race.

    Ryu (162), Feng (159), Park (157) and Thompson (147) all have a chance to win the award.

    Park and Thompson are best positioned to make Sunday moves to overtake Ryu.

    Park needs to finish sixth or better to win the award outright; Thompson needs to win the tournament to win the award.

    It’s simple math.

    The top 10 in the tournament will be awarded points.

    1st - 30 points

    2nd – 12 points

    3rd – 9 points

    4th – 7 points

    5th – 6 points

    6th – 5 points

    7rd – 4 points

    8th – 3 points

    9th – 2 points

    10th – 1 point

    Vare Trophy

    Thompson took a 69.147 scoring average to Naples. Park needs to finish nine shots ahead of Thompson to have a shot at the trophy.

    Money-winning title

    Park leads the tour in money winnings with $2,262,472. Ryu is the only player who can pass her Sunday, and Ryu must win the tournament to do so. Ryu is tied for 32nd, five shots off the lead. If Ryu wins the tournament, she also needs Park to finish worse than solo second.

    Rolex world No. 1 ranking

    World No. 1 Feng, No. 2 Park and No. 3 Ryu are separated by just three hundredths of a point.

    Because they are so close, the scenarios for overtaking Feng are head spinning.

    At No. 4, Thompson is a full average ranking point behind Feng, but she could become the sixth different player this season to move to No. 1. Thompson, however, has to win Sunday to have a chance to do so, and then it will depend on what Feng, Park and Ryu do. Again, the scenarios are complex.

    Cook leads RSM Classic by three at Sea Island

    By Associated PressNovember 19, 2017, 12:28 am

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to increase his lead to three strokes in the RSM Classic.

    Cook, a shot ahead after a second-round 62, had five birdies and a bogey - his first of the week - to reach 18-under 194 with a round left at Sea Island Golf Club's Seaside Course.

    ''Putting is key right now,'' Cook said. ''Been able to make a lot of clutch putts for the pars to save no bogeys. Hitting the ball pretty much where we're looking and giving ourselves good opportunities on every hole.''

    Former University of Georgia player Chris Kirk was second after a 64.

    ''I'm really comfortable here,'' Kirk said. ''I love Sea Island. I lived here for 6 1/2 years, so I played the golf course a lot, SEC Championships and come down here for the RSM Classic. My family and I, we come down here a few other times a year as well.''

    Brian Gay was another stroke back at 14 under after a 69.

    ''I love the course,'' Gay said. ''We keep getting different wind directions so it's keeping us on our toes. Supposed to be another completely different wind direction tomorrow, so we're getting a new course every day.''

    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

    J.J. Spaun had a 62 to get to 13 under.

    ''I just kind of played stress-free golf out there and kept the golf ball in front of me,'' Spaun said. ''I had a lot of looks and scrambled pretty well, even though it was only a handful of times, but pretty overall pleased with how I played today.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour.

    ''I think with an extra year on the Web this past year, I really grew mentally and with my game, just kind of more confidence,'' Cook said. ''I was able to put myself in contention on the Web.com more this year than I have in the past. I think I've just, you know, learned from experiences on the Web to help me grow out here.''

    He planned to keep it simple Saturday night.

    ''I've got my parents here and my in-laws are both here as well as my wife,'' Cook said. ''Go home and just have a good home-cooked meal and just kind of enjoy the time and embrace the moment.''

    Kirk won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2015 at Colonial.

    ''It's nice to be back in contention again,'' Kirk said. ''It's been a little while for me. But I felt great out there today, I felt really comfortable, and so hopefully it will be the same way tomorrow and I'll keep my foot on the pedal and stay aggressive, try to make some birdies.''