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McIlroy: Crowd chaos costs Woods 'half a shot a day'

By Will GrayFebruary 17, 2018, 2:10 am

LOS ANGELES – After getting an up-close-and-personal look at the organized chaos that follows Tiger Woods around a golf course, Rory McIlroy believes the 14-time major champ may be playing at a disadvantage these days.

McIlroy and Woods were grouped together for the first two rounds at the Genesis Open, during which McIlroy moved into contention while Woods faded to a missed cut. With well-hydrated fans still screaming his name from various corners of the Riviera Country Club clubhouse, McIlroy told reporters that the buzzing galleries ultimately have a negative impact on Woods’ score.

“I swear, playing in front of all that, he gives up half a shot a day on the field,” McIlroy said. “Like, it’s two shots a tournament he has to give to the field because of all that that goes on around.”

McIlroy heads into the weekend five shots off the lead, while Woods is now relegated simply to tournament host duties after a 5-over 76 in the second round. The Ulsterman reiterated that he believes Woods is “close” to firing on all cylinders, and will likely glean more “sharpness” from further tournament rounds that will continue with next week’s Honda Classic.

Full-field scores from the Genesis Open

Genesis Open: Articles, photos and videos

Crowds will always follow Woods on the course, but they were especially full-throated during Friday’s afternoon round at Riviera that was pushed back 20 minutes because of slow play and ended only a few minutes before sunset.

“Just the whole thing. You’ve got a 6-foot putt and guys say, ‘It doesn’t break as much as you think.’ Just stuff like this that they don’t have to say,” McIlroy said. “You know, whoever’s teeing off at 8:30 in the morning doesn’t get that and can just go about his business and just do his thing. That’s tough. He has to deal with that every single time he goes out to play.”

After walking stride for stride with Woods, Justin Thomas and a few thousand of their closest friends for 36 holes, McIlroy had nothing but sympathy for Woods’ plight which likely won’t get much easier next week at PGA National.

“It’s tiring,” McIlroy said. “I need a couple Advil just to – I’ve got a headache after all that.”

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Two-time major champ Pettersen pregnant

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 7:14 pm

PHOENIX – Suzann Pettersen is pregnant with her first child.

Pettersen’s husband, Christian Ringvold, confirmed the news with Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz.

Pettersen, 36, who married Ringvold in January of 2017, is due in the fall. The 15-time LPGA winner and two-time major champion has yet to make her first start this year. She’s an eight-time Solheim Cup veteran.

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Watch: Woods walks in his fourth birdie of the day

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 17, 2018, 6:20 pm

Tiger Woods didn't bogey the first hole on Saturday like he did the day prior - but he did drop at a shot at the par-3 second when he failed to get up and down from the bunker.

Luckily, it wouldn't take him long to get that stroke back. One hole later, at the dogleg-left, par-4 third, Woods ripped a 2-iron off the tee, hit a less-than-stellar approach long and right, and poured in this 38-footer for birdie to get back to even par on the day.

He followed with another at the par-5 fourth, smoking a drive 313 yards uphill, short-siding himself with his second shot, and playing this deft pitch to set up a tap-in 4.

After a par save from the bunker at 5, Woods missed the fairway right at the par-5 sixth, laid up with his second, spun a wedge to 15 feet with his third, and rolled in this third birdie of the day to move to 6 under for the week.

Woods' momentum was slowed by a bogey at 8, the product of an errant tee shot, and a missed birdie try at 9 left Tiger to make the turn in 1 under-35, minus-5 for the week.

He quickly returned to 6 under for the championship when he hit an approach from 186 to inside 10 feet at the par-4 11th and walked in the putt:

(More coming...)

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

Tiger Woods teed off at 12:15PM ET alongside Justin Rose for Round 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.