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Oosthuizen WDs from Joburg after freak injury

By Ryan LavnerDecember 6, 2017, 1:21 pm

A freak injury has knocked Louis Oosthuizen out of this week’s Joburg Open.

A few days ago the South African jammed his fingers in between two airport trolleys while on his way to Johannesburg. When he arrived at the course on Wednesday, he was unable to grip his clubs.

“This morning is even worse than it was yesterday, so I tried to grip a golf club but there’s no way I can go to my grip position,” he told reporters. “It’s a bit of an unfortunate one, but I don’t want to tee off Thursday and play one hole or a few shots and then withdraw after taking someone’s spot. I just can’t do that. So I’m going to have to withdraw from this one.”

Oosthuizen, who had top-10s in his past two starts, was replaced by American Cody Martin.

The Joburg Open is the final event of the calendar year on the European Tour.

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Park switches to blade putter at Bank of Hope Founders

By Randall MellMarch 18, 2018, 9:43 pm

PHOENIX – Inbee Park is back on tour with a new putter in her bag.

That’s big news on this tour, because Park’s putter is like an orchestra conductor’s baton. It has commanded some sweet music over the years, with Park one of the great putters in the history of the women’s game. She has led the LPGA in putts per greens in regulation five of the last 10 years.

Park switched from a mallet style putter to a blade. She is using a Toulon Madison putter at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. She won her last LPGA title a year ago with an Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball mallet, the same model she used in her gold medal victory at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro two years ago. She used an Odyssey Sabertooth winged mallet in her 2013 run of three consecutive major championship victories.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Park had her reasons for making a switch to a blade.

“I was getting too used to the mallet style putter,” Park said. “It doesn't really shows mistakes. I wanted to see which way I was missing, what my stroke was doing wrong. With an Anser style putter, you can tell much better. I wanted to see my misses and good putts and bad putts. That's why I kind of change it before going to ANA, so I can kind of see my mistakes and see which putts are the good putts.”

Park needed just 10 putts on the front nine in Saturday’s round of 63, but she wasn’t as happy with her putting on the back nine, where she took 17 putts.

After taking seven months off from the LPGA, Park is still working on her putting stroke.

“It’s kind of on and off,” Park said.

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Watch: Tiger birdies 3 of 4, then goes OB

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 18, 2018, 8:30 pm

Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off in his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.

Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which he walked in.

A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.

A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.

Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.

Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at the par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.

His momentum was slowed by his first bogey of the day at No. 9, the product of an errant drive and its ensuing complications. As a result, Woods made the turn 2 under on his round, 9 under for the week, and still five off the lead, like when he started the day.

But Woods wouldn't wait long to make up for his mistake, immediately responding with another flagged iron and another birdie at No. 10.

He continued his assault on Bay Hill's par-5s at the 12th, getting up and down from the sand for a birdie-4 that moved him to 11 under par, just two off the lead.

And with this roll at 13 giving him his third birdie in four holes, the charge was officially on, with Woods just one back.

Just when it looked like Woods was primed for a late run at his 80th PGA Tour victory, Woods stepped to the tee at the par-5 16th, where he had missed wide right three days in a row, and sniped his drive out of bounds into a backyard miles left.

He made 4 on his second ball for a bogey-6 to drop back to 11 under, three behind.

(More coming...)

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 18, 2018, 5:00 pm

Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course

By Ryan LavnerMarch 18, 2018, 1:50 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.

McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

“I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

“I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”

This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.

A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.

McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.

“It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”

As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.

“It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”