Short-game errors lead to opening 77 for Woods

By Ryan LavnerDecember 4, 2014, 9:51 pm

WINDERMERE, Fla. – Tiger Woods’ swing looked fine in his first competitive round in nearly four months.  

His short game was another matter.  

Playing for the first time since the PGA Championship, Woods swung aggressively with his longer clubs but was undone the closer he got to the green. The result was a 5-over 77 that left him last – by four shots – in the 18-man, unofficial event at his old home course at Isleworth. He is 11 shots behind Jordan Spieth.

“Today, it was weird,” Woods said afterward. “I didn’t feel like I hit it that bad. My short game was awful, and I didn’t make anything.”

Woods stubbed four chip shots en route to his worst-ever score in this event. The short-game sloppiness wasn’t from a lack of practice – he was quick to note that he has a nice practice area in his backyard in Jupiter – but rather he struggled to adapt to the stickier, grainier grass around the greens.

“It certainly is surprising that I could hit chips that poorly,” he said. “Just flubbed them.”

Woods’ day began with an out-of-bounds tee shot, and it didn’t get much better from there. He bogeyed the tough second hole, blew an opportunity on the par-5 seventh after leaving his third shot in a bunker, and then made a mess of No. 8, when his tee ball came to rest near a fence, his next shot ricocheted off a tree and then he stubbed a chip from behind the green on his way to a double-bogey 6.   

Following a kick-in birdie on 12, he hit two of his best shots of the day on the par-5 13th, but his ball caught a ridge and trickled all the way off the green, into a low area. He caught his third shot fat, the ball rolling back to his feet, and then hit an identical shot with his next attempt. What looked like a possible eagle attempt had turned into a bogey.

The struggles continued on 17, when he was greenside in two but stubbed anotherpitch shot. He blasted his fourth shot to the back edge and was fortunate to walk off with par.  

In all, Woods managed just one birdie on a day when he hit eight of 14 fairways and 11 greens.

“I didn’t hit it that poorly,” he said. “Just got nothing out of it, obviously. Bad chips. Bad putts.”

After missing the cut at the PGA Championship, Woods shut it down to rest his ailing back and reevaluate his game. He parted ways with swing coach Sean Foley, slimmed down in the gym and began working with a new consultant, Chris Como. This was his first competitive round in 119 days.  

Given the layoff, his long game was encouraging in the opening round, particularly the speed and power with which he hit his driver. But Woods said that he’s also working on a different motion with his short shots, with a different release pattern. It was clear Thursday that plenty of work remains.

If there is any positive to take away from the opening round, it is that Woods emerged healthy.  

“I have zero pain,” he said. “I haven’t said that in a long time.”

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

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