Woods misses the cut, but encouraged about back

By Jay CoffinJune 27, 2014, 10:34 pm

BETHESDA, Md. – Tiger Woods missed the cut by four shots at the Quicken Loans National and deemed it “encouraging.”

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a new world.

Woods followed a first-round 74 with a shaky 75 in the second round at Congressional and will not play the weekend in his first event back after a nearly four-month layoff because of back surgery.

“A lot of positives to take away from these last two days,” Woods said. “I came back four weeks earlier than we thought I could. I had no setbacks. I got my feel for playing tournament golf.”

To be fair, he’s right. The week was a success, even though it’s difficult to view the end result (T-103) as such from a man who has won 14 major championships and 79 PGA Tour victories.

Woods hit many trademark shots during the two days outside the nation’s capital. He swung hard with the driver time and time again, he hit several precise long iron shots into greens, and he wasn’t afraid to attack the pins that he thought he could. He took many massive blows out of thick, gnarly rough. The back never gave him a problem.


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“The thing I was worried about most was hitting driver, and I roasted most of them the last two days,” he said. “Hit it really well.”

What Woods did not do well was what most people thought he would do the best. Frankly, his short game was not good. At all.

The statistic that knocks you in the face most about his putrid performance in this area – Woods got up and down three of 16 times. Yes, the 16 times he failed to hit a green in regulation, he made par only three times. Three.

On the par-3 12th hole on Friday, Woods chunked a chip shot 12 feet short. On No. 14 he hit a chip 10 feet past the hole and did not make the par putt. He missed a birdie putt from inside 6 feet on No. 4, three-putted for par on the par-5 sixth hole and missed a 3 footer for par on the 16th hole, among other things.

It’s a surprise that this part of Woods' game was so ragged because it’s the part he said earlier in the week he believed was at its best. Since his surgery on March 31, Woods almost immediately began chipping and putting on his back-yard practice range.

“I was off,” Woods said. “I probably should have spent more time chipping over on the chipping green than I did. But that’s the way it goes.

“All the little things, and speed on putts, all the little things that I know I can fix.”

After a bogey on No. 8, Woods rattled off birdies on nine and 10 to pull within two shots of the cut line. He then made four consecutive bogeys to put weekend play out of reach.

“Swing looks good, he’s not over-swinging,” said Jordan Spieth, Woods’ playing partner for two days. “He’s in rhythm.

“He’s going to be a severe threat at the British (Open), probably a favorite, and after playing these couple rounds, I think he’ll take something from it.”

Woods said he was going to take his children on a vacation, then he’d begin preparations for the British Open in three weeks at Royal Liverpool, a place where Woods won the claret jug in 2006.

“I’m very excited to get there,” he said. “Excited to play that golf course.”

 

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry