In His Own Words - Tiger Woods 97 Masters Part 2

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 15, 2001, 5:00 pm
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
LET'S GO TO SATURDAY NIGHT. I UNDERSTAND YOU PLAYED SOME PING PONG WITH SOME FRIENDS. PLAYED SOME MORTAL COMBAT WHICH IS
 
TIGER WOODS
 
OH YEAH
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
THAT'S THE WAY YOU GOT TO WARM UP FOR A, TO, TO WIN A MAJOR. PROBABLY, ONE OF THE FIRST TIMES THAT'S BEEN PART OF THE PREPARATION.
 
TIGER WOODS
 
OH... YEAH
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
WAS THE RELAXATION OF THAT NIGHT PERHAPS GREATER BECAUSE OF THE, THE SIZE OF THE LEAD?
 
TIGER WOODS
 
NO I JUST DID THE SAME THINGS. WE, WE'VE BEEN PLAYING PING PONG, SHOOTING HOOP AND PLAYING VIDEO GAMES THE ENTIRE WEEK
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
MHMM
 
TIGER WOODS
 
AND THAT'S JUST SOMETHING I LIKE TO DO
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
SURE
 
TIGER WOODS
 
JUST RELAXING. HAVING FUN WITH MY FRIENDS AND... THE TOURNAMENT'S OVER. I MEAN TOURNAMENT'S AT THE GOLF COURSE. I'M AT HOME AND YOU'VE GOT TO LEAVE IT, YOU'VE GOT TO LEAVE IT AT THE GOLF COURSE AND I, I LEFT IT AT THE GOLF COURSE AND I CAME HOME AND I WAS WITH MY FRIENDS AND I WAS WITH MY FAMILY BUT I... AS MY DAD AND I TALKED ABOUT IT ON SATURDAY NIGHT, THIS IS PROBABLY GOING TO BE THE HARDEST 18 HOLES YOU'VE EVER PLAYED IN YOUR LIFE.
 
BREAK
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
YOUR FATHER SAID IT MIGHT BE THE MOST DIFFICULT 18 HOLES YOU'D EVER PLAYED. TAKE, TAKE US, TAKE US TO SUNDAY. I MEAN YOU CAN LEAVE OUT THE DETAILS OF HOW MANY YOU KNOW BANANAS YOU PUT
 
TIGER WOODS
 
RIGHT
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
ON YOUR CORN FLAKES BUT I MEAN YOU'RE, YOU'RE GOING TO AUGUSTA AND CLEARLY NOW, THERE'S NO DOUBT THAT WE'RE ABOUT TO WITNESS HISTORY. I MEAN WE, YOU CAN'T FORGET WHAT HAPPENED TO NORMAN SO NOTHING'S A DONE DEAL BUT HISTORY IS UPON US.
 
TIGER WOODS
 
YOU GET YOUR, YOU GET YOUR GAME FACE ON. LET'S GO AND I WAS JUST KIND OF YELLING AT MYSELF... ON THE PUTTING GREEN, ON THE RANGE TO REALLY GET MYSELF FOCUSED, PSYCHED UP AND, AND LET'S GET THE SHOW ON THE ROAD. LET'S GO TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS. IF YOU DON'T TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS RIGHT NOW, THAT GREEN JACKET CEREMONY WILL NEVER HAPPEN.
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
AS THEY'VE SAID IN THE PAST, THE BACK 9 ON SUNDAY IS WHERE THE MASTER'S IS WON BUT NOW THIS WAS NOTHING MORE THAN A VICTORY PARADE. IT WAS UH
 
TIGER WOODS
 
I, I, I GUESS BUT I, I DIDN'T REALLY LOOK AT IT THAT WAY BECAUSE I'M PLAYING
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
MHMM. MAYBE IT'S EASIER FOR US TO SEE
 
TIGER WOODS
 
YEAH
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
BECAUSE WE'RE WATCHING IT
 
TIGER WOODS
 
YOU, YOU GUYS ARE WATCHING. I'M PLAYING AND I'M LOOKING AND I SAID 'GEE THIS IS WHERE I COULD LOOSE IT RIGHT HERE'. I FIGURED, WHEN I STARTED DOWN TEN, I SAID LET'S, LET'S GET OUT OF HERE WITH A PUTTER. LET'S JUST GET OUT OF HERE WITH A PUTTER. IF YOU MAKE BIRDIE YOU'RE STEELING ONE. NOW LET'S GO TO PLAY 11, 12 AND 13, THE WATER HOLES AND THEY CORNER YOU. YOU GOT TO PLAY THOSE AT EVEN PAR OR BETTER. IF YOU PLAY THEM AT EVEN PAR OR BETTER YOU'RE GOING TO WIN THE TOURNAMENT. IF YOU DON'T, YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT CAN HAPPEN. YOU NEVER KNOW. I WAS ALWAYS HAD THAT DOUBT IN MY HEAD AND WHEN I GOT TO 12, I BIRDIED 11, I'M ONE UNDER. I SAID 'PERFECT. I'M ONE UNDER PAR AND IT'S, IT'S A LITTLE, IT'S LIKE A LITTLE MINI, MINI GOAL. THREE HOLE MINI GOAL
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
MHMM
 
TIGER WOODS
 
OKAY I'M ONE UNDER PAR. LET, LET'S, LET'S JUST PROTECT HERE. LET'S AIM AT THE BUNKERS. GET TO HIT A FULL 9 IRON AND THE WAY I'M, I'M HITTING IT RIGHT NOW I'M DRAWING THE BALL A LITTLE BIT SO THE, THE LITTLE 9 IRON DRAW AT THE BUNKER SHOULD TAKE ME OVER TO THE MIDDLE IF NOT THE LEFT PART OF THE GREEN. NO BIG DEAL. IF I GO OVER I CAN GET UP AND DOWN. I CAN, I'M ROLLING THE ROCK JUST GET THE BALL OVER THE FRONT BUNKER AND I HIT, HIT A SHOT LEFT SIDE OF THE GREEN. IT LIES OUT THERE TO ABOUT TWO FEET AND MADE IT FOR PAR.
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
THEN 13, AND EAGLE PUTT AGAIN. IT LOOKS LIKE IT'S GOING TO GO
 
TIGER WOODS
 
AW... SHH...
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
AND IT SITS ON THE LIP
 
TIGER WOODS
 
THAT BALL. I DON'T KNOW HOW IT STAYED OUT. IT WAS HANGING ON THE LIP. I, I, I KNEW EXACTLY HOW THAT PUTT BROKE BECAUSE I'VE WATCHED IT ON, ON VIDEO TAPE BEFORE... PREPARING FOR AUGUSTA. I'VE SEEN THESE GUYS MISS IT ON THE LOW SIDE TIME AND TIME AND TIME AGAIN. THE BALL BREAKS MORE THAN YOU THINK. I, I LOOK AT MY PUTT AND I'M SAYING OKAY THIS PUTT'S PROBABLY ABOUT TWO AND A HALF, THREE FEET OUTSIDE LEFT. NO. I KNOW THIS PUTT BREAKS MORE. YOU'VE SEEN IT, TRUST IT. TRUST IT. I MEAN I KNOW THESE GUYS AREN'T DUMB. THEY'VE PLAYED HERE, THEY'RE TRYING AND THEY'VE MISSED IT ALL ON THE LOW SIDE. LET'S JUST PLAY IT A LITTLE BIT MORE. SO I PLAYED MORE LIKE THREE FEET OUTSIDE LEFT. IT JUST KIND OF DIED IN THERE AND JUST HUNG ON THE LIP. SO I PLAYED AMEN CORNER IN TWO UNDER.
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
MINI GOAL ACCOMPLISHED.
 
TIGER WOODS
 
MINI GOAL ACCOMPLISHED.
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
BIRDIE 14, NOW YOU'RE 18 UNDER PAR.
 
TIGER WOODS
 
MHMM
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
I KNOW YOU KNOW YOUR HISTORY. I KNOW YOU KNOW THAT THE SCORE YOU NEED FOR THE RECORD IS 18 UNDER PAR
 
TIGER WOODS
 
MHMM
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
BUT AT THAT POINT MAYBE YOU'RE THINKING 20
 
TIGER WOODS
 
I WAS THINKING 20. I BIRDIED 15 AND I CAN BIRDIE ONE OF THE SHORT, ONE OF THE NEXT THREE HOLES BECAUSE 16'S A HARD HOLE BUT IT'S REALLY NOT THAT HARD BECAUSE YOU GOT THAT HUGE FUNNEL. SEVENTEEN'S PLAYING REALLY SHORT BECAUSE IT'S DOWN WIND AND UH 18'S NOT THAT HARD BECAUSE I'M, I'M DRIVING IT SO WELL. I COULD DRIVE OVER THE TOP OF THE BUNKER AND HAVE AGAIN ANOTHER SHORT IRON IN. SO I GOT THREE BIRDIE HOLES IF I CAN BIRDIE 15. TO GET TO 19, I GOT THREE MORE CHANCES TO GET TO 20.
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
IS THAT WHY WE SAW THE FRUSTRATION ON 15? THE REACTION OF A, THE BIT OF A CLUB SLAM. IS IT, WERE YOU THINKING TO YOURSELF 'DAMN IT. I GOT 20 UNDER RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME AND I'M LETTING IT GO'?
 
TIGER WOODS
 
YEAH. YEAH. MHMM.
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
SO AT THAT POINT NOW YOU'RE, NOW IT'S, IT'S NOT JUST THE MASTERS IT'S.... YOU, YOU GOT 20. THAT'S THE FINISH LINE NOW. THAT'S THE MINI GOAL, 20 UNDER.
 
TIGER WOODS
 
WELL YOU GOT TO, SEE THE THING IS YOU CAN LET IT SLIP AND YOU CAN MAKE A BOGEY COMING IN BUT THAT'S NOT, THAT'S NOT ME
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
RIGHT
 
TIGER WOODS
 
YOU GOT TO FINISH IT OUT. IT'S LIKE IN, IN TRACK. YOU'RE ALWAYS TAUGHT TO RUN THROUGH THE FINISH LINE. RUN THROUGH IT. WHICH IS THE SAME THING IN GOLF. YOU GOT TO FINISH IT OFF. YOU CAN'T STOP HALF WAY OR EVEN AT THE TIME IT WAS THREE FOURTHS OF THE WAY THROUGH. YOU CAN'T STOP. YOU GOT TO KEEP GOING AND I, I TRY TO KEEP IT GOING AND UH
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
SURE
 
TIGER WOODS
 
JUST COULDN'T MAKE THOSE PUTTS.
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
ALL RIGHT WE'RE ALMOST HOME. EIGHTEENTH HOLE, THE UH STRATEGY WAS IF YOU'RE UP ONE, COMING HOME, BOMB IT OVER THE BUNKER, TAKE A LITTLE SHORT IRON IN, NO WORRIES. THAT'S SORT OF WHAT HAPPENED BUT NOT QUITE NECESSARILY HOW YOU MIGHT HAVE DRAWN IT UP. THERE WAS I GUESS A CLICK IN YOUR BACK SWING AND GOT OVER THE TOP OF IT A LITTLE BIT
 
TIGER WOODS
 
NO WHAT HAPPENED WAS IS THAT AS I TOOK THE CLUB BACK A PHOTOGRAPHER TOOK PICTURES AND IT HAD FLASHES ON THEM TOO. NOT ONLY DID IT SOUND BUT IT HAD... A COUPLE FLASHES WENT OFF AND I, I FLINCHED. I LITERALLY JUST FREAKED OUT AND FLINCHED AND FLIPPED IT AND HIT IT WAY LEFT. IT HIT ALL THE BUNKERS LEFT. I'M LIKE OH GREAT AND I WAS NOT A HAPPY CAMPER TO SAY THE LEAST. I WAS... OOH I WAS, I WAS PRETTY AGITATED AND I, I COULD HAVE, I'M, I'M GLAD THAT CAMERA MAN WAS UP WHERE HE WAS... WHERE I COULDN'T GET TO HIM. SO I'M THINKING
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
PROBABLY A GOOD THING FOR HIM
 
TIGER WOODS
 
YEAH. SO I'M THINKING OKAY LET, LET'S JUST HIT THE BALL. USE THE SHELF, BRING IT BACK AND UH LET'S TRY AND FINISH OFF WITH A THREE HERE.
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
IT TURNED INTO A LOT OF FUN OVER THERE THOUGH, YOU, YOU LOST FLUFF MOMENTARILY. YOU'RE JUMPING AROUND, WHERE'S FLUFF?
 
TIGER WOODS
 
YEAH. I COULDN'T
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
PEOPLE ARE... LAUGHING AND JOKING. I MEAN AT THAT POINT WE'RE JUST HAVING A FUN
 
TIGER WOODS
 
WELL
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
IT WAS A PARTY
 
TIGER WOODS
 
I WAS LAUGHING, I WAS LAUGHING. I COULDN'T FIND FLUFF BUT I WAS JUMPING BECAUSE I DIDN'T KNOW IF CONSTANTINO WAS GOING TO PLAY OR NOT
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
MHMM
 
TIGER WOODS
 
AND I WAS NOT ABOUT TO WALK ALL THE WAY UP, CLOSE TO THE GREEN AND LOOK BACK TO SEE WHETHER HE'S GOING TO PLAY OR NOT. SO I'M, I'M JUMPING, I'M ASKING PEOPLE IS CONSTANTINO PLAYING? HE HIT. I GO OH I GUESS IT'S MY SHOT.
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
ARE THERE ANY POSSIBLE WORDS TO DESCRIBE THE EMOTION AND THE FEELING OF A MOMENT LIKE THAT WHERE THIS IS THE F... THIS IS THE REALIZATION OF THE DREAM?
 
TIGER WOODS
 
MMMM.... PROBABLY NOT. I, I'LL TELL YOU MY THOUGHTS THOUGH. WALKING UP I'M... THINKING YEAH, YEAH... YOU'VE WON THE MASTERS. YOU'VE ACTUALLY, YOU'VE DONE IT. YOU'VE WON THE MASTERS BUT THEN SOMETHING INSIDE ME SAYS 'TIGER, NO YOU HAVEN'T. YOU HAVEN'T WON. FINISH THE RACE. I'M JUST YELLING AT MYSELF.... FINISH THE RACE. BE INTENSE AND SO I WOULD SMILE AND I'M, I'M LAUGHING, I'M JOKING A LITTLE BIT BUT I'M, I'M SCREAMING INSIDE OF MYSELF... FINISH THE RACE. DON'T LET DOWN AND SO I'M, I'M... I GET UP ON THE GREEN... FIRST THING I LOOK AT, PEOPLE ARE, YOU KNOW, CHEERING. I'M GOING CRAZY... I'M UP HERE I LOOK AT MY PUTT AND I GO GOD, LOOK AT THIS, MISS A DOUBLE BREAKER COMING DOWNHILL LEFT TO RIGHT THEN RIGHT TO LEFT AT THE END AND I GOT TO TWO PUTT THIS FOR THE RECORD. LET'S DO IT. LET'S GO DO IT. SIMPLE AS THAT AND THEN I PUT MY GAME FACE RIGHT BACK ON.
 
BREAK
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
ALL WEEK LONG YOU'VE BEEN A BAD, BAD MAN. THE NASTIEST MAN THAT AUGUSTA NATIONAL HAS EVER SEEN, BUT WAITING THERE FOR YOU RIGHT NOW, TWO PEOPLE
 
TIGER WOODS
 
MMMM
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
MOM AND POPS. AND POP'S MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN THERE
 
TIGER WOODS
 
MMM
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
JUST BEEN THROUGH AN OPERATION ON HIS HEART, MONTHS EARLIER... AND IT WAS FINALLY ALL RIGHT TO LET THE GAME FACE GO AND TO JUST GO BE A KID. BE THEIR SON AND ENJOY THE MOMENT
 
TIGER WOODS
 
MHMM
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
TOGETHER WITH THE PEOPLE THAT MADE IT HAPPEN. I'M IMAGINING THAT THAT WAS THE MOMENT THAT WAS THE SWEETEST OF THE WEEK
 
TIGER WOODS
 
NO DOUBT ABOUT IT
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
SHARING IT WITH THEM
 
TIGER WOODS
 
NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. IT WAS SWEET MAKING THE PUTT... BECAUSE IT WAS A, IT WAS A HARD PUTT.... OUTSIDE LEFT AND IT DIED RIGHT THERE IN THE CENTER THEN HUGGING FLUFF AND SAYING THANKS FLUFF. THANKS FOR EVERYTHING. THEN I'M, I'M THINKING I WON THE MASTERS. I'M WALKING UP THE TIER. I'VE WON THE MASTERS. THIS IS IT. THIS IS ME. I, I GET MY GREEN JACKET. NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN I SEE MY MOM AND DAD THERE. I JUST ABSOLUTELY LOST IT. I START CRYING LIKE A LITTLE BABY. THIS, IT, IT WAS JUST... IT WAS SOMETHING ELSE BECAUSE I, I SEE MY DAD AND HE OPENS UP HIS ARMS AND I SAID 'FINALLY. THIS IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT' AND I JUST, I JUST LET GO.
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
IF FOR SOME QUIRK OF FATE AND YOU NEVER WON ANOTHER MAJOR. I KNOW IT WOULD DISAPPOINT YOU
 
TIGER WOODS
 
MMMM
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
BUT WOULD THERE ALSO BE PART OF YOU THAT COULD LOOK BACK ON THE WAY YOU DID IT. THE LOWEST, THE YOUNGEST, THE LARGEST AND SAY I DID IT. MOM AND POP'S WERE THERE. I WON THE MASTERS AS A 21 YEAR OLD KID AND
 
TIGER WOODS
 
RIGHT
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
SAY I COULD LIVE WITH THAT.
 
TIGER WOODS
 
YEAH. I COULD. IF MY CAREER ENDED RIGHT NOW. I COULD LIVE WITH THAT BECAUSE IT'S NOT TOO OFTEN IN ONE PERSON'S LIFE WHERE YOU CAN LOOK, YOU CAN PUT IT ON VIDEO TAPE AND LOOK BACK ON IT AND SAY YOU KNOW WHAT, I, I PLAYED ABSOLUTELY AWESOME. MY MIND WAS FOCUSED. IT WAS CLEAR. I HIT GREAT SHOTS. I EXECUTED MY GAME PLAN AND I DIDN'T VARY FROM IT
 
TIGER WOODS
 
AND I, I, I EXECUTED AND I STAYED PATIENT. YOU PUT ALL, THE WHOLE PACKAGE WAS TOGETHER AT THE SAME TIME AND IT'S NOT TOO OFTEN IN ONE CAREER... IN ONE'S CAREER THAT YOU ACTUALLY CAN SAY THAT ABOUT ANY.. YOU CAN SAY THAT ABOUT ROUNDS BUT UH... THE TOURNAMENT. I STARTED OFF THE TOURNAMENT WITH A 40 AND I STILL WON... GOING AWAY AND THAT, THAT TO ME I THINK WAS ULTIMATE.
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
SOMETHING ELSE HAPPENED AMAZING AT AUGUSTA NATIONAL LAST YEAR. HOW WHEN YOU WERE ANNOUNCED AS THE CHAMPION, THAT EVENING, IN THE DINING ROOM DURING THE DINNER, THAT BACK BY A SERVICE ENTRANCE, THE COOKS AND THE WAITERS AND BUS BOYS, ALL OF WHOM WERE BLACK, CAME OUT TO CHEER FOR A CHAMPION THAT THEY NEVER DREAMT WOULD WALK THROUGH THE DOORS BUT ON THE GOLF COURSE ALL WEEK, TENS OF THOUSANDS OF FANS CHEERED EQUALLY, ENTHUSIASTICALLY
 
TIGER WOODS
 
MMMM
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
FOR YOU, THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF WHOM WERE WHITE
 
TIGER WOODS
 
MHMMM
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
AND SO AT AUGUSTA NATIONAL LAST YEAR FOR WHATEVER IT'S HISTORY MAY BE, BLACK, WHITE, BROWN AND EVERYTHING IN
 
TIGER WOODS
 
I KNOW
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
BETWEEN
 
TIGER WOODS
 
I KNOW
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
CAME TOGETHER AND ROOTED FOR ONE GUY, YOU. IT'S PRETTY AMAZING.
 
TIGER WOODS
 
I DIDN'T THINK ABOUT IT UNTIL MONTHS AFTERWARDS WHEN I, I GOT A CHANCE TO SIT DOWN AND TALK TO MY DAD ABOUT IT BECAUSE I DIDN'T UNDERSTAND IT AND HE KIND OF SUMMED IT UP FOR ME BY SAYING THAT UM YOU, YOU CHANGED. UM YOU CHANGED THE SPORT... BY HAVING A BLACK CHAMPION, OR A PERSON OF COLOR WIN AT, BACK IN, AND IN THE DAY IT WAS THE MOST ELITE-EST CLUB OF ALL TIME AND TO HAVE THAT HAPPEN AND TO HAVE THE PEOPLE AND THE GALLERIES BE WHITE. PEOPLE WHO ARE SERVING AND BE WHITE OR BLACK, PEOPLE IN THE GALLERIES WHO WERE BLACK. IT DIDN'T, DID NOT MATTER. WHAT EVER THEY WERE. THEY ALL CAME TOGETHER.
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
WHEN YOUR FIRST BRUSH STROKES ARE A MASTERPIECE HOW ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO PAINT THE NEXT PAINTING? SO HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT FOLLOWING IT UP?
 
TIGER WOODS
 
WITH A WIN.
 
SCOTT VAN PELT
 
AFTER WHAT HE DID A YEAR AGO IS IT OUT OF THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY THAT TIGER COULD DO IT AGAIN? HARDLY. BUT 1998 MAY PROVE TO BE THE YEAR THAT AUGUSTA NATIONAL EXACTS IT'S REVENGE ON THE MAN WHO DISMANTLED IT JUST A YEAR AGO. THERE IS ONE CERTAINTY, THE GOLF WORLD WILL BE HOLDING IT'S BREATH THIS WEEK, WATCHING TO SEE WHAT THIS EXTRAORDINARY YOUNG MAN DOES FOR AN ENCORE. THANKS SO MUCH FOR BEING WITH US.
 

Luke List, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood and Tiger Woods at the 2018 Honda Classic Getty Images

Honda leaders face daunting final day

By Randall MellFebruary 25, 2018, 12:46 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The winner may need a cut man in his corner more than he needs a caddie on his bag in Sunday’s finish to the Honda Classic.

Smelling salts might come in handy, too.

“It just feels like you are getting punched in the face every single hole here,” Daniel Berger said of the test PGA National’s Champion Course offers. “Every single shot is so hard.”

Final rounds have been especially rough and tumble since the Honda Classic moved to PGA National in 2007.

That usually makes Sundays here as much about who can figuratively take a punch as who can throw one.

Luke List will have his jaw tested after taking sole possession of the lead Saturday with a second consecutive round of 4-under-par 66, but he can take comfort in the fact that punishment is doled plentifully around here.

“Just realizing that everyone is facing the same obstacles out there is huge,” List said. “You're not alone out there, if you make a bogey or a bad swing here or there.”

At 7-under 203, List is one shot ahead of a pair of major championship winners, Justin Thomas (65) and Webb Simpson (66). He is two ahead of Tommy Fleetwood (67), the reigning European Tour Player of the Year, and Jamie Lovemark (68).

List, 33, is seeking his first PGA Tour title in his 104th start. He will have to hold off some heavyweights, including Tiger Woods (69), who is seven shots back but feeling like he has a chance again. Woods closed with a 62 here six years ago when he finished second to Rory McIlroy.

“You never know what can happen the last few holes here,” Woods said. “A lot of things can happen and have happened in the past.”

Amen.


Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

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Crazy things have happened here.

Three years ago, Padraig Harrington was five shots down with eight holes to play and won. He made two double bogeys in the final round but ended up beating Berger in a playoff.

Berger, by the way, was nine shots back entering the final round.

That was the year Ian Poulter took a share of lead into Sunday, hit five balls in the water and still finished just a shot out of the playoff.

Last year, Rickie Fowler made four bogeys and a double bogey in the final round and still won by four shots.

List will have a heavyweight playing alongside him in the final pairing, with 24-year-old Justin Thomas looking to claim his eighth PGA Tour title. Thomas was last season’s PGA Tour Player of the Year.

List has never held a 54-hole lead in a PGA Tour event.

“You guys build up certain players,” List said. “I know I'll be an underdog going against Justin Thomas and guys like that, which is fine.”

There is some inspiration for List in what Ted Potter Jr. did two weeks at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Potter, largely unknown even though he already had a PGA Tour title to his credit, held off stars Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day in the final round to win. 

Thomas earned the right to play alongside List in the final pairing Sunday with his 65, which equaled the low round of the tournament.

Thomas makes his home in nearby Jupiter and knows the punishment the Champion Course can dish out.

“It's a difficult course,” Thomas said. “If you let it get to you, it can be frustrating, but if you go into it understanding and realizing it's difficult, you just kind of embrace it and deal with it.”

Thomas played the Bear Trap’s trio of daunting holes (Nos. 15-17) in 2 under on Saturday. He birdied the 15th and 17th holes.

Fleetwood got in contention Saturday with a pair of eagles. He’s a four-time European Tour winner.

“I would love to get my first win on the PGA Tour this week,” he said. “It’s just great to be out here. It's great to be playing on courses like this that are such a test of every part of your game.”

Alex Noren, a nine-time European Tour winner, is also seeking his first PGA Tour title. He is three shots back. He lost in a playoff to Day at the Farmers Insurance Open last month.

Though this is just Noren’s second start at the Honda Classic, he knows how wildly momentum can swing on the Champion Course. He shot 65 Saturday after shooting 75 on Friday.

“I’m a few back, but anything can happen,” Noren said.

That’s the theme around here.

Getty Images

Thomas: Winning hometown Honda would 'mean a lot'

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 24, 2018, 11:53 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Justin Thomas is trying to join Rickie Fowler as a winner of his hometown event.

Thomas will play in the final group alongside Luke List on Sunday at the Honda Classic after matching the low round of the week with a 5-under 65. He is at 6-under 204, one shot back of List.

The reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year is one of several residents of nearby Jupiter. After Fowler won last year, Thomas (who missed the cut) returned to the course to congratulate his neighbor on his fourth Tour title.

“I hope I give him the opportunity or the choice to come back,” Thomas said. “But I’ve got a lot of golf in front of me before I worry about him coming here.”


Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

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More important to Thomas, however, is winning this event, which is played at PGA National, one of the most difficult non-major courses on Tour.

“It would mean a lot,” he said. “It means a lot to win any golf tournament, but it would mean more because of how prestigious this golf tournament is and the list of winners that have won this event, how strong of a field it is, how difficult of a golf course.

“A decent number of my wins have been on easier golf courses, so it would be cool to get it done at a place like this.”

Getty Images

Woods paired with hotshot rookie Burns at Honda

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 24, 2018, 11:38 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Rookie Sam Burns will be in the biggest spot of his career Sunday – playing alongside Tiger Woods.

Burns, the reigning Nicklaus Award winner who turned pro after two standout years at LSU, will go off with Woods at 12:45 p.m. at the Honda Classic.

Burns, 20, who earned his Web.com Tour card via Q-School, is playing this week on a sponsor exemption, his fourth of the season. He is 13th on the Web.com money list this year, after a tie for second two weeks ago in Colombia.


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Burns and Woods are tied for 11th, at even-par 210.

Sunday is an important round for Burns, who can earn a spot into the Valspar Championship with a top-10 finish here.

Getty Images

List leads Honda; Thomas one back

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 24, 2018, 11:25 pm

Luke List, one of a legion of PGA Tour players who live in Jupiter, just two exits up I-95 from PGA National, shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead after three rounds of the Honda Classic. Here's how things stand going into the final round at PGA National:

Leaderboard: Luke List (-7), Justin Thomas (-6), Webb Simpson (-6), Tommy Fleetwood (-5), Jamie Lovemark (-5), Alex Noren (-4) 

What it means: Leader List has played well this season, with no finish lower than T-26 in six starts. Thomas, of course, is the reigning Player of the Year. The next best pedigree among the leaders belongs to Simpson, winner of the 2012 U.S. Open and three other PGA Tour titles.

Round of the day: Thomas and Noren both shot 5-under 65s. Thomas made two of his six birdies in the Bear Trap (at the par 3s, Nos. holes 15 and17), while Noren played that stretch (15-17) in 1 over. Noren made his hay elsewhere, including an eagle at the last that canceled out his two bogeys.


Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos


Best of the rest: List, Simpson and Kelly Kraft all shot 66.

Biggest disappointment: After an opening 76, Jimmy Walker probably thought he was back on track with a 68 that allowed him to make the cut. Alas, the improvement was temporary, as he ballooned back to a 74 on Saturday.

Shot of the day: Tommy Fleetwood hit a fairway wood from 282 yards to within 8 feet of the cup on the 18th hole. He then made the putt for his second eagle of the day.

Quote of the day: "The course played a fair bit easier with not as much wind." - Thomas

Biggest storyline going into Sunday: List may be in the lead, but most eyes will be on Thomas, a five-time winner last year who has yet to lift a trophy in 2018. And of course, more than a few people will be keeping tabs on Tiger Woods. He'll begin the day seven shots back, trying to channel Tiger of 2012 - when he posted a 62 on Sunday at PGA National (which was good only for a runner-up finish to Rory McIlroy).