Tiger Looks to Rebound at Doral

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 WGC CA ChampionshipMIAMI -- Like death and taxes, Tiger Woods' status as a weekly favorite is certain. Especially this week, at a tournament series and course where he's seen little failure - Doral Golf Resort and Spa and the WGC-CA Championship.
For Woods, Miami and the World Golf Championships have been muy bueno.
Tiger Woods
Tiger has won the last two times he has teed it up at Doral. (WireImage)
The world's No. 1 player has won the last two events at Doral, the Ford Championship, at a combined score of 44 under par -- but only by one shot each time.
He has won 12 of his 23 WGC starts since the series began in 1999, including five CA Championships (previously the American Express Championship). And he's done it all over the world, in places like Spain, Ireland and England.
In a word, Woods' prospect of a good finish this week is simply: guaranteed.
Doral will be hosting a WGC event for the first time, and like the first three legs of the PGA TOUR's early Florida swing, measures have been taken to make the course harder.
Renovated greens on the Blue Course should play faster, and longer rough should make it harder to reach them.
Last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the world's best golfers lost countless shots to Bay Hill's long rough, with Sunday's final round producing the highest average score on the PGA TOUR this season.
Not that we should be expecting this week's winner to score as low as Vijay Singh (minus-8) did in claiming Palmer's event on Sunday. At this event, the winning score hasn't been lower than 17-under since 2000, when Mike Weir won the AmEx at 11 under.
To draw the best players from professional tours around the world, the CA Championship uses specific criteria.
Those eligible include: players finishing at the top of the money list on their home tours; the top 30 players from the 2006 PGA TOUR money list; the top 20 from the 2006 European Tour Order of Merit; and top players from the Japan Golf Tour, Australasian Tour, Sunshine (South Africa) Tour and Asian Tour.
This year, players could qualify through the FedEx Cup standings, as well.
The CA Championship is a co-sanctioned event and part of the official PGA TOUR schedule.
The GOLF CHANNEL will have coverage of the first two rounds, before handing off to NBC for the weekend.
A run down on the players who are, of course, on the hot list:
Tiger Woods
Along with the above-mentioned, mind-boggling stats for Tiger at this venue and in this event, he will also bring something else to the table this week - complete focus. Not that he rarely gets away from that, but coming off a horrendous finish at Bay Hill and the fact that this will be his final tune-up before the Masters, you can see why he will be hitting on all cylinders at Doral.
Jim Furyk
Although he withdrew from Arnie's event in Orlando due to a lingering wrist injury, world No. 2 Furyk assured everyone that is was more precautionary than anything. Mr. Top-10 is back at a place where he as performed rather well over the last half-dozen seasons, which includes his win in 2000. His last six trips to Doral have produced four top-10s and a runner-up in a playoff.
David Toms
David was a runner-up last year at Doral. (WireImage)
David Toms
Much like his personality, it's been another quiet, but good year for the LSU grad Toms. He has posted three straight top-5s at Doral including a runner-up in '06. Currently hovering around the top-10 in scoring average on the PGA TOUR, Doral is a place where scoring is at a premium - in the last seven events at Doral, 17 under is the highest winning final score.
Vijay Singh
Just like prior to last week's event at Bay Hill, Singh has built an impressive resume at a course yet has been unable to get into the winner's circle. At Doral, Vijay has five top-5 finishe, three of which have come in his last four attempts. The first two-time winner on the PGA TOUR this season, the 44-year-old Fijian has plenty of confidence coming in and a top-10 is almost assured.
Ernie Els
The Big Easy hasn't played much on the PGA TOUR this year but has told the world of his plan to someday soon overtake the No. 1 spot in the world. First things first: try and win a tournament. As a former winner at Doral, he would do well to call on memories of his 2002 victory over, you guessed it, Tiger.
Here's another four-pack of players to watch for at the Blue Monster:
Camilo Villegas
Young and brash with the clothes to match, the Columbian-born Villegas has quickly racked up three runner-up finishes in his yet still young career on the PGA TOUR, including at Doral last season. This was his break-out event in his rookie season of '06.
John Rollins
The 31-year-old Rollins has played poorly in his only two starts at Doral, but this is a new year. This season, Rollins is on a roll - two runner-ups and another top-5 have him fourth in both the FedExCup point standings as well as the TOUR money list.
David Howell
With Doral thought of as a bomber's paradise, England's Howell should feel right at home. Currently ranked fifth in driving distance, Howell had a respectable 12th-place finsh last year at Doral.
Phil Mickelson
He sneaks in down here because of the way he both finished at Bay Hill and because of the legendary showdown here with Tiger two years ago. At Bay Hill, Lefty did himself and his fans no favor by closing with a double bogey for a tie for 36th. But, his second-place showing here in'05 is something he will draw on this week.
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.