Tigers Euro Trip a Bust - So Far

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 26, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 WGC American Express ChampionshipAnd so the stretch run begins.
 
The four major championships are complete and the Ryder Cup is now history. That leaves just six weeks left on the 2006 PGA TOUR calendar, and seven official events remaining.
 
The biggest of the seven may well be this weeks WGC-American Express Championship at The Grove outside of London. The tournament has a limited field, with players qualifying based on their world ranking and position on various money lists around the world.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is looking to raise the Gene Sarazen trophy for the fifth time.
Not everyone who is eligible is competing ' i.e. Phil Mickelson. Despite being in Ireland for last weeks Ryder Cup, in which he went a dismal 0-4-1, the worlds No. 2-ranked player opted to head back to the States, meaning he is likely done for the season.
 
But there are plenty of other golfing luminaries in attendance, vying for the $1.35 million first-place prize on the par-72, 7,170-yard venue.
 
Of course, chief among those competitors is Tiger Woods. And, for obvious reasons (if theyre not obvious, they soon will be), he leads our list of favorites this week.
 
Tiger Woods
Woods may have had his world-wide winning streak snapped in his first-round loss at the HSBC World Match Play Championship a couple of weeks ago, but the PGA TOUR streak still lives. He has won his last five starts on TOUR and is a good bet to make that six straight. Woods has won 11 individual World Golf Championship events in 21 tries, including four AmEx titles ' and, to boot, hes won this event on four different courses. Hes won at Valderrama in Spain; Mount Juliet in Ireland; Capital City Club near Atlanta; and last year at Harding Park in San Francisco. Playing for the first time at The Grove should offer little obstacle ' unless they make him partner up with another player and compete as a team. Woods has spent the last three weeks in Europe; he'd like to head home with some hardware.
 
Ernie Els
There used to be a time when Els was routinely among the favorites to win any tournament. But that was before his knee injury last year. Els hasnt won on TOUR since this event in 2004, when he edged Thomas Bjorn by a stroke at Mount Juliet. This year has been quite a struggle for Big Easy. While he does have five top-10s on the PGA TOUR and two more this calendar year on the European Tour, he hasnt had that many chances to actually win. He lost to Woods in a playoff in Dubai and then fell to Adam Scott in a playoff a few weeks ago in Singapore. So why pick him to have a good showing this week? Just a hunch.
 
Retief Goosen
If were going with Els on a hunch, we might as well extend that to Goosen as well. Goosen, like his countryman, is winless around the world in 2006. And like Els, he hasnt been very competitive either. But, things have to get better at some point ' might as well be at this event.
 
Adam Scott
Scotts win on the Asian Tour a few weeks ago was his first anywhere since that same event in 05. Surprisingly, his last TOUR win came in 04 at the Booz Allen. He doesnt have an exemplary record in stroke-play WGC events, with only one top-10 finish. That, however, came in his most recent WGC outing at the Bridgestone Invitational. Scott has played very well of late. He tied for third at the PGA Championship ' his best-ever finish in a major, before tying for 10th at Firestone. He also, as mentioned, defended his title in the Singapore Open.
 
Paul Casey
Casey may well be worn out. His last two weeks have been exhaustive ' but theyve also been exceptional. The Englishman tore through everyone in his way en route to the World Match Play title. He then helped lead Europe to a Ryder Cup rout last week, making a hole-in-one along the way. If he has anything left in the tank, he has to be among the favorites at the moment.
 
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  • Full Coverage - WGC-American Express Championship
  • Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey six on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."

    Move over Lydia, a new Ko is coming to LPGA

    By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 5:11 pm

    Another gifted young South Korean will be joining the LPGA ranks next year.

    Jin Young Ko, the Korean LPGA Tour star, informed the American-based LPGA on Sunday night that she will be taking up membership next year. Ko earned the right by winning the LPGA’s KEB Hana Bank Championship as a nonmember in South Korea in October.

    Ko, 22, no relation to Lydia Ko, first burst on to the international spotlight with her run into contention at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry two years ago. She led there through 54 holes, with Inbee Park overtaking her in the final round to win.

    With 10 KLPGA Tour titles, three in each of the last two seasons, Ko has risen to No. 19 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

    Ko told GolfChannel.com Sunday afternoon that she was struggling over the decision, with a Monday deadline looming.

    “It’s a difficult decision to leave home,” Ko said after the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, when she was still undecided. “The travelling far away, on my own, the loneliness, that’s what is difficult.”

    Ko will be the favorite to win the LPGA’s Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award next year. South Koreans have won that award the last three years. Sung Hyun Park won it this year, In Gee Chun last year and Sei Young Kim in 2015. South Korean-born players have won the last four, with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko winning it in 2014. Ko was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand when she was 6.

    Ko released this statement through the LPGA on Wednesday: 

    "It has been my dream since I was young to play on the LPGA Tour and I look forward to testing myself against the best players on a worldwide stage. I know it is going to be tough but making a first win as an LPGA member and winning the Rolex Rookie of the Year award would be two of the biggest goals I would like to achieve next year."