Whos Behind the Wheel

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 31, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 Buick OpenAt the Cialis Western Open, Tiger Woods entered an event that was sandwiched between two major championships and everyone questioned his state of mind and the state of his game.
 
Four weeks later, Woods is back in action, playing in another tournament situated between a pair of majors. But this time no one is questioning anything in relation to Tigers mental or physical being.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is vying for his fourth PGA TOUR victory of the season.
He provided all the answers in his most recent performance.
 
Woods calculated and dominating victory at the Britisih Open left any doubt as to where he stands in the game today ' firmly at the top.
 
After missing the cut in the U.S. Open ' playing his first tournament in nine weeks due to the death of his father, Woods returned to action at the Western Open and promptly finished second. He then executed a perfect game plan to win at Royal Liverpool.
 
Having just claimed his third silver Claret Jug, Woods will try and win his third PGA Championship in two weeks. Before then, however, he will try and win his second Buick Open title.
 
Perhaps, he'll even use his driver a couple of times in doing so. He used the big stick only once over 72 holes in his triumph at Royal Liverpool.
 
Woods, who currently leads the PGA TOUR in wins (3) and earnings ($4,263,563), is hoping to add to both of those totals this week at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club in Grand Blanc, Mich.
 
Though he has won the Buick Open only once (2002), Tiger has an amazing record here. He has finished inside the top 10 six times in seven career starts. His worst finish is a tie for 11th, and he has notched a top-3 each of the last four years.
 
Those numbers, combined with his impressive performance at Hoylake, make Woods the clear favorite to win this week.
 
Here are five other players hoping to deny him:
 
Vijay Singh
While Tiger is the odds-on favorite to claim victory, Singh just happens to be the two-time defending champion. He won by a stroke over John Daly in 2004, and then won by four over Woods and Zach Johnson a year ago. He also prevailed in 1997, making him the only three-time winner of this tournament. So why isnt he the favorite? Because Singh missed the cut at the British, and he blew a 54-hole lead in his previous start at the Western. He has a few more question marks concerning his game than does Woods.
 
Chris DiMarco
Chris DiMarco is hoping to ride the wave of momentum he picked up at the Open Championship.
Chris DiMarco
Youve probably heard this one before: DiMarco has an inspirational tournament ' in which he doesnt win, but proves his grit ' and seems ready to finally win on TOUR for the first time in a long time. Well, here we go again. After giving Woods a run at Hoylake, DiMarco again seems primed to reel off his first win on TOUR since the 2002 Phoenix Open. He has played this tournament 10 times and has a pair of top-10s ' both runner-up finishes, of course (2001, 2003). He's healthy now, after injuring himself during a ski trip. Is this finally his time?
 
Jim Furyk
Heres a shocker: Furyk is a favorite in a summer-time event. In 11 career starts at Warwick Hills, Furyk has six top-10s, including a victory in 2003. He has only two finishes outside the top 20 and has never missed a cut. As for the current state of his game, the good news for Furyk is that he has finished inside the top 5 in each of his last three starts, which includes the U.S. Open and the British Open. The bad news is that he had a chance to win all of those tournaments and failed to do so.
 
Geoff Ogilvy
This will be only Ogilvys second start since winning the U.S. Open, and his first non-major tournament. Ogilvy took an extended break after triumphing at Winged Foot and didnt return to action until the Open Championship, where he tied for tied for 16th. The Aussie has a solid record at Warwick Hills. Over the last three years, he has finished runner-up in 2003, tied for 18th in 2004, and tied for 12th last year.
 
Dudley Hart
There arent many tournaments anymore where Hart can actually feel like a contender, but this is one of them ' if he can finish the event. Over the last six years, Hart, who will turn 48 on Friday, has finished fifth (2005), T4 (2001) and T6 (2000). He has also missed the cut (2004) and twice withdrawn after the first round (2002, 03).
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Buick Open
  • Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

    By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose shot a 7-under 65 Saturday to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the European Tour's season-ending Tour Championship.

    The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for an overall 15-under 201. The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

    Rose is chasing his second Race to Dubai title but leading rival Tommy Fleetwood is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

    Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

    U.S. Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Order of Merit crown, is tied for 13th on 10 under.

    Fleetwood needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

    Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey

    If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”