Woods Plays with an Eye on PGA Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 3, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 Buick OpenGRAND BLANC, Mich. -- Before Tiger Woods finds solitude and practices for the PGA championship, hell play at the Buick Open and rowdy crowds will root for him.
 
He said playing Warwick Hills this week'two weeks after the British Open and two weeks before the PGA championship'is a perfect way to prepare for his attempt to win a 12th major.
 
Other than length, the courses are pretty similar, Woods said before Thursdays first round. You have to shape shots on both courses, and the rough will be the same style.
 
Woods said he tries to win every tournament, refusing to believe any competition is a tuneup. Hell have plenty of elite competition here, with four of the top five on the money list in the field.
 
Vijay Singh is shooting to be the first to win three straight Buick Opens and four overall, but hed trade that feat for another major championship later this month.
 
Theres no comparison. Majors are a different kettle of fish, said Singh, who has won the past two tournaments at 24- and 23-under. Ask anybody who won this tournament three years ago, they wouldnt know. Ask anybody who won the British Open, they would know that.
 
Singh and Woods will be joined by Jim Furyk, U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, British Open runner-up Chris DiMarco and crowd favorite John Daly. Woods won the Buick Open in 2002 and Furyk did the next year.
 
Buick, one of Woods sponsors, announced it signed a four-year contract extension with Warwick Hills to keep the tournament here through 2010. It will end July 1 next year, placing it between the U.S. and British Opens, instead of early August.
 
Woods doesnt expect the change to alter his usual visit. Warwick Hills will never be considered his home course, but the familiar faces at the course 60 miles north of Detroit have grown on him since he made his first appearance in 1997.
 
Ive seen the same people on the same greens, said Woods, playing the Buick Open for the eighth time. Thats pretty neat because you dont see that at any other golf tournament. Maybe Augusta. To come here and see faces that you recognize, it makes it that much more special to play.
 
In contrast to crusty, brown Royal Liverpool, lush fairways and greens at Warwick Hills will welcome Woods and Co.
 
The players must consistently birdie the four par 5s and the par-4 12th and 14th'just 340 and 322 yards long, respectively'to have a shot at winning.
 
I think its always about the par 5s here, Woods said. When the wind is not blowing, then for me, I can get to every par 5. You can possibly drive 12 and possibly drive 14. Those six holes, youve got to make some birdies on those holes. Maybe trickle in an eagle here or there.
 
Singh said Warwick Hills will help him prepare for Medinah in suburban Chicago.
 
You have to drive the ball very straight here. Any major you play in, you need to drive the ball very straight, he said. This golf course, although you have a lot of birdie opportunities, if you dont drive it in the fairway youre not going to make too many birdies.
 
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


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    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.