Tigers Game Back on Target

By Golf Channel NewsroomDecember 6, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Target World ChallengeTiger Woods remembers well the events of last December when his own tournament rolled around. After months and months of trying to get the hang of a new swing, he finally put it all together at the Target World Challenge.
 
'I had to take baby steps all year,' Woods said. 'I was working in the right direction. Sometimes, it might have been just three or four holes in one round that I played great, and then the rest of it wasn't so good.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods has finished first or second in the previous five Target World Challenges.
Eventually it became nine holes, then 18, then 36 and 54. Now it's a whole tournament. It's exciting,' he said after the 2004 event was finalized.
 
Now its time for the 2005 tournament, and Woods is about to wrap up an extremely successful season with his new swing. He has won six times on the PGA Tour this year with two majors and two World Golf Championships. He finished in second place in four other tour events.
 
The tournament has a $5.5 million purse and pays $1.3 million to the winner, the richest payoff in the off-season. The tourney starts Thursday at Sherwood Country Club, and Woods should be among the few who are rested.
 
Seven players are coming from halfway around the world - Colin Montgomerie, fresh from winning in Hong Kong; Michael Campbell, who participated in a tournament in Australia; and Jim Furyk, Chris DiMarco, Tim Clark, Luke Donald, Kenny Perry and Darren Clarke from the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa. Furyk won the Nedbank in a playoff over Clarke, Retief Goosen and Adam Scott.
 
Also in the field are Davis Love III, Padraig Harrington, Thomas Bjorn, Fred Couples, and David Toms. Toms is playing for the first time since surgery last month to correct a rapid heartbeat.
 
John Daly, Vijay Singh and Angel Cabrera have withdrawn. Daly, who will miss his second straight event due to a broken right hand, had received a sponsor's exemption to play in the 16-man event. He was replaced by Merrill Lynch Skins Game champion Fred Funk.
 
Singh and Cabrera were replaced off the world rankings by David Howell and Clark.
 
Woods has finished either first or second in five of the previous Target World Challenge events, his two victories have come in 2001 and last year. Love has won twice, in 2000 and 2003, and Padraig Harrington won in 2002.
 
The Target World Championship benefits primarily the Tiger Woods Learning Center, where students from diverse backgrounds broaden their perspective of the world and explore their individual interests. It is located on a 14-acre campus in Anaheim, Calif.
 
Another benefactor is the Tiger Woods Foundation. And, the Start Something program, created by Target and the Woods Foundation, it is a free character education program that encourages children from the ages of 8 to 17 to identify a specific goal and begin taking steps to achieve it.
 
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


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    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.