Woods Races Past Field in Buick Open
After two rounds in Grand Blanc, Mich., hes set to kill two birds with one Nike Tour Accuracy stone ' preparing for the seasons final major and winning the week before.
Woods fired a 63 Friday to take a four-shot lead over Ryder Cup teammate Scott Verplank (65) and J.J. Henry (67). The worlds No. 1 has made 12 birdies, one eagle and no bogeys through 36 holes.
'I hit the ball really well today,' said Woods. 'It was an awful lot of fun being out there and hitting the ball this way. I made some putts early in the round, got momentum, got rolling and made a great save. But overall, I didn't really put myself in a whole lot of trouble.'
Tigers flawless round of 63
Woods has won 15 of 19 tournaments he has led or been the co-leader of after 36 holes.
This event is one of only three on the PGA Tour that Woods has played at least three times and has yet to win (Nissan and Phoenix). Should he knock this one off his checklist, hell try and become the first player since Lee Trevino, in 1971, to win in back-to-back weeks with the latter being a major.
The PGA Championship takes place next week in Chaska, Minn.
Woods started the second round two off the lead, but vaulted past everyone with five birdies over his first eight holes. He moved to 10-under-par with a 25-foot birdie at the eighth - which died into the left-hand side of the cup - and stayed there by rolling in a 12-footer for par at the ninth.
'Making bogey just leaves a bad taste in your mouth,' said Woods. 'I hit a good putt that went right in the hole and kept the momentum going.'
Tigers accuracy was on display at the par-3 11th, when he stuck a 6-iron from 190 yards to four feet; the birdie was his sixth of the day.
He looked to increase his lead at the par-5 13th, but pushed his tee shot behind a tree in the right rough. He played a cut-shot from 236 into the left greenside bunker, but wasnt able to get up and down for birdie.
He atoned, however, by driving the green on the 322-yard, par-4 14th and two-putting for a two-shot lead, at 12-under.
After a horseshoe lip-out at 15, Woods laced a 2-iron out of the rough on the par-5 16th from 266 yards to six feet and made eagle to take a four-stroke advantage.
He had a seven-footer for birdie at the last, but settled for par.
Full-field scores from the Buick Open
Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational
Tiger Woods teed off at 12:15PM ET alongside Justin Rose for Round 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We're tracking him at Bay Hill.
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Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play
ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.
Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.
As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.
Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.
This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.
The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.
Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain
PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.
She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.
“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.
Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.
Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.
“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”
She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.
“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”
Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.
“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.
She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.
“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”
Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.
While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.
“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”
Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead
PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.
In fact, she named her “Mona.”
For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.
While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.
And that has her excited about this year.
Well, that and having a healthy back again.
“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”
Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.
“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”
Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.
She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”
Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.