Woods Ready to Play

By Golf Channel NewsroomJune 18, 2003, 4:00 pm
Tiger Woods hopes this will be the week that reverses the recent flow of his season and turns the tide on his winless ways ' though brief they may be ' in the Buick Classic.
For just the second time in his last six opportunities, Woods will be playing the week after a major championship.
I had to get over this U.S. Open pretty quickly so I could be focused and ready for this tournament, he said Wedneday before his practice round.
Woods is in the field only because he skipped the Wachovia Championship in May.
I needed to find a couple other tournaments throughout the year I was going to play, Woods explained on why he was competing this week. They gave me an exemption when I was an amateur here and I wanted to come back and play.
Woods first played in this event as an 18-year-old amateur in 1994, when he missed the cut. He has increasingly performed better. He tied for 43rd in 1997, and tied for 16th in 2001.
This is one of only five tour events that Tiger has played more than once and not won (International, Phoenix Open, Nissan Open and Ford Championship at Doral).
Woods arrived on site Tuesday, but didnt start practice until Wednesday. He played only nine holes due to rain.
The worlds No. 1-ranked player is making just his eighth tour start this year, and ninth overall. He skipped the first two months to rehab his left knee, following arthroscopic surgery in December.
Woods said that, more than anything, the knee has affected his practice sessions.
I dont hit as many balls as I used to, but Im more focused when I hit balls now because I have to be, he said. Its quality versus quantity.
In some regards its better because I get more accomplished. In other regards, when I start to find something and I feel that I really can start working on it, I have to take a look at the big picture and say, you know what, maybe I should take a rest for a couple of hours and then come back and hit more balls.
Woods said his doctors have advised him to take the cautious route, because of the longevity available in his sport.
If I was playing football or basketball and I had a short lifespan in my sport, I wouldnt be doing that, he said. But with golf, I have a pretty big window to compete, so its a matter of being able to stretch it out as long as I want to stay active in the sport.
Woods appeared invincible when he returned from surgery and promptly won three of his first four tournaments. But since then, he has finished inside the top 10 only once in five starts, including last weeks disappointing tie for 20th in his title defense.
I sat back Sunday night and took a hard look at some of the things I did ' some of the things I did wrong, some of the things I did right ' and tried to really learn from what I did, he said.
Woods was forced to deal with incessant questioning at Olympia Fields as to whether or not his current winless streak on tour warrants use of the S word (it rhymes with 'hump')..
I dont know what everyones need is for categorizing everything, Woods said. If I go on and win a couple of tournaments, all of a sudden Im playing great, unstoppable, and I dont win two weeks in a row, then all of a sudden Im in a slump again.
Ive won, what, three times this yearif youre batting over .300 in tournament wins, thats pretty good.
If Woods goes on to win this week, then go ahead and get your bets down for a Jim Furyk triumph in 2004.
Furyks last three victories have come in tournaments where Woods was the defending champion. That list includes the 2001 Mercedes Championships, 2002 Memorial Tournament and, of course, the 2003 U.S. Open.
Furyk said hes a little exhausted following his first major triumph. After staying up late Sunday night, he had to be up at 6:00 AM Monday for a pre-scheduled corporate outing.
After a pit stop at his home in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., he made his way north Tuesday night.
It may be a little more difficult to hold some concentration or focus, and Im not sure how long that will last, but its well worth it, Furyk said.
He added that he never gave thought to withdrawing this week.
Eventually I was going to come and sit in the media room and sign autographs out there and do the things that go along with winning the U.S. Open, so might as well jump into it, he said.
Furyk, who is making his 11th career appearance, has a good track record in this event. He lost to J.P. Hayes in a playoff in 1998. He also tied for third in '97 and tied for ninth a year ago.
Maybe it's because he was born in West Chester, Penn., that he performs so well at Westchester Country Club.
I like the golf course, mostly. I grew up in southeast Pennsylvania on an old golf course, he said. I would put it on the top 10 of the courses we play on the PGA Tour.
Furyk will be trying to follow in the footsteps of Ernie Els and Hale Irwin, both of whom won this event the week after capturing the U.S. Open; Els in 1997, Irwin in 1990.
I feel good physically about my game, but I think its quite a feat to hold it together emotionally and keeping your concentration, he said.
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.