Bettencourt shares lead despite broken club, asthma

By Ryan LavnerApril 4, 2013, 11:57 pm

SAN ANTONIO – Valero Texas Open co-leader Matt Bettencourt better hope he doesn’t find himself with a gap-wedge shot (115-125 yards) on Friday morning.

He won’t have the proper club.

Bettencourt, who shot a 5-under 67 to share the lead at TPC San Antonio, damaged his 52-degree wedge on the eighth hole in his opening round.

After his tee shot on the par 5 hit the cart path and bounced into a rocky area, Bettencourt thought he had a clean lie until he hit a rock at impact and “destroyed pretty much the face of the club.”

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A rules official told Bettencourt that, although the face was damaged – “On the middle to the toe side, it’s completely chunked” – he was allowed to continue the round with the wedge. But he cannot put the club in play Friday.

That’s a problem, of course, because his second-round tee time is first off Friday – 7:20 a.m. local time.

TaylorMade is shipping a new ATV wedge overnight, but it likely won’t arrive until about 9 a.m., or when Bettencourt is on the sixth or seventh hole.

A busted wedge, however, is the least of Bettencourt’s problems. A winner at the 2010 Reno-Tahoe Open, he has struggled mightily the past few years. This season, he has missed the cut in four of five starts on the PGA and tours.

The issue?

Severe asthma, Bettencourt said, which left him jittery over the ball. He has gone back and forth with three or four inhalers, several different medications, and only last week thinks he found the right combination.

“It’s good getting that under control and being able to play golf,” he said.

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Watch: Tiger's drive startles strolling duck

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 7:21 pm

Tiger Woods split the eighth fairway with a 287-yard, 3-wood on Sunday and startled a duck (goose?) who was merely out and about for a stroll at PGA National.

The duck (goose?) walked away under its own power, and Woods followed up with a wedge to inside 9 feet and his third birdie of the front nine.

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Watch: Tiger's Sunday birdies at the Honda

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 6:40 pm

One day after he left a barrage of birdie opportunities out on the golf course, Tiger Woods worked his way into red figures early on Sunday.

Seven off the pace to start the day, Woods found the first fairway, hit the first green and rolled in a 20-footer for his firist birdie of the day.

After narrowly missing a 10-footer for what would have been another circle at the par-5 third, Woods came right back at the fourth, flying an approach from 148 yards to 9 feet and finishing the job.

At the par-4 eighth, Woods went with 3-wood off the tee and startled a duck that was walking down the middle of the fairway. The duck walked away, and Tiger stuffed his approach inside nine feet, setting up his third birdie of the day.

Woods dropped his first shot of the day at the par-4 ninth after hooking his tee and then short siding himself right of the green. He made the turn in 2-under 33.

(More coming...)

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New-look Korda wins after serious jaw surgery

By Will GrayFebruary 25, 2018, 6:31 pm

If the pictures of Jessica Korda from the Honda LPGA Thailand cause you to do a double-take, you're not alone.

Korda's world-class talent was on full display this week in Asia, where she won by four shots, but so too was her new-look face. The 24-year-old underwent serious jaw surgery in December, a final attempt to address a significant overbite that led to ailments ranging from facial cramping to headaches to sleep apnea.

The procedure was intense. Doctors first broke her nose, then broke her jaw in five different places - three on the top, and two on the bottom. She now has 27 screws in her face, and the physical result still requires some adjustment for a woman who now has five career LPGA wins.

"I look at pictures of myself and I don't feel like I look like that person," Korda told Golfweek. "I don't know who that is. And then I look at pictures of my old self and that doesn't look like me either."

Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand

The Dec. 7 surgery left Korda unable to eat, with her mother reportedly feeding her through a syringe for "weeks." Korda's facial structure before the surgery was such that she was only using 20 percent of her teeth when chewing food.

But despite returning to practice only six weeks ago and still dealing with lingering numbness in her face, Korda promptly dusted a world-class field in her first start back. She shot 25 under for the week, highlighted by a second-round 62, leaving the likes of Lexi Thompson and Ariya Jutanugarn in her wake.

After a difficult winter, Korda's look may have changed but her game clearly remains unaffected.

"Coming in after surgery, I didn't know what to expect," Korda told reporters. "Obviously when I look at myself, I still don't feel like I look like myself yet. That will come. I'm just very, very happy. All the hard work I was putting in in the off-season when I could has paid off rather quickly."

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 25, 2018, 4:45 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.