Broken Bones Records Ties

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 17, 2008, 4:00 pm
Editor's Note: In Backspin, the editorial staff takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf -- with a spin.
OH, MY GOD, MOMENT NO. 317: Tiger Woods drained a long birdie putt on the 72nd hole to edge Bart Bryant by a stroke and win his fifth Arnold Palmer Invitational. The win kept Tiger's PGA TOUR win streak intact - five-in-a-row and counting.
Backspin Tennis great John McEnroe couldn't have said it better - 'You cannot be serious!' With all the drama playing out from other areas of sport on Sunday - Kobe vs. the now seemingly unbeatable Houston Rockets; March Madness getting set in motion; NASCAR, et al. - Tiger trumped them all with another jaw-dropping moment. Keeping his streak going was nice, as was the fact that he tied Ben Hogan for career TOUR wins at 64. But the icing on the cake was his unbridled show of emotion as he watched that final putt drop. His good buddies MJ and Sir Charles most certainly would have approved of that slam dunk with his hat.

TRAINING WHEELS?: Popular golf television personality David Feherty broke three ribs when he was hit by a truck while riding his bicycle near his home in Dallas. He was released from the hospital on Sunday and expects to be fully recovered in time to walk the fairways at Augusta National in a couple of weeks.
Backspin Feherty, of course, took the whole accident in stride saying, I dont remember a whole lot about it. There was a lady on the scene quickly, keeping me conscious. The next thing I know, Im at Baylor Medical Center, the only hospital in the United States that doesnt have the GOLF CHANNEL. Thanks for the free plug, David. And NBC's Roger 'Chocolate' Maltbie chimed in on Sunday's telecast saying that he and his collegues were raising money for Feherty to buy some training wheels for his bike. A good-natured jab that Feherty certainly could appreciate.

THE DALY (NO) SHOW: To start the week, John Daly was informed via news reports that his new coach Butch Harmon was cutting ties with his new pupil, and then on Wednesday, Daly missed his pro-am tee time at Arnie's Invite and thus was DQ'd from playing in the actual event - in which he had an actual invite from Arnie himself.
Backspin When it rains, it pours for Daly. J.D. contends that it was a simple mix up, and that he would never miss Arnie's event. Some people - mostly sportswriters - get the feeling that Daly is reaching the end of his rope - both personally, and with the sponsors who continue to dole out special exemptions. Daly does have his strong points, and his strong supporters, but that support may be wearing thin.

HOME NOT SO SWEET FOR LORENA: Lorena Ochoa shot an opening-round 76 in her return to her native Mexico and could never quite recover, finishing at 2 under for the week at the MasterCard Classic, four back of eventual winner Louise Friberg.
BackspinOchoa did not have a good time in her return to her home country of Mexico. The LPGAs No. 1 player will hope what happened in Mexico, stays in Mexico. Naturally, Ochoa had the biggest galleries all week, but the pressure of playing with an entire country watching was clearly too much. Either that or maybe she drank the water.
CUE THE DRAMA - AGAIN: Denis Watson birdied the third playoff hole to win the AT&T Champions Classic on Sunday at Valencia Country Club. He beat Loren Roberts and Brad Bryant for the title.
BackspinTiger's streak is now at five, but the Champions Tour's streak now stands at three - as in three straight events that it has needed a playoff to determine a champion. We here at Backspin will at this point just cut and paste from last week until something changes - 'Do yourself a favor and make the Champions Tour a part of your 'Must See TV.' You will not be disappointed. Just check out the previous 2008 events if you doubt it.

SMORES ANYONE?: Graeme 'Cracker' McDowell of Northern Ireland birdied the third hole in a sudden-death playoff against Indias Jeev Milkha Singh to collect the Ballantines Championship on Sunday. The victory was McDowells third on the European circuit, his first since 2004.
Backspin McDowell didnt hold sole possession of the lead in the final round of the tournament until the third playoff hole after Singh missed his 5-footer for birdie. The 28-year-old is hoping to make a strong run at getting on the European Ryder Cup team for Septembers matches.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Tiger Woods was able to mix in a little fun during Bay Hill week, attending the Roger Federer vs. Pete Smapas exhibition tennis match at Madison Square Garden on Monday and then took a little batting practice against good friend John Smoltz at Disney; Chris DiMarco's wife was again on the bag for him in South Korea; Cliff Kresge tied for third at Bay Hill after narrowly making the field.
BackspinWho says Tiger's all work and no play? We guess it is easier to do things like that when you have your own personal private jet to whisk you around the world for social engagements; DiMarco had a couple of top-3 finishes with his wife previously on the bag. He tied for 18th this time around. Kresge was the benefactor of Els' departure - and he made the most of his opportunity.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Arnold Palmer Invitational
  • Full Coverage - Toshiba Classic
  • Full Coverage - Malaysian Open
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    Watch: Thomas nearly makes ace ... off rock wall

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 7:50 pm

    You don’t become a major champ and reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year without catching a few lucky breaks along the way, but this shot from Justin Thomas on Sunday at the Honda Classic was just silly.

    Playing the 182-yard, par-3 fifth hole with the tournament lead, Thomas’ tee shot found the rock wall guarding the green, and proceeded to bounce forward about 20 feet in the air before nearly go in the hole for an ace:

    Thomas couldn’t take full advantage of fortuitous bounce, missing the 13-footer for birdie. But if he holds on to his lead down the stretch, JT will remember this nonchalant par for a very long time.

    Getty Images

    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

    Much like on Saturday - much like in each of his four rounds this week - Tiger Woods had it going until he reached the Bear Trap. Woods moved as low as 3 under Sunday before mistakes at 15 and 16 left him even par for both the round (70) and the week at the Honda Classic.

    One day after he left a barrage of birdie opportunities out on the golf course, 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 first 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 9 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 shot and then short siding himself right of the green. He made the turn in 2-under 33.

    Following four straight pars to start his second nine, Tiger took down the 465-yard, par-4 14th with a 2-iron, a 9-iron, and a putt to move back to 3 under.

    Unfortunately, the Bear Trap would bite Tiger for the fourth day in a row. Woods rinsed his ball at 15 for a double bogey and three-putted at 16 to drop another shot and fall all the way back to even.

    Closing pars at 17 and 18 left him to sign for 70. The real story of his week: Woods played the Bear Trap 8 over and the rest of the golf course 8 under.

    Getty Images

    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."