Jeez Tiger Tiger Tiger

By Mercer BaggsMarch 2, 2009, 5:00 pm

HELLO! GOODBYE!: Tiger Woods' much anticipated return to action, following an eight-month hiatus due to knee surgery, was short lived. After winning his first-round match against Brendan Jones, 3 and 2, in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, he lost to Tim Clark, 4 and 2, in Round 2.
Backspin Woods wouldn't let on as to when he would play again, but you have to figure he'll play Doral and Bay Hill, before heading to Augusta. Even with only a small sampling, based on his early Match Play exit, it's a pretty good bet that he'll win one of those three events ' if not two ... or three of them.

OH, HEAVEN: Running blogs describing his every move. Clocks counting down his first-round match. Hundreds of media members right on his tail. Promotional ads running ad nauseum. Tiger. Tiger. Tiger. It was long awaited for some. It was pure overkill for others.
Backspin A lot of people joked that Golf Channel and other media outlets might as well have been comparing Tiger's return to the second coming of Jesus. The big difference is: J.C.'s not going to announce his return in a press release.

THE MASTER: Geoff Ogilvy won the WGC-Match Play for the second time in four years, narrowly escaping each of the first two rounds in extra holes and then routing good friend and neighbor Paul Casey , 4 and 3, in the 36-hole final.
Backspin Ogilvy is the match play master. But how will he fare at the Masters? With the season's first major on the horizon, Ogilvy would love nothing more than to become the first Aussie to win the green jacket. For the record, he's officially played Augusta National three times, with his best finish a tie for 16th in his debut.

YOU'RE GOOD ... JUST NOT AS GOOD AS ME: Lorena Ochoa, competing for the first time on the LPGA in 2009, won the Honda LPGA Thailand. The women's world No. 1 rallied past Paula Creamer to get her 25th career tour title.
Backspin The best part about Ochoa's victory was in the press conference afterward, she was asked if she believed that she was mentally tougher than her peers. 'Yes,' she answered. It's one thing to be the best; it's another to know you're the best. Ochoa knows it, we know it, and the rest of the LPGA knows it.

ALL BUT AUGUSTA: Mark Wilson earned his second career PGA Tour title by winning the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico, an opposite-field event. Wilson held off a handful of players seeking to, like him, add a secondary title to their resume, as well as a number of players looking for their first Tour win.
Backspin What Wilson didn't get was an automatic invite to the Masters, which does not recognize opposite-field victories. The top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking the week prior to the season's first major will get a ticket to Augusta. Unfortunately, Wilson's win only moved him to 150th in the world.

WITH YOU ALMOST ALL THE WAY: Greg Norman suggested that players on the PGA Tour take a pay cut and have tournament purses lowered. 'It seems like on the PGA Tour the players are still playing for a million dollars first week,' he said, 'like theyre recession-proof.'
Backspin Someone making over $1 million for winning a golf tournament is sublime. I have no problem with Norman's opinion ' as long as that opinion doesn't carry over to golf writers.

HAIR TODAY ...: Back to the Match Play: While Casey was runner-up to Ogilvy, Rory McIlroy likely had the second best week of anyone in the 64-man field. The 19-year-old was taken out by Ogilvy in the quarterfinals, but managed to win three matches along the way, as well as the American crowd.
Backspin McIlroy won just a few weeks ago on the European Tour and will compete in the Masters in April. He initially made a name for himself by tying for 42nd in the 2007 Open Championship. Expectations are higher than his 'fro right now.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Thongchai Jaidee won the European Tour's Indonesian Open. ...The Charlotte event on the PGA Tour will now be known as the Quail Hollow Championship instead of the Wachovia Championship. ... Alistair Presnell won the Nationwide Tour's Moonah Classic.
Backspin It was Jaidee's first win in four years on the European circuit. ... Wachovia, the Stanford Financial fraud, Northern Trust's frivolous spending during the L.A. tournament. We'd feel sorry for for Commissioner Finchem ' if he didn't make roughly $5 million a year. ... Presnell may have had the best story of the week, saying if he didn't earn enough money over a four-tournament stretch (with this being No. 2), he'd have to return to the air conditioning industry. He's now fully exempt on the Nationwide Tour for 2009 and in good shape for the PGA Tour in 2010.
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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.