Johnson shocks Woods to win World Challenge

By Ryan LavnerDecember 8, 2013, 11:21 pm

The final Northwestern Mutual World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club was a doozy, as Tiger Woods missed a 4-foot par putt to lose to Zach Johnson on the first playoff hole. Here’s the skinny on a dramatic final round:

The leaderboard: Zach Johnson and Tiger Woods at -13, Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar at -9, Webb Simpson (-7).

What it means: It’s sweet redemption for Johnson, who was up by one with two to play against Woods in 2011, only to lose by one. This is his second win in his last five starts, dating to the FedEx Cup playoffs, when he won the BMW Championship. Johnson’s victory denied Woods his sixth title of the season. In this event, Woods has five wins and five other runners-up.

Round of the day: It was a shocking finish to this one, as Woods had a four-shot lead with eight holes to play but was all square as he stood on the 18th tee. Woods had a hanging lie from the left rough on the home hole, and his second shot found the greenside bunker. It looked like Woods would be bailed out by Johnson, who, from the middle of the fairway, hit a semi-shank into the water. But Johnson followed up that terrible shot by holing his wedge shot from the drop zone. Woods had to get up-and-down from a difficult spot in the bunker to force a playoff, and he did, splashing out to 2 feet.

In the playoff, both players found the fairway off the tee but Woods again found the bunker with his approach, while Johnson hit his second shot about 25 feet left of the cup. Woods blasted out to 4 feet, but his par putt carried too much pace and spun out. 

Best of the rest: Matt Kuchar squandered his chance to win with a Saturday 76, but he rebounded in the final round with the low score of the day, a 5-under 67 to finish joint third. Webb Simpson made six birdies en route to a 4-under 68 that vaulted him to solo fifth.

Shot of the day: After nearly holing out iron shots on Nos. 16 and 17, Johnson spun his wedge shot into the cup on the 72nd hole to make par and force a playoff. Said Johnson, “I guess I was just teasing it the holes previous.”

Quote of the day: “I don’t know how the last three iron shots didn’t go in the hole. It was pretty impressive what he did on 16, 17 and 18, and he got me.” – Woods, on Johnson

Getty Images

Watch: Woods birdies three of his first six holes

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 17, 2018, 6:20 pm

Tiger Woods didn't bogey the first hole on Saturday like he did the day prior - but he did drop at a shot at the par-3 second when he failed to get up and down from the bunker.

Luckily, it wouldn't take him long to get that stroke back. One hole later, at the dogleg-left, par-4 third, Woods ripped a 2-iron off the tee, hit a less-than-stellar approach long and right, and poured in this 38-footer for birdie to get back to even par on the day.

He followed with another at the par-5 fourth, smoking a drive 313 yards uphill, short-siding himself with his second shot, and playing this deft pitch to set up a tap-in 4.

After a par save from the bunker at 5, Woods missed the fairway right at the par-5 sixth, laid up with his second, spun a wedge to 15 feet with his third, and rolled in this third birdie of the day to move to 6 under for the week.

Woods' momentum was slowed by a bogey at 8, the product of an errant tee shot, and a missed birdie try at 9 left Woods to make the turn in 1 under-35, minus-5 for the week.

(More coming...)

Getty Images

Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

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.

Getty Images

Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

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.

Getty Images

Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

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.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“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.”