McIlroy commits to Valero Texas Open

By Jason SobelMarch 29, 2013, 9:57 pm

HUMBLE, Texas – At approximately 4 p.m. local time Friday, Rory McIlroy made an 11th-hour decision to commit to next week’s Valero Texas Open in an attempt to get in more rounds prior to the Masters.

After opening with rounds of 73-70 at the Shell Houston Open, McIlroy maintained this week that his play will improve once he gets a few more rounds under his belt.

However, even directly after a morning round that flirted with the cut line, the world’s No. 2-ranked player didn’t sound like he was contemplating another week of competition.

“No one likes missing cuts and especially it's my last one before the Masters,” he explained. “Nice to have another couple of rounds, do some work on the range this afternoon and hopefully improve on the course that I've already done.”

McIlroy has been criticized for choosing to play a sporadic schedule so far this season, especially after switching to Nike equipment to start the year.

Previously, McIlroy had committed to traveling to Haiti next week, part of a humanitarian mission that he first embarked upon two years ago. It is unclear whether that trip has been rescheduled.

In four previous starts, he owns a T-8 at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and a first-round exit at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship to go along with a withdrawal and a missed cut. Assuming two more rounds here in Houston this week, he will have played 12½ total competitive rounds prior to the Valero Texas Open.

Unlike in previous years, when the Shell Houston Open directly preceded the Masters, this year’s calendar has an extra week between those events, which was filled by the San Antonio-based event. Ian Poulter, Charl Schwartzel, Matt Kuchar and Jim Furyk are among those also scheduled to compete in the field.

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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.

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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.