O'Hair makes most of sponsor's invite at Bay Hill

By Randall MellMarch 21, 2013, 8:56 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Sean O’Hair is playing the Arnold Palmer Invitational on a sponsor’s exemption this week.

It’s the first time he has ever played a PGA Tour event on a sponsor’s invite, and he seemed intent Thursday on making the most of the opportunity with a 3-under 69 to get into early contention.

O’Hair, 30, a four-time PGA Tour winner, nearly won Palmer's event in 2009. He had the 54-hole lead only to see Tiger Woods come from five shots back in the final round and beat him. O’Hair finished second. In ’08, he was tied for the lead through 54 holes with Woods and three other players. Woods won that year, too. O'Hair tied for third.

“I always play well here,” O’Hair said. “I’m comfortable on the golf course. I can see shots fairly easily. The success definitely doesn’t hurt the confidence.”

After missing his first three cuts this year, O’Hair showed some returning form tying for 16th at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and tying for 18th at the Honda Classic.

“Look at my career, I never play well on the West Coast,” O’Hair said. “I play well in Florida, I play well in Texas, I play well on the East Coast and the Northeast. The West Coast isn’t my thing, but I love Pebble Beach.”

O’Hair slipped to 84th on the PGA Tour money list last year, his lowest finish in his nine-year career. He’s looking to get his game back to where he is once again in all the majors, World Golf Championship events and PGA Tour invitationals.

“Trust me, I always feel like I belong in the top 50 in the world, at least,” O’Hair said. “I feel like I’m that kind of player. I just haven’t played that way. It has nothing to do with talent. It has to do with results. I just haven’t had those the last two years. You ask me, ‘What’s the deal?’ I couldn’t tell you. There have been a few things here, and there that have been hiccups, but all in all, I felt like last year was a very consistent year for me. I only missed four cuts, but didn’t have anything to show for it.”

O’Hair is looking for something to show for his first sponsor’s invite this week.

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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.