O'Meara not surprised by Tiger's return to No. 1

By Jason SobelMarch 27, 2013, 9:17 pm

HUMBLE, Texas – Cell phones are a major no-no at Augusta National Golf Club, even for those who are playing the course.

Let’s hope the folks in green jackets take it easy on one Masters champion who used his phone to check up on another earlier this week.

“I was on the 12th green at Augusta National on Monday,” Mark O’Meara said when asked if he saw Tiger Woods’ win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. “You’ve got to be very careful, as we all know, at Augusta. I don't want Mr. Payne to be upset at me. I was back on the back of the green and pulled out my phone to see that he had won by two. I fired him a text. I said, ‘Awesome. Great No. 8 and No. 1.”

For years one of the staunchest supporters of the player he calls his “younger brother,” O’Meara has stuck to his defense that Woods would return to his winning ways. Now that he has, older bro is hardly surprised.

“He's obviously got a lot of pride and his desire seems to be back,” he said. “Winning breeds winning. He's accustomed to winning. When he wasn't winning, I don't think he probably enjoyed that too much. He's paid a heavy price from the standpoint when you live under that kind of intense expectations not only what he places on himself but what everybody places on him, me, all of you, everyone. We expect him to be up there. When he's not, you know, we're like, ‘What's wrong?’

“You wonder how long an individual, any individual, can live under that kind of pressure, whether it's the President of the United States or anybody else. You see when people are under immense expectations and pressure, it starts to take a toll on someone mentally, physically, all these things. He seemed to stay in shape and he seems to be gung-ho and wouldn't surprise me to see him go play well [in the Masters] just because of his vast knowledge of Augusta and his familiarity with the golf course and winning.”

Though he came short of predicting a fifth green jacket for Woods, not surprisingly O’Meara is keen on his chances two weeks from now.

“Do I think Tiger will win every major this year or win the Masters? I'd be hard-pressed to bet against him,” he explained. “Do I think he's coming in with great form? Absolutely. He's got three wins out of five tournaments that he's played. The guys out here now all play so well that most of the guys that play now out here, they know him; they're kind of somewhat accustomed to being around him and playing with him. So the intimidation factor is not what it once was. It was good to have him back on top and playing well.”

O’Meara, who has lived in the Houston area for the past four years, is competing in this week’s Shell Houston Open on a sponsor’s exemption.

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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.