Rose tops Woods, faces Westwood in finals in Turkey

By Ryan LavnerOctober 11, 2012, 2:33 pm

Lee Westwood carded a double bogey and still shot 10-under 61 Thursday to reach the championship match of the Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals.

Justin Rose’s route proved a bit more arduous.

In need of a spark during his semifinal match against Tiger Woods, Rose birdied the 13th, then made eagle on 14th to go from two shots behind to one ahead en route to a 69-70 victory.

Tiger Tracker: Beats Rory, falls to Rose

Now, Rose will meet Westwood in an all-English final Friday that pits teammates from the victorious European Ryder Cup team. At stake: a $1.5 million first-place prize.

But if Westwood plays anything like he did Thursday at Antalya Golf Club, he’ll be nearly impossible to beat.

The world No. 4 shot 64 in the morning to defeat Webb Simpson by three shots, then saved his best performance of the week for his semifinal match against Charl Schwartzel (67). Westwood eagled the par-4 third, double-bogeyed No. 4, and then ripped off eight birdies and an eagle the rest of the way for a 61, the low round of the week.

“It was just one of those days when I was on a roll,” he told reporters. “I am just pleased to be swinging at the ball well. It seemed the hole just got bigger and bigger with each hole I played, and that hasn’t happened in a while.”

As for Woods, he mixed three birdies and two bogeys in a losing effort.

“When Justin birdied 13 and holed out at 14, it was the turning point in the match,” he said, according to published reports. “I was two up at the time and all of a sudden, I’m one down with four to play. 

“But in this stroke-play format, it’s not over until it’s done. There can be some big swings out there, and it’s certainly frustrating when I’ve lost two matches by a shot this week.” 

Not soon to be forgotten, of course, was Woods’ dominating takedown of world No. 1 and budding rival Rory McIlroy in Thursday morning’s match. Tiger shot a bogeyless 64, while Rory slogged his way to a 70 in front of his tennis-star girlfriend.

Not that the Northern Irishman was too distraught. “I’m not that disappointed,” he said afterward, “because I’ve got the afternoon off around the pool.”

Perhaps now he can save a lounge chair for Woods.

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Rory: Phil said RC task force just copied Europe

By Randall MellFebruary 21, 2018, 7:21 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am two weeks ago, Rory McIlroy quizzed Phil Mickelson about what the Americans got out of the U.S. Ryder Cup task force’s overhaul.

McIlroy and Mickelson were paired together at Pebble Beach.

“Basically, all they are doing is copying what the Europeans have done,” McIlroy said.  “That's what he said.”

The Europeans claimed their sixth of seven Ryder Cups with their victory at Gleneagles in 2014. That brought about a sea change in the way the United States approached the Ryder Cup. Mickelson called out the tactics in Gleneagles of captain Tom Watson, who was outmaneuvered by European captain Paul McGinley.

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The Americans defeated Europe at Hazeltine two years ago with that new European model.

“He said the first thing they did in that task force was Phil played a video, a 12-minute video of Paul McGinley to all of them,” McIlroy said. “So, they are copying what we do, and it's working for them. It's more cohesive, and the team and the core of that team are more in control of what they are doing, instead of the PGA of America recruiting and someone telling them what to do.”

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 21, 2018, 7:00 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.

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Woods happy to help Furyk at Ryder Cup

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:58 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods didn't hesitate when Jim Furyk asked him to become a vice captain at the upcoming Ryder Cup.

Woods said Wednesday that Furyk asked he and Steve Stricker “a while ago” whether they were interested in being assistants in Paris as the Americans try to win a Ryder Cup on foreign soil for the first time in 25 years.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Woods said of Furyk, “and whatever he wants, whatever he needs, I’m there to help him. We’re worked well the last couple of years in the cups together.”

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Though Woods has said that he wants to be a playing vice captain, he has been an assistant at each of the past two international team competitions.

Furyk, Woods and Stricker were all assistants at Hazeltine, where the U.S. won in a rout.

“Jim is very detailed, very smart, very analytical, and he’s just a fantastic leader,” Woods said. “For him to ask Stricks and I together, it will be special for both of us.”

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Woods to hit '4 or 5' drivers each day at Honda

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:25 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Those hoping Tiger Woods will wield the driver early and often this week at PGA National likely will be disappointed.

Depending on wind direction, he said he will only hit “four or five” drivers each round.

During Wednesday’s pro-am, Woods hit driver on six holes. He found two fairways with the big stick and found the right rough four times, though a few of those misses were only a few yards off the fairway.

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In two starts this year, Woods has struggled mightily with every club off the tee, but driver has been especially troublesome. He has found only 36 percent of the fairways so far (30 of 84).

The Champion Course here is a par 70, with water and bunkers often lining the fairways. Putting the ball in play off the tee will be at a premium, and so Woods opted for a low, penetrating 2-iron six times in the pro-am.

Woods said he did not make any equipment changes following the missed cut at Riviera.