Thompson rises to 45th in world, earns Doral berth

By Ryan LavnerMarch 4, 2013, 1:18 pm

Michael Thompson outplayed some of the best players in the world Sunday in winning the Honda Classic.

Now, in the world rankings at least, he has joined them.

After his breakthrough victory at PGA National, Thompson rose from 114th to 45th in the latest world rankings, released Monday. That’s good timing: The top 50 in the world as of March 3 earn a spot in this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. Another last-minute addition to the field was Geoff Ogilvy, as the Australian’s runner-up finish moved him fro 79th to 47th. It was his best result in a PGA Tour event since fall 2010.

The other players who qualified for Doral via the top 10 in the FedEx Cup standings: Russell Henley (world No. 51), Brian Gay (No. 114), Charles Howell III (No. 66) and John Merrick (No. 77).

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy cannot forfeit his top spot in the world this week, even if Tiger Woods wins at Doral. In the top 50, only Hiroyuki Fujita has earned as few world-ranking points (1.999) this season as McIlroy, who has a missed cut (Abu Dhabi), a withdrawal (Honda) and a first-round loss at the WGC-Match Play on his resume.

Despite the stacked field at the Honda, there was very little movement in the top 10: McIlroy, Woods, Luke Donald, Brandt Snedeker, Justin Rose (up from 6th), Louis Oosthuizen (down from 5th), Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter.

Luke Guthrie, the other main protagonist at the Honda, rose from 106th to 64th in the world.

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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.