Tiger blames himself for U.S. losses, targets Rory

By Jason SobelSeptember 25, 2012, 3:12 pm

Tiger Woods met with the assembled media for the first time at Medinah Country Club on Tuesday morning in advance of the Ryder Cup. Here are some of the highlights of his interview session:

On whether he’s responsible for the U.S. not winning more Ryder Cups: “Certainly I am responsible for that, because I didn't earn the points that I was put out there for. I believe I was out there, what, in five sessions each time, and I didn't go 5-0 on our side. So I certainly am a part of that, and that's part of being a team. I needed to go get my points for my team, and I didn't do that. Hopefully I can do that this week, and hopefully the other guys can do the same and we can get this thing rolling.”

On Rory McIlroy being a marked man this week: “It's part of being consistent. It's part of being ranked No. 1. It's part of winning major championships. You're always going to want to try and take out their best player, and that's just part of the deal. That's a fun challenge. I certainly have relished it over the years and I'm sure he's going to relish it this week.”

On advice for McIlroy: “Well, I'm not going to say anything; obviously he's playing for the other team. We can talk about it afterwards.”


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On potential pairings: “Obviously we have an idea of what we want to do, but also then again, that can certainly change. I think we are going to go out there and see how today is, and the most important thing about these next two days is just getting to know this new golf course for us. … I'm going to need to do my homework so that whoever I go out with, that I will be ready and able to contribute and understand this golf course and how to play it.”

On Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk and himself each having losing Ryder Cup records: “In order to win Cups, you have to earn points and we certainly have not earned points. And on top of that, I think that Phil, Jim and myself have been put out there a lot during those years. So if we are not earning points, it's tough to win Ryder Cups that way.”

On playing for a team instead of for himself: “For us to represent the United States of America and our teammates, it's something else. When it gets to a certain point, either Friday afternoon, late in the evening, or Saturday late in the evening, and all the teams are gathered and there's like one group out there, and if you happen to be in that group, it's interesting. It's so much heat on you, which is very different. It's different than playing by yourself. But playing for teammates, it just adds an element that – it means so much more because it is our country, and it is our teammates. We want to, in all these practice sessions, get to know each other and get our games right and be ready for the Ryder Cup week. It comes down to one moment.”

On the atmosphere in Chicago: “It will certainly be partisan, there's no doubt about it. It will be loud. It will be raucous, and it will be fun. It's the same as when we go to Europe. They get into it for their team, and our fans are going to get into it for our team. … This is a great sporting town, to begin with, and they obviously have supported the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks, you name it. They just love sport, period. And for us to come in here and be part of a U.S. team I think is just going to add to that. We are going to have a great atmosphere here, and it's going to be a lot of fun. I think it's going to be fun for both sides.”

On winning the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah: “To have won my second major was so important; it validated my first and gave me the confidence that I could go ahead and do this with this swing. And lo and behold, 2000 came around and got things rolling after that.”

On his lone Ryder Cup win in 1999: “I think the way we did it on that Sunday was – no one's ever seen it. … That was certainly an experience that – I've never been a part of anything like that. Never seen a comeback like that in golf, in a team atmosphere. It was something that I will never, ever forget.”

On having Michael Jordan in the team room: “Well, the first time I had ever been around him, he had fed me some beverages and the next day was a little bit more difficult than I would like it to be. But I still shot some really good numbers that day, and made an eagle on the last hole to win. … But you know, Michael being who he has been in the sport and what he's done, for him to be a part of – and want to be part of – this is special for us. This is one of the greatest athletes to ever live, and you know, he wants to be a part of golf and be a part of and share with us what he's been through. For us, that's incredible. … It's priceless for a lot of these guys. I guess for me, because I consider him like my big brother, gotten to know him so well over the years, I may take that for granted. But some of the other guys who don't really know Michael, I think it's a real treat for them.”

National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

“I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


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Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

“He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.


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''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''

Bubba (64) fires his lowest round of 2017

By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:12 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Bubba Watson’s plan when he left the Dell Technologies Championship in September was to take a few months off and come back fresh in 2018

Those plans changed after a few weeks.

“What we figured out was the mental side, preparing for kindergarten - not for me, for my son - preparing for [wife] Angie's knee surgery. It's been a tough go,” Watson said.

“Being home and being with the family and everything, I realized how much I missed the game of golf, and that's why I wanted to come and play in these tournaments.”


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The plan has paid off this week at the RSM Classic, where Watson is tied for 12th place after a second-round 64 on the Seaside course moved him to 7 under par.

Watson, who tied for 51st two weeks ago in Las Vegas, got off to a quick start on Day 2, playing the opening nine in 29. Despite a miscue at the 14th hole, when his tee shot wedged into a tree, he was solid coming in for his best individual round this year.

The left-hander was particularly sharp with his ball-striking after what has been a difficult year.

“I want to play golf now and right now I'm swinging at it pretty nicely,” he said.