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.”


Video: Watch Tiger Woods' full Ryder Cup news conference

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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.”

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


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Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

@tommyfleetwood_1

A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.