Tiger gets redemption chance after morning struggles

By Randall MellSeptember 28, 2012, 7:08 pm

MEDINAH, Ill. – Bench Tiger Woods?

The thought must have crossed U.S. captain Davis Love III’s mind after the opening session of the Ryder Cup Friday if only as a public safety precaution.

The way Woods was spraying tee shots into the gallery, the PGA of America didn’t need a referee with Woods’ match as much as they needed a medic.

Ian Poulter and Justin Rose teamed to defeat Woods and Steve Stricker 2 and 1 at Medinah Country Club in a match nearly as ugly as the bloody knob sprouting out of a fan’s head in the gallery right of the seventh fairway. Woods beaned the young man with his tee shot only to find his ball 40 yards farther down the fairway. Woods might have got a better bounce off the man’s skull than he could have gotten off a cart path. The fan, by the way, appeared OK, eventually getting to his feet with a handkerchief pressed to the top of head after Woods came over to check on him.

Notably, Woods/Stricker won that hole with a birdie.

Bench Tiger Woods? It was reasonable to ask the question after the morning session.

“He’s Tiger Woods,” Poulter said. “He’s the guy they get out there fired up. He didn’t quite fire them up this morning, but you never know. When Tiger is on, he’s on, and he’s very impressive, but when he’s not, he’s not. It’s a brave captain to leave him out.”

Love didn’t leave Woods out. He sent Woods back out in the afternoon fourballs with Stricker again and Woods birdied his opening hole.

In the morning, Woods looked lost with his swing right from the first tee box. He hooked his opening drive in foursomes over the gallery’s heads and up against a fence. It wouldn’t be the last time he put Stricker in an awkward spot in the alternate-shot match.

Woods hit one of seven fairways in his turns to hit tee shots. Well, actually, two of seven if you count one wild pull deep into the tree line that ricocheted hard back into play. Woods consistently belted balls into the trees but got some timely breaks that made this match closer than it probably should have been. At the seventh, his tee shot off that spectator’s noggin led to a birdie with Woods/Stricker winning the hole. It was at the 15th where he pulled a 3-wood left and screaming toward a hospitality tent only to discover his shot caromed off a tree branch and ricocheted toward the green at the short par 4. He and Stricker won that hole, too.

Woods was frustrated with his swing through the round. After that hard pull at the 15th, he stood on the tee box for the longest time rehearsing his swing.

Almost every facet of Woods’ game was off in the morning. He left a lousy greenside bunker shot 30 feet short at the fifth, missed a short 5-foot putt for par at the sixth and chunked a chip short of the eighth green.

Stricker had his own struggles. After Woods’ errant opening tee shot, Stricker pulled his tee shot at the second hole into the water.

As partners, Woods and Stricker are now 6-3 in international team competition, 2-2 in the Ryder Cup, but they’ve also lost their last three matches as partners. They lost their final match at Wales in the '10 Ryder Cup, lost their only match together in the Presidents Cup last year and lost this Friday morning match.

For Poulter, it was a hard-earned victory. He’s now 9-3 in Ryder Cup matches with two of those losses to Woods. Friday’s victory marked his first win when matched against Woods.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.