Triumph and Tragedy - COPIED

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 31, 2008, 5:00 pm
Editor's Note: In Backspin, the GOLFCHANNEL.com editorial staff takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf -- with a spin.
 
TRIUMPH...: Tiger Woods picked up where he left off last season, winning his first event of 2008 in runaway fashion. Woods grabbed sole possession of the lead in the second round and never looked back, ultimately finishing eight strokes in front of runner-up Ryuji Imada for his fourth straight win at the Buick Invitational.
 
Backspin Tiger's seeming ease with which he won this event - for the fourth straight time no less - gets the ball rolling for his 2008 season, a season in which the normally subdued Woods stated the Grand Slam is a real possibility. And, oh by the way, he tied Arnold Palmer for fourth (62) on the all-time PGA TOUR wins list. Next up? The Hawk, Ben Hogan, coming in with a career total of 64.
 

AND TRAGEDY: On the eve of the Buick Invitational, a pall was cast over the tournament when it was reported that Steve Duplantis, a long-time PGA TOUR caddie, had been killed in an accident when he was struck by a taxi while crossing a street in Del Mar, Calif. Duplantis was 35.
 
Backspin One of the more popular caddies on TOUR, Duplantis was regarded as having a confident way in dealing with whomever's bag he was carrying. A 'free spirit' off the course, Duplantis and his nightlife were detailed in a book titled, 'Bud, Sweat and Tees,' a novel that focused on Rich Beem and his time with Duplantis.
 

HEY, WHAT ABOUT ME?: Perhaps lost in the shadow of Tiger's romp at Torrey Pines, world No. 2 Phil Mickelson also made his '08 season debut as well. Lefty tied for sixth at 6 under, 13 shots back of his rival.
 
Backspin Mickelson was almost scratched from the event due to respiratory problems early in the week, but still managed to gut it out through four rounds. It was vintage Phil, thrilling the crowds at one point with six birdies in a seven-hole stretch on Saturday before finishing his last 27 holes with as many bogeys as birdies.
 

GREAT SCOTT!: Adam Scott, ranked eighth in the world before heading to the Qatar Masters, posted a career-best 11-under 61 to blow past the field and win his sixth European Tour title. For the weekend, Scott's scorecard looked flawless - 18 birdies, 18 pars and no bogeys.
 
Backspin In a week that had Australia on center stage due to the playing of the Australian Open, Scott reminded everyone back in his native land that there was more going on than just tennis. The Aussie made quite a statement with his win, serving notice to his critics that he might be a force to reckon with this upcoming major season.
 
ALOHA MEANS GOODBYE: The Champions Tour bid farewell to Hawaii as Jerry Pate was able to overcome harsh, windy conditions to win the Turtle Bay Championship on Oahu. Pate was one of only three players to finish the final day under par for a two-shot win over Fulton Allem and Jim Thorpe.
 
Backspin The story coming into this event was Fred Funk. Not only was he the defending champ, but he was also coming off a win the prior week at the MasterCard Championship on the Big Island. Despite the confidence from his 10th place showing at the Sony Open - on the PGA TOUR, mind you - and his win the week before, Funk was no match for the Hawaiian trade winds. A final round 9 over par left him in a disappointing tie for 32nd.
 

TIGER SPEAKS: Tiger finally spoke with reporters on the Kelly Tilghman issue and once again he tried to put a cap on the controversy, saying, Kelly and I did speak. There was no ill intent. She regrets saying it. In my eyes, it's all said and done.
 
Backspin As much as Tiger ' and so many others ' want this issue to go away, it will linger for quite some time. And unfortunately for Kelly, it will always be a part of her past. But hopefully, while this will not be completely forgotten, we can at least move on and push it out of our peripheral. After all, as Tiger showed this past week there are plenty more exciting things to talk about when discussing the games greatest player.
 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Tournament organizers were offering a 26-foot luxury yacht to any player who managed to make a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th during last week's Qatar Masters; A statue was unveiled at the Tiger Woods Learning Center, depicting Tiger and father Earl arm and arm; John Daly was denied a sponsors exemption into this weeks FBR Open.
 
Backspin Alas, no player was able to come up with an ace on the par-3 prize hole and therefore everyone was forced to drive away from the event instead of sailing away; What a week for the world's No. 1, honoring his late father and then going out and doing what his father taught him best - dismantling the field; The final sponsors exemption in Scottsdale was handed to young Aussie superstar Jason Day. Odds are tournament organizers wont have to worry about him withdrawing.
 

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Buick Invitational
  • Full Coverage - Turtle Bay Championship
  • Full Coverage - Qatar Masters
  • More Headlines
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    Watch: Fathauer dunks one off flagstick for eagle

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 17, 2018, 7:45 pm

    The NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest will take place Saturday night in Los Angeles, but Derek Fathauer kicked things off a little early with this eagle in the third round of the Genesis Open.

    Playing his second shot on the par-4 third hole at Riviera Country Club, Fathauer dunked one off the flagstick and into the hole for an eagle-2:

    The shot got the the 32-year-old, in search of his first PGA Tour victory, under par for the round and into the mix early on Moving Day.

    Getty Images

    Luiten in three-way tie at Oman Open

    By Associated PressFebruary 17, 2018, 4:17 pm

    MUSCAT, Oman - Joost Luiten showed a return to form after a mediocre 2017 as he moved into a three-way tie for the lead in the Oman Open on Saturday.

    The Dutchman shot a second straight 6-under 66 - the joint best score of the day - to move to 12-under 204. He was joined at the top by Matthew Southgate (69) and Frenchman Julien Guerrier (66) after the third round at the Greg Norman-designed Al Mouj Golf Club.

    England's Chris Wood (69), another man on the comeback trail, was in fourth place at 11 under, but it could have been a lot better if not for a bogey-bogey finish. Adrian Otaegui (66) was a shot behind Wood while pre-tournament favorite, France's Alexander Levy (67), was at 9 under.

    The 90th-ranked Luiten credited some hot iron play for his success after a cracked driver set him back last year when he had just two top-10 finishes the whole season.


    Full-field scores from the NBO Oman Golf Classic


    ''I cracked my driver in my first tournament of the year in Abu Dhabi and it took me almost six months to get another one that I really liked. Once you are not driving the ball well, it puts pressure on other parts of your game,'' said the 32-year-old Luiten. ''My iron play did not get me into trouble at all today.''

    Southgate was quick off the block with three birdies in his first three holes. But the Englishman then made two bogeys and a double bogey in his next four holes, and a birdie on the ninth saw him make the turn at even-par.

    That forced him to think differently for the back nine and he was rewarded with three birdies.

    ''It was quite funny really,'' Southgate said. ''We birdied the ninth and I walked off and said to my caddie Gary ... 'We've just shot level par, so let's just pretend that we've made nine solid pars and that we haven't holed a putt and haven't made a birdie. Let's just start again on the 10th'.''

    The 32-year-old Guerrier started his round with a monster 48-foot birdie putt and had an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys.

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    J.Y. Ko increases lead; Lydia focuses on positives

    By Associated PressFebruary 17, 2018, 3:33 pm

    ADELAIDE, Australia - Jin Young Ko continued her domination of the Women's Australian Open, shooting a 1-under 71 Saturday to increase her lead to four strokes after three rounds.

    The South Korean, who led after each of the opening two rounds of the LPGA tournament, had a three-round total of 11-under 205 at Kooyonga Golf Club.

    Australian golfer Hannah Green moved into second place after the round of the day, a 66.

    Green, 21, is seeking to become the first Australian to claim her national crown since Karrie Webb won the last of her five titles in 2014. Webb, who is playing a part-time schedule in 2018, missed the cut Friday by one stroke.

    Green birdied her first three holes on Saturday and then added two more on the eighth and ninth. Two more birdies followed on the back nine with her only dropped shot a bogey on the 17th.


    Full-field scores from the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open


    "I was very pleased with my ball striking," Green said. "I have put myself in contention so I'm very happy with how things are panning out.

    "It was a real shame about Karrie missing the cut, but I know she has got different plans."

    South Korea's Hyejin Choi (70), was tied for third, five strokes behind. Australia's top-ranked golfer Minjee Lee was tied for fifth after a 69, six off the lead.

    Former No. 1 Lydia Ko shot a 71 and was eight strokes behind.

    "It's always nice to be able to start the season on a good note, and I've obviously got tomorrow," Lydia Ko said. "Hopefully, I'll be able to finish off on a high note."

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    Cantlay, McDowell, Saunders share lead at Riviera

    By Doug FergusonFebruary 17, 2018, 3:51 am

    LOS ANGELES - Tiger Woods waited 12 years to get back to Riviera and lasted only two days.

    Woods had three straight bogeys early on the back nine Friday and didn't play well enough to make up for his misses. He had a 5-over 76 and missed the cut in the Genesis Open for the first time in nine appearances as a pro.

    He was at 6-over 148, one shot worse than his PGA Tour debut as a 16-year-old at Riviera.

    ''I missed every tee shot left and I did not putt well, didn't feel very good on the greens,'' Woods said. ''And consequently, never made a run. I knew I had to make a run on that back nine, and I went the other way.''

    Patrick Cantlay ran off three straight birdies toward the end of his morning round, starting with a tap-in on the par-3 sixth when he missed a hole-in-one by a fraction of an inch, and shot a 69. He was tied with Graeme McDowell (66), the former U.S. Open champion who is trying to work his way back from a two-year slump.

    They were at 7-under 135.

    Sam Saunders also was at 7 under, making back-to-back birdies until it was too dark to continue. He had three holes remaining in his second round. Ryan Moore bogeyed his final hole for a 68 and was one shot behind at 136.

    Rory McIlroy overcame a few short misses on the front nine for a 69 and was at 2-under 140.


    Full-field scores from the Genesis Open

    Genesis Open: Articles, photos and videos


    Cantlay was coming off a three-putt bogey when his tee shot at the par-3 sixth - the hole with a bunker in the middle of the green - landed above the flag and to the right, and then rolled back down the slope just over the right edge of the cup.

    ''I actually missed a little to the right, but it's a bowl back there so as long as you get the number right, it should be pretty close,'' Cantlay said.

    He followed with a short iron into 5 feet for birdie, a 15-foot birdie on the next hole and then a wild drive that led to a bogey on his final hole.

    McDowell has gone 59 starts worldwide since his last victory and has fallen out of the top 200 in the world. He had missed four straight cuts dating to late last year, though he felt he was hitting it well in practice. What helped was seeing some good scores.

    ''All I'm missing is a couple little numbers and a little bit of confidence,'' McDowell said.

    Defending champion Dustin Johnson shot a 69 and gets to stick around for the weekend. He was at 1-over 143. Bubba Watson, who won in 2014 and 2016, has fallen out of the top 200 in the world after a two-year drought. He shot a 70 and was at 4-under 138, and then headed for the NBA All-Star weekend to play in the celebrity game.