Walker captures maiden win at Frys.com Open

By Will GrayOctober 14, 2013, 12:38 am

Beginning the day three shots off the pace, Jimmy Walker rallied with a 5-under 66 to claim the Frys.com Open after overnight leader Brooks Koepka struggled down the stretch. Here's how things ended up at CordeValle, where Walker claimed his first career PGA Tour title by two shots:

Leaderboard: Jimmy Walker (-17), Vijay Singh (-15), Brooks Koepka (-14), Hideki Matsuyama (-14), Scott Brown (-14), Kevin Na (-14)

What it means: After 188 starts on the PGA Tour, Walker finally broke through Sunday and made it into the winner's circle for the first time in his career. Walker played the final 11 holes Sunday in 4 under, staving off last-minute challenges from both Koepka and Singh. One of the more consistent players on Tour for the past few years, Walker has now secured his playing privileges for at least the next two seasons and will be making his first trip to the Masters next April.

Round of the day: Sidelined since The Masters due to injury, Na fired a 7-under 64 for the second consecutive day to earn his first top-10 finish in more than a year. The 30-year-old birdied five of his first 10 holes to surge up the leaderboard, adding an eagle at the par-5 15th and a birdie on the 17th hole to card one of two 64s Sunday at CordeValle. The tie for third was Na's best result since his victory at the 2011 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Best of the rest: A winner earlier this year at the Puerto Rico Open, Brown matched Na with a 64 Sunday to notch his first top-10 finish on Tour since his maiden win in March. Brown started somewhat slowly, 1 under through his first seven holes, but found his groove from there. Birdies at Nos. 8 and 9 were followed by four birdies across a six-hole stretch from Nos. 12-17. The finish allowed Brown to better his third-round score by seven shots and move into a tie for fourth, four shots behind Walker.

Biggest disappointment: Playing this week on a sponsor's exemption, Koepka appeared in control midway through Sunday's final round, growing his lead at one point to four shots over the field. The 23-year-old faltered down the stretch, though, with four bogeys across his final 10 holes. Standing on the penultimate tee trailing by two, Koepka saw his last chances for victory disappear along with his drive into the greenside pond at the driveable par-4 17th.

Quote of the day: 'I think it will sink in after awhile. I feel mostly a sense relief or release right now, but overall it feels pretty good. I'm excited.' - Walker

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 21, 2018, 7:00 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.

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Woods happy to help Furyk at Ryder Cup

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:58 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods didn't hesitate when Jim Furyk asked him to become a vice captain at the upcoming Ryder Cup.

Woods said Wednesday that Furyk asked he and Steve Stricker “a while ago” whether they were interested in being assistants in Paris as the Americans try to win a Ryder Cup on foreign soil for the first time in 25 years.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Woods said of Furyk, “and whatever he wants, whatever he needs, I’m there to help him. We’re worked well the last couple of years in the cups together.”

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Though Woods has said that he wants to be a playing vice captain, he has been an assistant at each of the past two international team competitions.

Furyk, Woods and Stricker were all assistants at Hazeltine, where the U.S. won in a rout.

“Jim is very detailed, very smart, very analytical, and he’s just a fantastic leader,” Woods said. “For him to ask Stricks and I together, it will be special for both of us.”

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Woods to hit '4 or 5' drivers each day at Honda

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:25 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Those hoping Tiger Woods will wield the driver early and often this week at PGA National likely will be disappointed.

Depending on wind direction, he said he will only hit “four or five” drivers each round.

During Wednesday’s pro-am, Woods hit driver on six holes. He found two fairways with the big stick and found the right rough four times, though a few of those misses were only a few yards off the fairway.

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In two starts this year, Woods has struggled mightily with every club off the tee, but driver has been especially troublesome. He has found only 36 percent of the fairways so far (30 of 84).

The Champion Course here is a par 70, with water and bunkers often lining the fairways. Putting the ball in play off the tee will be at a premium, and so Woods opted for a low, penetrating 2-iron six times in the pro-am.

Woods said he did not make any equipment changes following the missed cut at Riviera.

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TT postscript: One birdie in casual pro-am round

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:15 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Here are a few observations after watching Tiger Woods’ pro-am round Wednesday at the Honda Classic:

• As expected, the stress level was minimal at PGA National. He had a short warmup (considering it was still freakin’ dark when he was about to tee it up, at 6:45 a.m.) and generally took little time contemplating shots, except for a few clubs off the tee.

• Tiger spent a lot of time chipping, pitching and putting after completing a hole. No surprise there. He didn’t play a practice round Monday or Tuesday, and he hasn’t competed here since 2014. Gotta get in that work.

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• He hit six drivers Wednesday. That’s probably one or two more than he will in competition, depending on wind direction. Two of those drives found the fairway. The other four were varying degrees off-line in the right rough, none more wild than his push slice on the difficult sixth hole that was probably 60 yards right. At least it was playable over there – water runs all the way down the left side.

• It’s not quite a stinger, but he hit more than a few 2-iron shots off the tee, with a sweet, little draw. That’ll play quite nicely here.

• We said it for a few rounds at Torrey Pines, and then again for one day at Riviera, but here goes: Woods appears to have taken the left side of the course out of play. Whether that remains true after playing under “game speed” this week, who knows?

• Woods made only one birdie, after getting up and down out of the greenside bunker on the par-5 third. His pro-am stat line, for those interested: 7 of 14 fairways, 12 greens and 31 putts and shot around 2 over. Again, he was not really trying.

• Best shot of the day? His fairway-bunker shot on the sixth hole (while playing his second ball). He skied a mid-iron from 187 yards to kick-in range. A little more of that, please.