What We Learned: Shell Houston Open

By Randall MellApril 1, 2013, 12:45 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the world of golf. This week, our writers weigh in on the new craze that is 'Dufnering,' when it's the right time to peak, and the remarkable winning streak by Americans on the PGA Tour.

Golf has no shortage of delightfully quirky personalities these days. There’s Bubba Watson, there’s Boo Weekley, there’s Ben Crane and the Golf Boys, but the rising personality is the guy who never figured as a personality.

Jason Dufner, the unflappable one who sometimes barely seems to have a pulse, elevated his status as a PGA Tour “character” with the advent of Dufnering this past week. Everyone’s doing it after a photograph of his humorously meditative pose zoning out in an appearance in a third-grade class went viral. After D.A. Points won the Shell Houston Open, he was photographed Dufnering with the trophy. There’s an opportunity in this for the Golf Boys, too. There’s the chance to give Dufnering some lyrical life. – Randall Mell

It makes for good fodder, but there’s no such thing as trying to peak at the right time. I know, I know. Tiger Woods says it all the time, that he wants to ensure his game is peaking for the four major championships each year. But I spoke with his instructor Sean Foley about it recently and he said he doesn’t understand how that’s even possible. One caddie for a top player explained to me that Sunday golfers aren’t like thoroughbred horses, meaning you can’t train 'em to run at top speeds for the big races. If we needed a latest example, it comes in the form of D.A. Points, who had made only two cuts this year with a best finish of T-63 before winning the Shell Houston Open. Every golfer would love to be in form going into the upcoming Masters, but form is fleeting. The truth is, they all start at even and go from there. Such thoughts should buoy any players who aren’t quite on top of their games just a week before heading to Augusta National. These players can take solace in the story of Points and so many others before him, knowing that previous results aren’t a determining factor of future success. And yes, I’m looking directly at you, Rory McIlroy. – Jason Sobel

I could have made a lot of money after last year’s Ryder Cup betting that Americans would win the first 14 PGA Tour events of the 2013 season. Following the American collapse on Sunday at Medinah and the influx of European talent on the American circuit this season (Lee Westwood, Ross Fisher, etc.) it didn’t seem likely that the red, white and blue would be a perfect 14-0 in '13, but D.A. Points’ closing 66 on Sunday in Houston completed the unlikely sweep. – Rex Hoggard

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Watch: Tiger's drive startles strolling duck

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 7:21 pm

Tiger Woods split the eighth fairway with a 287-yard, 3-wood on Sunday and startled a duck (goose?) who was merely out and about for a stroll at PGA National.

The duck (goose?) walked away under its own power, and Woods followed up with a wedge to inside 9 feet and his third birdie of the front nine.

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Watch: Tiger's Sunday birdies at the Honda

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 6:40 pm

One day after he left a barrage of birdie opportunities out on the golf course, Tiger Woods worked his way into red figures early on Sunday.

Seven off the pace to start the day, Woods found the first fairway, hit the first green and rolled in a 20-footer for his firist birdie of the day.

After narrowly missing a 10-footer for what would have been another circle at the par-5 third, Woods came right back at the fourth, flying an approach from 148 yards to 9 feet and finishing the job.

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New-look Korda wins after serious jaw surgery

By Will GrayFebruary 25, 2018, 6:31 pm

If the pictures of Jessica Korda from the Honda LPGA Thailand cause you to do a double-take, you're not alone.

Korda's world-class talent was on full display this week in Asia, where she won by four shots, but so too was her new-look face. The 24-year-old underwent serious jaw surgery in December, a final attempt to address a significant overbite that led to ailments ranging from facial cramping to headaches to sleep apnea.

The procedure was intense. Doctors first broke her nose, then broke her jaw in five different places - three on the top, and two on the bottom. She now has 27 screws in her face, and the physical result still requires some adjustment for a woman who now has five career LPGA wins.

"I look at pictures of myself and I don't feel like I look like that person," Korda told Golfweek. "I don't know who that is. And then I look at pictures of my old self and that doesn't look like me either."

Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand

The Dec. 7 surgery left Korda unable to eat, with her mother reportedly feeding her through a syringe for "weeks." Korda's facial structure before the surgery was such that she was only using 20 percent of her teeth when chewing food.

But despite returning to practice only six weeks ago and still dealing with lingering numbness in her face, Korda promptly dusted a world-class field in her first start back. She shot 25 under for the week, highlighted by a second-round 62, leaving the likes of Lexi Thompson and Ariya Jutanugarn in her wake.

After a difficult winter, Korda's look may have changed but her game clearly remains unaffected.

"Coming in after surgery, I didn't know what to expect," Korda told reporters. "Obviously when I look at myself, I still don't feel like I look like myself yet. That will come. I'm just very, very happy. All the hard work I was putting in in the off-season when I could has paid off rather quickly."

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 25, 2018, 4:45 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.