Woods falls off PGA pace with third-round 74

By Ryan LavnerAugust 12, 2012, 2:19 pm

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – Another third round in a major, another major disappointment for Tiger Woods.

During an uneven third round that resumed on the eighth hole, Woods made an early bogey, rattled off three birdies in a six-hole span on the back nine, then dropped a shot on the 17th when his ball came to rest on a rake mark in a sandy area. He finished with a 2-over 74 that put him five shots back entering the final round.

“I’m right there,” said Woods, who will begin his final round at 1:23 p.m. EDT with Peter Hanson and Vijay Singh. “I was at one point six back, and we had a lot of holes to play, so I was very encouraged the way I dug down deep and got this thing turned around and gave myself a chance going into this afternoon.”

Woods, of course, has never won a major when trailing after 54 holes. And if he’s going to stage a comeback on the Ocean Course, he’ll have to overtake a few world-class players – including the world No. 3.

In a warm morning sun and light breeze, Rory McIlroy polished off a 67 to lead by three at 7-under 209, with Carl Pettersson, Bo Van Pelt, Trevor Immelman and Adam Scott all within four shots of the lead.

Improbably, Woods, No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, has yet to break par in a weekend round at a major this year, with a third-round scoring average of 72.75.

His performance here at Kiawah Island has been eerily reminiscent of this year’s U.S. Open, where he held a share of the 36-hole lead, bogeyed four of the first eight holes in the third round, and then proceeded to shoot 148 on the weekend to tumble down the leaderboard.

At the British Open he never abandoned his conservative game plan, even as the leaders pulled further ahead. Eventually, Woods was undone by a triple bogey in the final round, and he finished in a tie for third, his best result in a major since the 2009 PGA.

Woods held a share of the 36-hole lead here on the Ocean Course, along with Carl Pettersson and Vijay Singh. On the front nine – the easier of the two sides – Woods bogeyed Nos. 4, 5, 7 and then, on Sunday morning, No. 8 as well.

Though he picked up birdies on Nos. 11 and 12, Woods had a scare on the 15th hole – and not just because his drive sailed well right of the fairway. After hitting his approach on the green, Woods walked back toward the fairway and began hobbling. It turns out it was not an injury but rather a few Carolina cactus burrs stuck in his right leg. He went on to par the hole.

“After getting off to a horrific start there, to battle back like I did this morning, on Sunday, I gave myself a chance,” said Woods, who is at 2-under 214. “That’s all I wanted to do, to at least have a shot going into the final round.” 

Nonetheless, Weekday Tiger little resembles Weekend Tiger – especially this week.

In the first two rounds, Woods required only 46 putts, including 23 one-putt greens. But playing in the final pairing during the third round, he hit three greens and took 15 swipes on his opening nine (30 in all). His 74 was the second-worst score from a player currently in the top 32.

In his past 19 weekend rounds at a major, Woods has shot in the 60s only three times.

He’ll likely need a sub-70 score Sunday afternoon to even give himself a chance. 

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry