Woods feeling at home in the King's house

By Jay CoffinMarch 22, 2012, 7:38 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Tiger Woods is on the verge of something.

Not sure what, but he’s on the verge.

If Woods’ opening-round 69 Thursday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational is any indication, he could be on the verge of something special, or it could be something mediocre. Difficult to tell.

In a nutshell, Woods one-putted a par 5 for birdie, two-putted two par 5s for birdie and three-putted another par 5 for par. He made putts of 32 feet (No. 15) and 20 feet (No. 6) for birdie but missed putts of 5 feet at Nos. 4 and 17 to three-putt for bogey both times.

“It was a day I didn’t really do anything great,” said Woods, who is tied for fourth place, three shots behind co-leaders Jason Dufner and Charlie Wi. “I was just solid all day. I drove the ball well. Hit my irons decent and putted all right. It’s just one of those days where not a lot going on.”

Woods, a six-time winner here at Arnie’s Place, looked comfortable off the tee and never appeared to wince or act like his tender left Achilles was bothering him. Although the statistics say he only hit nine fairways, they are not a true indication of how well he played from the tee. There were irons off the tee, there were 3-wood stingers off the tee and there were monstrous blows with the driver. Most were impressive.

“I feel comfortable around here, hitting shots, shaping it,” Woods said.

The only time Woods hit an extremely wayward drive came on his third hole of the day – the par-5 12th – where he blew the ball right into some gnarly rough. But Woods reminded us of the old Tiger, the one who hits shots many can't envision, when he smoked a 3-wood onto the green from 269 yards and made one of the aforementioned two putts for birdie, although the eagle attempt from 45 feet hit the hole and bounced out.

Aside from the two short misses, Woods didn’t appear crisp with an iron in his hands from the fairway. He had 100 yards in on his opening hole (the 10th) and hit it to 45 feet. A hole later, he was 130 yards out and couldn’t get closer than 30 feet. On No. 3, Woods had 160 yards to the hole and ended up 40 feet. Two holes later he was inside 150 yards and the ball ended 36 feet from the hole. Not the type of stuff that wins 14 majors.

Hitting greens wasn’t the problem – Woods hit 14 of 18. Proximity to the hole was the issue, which led to 32 putts on the steamy day.

“Didn’t really hit any balls real close today,” he said, stating the obvious.

The most awkward moment of the round came on the par-5 16th hole, which Woods ultimately birdied. His drive leaked slightly right and found the fairway bunker. Woods was 210 yards to the hole with an iron in his hand and stopped in the middle of his downswing when a baby cooed off in the distance. The sound was not that loud, but Woods stopped, shook off the discontent, reset and blistered the approach to the back of the green.

When he makes any dramatic move, onlookers all take a collective gasp. In past years, it was neat to see Woods stop in the middle of a swing, now many people wonder if his body will hold together long enough to finish the rest of the hole.

The Achilles wasn’t an issue on this Central Florida day. Woods never stopped to stretch, never walked with a noticeable limp and always appeared to put determined effort into each shot. Earlier in the week, Woods said he played Augusta National on Sunday as a tune-up for the Tavistock Cup, which was a tune-up for Arnie’s Invite, which is the final tune-up for the Masters. All ailments appear to be a thing of the past.

“I’m just out there playing,” said Woods, who wolfed down lunch then worked with Sean Foley for an hour after the round. “I’m feeling good. I’ve been getting treatment. Everything’s good. No swelling. If I can just keep it that way, everything will be great.”

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.