You Oughta Know: Sony Open in Hawaii

By Will GrayJanuary 13, 2013, 4:27 am

As Scott Langley and Russell Henley continue to prove at Waialae that age is just a number, here are some facts to keep in mind heading into the final round at the Sony Open in Hawaii:

• Langley and Henley both hope to start their rookie seasons with a victory, but should either take the trophy home Sunday it would end a lengthy streak against players in their maiden events as Tour members. The last rookie to win in his debut start was Garrett Willis, who won the Tucson Open in 2001 when the tournament served as an opposite-field event to the winners-only Mercedes Championships at Kapalua.

Tim Clark has a chance Sunday to claim his first worldwide victory since the 2010 Players Championship. Clark, who struggled for much of last year following an elbow injury, recorded only three top-10 finishes in 20 starts on the PGA Tour in 2012. The South African clearly has an affinity for Waialae, though; he was a runner-up here in his last appearance in 2011 and has never finished outside the top 25 in three prior starts in Honolulu.

• Danny Lee didn't have a spot in the tournament field a week ago, but nevertheless heads into the final round with a chance to win. After shooting a 5-under 65 to earn medalist honors at the Monday qualifier, Lee has fired three straight rounds of 66 and now finds himself tied for sixth after three rounds, five shots behind Langley and Henley. The native of New Zealand, who missed out on a PGA Tour card by one shot at Q-School last fall, missed the cut at Waialae last year but appears to have found considerable more success in Honolulu this time around.

• Like Lee, Russ Cochran is making the most of a spot in this week's field earned through the Monday qualifier. The 54-year-old Cochran, who now plays most of his golf on the Champions Tour and won the Senior British Open in 2011, last played on the PGA Tour in 2009 at the Zurich Classic, where he missed the cut. A 3-under 67 on Monday, however, earned the southpaw a tee time on Thursday, and after a 4-under 66 in the third round Cochran will begin Sunday at 8 under, tied for 24th and nine shots off the pace.

Charles Howell III appears in position to bolster his already-stellar record at the Sony Open, entering the final round four shots off the lead in a tie for fourth. Howell who was a runner-up last year, is seeking his seventh top-5 finish at Waialae since 2002, and could eclipse $2 million in career earnings at this event with a solid round on Sunday. It will likely take more than a solid round, though, for Howell to end a winless drought on the PGA Tour that dates back to 2007.

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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.