Tiger's 2012 timeline: Wins, MCs and major flops

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 30, 2012, 1:29 pm

Tiger Woods' 2012 included three PGA Tour wins, two missed cuts and four missed opportunities at the majors. As Tiger celebrates his 37th birthday on December 30th, GolfChannel.com reflects on his 2012 season.

January 29: Woods began his season on the European Tour, finishing T-3 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. He started the final round tied for the lead with Robert Rock but only managed an even-par 72 to finish two shots behind Rock, who edged Rory McIlroy by one shot for the victory.

February 12: In his first PGA Tour event of the season, Woods played with Phil Mickelson in the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Woods began Sunday in third place, four shots back of 54-hole leader Charlie Wi, but Woods posted a 3-over 75 to finish T-15, while Mickelson blistered Pebble Beach with an 8-under 64 to win.

February 26: After defeating Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano in Round 1 of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, Woods lost to Nick Watney, 1-up, in the second round.

March 4: Woods fired an 8-under 62 – his lowest final round ever – Sunday at The Honda Classic, but it wasn't enough to thwart Rory McIlroy, who eventually topped Woods by two shots for his first of three PGA Tour victories in 2012.

March 11: Withdrew from the WGC-Cadillac Championship after 11 holes in the final round due to soreness in his left Achilles tendon. It was the sixth WD of his career.

March 25: Won the Arnold Palmer Invitational by five shots, the seventh time he has won the event in his career. It was his first Tour title since the 2009 BMW Championship.

April 8: Had a disappointing Masters, never really in contending, failing to break par in any round at Augusta National. He finished T-40, at 5 over. It was his worst 72-hole performance in a major championship, just edging out a tie for 39th at the 2003 PGA Championship.

May 4: Missed a 4-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole in the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship to finish one shot outside the cut line, the second time he has missed the cut at Quail Hollow.

May 13: Again struggled all week at The Players Championship culminating in a final-round 73, finishing T-40, 12 shots behind eventual winner Matt Kuchar.

June 3:  Fired a 5-under 67 in the final round to win the Memorial Tournament by two shots and tie tournament host Jack Nicklaus for second on the all-time Tour victories list with 73. It was Woods’ fifth Memorial title. He birdied three of the final four holes, including his memorable chip-in from behind the 16th green.

June 17: Held a share of the lead at the U.S. Open at The Olympic Club heading into the weekend but struggled to a 75-73 finish and fell out of contention, finishing T-21, six shots back of champion Webb Simpson. It was his second-worst finish in 15 U.S. Open starts as a professional.

July 1: Won for the third time of the season at the AT&T National. He notched a two-shot victory to overtake Nicklaus for second in all-time Tour wins. His 74 wins trail only Sam Snead’s 82. It was the 12th time in his career he had won at least three Tour events in the same season. Because Woods hosts the AT&T National, his three victories this year took place at Arnie’s tournament, Jack’s tournament and his own tournament.

July 6: Just five days after passing Nicklaus' mark, he struggled to his ninth career missed cut at The Greenbrier Classic. Also watching from home on the weekend was Mickelson, marking the first time the two stars missed the cut in the same tournament as professionals.

July 22: Finished T-3 at the British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, his best finish in a major since his second-place finish to Y.E. Yang at the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine. It vaulted him to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

August 5: Fired a 4-under 66 in the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to finish T-8. Coupled with his top-10 finish at the British Open, it marked the first time since 2009 that Woods had back-to-back top-10 finishes.

August 12: Finished T-11 at the PGA Championship at the Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, 11 shots back of runaway winner McIlroy.

August 26: Finished T-38 at The Barclays, 11 shots back of champion Watney, after shooting a Sunday 76, his worst final round of the season.

September 3:  Finished in third at the Deutsche Bank Championship, two shots back of winner McIlroy. Woods finished at 18 under, his lowest under-par total this year. He became the first player in Tour history to surpass $100 million in career earnings.

September 9: Although never seriously in contention, Woods' three late birdies in the final round at the BMW Championship got him into a tie for fourth, three shots back of winner McIlroy, who won his second consecutive FedEx Cup playoff event.

September 23: Entered the FedEx Cup finale, the Tour Championship, as the No. 2 seed in the playoff standings. But a Sunday struggle featuring four bogeys and a double-bogey left him T-8, eight shots back of champion Brandt Snedeker, who also locked up the FedEx Cup.

September 30: At the Ryder Cup at Medinah, Woods lost all three of his team matches with partner Steve Stricker and then halved his singles match with Francesco Molinari to finish 0-3-1. Europe stormed back on Sunday to retain the cup 14 1/2 to 13 1/2.

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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