Tigers Back

By Jay CoffinMarch 29, 2009, 4:00 pm
Arnold Palmer InvitationalORLANDO, Fla. ' Was Tiger Woods ever really gone?
 
Sure didnt seem like it Sunday at Bay Hill where golfs biggest stud did what nearly everyone expected him to do, he erased a five-shot deficit to Sean OHair and won the Arnold Palmer Invitational for the sixth time when he dropped a 15-foot birdie putt that made the ground shake.
 
The drama. The putt. The fist-pump. All is right in the world of golf again.
 
Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer
Tiger Woods is congratulated by tournament host Arnold Palmer once again. (Getty Images)
No matter what Woods did at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, it was going to the biggest news of the week. If he wouldnt have won wed be heading to the Masters sniffing Azaleas with the anticipation of Woods collecting his first victory since last years U.S. Open.
 
Since he did win, it sets up Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson hype heading into Augusta that reaches heights weve never seen before. For the first time, both of the games two biggest draws will drive down Magnolia Lane in peak form.
 
But anything other than a Woods victory here at Bay Hill wasnt an option. Especially when, while he was standing over his putt on the 18th green ' darkness close behind ' he heard someone scream out the dreaded p-word.
 
Yeah, some guy yelled out playoff, Woods said. And. . . .
 
The rest is history.
 
OHairs five-shot lead was whittled down to two after the third hole and down to one after seven. But an OHair birdie on the ninth gave him a two-shot lead with nine remaining. Woods most crucial shot of the day was a 15-foot par save on the par-3 14th hole, then he followed with a 25-footer for birdie on 15 that tied the ballgame.
 
Woods took his first lead in a Tour event since the U.S. Open when OHair made bogey on 16, gave it back with a bogey on 17, then made birdie on 18 to capture his 66th PGA Tour title.
 
It was unbelievable drama, said Zach Johnson, the third member of the days final group with Woods and OHair. I tried to stay in my own world. . . but its kind of hard when youre seeing what youre seeing.
 
Too much Tiger, too much Tiger, too much Tiger. The media hears those criticisms often. But such thoughts are ridiculous. There were more people following Woods during his four rounds than followed everyone else combined during the same span.
 
When we write about him, people read. When we talk about him, people listen. When hes not at an event and we still talk about him, people still listen. Anyone who has something negative to say about the coverage he receives just doesnt get it. No one else can do the things he can do with a golf club in his hands. No one.
 
Its not like its the Tiger show and Im just out there to watch him, OHair said, with Woods standing in the back of the room awaiting his turn to speak with the media. And I think thats the one thing the media thinks about the guys out here, and its not about that. Were trying to win golf tournaments, and he just happens to be that good.
 
Yes, he is. So good that he has the ability to make people think he never left.
 
Its like Stevie (Williams) was saying out there, this feels like we hadnt left, Woods said. You just remember how to do it. It hasnt been that long for me, but you just have that feel of what to do and its a matter of getting it done.
 
Was he ever really gone?
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Arnold Palmer Invitational
  • Full Coverage - Arnold Palmer Invitational
  • Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.