Tiger's weekend woes continue, shoots third-round 71

By Jay CoffinSeptember 9, 2012, 1:05 am

CARMEL, Ind. – Tiger Woods and Saturdays get along as well as Democrats and Republicans. They tolerate each other, but they aren’t particularly fond of each other.

Or maybe in this case, Rory McIlroy should take some blame.

At any rate, after playing well alongside McIlroy for the first two rounds, Woods shot a Saturday 71 during the third round of the BMW Championship and got lapped. He didn’t seem inspired, didn’t appear to be as interested as he was during the first 36 holes.

Woods moved from second place to eighth place, made bogey from the middle of fairway several times, and his longtime nemesis Phil Mickelson made 10 birdies to card a 64. Adam Scott and Robert Garrigus both shot 66. Jim Furyk posted 67. The scoring average for the day was 70.02. Woods’ Round 3 scoring average since the Masters is 71.1.

You get the picture. Woods was average on a day when many were much better. Moving Day continues to be an enigma for Woods.

“I grinded hard,” Woods said. “I didn’t have much.”

The first eight holes were downright painful – literally and figuratively. Woods made four bogeys between Nos. 3-8, was six shots off the lead and began walking with a noticeable limp. A chip-in birdie on the par-5 ninth hole made the limp go away and it stopped the proverbial bleeding. He made birdie on three of the first four holes on the back nine, and followed with five consecutive pars to shoot 71.

To pull within three shots of the lead took a vigorous effort, but Woods is in eighth place and this isn’t a leaderboard filled with chumps. Mickelson, Vijay Singh, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Scott, Garrigus and Dustin Johnson are all ahead of him. There’s little chance all play poorly Sunday.

“I have to probably shoot 63 or 64 tomorrow to have a chance,” Woods said.

Woods is paired with Johnson, and that could be the spark he needs. Playing with McIlroy the first two days was exciting for Woods, although you’ll never get him to admit it. He was engaged, he and Rory were chatting like long lost brothers, he wanted to match McIlroy shot for shot. There was something special about the focus being solely on them.

Johnson could provide something similar for Woods. DJ hasn’t won major championships like McIlroy – and doesn’t have the fanfare – but he’s young, hits the ball miles and has a game that Woods likes to watch closely. Woods may not chat with Johnson as much as he has with McIlroy, but it’s a comfortable pairing. They’ll be Ryder Cup teammates in three weeks.

The pairing won’t matter though if Woods gets off to a start like he did Saturday. The round must be flawless, his game must be in tip-top shape and he needs a little help. Much like the third round, Woods hasn’t played particularly well in final round most of this year. He does, however, have closing 66s to draw upon from last week’s Deutsche Bank Championship and last month’s Bridgestone Invitational.

A victory is possible although it’ll take a Herculean effort.

“I’m just trying to scrap it around out there,” Woods said. “I’m just waiting for that one good ball-striking day, and with the way I’m chipping and putting right now, it can be done. I just need to do it.”

Getty Images

PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

PGA Tour:

The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

LPGA:

We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

Getty Images

Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm

Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.