Balky Putter Keeps Woods in Check
Woods birdied all three of the par-5s at the Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club in Wellington, but played the lesser holes in 2-over. The worlds No. 1 ranked player is six shots off the lead, held by Australian Scott Gardiner
Just didnt make any putts, said Woods, who took 30 putts in Round 1. It was just a tough day on the greens, got myself around. I didnt shoot myself in the foot.
Woods, who shot 66 in Wednesdays practice round, teed off Thursday around 9:15 a.m. local time (3:15 p.m. ET Wednesday). He missed a five-foot birdie putt on his first hole, the par-4 10th, and then missed a 15-footer at No. 11. He did birdie the par-5 12th, but only after his 15-foot eagle effort slid by the cup.
Putting was Tigers Achilles heel last week at the Mercedes Championships in Hawaii, where he averaged nearly 32 putts per round. He did, however, shoot a final-round 65 at Kapalua to give him some momentum before being whisked away in his private jet.
With an immense following of patrons and security, Woods hit his approach shot on the par-4 13th pin high but again missed the birdie putt. He then three-putted the 17th for a bogey to fall back to even par, only to birdie the par-5 18th.
A benign day turned a bit breezy as Tiger made the turn. A poor chip at the fourth, his 14th, led to his second bogey of the day. He completed his scoring with a birdie at the par-5 seventh.
Upon finishing his round, Woods had a slight work-out session before returning to the practice range.
He spent the better part of the afternoon within three strokes of the lead before a host of players surged past him.
Gardiner started slowly, bogeying the first, but played the back nine in 6-under 30, including four birdies and an eagle at the last.
Gardiner's 7-under 64 was one better than that of fellow Aussie James McLean. Brett Rumford is two off the pace following a 66. Craig Spence, Stephen Scahill, Craig Parry and 2000 New Zealand Open champion Micheal Campbell all shot 4-under 67s.
Thirteen-year-old qualifier Jae An recorded an impressive round of even-par 71.
Greg Turner, who originally said he would boycott the event in protest of the high admission prices that Woods $2 million appearance fee forced, was more frustrated Thursday after being denied entry to Paraparaumu Beach.
Turner was in driving to the course for his 8:45 a.m. tee time, but when he arrived at the gates, he was diverted down the road so that Woods car could be given priority and secure entry.
The two-time New Zealand Open champion was livid with his treatment.
'I've never been madder in my entire life than I was when I arrived,' said Turner, who shot 74. 'Why the whole rest of the world has got to stop...I understand the need for security but for goodness sake, you've got players in an official car just trying to play.
'In 18 years of professional golf I don't think I've ever played in a tournament where the players have been treated worse than this week. I've never been more insulted. Hopefully this is going to be a one-off. It's been appalling.'
The tournaments managing director, David Pool, regretted the incident, but said it was necessary.
'That decision was made by the police for a security reason but I can't do anything about that,' he said. 'Everyone's seen the security presence and understands the reasons for it.'
Full-field scores from the New Zealand Open
Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18
Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.
With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.
Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.
The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.
In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.