Food Poisoning Cant Stop Woods

By Mercer BaggsMarch 23, 2003, 5:00 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Given a five-stroke lead to start the day, about the only thing that would have prevented Tiger Woods from winning his fourth straight Bay Hill Invitational title would have been if he decided to quit.
 
He didn't, even though he might have wanted to.
 
Woods had no problem with the field Sunday, but battled food poisoning, brought on by a bad plate of pasta, throughout his final round.
 
Still, he needed only 68 swings under a constant downpour to become the first player in 73 years to win the same PGA Tour on four consecutive occasions.
 
It was just a tough day, he said, slumped over in his chair during the winners interview. We had rain. I wasnt feeling my best. It just made for a very difficult and long round of golf.
 
So all that being said, Im very, very happy the way I played today and managed my game.
 
Woods finished with a 19-under-par 269 total, five strokes higher than the tournament record, but 11 strokes better than anyone this year. He didn't make a bogey over his final 44 holes, and is now 28-2 when taking a lead into the final round on tour.
 
Brad Faxon (74), Stewart Cink (72), Kenny Perry (71) and Kirk Triplett (70) all tied for second place at 8-under.
 
It tied his third largest margin of victory on the PGA Tour. There were player rumblings all week on how difficult the Champion course at Bay Hill Club & Lodge was playing this year, so it should come as no surprise that the chasm between first and second was so deep.
 
Woods won the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by 15; the 1997 Masters at Augusta National by 12, and the 2000 WGC-NEC Invitational at Firestone by 11.
 
This may have been Tigers easiest Bay Hill victory in marginal terms, but it proved to be his most demanding.
 
Woods said he felt sick about a half an hour after eating the spaghetti his girlfriend Elin Nordegren had prepared Saturday evening at his home. Nordegren was hospitalized overnight Friday when she collapsed due to dehydration brought on by food poisoning.
 
Woods said he thought about going to the emergency room, but, Its so easy to check into a hospital, but getting out is the hard part, he said.
 
He estimated that he vomited 20, 30 times overnight and even slept on the couch because it was the closest rest area to the restroom.
 
The night was long and the day was probably even longer, he said, adding that he had hoped the round would be canceled when he heard thunder in the morning.
 
If I wasnt in contention, I wouldnt have gone, theres no way, Woods said.
 
Woods spent more time resting on his bag than he did practicing prior to the Sunday round. In fact, he constantly had to sit or kneel down in between shots in order to conserve energy and keep from being nauseous.
 
Not that it was completely preventative.
 
Tiger hit his tee shot at the par-4 third and the headed towards the trees where he almost vomited.
 
Nonetheless, he parred the hole and actually gained a shot as Faxon made bogey. Woods then flew a 3-wood 256 yards to within 12 feet of the hole at the par-5 fourth. He made the eagle putt to get to 17-under; nine strokes clear of anyone else.
 
'That 3-wood on the fourth hole was a beautiful shot That kind of iced the cake right away,' said Faxon, who played alongside Woods.
 
'I let him borrow some Imodium (diarrhea medicine) on the 12th hole. It's no fun; you're in the public eye and all you want to do is go lie down.'
 
From there it was simply a matter of not physically collapsing.
 
Woods again doubled over in between the seventh green and eighth tee box. That came on the heels of a birdie where he knocked his tee shot on the par-3 to six feet.
 
Every single tee shot hurt because my abs were obviously sore from last night, he remarked.
 
Woods finished with 10 pars and a birdie over his final 11 holes to claim the $810,000 first-place prize. He now leads the money list with $2,841,000 -- in just four events played this season.
 
Gene Sarazen was the last player to win the same event four times in a row. He won the Miami Open in 1926 and again in 1928-30. The tournament was not contested in 1927. Walter Hagen was the last player to win the same event four consecutive years, doing so in the PGA Championship (1924-27).
 
Woods almost had to wait till Monday before he could sign his name to another page in history.
 
Officials knew once the rain started that it wouldnt stop. Thats why they pushed up tee times to begin at 8:00 AM ET, and went off split tees. But the expectant afternoon showers arrived much earlier, welcoming the players to the course and making the experience -- which lasted almost five and a half hours -- all the more miserable for Woods.
 
'I was surprised we were able to get it in,' Woods said of playing the round under those conditions. 'The only fairway that was unplayable was 16.'
 
'Everybody just wanted to finish the round,' said Faxon, who was told by a rules official that had any player complained play would have been suspended, probably till Monday morning.
 
But the weather proved beneficial as well -- at least to Tiger.
 
I got very lucky it rained today, instead of being hot and humid, Woods said in reference to not getting dehydrated to the point where he couldnt continue.
 
Tiger next heads up I-95 to Ponte Vedra Beach, where he will try for his fourth victory in five events since returning from knee surgery.
 
I think Im going to take the next couple of days off and not really do a whole lot and try and get healthy again, he said. I know the golf course. I know TPC, know how to play it.
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Bay Hill Invitational
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.