A Perfect 10
Tiger Comments on his win at the Johnnie Walker Classic.
Woods fired his third consecutive round of 7-under-par 65 to better Australian Geoff Ogilvy by three strokes at 25-under. Ogilvy shot the low round of the day on Sunday, an 8-under-par 64, to finish runner-up for the second straight year.
'I've never started the weekend being two shots behind, shot a 67 and then a 64 and lost by three,' said Ogilvy. 'It's ridiculous, and that was as good as I could have played. All credit to him, he's the best, he's the king.'
Tiger's winning score of 263 was a tournament record by five shots. His 25-under tally was also his lowest score in relation to par in a four-round event, but not his lowest aggregate; Tiger shot a 21-under 259 at the par-70 Firestone Country Club in this year's NEC Invitational.
This is Woods' third career victory in Thailand in three starts. Tiger won this event two years ago and claimed the 1997 Asian Honda Classic, which was also held in Bangkok.
'It's special anytime I can come back to my mom's country and win,' said Woods, who earned $190,797 for his win. 'I had a lot of family and friends out there.
'Thailand has been good to me. I made my first cut in a professional event when I played in the 1994 Johnnie Walker Classic as an amateur.'
This is the fourth straight week in which Tiger has played in the final or next-to-last group on Sunday. He failed to win on any of his previous occasions - all of which he was defending on the PGA Tour. However, this time, taking a three-shot lead into the final round, he came through.
'I've been trying to get to (10 wins) for a while and just wasn't able to do that. I've come close, but the key to winning is giving yourself chances.'
Sunday's final threesome included Woods, defending champion Michael Campbell and Rodney Pampling. Campbell made an early run at Tiger, cutting his deficit to two strokes through seven holes. But the Kiwi's challenge dissipated at the ninth. Campbell missed the green and bogeyed, while Tiger carded a birdie 3.
Campbell shot 69 to finish in solo third place, while Pampling posted a 1-under-par 71 to tie Paul Lawrie for fourth place at 16-under, nine shots back of Woods.
'It was pretty good defense overall,' said Campbell, who set the course record on Saturday with a 9-under-par 63. 'Obviously, Tiger played great today with a 65. I had a chance there for a while, but unfortunately my second shot on the ninth hole came up short in the long stuff and I made bogey.
'Tiger was playing well, and I was playing great. I just figured he'd shoot better than 68 because all the par-5s are reachable in two, so 68 or 67 is easy for him. I targeted around 63 or 64 to have a chance of winning, but it obviously wasn't good enough anyway.'
The 2001 Johnnie Walker Classic was a tri-sanctioned event. It was the 18th tournament on this year's Asian PGA Tour schedule and the first event of the 2000/01 season on the European and Australasian Tours.
Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational
Tiger Woods teed off at 12:15PM ET alongside Justin Rose for Round 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We're tracking him at Bay Hill.
Tweets by GCTigerTracker
Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play
ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.
Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.
As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.
Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.
This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.
The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.
Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain
PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.
She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.
“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.
Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.
Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.
“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”
She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.
“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”
Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.
“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.
She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.
“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”
Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.
While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.
“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”
Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead
PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.
In fact, she named her “Mona.”
For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.
While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.
And that has her excited about this year.
Well, that and having a healthy back again.
“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”
Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.
“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”
Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.
She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”
Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.