Tiger Woods A Cut Above Part 2

By Mercer BaggsOctober 23, 2003, 4:00 pm
This is the second in a two-part series on Tiger Woods trying to tie Byron Nelsons PGA Tour record for consecutive cuts made. Read Part 1
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. ' Assuming Tiger Woods does this week what he has done 112 straight times before, he will tie Byron Nelsons PGA Tour record of consecutive events played without missing a cut.
This would be No. 113, and No. 114 would be assured as Tigers next scheduled tournament is the Tour Championship, where there is no cut.
Officially, Woods is one away from tying Nelson ' in terms of most consecutive events played without missing a cut. But in terms of consecutive events played in which he has made the cut, he ranks third in tour history.
Woods has actually made 89 consecutive cuts on tour, in events that actually have a cut to be made.
Jack Nicklaus is second at 105 (from the Sahara Open in November of 1970 through the World Series of Golf in September, 1976). His streak included 10 tournaments that didnt have a cut.
And, of course, Nelson is No. 1.
It has been speculated that Ben Hogan may have made 177 consecutive cuts. But the tour cannot confirm this and, therefore, does not recognize it.
For the record, Tiger has already surpassed Nicklaus and is now on a numbers collision course with Nelson. The two paths, separated by nearly six decades, appear destined to meet at a crossroad, and they are as fundamentally different as they are equally impressive.
It's so difficult to compare the three eras, Woods said in reference to his, Nelsons and Nicklaus times. You're going to have bad tournaments, bad weeks where you just don't hit the ball well, and they somehow figured out a way to score and get it done. That's what makes them champions.
Nelsons streak started with the 1941 Bing Crosby Pro-Am and almost never came to an end. He stopped playing a full schedule in 1946, and competed only three times over the next two seasons.
The run officially concluded when he returned to Pebble Beach in 1949 and finished out of the money. In Nelsons day, making the cut meant making money. And making money meant finishing inside the top 20, or thereabouts, in most events.
Where Woods could finish tied for 56th in the 1999 Bay Hill Invitational and keep alive his streak, Nelson had no such opportunity. In fact, during his run Nelson never finished lower than a tie for 17th.
Nelson needed such high finishes, sometimes just to offset travel expenses. He certainly didnt have Tigers luxury to pick and choose tournaments. And he certainly didnt have Tigers good fortune not to need the money.
But, by contrast, Woods streak, while it may include tournaments without cuts and events where he snuck inside the top 70 after two rounds, was fostered against stronger and deeper fields.
Sam Snead and Ben Hogan were serving in the military during much of Nelsons streak.
Woods has also faced greater media scrutiny. And dont forget the fact that hes never missed the cut overseas either.
Whether you view Tigers mark at 89 or 112, it is still far and away greater than anything else any of his peers have been able to produce.
Vijay Singh has been Woods closest modern-day counterpart when it comes to consistency. After finally missing the cut in the 1998 Masters to end his streak at 53, he followed with 18 straight cuts made.
Over the last seven years, he has averaged only two missed cuts per season. This year hes missed but one (Players Championship), which is still one more than Woods.
If you start thinking about it, its hard, said Singh. If youre playing well you dont think about the cut. And Tigers been playing well for a while.
Ernie Els is currently second behind Woods in events played on tour without missing a cut. He is 15-for-15 this season, and hasnt missed a cut in 26 straight tournaments, dating back to 2002.
He once went 28 straight events, from late 1999 to early 2001, without missing a weekend round on the tour. He has made 156 cuts in 182 career events, good for an 85.7-percent success rate.
Jim Furyk is another modern model of consistency. He has cashed a paycheck in over 80 percent of the events he has played on tour, making 23 of 25 cuts this season.
I think what Tiger has done is fantastic considering that hes played against very deep, very big fields, he said. It only takes a bad day, one bad round of 75, 76 to push you out of the cut line, and he just seems to be very consistent and seems to fight through it when hes playing poorly and gets it done.
He doesnt quit, Furyk added. It is important for him to show up and play his best every week, even when hes not playing well.
Singhs career cuts-made percentage on tour is 89.8; Davis Love III 80.9 percent; Phil Mickelson 80.1 percent; Sergio Garcia 77.9 percent; Mike Weir 71.4 percent.
David Duvals career cuts-made percentage was at 80.3 prior to the last two seasons. It is now at 73.4.
Greg Norman made 204 cuts in 221 tour starts, from 1979 to 1995, for a 92.3 percentage. He averaged about one missed cut per season during that stretch.
Jack Nicklaus made 425 cuts in 442 events, from his rookie season of 1962 to 1985, for a 96.1 percentage during that time.
These are all remarkable numbers, but, based solely on percentages, Woods is King Cut.
As a professional, he has played in 143 events and made 141 cuts ' a 98.6 percent success rate. Of course, that includes tournaments like the three World Golf Championship events, the Mercedes Championships and the Tour Championship ' events without a cut.
That makes it a little different, said Bob Burns, the defending champion of this weeks Disney event. I am not taking anything away from him. Obviously he doesnt have any trouble making cuts in the full-field tournaments either.
But even without the credit of those events, he is still good for 113 cuts made out of 115 events with a cut. That decreases his success rate to all of 98.2 percent.
Burns, who has been playing the tour regularly the last five years, has never gone longer than eight straight tournaments without missing a cut. He knows how difficult consistency is to maintain on the PGA Tour, and laughed when asked if he could comprehend someone making 113 consecutive cuts.
I cant, he said. Thats pretty amazing.
Amazing is exactly how Nelson perceives what he and Woods have accomplished. He has said that he holds this particular streak in higher regard than winning 11 consecutive tournaments in 1945.
Woods, too, will speak of pride in the accomplishment, but the true expression is seen on the Fridays of those select events where he didnt have it, but managed to survive to another day.
I dont ever bag it. You have to fight. There are days when you feel terrible and you wish you were in other places, because youre playing so poorly. You have to somehow figure out a way to score, and thats the name of the game, he said.
If you can just get to the weekend, you can still go low and win.
Woods has twice won at Disney, but that doesnt guarantee him a spot in the weekend rotation this time around.
Last year, Chris DiMarco held the 36-hole lead at 17-under par; the cut line fell at 6 under. Woods loathes a shoot-out, and would much rather grind his way into weekend position.
I do not like them. Ive never liked them, never will, he said of low-scoring tournaments. It doesnt really reward good ball striking; its just a putting contest.
But this is home, and his track record in this track meet is quite impressive. And while he never enters an event thinking about just making the cut, it is on his mind this week. He respects the significance of this record, and knows that it will likely be his for even longer than it belonged to Nelson.
All it takes is one bad day, or inclement weather, injury, a WD (withdrawal), and youre out of there, all of a sudden the cut (streak) is over, he said.
Its consistency. You have to be consistent. And thats what Im most proud of.
Email your thoughts to Mercer Baggs at mbaggs@golfchannel.com

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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.