Woods Els in Final Threesome

By Mercer BaggsMarch 21, 2003, 5:00 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Ernie Els knew when he arrived at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge Saturday afternoon that he would no longer have the lead.
 
The advantage on which he slept would vanish like a dream.
 
And well it did.
 
Tiger Woods (65) birdied six of his 11 holes in his delayed second round to take a three-shot lead in the Bay Hill Invitational, at 9-under-par 135, into the third round, which is currently underway.
 
Rain suspended play Friday for nearly five hours, forcing 61 players to return this morning to conclude their second rounds.
 
Els was the clubhouse leader at 5-under, having finished with a 65 last evening. That gave him the luxury of sleeping in, but he knew he still got a raw deal with the draw.
 
We definitely got the better end of the draw, no doubt about that, Woods said. They had to deal with a lot more wind yesterday. We didnt have that much today towards the end; its not really blowing that hard. Plus, the greens are holding.
 
Stewart Cink also had to finish up this morning. He made two birdies and no bogeys over his final nine holes to garner solo second place at 6-under.
 
Cink hopes to be more than a supporting actor in the Tiger and Ernie show. The three of them will tee off at 1:18 PM ET.
 
It will be great for the fans and (the media), Els said Friday. Speaking for myself, I just want to get better.
 
If I get to the level I want to play at, Im going to play a lot with Tiger, because hes on that level.
 
Aaron Baddeley (70) was at 6-under when the siren sounded to call off play last night. He made it to 7-under before finishing at minus-5. Hes tied with Els, Jonathan Kaye (70) and Rod Pampling (67).
 
The cutline fell at 3-over-par 147 ' it was 6-under last week at the Honda Classic. Seventy-nine players made the cut, including Orlando resident Ty Tryon. This is the first cut hes made this year, and just the second in his short professional career.
 
Tiger started the day one back of Els, having made four birdies and two bogeys in the seven holes he completed before play was suspended.
 
He quickly picked up where he left off, getting a 14-footer to circle into the hole for birdie at the par-3 17th, his eighth hole overall. He then birdied 18 after sticking his 177-yard approach shot to three feet.
 
Woods dropped a shot at the par-4 first when he couldnt get up and down from a greenside bunker, but he finished with four birdies over his final six holes.
 
He easily birdied both par-5s on the front, Nos. 4 and 6. He then made a pair of birdie putts from inside 10 feet at 7 and 9.
 
His 10 overall birdies broke the tournament record for most birdies in a single round (Andy Bean; nine in second round, 1981)
 
I got into a really good rhythm ' you never would have known if youd seen me warm up this morning, because I hit it awful, Woods said. Sometimes thats a blessing in disguise. Sometimes you hit it like that and you go out on the golf course and relax and hit it.
 
Relaxing is what Woods said he will do during the break.
 
Ill go home and get some breakfast ' again, for the second time around, Woods said. Im going to kick my feet up for a little bit. Should be ready by this afternoon.
 
Woods lives a few miles from the course in the exclusive Isleworth community. He said his girlfriend, Elin Nodegren, is resting at home after being released this morning from a local hospital after collapsing from dehydration due to food poisoning earlier in the week.
 
Woods is trying to become the first player since Walter Hagen (1924-27 PGA Championship) to win the same PGA Tour event four straight years.
 
He has been simply dominant at this venue, dating back to his 1991 U.S. Junior Amateur title here.
 
Even in my junior days I really liked playing here. A lot of the shots, especially off the tee really suit my eye. I usually hit the ball pretty good around this golf course, said Woods in a vast understatement.
 
And how is he striking the ball this week in comparison to his last three trips here?
 
Very similar.
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Bay Hill Invitational
  • Full coverage of the Bay Hill Invitational
  • Getty Images

    Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

    By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

    One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

    Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

    "I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

    Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

    "I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

    Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

    "Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

    Getty Images

    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


    Masters victory


    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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