Tim Rosaforte - June 11, 2012

By Morning Drive TeamJune 11, 2012, 12:52 pm

Dustin Johnson won in Memphis in his second start after returning from a back injury and his teacher Butch Harmon was surprised that the win happened this quickly. When you are away with an injury, it takes time to return to the competitive mode and Johnson met some pressure during the final round and showed that he was ready for the test. During his time away, Johnson spent a lot of time working on his fitness and parts of his golf game at home in Jupiter, Florida. Johnson had said that he was eager to return to the PGA TOUR and he proved that was not only eager but also ready to return and win.

San Francisco is a great sports town, people town, and golf town. The Olympic Club is located in Daly City and it is just one of several great courses in that area including Harding Park, Lake Merced Golf Club, and San Francisco Golf Club. The people in San Francisco are passionate and knowledgeable about their golf and unlike 1998 when it was used as a parking lot for the U.S. Open, Harding Park is now a jewel of the area thanks in large part to local people like former USGA President Sandy Tatum.

One of the great stories from Sectional Qualifying was Dennis Miller. Miller is a pro at a public course in Ohio and he advanced out of the Columbus, Ohio qualifier in his 13th attempt to play in the U.S. Open for the first time. The putt that he made on the fourth playoff hole has gone viral which shows that people relate to the story of this man from Youngstown, Ohio. Miller will be taking his wife Denise to San Francisco for the first time and they plan to enjoy this week before returning to  their normal lives in Ohio – Denise as a nurse and Dennis as a pro at Mill Creek Golf Course. The fact that Golf Channel is airing Miller’s News Conference live on Monday is more evidence of how strong this story is.

In his second visit to Monday’s Morning Drive, Rosaforte began by discussing some of the best storylines entering the U.S. Open. Casey Martin has to be at the top of the list because of his disability, the fact that he will be playing in his first U.S. Open since the 1998 U.S. Open at The Olympic Club, and the fact that days before qualifying he had led his Oregon Ducks to the semifinals of Match Play in the NCAA Men’s Championship at Riviera Country Club. Rosaforte said that he has been communicating with Martin recently and he knows that Martin is very busy and very stressed heading into the U.S. Open. It was amazing that Martin finished T23 in 1998 and was just one back of former Stanford teammate Tiger Woods. The USGA has said that are more capable of accommodating Martin this year than they were in 1998.

Mark McCormick, a golf pro from New Jersey with bad knees who was giving qualifying one more shot at the age of 49, earned his spot in the U.S. Open field with Bruce Springsteen’s former drummer as his caddie although his son Ryan, who is on the golf team at St. John’s, did not make it. Mark McCormick will be playing a practice round on Tuesday with his golfing idol Phil Mickelson at The Olympic Club and McCormick said that he has been advised to take a few $100 bills for the round.

Shanshan Feng won the Wegmans LPGA Championship and although she may not be familiar to American audiences, the 22-year-old from China entered the week ranked 10th in the world and she has won numerous times around the world. Feng moved to the United States from China at the age of 15 to compete and she has a strong mastery of the English language. While Feng’s win may be great for women’s golf around the world, her win may not be great for women’s golf in the United States as Asian players have won each of the last five Majors. It is an interesting time for the LPGA Tour as they are trying to market women’s golf both locally in the United States and globally around the world. Shanshan Feng could well be the next Yani Tseng and she is unlikely to become a one hit wonder with this win because she has so much talent.

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TT postscript: Tiger (E) survives difficult day

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 22, 2018, 6:40 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Here are some observations after watching Tiger Woods’ even-par 70 in the first round of the Honda Classic:

• Whew, that was tough. Like, by far the most difficult conditions Woods has faced this year. The wind blew about 20 mph all day, from different directions, and that affected every part of the game, especially putting.

• And though the stats aren’t necessarily pretty – half the fairways hit, just 10 greens – this was BY FAR his best ball-striking round of the new year. He even said so himself. When he walked off the course, he was just four off the lead.

Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

• Woods had only one bad hole Thursday. It came on the par-5 third hole, his 12th of the day. He blew his driver into the right bunker. He had to lay way back, to clear the lip of the bunker. And then he tugged his third shot just barely in the greenside trap. And then his bunker shot didn’t get onto the green. Then he chipped on and missed a 4-footer. A truly ugly double bogey.

• The driver is still a concern – he found the fairway only once in five attempts. But only one of those misses was way off-line. That came on the 12th, when he double-crossed one way left.

• Though the driver is uncooperative, he has showed a lot of improvement with his 3-wood. The four times he used it, he controlled the ball flight beautifully and hit it 300-plus. His 2-iron is making a comeback, too, in a big way.

• After this round, he should have a little wiggle room Friday to make the cut, barring a blowup round. It’s playing tough, and the 36-hole cut should be over par. Tiger needs four rounds of competitive reps. If he plays like this Friday, he’ll get them. 

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 22, 2018, 5:45 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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Pepperell among co-leaders early in Qatar

By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 5:06 pm

DOHA, Qatar – Eddie PepperellGregory Havret, and Aaron Rai made the most of calm early morning conditions at Doha Golf Club to set the pace in the opening round of the Qatar Masters at 7-under-par 65 on Thursday.

Havret went bogey free, Pepperell made one bogey and eight birdies, while fellow English golfer Rai eagled his last hole to add to five birdies.

One shot behind the leaders were four players, including former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari of Italy and former champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain.

Defending champion Jeunghun Wang of South Korea started with a 68, and Race to Dubai leader Shubhankar Sharma of India shot 69 despite a double bogey on the 15th hole.

Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

Pepperell, who is fast gaining a reputation on the European Tour for his irreverent tweets and meaningful blogs, showed his clubs can also do an equal amount of talking after missing cuts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Malaysia.

Pepperell birdied Nos. 10, 11, 14, 16 and 18 with a single blemish on 13 after starting on the back nine. He made three more birdies on his back nine.

He was joined on top of the leaderboard by Havret, who made five birdies in six holes from the sixth, and Rai, who eagled the last.

''I surprised myself, really,'' said Pepperell, who finished third in Portugal and Netherlands last year.

''I've made some changes this week with personnel, so I've been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it.

''I hit some quality tee shots, that's the area I feel that I've been struggling with a bit lately. We had a good time.

''It's definitely a bigger picture for me this week than tomorrow and indeed the weekend. I'm not overly-fussed about my early season form.”

Molinari, a three-time champion on the tour including last year in Morocco, started with eight straight pars, and then made seven birdies in his last 10 holes, including a chip-in for birdie on the last.

''I hit every green apart from the last one. I hit a lot of fairways, I had a lot of chances for birdie,'' said Edoardo, the older brother of Francesco.

''Last week in Oman, I had a decent week, I had a bad first round and then three very good rounds. It's been the case for the last few weeks so my focus this week was to try and get a good start.''

Oliver Fisher of England was the best among the afternoon groups with a 6-under 66, joining Molinari, Quiros and Germany's Marcel Schneider in a tie for fourth.

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Honda Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 22, 2018, 2:15 pm

The PGA Tour heads back east to kick off the Florida Swing at PGA National. Here are the key stats and information for the Honda Classic. Click here for full-field tee times.

How to watch:

Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET

Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET

Purse: $6.6 million ($1,188,000 to the winner)

Course: PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (par-70; 7,140 yards)

Defending champion: Rickie Fowler (-12) won by four, picking off his fourth PGA Tour victory.

Notables in the field:

Tiger Woods

• Making his fourth start at the Honda Classic and his first since withdrawing with back spasms in 2014.

• Shot a Sunday 62 in a T-2 finish in 2012, marking his lowest career final-round score on the PGA Tour.

• Coming off a missed cut at last week's Genesis Open, his 17th in his Tour career.

Rickie Fowler

• The defending champion owns the lowest score to par and has recorded the most birdies and eagles in this event since 2012.

• Fowler's last start was at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he failed to close a 54-hole lead. Fowler is 1-for-6 with 54-hole leads in his Tour career, with his only successful close coming at last year's Honda.

• On Tour this year, Fowler is first in scrambling from the fringe, second in total scrambling and third in strokes gained around the green. 

Rory McIlroy

• It's been feast or famine for McIlroy at the Honda. He won in 2012, withdrew with a toothache in 2013, finished T-2 in 2014 and missed the cut in 2015 and 2016.

• McIlroy ascended to world No. 1 with his victory at PGA National in 2012, becoming the second youngest player at 22 years old to top the OWGR, behind only Woods. McIlroy was later edged by a slightly younger 22-year-old Jordan Spieth.

• Since the beginning of 2010, only Dustin Johnson (15) has more PGA Tour victories than McIlroy (13).