Up-and-down day means no bogeys for Woods

By Randall MellSeptember 7, 2012, 10:05 pm

CARMEL, Ind. – Big drives and birdies, they’re sexy in golf.

They’re the showstoppers, the highlight-reel hogs.

Tiger Woods has won his 74 PGA Tour events with a lot of big drives and birdies, but he might not have won any of them without a magical short game.

At his best, Woods could get up and down from just about anywhere on the planet. At his best, he looked like he could even get up and down from hell, or at least hellish lies.

In Friday’s second round of the BMW Championship, Woods conjured some of that old magic, some sleight of hand that would have made The Great Blackstone envious.

With a scrappy 5-under-par 67, Woods showed Rory McIlroy how to make pars when your ball’s disappeared, or at least can’t be seen in rough as leafy as cabbage.

Woods gave the “kid” a clinic on scrambling.

McIlroy and Woods put a jolt into this FedEx Cup playoff weekend, keeping their names near the top of the leaderboard in the second round at Crooked Stick, but they battled there together in different ways

At 12-under 132, they’re tied for second with Ryan Moore, a shot behind Vijay Singh.

McIlroy shot 68 Friday. He did it with some spectacular shots, with some terrific highlight-reel action. He made six birdies and an eagle, but he also made four bogeys.

Woods less spectacularly posted the better score with fewer birdies and no eagles. Woods did it with a bogey-free round.

Given some of Woods’ misses Friday, that was impressive.

“I fought hard,” Woods said. “I didn’t have much today.”

McIlroy made the more spectacular full shots, but Woods made fewer mistakes, or at least he cleaned up his mistakes better.

“I’ve been able to grind,” Woods said. “Just kind of fighting it around here.”

Woods missed five greens Friday but never failed to get up and down. He saved par every time.

McIlroy failed to get up and down three times after missing greens. The two times he did save par after missing greens, he rescued himself from sloppy chips with his putter. He holed 15-foot and 17-foot putts to make those saves.

“I didn’t play as well as I did yesterday but was able to get it around,” McIlroy said. “It seemed like every time I missed the green, I missed it in the wrong spot and left myself difficult chips. But I took advantage of the opportunities that I did give myself.

“I just think I’m putting so well that any time I do get a look on the green for birdie, I’m sort of making those.”

McIlroy and Woods are putting a giant buzz in these playoffs.

Last week, McIlroy won the Deutsche Bank Championship, holding off Woods in hot pursuit of him in the final round.

They opened this week in the same Thursday-Friday pairings by virtue of both being among the top three in FedEx Cup points. McIlroy’s first, Woods is third. They would have been paired for a third consecutive time Saturday if the pairings had been made in twosomes, as originally planned. Instead, with bad weather expected Saturday, tee times were moved up with threesomes going off the first and 10th tees beginning at 11 a.m. ET.

McIlroy will go off in the final threesome with Singh and Ryan Moore at 1:01 p.m.

Woods will go off in the second-to-last grouping with Lee Westwood and Bo Van Pelt at 12:50 p.m.

Asked how his confidence is with a chance to win his third elite event in a month, McIlroy beamed.

“I’ve always felt that confidence was a big part of my game,” he said. “When I’m high on confidence, I play well. When I don’t have much, I don’t play so well. So having a stretch like this, where I’m high on confidence really helps. This is probably the most confident I’ve been in a long time.”

McIlroy got off to a hot start Friday, making birdies at the first and second holes. He stuffed a wedge to 2 feet at the second. At the sixth tee, he hit a 7-iron from 200 yards to 3 feet and made birdie. At the ninth, he drilled a 6-iron from 216 yards to 5 feet and made eagle.

McIlroy made bogeys failing to get up and down after missing greens at the seventh, 14th and 16th holes. He made bogey at the fourth with a three putt.

“I’ve put myself in great position going into the weekend,” McIlroy said. “I just need to try to find a little more consistency. It wasn’t bad out there, just a couple missed tee shots and a couple missed iron shots.”

Woods’ driver wasn’t as sharp as it has been in his last three starts, but he is clearly driving the ball with confidence. The return of his short game bodes well for this stretch run of big events through September. His putting looked good again Friday, too.

“I made my share of nice par putts,” Woods said. “That’s what keeps rounds going, and it can turn the tide and get momentum going in the right direction, even though you’re struggling.”

Woods and McIlroy are both riding some strong momentum into the weekend.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.