Frustration for No 1 and 2

By Randall MellSeptember 10, 2010, 4:14 am
BMW ChampionshipLEMONT, Ill. –  The game’s biggest stars wandered in and out of the woods all day.

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson struggled to hit fairways on a frustrating afternoon for the No. 1 and No. 2 players in the world at the BMW Championship.

If you like your stars shining, Thursday provided a microcosm of what’s wrong with this PGA Tour season.

The game’s two best players continue to struggle to find their best stuff.

A year ago, Mickelson and Woods gave us the most riveting finish we’ve seen in the short history of the FedEx Cup playoffs. They won the final two FedEx Cup events. In the end, Mickelson took the Tour Championship and Woods the FedEx Cup.

Neither looks close to winning form in the third leg of this year's playoffs.

Every time you looked up at Cog Hill, Woods seemed to be twisting his face in disgust after a wayward shot.

After his promising start in the first two FedEx Cup playoff events, Woods stumbled here. His work with swing coach Sean Foley may be trending upward, but Thursday was a step backwards with his ball striking. He was an escape artist in posting a 2-over-par 73 on a course where he’s won five times. If not for some impressive recovery shots, he would be even farther back on the brink of playoff elimination. 

Tiger Woods
Woods struggled again on Thursday, shooting a 2-over-par 73. (Getty Images).

Woods is nine shots behind front-running Matt Kuchar and tied for 45th. Woods needs to finish this event among the top five to advance to the Tour Championship.

That Woods is highly motivated to advance to the playoff finale is clear in the fact that he knows what he needs to do to get there.

“As of right now, I’m only five shots out of that spot,” Woods said. “That’s not bad. Guys aren’t going to go low at this place because the greens aren’t good enough to go low. Obviously, there are a couple guys that have played well today, but overall the guys just aren’t tearing the place apart.”

Woods hit just five fairways after another warmup with Foley helping him hone a new swing on the range.

“Today, probably a handful of times, I got caught in between the two takeaways of my old swing and my new swing,” Woods said. “And I hit some bad shots. When I get into funky lies, I still have to make the commitment to the new swing.”

Mickelson isn’t in such dire straits entering this event 14th in the FedEx Cup standings, nor does his game look as wayward as Woods, but he appeared every bit as frustrated as Woods trying to make his way around Cog Hill’s narrow, tree-lined fairways.

With a 72, Mickelson’s tied for 34th, eight shots back. He hit just seven fairways but was Houdini-like in some of his escapes, including his approach out of a ditch and onto the fourth green from 140 yards to set up a par.

In Mickelson’s case, the challenge this week is finding his best on a course he clearly does not like.

“The most challenging thing for me is mentally getting up for playing here,” Mickelson said.

Mickelson wasn’t eager to elaborate.

Here’s a piece of the transcript from his post-round scrum:

Q: What’s your take on this golf course?

Mickelson: “It’s interesting.”

Q: Is it harder for you to play well on a course that you don’t have a lot of affection for?

Mickelson: “Yes.”

Mickelson didn’t play a practice round at Cog Hill all week. He practiced at Butler National on Wednesday. His best finish in 11 starts on the course is a tie for 26th in 1996.

“Everybody has to play it,” Mickelson said. “I didn’t play it as effectively as I would have liked, but I got off to a good start and had some opportunities for birdies.”

Mickelson got to 2 under through his first four holes, stumbled with three bogeys, but fought back to even par before missing a 4-footer for par at his closing hole.

“Kind of left a bad taste in my mouth,” Mickelson said.

 Woods knows what he means. He dined on the same disappointment Thursday.

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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.

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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.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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Rory faces criticism

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Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

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Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


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Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

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Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

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Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


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Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

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Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm