Strange Scottish Screenplay - COPIED

By Rex HoggardJuly 17, 2009, 4:00 pm
135th Open Championship TURNBERRY, Scotland ' Scottish gems age well ' malt whiskey, ancient links, Old Tom, that would be Watson, an adopted Scot by way of Kansas City via his five names on the Claret Jug, not Morris.
 
Others ' like Tiger Woods bunting ballgame, the same one he used to roll over Hoylake in 2006 ' are best deemed works in progress. Either way, all four had big days on the Firth of Clyde.
 
Turnberrys Alisa Course was at its bouncy best, the whisky flowed freely in the restored resort and Watson, looking more like the toothy version who made history here in 1977 than a 59-year-old making a ceremonial turn on familiar ground, shot his age, or so it seemed.
 
As for Woods, his mastery of Hoylake seemed like a distant memory on Thursday. The cleek Woods used at Royal Liverpool was short and sideways at Turnberry, less a tactical flaw than a matter of execution, and he struggled to a 1-over 71 card that is six strokes adrift of a charging Watson not named Bubba.
 
The course is defenseless, Watson reasoned, who trails Miguel Angel Jimenez by one shot after an opening 65.
 
Scriptwriters could not conjure up such outlandish storylines. An aging warhorse 32 years removed from his memorable Duel in the Sun with Nicklaus at Turnberry in the hunt, a world No. 1 who struggled to find fairways and beaten in his own three-ball by a 17-year-old playing his first Open Championship. That screenplay doesnt sell, too X Files for mainstream.
 
But there it was, in yellow and black adjacent the 18th green as Woods finished up an untidy round: Watson 65, Woods 71, Ryo Ishikawa 68.
 
(Watson) knows how to play the golf course, said Woods, a rare smile inching across his face. Look at all the guys out there playing well, they know how to play the course.
 
So does Woods, if only his golf ball would cooperate.
 
For the most part Woods played under Turnberrys trouble, and behind his playing companions, in an attempt to add his second bunting title to the masterpiece he crafted three years ago at Royal Liverpool. Or maybe he just wanted to see what life is like from Corey Pavins tee shots, either way Woods Day 1 experiment rates an incomplete at best.
 
Woods drove down the right and struggled ' a common problem for Americans on Scotlands byways and fairways.
 
Although he hit driver or 3-wood five times on Thursday, he connected with just eight fairways and, even worse, 12 greens in regulation. Still, he was 1 under through 14 holes before gunning his third shot 12 feet by the hole at No. 15. At the 16th he was burned by the burn in front of the green when his 5-iron approach bounded into the creek. And the reachable par-5 17th was a microcosm of his entire day: a drive into the gallery right, a second shot into the hay right of the fairway and a scrambling par.
 
Sort of made a few mistakes out there and probably should have been 1 or 2 under, said Woods before heading to the practice range. Maybe tomorrow I can clean it up.
 
Maybe he should watch some of that grainy footage of Watson from the 77 Open, or, if unavailable, highlights from the seniors opening round on Thursday, when he proved for all the ages ballstriking is not age discriminate.
 
Watsons opening cards at Turnberry now read 68-77-68-65, a 278 total that would have won three of the last seven Open Championships. And that doesnt count his first-round 64 on the Ailsa Course during the 2003 British Senior Open.
 
It was old timers day at Turnberry and Watson was not the only player having a senior moment. Two behind were former champions Mark OMeara (52) and Mark Calcavecchia (49). Thats a combined 160 years and 77 Open starts in the top 15.
 
Its the kind of golf course where you try and play into position all the time and sometimes those positions arent 320 yards down the fairway, said Lee Westwood, who played with Woods. Toms obviously a classy player and hes quite capable of hitting it 280, 290 off the tee.
 
Perhaps, but then someone forgot to explain links rules to Japanese phenom Ryo Ishikawa.
 
The teen was 3 years old the last time the Open was played at Turnberry and, playing with Woods, eschewed the tactical status quo, muscling driver all over the lot and charging putts at the hole like a Young Tom Watson.
 
His course management is reflective of him being 17 years old, Westwood observed. He hit a lot of drivers, when Tiger hit 2-irons into position. Over time hell learn that.
 
It all added up to a 2-under 68, three shots better than his idol Woods, which created a buzz in betting circles considering an Ishikawa low-ball bet against Woods would have paid handsomely.
 
Luckily for Woods the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, unlike Ladbrokes, likes to go the whole 72 before they hand out checks. Roger Federer may be the world No. 1s texting pal and Grand Slam equal, but Woods approach to major championships is cut more from the Lance Armstrong mold ' keep pace with the leaders through three days and blow them away during Sundays run through the mountains.
 
Its a truth that makes Thursdays 71 less concerning, if not newsworthy. It wont be easy. Woods has still never won a major after trailing through three rounds and the distance between he and the lead will only get wider if the forecast holds.
 
But then Woods, much like Scottish gems, has a tendency of getting better with age.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - The 138th Open Championship
  • 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.

    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.