Good to Be Alone Again

By Sports NetworkSeptember 28, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 WGC American Express ChampionshipCHANDLER'S CROSS, England -- Tiger Woods rebounded from a tough week at the Ryder Cup with a solid opening round Thursday at the World Golf Championships - American Express Championship.
 
Woods, who has won his last five PGA TOUR starts, but lost two weeks ago in the European Tour's HSBC World Match Play Championship, drained a 20-foot eagle putt on the 18th to shoot 8-under-par 63 and lead by one stroke.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods had seven birdies, one eagle and one bogey Thursday.
Five of the six players within three strokes of Woods have either Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup experience. Irishman Padraig Harrington, who helped lead the Europeans to victory at the Ryder Cup, shares second place with former European Ryder Cupper Ian Poulter at minus-7.
 
Stewart Cink and South African Ernie Els are tied for fourth place at 6-under-par 65. One stroke behind that duo is Jyoti Randhawa and Englishman David Howell, who trails Paul Casey on the European Tour's Order of Merit.
 
Woods wasted no time in climbing the leaderboard. After a birdie on the par-5 second, he drained a 24-footer for birdie at the third. He stuck his approach shot 3 feet from the hole at the fifth and kicked in the birdie effort.
 
Heading to the seventh tee, Woods was two behind Harrington and Howell. That quickly changed.
 
Woods chipped in from just off the green at the par-3 seventh, then sank an 11-footer for birdie on eight. He made it three straight when he tapped in a 4-footer for birdie on nine.
 
Making the turn at 6 under par with a one-stroke lead, Woods cooled with five straight pars at The Grove. As he parred those five, Woods was joined in the lead by Harrington and Cink.
 
Woods, the defending champion, responded with an up-and-down birdie on the par-5 15th to again take the lead by himself. However, Woods knocked his second shot over the green at the 17th and was unable to save par from 45 feet. He went to the 18th one shot behind Harrington.
 
'That bogey wasn't very good with a wedge in my hand,' admitted Woods of his approach on 17.
 
The 30-year-old Woods found the fairway off the tee at the last. From just under 270 yards out, he hit a 3-wood to 20 feet. Woods calmly ran that putt in to take the overnight lead.
 
'I hit two good shots on 18 and I gave myself a chance at a three and somehow it found the bottom,' said Woods of his putt on 18. 'That was about as far as my 3-wood was going, especially into the wind. I absolutely tattooed that one, which was nice.'
 
The field better be on top of their collective games the rest of week as Woods has won 11-of-21 World Golf Championships he has played in.
 
Harrington, playing three groups ahead of Woods, got off to an equally solid start. He birdied three of the first four holes, then converted a 9-foot birdie putt on the fifth to move atop the leaderboard at minus-4.
 
The Irishman parred six and was tied for the lead with Cink and Howell. Harrington responded with a 7-foot birdie putt on seven to retake the top spot.
 
Harrington parred seven consecutive holes from the eighth. He two-putted for birdie on the par-5 15th, then sank a 16-footer for birdie on 18 to end at minus-7.
 
'I birdied four of the first five, the first two were pretty easy. Then I holed that long one, about 40 feet, at the fourth, so making birdie on that tough par-3 was a bonus,' admitted Harrington. 'After making a 9-footer on the fifth, all of a sudden I'm thinking I can shoot 59. The beauty of this golf course is that you feel you can hole a putt from anywhere.'
 
Poulter started on the back nine and picked up a birdie on the 10th. After giving that stroke back with a bogey on No. 12, he converted birdies on 13 and 14. Poulter dropped another stroke on the 15th, however.
 
The Englishman made the turn at 2 under thanks to a birdie putt on the 17th. Poulter poured in back-to-back birdies from the first, then got to minus-5 with a birdie on five. Poulter birdied the seventh, then sank an 18-footer for birdie at the last to share second.
 
Ryder Cuppers Chad Campbell, Jim Furyk and Robert Karlsson each opened with rounds of 4-under-par 67. They share eighth place with Adam Scott, Simon Dyson and Nick O'Hern.
 
Darren Clarke and Luke Donald, who combined to go 6-0 for the European Ryder Cup team last week, are one stroke further back at minus-3. They stand alongside Henrik Stenson, Tim Clark and Trevor Immelman.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - WGC - American Express Championship
  • Full Coverage - WGC - American Express Championship
  • Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee: