Haas in the Saddle at East Lake

By Sports NetworkNovember 5, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Tour Championship by Coca-ColaATLANTA -- Jay Haas fired a 4-under 66 Friday to grab a two-stroke lead through two rounds of the season-ending Tour Championship. Haas completed 36 holes at 7-under-par 133.
 
Stephen Ames matched Haas' 66 to move into second place at 5-under-par 135. Reigning U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen is one stroke further back at minus-4 after a 66 of his own. Goosen is tied in third place with Tiger Woods, whose 6-under 64 was the low round of the day.
 
World No. 1 Vijay Singh stumbled to a 3-over 73. He slipped into 17th place at 2-over-par 142. He carded six bogeys and three birdies during his round.
 
Just nine players are in red figures at East Lake Golf Club at the halfway point. Players have had trouble going low due to breezy conditions over the first two days.
 
Haas entered round two tied for the lead with Jerry Kelly and Darren Clarke. Haas stumbled at the first with a bogey that dropped him out of the lead. The 50-year-old atoned for that error with a birdie at the par-4 third.
 
Haas, the oldest player in tournament history to qualify for this event, jumped to 5 under when he eagled the par-5 ninth.
 
He opened the back side with five straight pars. Haas, who has gone 266 starts without a win, dropped in a birdie at the par-5 15th to move one shot clear of Ames. Haas finished with a 4-foot birdie putt at the last to close two strokes clear of the field.
 
'Well, it was obviously a tougher day with the wind, and at least for me, was much cooler because we played the second group out yesterday and I don't think the wind picked up until later in the day, so I didn't get the full force of it yesterday,' Haas said. 'Today from the start the wind was blowing, the greens were a little quicker I thought, and there were few good scores. I got off to just a terrible start. But from then on, I really played well, hit a lot of good shots.'
 
Ames, who posted eight top-10s in a 10-start stretch at one point this season, was hot early in his round. He rolled in his first birdie at the par-4 third to move to minus-2.
 
The 2004 Western Open winner came right back with a birdie at four. He capped a run of three straight birdies on No. 5 to get to 4 under. Ames tripped to a bogey at the seventh, but erased that error with a birdie at No. 9.
 
Ames, who hails from Trinidad & Tobago, but recently gained Canadian citizenship, stumbled back to minus-3 with a bogey on the par-3 11th. He fought back with birdies at 13 and 15 to secure second place.
 
'I think my first goal today was to get the last tee time so it would be a little warmer when I teed off, seriously. The tee times have moved up two hours, so it was a goal to try to get out later,' Ames said. 'For me it's been a good year. To get into the Tour Championship has been a bonus. I'm thankful that I'm here.'
 
Goosen moved into red figures with a birdie at the fourth. He then picked up back-to-back birdies from the eighth to move to minus-3. The 2001 and 2004 U.S. Open champion kept rolling with a birdie at the 11th.
 
The South African climbed to minus-5 with a birdie at the par-5 15th. Goosen tripped to a bogey at the last to share third place at minus-4.
 
Woods, playing for the first time since the WGC-American Express Championship the first weekend in October, picked up early birdies at the third and fifth to move to even par for the tournament.
 
The World No. 3 carded his third birdie at the par-5 ninth. After four pars in a row, Woods birdied the par-4 14th. He came right back to birdie 15 and made it three straight when he birdied 16.
 
Woods, the 1999 Tour Championship winner, closed with pars at 17 and 18 to conclude the only bogey-free round of the tournament.
 
'I hit the ball a little bit better today,' said Woods. 'Yesterday I made some silly mistakes. I short-sided myself a few times. Today I just tried not to short-side myself, and I didn't do that. I made a couple nice putts out there for birdies to keep the momentum going and also stuffed a couple close.'
 
Kelly shot a 71. He is tied for fifth place with Mike Weir at 2-under-par 138. Weir played his final three holes in 4 over par on Friday.
 
Mark Hensby, Zach Johnson and Rory Sabbatini are the final players in red figures at 1-under-par 139. Clarke stumbled to a 3-over 73 and shares 10th place with Carlos Franco at even-par 140.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - The Tour Championship
  • Full Coverage - The Tour Championship
  • 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.


    Playing with the pros

    Tiger, DJ and Faxon

    Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

    Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

    Rory faces criticism

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


    President at the Presidents Cup


    Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

    Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

    Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


    Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

    Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

    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


    Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

    Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

    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

    Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

    Finances


    Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

    Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

    Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

    Reportedly fake TIME covers


    Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


    Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

    Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

    Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


    Pros comment on the president

    Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

    Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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

    Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

    Getty Images

    Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

    By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

    After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

     There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



    It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

    It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

    “The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

    In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



    Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

    Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

    “You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

    Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



    Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

    If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

    For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

    Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



    Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

    While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

    When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

    Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



    After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

    The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

    That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

    The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

    While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



    Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

    Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

    “We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

    The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?