Host with the Most Tiger Wins Target

By Sports NetworkDecember 12, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Target World ChallengeTHOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Tiger Woods posted a final-round, 5-under 66 Sunday to win his own event, the Target World Challenge. Woods fended off several challenges in the final round and ended at 16-under-par 268.
Padraig Harrington, who won here in 2002, bogeyed 16 and 18 to finish two shots back at 14-under-par 270.
Colin Montgomerie (71), who had least a share of the lead after each of the first threes rounds, and Jay Haas (69) shared third place at minus-13. Miguel Angel Jimenez took fifth place at 11-under-par 273 after final-round 70.
With the win, Woods joined Davis Love III (2000 and 2003) as the only two-time winners of this event. Woods also owns three runner-up finishes in the six years of the tournament.
Woods, as he normally does here, donated his first-place check of $1,250,000 to the Tiger Woods Foundation, which is run by his father and hosted this event.
'It is pretty cool,' said Woods of having his father following his play. 'Obviously to have my dad around, as focused and driven as he is with the foundation, it's exciting. And to have him out there makes it even more special. I think it was two days ago, it's the first time I've seen him on the golf course following my play in a lot of years.'
Woods wasted no time in erasing the two-stroke deficit he was in to start the round. He drained a birdie at the first and came right back with an up-and-down birdie on No. 2 to take the lead as Montgomerie bogeyed the first.
Montgomerie tied Woods in the lead with a birdie at the third. That proved to be the Scotsman's last piece of the lead as he bogeyed the next to drop back to 12 under.
Woods two-putted for birdie at the par-5 fifth to move to 14 under. Harrington birdied the sixth to closed within one shot, while Monty tried to remain close with a chip-in birdie also on No. 6 at Sherwood Country Club.
Harrington kept charging and joined Woods in the lead as he birdied the eighth from 9 feet out. Woods parred the final four holes of the front side to make the turn tied at minus-14 with Harrington.
'I felt like I needed to shoot 3 or 4 under par on that front side,' said Woods, who shot 3-under 33 on the front nine. 'I figured the guys were going to go low. I figured Monty or Jay behind us was going to put something up on the front side. I didn't think Harrington was going to shoot 5 under par on the front nine. So I had to keep pace.'
Woods nearly holed his second shot to the par-4 10th from 59 yards away. His ball danced around the right edge and came to rest within a foot of the cup and he kicked in the birdie to move to 15 under.
Harrington, playing one group ahead of Woods, two-putted for birdie at the par-5 13th to tie for the lead. Woods, however, also two-putted for birdie to retake a one-shot lead.
Both players parred 14 and 15, before the big turning point at 16. Harrington lost his second shot to the par-5 16th well right of the green. It came to rest in a hazard.
The Irishman played it from there, but blasted it over the green and into a bush. Harrington then hit his fourth shot from the bush left handed. He managed to get his ball out of the bush before getting up and down for bogey to slip to minus-14, two strokes behind Woods.
Woods also struggled on the 16th, but it was not all his fault. He left his second shot short and under a tree. Woods pitched his third short of the green. As Woods hit his pitch shot, his fourth stroke, a fan yelled disrupting Woods' swing.
Woods regained his composure and rolled in the 6-foot, par-saving putt. Harrington moved back within one shot of Woods with a 4-foot birdie putt at 17. Woods two-putted for par on the par-3.
Harrington pulled his drive left off the 18th tee. With a tough lie, he decided to lay up. Harrington's strategy back-fired when his third shot missed the green right. He did get up and down for bogey to close at minus-14.
'I had 5-wood in to 16, like I did in 2002,' Harrington said. 'Two years ago I hit it right in the middle of the green when I wasn't feeling too good. This year, I hit it right when I was feeling great. These things happen in golf. Sometimes they come off, sometimes they don't.'
Woods hit the fairway at the last before dropping his second shot 18 feet from the cup. He calmly two-putted for par and the two-stroke win.
'I feel very comfortable with my swing,' said Woods, who went through a swing change this past season. 'It was exciting coming down the stretch there and holding up. Every shot I wanted to hit, I hit. I just didn't make any putts today.'
Jim Furyk, who played with Woods, closed with a 3-over 74 to take sixth place at 8-under-par 276. Stewart Cink was one stroke further back at minus-6 after a closing 70.
World No. 1 Vijay Singh rallied with a 3-under 68 Sunday to tie Fred Couples for eighth place at 5-under-par 279. Chad Campbell ended at minus-4 after struggling to a final-round 73.
Chris DiMarco (3-under-par 281), John Daly (minus-2) and 2003 champion Davis Love III (minus-2) were the final players in red figures in the 16-player field.
Kenny Perry took 14th place at even-par 284 after closing with his second straight 69. Stephen Ames (72) and British Open champion Todd Hamilton (73) finished in last place at 5-over-par 289.
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.