The Host with the Most

By Sports NetworkDecember 15, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 Target World Challenge pres. by CountrywideTHOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Tournament-host Tiger Woods carded his second straight round of 4-under 68 Friday to move into the lead after two rounds of the Target World Challenge.
Woods, a two-time winner of this event, stands at 8-under-par 136 after two rounds. First-round leader Henrik Stenson was four clear of Woods during round two, but struggled late en route to a 71. He is one back at minus-7.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is seeking his third win in his own tournament.
Chris DiMarco (68) and U.S. Open winner Geoff Ogilvy (70) are tied for third at 6-under-par 138. Paul Casey shot 2-under 70 and is alone in fifth place at minus-5.
Stenson flew out of the gate with a 4-foot birdie putt on one and a two-putt birdie on two to move to minus-8. Woods parred the first two holes and was four back at 4 under.
Woods cut that deficit by one with a 5-foot birdie putt on the third at Sherwood Country Club. Stenson pushed his lead back to four thanks to a 20-foot birdie putt at eight.
The first big swing of the round came at the ninth. Woods poured in a long birdie putt to move to 6 under, while Stenson stumbled to a bogey dropping his lead to two shots.
Woods moved within one as he drained another long birdie putt at the 10th. Stenson responded with a 12-foot eagle putt on No. 11, but gave those strokes right back as he faltered to a double-bogey at 12.
Woods got up and down for birdie from a greenside bunker at the par-5 13th to move to minus-8, where he joined Stenson in the lead. The one-putt was the sixth straight for Woods.
Stenson could not save par from a bunker on 14, but responded by sinking a 7-foot birdie putt on 15 to regain a share of the lead.
However, Stenson hit his second shot left of the green at the par-5 16th before pitching his third into a greenside bunker. After blasting out of the sand, Stenson two-putted for bogey to dip one back of Woods.
Woods closed with five straight two-putt pars, all of which came from within 30 feet.
'My iron game wasn't very good. I'm still struggling with my speed on the greens,' admitted Woods, who claimed two major titles among his eight wins in 2006. 'I kept blowing them by the hole today. Luckily a couple of them had train wrecks and went in. Otherwise, it was a little bit of a struggle today.'
Woods normally takes advantage of the par-5s, but struggled on them Friday. He only made one birdie on the long holes and saved par on the fifth by chipping in.
'I was 1-for-5 on the par-5s today, so that was not very good,' said Woods, who was the only player in the field to card a bogey-free round on Friday. 'I still have the lead. There is a long way to go, so hopefully I can put it together a little bit (Saturday).'
Ogilvy is tied for third after a 2-under 70 Friday. His round included five birdies and three bogeys.
'If I putted better today, I think I would have had a better score,' Ogilvy admitted. 'I felt like on the back nine especially, I made a crazy putt on 10 that was going pretty fast, but I missed three or four putts that were pretty makeable.'
Jose Maria Olazabal (70) and John Daly (71), both two-time major champions, share sixth place at 4-under-par 140. Padraig Harrington, David Toms and Colin Montgomerie are two strokes further back at minus-2.
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

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    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.