Shootout at the OK Doral

By Sports NetworkMarch 5, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Ford Championship at DoralMIAMI -- Phil Mickelson has the lead after his 10th consecutive round in a stroke-play event. But to win the Ford Championship at Doral on Sunday, Mickelson will have to hold off Tiger Woods, as the two will be in the final pairing.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods was all smiles after his 9-under 63.
Mickelson posted a 6-under 66 on Saturday to maintain his two-shot lead at 20-under-par 196. Woods fired a 9-under 63 to trail Mickelson at minus-18.
It will be a battle of the No. 2 player in the world (Woods) and the fourth-ranked player (Mickelson). The two, never the closest of friends, were partners at last year's Ryder Cup (going 0-2) and have duked it out in the final round before.
At the 2000 Tour Championship, Mickelson became the second player ever to beat Woods when Woods had at least a share of the third-round lead. They played together in the final round of the 2003 Buick Invitational, but Woods bested Mickelson by six and went on to victory.
'I'm looking forward to tomorrow,' said Mickelson. 'I know what a great player he is. I've seen it for so many years. It's fun for me to compete head-to-head with him.'
For Woods, a win on Sunday would allow him to overtake Vijay Singh atop the world rankings.
'Phil's playing great golf, beautiful golf,' said Woods. 'I'll have to shoot another low one. I'm going to have to go out there and post a good, solid number.'
Defending champion Craig Parry carded a 5-under 67 and is tied for third place with Zach Johnson (64) and James Driscoll (67). The trio is knotted at 14-under-par 202.
Singh shot a 4-under 68 on Saturday and shares sixth place with Jim Furyk (67) and Jose Maria Olazabal (70) at minus-13.
Those groups will have a lot of work to do on Sunday if they are going to catch Mickelson or Woods.
Mickelson birdied the third, then dropped a shot at four when he missed a 6-footer. The lefthander hit some great iron shots at the next three holes, all resulting in birdies from inside 10 feet. The birdie at seven gave Mickelson a four-shot lead, but Woods closed the gap.
Woods recorded three birdies on the front nine, then hit a 3-wood long of the green at the par-5 10th. He got up and down for birdie, and collected three birdies in a row from the 12th to get within two of Mickelson's lead.
Mickelson played well on the back nine with a tap-in birdie at the 10th. He added another birdie at the 12th to move three ahead, but Woods clawed back thanks to an amazing shot at the reachable, par-4 16th.
Woods' drive at the hole landed flag-high, then rolled 40 feet past the cup. He two-putted for birdie and hit his approach from 151 yards to 4 feet at the 'Blue Monster,' Doral's famous 18th hole.
'No one clapped. We didn't have any clue. I knew I hit it in the direction of the green,' said Woods, referring to his shot at 16.
Mickelson, now with a one-shot lead, missed the green with his tee ball at 16. He pitched 3 feet past the hole and converted the birdie try to extend the advantage to two.
Mickelson struggled with the driver on Saturday to the tune of only four fairways hit. He drove into the rough on the left at 17 and his approach landed in a greenside bunker. Mickelson blasted out to a foot and tapped in for par.
At 18, Mickelson's tee ball sailed right, but he still had a good shot at the green. His second came to rest 15 feet right of the hole, but Mickelson missed the putt. That cost him a three-shot cushion and left him one stroke short of Greg Norman's 1993 54-hole record.
'Fortunately, I was able to shoot 6 under to keep a reasonable pace,' said Mickelson, who has won two of his last three starts on tour. 'I will spend a little more time with the driver. I didn't drive it the way I've been driving it. When I was in the fairway, I felt like I could get at a lot of pins.'
Woods has not recorded a round over par in his 2005 campaign. His swing changes that kicked into effect at the end of 2004 are working and Woods will look to add his second title of the year.
'I found one swing and went with it,' said Woods. 'Everything worked out pretty good.'
Joe Ogilvie (66), Harrison Frazar (68), David Toms (69), Tim Clark (69) and Billy Andrade (72) are tied for ninth place at 12-under-par 204.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Ford Championship at Doral
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    Watch: Tiger birdies 3 of 4, then goes OB

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 18, 2018, 8:30 pm

    Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off in his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.

    Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which he walked in.

    A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.

    A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.

    Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.

    Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at the par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.

    His momentum was slowed by his first bogey of the day at No. 9, the product of an errant drive and its ensuing complications. As a result, Woods made the turn 2 under on his round, 9 under for the week, and still five off the lead, like when he started the day.

    But Woods wouldn't wait long to make up for his mistake, immediately responding with another flagged iron and another birdie at No. 10.

    He continued his assault on Bay Hill's par-5s at the 12th, getting up and down from the sand for a birdie-4 that moved him to 11 under par, just two off the lead.

    And with this roll at 13 giving him his third birdie in four holes, the charge was officially on, with Woods just one back.

    Just when it looked like Woods was primed for a late run at his 80th PGA Tour victory, Woods stepped to the tee at the par-5 16th, where he had missed wide right three days in a row, and sniped his drive out of bounds into a backyard miles left.

    He made 4 on his second ball for a bogey-6 to drop back to 11 under, three behind.

    (More coming...)

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    Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

    By Tiger TrackerMarch 18, 2018, 5:00 pm

    Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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    McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course

    By Ryan LavnerMarch 18, 2018, 1:50 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.

    McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    “I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.

    Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

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    “I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”

    This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.

    A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.

    McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.

    “It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”

    As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.

    “It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”

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    Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders

    By Randy SmithMarch 18, 2018, 2:45 am

    PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.

    She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.

    Her confidence is high.

    “Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”

    Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.

    Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.

    “One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.

    “I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”

    Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.

    “I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”

    That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.