Tiger Closes on Lead in Round Two

By Sports NetworkFebruary 14, 2003, 5:00 pm
SAN DIEGO -- Brad Faxon shot a 64 Friday and is tied with Marco Dawson atop the leaderboard at 10-under-par 134 at the Buick Invitational. Arron Oberholser, Dennis Paulson, Fred Funk, Jonathan Kaye and Briny Baird are one stroke back at 9-under.
Tiger Woods, who is tied for eighth, is lurking two shots behind the leaders at 8-under 136. Woods played 27 holes on Friday and showed no signs of problems with his surgically repaired left knee.
'You know what -- it really is a good test for the knee,' said Woods. 'And I actually feel better now than I did this morning. It's liable to feel a little tight later when it cools down, but it's warm right now and I feel fine.'
Fog and rain forced the suspension of the first round on Thursday causing the field to return to the course early Friday morning to complete the first round prior to the second starting. Due to the wet conditions, players were able to lift-clean-and-place their golf balls.
Woods finished his first round on the North Course by posting just one birdie in his final nine holes, to complete his first round at 2-under par. The top player in the world started his second round on the back nine of the South Course. He carded birdies at Nos. 11, 14 and 16 to climb to 5-under.
As Woods began his second round, he posted his first bogey in 27 holes at the par-4 fourth. The 1999 Buick Invitational winner responded with a birdie at the next two holes, to climb to minus-6 for the tournament. After a pair of pars, Woods chipped in for eagle at the last to climb into contention.
'I finally hit a good tee shot there (on 18),' said Woods. 'A nice little draw, then I ripped a 3-wood. The pitch shot is something I've been working on, because it's all I could do for a while. I had a pretty good feel for it and I had to get up there and trust it. It came off great.'
Faxon finished his first round with three consecutive birdies from the sixth on the South Course to end round one at minus-2. He remained hot from the outset of his second round.
'It was perfect today' said Faxon. 'I really wasn't doing anything extraordinary. All of a sudden I made birdie on 6, 7, 8 on the South, and got to 2-under-par. Then I eagled the first hole. I was hitting some good iron shots.'
Faxon, a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour, eagled the first hole at the North Course to quickly move to 4-under for the tournament. He followed that up with a birdie at the fifth, before making the turn at 5-under.
The Furman University graduate caught fire on the back nine. He posted consecutive birdies beginning at the 11th to get to minus-7. He would alternate pars and birdies over his final six holes, with his final birdie on No. 18 lifting him into a share of first place.
'Yeah, I would have expected some low scores,' said Faxon. 'I'd say this is a typical day we play Torrey Pines. Obviously, the North course is going to yield lower scores.'
Dawson completed his first round at minus-4 on the South Course. He began round two at the North Course with a birdie at the first. Dawson, who was struggling with back pain most of the day, also birdied the fifth and eighth to climb to 7-under.
Dawson made another birdie around turn at the 10th. He later birdied the final two holes to claim a share of first place.
Dawson is the only player without a bogey so far in the tournament and he credits the turn-around in his putting for that.
'I hit the ball well at the Bob Hope, but putted terrible,' said Dawson. 'Last week I started making a few more putts. I can see some light at the end of the tunnel as far as my putting. This week I started to make some putts and I felt real comfortable on my long putts. I didn't have any three-putts and I don't have any bogeys.'
Woods is tied with Bob Tway, Neal Lancaster and Steven Alker at 8-under par. Phil Mickelson, Carl Pettersson, Dean Wilson, Darren Clarke and Fred Couples are one stroke further back at minus-7.
Defending champion Jose Maria Olazabal finished his first round at 3-under-par 69, but followed that with a 3-over 75 and missed the cut by one stroke at even-par 144.
Related Links
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  • Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey six on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."

    Move over Lydia, a new Ko is coming to LPGA

    By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 5:11 pm

    Another gifted young South Korean will be joining the LPGA ranks next year.

    Jin Young Ko, the Korean LPGA Tour star, informed the American-based LPGA on Sunday night that she will be taking up membership next year. Ko earned the right by winning the LPGA’s KEB Hana Bank Championship as a nonmember in South Korea in October.

    Ko, 22, no relation to Lydia Ko, first burst on to the international spotlight with her run into contention at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry two years ago. She led there through 54 holes, with Inbee Park overtaking her in the final round to win.

    With 10 KLPGA Tour titles, three in each of the last two seasons, Ko has risen to No. 19 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

    Ko told GolfChannel.com Sunday afternoon that she was struggling over the decision, with a Monday deadline looming.

    “It’s a difficult decision to leave home,” Ko said after the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, when she was still undecided. “The travelling far away, on my own, the loneliness, that’s what is difficult.”

    Ko will be the favorite to win the LPGA’s Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award next year. South Koreans have won that award the last three years. Sung Hyun Park won it this year, In Gee Chun last year and Sei Young Kim in 2015. South Korean-born players have won the last four, with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko winning it in 2014. Ko was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand when she was 6.

    Ko released this statement through the LPGA on Wednesday: 

    "It has been my dream since I was young to play on the LPGA Tour and I look forward to testing myself against the best players on a worldwide stage. I know it is going to be tough but making a first win as an LPGA member and winning the Rolex Rookie of the Year award would be two of the biggest goals I would like to achieve next year."