Tiger Outlasts Daly in AmEx Playoff

By Sports NetworkOctober 9, 2005, 4:00 pm
SAN FRANCISCO -- In one of the most interesting and highly anticipated playoffs, Tiger Woods came out on top, but it was because of a miscue from John Daly.
 
On the second playoff hole Sunday, No. 16 at Harding Park, Daly missed a 2-foot par save, giving Woods his fourth title at the WGC-American Express Championship.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods reacts to John Daly's par miss in the playoff.
'J.D. played beautifully,' said Woods, who earned his sixth victory of the season. 'You don't want to win tournaments like that. As well as we battled each other out like this, we had a bunch of fun. We should be going on to 17, the both of us.'
 
Woods played in the group ahead of Daly every round this week. The No. 1 player in the world stood and watched when Daly drove the seventh green on Thursday, slapping hands with Daly as they walked by each other.
 
Both parred 18 in regulation on Sunday to set up the playoff between two of golf's longest hitters, and most popular stars. The galleries were loud and ready as the two tied at 10-under-par 270.
 
The first extra hole was 18 and Woods went first and smoked a 346-yard drive into the first cut on the right. Daly hit one 11 yards longer, then watched Woods' approach land close, but spin back on to the fringe. Daly followed with a similar shot that did not stay on the putting surface.
 
Daly putted and left his birdie try a foot from the hole. He tapped in for par and Woods came up 2 feet short with his birdie putt. Woods converted and they headed to 16, a hole Daly drove on Friday, to continue the playoff.
 
Woods was in the left first cut at 16, while Daly's drive came to rest right of the fairway in the trees. Woods hit his second on to the fringe 25 feet short of the flag, while Daly, who had a clear path to the green, stopped his 20 feet right of the hole.
 
Woods played first and came up one roll short with his birdie putt. He tapped in for par and Daly missed his on the left side. Daly had 2 feet for par and the ball lipped out, handing Woods his 46th PGA Tour victory.
 
Woods certainly played well enough to hoist the trophy, but it was Daly who made the crucial error. Otherwise, it was a spectacular week for Daly and his peers acknowledged that.
 
'He drove it so good it was a joke,' said Woods. 'He played solid. He should take a lot of positives from it. John should take a lot out of this week. He played well.'
 
Woods shot a 3-under 67 and Daly, the overnight leader, managed a 1-under 69 on Sunday.
 
Colin Montgomerie will have to wait for his first official PGA Tour victory in the United States. He got nothing going with his putter on Sunday and posted an even-par 70 and shared third place with Sergio Garcia (69) and Henrik Stenson (68). The trio came in at 8-under-par 272.
 
The story on Sunday was Daly and Woods and the reigning Masters and British Open champion joined Daly in the lead at 10 under par with a 5-foot birdie putt at the 12th.
 
Daly missed the green at the 13th, but chipped in for birdie to go one ahead. Woods went from one side of the rough to the other at 14 and made bogey, falling two behind.
 
Woods responded at 16. His approach stopped 3 feet from the hole and he rolled in the putt to get to minus-10 and claw within one. Woods narrowly missed birdie putts at the last two holes, but got some help from Daly.
 
At the 17th, Daly's tee ball landed 30 feet from the hole. He ran his birdie try four feet past and missed the comeback putt, tying him atop the leaderboard with Woods.
 
Daly had a reasonable look at birdie on the 72nd hole, but his putt came up short, setting up the eagerly anticipated match up.
 
Vijay Singh shot a 1-under 69 and tied for sixth place with Graeme McDowell (68), David Howell (67) and David Toms (69). The group came in at 5-under-par 275.
 
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


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    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.