Tiger Races to Top of Leaderboard

By Sports NetworkAugust 25, 2006, 4:00 pm
WGC-Bridgestone - 125wAKRON, Ohio -- It took Tiger Woods almost 45 minutes to complete his final hole on Friday after his ball found the roof of the clubhouse, but the defending champion managed to get to the top of the leaderboard after two rounds of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Woods, who fired a 6-under 64 to lead at 9-under-par 131, missed the fairway right at the par-4 ninth, his 18th on Friday. He decided on a 9-iron, then hit that farther right and long.
Davis Love III
Davis Love moved to within a shot of the lead after a 5-under 65 in the second round.
The ball appeared to land on the roof of the clubhouse, which was amazingly not deemed out of bounds, but eventually fell down to the pavement. A cook found the ball and that became important because the ruling was that the ball was interfered with by an 'outstanding agency.'
The grandstands were also a factor as a 'temporary moveable obstruction,' and Woods dropped almost 100 yards from the hole near the clubhouse. He pitched to 30 feet and nearly holed the improbable par putt, but settled for a bogey.
All totaled, the final hole took the group, which included Paul McGinley, who hit it into the gallery, almost 45 minutes to complete the hole.
'At the end of the day, we operated off a temporary moveable obstruction rule,' said Mike Shea, a rules official. 'We knew the facts. It was due to the fact that the ball was picked up by an outside agency, that was one rule and the grandstand. It was all according to the rules of golf.'
For Woods, it was unlike anything he's experienced.
'That was the creme de la creme,' said Woods, who has won this tournament four times. 'I don't know how that ball wasn't out of bounds, first of all. Let's just say I hit a 9-iron a little too far.'
Davis Love III nearly made a birdie at the ninth from behind a tree, but settled for par. He posted a 5-under 65 on Friday and is alone in second place at minus-8.
Jim Furyk aced the par-315th en route to a 5-under 65 in the second round. He is tied for third place with overnight leader Adam Scott, who shot a 71, at 6-under-par 134.
While mostly everyone will talk about the strangeness involving the ninth hole, Woods played an unbelievable round on Friday.
The No. 1 player in the world birdied his first two holes, then made an 8-foot birdie putt at the 12th. Woods collected his fourth birdie in a row at 13 when he cashed in from 9 feet.
'I hit it well starting out,' acknowledged Woods, who has won his last three starts, including the British Open and PGA Championship. 'On top of that, I made some nice putts.'
Woods was one ahead when he made the turn after five consecutive pars. On the second nine, Woods started off the same way he began his second round.
He rolled in a 17-foot birdie putt at the first hole to reach 8-under par for the championship. At the par-5 second, Woods converted a 6-foot birdie putt to get into double figures at 10-under par, which was good for a three-shot lead.
Woods parred three, then sank a 10-footer for birdie at four. He struggled with his driver on some holes, but saved pars. At the seventh, Woods hit a 6-iron to 10 feet, but missed the birdie chance.
Then came the insanity at nine, but also the 36-hole lead.
'I'm happy to shoot a 64 out here on this golf course,' said Woods. 'I'm right there in position going into the weekend.'
Love traded three birdies and two bogeys over his first five holes, which were on the back nine at Firestone. He birdied the long, par-5 16th to make the turn in 33.
The 1997 PGA Champion, who was passed over this week by Tom Lehman for a spot on the United States Ryder Cup team, birdied two, four and five to move to eight-under par.
At the ninth, after a long wait to sort out the Woods mess, Love drove into the left rough, right against a tree. He knocked his second to seven feet, but missed his chance to tie for the lead.
Love now has a date in the final pairing with Woods on Saturday. That's not going to be an easy chore considering how well Woods is playing at the moment.
'I think you have to play very, very well,' said Love. 'He's obviously got a lot of confidence. You have to go out with a lot of confidence and block him out.'
Kevin Stadler (67), Lucas Glover (69) and Ernie Els (67) are knotted in fifth place at 5-under-par 135. Luke Donald shot a 1-under 69 and is alone in eighth place at minus-4.
Stewart Cink, who was named to the American team by Lehman on Monday, carded a 3-under 67 and is tied for ninth place with Robert Gamez, who shot the same number on Friday. The pair is knotted at 3-under-par 137.
Reigning Masters champion Phil Mickelson has struggled all week. He posted his second consecutive 4-over 74 and is part of a group tied for 68th at plus-8.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - WGC - Bridgestone Invitational
  • Full Coverage - WGC - Bridgestone Invitational
  • Getty Images

    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

    Getty Images

    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

    Getty Images

    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

    Getty Images

    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.