Tiger Shares 54-Hole Lead in Dubai

By Sports NetworkFebruary 4, 2006, 5:00 pm
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Tiger Woods will be looking to make it 2-for-2.
After stealing a playoff win last week at the Buick Invitational -- his first event of 2006 -- Woods will be seeking his 13th international title at the Dubai Desert Classic when he begins the final round on Sunday with a share of the lead.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods has reason to smile as he has put himself in position to win his second straight event.
Woods fired a 5-under 67 in the third round Saturday to reach 16-under-par 200 for the tournament. He birdied the 18th hole to join playing partner and European Tour regular Anders Hansen (69) atop the leaderboard.
The duo have good company: Retief Goosen, also playing in the final threesome Saturday, shot a 2-under 70 and is one shot behind in third place at 15 under; while defending champion and three-time tournament winner Ernie Els is two shots back at minus-14 after a third-round 68.
But Woods will be the elephant in the room during the final round at Emirates Golf Club.
A fiercely strong front-runner who is maybe the best closer in the history of men's golf, Woods will be in the minds of the other challengers on Sunday. But as Hansen knows, the other players have to play their own game.
'He's got his own gallery out there and people are shouting him on, but you've just got to deal with that,' said Hansen. 'I can't do anything about what he (Woods) is going to do tomorrow...Tiger is just class. He's probably going to come in for his interview now and say that he didn't have his A game.'
Not quite. Woods was modest, but he seemed at least a little pleased with his round -- especially since he didn't think he had a chance to be in the lead with a couple of holes left.
'Luckily I made up there, I didn't think I was,' Woods admitted.
'I hit the ball pretty good today,' he said, before adding later, 'You can always do better. It's golf.'
The reigning champion at both the Masters and British Open, Woods began the day at 11-under -- two shots behind co-second round leaders Goosen and Hansen.
Woods started making strides at the par-5 third, where he chipped within 2 feet to set up a birdie. Another birdie at the par-4 sixth -- on a 5-foot putt -- moved him to minus-13.
After dropping a stroke with a bogey at the eighth, Woods was still two shots off the pace around the turn. But he played the back nine bogey-free while Hansen and Goosen both sputtered during stretches.
After three birdies during a five-hole stretch -- at 10, 13 and 14 -- Woods was tied with Hansen for second place. Goosen, who eagled 18 on Friday for his share of the overnight lead, lost his third-round lead with consecutive bogeys at the 15th and 16th holes.
'It was an up and down day, especially on the back nine with three birdies and three bogeys,' said Goosen. 'They were stupid bogeys, to be honest. I feel disappointed right now, but I have another chance tomorrow.'
Goosen's gaffes opened the door for the others, and Hansen reached 16 under first with a birdie at 16. Woods soon caught up by rolling in a short birdie putt at 18 despite taking a drop when he hooked his second shot into the grandstand.
'I've got 18 more holes with a bunch of guys with a chance,' said Woods, who has two top-5 finishes in his last two starts at this event. 'Hopefully tomorrow I can put together a good round and see what happens.'
Miguel Angel Jimenez tied for the day's lowest round with a 6-under 66. He shares fourth place at 14 under with Els and 1997 champion Richard Green, who shot a 69.
Nick Dougherty is alone in seventh place at minus-13 after a 70, while Bradley Dredge (68) and Peter Lawrie (69) are one stroke further back in a tie for eighth.
Colin Montgomerie, the reigning Order of Merit champion and a 1996 winner at this event, was among the 43 players to miss the minus-1 cut line after the second round was finished in the morning.
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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.