Tiger Stumbles Still Shares Lead at NEC

By Sports NetworkAugust 19, 2005, 4:00 pm
AKRON, Ohio -- Despite a double-bogey on his final hole Friday, Tiger Woods managed an even-par 70 and is tied for the second-round lead with Luke Donald at the World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational. Donald posted a 3-under 67 and is knotted with Woods at 4-under-par 136 at Firestone Country Club.
 
Luke Donald
Luke Donald's 3-under 67 was good enough to forge a tie with Tiger Woods for the lead heading into the weekend.
Vijay Singh and Henrik Stenson shared the opening-round lead with Woods and both carded rounds of 1-over 71 on Friday. They are tied for third with Thomas Bjorn (67), Paul McGinley (66) and Chris DiMarco (70) at minus-3.
 
Phil Mickelson, who earned his second major victory on Monday at the PGA Championship, bogeyed two of his last five holes in the second round, en route to a 2-over 72. He is tied for 20th place at plus-1.
 
Woods recorded his first birdie at the par-3 fifth when his 15-footer fell into the bottom of the cup. He added a 12-foot birdie putt at the 10th to reach 6 under par for the championship.
 
The No. 1 player in the world found trouble off the tee at the par-4 14th, and he was forced to lay up short of the green. Woods knocked his third to 20 feet, but missed the par putt to fall to minus-5.
 
Woods reclaimed the lost stroke at 15 after his 5-iron tee ball stopped 12 feet short of the hole. He stood at 6 under par again, but landed in the tall grass at 18.
 
His drive came to rest in the trees on the right and Woods attempted a low shot under a branch. His ball nailed the tree and kicked farther right. He got a drop because of a scoreboard obstruction, then knocked a 7-iron over the green with his third.
 
Woods' chip came up 25 feet short and he missed the bogey putt. He tapped in the putt for double bogey and fell back into a tie for the lead with Donald, who was in the clubhouse.
 
'It was an easy second shot and I had all the room in the world to put it up there,' said Woods, the reigning Masters and British Open winner. 'I hit it straight left and hit the tree. I thought I played well all day, just until the last hole.'
 
As for Donald, the Englishman began his second round on the back nine and found trouble early. He drove into the rough at the 11th and could not save par, but that would be the last miscue for the European Ryder Cupper.
 
He hit a 9-iron to 25 feet to set up birdie at the 13th, then played a 6-iron to 6-feet at the 14th to record back-to-back birdies. Donald polished off three birdies in a row at the par-3 15th when he knocked a 5-iron to six feet.
 
Donald parred his next four holes around the turn. At the par-5 second, he reached the fringe with his 3-wood second shot, then chipped to 5 feet where he drained the birdie putt.
 
With Woods' mistake at the 18th, and Donald's solid play on the remainder of his round, Donald finds himself tied for the lead.
 
Donald has one WGC title, he split the World Cup with fellow countryman Paul Casey last year, but the 16th-ranked player in the world might be ready for an individual win.
 
'I'm trying to treat this as a fun week, there's no cut so you're guaranteed to finish somewhere,' joked Donald. 'It's obviously a high-class field and I want to do well.
 
'I enjoy playing with Tiger. I think the kind of atmosphere and the energy he brings with him, with the crowd and stuff, I thrive on that. Hopefully, the weather will stay good.'
 
There are forecasts for thunderstorms Saturday afternoon so tournament officials pushed up tee times. The players are going in threesomes off both the first and 10th tees and the last group is slated to tee off at 9:20 a.m. (ET).
 
Justin Leonard, who was named as one of Jack Nicklaus' captain's picks for the American Presidents Cup team on Monday, posted a 4-under 66 on Friday. He is tied for eighth place at 2-under-par 138 with Stuart Appleby (70), David Howell (68) and David Toms (67) and Sergio Garcia (70).
 
Defending champion Stewart Cink will have a lot of ground to make up he is to repeat. He shot a 2-over 72 in the second round and is tied for 32nd at plus-4.
 
Related links:
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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


    Masters victory


    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
    Getty Images

    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.