Tiger Takes Early Lead in Boston

By Sports NetworkSeptember 2, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Deutsche Bank ChampionshipNORTON, Mass. -- Tiger Woods posted a 6-under-par 65 on Friday to take the first-round lead of the Deutsche Bank Championship at the TPC of Boston.
 
Carlos Franco, Briny Baird, Steve Lowery and Billy Andrade are knotted in second place at 5-under-par 66.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods fired an opening-round 6-under 65 to take a one stroke lead.
This is a rare event on the PGA Tour that starts on Friday and ends on Monday. The stop likes to take advantage of the Labor Day finish with Monday being a national holiday.
 
Unfortunately, one of the biggest draws, the defending champion Vijay Singh, had to withdraw on Tuesday. He contracted back spasms while playing table tennis with his son.
 
But officials have to be happy because of Woods, who is the unofficial tournament host. His charity is the main beneficiary and he has a relationship with Deutsche Bank.
 
Woods, who tied for second last year behind Singh, opened on the back nine Friday and parred his first five holes before collecting his first birdie at the 15th. He hit a sand wedge to 12 feet to set up birdie, then closed his first nine with a two-putt birdie from 40 feet at the par-5 18th.
 
The No. 1 player in the world parred Nos. 1 and 2, but hit a 6-iron 15 feet short of the hole at the par-3 third. He drained the birdie putt and made it two in a row with an 8-footer at the fourth.
 
Woods made a nice par save from 9 feet at the fifth to keep his momentum going. He then hit a driver and pitching wedge at the sixth and kicked in a 3-foot birdie putt.
 
Woods tallied his second birdie in a row at No. 7, a par-5 that measures 600 yards. He reached the front edge of the green and impressively two-putted from close to 90 feet for a birdie. That was enough to put Woods alone in first place.
 
'I played solid today,' said Woods, who lost his No. 1 ranking to Singh at last year's tournament. 'I hit good, quality golf shots all day and I hit a couple loose ones, but more than anything, I was happy with the way I putted today.'
 
Much has changed in the year since Woods lost his top billing in the world rankings. He's won five times this year, including the Masters and British Open, and reclaimed his perch atop the rankings.
 
A direct cause for these successes might be the changes he made to his swing, a move that was criticized by most.
 
'I feel like this is the way should I play every day. That's why I made the changes in my golf swing so I would be consistent day in and day out,' said Woods, who is the only top-10 player on the PGA Tour money list in the field this week. 'So it's not like I go out there and I hit the ball just unbelievable and putt unbelievable to shoot these scores. I'm just playing solid golf.'
 
Franco played with Woods on Friday and mixed eight birdies and three bogeys.
 
Franco is a player who does not practice a lot, and he had Woods laughing because Franco flew over to the Boston area from Paraguay on an 18-hour flight. Franco had not practiced and still managed a 66.
 
'I like to play the golf course because when I go to the range, I hit it, I hit it, I hit it, every shot is the same,' said Franco. 'He said, 'did you practice?' I said, 'yes, I practice fishing.''
 
Baird began on 10 and was 2 under when he reached the 18th. He birdied that hole, then the first three of the second nine and reached 6 under par for the championship.
 
He came up short with a 7-iron at the fifth and his birdie putt missed the hole by 10 feet. Baird's par try did not fall either and he dipped into a tie for second place.
 
Lowery played awesome golf early with four birdies in a five-hole span to start his round. He dropped shots at eight and nine, but made up for the miscues at the end of the opening nine with three birdies on his second side.
 
Andrade recorded three birdies on his round, but the highlight came at the par-4 13th. He had 165 yards to the flag and holed an 8-iron for an eagle.
 
'I haven't holed a shot, I can't remember the last time I did,' admitted Andrade. 'When it left the club, it never left the flag, it was going right at it. It was a beautiful shot.'
 
Dean Wilson, Steve Flesch, Mark Wilson, Scott Gutschewski, Will MacKenzie, Stephen Leaney, Joey Sindelar, Jonathan Byrd and Jeff Brehaut are tied for sixth place at 4-under-par 67.
 
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry