Woods Back in Focus for Field

By Sports NetworkJuly 16, 2005, 4:00 pm
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- It might be too early to engrave Tiger Woods' name in the claret jug for winning the British Open.
Several big name players chased down the No. 1 player in the world on Saturday and his four-shot edge heading into the third round was cut in half.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods opened the door for several others by shooting 1-under 71 on Saturday.
Woods closed his third round in style as he lagged a nearly 90-foot eagle try to tap-in range on the 18th hole. That allowed him to shoot a one-under 71 and finish 54 holes at 12-under-par 204 at the Old Course at St. Andrews.
Two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal, who got into the field because fellow countryman Seve Ballesteros withdrew, carded a four-under 68 on Saturday and is alone in second place at minus-10.
Colin Montgomerie, who played in the last group with Woods on Saturday, ran home a 20-footer for birdie at the last to shoot a two-under 70. He is tied for third with two-time U.S. Open champion, Retief Goosen, who fired a 66 early in the third round. The duo is knotted nine-under-par 207.
Brad Faxon, who came over to local qualifying last week, shot a two-under 70 and is tied for fifth place with Sergio Garcia, who carded a 69 on Saturday, at minus-eight.
Reigning U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell got back into the mix with a four-under 68. Campbell, who held the 54-hole lead when the tournament was at St. Andrews in 1995, is tied for seventh place with Vijay Singh, who posted a one-under 71, at seven-under-par 209.
Woods began the final round with a four-shot lead over Montgomerie and no other players were able to close that gap until Tim Clark birdied his first three. Woods dropped a shot at the second when his three-footer for par lipped out of the hole. That dropped him to 10-under, and thanks to a six-foot birdie putt by Goosen at the 16th, Woods' lead was only one.
Goosen missed a six-foot par save at 17, but made a putt from the same length at the last for birdie to get in at minus-nine.
Woods then two-putted for birdie at the par-five fifth, but a pair of Europeans then cut the gap. He dropped a shot at the sixth when he drove into an unplayable lie near a gorse bush.
Montgomerie drained a six-footer for birdie at the fifth to reach eight-under par. He rolled in back-to-back birdie putts at the ninth and 10th to close the margin to one. Woods, who birdied the seventh, made a nice par at nine when he once again had to take a penalty for finding a gorse bush from the tee.
Olazabal cruised along with a pair of birdies on the front nine. At the 12th, Olazabal holed a 40-foot, left-to-right eagle putt up a slope to also reach 10-under par.
'It was a sweet moment,' said the Spaniard.
Things took a bad turn for the European tandem. At the 11th, Montgomerie came up 40 feet short and right of the pin at the par-three hole. His birdie try came up seven feet short and the Scotsman never touched the hole with his par putt. Woods had almost the exact same birdie putt and went to school on Monty's putt, lagging it to tap-in range.
Olazabal landed in a bunker at 13 and also made bogey. The pair was two behind the 2000 Open Champion, and Woods' length gave him the advantage at the par- four 12th.
His long drive at 12 allowed him to putt his eagle try, a common occurrence on Friday when he putted for eagle on three different par-fours. Woods rolled his 60-footer to nine feet, while Montgomerie had a look from close to 10 feet. Montgomerie's try came up a foot short and Woods poured his in the center to take a three-shot lead.
Olazabal shaved the number down to two with a spectacular birdie at the closing hole.
At the 16th, Woods drove into the rough, then ran through the putting surface with his second. He had a difficult pitch and the ball flew 35 feet past the stick. Woods missed that putt, left himself with almost four feet, but converted the putt for bogey.
Woods now had a one-shot lead and hit his tee ball into the left rough at the Road Hole, No. 17, at St. Andrews. He had an interesting lie in the fescue and tried to bump and run his ball on to the putting surface. It did not work as his ball leaked off the green. Woods' birdie try skidded 10 feet past the hole, leaving him with a tester to keep sole possession of the lead. He sank the putt to save par and the lead, then gave one of his traditional fist pumps.
'That was huge to keep the big mo' going,' admitted Woods. 'I felt like I battled all day and I didn't want to go back over par for the day. It would feel good making par there, then birdieing 18 to finish under par for the day after battling all day.'
At the last, Woods drove the ball left of the putting surface. He saw Montgomerie come up 20 feet short with his eagle putt from roughly the same distance, so Woods wrapped his to within a foot. Woods tapped in for the two- stroke cushion.
'It got hard coming in,' admitted Woods, who won this title by eight in 2000. 'I tried not to drop any coming home. I figured if I shot under par somehow for the day, more than likely, I would have a piece of the lead. To end up with the lead is pretty sweet.'
While the field drew closer, Woods has one statistic that makes him a tremendous favorite come Sunday. He's owned at least a piece of the 54-hole lead in nine majors, and he's won all nine.
'Having the experience to call upon to go out there and play with the lead, it doesn't hurt,' said Woods. 'I've done it before. Hopefully tomorrow I can put a quality round together.'
Olazabal will be in the hunt for his third major title and first British Open. He captured a pair of green jackets, including the 1999 title, which was his first major since missing time with a back injury in the mid-90s.
'I've had three great days on the golf course and I'm really enjoying myself this week,' said Olazabal. 'Obviously it's a bonus to be here because how I got in. I'll try to have as much fun as possible.'
John Daly, who won this title here in 1995, shot a two-under 70 and is tied for ninth place at six-under-par 210. He was joined six shots off the lead by Bart Bryant (71), Tim Clark (70), Darren Clarke (67), Soren Hansen (66), Maarten Lafeber (67), Bernhard Langer (70), Sean O'Hair (70), Kenny Perry (68), Scott Verplank (72) and 1985 champion Sandy Lyle (69).
Phil Mickelson moved up the leaderboard early on Saturday, but posted two bogeys and a double-bogey in the last seven holes. He managed an even-par 72 and is tied for 29th at minus-three.
Ernie Els, the 2002 champion, struggled to a three-over 75 and is part of a group that shares 56th at even-par 216.
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.