Woods Extends Western Advantage

By Sports NetworkJuly 5, 2003, 4:00 pm
LEMONT, Ill. -- Tiger Woods continued his fine play at Cog Hill with a 7-under 65 in Saturday's third round to open a more than comfortable advantage at the 100th Western Open. Woods moved to 18-under-par 198, a new 54-hole tournament record, and owns a six-shot lead over Chris Kresge and Robert Allenby.
Woods, already a three-time champion this year, is poised to win his third Western Open. With talks of a slump brushed aside after a course record-tying 63 in the opening round, Woods took to the course Saturday with a slim margin but soon found himself in the driver's seat.
'Well, I think I got off to a decent start,' said Woods. 'I hit the ball really well starting out, and on top of that I made everything.'
He dropped his tee shot inside four feet at the par-3 second for an early birdie and made it two in a row with a birdie at the third after his approach landed six feet from the cup.
At the par-5 fifth, Woods muscled his second shot from the rough to three feet and converted the short eagle putt to stand five clear of the field. The top-ranked player in the world kept on rolling with a birdie at the sixth and ran home a 12-foot putt for a birdie at the seventh to reach 17-under.
Woods missed the green at the eighth and could not get up and down to save par. The dropped shot was soon recovered, however, with a 15-foot birdie at the ninth.
'Any time you can come right back with a birdie, it just feels like it automatically erases what you've just done,' said Woods. 'You messed up but then you erase it by making birdie the next hole and then we start again. That's awfully nice when you can do that.'
After going out in 30 on the Dubsdread Course, Woods hit his third shot over a greenside bunker at the par-5 11th and watched as his ball stopped three feet from the hole to set up his sixth birdie of the day.
Woods faltered on the green at the 13th with a three-putt bogey and the 27-year-old struggled again at the par-3 14th after an errant tee shot led to a second straight dropped shot.
Thankfully for Woods, he had the par-5 15th to recover. After his second shot found a greenside bunker, Woods hit out to three feet and tapped in for birdie.
Woods' drive missed the fairway at the 17th but he managed a brilliant second shot that found itself within 10 feet of the cup. He confidently sank the birdie putt to stand 18 holes away from heading to the third major of the season on a high note.
'I've got to go out there and play one shot at a time,' said Woods. 'It's a whole cliche but it's very apropos. You have to do that in order to win championships. I'm just going to take it one step at a time.'
Woods, who is seeking his 38th career victory on the PGA Tour, has won 28 of the 30 events in which he's held at least a share of the lead heading into the final round.
'I've always enjoyed being ahead, and on top of that, if you're ahead and you go out there and shoot the same score, you automatically win,' said Woods. 'If you are ahead and you make a couple mistakes, at least you have that lead and the cushion to right the ship and get it right back and you can still win the tournament.'
Kresge was two shots behind Woods to start the third round and struggled to keep pace with two birdies over his first nine holes. Despite his solid play that featured a chip-in birdie at the 12th, Kresge still found himself well behind the leader.
With Woods' back-to-back bogeys on the back side, Kresge saw himself slowly working his way back into the tournament but the 34-year-old wasn't able to capitalize.
He bogeyed the 14th but countered with a seven-foot birdie at the following hole to pull briefly within five of Woods en route to a round of 69.
'Sometimes it can suck you along with him, and I felt like I needed to keep going if I wanted to stay within earshot of the guy,' said Kresge. 'There's still a lot of golf left. Obviously he's won a lot of tournaments and knows how to dot it, but I'm going to go out and do my own thing and try to make a bunch of birdies and get close.'
Allenby didn't make his move until the inward half after carding nine consecutive pars to start his round. He tallied a birdie at the par-4 10th and reached 11-under with birdies at 12 and 15.
At the par-4 18th, Allenby hit a 7-iron within a foot of the hole for a tap-in birdie.
'I played pretty good,' said the Australian, who titled here in 2000. 'Tee-to- green I played very well, maybe a little scrappy early in the round, but I got it going towards sort of the later part of the front nine, but I couldn't get the putts in.'
Reigning PGA Champion Rich Beem finished seven shots off the pace at 11-under-par 205 after a round of 65. He was followed by Masters winner Mike Weir, Glen Day and defending champion Jerry Kelly at 10-under-par 206.
Phil Mickelson carded a 68 and move to 9-under-par 207. He was joined by Tom Byrum and Robert Damron in a tie for eighth.
Related Links:
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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.