Woods Mickelson Return at Jacks Event

By Sports NetworkMay 28, 2007, 4:00 pm
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Jack Nicklaus' tournament always draws one of the best fields of the season. This year, it's getting back the world's best player.
 
Tiger Woods skipped the Memorial last year in the wake of his father's death, but will return to play this year -- his first start in three weeks.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is winless at the Memorial since 2001. (WireImages)
'Jack always does a wonderful job hosting the tournament and it's a great course,' Woods said on his Web site. 'Unfortunately, I couldn't play last year and I'm looking forward to returning.'
 
Woods, who hasn't played since he tied for 37th place at THE PLAYERS Championship, has won three of his seven PGA TOUR starts this season.
 
He is the all-time money leader in the tournament's 30-year history with more than $2.67 million in earnings, boosted by his three consecutive wins from 1999-2001.
 
Including the top-ranked Woods, 15 of the top 20 players in the world will be at Muirfield. One of the players missing from the field is new No. 14 Rory Sabbatini, who beat Jim Furyk and Bernhard Langer at Colonial on Sunday.
 
Last year, Carl Pettersson closed with a 1-under 71 -- his first round in the 70s all week -- to beat Zach Johnson and Brett Wetterich for his second PGA TOUR title.
 
The win qualified Pettersson for last year's U.S. and British Opens.
 
For the second year in a row Nicklaus won't be appearing in his own tournament, but to see the rest of the players check out the GOLF CHANNEL on Thursday and Friday and CBS on the weekend.
 
Next week is the St. Jude Classic, the last event before the U.S. Open at Oakmont. Jeff Maggert won last year's St. Jude.
 
Here are this week's favorites at Muirfield Village:
 
Tiger Woods
Amazingly, its been six years since Tiger last won the Memorial. His 2001 victory was his third in a row at Muirfield and, like at a few other venues, it appeared that he might never lose again at this particular site. But while Woods hasnt won here since 01, its not as if hes been stinking up the joint. Over his last three Memorial starts, Woods has finished no worse than tied for fourth. He didnt play here last year while mourning the loss of his father, Earl. Woods has played in six stroke-play events this year, but hes won every other start. He tied for 37th in his last appearance at THE PLAYERS, which means he may be due for another triumph this week.
 
Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson tied for fourth in last year's Memorial. (WireImage)
Phil Mickelson
You should hear plenty this week about the Tiger-Phil rivalry being renewed. With the U.S. Open just two weeks away, this would be a wonderful prelude to a 1 vs. 2 showdown. Mickelson used to always skip this tournament, doing so from 2003-05. But he returned in 06 and tied for fourth. Of course, he won his last start at THE PLAYERS. Now its time to find out if, like he penned on his new coach Butch Harmons victorious flag at Sawgrass, if that win was the 1st of many.
 
Zach Johnson
Its never easy to win back-to-back starts ' unless your name is Tiger Woods. But Johnson will try and do that this week. After taking last week off, Johnson returns from his AT&T Classic win a fortnight ago. He will now try to win a tournament for the first time outside the state of Georgia , where he has won all three of his TOUR titles. Johnson has only played this event three times prior, but he managed to tie for second here in 2006. Muirfield Village is supposed to remind people of Augusta National. Johnson sure hopes so.
 
Adam Scott
This tournament seems just right for the Adam Scott resume. Its a high quality event, with a high quality field ' without the pressure of a major championship. Scott has also produced one victory this year, that at the Shell Houston Open. He has never before won twice in the same season on TOUR, but its about time to make that progression. Scott has played this tournament three times and tied for fourth here last year.
 
Brett Wetterich
The last two Memorial champions has been relatively unassuming guys. First, it was Bart Bryant, who won his first ever TOUR event in 2004 and then captured the Memorial in 05. Then it was Carl Pettersson, who won his first ever TOUR event in 2005 and then captured the Memorial in 06. Perhaps this year it could be Wetterich. He won his first ever TOUR event in 2006 and captured the Memorial in 2007? Maybe. He did tie Johnson for silver medal honors last year.
 
Four more players to keep an eye on at Muirfield Village:
 
Vijay Singh
The Memorial is one of those tournaments where you often see the cream rise to the top. Singh did so a decade ago in 1997. Since then, he has yet to tack on another victory, but he has notched four top-5 finishes.
 
Trevor Immelman
The young South African missed the cut in his first two Memorial starts, but has since played increasingly better. He cracked the top 10 a year ago, tying for seventh.
 
Anthony Kim
We could offer up the obligatory Jim Furyk stats right now ' but you already know hell probably finish in the top 10 and not win. So, instead, how about Anthony Kim? Kim was a chic pick at the start of the season to be Rookie of the Year. He hasnt yet won, but he does have three top-5s in his last seven TOUR starts. He shared the first-round lead last week at Colonial, before finishing in a tie for 18th. This will be his first start in this event.
 
Vaughn Taylor
That whole Murifield-Augusta thing maybe that will work for Taylor as well. Taylor, an Augusta native, tied for 10th at the Masters and then tied for fourth the following week in Hilton Head. He has since gone MC-MC-WD. He could use a little home cooking this week ' if it only looks like home.
 
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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