Woods Wins Fifth Title of the Season

By Sports NetworkAugust 21, 2005, 4:00 pm
AKRON, Ohio -- Tiger Woods did what he usually does with at least a share of the lead heading into the final round.
Woods shot a 1-over 71 on Sunday, but used a late birdie to win the World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational by one stroke. He ended the tournament at 6-under-par 274 for his fifth victory of the year.
It was also the 45th title of Woods' career and the 33rd time in 36 chances that he has gone on to win after owning at least a share of the 54-hole lead.
Tiger Woods
It wasn't all bad for Tiger on Sunday, as he eventually won his fifth title of the season.
Woods has now won a WGC title in seven straight years. He is the first player to win this event four times.
'We need to keep playing more in Ohio. It's that simple,' said Woods, who earned $1.3 million for the victory. 'We don't have enough tournaments here.'
Chris DiMarco, who lost to Woods in a playoff at the Masters this year, finished alone in second place at 5-under-par 275 after a final-round 68.
DiMarco held the outright lead before a bogey at the 17th. He was in the clubhouse with a share of the lead until Woods birdied No. 16 to move ahead for good.
'I'm glad it's over to tell you the truth,' DiMarco acknowledged. 'My stomach was turning out there.'
'He's come close, and I think by coming close and consistently coming close proves a lot, that he's got the game to be there, and it's just a lucky break here or there and it's one shot over a week,' Woods said of DiMarco. 'That's not much.'
Vijay Singh (67) tied for third place at 4-under-par 276 with Ryan Palmer (69) and Paul McGinley, who shot 2-over 72 and owned a share of the lead several times during the final round.
Kenny Perry, who entered the final round tied with Woods, stumbled to a 4-over 74 and finished in a tie for sixth place at minus-3.
Perry led around the turn, but he played the back nine at 4-over par. He and Woods were among several players who needed to finish their third rounds Sunday morning after weather suspended play late on Saturday.
The duo waited nearly six hours before they teed off in the final pairing of the day.
'Boy, what a day,' Woods said.
Perry held a two-stroke advantage over Woods, McGinley and DiMarco around the turn, but things would change quickly.
Woods picked up two strokes at the par-4 10th, where he made an uphill 14- foot birdie putt just before Perry settled for bogey. Ahead at No. 14, DiMarco also birdied to reach 6 under and tie Woods and Perry atop the leaderboard.
The final pairing then fell of the pace -- Woods at the 11th when he bounced his second shot over the green and missed a par putt, and Perry with a bogey at No. 12.
But DiMarco wouldn't hold the lead alone for very long. He found the rough behind the 17th green, pitched over the hole from nine yards away and then two-putted for a bogey to fall to 5 under.
Woods had a chance to take the lead at No. 13, but he clipped the left edge on a 5-foot birdie putt and settled for par to share the lead with DiMarco.
Another threat emerged in McGinley, who birdied the par-5 16th to also reach 5 under, but Woods would soon put all challengers away.
At the par-5 16th, Woods found the rough with a long tee shot and pitched out to leave himself 195 yards to the hole. From there, his third shot landed pin-high and 18 feet from the cup.
Woods then made a good read on the right-to-left putt, rolling the ball into the right side of the cup to reach 6 under for the outright lead.
'That putt -- I've had that putt it seems like for three, four years, and I miss it low every year and always power it 3, 4 feet past the hole,' said Woods. 'I made sure I threw the ball out there a little bit more'
DiMarco watched from the clubhouse as Woods pumped his fist after the putt.
'After Chris posted [5 under], I was just trying to make some birdies somewhere, and luckily I made that putt on 16,' said Woods.
McGinley bogeyed the 17th to fall two strokes off the pace, and it was all but over after that.
Woods found trouble off the 18th tee after slicing his ball into the trees, but he recovered by punching out to the right fringe and putting to within inches to set up par.
He has lost only three times when holding a 54-hole lead -- to Retief Goosen at the 2004 Tour Championship, to Phil Mickelson at the same event four years earlier, and to Ed Fiori at the 1996 Quad City Classic, the first time Woods ever led heading into the final round.
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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.