Four Please Woods Doubles Doral Lead

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 WGC CA ChampionshipMIAMI -- Tiger Woods set the tone early with a 4-iron that cut through the stiff wind and landed 10 feet away for eagle. He kept everyone at a distance Saturday by avoiding calamity on the Blue Monster's brutal closing hole.
 
And when the third round ended, it looked as though no one had a spitting chance.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is seeking his 13th career WGC title. (WireImage)
With only one mistake on a windy day filled with them, Woods shot 4-under 68 and stretched his lead to four shots in the CA Championship, leaving him poised to capture his third straight title at Doral and send him to the Masters on a high.
 
About the only intrigue came from Sergio Garcia.
 
Disgusted by missing yet another short putt, the 27-year-old Spaniard tapped in for a three-putt bogey and then spit into the cup. Garcia didn't deny this lapse in etiquette, only its effect on the guys playing behind him.
 
'I just missed the putt and I wasn't too happy,' Garcia told NBC Sports. 'Don't worry. It did go in the middle (of the cup) and wasn't going to affect anyone else. If it did, I would have wiped it off.'
 
Asked about the incident after the TV interview, he snapped, 'I just said it. I'm not going to repeat it.'
 
Garcia wound up with a 71 and was seven shots behind, but he had plenty of company.
 
Woods again wiped out the field with superb shots and by making enough putts to reach 11-under 205. He is 38-3 on the PGA TOUR with at least a share of the 54-hole lead, and he has never lost when leading by more than one.
 
Brett Wetterich had a 67 and will play in the final group Sunday.
 
Along with owning Doral, Woods has won this World Golf Championship the last two years (in San Francisco and London), and five out of seven times. He will be trying to win his 13th WGC event since the series began in 1999.
 
'If you're leading, usually you're playing halfway decent,' Woods said. 'Hopefully, tomorrow I can handle my business.'
 
He headed to the practice green to work on his putting, then was off to Key Biscayne to watch Roger Federer play his opening match in the Sony Ericsson Open.
 
Nick O'Hern, who ended Woods' seven-tournament winning streak on the PGA TOUR by beating him in the Accenture Match Play Championship a month ago, played bogey-free for a 66 and was another shot behind at 6-under 210.
 
Everyone else had their chances. Most everyone else ran into trouble.
 
Ernie Els got to within one shot of the lead midway through the round until he quit making birdies, then took double bogey on the 18th hole that started with an errant drive and ended with a bunker shot that went over the green. He had to settle for a 71, and for the third straight day, the Big Easy refused to speak to reporters.
 
Els was in the group at 211 that included Vijay Singh (69), Thomas Bjorn (71), Aaron Baddeley (71) and Charles Howell III, whose bogey on the final hole ruined a spirited rally and left him with a 71.
 
Bjorn, one of the few players to take down Woods on the final day, was told he was in a good position.
 
'Yeah, with everyone else,' he said, grinning. 'When he's like this ... he hit some incredible shots. There's not many players in the field that can hit those shots. We all know when he's at his best, he's very difficult.'
 
Woods had a two-shot lead that he quickly expanded with his eagle putt, although there it was close for a minute. His streak of 29 holes without a bogey ended on the sixth, and with Wetterich and Els making a move, the lead was down to one.
 
Woods fixed that quickly. He hit a 9-iron about 10 feet right of the flag on No. 7, and after having to lay up from out of the rough on the par-5 eighth, his sand wedge stopped 3 feet from the cup to reach 10 under and restore the cushion.
 
Wetterich, who went out in 32, was the only one who stayed steady on the back nine in a mixture of showers and sunshine, and the constant present of a strong wind. He followed a bogey on the 15th with a birdie on the 16th. He sent his drive well to the right on the 18th, but was able to reach the green and two-putt from 65 feet.
 
His only victory was the Byron Nelson Championship last year during a hot summer stretch that helped him make the Ryder Cup team. But he's one of the longest hitters in golf, and is not afraid to fire at flags.
 
That's what Wetterich might have to do.
 
'You can't sit back and be happy with making pars,' he said.
 
Wetterich has never played with Woods in competition. In fact, he had never met the world's No. 1 player until Woods introduced himself to him at Firestone last year, then took all the Ryder Cup rookies to dinner.
 
Divots:
Davis Love III withdrew Saturday after learning a friend of the family had died in Sea Island, Ga. ... Phil Mickelson was bogey-free for the third round and 4 under for the day until a double bogey on the 18th sent him to a 70. ... Els is 4 over on the 18th hole this week. ... Mark Calcavecchia threw out his shoes after Friday's round because of blisters. He wore a new pair Saturday and reported no problems. 'My right foot still hurts,' he said.
 
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    Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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    Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:55 pm

    NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

    Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

    Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

    1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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    Knox relishes round with 'mythical figure' Woods

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Russell Knox was expecting the worst and hoping for the best Thursday at The Open.

    Playing with Tiger Woods tends to have that effect.

    The native Scot received a treat earlier this week when he saw his name on the tee sheet alongside his boyhood idol, Woods.

    “Felt good out there, but obviously my swing, it was just like I had too much tension,” Knox said after an opening 73. “I just wasn’t letting it go as normal. First round with Tiger, I expected to feel a little bit different. The way I felt was better than the way I swung.”

    Knox said that he was nervous playing alongside Woods, a player he’d only encountered on the range. “He’s almost like a mythical figure,” he said.

    But after a while, he settled into the rhythm of the round at Carnoustie.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I thought it would be worse,” he said, “I feel like I should know what I’m doing. It’s cool playing with Tiger, but I’ve got to get over that. I’m here to win, not just enjoy my walk around the course.”

    Knox probably had more interaction with Woods than he anticipated, if only because the third member of the group, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, keeps to himself because of the language barrier.

    “It’s kind of a blur,” Knox said. “It’s like, Oh, I’m chatting away with Tiger here like normal. I don’t even remember what I was saying.”

    There have been countless stories from this year as the next generation of players – guys who grew up watching Woods dominate the sport – get paired with Woods for the first time.

    It was no less special for Knox on Thursday.

    “It’s nice for him to say things like that,” Woods said, “and we enjoyed playing with each other. Hopefully we’ll play a little bit better tomorrow.”

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    Rain expected to shower Carnoustie Friday morning

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:43 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – By the end of the day Friday, we’ll be able to determine which side of The Open draw ended the first two rounds at Carnoustie with more favorable conditions. With rain expected for most of Friday morning, it seems those who played early/late may be more pleased.

    According to Weather.com, there is a 75 percent chance of rain beginning at 2 a.m. local time Friday here in Scotland. That percentage vaults up to 95 percent by 7 a.m., with the first tee time scheduled for 6:35. At 11, the number drops to 55 percent. After 2 p.m., the percentage chances of rain are 25 percent and below for the remainder of the day.

    Temperatures during the day are expected to be from the low 50s to the low 60s and winds will vary between 14-18 mph, again per Weather.com.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    This is The Open’s official weather report for the weekend:

    Saturday: A dull start with some drizzle possible. Staying cloudy for much of the day but gradually becoming brighter with a chance of some sunny intervals during the afternoon and evening. Winds light and variable in direction but should predominantly settle in to a SSE 8-12mph during the afternoon. Max temp 20C (68F).

    Sunday: Often cloudy but mainly dry. A better chance of some decent sunny spells compared to Saturday. Most likely the windiest day of the Championship; SW 12-18mph with gusts 20-25mph. Feeling warm, especially in any sunshine with a max temp of 23C (73F).

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    Bandaged Woods 5 back after even-par 71

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:38 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods arrived Thursday with therapeutic tape on the back of his neck.

    Carnoustie’s back nine inflicted even more pain.

    Playing in the most difficult conditions of the day, Woods’ progress was stalled by two late bogeys as he settled for an even-par 71 that left him five shots off the lead at The Open.

    “I played better than what the score indicates,” he said. “It certainly could have been a little bit better.”

    Woods created a stir when he showed up with black kinesiology tape on his neck. Afterward, he said that his neck has been bugging him “for a while” and that Thursday was merely the first time that the tape was visible.

    “Everyone acts like this is the first time I’ve been bandaged up,” he said, smiling. “I’ve been doing this for years.”

    Woods said that the discomfort didn’t really affect his swing, other than a few shots “here and there.” It didn’t seem to affect his score, either, as he went out in 2 under before a few stumbles on the back nine.

    On the fast, baked-out turf, he played conservatively off the tee, using driver only once and 3-wood just twice. Apparently he didn’t need the added distance, not with his 6-iron traveling 240 yards. He tried to play to his spots, even if it routinely left him more than 200 yards for his approach.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    That’s the strategy he employed at Hoylake in 2006, where he hit driver just once and captured the third of his Open titles. Despite some of the similarities in firmness, Woods said that Carnoustie presents a different challenge off the tee.

    “These fairways are very small,” he said. “They’re hard to hit right now. They’re so fast, and they’re so moundy.”

    Finding the fairway wasn’t the chief problem for Woods on Day 1, however. He missed just four fairways but found only 11 greens.

    More damaging to his score was his play on the par 5s. Despite having only an 8-iron in, he failed to birdie each of the two par 5s and then bogeyed Nos. 10, 13 and 15 to squander his early momentum.

    Though the draw here won’t be a significant factor – or at least not like in recent years, with a wide range in scores from morning to afternoon – it’s clear that Woods (in game 47 of 52) encountered the most difficult of the conditions Thursday, with the wind gusting to 20 mph and the fairways running even faster after another sun-splashed afternoon.

    Still, his opening 71 was one of the better scores in the late wave.

    “He hit it good,” said playing partner Russell Knox. “He plotted his way around, which I expected him to do, and he was very conservative off the tee. It’s kind of fun to watch him do that, to be honest.”

    Even more fun would be a major with Woods in contention.

    He hasn’t broken par in the opening round of his last eight majors. Indeed, for Woods, these slow starts have been the real pain in the neck.