Notes Tigers Woes and the Waiting Game

By Associated PressMay 7, 2005, 4:00 pm
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The putts wouldn't drop and the driver that had been so good to Tiger Woods earlier in the week let him down. Realistically, he won't win the Wachovia Championship.
 
He fell 11 shots behind leader Sergio Garcia on Saturday, making a bogey on No. 18 to finish with a 1-over 73 in the third round. But ...
 
'Hopefully, I can post a great number and have a little hope,' Woods said. 'I need to take care of my own business for anything to happen, but I need conditions to be a little more difficult than they are today. But I need to get the job done myself.'
 
Instead of a fast start in the third round, Woods dropped a shot with a bogey on the par-3 third. He completed his round with three birdies - none on the back nine - and four bogeys, forced to grind out pars after having trouble holding the firm and fast greens.
 
He yanked a drive far to the left at No. 16 before recovering with a brilliant pitch to save par, but he couldn't do it again on the last. Another bogey there left him at 215 and dropped him into a tie for 17th.
 
'I just didn't quite get it done,' Woods said. 'I had my chances, but unfortunately, I didn't capitalize on all my chances. Coming from behind like I was, I needed to capitalize on those things to get momentum on my side, and I just didn't do it.'
 
Particularly frustrating was the par-3 17th, when he hit what he thought was a perfect shot. Instead, it rolled through the green and nearly went in the water.
 
'I hit one of my best shots of the day, and it landed about 40 feet short of the hole,' Woods said. 'And the next thing you know, I'm almost in the water. That's just the way it goes.'
 
IN CONTENTION?
Adam Scott finished off his second consecutive 3-under 69 and appeared hopeful it was good enough to get him in contention. A couple of hours later, Sergio Garcia made sure Scott wasn't a factor.
 
'I think it'll be tough under the pressure of leading or in the last group here,' Scott said when he completed his round. 'You know, there's a lot of trouble to get into. You can get on the wrong side of the hole, and it takes a few to get it done. As long as they're not past 10-under.'
 
Well, Garcia bounced back from a bogey on No. 12 with three straight birdies to get to 12-under, and that's where he stayed. That leaves Scott 10 shots back heading into Sunday, mostly because of a 76 in the first round.
 
He still was pleased after another difficult day at Quail Hollow, with the greens firming up and the hole locations tucked precariously close to the edges of the greens.
 
'It's hard to make a lot of putts out there, because the pins are on such slopey areas,' Scott said. 'Unless you're 3 feet, they're pretty tough to get in the hole. But it was solid, that's what you have to do here. My problem was the first day. That wasn't solid.'
 
Nick Price predicted before the tournament that 10-under would win, but he didn't account for Garcia's stellar play.
 
'Sergio's already there,' Price said. 'For me to get there, I've got to shoot 5-under tomorrow, which is a tall order on this golf course.'
 
SLOW DAY
Despite playing in twosomes, rounds lasted a little more than five hours Saturday, mostly because of the way the course was set up.
 
The tees were moved forward 32 yards on No. 8, making the par 4 play only 311 yards. That meant players had to wait for the green to clear before teeing off, and there were as many as five groups waiting. There also was a backup on the par-3 13th through the day, although usually only two groups were there.
 
Woods was coming off the 12th green, looked at Nick Price and Brandt Jobe still standing on the tee, and sunk his shoulders. He had no choice but to sit on a bench and chat with Jesper Parnevik.
 
'I guess we need a break because we're playing so fast we can barely keep up,' Woods deadpanned.
 
Tour officials expected the delay and allowed for each group to take 5 hours, 8 minutes to finish. There could be more waiting on Sunday, as the tee on the 358-yard 14th is expected to be moved up.
 
'There's a lot of waiting,' Adam Scott said. 'The greens are tough, you know. You wait on the fifth, because it's reachable. You wait on the sixth then, because it's a tough par-3, so then you wait on the seventh. Eight is reachable, so a lot of waiting, and then the 10th is reachable, so it takes about four hours to get those holes in.'
 
PUTTING WOES
Bill Haas needs to make the most of every start he gets. With his only playing status coming on the developmental Nationwide Tour, the son of Jay Haas has to use sponsor exemptions to get into PGA Tour events.
 
Bill Haas used his fifth of the season for the Wachovia Championship - leaving him with two more this season - but a rough finish left him with a 2-over 74 that was only good enough for a tie for 43rd. During a stretch of five bogeys in the final six holes, he three-putted three consecutive greens.
 
'I'm pretty disappointed, I could have done something pretty good today,' Haas said. 'Bogeying five of the last six holes is just ridiculous.'
 
All the three-putts came from long distance, but he didn't use that as an excuse. To cap off his frustration, he had only an 8-iron into the 18th but pushed it badly in the rough. Haas didn't get up and down, leaving his par putt on the lip.
 
'I wasn't hitting it very close, but then again, the greens are perfect,' Haas said. 'There's no excuse for three-putting three holes in a row. And then I miss the last green with an 8-iron in my hand. Overall, pretty disappointing.'
 
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    Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

    By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.

    Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

    Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

    The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.

    On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.

    Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

    He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

    In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

    Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

    Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.

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    Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M

    By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

    In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

    This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

    Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

    Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

    The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

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    Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

    By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

    Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

    Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.


    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

    Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

    “There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

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    Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

    By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

    Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

    Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

    Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

    “Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

    Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

    “Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

    Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.