Ogilvy Jimenez Out Front at Doral

By Associated PressMarch 20, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 WGC CA ChampionshipMIAMI, Florida -- The way Tiger Woods has been playing, former U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy figured he would have to stay ahead of him each day if he wanted to win the CA Championship.
 
Never mind that he was tied for the lead.
 
With one round on the Blue Monster in the books Thursday, Ogilvy was two up on Woods.
 
Ogilvy continued to shake off the rust by playing bogey-free in a round of 7-under 65, taking advantage of a generous shift in wind that turned the fearsome 18th into a pushover. He hit wedge into 8 feet for one last birdie, and Miguel Angel Jimenez also birdied the final hole to join him atop the leaderboard.
 
You know starting the week if you want to win the tournament, youre going to have to beat him because you know hes going to be in contention come the last nine holes here on Sunday, Ogilvy said. Its just one of his happy places, obviously. If I can just be one in front after every round, that will be pretty good.
 
One shot out of the lead was Stewart Cink, who has played in the final group at three tournaments this year and is playing more consistently than anyone but Woods.
 
Woods wasnt all that bad.
 
Undefeated since September, he made a late charge as the sky darkened and rain began to fall, making three birdies over four holes to get within one shot. His day ended bitterly, however, when he three-putted from 70 feet for a 67.
 
All is right in his world, with six official victories over the last six months, but Woods lives for the moment, and his lasting memory of Thursday was missing a 5-foot par putt. He said nothing during a long, winding walk up the stairs, forcing a smile and reaching for his pen when a security guard asked for his autograph.
 
And how about that 67?
 
I didnt really do anything all that special today, Woods said. I just kind of hung in there and took care of the par 5s, and made a couple of other birdies here and there. But all in all, just kind of ground it out.
 
If it wasnt anything spectacular and he still was only two shots bad, that would seem to bode ominously for the rest of the 78 players gathered at Doral for this World Golf Championship.
 
But there was a sense after one day that no one was going to lay down.
 
Phil Mickelson rallied from a double bogey in the water with four birdies over his final six holes to match Woods at 67, and they were joined by Adam Scott, who is No. 5 in the world and won the Qatar Masters earlier this year with a 61 on the last day.
 
After two days of practice in ferocious wind, it slowly switched during the first round and made the course as easy as it plays. Only two dozen players failed to break par, and the average score was 70.9.
 
Anything in the 60s was to be expected.
 
This is a happy place for Woods, and it has become a lucrative tournament. He has won the last two years at Doral, and he has won this WGC event six times in eight years.
 
Four days after slamming his cap to the ground to celebrate a 25-foot birdie putt to win at Bay Hill, he rarely broke a smile. Woods started strongly, with an easy two-putt birdie on the par-5 opening hole and a 20-foot birdie down the fast green at No. 3. He made birdie on two other par 5s, one by missing an eagle putt from 20 feet, the other with a wedge inside a foot.
 
His longest putt was a mere 18 feet on the par-3 15th, and Woods had a chance to join the leaders when he blasted a tee shot into the front bunker on the 366-yard 16th hole, only to miss from 7 feet.
 
Ive got to trust what I see, Woods said, referring to the grain in these Bermuda greens. I didnt do that enough times today.
 
When someone asked if the three-putt on No. 18 was upsetting, a glare said everything.
 
Yeah, Im (upset), Woods said. You three-putt 18, youre not going to be real happy.
 
Ogilvy felt much better as he continues a slow rise back to form. He has not won since his U.S. Open victory at Winged Foot in 2006, and he took a month off around the holidays when his second child was born.
 
But he played in the final group at Innisbrook two weeks ago, closed with a 66 at Bay Hill to leave on a positive note, then kept the ball in the short grass for most of a cloudy day in south Florida to tie Jimenez, a Spaniard making his debut at Doral.
 
Its definitely been building, Ogilvy said. I came here feeling better than I did going to Bay Hill, and I went to Bay Hill feeling better than I did when I went to Tampa.
 
He was back in his room after Bay Hill in time watch Woods birdie the last hole from 25 feet for the win.
 
Its never surprising when he holes it, but its always impressive, Ogilvy said. Were all impressed. Hopefully, none of us are scared. I just want to win tournaments, and hes very impressive. But I dont go to bed thinking about it.
 
Cink, meanwhile, is trying to bury memories of a few close calls. Woods manhandled him in the Accenture Match Play Championship, winning by a record margin (8 and 7) in the final round. Two weeks later, Cink had an early four-shot lead in Tampa until a late collapse paved the way for Sean OHair.
 
The memories linger from that, Cink said. I gave it away, but I learned from it. Its part of the process. Let me just say that not everybody out here is Tiger Woods, OK? Hes making it look easy. And its not easy.
 
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    Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

    The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

    The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.


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    This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

    After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

    “I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

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    Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

    Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

    “I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”


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    Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

    To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

    “More punishment,” he said.

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    DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

    Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

    Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

    It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

    With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

    Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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    TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

    • Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

    • This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

    • Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery

     


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    • In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

    • At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

    • Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

    • My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.