Rain Delays Rd 3 at Doral

By Associated PressMarch 22, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 WGC CA ChampionshipMIAMI, Florida -- Tiger Woods finally looked human Saturday at the CA Championship.
 
Then came some help from the heavens.
 
Woods couldnt make a putt, scowled more than he smiled, and was struggling to stay at par on a day when the Blue Monster was yielding birdies. What stopped his slide was a rumble of thunder and a torrential storm that dumped 3 inches of rain and suspended the third round until Sunday morning.
 
Geoff Ogilvy was at 14-under par through 11 holes and kept his one-shot lead, only now it was Adam Scott on his heels, not the worlds No. 1 player who has won every tournament he has played since September.
 
Woods was at 11 under, even for the day, the only player among the top 18 who was not under par for the round.
 
Scott was practically flawless, making up five shots in five holes against Woods, taking the outright lead with a 25-foot birdie putt that swirled around the cup before falling, looking confident with every hole he played. Ogilvy still hasnt made a bogey this week, and two late birdies allowed him to regain the lead.
 
And then it rained.
 
If it was our day, Scott said, it was cut off way too short.
 
They will resume play Sunday at 8:30 a.m.'if conditions allow'to finish the third round, with the final round of this World Golf Championship scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
 
The break could not have come at a better time for Woods, who three-putted his first three holes, had two other putts spin off the lip and picked up his only birdie when his wedge stopped 30 inches away on No. 7.
 
Im right there, only three back, Woods said. A lot of holes to be played tomorrow. And hopefully, I can get it going and get hot for the rest of the day.
 
The CA Championship looked like it might be a three-man race, but now is loaded with possibilities. Although the third round is incomplete, Woods headed back to his yacht in a three-way tie for third place.
 
Vijay Singh was 8 under for his round through 16 holes and faced a 7-foot birdie putt on the 17th when he returned. Also at 11 under for the tournament was Tim Clark, who was 7 under through 15 holes. Graeme Storm nearly made an ace on the par-3 15th that put him at 10 under with three holes remaining. Jim Furyk was 10 under through 13 holes.
 
Five shots separated eight players when the third round was stopped.
 
No one was complaining.
 
Look, its where you want to be, Ogilvy said. You want to be leading with 25 holes to play. Im happy with where Im at. If I can keep playing the way Im playing and putt well, you never know.
 
All signs pointed toward Woods seizing control of this tournament. He is the three-time defending champion at Doral and at this WGC event, he was swinging well, making every important putt and had the good vibes of winning six straight official events around the world.
 
Woods gets weary when people anoint him before the trophy is handed out, and he showed what can happen Saturday.
 
He reached the back of the green on the par-5 opening hole, but left himself 70 feet on the fringe. He lagged to about 4 feet, but his birdie putt banged off the back lip. That ended Woods streak of 18 consecutive birdies or better on the first hole at Doral.
 
Then he three-putted the next hole, lipping out from 3 1/2 feet and making bogey.
 
To three-putt the first two holes right out of the gate, never a good thing, Woods said.
 
Scott, meanwhile, looked determined to erase those two bogeys he made at the end of the second round. He holed a 20-foot birdie putt on the third hole, and raised his putter when a 25-foot birdie dropped on the fifth. He missed two other birdie putts inside 8 feet.
 
Ogilvy couldnt find the fairway, but kept his rhythm with par after par until making a 4-foot birdie on the seventh. He couldnt help but notice that Woods was lagging behind.
 
He was hitting it very well. He just didnt putt like he normally putts, Ogilvy said. It was just one of those stretches that was probably frustrating the hell out of him. He was playing fine. He just didnt make anything.
 
The break in play could prove beneficial to Woods, as if he needs any help.
 
He has trailed going into the final round only twice during this winning streak, by one shot at the BMW Championship and by four shots at the Dubai Desert Classic. But it looked for the longest time on a short day Saturday that Ogilvy and Scott had a chance to put some room between them and Woods.
 
I would have liked to get the round in, Scott said. My round had gone a little stale after a fast start, and I was looking forward to getting to the 12th, a par 5, and giving myself a chance to get moving in the right direction. Geoff just got a little momentum going toward the end of the front nine. And yeah, Tiger was struggling a little bit to get it going.
 
It would have been nice to keep playing more holes. But my attitude is the day is over. Well start tomorrow just like we did today, and hopefully, I get off to a fast start and set the tone.
 

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    Casey in line to make Ryder Cup after Travelers T-2

    By Will GrayJune 25, 2018, 10:30 am

    Despite coughing up a four-shot lead at the Travelers Championship, England's Paul Casey moved into a qualifying position to make his return to the Ryder Cup this fall in Paris.

    Casey struggled Sunday at TPC River Highlands, shooting a 72 as Bubba Watson raced to victory with a 63. But a four-way share of second place was still good enough to lift Casey into fourth place among those not already qualified on the World Points list, with the top four Europeans from that list in August punching their tickets to Le Golf National.

    Casey has played in three Ryder Cups before, but none since 2008. After renouncing his European Tour membership a few years ago, he reinstated it for the 2018 season in order to be eligible to return to the biennial matches.

    Here's a look at the updated standings for Europe, with the top four players from each points list ultimately joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn:

    European Points

    1. Tyrrell Hatton

    2. Justin Rose

    3. Tommy Fleetwood

    4. Francesco Molinari

    ---

    5. Thorbjorn Olesen

    6. Matthew Fitzpatrick

    World Points

    1. Jon Rahm

    2. Rory McIlroy

    3. Alex Noren

    4. Paul Casey

    ---

    5. Matthew Fitzpatrick

    6. Ian Poulter


    On the American side of the ledger, Watson jumped two spots to fifth with his third win of the year and seemingly locked up his spot on the squad, while Bryson DeChambeau moved inside the top eight with a top-10 finish in Connecticut.

    Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship earning automatic bids:

    1. Brooks Koepka

    2. Dustin Johnson

    3. Patrick Reed

    4. Justin Thomas

    5. Bubba Watson

    6. Jordan Spieth

    7. Rickie Fowler

    8. Bryson DeChambeau

    ---

    9. Webb Simpson

    10. Phil Mickelson

    11. Matt Kuchar

    12. Brian Harman

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    Watson cracks top 15 in world with Travelers win

    By Will GrayJune 25, 2018, 10:15 am

    After his third win in the last five months, Bubba Watson is back on the cusp of the upper echelon in the world rankings.

    Watson started the year ranked No. 89 in the world, but after a three-shot victory at the Travelers Championship the southpaw moved up seven spots to No. 13 in the latest rankings. It marks his best position since a missed cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February 2017.

    Watson stayed one spot behind Paul Casey, who was one of four runners-up in Connecticut and rose one position to 12th as a result. Beau Hossler's T-2 finish helped him jump 24 spots to No. 64, while J.B. Holmes went from 93rd to 75th with the same result. Stewart Cink, who grabbed a share of second with a final-round 62, went from No. 149 to No. 95 and is back inside the top 100 in the world rankings for the first time since September 2011.


    Updated Official World Golf Ranking


    Matt Wallace, who won the BMW International Open on the European Tour, went from 91st to 66th.

    There was only one change among the top 10 in the rankings, as an idle Jon Rahm moved past Jordan Spieth at No. 5 despite Spieth's T-42 finish at TPC River Highlands. At No. 6, Spieth is at his lowest point in the rankings since before last summer's victories at Travelers and The Open.

    Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Rahm. Spieth slid to No. 6, with Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

    Poised to return to competition this week at the Quicken Loans National, Tiger Woods fell three spots to No. 82 in the latest rankings.

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    After Further Review: Spieth needs a break

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 25, 2018, 1:11 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On Jordan Spieth's much-needed break ...

    Jordan Spieth is heading for a break, and that’s probably a good thing.

    Spieth just wrapped a run of six events in seven weeks that featured largely underwhelming results. A third-place finish at the Masters that stemmed from a nearly-historic final round deflects attention away from the fact that Spieth has yet to enter a final round this year less than six shots off the lead.

    A return to his home state didn’t work, nor did a fight against par at Shinnecock or a title defense outside Hartford where everything went so well a year ago. His putting woes appear to have bottomed out, as Spieth finished 21st in putting at Travelers, but now the alignment issue that plagued his putting appears to have bled into other parts of his game.

    So heading into another title defense next month at Carnoustie, Spieth plans to take some time off and re-evaluate. Given how fast things turned around last summer, that might prove to be just what he needs. - Will Gray


    On the difference between this week and last week ...

    There wasn’t a single outraged tweet, not a lone voice of descent on social media following Bubba Watson’s victory at the Travelers Championship, a 17-under par masterpiece that included a closing loop of 30.

    Nobody declared that golf was broken, no one proclaimed the royal and ancient game a victim of technology and the age of uber athletes. The only response was appreciation for what Watson, a bomber in the truest form, was able to accomplish.

    At 6,840 yards, TPC River Highlands was built for fun, not speed. Without wild weather or ill-advised hole locations and greens baked to extinction, this is what the best players in the game do, and yet no one seemed outraged. Weird. - Rex Hoggard


    On the emergence of another LPGA phenom ...

    Add another young star to the favorites list heading to the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Kemper Lakes outside Chicago next week.

    Nasa Hataoka, the 19-year-old Japanese standout who needed her rookie season last year to acclimate to the LPGA, broke through for her first LPGA title Sunday at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.

    This wasn’t a surprise to LPGA followers. Hataoka won the Japan Women’s Open when she was 17, the first amateur to win a major on the Japan LPGA Tour, and she has been trending up this year.

    Her tie for 10th at the U.S. Women’s Open three weeks ago was her fourth consecutive top-10 finish. She won going away in Arkansas, beating a deep field that included the top nine in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings. She outplayed world No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson on Sunday. - Randall Mell

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    Bubba waiting for Furyk's text about Ryder Cup

    By Will GrayJune 25, 2018, 12:39 am

    CROMWELL, Conn. – After winning his third PGA Tour title in the span of five months, Bubba Watson is now waiting by his phone.

    Watson’s victory at the Travelers Championship, his third at TPC River Highlands since 2010, accompanies recent victories at both the Genesis Open and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play from earlier this year. It also moved the southpaw from No. 7 to No. 5 in the latest U.S. Ryder Cup standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically.

    After serving as an assistant captain at Hazeltine despite ranking No. 7 in the world at the time, Watson made it clear that he hopes to have removed any doubt about returning to the role of player when the biennial matches head to Paris this fall.


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “It still says in my phone that (U.S. captain) Jim (Furyk) hasn’t texted me yet. So I’d really like for him to say I’m going to pick you no matter what,” Watson said. “The motivation is I’ve never won a Ryder Cup, so making the Ryder Cup team and trying to win a Ryder Cup as a player would be another tournament victory to me. It would be a major championship to me just because I’ve never done it, been a part of it.”

    Watson turns 40 in November, and while he reiterated that his playing career might not extend too far into the future as he looks to spend more time at home with son Caleb and daughter Dakota, he’s also hoping to make an Olympic return in Tokyo in 2020 after representing the U.S. in Rio two years ago.

    “Talking about the Olympics coming up, that’s motivating me,” he said. “It was the best experience of my life to watch all the other events, and then the golf tournament got in the way. I’d love to do it again. I’d love to watch all the events and then have to play golf as well.”