Strong finish puts Simpson in control

By Associated PressJuly 7, 2012, 11:09 pm

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – Webb Simpson likes the way he's avoiding bogeys and figures he'll need to play smart again at the Greenbrier Classic to get his second win in three tournaments.

The U.S. Open champion shot a 5-under 65 in the third round Saturday to take a two-stroke lead into the final round. Simpson had his second straight bogey-free round to reach 14 under on The Greenbrier Resort's Old White TPC Course.

Troy Kelly was second after a 62. Rookie Charlie Beljan, J.B. Holmes and Ken Duke were 11 under. Beljan had a 67, Holmes a 66, and Duke a 65.

Simpson isn't disappointed that Tiger Woods isn't around to challenge him. Woods missed the cut for only the ninth time in his PGA Tour career.

''When he's not lurking around on Saturdays and Sundays, it makes it a little easier I think for other guys,'' Simpson said.

Simpson said he plans to peek at the leaderboard, ''but the way I look at it is, I've got to go shoot under par (Sunday). And if I don't, somebody's going to probably (play) pretty good. I think the golf course is playing in such a way that there's plenty of birdie opportunities.

''I've almost got to imagine that these guys are all going to shoot 4, 5 under. I've got to stay aggressive.''

Simpson has been in this position before. He briefly led entering the final nine holes last year but faded to a tie for ninth.

''I realized shortly after the round that I wanted it so bad that it kind of put more pressure on myself than the pressure I was already feeling,'' he said. ''So it kind of locked me up a little bit, and I wasn't able to perform like I had been all week.

''I think it's good for me to remember that, not only (Sunday) but every week that I just have to let it come to me.''

Simpson started the third round a stroke ahead of five others. He opened with six straight pars before gaining momentum on the back nine. He two-putted for birdie from 24 feet on the par-5 12th, made a 7-footer at No. 14 and retook the lead from Kelly with a 6-foot putt on the 597-yard 17th. Simpson finished it off with a 20-footer for birdie on the par-3 18th.

He'll be pursued Sunday by a pair of players making medical comebacks.

Kelly underwent hip-replacement surgery in September 2010 after being diagnosed with arthritis. Holmes had part of his skull removed in September 2011, four months after he started having vertigo symptoms. He returned to the Tour in January.

While playing the mini-tour circuit several years ago, Kelly didn't know what was causing pain in his left hip. He played through it for two years, but it got to the point where he could barely walk, so he went to a doctor, and surgery followed.

''For me to just play this game at a high level, I had to go get it done,'' Kelly said.

He starting playing golf again five months later, but it took up to a year before he felt his muscle strength was back to normal. He was 11th in winnings last year on the former Nationwide Tour and moved up to the Tour.

The new hip hasn't made his golf game exponentially better. He has made seven cuts in 15 events this year but has yet to finish in the top 30.

Kelly has had longtime problems with his putter. Ranked 464th in the world, he entered The Greenbrier Classic 174th in putting on Tour.

On Saturday, Kelly made five birdies on the front nine and had three more on the back.

''I haven't made a lot of putts pretty much the whole year,'' Kelly said. ''It's just good to see some putts go in. I had fun today.''

Holmes believes his swing and judgment on yardages have become more consistent over the past six weeks, and he isn't having as much stiffness in his neck.

''I feel like I've improved a whole lot and really narrowing it down and getting back to where I was,'' he said.

The 43-year-old Duke has five top-10 finishes this year. He has finished second three times in his Tour career. Four birdies on the back nine put him in contention for that elusive first win.

''There's something missing,'' Duke said. ''I'm not focusing the entire day, so there's about an hour or so in there that I'm not focused, so I'm working on that. You know, if we keep knocking on the door, maybe it will open. You just never know.''

Ted Potter Jr. (64) is sixth at 10 under, four strokes behind Simpson. Blake Adams (64), Graham Delaet (64), Charlie Wi (68) and Martin Flores (69) are at 9 under.

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Woods: Fan who yelled had 'tipped back a few'

By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 6:37 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods stood on the 18th tee and thought he needed birdie to have a chance to win The Open. He pulled driver out of his bag, a sign he wanted to boot the ball as far down the fairway as possible.

Woods took a mighty swat and - right in the middle of his downswing - someone yelled. Woods flinched.

Luckily his ball still found a decent spot just off the right of the fairway.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I’ve had things like that happen a lot in my career with people who just tried to time it,” Woods said Sunday at Carnoustie after shooting 71 to tie for sixth place. “They tipped back a few, and it’s late in the day.

“Unfortunately, that’s part of what we have to deal with in today’s game. People are trying to yell out things to try to be on TV or be in social media or whatever it may be. That was too close to the game of play.”

Woods hit his approach to 6 feet and missed the birdie putt. He tapped in for par to shoot even par and finish 5 under for the week, in a tie for sixth.

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Pros melt down on Twitter as they watch Tiger

By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 6:30 pm

Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and, for a little while, took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.

His fellow pros were watching and tweeting like your average fans.

We compiled some of their missives below:

Woods would go on to finish in a tie for sixth at 5 under par for the week.

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Woods shares emotional embrace with his kids

By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 6:21 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods missed a birdie putt on the last hole that would’ve vaulted him into a tie for second place at The Open. It was a difficult way to end an otherwise successful week for the 14-time major champion, who is just happy to playing majors again.

Then he walked off the 18th, saw his two children, daughter Sam and son Charlie, and they all took a moment for a long embrace. Turns out, that was the perfect way to end the week.

“I told them I tried and I said, 'Hopefully you’re proud of your pops for trying as hard as I did,'” Woods said Sunday after putting the finishing touches on an even-par 71 to end at 5 under for the week.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“It’s pretty emotional because they gave me some pretty significant hugs there and squeezed. I know that they know how much this championship means to me and how much it feels good to be back playing again.”

In 2008, when Woods won his last major, the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, Sam was a year old and Charlie was not yet born. They don’t know how much their father used to dominate this game, especially majors. The last time Woods won a PGA Tour event was five full years ago. Woods has joked in the past that they only know him as a YouTube sensation.

“So, for them to understand what I was doing early in my career,” he said. “The only thing they’ve seen is my struggles and the pain I was going through. Now they just want to go play soccer with me. Man, it’s just such a great feeling.”

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TT postscript: Not a win, but an amazing week

By Tiger TrackerJuly 22, 2018, 6:04 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods had a chance to win his 15th major Sunday at The Open at Carnousite:

• Tiger shot 71-71-66-71 to finish at 5 under par and tie for sixth place.

• When Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele both bogeyed the fifth hole Tiger was in the solo lead. Amazing to think that only last September he said he never knew if he’d ever play golf again. Here he was, nine months later with a chance to win a fourth claret jug. Amazing.

• For 10 holes, Tiger was the calmest, coolest, most composed player on the golf course. Birdies at Nos. 4 and 6 looked easy, while most everyone else was struggling to make par.

• To me, the biggest mistake of the week, and certainly of the final round, was Tiger’s decision to get cute and hit a flop shot up and over a bunker into the 11th hole. It checked up and rolled back down and off the green. He failed to get up and down and made double bogey. If he’d have pitched the ball 12-15 past the hole he’d had have a chance to save par and would’ve made no worse than bogey.

• The double bogey felt worse when Tiger made bogey on the 12th hole. This two-hole stretch cost him three shots and he finished three shots off the lead.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


• Tiger moved to 50th in the Official World Golf Ranking, which qualifies him for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which he has won eight times.

• One of the best moments of the week came after Tiger’s round when he gave his kids, daughter Sam and son Charlie, long hugs. Tiger said it was especially emotional because both kids knew how much this week meant to their old man. They had only seen Tiger struggle; it was great for them to see his success.

• Tiger: “Today I did everything the way I thought I needed to do it to win the championship. This entire week, I felt like I needed to keep building my way into this championship. It's one of those where, as I said earlier in the week, it's going to be 10, 12 guys with a chance to win it on Sunday because we're all driving the same areas. Kind of turned out that way. There are a bunch of guys packed, a bunch of guys with a chance to win, and I was one of them.”

• Overall, an amazing week. Truly tremendous to watch.