Tiger a Different Man as This US Open Nears

By Associated PressJune 5, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 U.S. OpenTULSA, Okla. -- The last time a U.S. Open was looming on Tiger Woods' schedule, a life-changing loss weighed heavily on his mind.
 
One year later, he again finds himself preparing for a dramatic change in his personal life as the second major nears.
 
'This year is totally different, from losing a father to certainly becoming a father, my life is in two totally different places, a polar 180 from one another,' Woods said Monday in a teleconference previewing the PGA Championship -- a topic that's still two majors away from being on the No. 1 player's mind.
 
Last year in the Open at Winged Foot, Woods was making his first tour appearance since the death of his father, Earl, six weeks earlier. Next week at Oakmont, he'll be playing in the Open less than a month before he's due to become a father himself.
 
Woods recounted his struggles at last year's Open, where he shot 12 over par and missed the cut in a major for the first time as a professional. He hadn't played in nine weeks -- since the Masters -- in the longest layoff of his career.
 
'I just wasn't quite ready,' Woods said. 'I wasn't quite able to get back into it with my practice sessions because every time I'd go practice I'd always think about my fundamentals, and who taught me my fundamentals but my father?
 
'It was hard for me actually to get away from it because a lot of the things I ever learned how to do in the game came from my father, so that was actually probably a more difficult task than actually getting back on the golf course because I have so many great memories of being with my dad on the golf course.'
 
Woods enters next week's Open after a 15th-place finish at The Memorial this weekend, which he capped with a 5-under 67 -- his best round of the week.
 
But beyond the Open, Woods' future is uncertain. He's hosting a tournament in Washington, D.C., from July 5-8 -- about the time his wife, Elin, is due to have the couple's first child. The British Open starts July 19, and the PGA Championship begins Aug. 9 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa.
 
'I'm pacing myself already just because of the fact that I have a baby coming up,' Woods said, speaking of the FedEx Cup's impact on the tour. 'I don't know how much I'm going to play after that or how much I'm going to play before that. A lot of that is depending on what happens and the health of Elin and our child.'
 
Asked if he would defend his title in the PGA Championship, Woods said: 'Well, I hope so.'
 
Woods criticized Southern Hills, where his 'Tiger Slam' run of four straight wins in majors ended at the U.S. Open in 2001, for having the greens on Nos. 9 and 18 at different speeds than the other 16. He blamed troubles on those holes in part for his struggles in a tie for 12th place.
 
'You grind getting ready for the championship on all 16 other greens and you're so conscious of watching your pace all the time ... ,' Woods said. 'I think a few of the guys that I talked to went through that week basically thinking that they've got to use two different strokes, one for 16 greens and the other for the other two.
 
'It was just an unfortunate thing because those are two great holes, one being a shorter hole and the other one being such a great finishing hole. It was a shame that we couldn't play it to how it really was originally designed.'
 
The two greens are among those that have been rebuilt in preparation for this year's PGA Championship. Al Bush, the tournament's general chairman, said Southern Hills spent $3 million to upgrade the course, rebuilding 86 bunkers and resodding 82 acres of fairways. Bush said the course will be 7,131 yards long for the PGA with par set at 70.
 
Woods said he still 'always thought it was a wonderful golf course.'
 
'It's a golf course on which you have to shape shots both ways to keep the ball in the fairway and you've got to place the ball on the greens correctly,' Woods said. 'It's not overly long, but with Bermuda rough you don't need to have rough very high around the greens or even the fairways to have it be very difficult. If the greens get up to speed, it's definitely going to be one of the tougher tests that we're going to play.'
 
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    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”

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    After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

    With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.

    While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.

    Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2

    Zach Johnson: 13/2

    Rory McIlroy: 7/1

    Jordan Spieth: 8/1

    Rickie Fowler: 9/1

    Kevin Kisner: 12/1

    Xander Schauffele: 16/1

    Tony Finau: 16/1

    Matt Kuchar: 18/1

    Pat Perez: 25/1

    Brooks Koepka: 25/1

    Erik van Rooyen: 50/1

    Alex Noren: 50/1

    Tiger Woods: 50/1

    Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1

    Danny Willett: 60/1

    Francesco Molinari: 60/1