Tiger Falters Late One Behind Furyk

By Associated PressDecember 13, 2007, 5:00 pm
2006 Target World Challenge pres. by CountrywideTHOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Tiger Woods went 10 weeks and four days without hitting a golf shot that mattered, and it hardly showed Thursday in the Target World Challenge when he struck just about everything where he was aiming.
 
Until he got to the final hole.
 
Woods pulled his approach into the hazard on the 18th hole to finish with a double bogey for a 3-under 69, leaving him in a pack of players one shot behind Jim Furyk in the final tournament of the year.
 
'It's frustrating the way it ended, no doubt, because it was a good round of golf,' Woods said.
 
The only regrets were failing to birdie two par 5s on the back nine at Sherwood Country Club because of poor pitches, and making a mess of the final hole. Otherwise, he figures his first competitive round since Sunday at the Presidents Cup could have been a 65 without too much stress.
 
But that's true for many of the 16 players invited to this year-end bonanza.
 
Furyk had not played since the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda on Oct. 17, and was pleasantly surprised how he recovered from a shaky opening tee shot. He dropped only one shot on a gorgeous day in the Conejo Valley, and his birdie on the final hole eventually put him atop the leaderboard.
 
Masters champion Zach Johnson came on strong down the stretch, with back-to-back birdies and an unlikely scramble on the par-5 16th. He hit what he called a 'chunk-push' with his 3-wood into the water, took a penalty drop that landed on shredded bark, dumped that one into a greenside bunker and holed it for a routine par. He wound up with a 69.
 
Also at 69 were Henrik Stenson and Rory Sabbatini, two guys who have no rust at all.
 
Sabbatini played in the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa, then the Australian PGA Championship last week. Stenson has been all over the world the last six weeks, going from his home in Dubai to Spain for the Volvo Masters, then Shanghai for the HSBC Championship, then Japan for the Dunlop Phoenix, then South Africa for the Nedbank, then to his other home in Orlando, Fla., before going to Los Angeles.
 
Not to worry -- a rest is on the way. He goes back to Florida for two weeks before heading to Maui for the Mercedes-Benz Championship, then back to Dubai.
 
'Air miles are not a problem at the moment,' Stenson said.
 
But his tee shot on the 16th was a problem. He was at 5 under and figured to be in the lead until he pulled his tee shot left of the bunkers and into a water hazard. After taking his penalty drop, he chipped back into the fairway and made bogey.
 
'I've come back a little bit in form,' Stenson said.
 
The only other players under par were British Open champion Padraig Harrington and Mark Calcavecchia, both at 71.
 
Steve Stricker, the back-to-back comeback player of the year on the PGA TOUR, was among those at even par after a shaky time on the greens. Stricker also hasn't played since the Presidents Cup, taking a quick trip to the TPC Sawgrass last week to get ready.
 
He hit the ball fine, but when his 30-foot birdie on the third hole raced 4 feet by, he walked off the green with wide eyes.
 
'We don't have greens this fast in Wisconsin,' he said, 'unless they've got ice.'
 
But it's a good week for Stricker, who has come to Sherwood the last two years to make some Christmas cash in the pro-am. He still wasn't sure he would be eligible, even as his world ranking climbed into the top 10 and settled as high as No. 4. It has become a running joke for Stricker whenever someone mentioned he got to stay all four days this year.
 
'This is better than the pro-am,' he said, walking off the seventh green. But as he motioned toward Woods, who couldn't seem to miss a putt or a shot, Stricker added with a smile, 'I'm starting to wonder why I even came.'
 
Woods has won his tournament three times in the six years it has been at Sherwood, and he was off to a good start despite coming off the longest unforced break of his career.
 
'I was surprised at how quickly I got into the flow of the round. It basically took a hole-and-a-half,' Woods said. 'Long layoffs, sometimes it takes you three, four, five holes before you feel comfortable.'
 
He was challenged early with a sidehill lie and a tree in his way. From 75 yards, he played a low hook with his 60-degree wedge to 15 feet, then followed that by pounding a 3-wood over the water to 18 feet on the par-5 second.
 
The end was messy, but everyone had problems. Some got over them quickly.
 
Paul Casey took a triple bogey on the second hole and was 4 over through four before birdies on the next three holes allowed him to recover on his way to a 72.
 
No such luck for Colin Montgomerie. He took double bogey on the second hole and it only got worse. Montgomerie was the only player in the field not to make a birdie. He shot an 80.
 
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    Garcia (73), Fleetwood (74) off to slow starts at BMW

    By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 8:30 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany – Sebastien Gros carded a 4-under 68 in windy conditions to lead by one shot after the opening round of the BMW International Open on Thursday.

    The Frenchman had four birdies to take the lead before the turn, and a six-footer on the 15th hole moved him two ahead. But a bogey on the next hole left the 28-year-old Gros just one ahead of Jorge Campillo, Scott Jamieson, Aaron Rai and Henric Sturehed.

    Sturehed eagled the par-5 No. 13 to take the lead in the morning at the Gut Laerchenhof club.

    Christofer Blomstrand, Nico Geyger, Mark Tullo, Victor Perez, David Howell and Nicolai von Dellingshausen are a further stroke back on 2-under 70.

    Defending champion Andres Romero was among a large group at 1 under, including 2013 winner Ernie Els and three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan.

    Romero is bidding to be the first player to retain the title.

    Local favorite and 2008 champion Martin Kaymer shot 72, ahead of Sergio Garcia (73) and Tommy Fleetwood (74).

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    Ryu thriving again after simple advice from Inbee Park

    By Randall MellJune 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

    So Yeon Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last year.

    She reigned as world No. 1 for almost five months.

    So when she couldn’t keep her momentum going at year’s start, she got frustrated. She wasn’t happy with two top 10s in her first 11 starts.

    “I lost a lot of confidence at the beginning of the year,” Ryu said Thursday as she prepared to lead a strong field as the defending champion in Friday’s start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. “My expectation level was way too high.”

    So she sought the counsel of her pal, world No. 1 Inbee Park, who gave her some plain-spoken advice.


    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship


    “Get over it,” Park told her. “You know what to do. You’ve done it, so it’s not really a big deal. Don’t worry about it. You were No. 1. You’ve achieved a lot of things as a professional golfer. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.”

    Ryu got over it winning the Meijer LPGA Classic last week, the sixth LPGA title of her career, her third in 15 months. She’s feeling good again leading a stellar field this week at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., a strong tune up before next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s third major championship.

    World No. 1 Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson are among the top nine players in the world scheduled to compete this week. Twenty-four of the top 30 are in the field.

    “When you come to defend your title, you obviously have a lot of pressure, but after I won last week, now I sort of think, maybe I have a chance to defend my title,” Ryu said. “So I've got total confidence, by last week.”

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    Watch: Spieth, JT hole bunker shots in back-to-back groups

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 6:57 pm

    Jordan Spieth has a thing for holing bunker shots at the Travelers Championship, where he made one in a playoff to win last year.

    He did it again in Round 1 at TPC River Highlands, knocking in this shot for eagle at the par-5 sixth to reach 4 under par for the tournament



    In the next group, Justin Thomas did the same thing to reach 1 under. Keep an eye out for the best part of this highlight, when Thomas' caddie Jimmy Johnson tries to hand him his putter.

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    River Highlands a 'breather' for Zach Johnson (63)

    By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 6:43 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – After enduring the pressure-cooker of the U.S. Open, Zach Johnson was more than happy to drift north to the friendly confines of TPC River Highlands.

    Birdies were rare last week at Shinnecock Hills, but they’ll be plentiful all week long at the Travelers Championship. Browned-out and crispy conditions transitioned to lush and verdant, and players can attack flags without fear of turning a possible par into a struggle to avoid triple.

    Johnson did just that in the opening round, carding eight birdies against a single bogey to take the early lead with a 7-under 63.

    “It’s a different kind of breathing. It’s a different kind of exhaling, if you will, but they’re both good,” Johnson said. “You can put some red on the board here. We know that. We’ve seen it. You can go the other way in a hurry if you press it; it can keep going in the other way. So you kind of have to let it happen. This is one of those courses where you have to let it happen.”


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    Like many in this week’s field, Johnson took it easy after a grueling major championship, staying away from the course Monday and easing into his prep over the next two days. Those decisions paid off quickly as he rattled off six straight birdies on Nos. 11-16 to take sole possession of the lead.

    While Johnson tied for 12th last week at Shinnecock Hills, that was just his second top-15 finish since the Sony Open in January. But the veteran is no stranger to fast starts at TPC River Highlands, having now opened with 65 or better four times in his last eight appearances dating back to 2011.

    It’s a course where he continues to have success, even if his past consistency hasn’t lived up to expectations.

    “I feel like every time I get here it feels like I should shoot nothing, and it bites me,” Johnson said. “The last couple years I’m like, ‘All right, you can’t have any expectations in that regard. You’ve just got to go out and execute, you know, put the ball in the fairway and you will have opportunities.’”