Tiger gets lot of cheers just not for his golf

By Associated PressApril 30, 2010, 12:05 am

Quail Hollow ChampionshipCHARLOTTE, N.C. – The cheering was loud and enthusiastic when Tiger Woods stepped to the tee on a chilly morning, another sign that perhaps people are more interested in his golf than what kept him away for so long.

About the only thing that bothered Woods on Thursday was the few applause after his introduction.

He went seven tee shots without hitting a fairway. He hit into the water on consecutive holes, the first one leading to double bogey. And right when it looked as if he might limit the damage, Woods flew the green at No. 9 on his final hole for one last bogey.

Woods wound up with a 2-over 74, ending his streak of 21 consecutive rounds at par or better dating to last September. It was his worst opening round at a regular PGA Tour event since he shot 75 at The Players Championship three years ago.

What did he plan to fix?

“Not a damn thing,” Woods said. “I’m just going to go hang it up today and come out tomorrow.”

Suddenly, the goal is to stick around longer than two days at Quail Hollow, where he won two years ago and has never finished worse than 11th in his four previous starts.

The rust everyone expected at the Masters, where Woods tied for fourth in his first competition in five months, showed up at Quail Hollow. After a risky flop shot that Woods pulled off to near perfection at the par-5 10th for a birdie to start his round, it was a mad scramble to save par for so much of his day.

He pulled some tee shots to the left, one of them banging off a rake next to the bunker, another one bounding into the stream that winds along the 18th fairway. He hit to the right on the par-5 15th, under a large holly bush, forcing him to battle for par.

And when he did find his swing late in the round, he left himself 10-foot birdie putts on the wrong side of the hole, making it tough to pick up birdies that he desperately needed.

“I had a lot of issues out there trying to figure out where my balls were going to go,” Wood said. “I hit a bunch of balls left, I hit a bunch of balls right, hit a few down the middle. And that was about it.”

If he wants to make more eye contact with the fans, this was the day. Woods was among them for so much of his round. And if he wanted to keep toning down his emotions, this was ideal practice, too. Woods kept his language clean, the only four-letter word coming at the 16th hole when he screamed, “Fore!”

Beyond the golf, Quail Hollow figured to be another hurdle in his return to golf after tawdry affairs that make him an easy target for tabloids and talk-show hosts.

The Queen City was on her best behavior.

This is the first tournament for Woods with open ticket sales, and while the gallery is always strong enough to make this tournament feel close to a major, it sold out quickly after Woods announced he would play.

There were no hecklers. A couple of single-engine planes flew overhead, none carrying banners. Uniform police officers were scattered among the gallery, yet there were no incidents.

Woods didn’t notice one way or the other. He kept his head down, even after a few of his good shots. He was asked after the round if it was therapeutic to at least be out among so much positive energy.

“I’ll tell you what, I would like to say ‘Yes,”’ Woods said. “I was struggling so bad today, I didn’t know which way I was going to go, whether I was going left or right. I didn’t really hear much, to be honest with you. I was struggling so bad out there. I was just trying to piece together a round to keep myself in the tournament. As of right now, I’m only six back of second, and one good round tomorrow can get me right back in it.”

The last time Woods failed to shoot par or better was a 1-over 72 in the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship in September, the only FedEx Cup playoff event where he failed to contend.

He had his chances on his back nine when he started hitting fairways, with a slight draw on No. 3, a slight fade on No. 4. He appeared to have full command on his shots, picking up three birdies until a finish that left him with a sour taste.

“I chose the wrong club on the last hole,” he said. “The wind came up, and I thought I could take something off a 4 (iron) and hit it over the green. It should have been 5, put it in the center of the green, two-putt and move on. But I didn’t do it.”

He was surrounded by three dozen media outside the scoring area, then ducked into the locker room. His caddie waited in the parking lot, loaded up the car and off Woods went.

Woods now has played five rounds of competition in nearly six months. The expectations haven’t changed.

“I try and be easy on myself,” he said. “But I know what I can do and I’m not doing it. And that’s certainly frustrating.”

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Garcia among bubble boys keeping playoff hopes alive

By Randall MellAugust 18, 2018, 12:34 am

Sergio Garcia gave himself a chance to keep his perfect FedExCup Playoffs record going with his rally Friday at the Wyndham Championship.

D.A. Points moved into position to make a historic leap into the postseason.

And Johnson Wagner dunked his last shot of the day from long range to keep his hopes of making the playoffs alive.

But the day didn’t end nearly as well for Tyrone Van Aswegen’s FedExCup hopes.

Van Aswegen didn’t do himself any favors trying to hold on to the 125th spot on the FedExCup points list. He missed the cut by a shot.

Only the top 125 advance to The Northern Trust and next week’s start to the playoffs.

Van Aswegen wasn’t alone among “bubble boys” missing the cut. No. 122 Jhonattan Vegas, No. 123 Seamus Power, No. 124 Martin Piller, No. 126 Chad Campbell and No. 127 Robert Garrigus all failed to make the weekend.

Garcia is among 13 players who have advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs every year since they began in 2007, but his run was in jeopardy of ending starting the week. He’s 131st on the FedExCup points list

With a 65 Friday following his opening round 66, Garcia is in more than a great position to advance. He’s in position to win the Wyndham. He is tied for fourth, five shots off the lead. The day ended with Garcia projected to move up to 118th on the FedExCup points list.


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Current FedExCup points list


“I'm just going to try to keep building on the things that I did well these first two days,” Garcia said. “Whatever happens, happens. Like I said at the beginning of the week, if I have a great weekend, then it will be great. If I don't have a great weekend, it will still be great because

I'll get to rest.”

Points started the week 214th on the FedExCup points list. With back-to-back 64s, he trails only Brandt Snedeker going into the weekend. He’s projected to move to 81st in points. Nobody has ever started the Wyndham Championship that far back in points and qualified for the playoffs. Davis Love III was 186th when he won and advanced in 2015.

Wagner, 136th on the FedExCup points list, went to spectacular lengths Friday to keep his playoff hopes alive. He was outside the cut line until holing his 153-yard approach at the last.

Bill Haas, who is among those 13 players to have qualified for the playoffs every year, started the week 150th in points. He can keep his perfect playoff record going with a big weekend. He shot 68 Friday to make the cut. He’s tied for 52nd in the tournament.

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Points two back after missing 16 of 17 cuts

By Randall MellAugust 17, 2018, 11:54 pm

What’s the better story come Sunday?

Brandt Snedeker turning his 59 in the opening round into a victory at the Wyndham Championship?

Or D.A. Points winning after missing 16 cuts in his last 17 starts?

They’re both scripts in the works at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.

Points, who has been struggling this season with a herniated disc that causes numbness in his fingers, has broken through his season-long funk to shoot back-to-back 64s. He starts the weekend in second place, two shots behind Snedeker.


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“It's been difficult,” Points said of his slump. “It's been hard on my family. I was in this position a couple years ago, and I clawed my way back and won in Puerto Rico.

“I had that big downturn, and I clawed my way out of it just to find myself way back down in another deep hole again.”

Points, 41, is a three-time PGA Tour winner. He won his first title playing alongside Bill Murray at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2011 and two years later won the Shell Houston Open. He slipped into a three-year funk after that, before rebuilding his game and winning the Puerto Rico Open last year.

“Hopefully, this is my way of starting to claw back out,” Points said.

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New 'Mr. 59' Snedeker needs Day 2 rally to keep Wyndham lead

By Randall MellAugust 17, 2018, 11:24 pm

Brandt Snedeker struggled coming off the emotional high that comes with shooting 59, but it didn’t stop him from rallying Friday to try to turn his historic round into a victory at the Wyndham Championship.

After a sluggish start to the second round, Snedeker caught fire on the back nine at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., to take the lead going into the weekend.

With a 3-under 67, Snedeker moved to 14 under overall, two shots ahead of D.A. Points (64).

“I knew it was going to be tough” Snedeker said. “It wasn't going to be the same way it was yesterday. Kind of battling the emotion of everybody pulling hard for you, wanting to see you do it again. So the front nine was disappointing.”

A day after becoming the ninth player in PGA Tour history to post a sub-60 tournament round, Snedeker opened with three bogeys and two birdies on the front nine. He said it was a struggle to begin anew.


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“You hear people telling you every two seconds, `Mr. 59,’ or saying how cool it was to watch it,” Snedeker said. “Phone's still blowing up this morning, guys in the locker room are still talking to me about it. So, yes, totally on your mind. You can't ignore it. You can't try to forget about it. Hardest thing is trying to get back into a rhythm.”

Snedeker did with an eagle and two birdies on the back nine. Rolling in a 30-foot eagle putt at the 15th gave him back the lead he lost earlier in the round.

“To see that go in was huge,” Snedeker said.

Not every player to break 60 on the PGA Tour has gone on to win. In fact, Snedeker is looking to become just the fifth player to do so.

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Garwood (64) leads Dick's Sporting Goods Open

By Associated PressAugust 17, 2018, 9:53 pm

ENDICOTT, N.Y. - Doug Garwood birdied the final three holes for an 8-under 64 and the first-round lead Friday in the Dick's Sporting Goods Open.

The 55-year-old Garwood had nine birdies and a bogey, playing his final nine holes - the front nine at En-Joie Golf Club - in 6-under 31.

''Drove it well, hit the irons well, pitched well, putted well, thought well,'' Garwood said. ''I got to a point I was just making birdies and I kind of lost track of how it was going,'' Garwood said. ''That's always a good thing.''

He won the 2016 SAS Championship for his lone PGA Tour Champions title.


Full-field scores from the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open


"I haven't been playing great this year, but I've been working hard on my game and things I've been working on are paying off,'' Garwood said. ''My golf, I take it a shot at a time, don't think about too far in advance because you really can't control, you know, the 13th hole tomorrow. It's just about the tee shot on No. 1.''

Michael Bradley and Marco Dawson shot 65, Woody Austin and Clark Dennis followed at 66, and Bob Estes and Tom Gillis were at 67.

''It was a good day,'' Bradley said. ''I've traditionally not driven the ball well here and you've got to drive the ball good here to shoot a good score. I drove the ball well and made a few putts, so that was that.''

Kenny Perry, the 3M Championship winner two weeks ago in Minnesota, had a 68. Bernard Langer and Miguel Angel Jimenez each shot 70. Langer won the 2014 tournament. Jimenez is coming off a victory at St. Andrews in the British Senior Open.

Defending champion Scott McCarron had a 72. Kevin Sutherland also had a 72. He shot the only 59 in PGA Tour Champions history in the 2014 event. John Daly, the winner of the PGA Tour's 1992 B.C. Open at En-Joie, opened with a 73.