Tiger makes eight birdies shoots 66 in Round 3

By Associated PressJune 20, 2010, 5:29 am

2010 U.S. Open

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. –  Forget fist pumps. When Tiger Woods watched a putt on No. 17 roll in –  a putt he later admitted was “a joke” –  he raised his right arm and extended his index finger high in the air.

No. 1.

Who knows? Maybe he can still get there this week after a remarkable round of U.S. Open golf Saturday at Pebble Beach.

Woods shot 5-under 31 on the back nine to post a 5-under 66 for the day and vault from also-ran to big-time contender. When his round was over, he was at 1-under 212 for the tournament, alone in third place, only four shots behind leader Graeme McDowell.

The 66 was Woods’ best score since returning to tournament golf following his uncomfortable winter on the sideline. The putts, on greens he ridiculed as “awful” on Thursday, finally started falling, and he started converting on a swing that suddenly started rounding into form.

Tiger Woods
Woods dazzled Saturday with a 5-under 66. (Getty Images)
“It’s a process,” Woods said. “You have to just build. All the Opens I’ve won, I’ve had one stretch of nine holes where I put it together.”

It’s a testament to his game that he chose the back nine to do it at Pebble  –   the tougher nine, and the nine the leaders were playing with bright sunshine and brisk winds drying out the course and making the greens bumpy.

The highlight of Woods’ round will go down as his second shot on No. 18. Squirreled behind one of the two huge trees on the right side of the fairway, his caddie, Steve Williams, told him he was 260 yards away –  the perfect distance to go for it. He crushed a 3-wood, hustled to his left, yelled at the ball to go, then watched it land 20 feet from the pin.

A two-putt for a birdie and a round of 66 –  only one stroke higher than the 65 he shot on opening day at Pebble in 2000, when he was a different player and he went on to win by 15.

On this day, though, memories of Torrey Pines were more apropos. Two years ago, he was injured, trying to turn a good Saturday into something better when he hit a chip shot from the side of the 17th green that came out of the rough hot, bounced once and somehow went in. He took his hat off, covered his face, laughed sheepishly. Didn’t mean that to happen. But sometimes it does.

Sort of like his putt on No. 17 at Pebble. Above the hole, 15 feet away, Woods said the only goal there was “don’t throw away a great round now.”

“The putt on 17 was a joke,” he said. “I’m just trying to get it close and walk out of there. And it happened to go in.”

It’s putts like those that can turn players into believers, though Woods never stopped believing, even when others might have.

His spiel after Friday’s round, when he was seven strokes out of the lead, buried in 25th, sounded more canned than condensed soup: He was close, just needed to make a birdie or two, get to par and anything could happen at a U.S. Open. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

He looked like nothing more than a dreamer after the second and third holes of Saturday’s round. A pair of bogeys. The worse one came on No. 3, when he drove the ball to 40 yards in front of the green, then tried to get a flop shot to lock up on the top right corner of the green –  one of the many at Pebble that Tom Watson said made players feel like they were “putting over a herd of turtles.”

The shot ran off the green, into the rough. The bogey ballooned Woods to 6-over par, nine shots behind a leader who hadn’t even hit the course yet.

Eight birdies (and one more bogey) later, it was a different story. Woods looked like a genius. What’s new?

And for all the drama and trauma he’s put himself through over the past few months, he showed his game hasn’t gone too far away. A 15th major this week? That doesn’t seem like such a stretch anymore, either.

“Well, I’ve got a long way to go before that happens,” he said. “It would feel good. I’ve won U.S. Opens before and it certainly didn’t feel bad.”
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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 5:00 pm

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams have advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Scoring:

TV Times (all times ET):

Tuesday
11AM-conclusion: Match-play quarterfinals (Click here to watch live)
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals

Wednesday
4-8PM: Match-play finals

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Davis: USGA learned from setup errors at Shinnecock

By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 4:51 pm

With the U.S. Open set to return to Shinnecock Hills for the first time in 14 years, USGA executive director Mike Davis insists that his organization has learned from the setup mistakes that marred the event the last time it was played on the Southampton, N.Y., layout.

Retief Goosen held off Phil Mickelson to win his second U.S. Open back in 2004, but the lasting image from the tournament may have been tournament officials spraying down the seventh green by hand during the final round after the putting surface had become nearly unplayable. With the course pushed to the brink over the first three days, stiff winds sucked out any remaining moisture and players struggled to stay on the greens with 30-foot putts, let alone approach shots.

Speaking to repoters at U.S. Open media day, Davis offered candid reflections about the missteps that led to the course overshadowing the play during that infamous final round.

"I would just say that it was 14 years ago. It was a different time, it was different people, and we as an organzation, we learned from it," Davis said. "When you set up a U.S. Open, it is golf's ultimate test. It's probably set up closer to the edge than any other event in golf, and I think that the difference then versus now is we have a lot more technology, a lot more data in our hands.

"And frankly, ladies and gentlemen, what really happened then was just a lack of water."

Davis pointed to enhancements like firmness and moisture readings for the greens that weren't available in 2004, and he noted that meterological data has evolved in the years since. With another chance to get his hands on one of the USGA's favorite venues, he remains confident that tournament officials will be able to better navigate the thin line between demanding and impossible this time around.

"There are parts that I think we learned from, and so I think we're happy that we have a mulligan this time," Davis said. "It was certainly a bogey last time. In fact maybe even a double bogey, and equitable stroke control perhaps kicked in."

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UCLA junior Vu named WGCA Player of the Year

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 3:23 pm

UCLA junior Lilia Vu was named Player of the Year on Tuesday by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).

Vu recorded the lowest full-season scoring average (70.37) in UCLA history. Her four tournament wins tied the school record for most victories in a single season.

Vu was also named to the WGCA All-America first team. Here's a look at the other players who joined her on the prestigious list:

WGCA First Team All-Americans

  • Maria Fassi, Junior, University of Arkansas
  • Kristen Gillman, Sophomore, University of Alabama
  • Jillian Hollis, Junior, University of Georgia
  • Cheyenne Knight, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Jennifer Kupcho, Junior, Wake Forest University
  • Andrea Lee, Sophomore, Stanford University
  • Leona Maguire, Senior, Duke University
  • Sophia Schubert, Senior, University of Texas
  • Lauren Stephenson, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Maddie Szeryk, Senior, Texas A&M University
  • Patty Tavatanakit, Freshman, UCLA
  • Lilia Vu, Junior, UCLA
Chris Stroud and caddie Casey Clendenon Getty Images

Stroud's caddie wins annual PGA Tour caddie tournament

By Rex HoggardMay 22, 2018, 3:15 pm

Casey Clendenon, who caddies for Chris Stroud, won the gross division of the annual PGA Tour caddie tournament on Monday, shooting a 5-under 66 at Trinity Forest Golf Club, site of last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.

Scott Tway (65), who caddies for Brian Harman, won the net division by two strokes over Wayne Birch, Troy Merritt’s caddie.

Kyle Bradley, Jonathan Byrd’s caddie, took second place with a 71 in the gross division.

The tournament was organized by the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, and proceeds from the event went to two charities. The APTC donated $20,000 to Greg Chalmers’ charity, MAXimumChances.org, which aids families living with autism. The association also donated $10,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.