Tiger returns to competition with no guarantees

By Associated PressFebruary 25, 2009, 5:00 pm
2007- WGC-AccentureMARANA, Ariz. ' Eight months later, Tiger Woods looked as though he had never been away.
 
Woods made a triumphant return to golf Wednesday in the Accenture Match Play Championship with a start that showed golf what it had been missing in the 253 days since he limped his way to an epic U.S. Open title.
 
Just past high noon in the desert, Woods fired an 8-iron into 5 feet for birdie. Then came a gentle fist pump when his approach to the par-5 second settled 4 feet from the cup for eagle.
 
He closed out Brendan Jones of Australia with a 3-foot par on the 16th hole for a 3-and-2 victory.
 
I told Stevie I felt like we havent been away, Woods said, referring to caddie Steve Williams. It was business as usual.
 
But this was no ordinary day.
 
Before thousands of fans who scurried through the high desert, eager to see every shot from the worlds No. 1 player, Woods never showed any indication that he had reconstructive surgery on his left knee a week after winning the U.S. Open.
 
It held up, he said. It felt good.
 
Woods said he had looked forward to the nerves of standing on the first tee and the rush of competing. It was as if all that time away from golf had been bottled up inside of him. And then it came gushing out on a scorching day north of Tucson, where temperatures approached 90 degrees.
 
Fans packed into the bleachers around the first tee, with more lined up behind the ropes all the way to the green, and the cheer when Woods walked onto the tee could be heard all the way down the fairway.
 
Woods backed off his tee shot, and without much expression, belted a fairway metal down the right side of the fairway.
 
You are back! one spectator shouted.
 
Was he ever.
 
He won the first two holes before some rust settled in. Woods made three bogeys over his next five holes and was leading, 1 up, until he birdied the par-5 eighth with a 6-foot putt.
 
Jones never got any closer.
 
Woods seized control of the match when Jones couldnt save par behind the green on the par-3 12th, and then Woods struck another familiar pose by raising his putter above his head as his 20-foot eagle putt dropped on the 13th.
 

Related Links:
  • Match Play Scoring
  • Full Coverage ' Tiger's Return
  • Match Play Bracket
  • Full Coverage ' WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
  • Getty Images

    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.