Tiger Rumors are False

By Associated PressSeptember 15, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Ryder CupTiger Woods is certain at least one European is rooting for him in the Ryder Cup: his fiancee, Elin Nordegren, the Swedish model who became engaged to Woods late last year.
Woods denied on Tuesday a Boston Herald gossip columnist's recent report the twosome 'may have called it quits.'
'That's completely false,' Woods said. 'It's 100 percent false, actually. It's amazing how the media can quote false things like that and not be held accountable ... which I think is just incredible.'
Woods insisted he and his fiancee don't even argue.
'Nothing's happened to us. We're still very happy,' Woods said. 'It's just unbelievable how the media can do that and get away with that.'
Nordegren, formerly a nanny for Jesper Parnevik's children, and Woods met three years ago at the British Open at Royal Lytham. Woods became upset last year when it was leaked to the media that he and Nordegren became engaged at a game reserve in South Africa.
The Ryder Cup is one of the few times pro golfers experience the kind of partisan, root-against-the-other team crowds indigenous to other sports.
Sometimes it can be uplifting and motivating to the home team. Sometimes the support can border on the ugly, as it did when members of the U.S. team ran onto the green to celebrate Justin Leonard's Cup-clinching 45-foot birdie putt in Brookline, Mass., in 1999.
European players felt the celebration was over the top, especially since Europe's Jose Maria Olazabal had yet to putt with a chance to halve the hole.
Sutton was asked again Tuesday by a British reporter about the incident, and his reply was decidedly testy.
'Look, y'all (the media) have been kind of like a bad marriage partner,' he said. 'We've apologized for five years for what happened in 1999. So y'all need to forget about that. The American players, if we had to do it all over again, would not have run out on the green. But the truth of the matter is we're going to be ourselves. I've told all of our players, just go be yourself. Be a gentleman and be yourself.
'So we're going out there and we're going to be ourselves. No more apologies or anything else.'
American Jim Furyk found out how Olazabal felt when Furyk and Paul McGinley halved their singles match in 2002, assuring Europe of winning the cup.
'It's an empty feeling to be standing there and watch it unfold. ... Yeah, it's a hollow feeling and it stung. Eventually you get over it and you move on,' Furyk said.
Make that dinner for 13, with separate checks?
Michael Jordan, who knows something about the subject of winning, dined with the U.S. Ryder Cup team Monday night at the Big Rock restaurant in suburban Detroit - the dining choice of Hal Sutton's wife, Ashley.
Jordan has been an avid golfer for years, often playing on the celebrity tour.
'He's passionate about golf, as most of y'all know, but he's also passionate about the Ryder Cup team,' Sutton said. 'He talked about how special he felt it was and I couldn't help but think every guy in that room had to feel special that he thought they were special.'
Well, except maybe Tiger Woods.
'It's weird for me to see people react to him that way because he's just Mike,' Woods said. 'He's MJ to me. He's one of my best friends. So it was kind of funny to sit back and watch. ... It was kind of cool what he said, how excited he is about the event.'
Europe's Padraig Harrington has a pro athlete from another sport supporting him, too: his cousin, Detroit Lions quarterback Joey Harrington.
Joey Harrington walked four holes of Padraig's practice round Tuesday, the traditional off day for NFL players. The quarterback's 4-yard touchdown pass to Az-Zahir Hakim proved decisive in the Lions' 20-16 victory at Chicago on Sunday.
While Joey Harrington is wishing his cousin well, he's already told him he is rooting for the United States to win.
'We both have some small games, sort of, toward the end of the week and so we are probably not going to see a lot of each other,' Padraig Harrington said. 'It's amazing when we do talk, we spend so much time trying to figure out what the other guy is doing. There's going to be a time in the future, obviously, where we're going to meet up where we're not exactly competing or performing in that week.'
While the Americans played practice rounds in foursomes Tuesday, the Europeans took a different approach by going out in threesomes. Even though Ryder Cup play Friday and Saturday is foursomes or four-ball, Europe's Luke Donald said, 'For most of us it was our first look at the course. ... We didn't want to take forever out there, so we played in threesomes.' ... Every aspect of the Ryder Cup is dissected in detail by the European media, much like the Super Bowl is in the United States. That's one reason why Paul Casey was asked repeatedly Tuesday about his decision to switch caddies, from Ken Comboy to Craig Connelly, earlier this week. ... Current projections have the remnants of Hurricane Ivan missing the Detroit area over the weekend. Weather forecasts call for partly cloudy to cloudy skies each day, with temperatures ranging from 71 to 78. ... European captain Bernhard Langer gave each team member an engraved Rolex watch as a gift. Asked what he would give his players, Sutton said, 'I want it to be a surprise. I didn't leave them out, I promise.'
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    Schauffele just fine being the underdog

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

    Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

    Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

    Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

    “All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

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    Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

    So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

    Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

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

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Jordan Spieth: 7/4

    Xander Schauffele: 5/1

    Kevin Kisner: 11/2

    Tiger Woods: 14/1

    Francesco Molinari: 14/1

    Rory McIlroy: 14/1

    Kevin Chappell: 20/1

    Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

    Alex Noren: 25/1

    Zach Johnson: 30/1

    Justin Rose: 30/1

    Matt Kuchar: 40/1

    Webb Simpson: 50/1

    Adam Scott: 80/1

    Tony Finau: 80/1

    Charley Hoffman: 100/1

    Austin Cook: 100/1

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    Spieth stands on brink of Open repeat

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 7:49 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jordan Spieth described Monday’s “ceremony” to return the claret jug to the keepers of the game’s oldest championship as anything but enjoyable.

    For the last 12 months the silver chalice has been a ready reminder of what he was able to overcome and accomplish in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, a beacon of hope during a year that’s been infinitely forgettable.

    By comparison, the relative pillow fight this week at Carnoustie has been a welcome distraction, a happy-go-lucky stroll through a wispy field. Unlike last year’s edition, when Spieth traveled from the depths of defeat to the heights of victory within a 30-minute window, the defending champion has made this Open seem stress-free, easy even, by comparison.

    But then those who remain at Carnoustie know it’s little more than a temporary sleight of hand.

    As carefree as things appeared on Saturday when 13 players, including Spieth, posted rounds of 67 or lower, as tame as Carnoustie, which stands alone as The Open’s undisputed bully, has been through 54 holes there was a foreboding tension among the rank and file as they readied for a final trip around Royal Brown & Bouncy.

    “This kind of southeast or east/southeast wind we had is probably the easiest wind this golf course can have, but when it goes off the left side, which I think is forecasted, that's when you start getting more into the wind versus that kind of cross downwind,” said Spieth, who is tied for the lead with Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner at 9 under par after a 6-under 65. “It won't be the case tomorrow. It's going to be a meaty start, not to mention, obviously, the last few holes to finish.”

    Carnoustie only gives so much and with winds predicted to gust to 25 mph there was a distinct feeling that playtime was over.

    As melancholy as Spieth was about giving back the claret jug, and make no mistake, he wasn’t happy, not even his status among the leading contenders with a lap remaining was enough for him to ignore the sleeping giant.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    But then he’s come by his anxiousness honestly. Spieth has spent far too much time answering questions about an inexplicably balky putter the last few weeks and he hasn’t finished better than 21st since his “show” finish in April at the Masters.

    After a refreshingly solid start to his week on Thursday imploded with a double bogey-bogey-par-bogey finish he appeared closer to an early ride home on Friday than he did another victory lap, but he slowly clawed his way back into the conversation as only he can with one clutch putt after the next.

    “I'm playing golf for me now. I've kind of got a cleared mind. I've made a lot of progress over the year that's been kind of an off year, a building year,” said Spieth, who is bogey-free over his last 36 holes. “And I've got an opportunity to make it a very memorable one with a round, but it's not necessary for me to prove anything for any reason.”

    But if an awakened Carnoustie has Spieth’s attention, the collection of would-be champions assembled around and behind him adds another layer of intrigue.

    Kisner, Spieth’s housemate this week on Angus coast, has led or shared the lead after each round this week and hasn’t shown any signs of fading like he did at last year’s PGA Championship, when he started the final round with a one-stroke lead only to close with a 74 to tie for seventh place.

    “I haven't played it in that much wind. So I think it's going to be a true test, and we'll get to see really who's hitting it the best and playing the best tomorrow,” said Kisner, who added a 68 to his total on Day 3.

    There’s no shortage of potential party crashers, from Justin Rose at 4 under after a round-of-the-week 64 to 2015 champion Zach Johnson, who also made himself at home with Spieth and Kisner in the annual Open frat house and is at 5 under.

    Rory McIlroy, who is four years removed from winning his last major championship, looked like a player poised to get off the Grand Slam schneid for much of the day, moving to 7 under with a birdie at the 15th hole, but he played the last three holes in 2 over par and is tied with Johnson at 5 under par. 

    And then there’s Tiger Woods. For three magical hours the three-time Open champion played like he’d never drifted into the dark competitive hole that’s defined his last few years. Like he’d never been sidelined by an endless collection of injuries and eventually sought relief under the surgeon’s knife.

    As quietly as Woods can do anything, he turned in 3 under par for the day and added two more birdies at Nos. 10 and 11. His birdie putt at the 14th hole lifted him temporarily into a share of the lead at 6 under par.

    “We knew there were going to be 10, 12 guys with a chance to win on Sunday, and it's turning out to be that,” said Woods, who is four strokes off the lead. “I didn't want to be too far back if the guys got to 10 [under] today. Five [shots back] is certainly doable, and especially if we get the forecast tomorrow.”

    Woods held his round of 66 together with a gritty par save at the 18th hole after hitting what he said was his only clunker of the day off the final tee.

    Even that episode seemed like foreshadowing.

    The 18th hole has rough, bunkers, out of bounds and a burn named Barry that weaves its way through the hole like a drunken soccer fan. It’s the Grand Slam of hazardous living and appears certain to play a leading role in Sunday’s outcome.

    Perhaps none of the leading men will go full Jean Van de Velde, the star-crossed Frenchman who could still be standing in that burn if not for a rising tide back at the 1999 championship, but if the 499 yards of dusty turf is an uninvited guest, it’s a guest nonetheless.

    It may not create the same joyless feelings that he had when he returned the claret jug, but given the hole’s history and Spieth’s penchant for late-inning histrionics (see Open Championship, 2017), the 18th hole is certain to produce more than a few uncomfortable moments.

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    Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

    One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

    McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

    McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

    “I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”