The Tiger Schedule

By Associated PressMarch 11, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 Arnold Palmer InvitationalORLANDO, Fla. -- Among regular PGA TOUR events, Bay Hill is the only stop Tiger Woods has never missed.
 
His PGA TOUR schedule has become as predictable as azaleas blooming at Augusta National in April. It doesnt require a Ph.D. in statistics or even a crystal ball to figure out where he will play. And considering how his last eight months have gone, there is not much guesswork involved in how he will play.
 
Woods has seven official victories since July, and the one time someone else hoisted the trophy, Woods was runner-up.
 
A couple of years ago, Ernie Els tried to motivate himself by stating publicly a three-year plan to replace Woods at No. 1 in the world. Asked about that after the Big Easy won the Honda Classic a few weeks ago, he smiled and said, I didnt realize that Tiger was going to win 10 times since I said that.
 
He could have picked where Woods might win.
 
Woods will be going for his fifth title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He opened his 2008 season by winning the Buick Invitational for the sixth time. He also has six victories in the Bridgestone Invitational, six more at the World Golf Championship that now goes by the name CA Championship.
 
He has four green jackets from the Masters, four Wanamaker Trophies from the PGA Championship.
 
Woods, perhaps more than any other golfer, is a creature of habit.
 
He has won 63 times in his PGA TOUR career, yet he has trophies from only 24 tournaments. Vijay Singh has a far more diverse record, winning 31 times at 23 different tour events.
 
What inspires Woods is the competition and the course.
 
For a while now, Ive said my game has improved since 2000, and its not just about the Ws, Woods said on his Web site. Its something Ive been saying internally, and until recently, no one picked up on it. Im playing in fewer events on the toughest courses against the best fields. Thats why I feel my game has progressed, and why I feel so good about all the hard work I have put in.
 
Woods won nine times in 2000 while playing 20 events. He won seven times last year in only 16 tour starts.
 
Then again, familiarity certainly helps.
 
Consider another statistic that illustrates how his schedule works in his favor. Woods has won 52 times at the 17 tournaments tentatively on his 2008 schedule (that doesnt include two victories at Doral, which has been merged into a WGC).
 
One thing about Woods as he gets older'he doesnt add events, only subtracts.
 
The first to go was the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, which he won in 2000 and stopped playing after 2002. It will be interesting to see if Woods returns before the 2010 U.S. Open. Then came the Mercedes-Benz Championship, the EDS Byron Nelson Championship and Disney, none of which he has played since 2005, all of which have combined to add five victories to his account.
 
The most recent subtraction was his hometown event, the Northern Trust Open at Riviera, which Woods played nine times without winning. There is no indication he will return.
 
It would be easy to suggest he only plays the courses on which he has had success, but thats true for everybody. Jack Nicklaus won 73 times in his PGA TOUR career at 37 different tournaments, although the schedule looked much different in the 1960s, before Nicklaus and Palmer led a revolt that created the PGA TOUR.
 
Everything Woods does, everywhere he plays is geared toward getting ready for the majors.
 
Where does that leave everyone else?
 
In a clear case of the haves and have-nots, two tournament directors were standing next to each other near the putting green Tuesday morning at Bay Hill.
 
One was Steve Timms, who is making all the right moves for the Shell Houston Open.
 
Timms helped Houston snag the week before the Masters, and Redstone will be set up this year with fast greens and collection areas, appealing to players who want to compete before going to Augusta. Among those planning to play are Els, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and defending champion Adam Scott.
 
That would be a strong field, the envy of many tournaments.
 
But it wont have Tiger.
 
Thats the first question I get asked, Timms said. The reality is, Tiger has set his schedule and hes had tremendous success. Everyone would love to have him. We hope someday hell change his mind. But were going to do everything we can in areas we can control.
 
The other tournament director was Kym Hougham of the Wachovia Championship, where Woods is the defending champion.
 
Hougham is blessed with a good date (the week before The Players Championship) and a great course at Quail Hollow. Woods heard so much about it that he began playing in 2004 and only skipped the year his father died.
 
Were fortunate our golf course attracted him, Hougham said.
 
Hougham has lived on the other side of the tracks. He was the tournament director of the John Deere Classic, where Woods hasnt been since he lost to Ed Fiori in his third tournament as a pro. Hougham sympathizes with tournaments that dont get Woods.
 
Its a dwindling opportunity because of the majors, the WGCs, and now the playoffs, Hougham said. Its like in college, when you have requirements and electives. Were the electives. And there are lot more requirements now.
 
The four majors, three WGCs, three playoff events and The Players Championship take up 11 spots on Woods schedule. There has been only two additions to his schedule since 2002'Wachovia and the AT&T National, his own tournament.
 
Otherwise, he plays against strong fields on strong courses. Mostly, he plays where he wins.
 
So far, it appears to be working.
 
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    Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:32 pm

    SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

    He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the early 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

    ''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''

    Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

    Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots out of the lead among those who played Friday morning. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.

    Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, might have a long stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.


    Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

    Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


    Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and was outside the cut. He was in jeopardy of missing his second straight cut, depending on afternoon scoring.

    Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

    The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

    Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

    ''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

    The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

    ''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

    Getty Images

    Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

    RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

    Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

    ''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

    On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

    ''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

    Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

    ''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''


    Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf


    Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

    ''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

    Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

    First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.

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    Football coach hates golf: Don't need practice swearing

    By Jason CrookApril 20, 2018, 10:15 pm

    Some football coaches are a little more talkative than others. On one side of the spectrum, there's Bill Belichick. On the other sits Washington State football coach Mike Leach.

    Leach always delivers the goods, and when asked recently if he liked golf, he didn't hold back:

    As wrong as the 57-year-old is on the topic (golf is awesome), the man makes some hilarious points:

    • “It’s boring. I don’t care where that ball goes.”

    • "Golfers are always practicing their swing. But you know what I never did? I never practice fishing in my living room.”

    • "They'll line up over the ball and they'll say they're going to do something that you can't do with a sniper rifle and a scope, but they're going to do it with a stick and a ball."

    • “Golf’s pretty much for people that don’t swear effectively enough or need practice. And so there are people that need golf, and I don’t think I do.”

    So in conclusion, it's confirmed: Mike Leach - not a golf guy.

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    Quiros takes 1-shot lead in Morocco

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 8:22 pm

    RABAT, Morocco - Alvaro Quiros shot a solid 2-under 70 in windy conditions to push into a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco on Friday.

    Quiros fought the elements, carding seven birdies and five bogeys to move to 7 under overall and take the outright lead at the halfway point of the European Tour event.

    The Spaniard was one clear of Andrew Dodt, who moved into contention with a 4-under 68 at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course. Dodt dropped two shots in his first six holes but the Australian recovered from that shaky start to collect four birdies and an eagle.


    Full-field scores from the Trophee Hassan II


    Erik van Rooyen of South Africa was another shot back in third on 5 under after his 71.

    Bradley Dredge of Wales, who shared the first-round lead with Quiros, slipped off the pace with a 1-over 73. He's tied for fourth with Austin Connelly of Canada (71), 4 under par and three shots behind Quiros.