Tiger Singh Share Lead in Charlotte

By Associated PressMay 4, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Wachovia ChampionshipCHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Tiger Woods hit his stride early with three birdies through five holes and a collection of par saves that kept his round going. Vijay Singh came to life late with an eagle-birdie flurry to rescue an otherwise shaky round.
 
It left them atop the leaderboard on a chilly Friday at the Wachovia Championship, setting up the possibility of a showdown so desperately missing at the majors, at a tournament that has all the trappings of a major.
 
Woods missed birdie putts of 3 feet and 6 feet, and he finally dropped a shot on the final hole by hitting into the pine trees left of ninth fairway and settled for a 4-under 68. Playing in the group behind, Singh played his final three holes in 3 under for a 71.
 
They were at 6-under 138 and tied for the lead among early starters at Quail Hollow, happy to be in the clubhouse as rain threatened.
 
'I've got to go fix a few things,' said Woods, who hit only five fairways and twice swatted his bag with the handle of his driver after watching tee shots sail into the trees. 'I'm very pleased with my score. I felt I pretty much have maximized my rounds.'
 
First-round leader Padraig Harrington took three quick bogeys at the start of his round and was spiraling down the leaderboard in the afternoon, while Jason Bohn, Carl Petterson and Ted Purdy took turns trying to join Woods and Singh at the top.
 
Ken Duke, the Nationwide Tour player of the year in 2006, had a second straight 70 and was at 140.
 
Phil Mickelson hit only one fairway on his front nine and traded birdies with bogeys on his way to a 71, which left him in the group at 141 along with Stewart Cink (71) and Anthony Kim (69). Jeff Maggert challenged for the lead until he found the water twice on the final two holes, taking double bogey on the 17th and bogey on the 18th. He shot 74 and was at 2-under 142.
 
In only its fifth year, the Wachovia Championship already is considered one of the premier stops on the PGA Tour because of the demanding test at Quail Hollow, which has tight, tree-lined fairways of a U.S. Open and severely sloped greens that cause players to aim away from some flags, as they would at the Masters.
 
Michael Jordan played Woods in the pro-am earlier this week, adding some sizzle to a steamy day. Now, the thought of Woods and Singh dueling on the weekend is equally enticing.
 
They haven't been in contention at the same tournament on the weekend since the Deutsche Bank Championship last September outside Boston, where Woods overcame a three-shot deficit with an 8-under 63 in the final round to win by two.
 
But they were only halfway through the tournament, and Woods hardly looked invincible.
 
Even with temperatures in the 50s, Woods stayed on the practice range with swing coach Hank Haney for nearly two hours, trying to sort out a swing that made him rely too much on the putter.
 
'Today was part of a pretty good balance,' Woods said. 'I missed a couple of short ones, but also got away with a couple of bad drives and made a pretty good up-and-down after a terrible iron shot. All in all, pretty balanced.'
 
He quickly moved up the leaderboard with a chip to 3 feet for birdie on the par-5 10th, a 20-foot putt on the 12th and a sand wedge into 8 feet on the short but tricky 14th.
 
What saved his round was par, none bigger than the par-5 15th. After getting stuck behind a bush and hitting out into the rough, Woods had 5-wood up the hill for his third shot and came up short. He pitched to 8 feet and escaped with par. He also made par on the 16th with a chip to a foot from short of the green, and on the 18th when he carved an iron around the trees to just short of the green.
 
The other big save came at No. 3, when Woods badly pulled an iron left of the green. He was some 50 feet away, but bumped a 7-iron up the slope and barely on the green, watching it roll to within 8 feet.
 
He was poised to extend his lead with a flop shot to 3 feet on the par-5 fifth, but missed badly to the left and had to make a 4-footer just to get his par. Three holes later, he hit sand wedge 6 feet below the hole and missed that one.
 
Woods was four shots clear of Singh walking toward the eighth green, but a loud cheer behind them indicated that would change. Singh hit 3-iron over the water to the par-5 seventh, catching the ridge just right so the ball rolled 3 feet from the cup for eagle. He followed that with a sand wedge to inside a foot for a birdie on the eighth.
 
That allowed him to overcome a miserable finish to his back nine, when he made bogey from the bunker on the 16th, again bailed out right on the par-3 17th and failed to save par, and three-putted from 10 feet for bogey on the 18th.
 
'I couldn't get the greens this morning,' Singh said. 'Maybe the temperature change must have done something to my hands. Finishing eagle-birdie, that was very comfortable.'
 
DIVOTS
John Daly made four double bogeys and a quadruple bogey on his way to an 87, his highest score on the PGA Tour since he shot 87 in the final round of the Bay Hill Invitational, when he had an 18 on one hole. It was the 50th time that Daly has shot 80 or higher on the PGA Tour. ... Woods' playing partners, Paul Stankowski and Craig Perks, finished at combined 26 over par.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Wachovia Championship
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Koepka: Second-place finishes becoming 'annoying'

    By Al TaysMay 28, 2018, 12:02 am

    Brooks Koepka didn't go down without a fight.

    Trailing Justin Rose by four shots going into the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational, Koepka shot his second 7-under 63 of the week - and made up precisely one shot. He finished solo second at 17 under par, three shots behind Rose.

    He could only marvel at the Englishman's performance in closing with a 6-under 64.

    "It was pretty impressive," he said. "Justin played well. Hat's off to him. Any time you can come into a lead with four shots and play the way he did today, that's impressive."


    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

    Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


    Although Koepka was pleased with his own play - especially his putting - he said it felt "annoying" to come in second. Again.

    "I feel like we've had so many second-place finishes," he said. "Always seem to run into a buzz saw, whatever it is."

    Since May of 2016, Koepka has five solo second-place finishes and one T-2. But he also has a U.S. Open title, won last year at Erin Hills. He'll attempt to defend that title June 14-17 at Shinnecock Hills. "It's nice to finally be playing well and get going into the season," he said. "Kind of peaking right where I need to be."

    Getty Images

    Minjee Lee birdies 18 to win on her birthday

    By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:59 pm

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Minjee Lee's task was simple: A birdie on No. 18 would win her the tournament. It was a manageable par 5, the easiest hole on the course in the final round.

    After a good drive, her second shot came closer to trouble than much of the gallery probably realized.

    ''I almost clipped the tree,'' Lee said. ''I overcut it a little bit, but it finished out in a good position.''

    Lee's shot came to rest just to the right of the green, and from there it was a simple chip and putt for the birdie that gave her a one-stroke win over In-Kyung Kim at the LPGA Volvik Championship on Sunday. Lee, who turned 22 on Sunday, won for the first time since 2016. It was the Australian's fourth career victory.

    Lee three-putted for a bogey on No. 17, dropping into a tie with Kim, who finished her round about the same time. So Lee needed a birdie to win on 18. The 18th hole was 470 yards Sunday. There were 44 birdies there in the final round.


    Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


    ''The tee was up,'' she said. ''I was pretty confident that I could get there in two if I had a good drive.''

    Lee made her winning putt from about 3 feet. She finished at 4-under 68 and 16 under for the tournament. Kim (67) shot a 32 on the back nine and birdied No. 18, but it wasn't enough to force a playoff at Travis Pointe Country Club.

    ''I kind of knew that 16 was the number and I mean, I give my best,'' Kim said. ''I make some good shots and birdies.''

    Moriya Jutanugarn (65) finished third at 14 under.

    Lee took a two-stroke lead into the final round, and that was her margin over playing partner Stacy Lewis before Lewis (71) bogeyed No. 7 and 8. Kim emerged as the biggest threat to Lee when she birdied four of the first five holes on the back nine. Lewis is playing four months' pregnant with her first child.

    Kim and Lee were briefly tied at 15 under, but then Lee made a tap-in birdie on the par-5 14th, while Kim bogeyed 15. Lee saved par on 15 despite a wayward drive into a bunker.

    ''I wasn't sure where I was score-wise then. That par 5 is reachable in two, so I think a lot of people would have made birdie there,'' Lee said. ''The next tee shot I just pulled into the bunker. ... I think that was really important for me to hole that par putt just to keep the momentum going.''

    Lee had gone 38 consecutive holes without a bogey before making one on the par-4 17th. That, combined with Kim's birdie on 18, left the two golfers tied, but Lee still had the 18th to come.

    Su Oh (68) and Lindy Duncan (69) finished at 13 under, and Megan Khang (67) was another stroke back. Lewis finished at 11 under along with Ariya Jutanugarn (69) and Danielle Kang (70).

    Lewis birdied three of the first six holes, but Lee did as well.

    ''It's hard to get close when somebody does that,'' Lewis said. ''She played great all day and played solid. When she needed to make a par putt, she did, and didn't make any mistakes.''

    Lee lost this event by one stroke last year. Shanshan Feng, the 2017 winner , finished tied for 21st this time.

    The LPGA has had a different winner in each of its 13 tournaments this year. The U.S. Women's Open starts Thursday at Shoal Creek.

    Getty Images

    Spieth: Improvement is 'right around the corner'

    By Al TaysMay 27, 2018, 10:50 pm

    Not that Dallas native Jordan Spieth didn't enjoy the two-week home game that is the AT&T Byron Nelson and the Fort Worth Invitational - he certainly did. But he's eager to get out of town, too.

    "It was a great showing these last couple weeks by the fans," Spieth said after closing with a 2-under 68, a 5-under total and a T-32 finish. "Obviously extremely appreciative here in DFW. Wish I could do more. These couple weeks can be a bit taxing, and it's awesome to kind of have that support to carry you through.

    "So, you know, I had a great time these couple weeks on and off the golf course as I always do, but I'm also really excited to kind of get out of town and kind of be able to just go back to the room and have nothing to do at night except for get ready to play the next day."


    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

    Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


    Spieth will have that experience this coming week in Dublin, Ohio, site of the Memorial. He's hopeful of improving on his T-21, T-32 finishes the past two weeks, and he thinks the main thing holding him back - his putting - is ready for a turnaround.

    "I think good things are about to come," he said. "I feel a good run coming for the second half of the season. Today was - each day I've felt better and better with the wedges and the putter and the short game; today was no different. My only bogey being just kind of trying to do too much on a par-5; 3-wood into the hazard.

    "So, you know, I'm getting into where I'm not making bogeys, and then soon - the not making bogeys is great, and soon I'll get back to the five, six birdies around and shoot some low rounds.

    "So I know it's right around the corner."

    Getty Images

    Broadhurst fires 63 to easily win Senior PGA

    By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:45 pm

    BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – Paul Broadhurst wishes he had played this well in his 23 years on the European Tour.

    ''I know a lot more about my swing now and I guess you get that with age and experience,'' the 52-year-old Englishman said after shooting an 8-under 63 on Sunday to win the Senior PGA Championship by four strokes and match the best 72-hole score in tournament history.

    Broadhurst finished at 19-under 265 at Harbor Shores for his second senior major victory. The 63 was the best fourth-round score by a winner. Rocco Mediate also shot 19 under at Harbor Shores in 2016.

    Also the 2016 British Senior Open winner, Broadhurst led the field with 26 birdies and passed third-round co-leaders Tim Petrovic and Mark McCarron with a 4-under 31 on the back nine.

    Petrovic was second after a 69. McCarron had a 70 to tie for third at 14 under with Jerry Kelly (65).


    Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship


    Broadhurst earned a career-high $585,000 for his fourth PGA Tour Champions victory and moved to the top of the money list. He won six times on the European Tour, was a 1991 Ryder Cup player for Europe and has three European Senior Tour victories.

    ''It was really a special week,'' he said. ''It got a little bit tense out there. I knew I was playing well but I didn't seem to making any progress against Tim Petrovic. He was side-by-side on the back nine it seemed.''

    He learned his lead was three strokes standing on the 18th tee when his caddie asked a television announcer.

    ''So we put my driver away and reached for the rescue club,'' he said. ''If I made a 5 there that would be fine.''

    Broadhurst started the round two strokes behind Petrovic and McCarron, birdied the first hole and was tied with Petrovic for the lead by the turn. He took his first lead with a birdie on the 12th hole, led by two after 16 and birdied the final two holes, including a dramatic 40-foot putt for birdie at the 18th hole.

    ''I guess it would have been a bit of anti-climax if I would have three-putted the last green, but that would have given Tim a chance of holing his second shot,'' he said. ''I actually spoke to my caddie about that going down the last - we don't want to three-putt and five him the opportunity because stranger things have happened in golf. To see it go in the middle of the hole was just a special feeling.''

    Petrovic said missed birdie putts on Nos. 7 and 8 were costly, but it might not have mattered with the way Broadhurst was playing.

    ''In hindsight it was all for naught,'' he said. ''He was so far ahead of us. Hat's off the guy. It was a great week - we just got beat. When he made the putt on 18 ahead of us I almost started clapping in the fairway and waving a white towel. It was well-deserved. That was great playing. He won the championship for sure.''

    Broadhurst shot 72 in the first round, started rolling in putts with a 66 in the second round and was 15 under on the weekend. In addition to the leading 26 birdies, he topped the putts per greens in regulations numbers for the tournament as well with a 1.574 average.

    ''I wasn't aware I made that many birdies,'' he said. ''That's pretty impressive around this course.''

    He said his game has long been unpredictable.

    ''I'm not blessed with a consistent swing like Bernhard Langer, but when it's on, it works,'' he said. ''If I'm putting well, then anything can happen, really.''