Tiger Wins PGA Championship Going Away

By Associated PressAugust 20, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 PGA ChampionshipMEDINAH, Ill -- No tears, no sweat.
 
One month after an emotional victory in the British Open, Tiger Woods won the PGA Championship with a ruthless display of efficiency Sunday, closing with a 4-under 68 for a five-shot victory and his 12th career major.
 
He became the first player in history to go consecutive years winning at least two majors. And now, only Jack Nicklaus and his 18 professional majors stand in the way of Woods becoming golf's greatest champion.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods won his third PGA Championship in dominating fashion.
Woods started with a 10-foot birdie to seize the lead. He finished with a tap-in par to match his scoring record at the PGA Championship, finishing at 18-under 270 and walking off the 18th green with a broad smile.
 
That wasn't the case at Hoylake last month, where Woods sobbed on his caddie's shoulder after winning his first major since his father died in May. He paid tribute to Earl Woods again, his voice steady this time. He even managed a wisecrack about how his father taught him to putt.

'I kept saying all day, 'Just putt to the picture.' He actually knew what he was talking about,' Woods said.
 
This celebration was routine. Woods plucked the ball out of the cup and put it in his pocket, thrust his fists in the air and gave a thumbs-up sign as he walked over to pick up the Wanamaker Trophy.
 
'This is sweet. This is really sweet,' he said.
 
He became the first player to win the PGA Championship twice on the same course. Woods outlasted Sergio Garcia by one shot at Medinah in 1999. This one was never close.
 
Woods twice made birdie putts over 40 feet, and the margin of victory might have been greater had he not aimed for the middle of the green and lagged for par over the closing holes.
 
Shaun Micheel won the battle for second place, about the only drama on a sunny afternoon outside Chicago.
 
Even the race for the Ryder Cup fizzled, with no change in the standings.
 
So much for those worries about Woods after he missed the cut at the U.S. Open. He now has won his last three tournaments, the first time he has done that in five years.
 
'Jack Nicklaus, he's the only other guy I've ever seen who looks more comfortable leading on the back nine of a major than playing the first hole of a tournament,' Chris DiMarco said. 'And that's pretty scary. He just puts the hammer down.'

Nicklaus was home in North Palm Beach, Fla., watching his grandchildren play golf, but he saw enough of the final round on television to appreciate how easy Woods made it look.
 
'He's that good,' Nicklaus said. 'The guy is playing just great golf, terrific golf. From what I saw, he certainly was in total command.'
 
Nicklaus won his 18 majors over 25 years. Woods has won 12 in his first 10 years on the PGA Tour, and there doesn't appear to be anyone capable of stopping him.
 
Luke Donald was tied for the lead going into the final round at Medinah and didn't make a single birdie, closing with a 74 to finish in a tie for third at 12-under 276 with Adam Scott (67) and Garcia (70).
 
'He's just too good,' Micheel said after a 69, although he never got within five shots of Woods after the fourth hole. 'Unless you're at the top of your game, you just can't play with him.'
 
Woods is now 12-0 when he has at least a share of the 54-hole lead.
 
'Tiger just doesn't back up,' said Steve Stricker, who made a late bid for the Ryder Cup. 'He doesn't let anybody get close to him, especially in the last round.'
 
So dominant was this performance that Woods made only three bogeys the entire week, including a harmless one on the par-3 17th hole over Lake Kadijah when he was playing it safe. All that cost him was the scoring record in relation to par. He settled for 18 under, the same score he posted at Valhalla in 2000.
 
It was the fifth major that Woods won by at least five shots. He now has won his 12 majors by a combined 56 shots, while Nicklaus won his 18 majors by 44 shots.
 
That Woods has never lost a 54-hole lead in a major was enough to make some believe it was due to happen, especially on a soft course yielding low scores and a strong cast of contenders behind him.
 
He went 10 years before missing a cut in a major. Would this be the one he blew in the final round?
 
U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy found water on the second hole and three-putted from 8 feet on No. 3 to disappear. Garcia chunked a wedge and made bogey on the par-5 seventh to stall his momentum. Mike Weir got within one shot of Woods at No. 5, but he couldn't keep up the pace and fell back to a 73.
 
Donald was in contention at a major for the first time, but not for long.
 
They were tied atop the leaderboard and in the wardrobe department -- both wore a red shirt -- as thousands crammed in around the putting green, the first tee and down both sides of the fairway. Donald had equal support, not only from winning an NCAA title at Northwestern, but sticking around to make Chicago his home.
 
Cheers of 'Luuuuuuke' followed him toward the first tee, but those hopes faded quickly. Woods hit 7-iron into 10 feet, and kept his head so still over his birdie putt that he didn't look up until it was inches from dropping for birdie.
 
No one caught him the rest of the day.
 
Donald caught a bad break when his ball landed in a muddy divot on No. 4, leading to his first bogey in 40 holes. He missed a 5-foot birdie on the par-5 fifth, and that effectively ended his tournament.
 
The only drama left was the U.S. Ryder Cup team, and that also turned into a snoozer.
 
Tim Herron needed a two-way tie for seventh and was looking good with two birdies on his first five holes, but he followed that with two straight bogeys and never recovered, shooting 73. Stricker made a late surge, needing to finish third. He got as high as a tie for sixth until the birdies dried up, he finished with a bogey for a 69 and tied for seventh.
 
Davis Love III finished with three straight bogeys, completing a 73-76 weekend.
 
The top 10 players who earned a spot on the team were Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, David Toms, Chad Campbell, DiMarco, Vaughn Taylor, J.J. Henry, Zach Johnson and Brett Wetterich.
 
Tom Lehman will make his two captain's picks Monday morning, with Stewart Cink likely to be one of them. Cink was 12th in the standings and closed with a 69 while paired with vice captain Corey Pavin.
 
The question was whether he would consider Lucas Glover for his raw skill or Love for his experience, or perhaps someone else.
 
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    Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:55 pm

    NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

    Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

    Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

    1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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    Knox relishes round with 'mythical figure' Woods

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Russell Knox was expecting the worst and hoping for the best Thursday at The Open.

    Playing with Tiger Woods tends to have that effect.

    The native Scot received a treat earlier this week when he saw his name on the tee sheet alongside his boyhood idol, Woods.

    “Felt good out there, but obviously my swing, it was just like I had too much tension,” Knox said after an opening 73. “I just wasn’t letting it go as normal. First round with Tiger, I expected to feel a little bit different. The way I felt was better than the way I swung.”

    Knox said that he was nervous playing alongside Woods, a player he’d only encountered on the range. “He’s almost like a mythical figure,” he said.

    But after a while, he settled into the rhythm of the round at Carnoustie.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I thought it would be worse,” he said, “I feel like I should know what I’m doing. It’s cool playing with Tiger, but I’ve got to get over that. I’m here to win, not just enjoy my walk around the course.”

    Knox probably had more interaction with Woods than he anticipated, if only because the third member of the group, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, keeps to himself because of the language barrier.

    “It’s kind of a blur,” Knox said. “It’s like, Oh, I’m chatting away with Tiger here like normal. I don’t even remember what I was saying.”

    There have been countless stories from this year as the next generation of players – guys who grew up watching Woods dominate the sport – get paired with Woods for the first time.

    It was no less special for Knox on Thursday.

    “It’s nice for him to say things like that,” Woods said, “and we enjoyed playing with each other. Hopefully we’ll play a little bit better tomorrow.”

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    Rain expected to shower Carnoustie Friday morning

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:43 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – By the end of the day Friday, we’ll be able to determine which side of The Open draw ended the first two rounds at Carnoustie with more favorable conditions. With rain expected for most of Friday morning, it seems those who played early/late may be more pleased.

    According to Weather.com, there is a 75 percent chance of rain beginning at 2 a.m. local time Friday here in Scotland. That percentage vaults up to 95 percent by 7 a.m., with the first tee time scheduled for 6:35. At 11, the number drops to 55 percent. After 2 p.m., the percentage chances of rain are 25 percent and below for the remainder of the day.

    Temperatures during the day are expected to be from the low 50s to the low 60s and winds will vary between 14-18 mph, again per Weather.com.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    This is The Open’s official weather report for the weekend:

    Saturday: A dull start with some drizzle possible. Staying cloudy for much of the day but gradually becoming brighter with a chance of some sunny intervals during the afternoon and evening. Winds light and variable in direction but should predominantly settle in to a SSE 8-12mph during the afternoon. Max temp 20C (68F).

    Sunday: Often cloudy but mainly dry. A better chance of some decent sunny spells compared to Saturday. Most likely the windiest day of the Championship; SW 12-18mph with gusts 20-25mph. Feeling warm, especially in any sunshine with a max temp of 23C (73F).

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    Bandaged Woods 5 back after even-par 71

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:38 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods arrived Thursday with therapeutic tape on the back of his neck.

    Carnoustie’s back nine inflicted even more pain.

    Playing in the most difficult conditions of the day, Woods’ progress was stalled by two late bogeys as he settled for an even-par 71 that left him five shots off the lead at The Open.

    “I played better than what the score indicates,” he said. “It certainly could have been a little bit better.”

    Woods created a stir when he showed up with black kinesiology tape on his neck. Afterward, he said that his neck has been bugging him “for a while” and that Thursday was merely the first time that the tape was visible.

    “Everyone acts like this is the first time I’ve been bandaged up,” he said, smiling. “I’ve been doing this for years.”

    Woods said that the discomfort didn’t really affect his swing, other than a few shots “here and there.” It didn’t seem to affect his score, either, as he went out in 2 under before a few stumbles on the back nine.

    On the fast, baked-out turf, he played conservatively off the tee, using driver only once and 3-wood just twice. Apparently he didn’t need the added distance, not with his 6-iron traveling 240 yards. He tried to play to his spots, even if it routinely left him more than 200 yards for his approach.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    That’s the strategy he employed at Hoylake in 2006, where he hit driver just once and captured the third of his Open titles. Despite some of the similarities in firmness, Woods said that Carnoustie presents a different challenge off the tee.

    “These fairways are very small,” he said. “They’re hard to hit right now. They’re so fast, and they’re so moundy.”

    Finding the fairway wasn’t the chief problem for Woods on Day 1, however. He missed just four fairways but found only 11 greens.

    More damaging to his score was his play on the par 5s. Despite having only an 8-iron in, he failed to birdie each of the two par 5s and then bogeyed Nos. 10, 13 and 15 to squander his early momentum.

    Though the draw here won’t be a significant factor – or at least not like in recent years, with a wide range in scores from morning to afternoon – it’s clear that Woods (in game 47 of 52) encountered the most difficult of the conditions Thursday, with the wind gusting to 20 mph and the fairways running even faster after another sun-splashed afternoon.

    Still, his opening 71 was one of the better scores in the late wave.

    “He hit it good,” said playing partner Russell Knox. “He plotted his way around, which I expected him to do, and he was very conservative off the tee. It’s kind of fun to watch him do that, to be honest.”

    Even more fun would be a major with Woods in contention.

    He hasn’t broken par in the opening round of his last eight majors. Indeed, for Woods, these slow starts have been the real pain in the neck.