Tiger Woods Game on upswing despite rough start

By Associated PressFebruary 9, 2011, 6:37 pm

2009 European Tour

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Tiger Woods insists his game is coming together and it’s just a matter of time before he wins his first tournament in more than a year.

Appearing relaxed and upbeat at the Dubai Desert Classic, the third-ranked Woods said Wednesday his game “was progressing” and he took away positives regarding his overhauled swing from finishing in a tie for 44th in his season-opener at San Diego two weeks ago.

“I still feel I can win golf tournaments,” said Woods, who has won 14 majors among 82 titles around the world. “I’m not that old. I figure I’ve got some years ahead of me.

“I don’t always win. I’ve certainly lost a lot more tournaments than I’ve won. But it’s the goal every week you tee up and that doesn’t change,” he said.

Woods’ result at Torrey Pines was his worst to start a season since he turned professional. Last year, his marriage ended following a string of extramarital affairs and he lost the No. 1 ranking to Lee Westwood in October.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods has the chance to move up a spot in the World Rankings this week at the Dubai Desert Classic (Getty Images).

Woods said he wasn’t going to return to the top soon because of the “complete overhaul” he’s made to the movement and philosophy of his swing with the help of his coach, Sean Foley.

“Obviously I still have to pay attention to the short game and my techniques there, all the different shots, as well as the putting stroke,” Woods said. “It’s progressing. I’m putting pieces together and working on the same things.

“Sean and I, we are sticking with the game plan and just trying to get better each and every week,” he added. “Good things happened in the last event I played in, and it’s nice to have some things that showed up that I had not had in practice. So we were able to identify that, work on it and I feel a lot more comfortable coming into this week.”

Woods acknowledged his struggles have been “frustrating” but he takes some solace from the fact that he has been through similar slumps before, especially from 1997-99 when he won only one tournament.

“Certainly it was frustrating that I didn’t perform the way I know I could,” he said of Torrey Pines. “But … I’ve been here before. It takes time. I went through, as I said, a two-year period where I didn’t do anything and a year-and-a-half period where I didn’t do anything … You don’t make changes and just start winning a bunch of golf tournaments.”

This week, Woods is grouped with Westwood and No. 2 Martin Kaymer on Thursday and Friday, the first time the world’s top three golfers are playing in a regular European Tour event in 17 years.

“It’s fun,” he said. “The last time I played in a pairing like this was the U.S. Open in 2008, the top three guys and we had a lot of fun. It was fun competing and playing in the group. I think tomorrow will be the same.”

Along with the sight of the top three playing together, there is much at stake this weekend which is not only exciting fans but many of the golfers as well.

Westwood could lose the top spot if Kaymer wins and he finishes lower than second, and if Kaymer finishes second and Westwood is out of the top 10. If Kaymer is tied for second, he could still become No. 1 if Westwood finishes out of the top 36.

Woods could jump ahead of Kaymer if he wins and the German finishes outside the top five.

“It feels different because you’ve got the best three players in the world here this week,” said seventh-ranked Rory McIlory, who is also playing in Dubai. “Plenty of points up for grabs and plenty to play for. Westwood could be No. 1, Kaymer could be No. 1. Not sure if Tiger could quite get to No. 1 with a win. It’s great.”

Woods won in Dubai in 2006 and 2008 but did not play here last year. He played in a pro-am on Wednesday.

“They (the greens) are running very true,” said Woods, who lagged behind on several holes Wednesday to practice his putting and chipping.

“We’ll see what happens as the tournament progresses, see if they dry out or not because they have the potential of being pretty firm,” he said. “You know, today, this morning, it was pretty soft … I suspect if you get any kind of wind or warm weather, it will dry them out and it will be a really good test come this weekend.”

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 5:50 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 
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals (Click here to watch live)

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.