Tiger Woods wins 69th PGA Tour title at Buick Open

By Associated PressAugust 2, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 Buick OpenGRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Mich. ' Tiger Woods won the Buick Open for a third time and claimed his 69th PGA Tour victory.
 
Ho hum.
 
Not quite.
 
Woods shot a 3-under 69 and coasted to a three-shot victory with a 20-under 268 total at Warwick Hills, which hosted its first Buick Open in 1958 and seemed to stage its final one Sunday.
 
Ive played all around the world, and Ive never seen a day like this, said Woods, also the 2002 and 2006 winner at Warwick Hills. This event has always been special, but today was something else.
 
Tiger Woods waves at the Bucik Open
Tiger Woods now owns 69 career PGA Tour titles. (Getty Images)
He acknowledged thinking about his walk up 18 at Warwick Hills being his last, leading to him throwing his ball with a lot of velocity back down the fairway to fans. He also tossed a ball into the gallery at 17.
 
I never do that, but today was different, Woods said. We arent coming back here, and I wanted to thank all these people.
 
GolfWeek Magazine reported on its Web site that General Motors Co. would end the PGA Tours longest partnership, and The Associated Press confirmed it with a person briefed on the decision. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the announcement wouldnt be made until after the tournament.
 
GolfWeek also reported The Greenbrier in West Virginia is waiting for the PGA Tour to confirm it will replace the Buick Open in 2010.
 
Susan Docherty, general manager for GMs Buick and GMC brands, said she is giving Buick-GMCs national promotions manager Larry Peck 90 days to figure out the companys future with the sport.
 
Theres been a long history between Buick and golf and there definitely will be a connection going forward, Docherty said. What we need to do and stop and evaluate what we want to do going forward.
 
Spending about $7 million on a golf tournament in Michigan might not be part of the plans.
 
Hopefully, well get back to this region soon, Woods said.
 
Early and often at Warwick Hills, from the pro-am when he played with rocker Bob Seger through Sunday, Woods was thanked by fans who appreciated his appearance.
 
Ive never played in front of fans like this, Woods said.
 
And, they havent seen a player quite like Woods.
 
He improved to 36-1 when he has the outright lead after 54 holes. Woods has four wins this season ' twice as many as anyone else on the PGA Tour ' in just 11 starts since returning from knee surgery.
 
Roland Thatcher (64), Greg Chalmers (68) and John Senden (70) tied for second.
 
I might go take a picture of the scoreboard since Im tied with Tiger, but Im not going to worry about getting ready for a playoff, Thatcher said when he ended his round soon after Woods was starting his. Im sure hes going to make my day a moot point.
 
Indeed he did.
 
Woods broke the tie with Thatcher with a 21-footer at No. 4, then two-putted from 43 feet to birdie the par-5 seventh. After saving par from the trees on 10 and water on 13, he picked up his final birdie with a two-putt on the par-5 16th.
 
He moved into first place in the FedEx Cup standings and padded his lead on the money list with another $918,000 after tying Vijay Singhs record of three Buick Open titles.
 
With the 69 wins, he trails just Jack Nicklaus (73) and Sam Snead (82).
 
Woods reached victory No. 69 at the age 33 years, 7 seven months ' almost seven years quicker than Nicklaus and eight years sooner than Snead.
 
Dating to the 2006 British Open, Woods has won 21 of 39 starts on the PGA Tour.
 
Woods, playing for the first time since missing the cut at the British Open, got off to a brutal start at the Buick Open.
 
He shot a 71 in the first round and said it was probably the worst putting performance of his career, leading to him skipping his post-round practice session because he was so mad.
 
It only added to his legacy because he went from a tie for 95th to a victory, the largest jump hes made from the first round in a tournament he ended up winning.
 
Woods roared back into contention with the best five-hole start of his career ' beginning 6 under in the second round ' en route to a 9-under 63 for his best score in relation to par in four years.
 
He hit the ball relatively poor in the third round, but made enough clutch shots to finish with a 65 and take a one-shot lead into Sunday.
 
The three-shot victory was his most lopsided since winning the 2008 Buick Invitational by eight.
 
He took advantage of the easy course and weak field as expected. The six players who finished within five shots of Woods have a combined four titles.
 
Hes just laughing at all of us, Letzig said. I wish hed stop coming to the tournaments Im coming to. Seriously, though, I love it.
 
Woods, whose previous three wins this year were each by one shot, spent much of Sunday with a two-shot cushion before he took a three-stroke lead with the birdie at No. 16.
 
His businesslike final round included three birdies and no bogeys and won without trailing in the final round for the first time since Bay Hill in 2008.
 
Competition and courses are about to get much tougher.
 
Woods will play at the Bridgestone Invitational next before going to Hazeltine for the PGA Championship, his final chance to win a major this year.
 
He is set to compete in two straight tournaments going into a major for the first time in his career.
 
I feel good, Woods said. The win helps.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' 2009 Buick Open
  • Marc Dull (Florida State Golf Association)

    Cops called in bizarre ending to Florida Mid-Am

    By Ryan LavnerMay 20, 2018, 7:16 pm

    In a one-paragraph post on its website, the Florida State Golf Association declared Marc Dull the winner of the 37th Mid-Amateur Championship on May 13 after his opponent – in a tie match with two holes to go – was unable to return because of an “unfortunate injury” sustained during a lengthy weather delay.

    Left unreported was what allegedly happened.

    According to a police report (see below) obtained by GolfChannel.com, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office received a call that afternoon from Dull’s opponent, Jeff Golden, who claimed that he’d been assaulted in the parking lot at Coral Creek Club, the tournament host site in Placida. In a statement provided to police, Golden said that he was sucker-punched in the face by Dull’s caddie, Brandon Hibbs.

    Both in his statement to police and in a subsequent phone interview afterward, Golden, 33, said that the alleged incident stemmed from a rules dispute on the ninth hole during the championship match. As he surveyed his putt, Golden asked Dull whether the cup was damaged or if there was loose debris around the edge.

    “Don’t worry about it,” Hibbs reportedly told Golden. “If you’re going to make it, you’re going around it.”

    With tensions already running high because of what he perceived as breaches of etiquette by his opponents, Golden informed the rules official in the group that he believed Hibbs’ statement constituted advice. The penalty was a loss of hole, giving Golden a 2-up lead at the turn.

    At that point, Hibbs told police, he recused himself and returned to the clubhouse. Dull and Golden continued their match, heading to the 17th hole all square when they were pulled off the course because of inclement weather.

    Golden told police that he headed to the parking lot at 2:45 p.m. to retrieve some dry clothes from his car when Hibbs “approached him, apologized, then punched him on the left side of the face,” causing him to fall to the ground.

    “I had a moment where I was happy to see him, because the first thing he said to me was, ‘I want to apologize,’” Golden said last week in a phone interview. “By the time he finished I was being punched.”

    Asked why he believed Hibbs would strike him, Golden said: “It was from the earlier ruling, 100 percent. He had anger toward me because I called him out on a ruling.”

    In a statement given to police, Hibbs, 36, said that he had “been in the clubhouse the entire time and did not batter [Golden], nor was he in the parking lot.” Hibbs, who caddies with Dull at Streamsong Resort in Central Florida, did not return a message seeking comment.

    Police wrote in the report that there were no witnesses to the alleged attack, nor was there any surveillance video from the parking lot. While observing Golden the officer noted “no swelling or abrasions to the face,” but there was “some redness on the inside of [Golden’s] lip.” Hibbs’ hands and knuckles showed “no scrapes or abrasions.”

    Golden, however, said that there were three bloodstains on his shirt and punctures inside his mouth that proved he’d been struck. He also described himself afterward as “dizzy” and seeing “weird shades of colors,” and that the area between his wrist and thumb was “very sensitive” from catching his fall. Still feeling woozy, he met with his doctor the day after the alleged incident and also underwent a CT scan on Friday.

    “I was extremely shaken up,” he said. “I had concussion symptoms.”

    Golden declined to press charges – he said later that he wasn’t given the option, because of a lack of physical evidence – and refused medical attention.

    Reached by phone last week, Dull said that he had no knowledge of the alleged attack and was only made aware once the police arrived. He said he had waited out the delay in a storm shelter.

    “It was shocking,” he said. “[Hibbs] said to me, ‘I didn’t touch the guy.’”

    Once the police left, it was up to the FSGA to determine how to proceed.

    With the course now playable after a two-hour delay, under the Rules of Golf, the players were expected back on the 17th hole.

    Golden asked Dull whether he would concede the match.

    “I said that I wasn’t going to concede,” Dull said. “Why would I concede the match when I was sitting in the shelter, and when I come back someone is accused of being hit?”

    So Golden then decided to concede, handing the Mid-Am title to Dull, the reigning FSGA Amateur Player of the Year.

    “I just wanted to get home,” Golden explained later.

    Asked last week for more details about the final result, Jeff Magaditsch, the organization’s director of tournament operations, said in an email that Golden “expressed concern about a wrist issue” and that “not much additional information is available.”

    A day later, once the details of the police report became available, FSGA executive director Jim Demick said that Golden “didn’t want to play anymore.”

    “Regrettably, the golf course was very playable and Jeff understood that he needed to resume the match,” he said. “I think he was just ready to go.”

    When asked to comment on the alleged attack, Demick said that the police “found absolutely no evidence of an assault.”

    Last week Golden, who qualified for the 2007 U.S. Open and is now a tennis pro at Palencia in St. Augustine, appealed the FSGA’s decision, writing in a letter that tournament officials shouldn’t have accepted his concession.

    Dull said that he was “annoyed by the whole incident.”

    “I think it taints the entire championship,” he said. “It’s unfortunate. No golf tournament should end that way.”

    Getty Images

    Delayed start for Nelson might mean Monday finish

    By Will GrayMay 20, 2018, 6:04 pm

    DALLAS – Inclement weather  pushed back final-round tee times at the AT&T Byron Nelson by more than four hours, increasing the likelihood of a Monday finish in the tournament’s debut at Trinity Forest Golf Club.

    With the field already scheduled to play in threesomes off split tees, the opening tee times for the day got pushed back from 9:23 a.m. CT to 1:23 p.m. because of steady rain in the area. The delay means that the final group won’t start their round until 3:35 p.m. local time.

    With sunset in the Dallas area scheduled for 8:23 p.m., the leaders will likely have just under five hours to complete their rounds or face returning to the course Monday morning. Threesomes have been used for each of the first three days, and in part because of the intricacies of the new layout rounds have routinely approached 5 hours and 30 minutes in duration.

    Should play spill over into Monday, those playing next week’s event will face one of the Tour’s shortest commutes, with Fort Worth Invitational host Colonial Country Club less than an hour away.

    Marc Leishman and Aaron Wise share the 54-hole lead at 17 under, four shots clear of the field. They’ll be joined in the final trio by Australia’s Matt Jones, who is tied for third with Kevin Na.

    Getty Images

    Watch: Tiger 'drops mic' in long drive contest

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 20, 2018, 12:44 am

    Tiger Woods is in Las Vegas this weekend for the 20th annual Tiger Jam charity event that benefits his foundation.

    During the tournament on Saturday afternoon, Woods challenged World Long Drive competitor Troy Mullins to a long drive contest.

     

    A post shared by TROY MULLINS (@trojangoddess) on May 19, 2018 at 1:25pm PDT

    Safe to say it looks like Tiger won.

    Getty Images

    Sunday showdown for Wise, Leishman at Nelson

    By Will GrayMay 19, 2018, 11:40 pm

    DALLAS – While the swirling Texas winds may still have their say, the AT&T Byron Nelson is shaping up to be a two-horse race.

    With a four-shot gulf between them and their closest pursuers, co-leaders Marc Leishman and Aaron Wise both stepped up to the microphone and insisted the tournament was far from over. That it wouldn’t revert to a match-play situation, even though the two men didn’t face much pressure from the pack down the stretch of the third round and have clearly distanced themselves as the best in the field through 54 holes.

    But outside of an outlier scenario or a rogue tornado sweeping across Trinity Forest Golf Club, one of the two will leave with trophy in hand tomorrow night.

    That’s in part because of their stellar play to this point, but it’s also a byproduct of the tournament’s new and unconventional layout: at Trinity Forest, big numbers are hard to find.

    Even with the winds picking up during the third round and providing the sternest challenge yet, the field combined for only 16 scores of double bogey, and nothing worse than that.


    Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

    AT&T Byron Nelson: Articles, photos and videos


    There’s irony in a course called Trinity Forest offering a tree-less test, sure, but there are also no water hazards in play here. For the most part, players have been maxing out with bogey – and Leishman and Wise have combined for only six of those so far this week.

    If someone from the chase pack is going to catch them, the two sharing the pole position aren’t going to do them any favors.

    “I don’t really want to give them a chance,” Leishman said. “I’d love to go out and shoot a low one and make Aaron have to shoot a good score tomorrow to beat me, which, I fully expect him to shoot a good score.”

    While Leishman has been somewhat of a late bloomer on the PGA Tour, with only one win across his first eight seasons, he now has a golden opportunity to add a third trophy in the last 14 months. He has felt right at home on a sprawling layout that reminds him of a few back in his native Australia, and he’s part of a Down Under invasion on a leaderboard that also includes Matt Jones (-13) and Adam Scott (-9).

    While Wise briefly held sole possession of the lead, Leishman has seemingly held an iron grip on the top spot since opening his week with a blistering 61.

    “Before last year, I was a pretty slow starter. I always got off to a slow start Thursday, or I’d be fighting to make the cut and have a good weekend to slide into the top 10,” Leishman said. “Getting into that round straight away on the first tee rather than the ninth green or something, which sounds like a really basic thing, but it’s something I didn’t do very well until last year.”

    But as Leishman acknowledged, he likely can’t count on a stumble from Wise to help finish off a wire-to-wire victory. As the youngest player to make the cut this week, Wise is facing a challenge of taking down a top-ranked Aussie for the second time in as many starts.

    While he came up short at the Wells Fargo Championship, tying for second behind Jason Day, he remains supremely confident that he can put those hard-earned lessons to use this time around.

    “I feel like it’s a great opportunity,” Wise said. “It will obviously be a huge day for me. I feel like having one go at it already, I’m a little more confident going into it this time.”

    Even among the landscape of the Tour’s promising next wave, Wise stands out as a particularly young gun. Still only 21, he could feasibly be heading to Karsten Creek next week with his Oregon Duck teammates to close out his senior season with another NCAA championship appearance.

    But Wise turned pro after winning the NCAA individual title as a sophomore, and he steadily worked his way through the professional ranks: first a win on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada, then one last summer on the Web.com Tour.

    Now he’s poised to turn what he described as a “lackluster” season before his Quail Hollow runner-up into one that defies even his own expectations.

    “Absolutely, I am way ahead of the curve. It’s pretty hard to do what I’ve done at such a young age. Only a few have done it,” Wise said. “I feel like I’m getting some great experience for a kid this young. It’s only going to serve me well down the road.”

    An unpredictable Coore-Crenshaw layout will have one more day to star, and outside of Wise the top six names on the leaderboard have at least one Tour win to their credit. But after the two men traded punches on a firm and fast afternoon, it sure feels like the final round is shaping up to offer more of the same.

    For Leishman, it’s a chance to add another notch to some quickly expanding credentials; for Wise, it’s an opportunity to win on the one level he has yet to do so.

    “It’s golf, at the end of the day. If you play better than everyone else, you’re going to win,” Wise said. “That’s why I play it. That’s why I love this sport, and tomorrow is nothing different.”