Tiger's caddie has become quite the frequent flyer

By Associated PressMarch 9, 2011, 11:04 pm

DORAL, Fla. (AP)—No other caddie has traveled so far to work so littlethan Steve Williams.

Part of that is because Williams lives in New Zealand, and his 5-year-oldson Jett is now going to school. And part of that is Woods playing in differentparts of the world this early in the season.

Asked how his frequent flyer profile was looking, Williams just shook hishead Wednesday.

“Put it this way,” he said. “Qantas has me on speed dial.”

When he leaves Miami after this week’s Cadillac Championship, Williamsalready will have flown some 60,000 miles to work four tournaments. In one case,Williams spent more time in the air than his hotel room.

He started in January by flying from Auckland to San Diego for the FarmersInsurance Open. Then came the Auckland-Dubai round trip two weeks later. But theworst of it was the Match Play Championship.

“I stayed in my hotel one night and went home,” he said.

Williams arrived in Tucson, Ariz., on Tuesday. Woods lost in the first roundthe next day to Thomas Bjorn , and by evening, Williams was on a flight to LosAngeles to catch a connection back home.

After this week, he will stay two days in Orlando for a made-for-TVexhibition, leaving Tuesday and getting home on Thursday. He’ll be home threedays before flying back to Orlando for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, thenreturn home after the tournament.

His wife used to come to America for Bay Hill, and they would go somewhereon vacation before the Masters. But with his son in school, Williams goes backto New Zealand for three days before flying to Augusta.

When he gets home after the Masters, he already will have logged nearly94,000 miles in the air.

TWITTER WARS: Tiger Woods is part of another emerging rivalry—between hiscoaches.

Sean Foley, who has been working with Woods since the PGA Championship,started with an interview last year in which he was quoted as saying aboutformer coach Hank Haney, “Let’s be honest about this, it’s not like he wasflushing it with Hank.”

Then came a story posted Wednesday on golf.com when Foley poked fun at Haneyonce saying he knew Woods from observing, without ever getting to know him.

Haney has been firing back on Twitter ever since.

“If you want to be entertained go to Golf.com and read Sean Foley’s latestversion of ripping Hank Haney, all I can say is wow,” was the first of severaltweets from Haney.

He sent out some two dozen tweets—mostly retweets from his followers—over the next five hours related to the dispute. Haney’s twitter account isHankDHaney.

SPANISH HERO: Alvaro Quiros knows plenty about Seve Ballesteros and thegreatness of his game. But when it comes to Spanish golfing heroes, he startswith Jose Maria Olazabal .

Quiros did not start playing golf until he was 9, and Ballesteros was on thetail end of his career. He remembers Olazabal winning his first Masters in 1994,and especially the second green jacket in 1999 after returning from an injurythat nearly ended his career.

“I think Olazabal is a gentleman inside and outside the golf course, andthis is the most important thing, to be a gentleman or to be a nice person, morethan a great golfer,” Quiros said.

The first time he met Olazabal, the big-hitting Spaniard could barely speak.

It was in 1999 for the American Express Championship at Valderrama, andOlazabal was invited to see the public course when Quiros and other juniors gottheir start.

“I played with a friend, and on the second tee, suddenly arrives the mainguy of the pro shop and he said, ‘Hey, get out of the way because Olazabal iscoming behind you,”’ Quiros said. “It was Olazabal! So he arrives to the tee,hits his driver in the third hole and he says, ‘Come on, hit the ball.’

“We were watching each other and I said (to his friend), ‘He’s speakingwith us.’ I cannot even put the ball on the tee. I was shaking.”

TIGER AND TYSON: NBC Sports analyst Johnny Miller didn’t pull any punchestwo weeks ago when he said Tiger Woods’ downfall reminded him of the Mike Tysonstory.

“Sort of invincible, scared everybody, performed quickly under pressure—until Buster Douglas came along,” Miller said. “Tiger sort of hit that andit’s life. And his life crumbled.”

Woods was asked about the comparison with Tyson on Wednesday.

“I don’t think I’m as big as he is,” Woods said. “No, that’s Johnny beingJohnny, and making statements like that, I think he’s done that before in thepast, hasn’t he?”

Woods then was asked if Miller had crossed the line.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion,” he said. “And he has his, whichis a lot.”

DIVOTS: Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel , who grew up together in SouthAfrica, will be in the same pairing the first two days. Schwartzel said it willbe the first time they’ve been in the same group for the early rounds since theyturned pro. … Tim Clark will be playing for the first time since his runner-upfinish at the Sony Open two months ago because of an elbow injury. … Of the 48PGA Tour members in the 69-man field, five have never won a PGA Tour event—rookie Charl Schwartzel, Kevin Na , Jeff Overton , Rickie Fowler and KevinStreelman , who got into the field based on his third-place finish in the FedExCup playoff opener last year at The Barclays.

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Grace celebrates birthday with final-round 62

By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 1:51 am

DALLAS – Branden Grace celebrated his 30th birthday in style, making the biggest charge of the final round at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Grace closed out a 9-under 62 as the sun began to set at Trinity Forest Golf Club, moving from outside the top 10 into a share of third place, four shots behind Aaron Wise. It equaled Grace’s career low on the PGA Tour, which he originally set last summer at The Open, and it was one shot off Marc Leishman’s course-record 61 from the opening round.

“Good birthday present. It was fun,” Grace said. “Little bit of imagination, little bit of luck here and there. You get more luck on the links golf course than maybe on a normal golf course.”

Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

AT&T Byron Nelson: Articles, photos and videos

Weeks after Grace’s wife gave birth to the couple’s first child, he now has his best result on the PGA Tour since winning the RBC Heritage more than two years ago. As a world traveler and former Presidents Cup participant, the South African embraced an opportunity this week to go off the beaten path on an unconventional layout.

“It feels like a breath of fresh air coming to something different. Really is nice. I really enjoyed the golf course,” he said. “Obviously I think we got really lucky with the weather, and that’s why the scores are so low. It can bite you if it settles in a little bit in the next couple years.”

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Scott barely misses qualifying for U.S. Open

By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 1:33 am

DALLAS – A birdie on the 72nd hole gave Adam Scott a glimmer of hope, but in the end even a closing 65 at the AT&T Byron Nelson wasn’t enough to earn an exemption into next month’s U.S. Open.

Scott entered the week ranked No. 65 in the world, and the top 60 in next week’s rankings automatically qualify for Shinnecock Hills. The cutoff was a big reason why the 2008 tournament champ returned for Trinity Forest’s debut, and midway through the final round it seemed like the Aussie had a shot at snagging a bid at the 11th hour.

Scott needed at least a solo ninth-place finish to pass an idle Chesson Hadley at No. 60, and while his 5-footer on the 18th green gave him a share of sixth place when he completed play, he ultimately ended up in a three-way tie for ninth at 15 under – barely short of a spot in the top 60.

Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

AT&T Byron Nelson: Articles, photos and videos

“I tried to make the most of really favorable conditions today, and I did a pretty good job of it. Just never really got a hot run going,” Scott said. “I feel like I struggled on the weekend reading the greens well enough to really get it going, but I think everyone but the leaders did that, too. They’re not the easiest greens to read.”

Scott has played each of the last three weeks in an effort to earn a U.S. Open exemption, and he’ll make it four in a row next week when he returns to the Fort Worth Invitational on a course where he won in 2013. Scott still has another chance to avoid sectional qualifying by earning a top-60 spot at the second and final cutoff on June 11 following the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

Scott has played 67 majors in a row, a streak that dates back to 2001 and is second only to Sergio Garcia among active players. While he’s prepared to play each of the next three weeks in a last-ditch effort to make the field, he’s taking his schedule one event at a time with the hope that one more good result might take care of business.

“I’ll play next week and hopefully play really well, and give myself a bit of cushion so I can take a week or so off and try to prepare the best I can for the U.S. Open,” Scott said.

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Wise wins first Tour title at AT&T Byron Nelson

By Nick MentaMay 21, 2018, 1:22 am

On the strength of a final-round 65, 21-year-old Aaron Wise broke through for his first PGA Tour victory Sunday, taking the AT&T Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest. Here's how Wise beat the field and darkness following a lengthy rain delay:

Leaderboard: Wise (-23), Marc Leishman (-20), Branden Grace (-19), J.J. Spaun (-19), Keith Mitchell (-19)

What it means: This is Wise’s first PGA Tour win in just his 18th start as a member. Tied with Leishman to start the final round, Wise raced ahead with six birdies in a seven-hole stretch from Nos. 4-10 and never looked back. He'd make eight straight pars on his way into the clubhouse and the winner's circle. The 2016 NCAA Division I individual champion just locked up Tour status through the 2019-20 season and guaranteed himself a spot in the PGA Championship.

Best of the rest: Leishman reached 20 under par but just couldn’t keep pace with Wise. This is his second runner-up of the season, following a solo second in the CJ Cup in October.

Round of the day: Grace carded a 62 – where have I heard that before? – with eight birdies, an eagle and a bogey to end up tied for third, his best finish of the season on Tour.

Biggest disappointment: Adam Scott looked as though he had done enough to qualify for the U.S. Open via the Official World Golf Ranking when he walked off the golf course. Unfortunately, minutes later, he’d drop from a four-way tie for sixth into a three-way tie for ninth, narrowly missing out on this week's OWGR cutoff.

Break of the day: Wise could very well have found the hazard off the tee at No. 9 if not for a well-placed sprinkler head. Rather than drop a shot, he took advantage of his good fortune and poured in another birdie putt to extend his lead.

Quote of the day: "It's a dream come true to win this one." - Wise

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Otaegui wins Belgian Knockout by two

By Associated PressMay 21, 2018, 1:20 am

ANTWERP, Belgium – Adrian Otaegui beat Benjamin Hebert by two shots in the final of the Belgian Knockout to win his second European Tour title.

The hybrid format opened with two rounds of stroke play on Thursday and Friday, before the leading 64 players competed in nine-hole knockout stroke play matches.

Otaegui and Hebert both finished three shots off the lead at 5 under after the first two days and worked their way through five matches on the weekend to set up Sunday's final at the Rinkven International Golf Club.

Full-field scores from the Belgian Knockout

''I'm very happy, very relaxed now after the last nine holes against Ben that were very tight,'' Otaegui said. ''I'm just very proud about my week.

''I just tried to play against myself. Obviously your opponent is just next to you but I just tried to focus on my game.''

Scotland's David Drysdale beat James Heath of England by one shot in the playoff for third spot.

Herbet said he was ''just a little short this week.''

''Adrian is a very good player, especially in this kind of format,'' he said. ''He's already won one tournament in match play last year. This format is fun, it puts you under pressure almost every hole because everything can happen. I think it's a great idea.''