Tigers Late Rally Comes Up Short

By Associated PressJune 19, 2005, 4:00 pm
PINEHURST, N.C. -- The birdie putt dropped from 5 feet, Tiger Woods pumped his fist in excitement, and the roars echoed through the tall Carolina pines.
Deep into the back nine on Sunday, the U.S. Open was finally on.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods birdied the 72nd hole, but it still wasn't enough to defeat Michael Campbell.
Woods stalked to the 16th tee, just two shots behind Michael Campbell. Everyone else had fallen back, and now it was a two-man duel between the greatest player of his time and a journeyman who had never lived up to his potential.
The massive gallery cheered wildly as Woods made his way to the tee. History was in the making, a 10th major championship for Woods and a chance at the Grand Slam - or was it?
What the crowd got was an anticlimactic ending that did nothing to add to Woods' legend.
The club that bedeviled Woods all week long cost him dearly when he missed putts on the 16th and 17th holes to see his unlikely bid for a third Open title fail and see an even more unlikely champion crowned.
Down eight shots at one point on the front nine, Woods made a game of it with Campbell while the rest of the field slid backward. But by the time he coaxed a final birdie putt into the cup on the 18th hole, it was too late.
'I just didn't putt well,' Woods said. 'I played well today, but I just didn't putt well. I couldn't get the feel of the pace of the greens.'
Woods, who began the day on a bad note by making bogeys on the first two holes, came roaring back with the birdies he couldn't make all week in front of an excited crowd just waiting for something to happen in an Open no one seemed able to take.
After making just six birdies while playing defensively in his first 57 holes, Woods let loose and made six in his last 15, including four on the back nine after Campbell played his way into the lead.
Woods was trying desperately to get to even par, which he figured might be good enough to win. It was, but it was Campbell who finished with the score, not Woods.
'I'm sure people didn't give me a chance to win the tournament after my start,' Woods said. 'I figured I could get back to even and see what happens on the back nine.'
What happened could have been the kind of finish legends are made of. Woods has had them before, and for a few holes it seemed like he might have one again.
He had talked the day before about knowing how to win under the ultimate pressure test in golf, and how he knew how to be calm when it counted the most. All he had to do was catch a player who had no experience with this kind of thing, the kind of player Woods had stared down many times before.
You don't intimidate other players with bogeys, though. And the two Woods made on the 16th and 17th holes cost him any chance.
'I just wanted to hang in there and stay patient,' said Woods, whose round of 69 was his only under-par round of the Open. 'In hindsight we all know even-par would be in a playoff.'
Woods was 4-over at the turn, but made a birdie putt on the 10th hole and then another on the 11th after stiffing an iron to 4 feet. He then made three straight pars, missing birdie putts on 13 and 14, before hitting a beautiful iron shot to 5 feet on the par-3 15th.
When the putt went in, Woods punched the air with his first, a declaration that the game was on and a warning to Campbell that he was in the chase.
'I knew Tiger was coming after me,' Campbell said.
Woods, who has never won a major from behind in the final round, promptly hit his drive into the rough on the next hole, then recovered with an iron shot in front of the green. He chipped up poorly, though, and missed an 8-footer to fall three behind.
Figuring he had to birdie the last two holes to have a chance, Woods hit a 7-iron to about 25 feet on the par-3 17th and made a run at the cup. His speed was off again, though, as he ran it 6 feet by and missed the putt coming back for a second straight bogey that all but ended his hopes.
'I was trying to make it, but not with that speed. I just pulled it,' Woods said. 'And the second putt I blocked it. So somewhere in between I would have been great.'
Woods ended up with 28 putts, eight less than a day earlier. But the putter cost him dearly when it most mattered, just as it had the entire week.
Hitting the ball was another matter. He hit 16 greens on Saturday, 12 more on Sunday when the pins were tucked on ledges. To Woods, that was vindication for the changes he has made to his swing over the past 16 months.
'I've come a long way for all the people who slammed me for making the changes,' he said. 'Now you understand why I did it.'
Woods came a long way on Sunday, too. Long enough that he was feeling the pain of coming close, but never getting close enough.
'If you feel you had a chance to win and you didn't take that opportunity to win the tournament, then it's disappointing,' Woods said.
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - 105th U.S. Open
  • Full Coverage - 105th U.S. Open

    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    Getty Images

    Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

    By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

    Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

    The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

    Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

    Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

    Getty Images

    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

    Getty Images

    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

    Getty Images

    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”