Woods Delays Return Skips Memorial - COPIED

By Associated PressMay 30, 2006, 4:00 pm
Still coping with the death of his father, Tiger Woods decided Friday to skip the Memorial Tournament for the first time, meaning he will be coming off the longest layoff in his career when he goes to the U.S. Open.
 
Woods had until 5 p.m. Friday to enter the Memorial, and tournament officials held out hope until the final minute.
 
'We're respecting his decision to come back when he's ready,' tournament director Dan Sullivan said. 'There's always disappointment when a top player doesn't come to a tournament. Hopefully, he'll come back next year.'
 
Yoga for Golfers
Tiger Woods has won the Memorial Tournament three times, from 1999-2001.
For the last 10 years, the Memorial has always counted on having two of the biggest names in golf -- Woods, a three-time winner at Muirfield Village, and tournament host Jack Nicklaus.
 
Nicklaus did not enter for the first time since the tournament began 30 years ago. He said last year he was ending his competitive career in the British Open at St. Andrews, where he missed the cut.
 
'Kind of a double barrel,' Sullivan said.
 
The Memorial still has a strong field, with seven of the top 10 players from the world ranking, minus only Woods, David Toms and Luke Donald. The headliner shifts from Woods to Masters champion Phil Mickelson, playing the Memorial for the first time since 2002.
 
Woods has not played since he tied for third at Augusta National on April 9. His father, Earl, died May 3 in California, and Woods already has missed two tournaments he typically plays -- the Wachovia Championship and Byron Nelson Championship.
 
It was thought he would play the Memorial to give him one tournament before the U.S. Open on June 15-18. Indications late this week from Woods' camp are that he will play at Winged Foot.
 
Woods has never missed the Memorial since his first full season on the PGA Tour in 1997, winning three straight years from 1999-2001, and finishing no worse than a tie for fourth over the last three years.
 
Aside from the four major championships, the only tournaments Woods has never missed are the Bay Hill Invitational, The Players Championship, the NEC Invitational and the Tour Championship.
 
The Memorial is one of the premier events on the PGA Tour, created in 1976 with Nicklaus as the host and the Masters as somewhat of a blueprint. Nicklaus is often tinkering with the course, caddies where white coveralls, there are no volunteers carrying scoreboards with each group and the staff at the club wears green jackets.
 
It is sold out again this year, although this will be the first time officials see how much of a difference it makes having Woods.
 
'It will be an interesting gauge,' Sullivan said. 'But I think there's enough star power on tour -- Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh -- that the tour is as strong as it's ever been.'
 
The Memorial starts Thursday with Bart Bryant as the defending champion.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Memorial Tournament
  • Earl Woods Dies at Age 74
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    Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it

    By Nick MentaJune 18, 2018, 3:09 pm

    There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

    There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

    Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.

    The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."

    Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:

    If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

    “The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”

    The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.

    Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).

    Getty Images

    Ryder Cup race: Mickelson out, Simpson in

    By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:34 pm

    There's a new man at the top of the U.S. Ryder Cup race following the U.S. Open, and there's also a familiar name now on the outside looking in.

    Brooks Koepka's successful title defense vaulted him to the top of the American points race, up four spots and ensuring he'll be on the team Jim Furyk takes to Paris in September. Dustin Johnson's third-place finish moved him past Patrick Reed at No. 2, while Webb Simpson entered the top eight after a a tie for 10th.

    While Bryson DeChambeau remained at No. 9, Phil Mickelson dropped two spots to No. 10. Tony Finau, who finished alone in fifth, went from 16th to 13th, while Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 37.

    Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

    1. Brooks Koepka

    2. Dustin Johnson

    3. Patrick Reed

    4. Justin Thomas

    5. Jordan Spieth

    6. Rickie Fowler

    7. Bubba Watson

    8. Webb Simpson

    ---

    9. Bryson DeChambeau

    10. Phil Mickelson

    11. Matt Kuchar

    12. Brian Harman

    On the European side, England's Tommy Fleetwood took a big stride toward securing his first Ryder Cup appearance with a runner-up finish that included a Sunday 63 while countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick snuck into a qualifying spot after tying for 12th.

    Here's a look at the updated Euro standings, with the top four from both points lists joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National:

    European Points

    1. Tyrrell Hatton

    2. Justin Rose

    3. Tommy Fleetwood

    4. Francesco Molinari

    ---

    5. Thorbjorn Olesen

    6. Ross Fisher

    World Points

    1. Jon Rahm

    2. Rory McIlroy

    3. Alex Noren

    4. Matthew Fitzpatrick

    ---

    5. Ian Poulter

    6. Rafael Cabrera-Bello

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    Koepka autographs local kids' 'Go Brooks' sign after win

    By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 2:30 pm

    Brooks Koepka is a two-time U.S. Open winner, but that doesn't mean he's now too big to go sign a couple pieces of cardboard in somebody's front yard in the middle of the night.

    Koepka's girlfriend, Jena Sims, posted two pictures to her Instagram story on Sunday of "Go Brooks" signs she says were put up by some local kids in the area where Koepka was staying for the week.

    The first is dated prior to Koepka's final-round tee time.



    The second is from Sunday night.



    And here, separately, for no reason in particular (other than the fact that she posted it) is a video of Sims running over a parking cone at last year's U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

    Speaking of kids, just feels those two are gonna make it.

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    Koepka moves to No. 4 in world with U.S. Open win

    By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:05 pm

    After successfully defending his U.S. Open title, Brooks Koepka reached a new career high in the Official World Golf Ranking.

    Koepka held off Tommy Fleetwood to win by a shot Sunday at Shinnecock Hills, becoming the first player to go back-to-back in nearly 30 years. As a result, he jumped five spots in the latest rankings to No. 4, six spots higher than he reached with last year's U.S. Open victory at Erin Hills.

    Fleetwood finished alone in second place and moved up two spots to No. 10, tying his career-best placement. Patrick Reed moved up two spots to No. 11 by finishing fourth, while fifth-place Tony Finau went from No. 37 to No. 31.


    Updated Official World Golf Ranking


    It was a largely quiet week in the rankings despite the fact that a major championship was contested. Outside of Koepka and Finau, the only other player inside the top 50 to move up or down more than three spots was Jason Dufner, who went from 53rd to 48th with a T-25 finish.

    Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1 for the second consecutive week, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Koepka and Jordan Spieth. Jon Rahm dropped one spot to No. 6, with Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day and Fleetwood rounding out the top 10. Hideki Matsuyama fell two spots to No. 12, dropping out of the top 10 for the first time since October 2016.

    Despite a missed cut at Shinnecock, Tiger Woods actually moved up one spot to No. 79 in the latest rankings. He plans to play the Quicken Loans National and The Open in the coming weeks, which will be his final two chances to move into the top 50 in time to qualify for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. The event is being held for the final time this summer at Firestone Country Club, where Woods has won eight times.