Woods Has Chance to be No 1 Again

By Associated PressFebruary 16, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Nissan OpenPACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. -- Knocked off his perch for the last 24 weeks, Tiger Woods can return to No. 1 in the world this week at the Nissan Open, and it would appear the odds are in his favor.
 
After all, he only has to finish fourth against a field that is missing Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh, and Woods has won three times and tied for third in his last four stroke-play tournaments.
 
It all seems simple enough -- except for where the Nissan Open is played.
 
Riviera Country Club, a classic design off Sunset Boulevard, is a course Woods knows as well as any on the PGA Tour. It's the closest one to his hometown, and he first played here as a 16-year-old amateur in 1992.
 
But it also is the one place he can't seem to win.
 
``No doubt about it, I'd like to win,'' Woods said Wednesday. ``Hopefully, this will be the year.''
 
Riviera is the only PGA Tour course Woods has played at least four times as a pro without winning, and he has only come close one year. That was in 1999, when he finished two shots behind Ernie Els
 
His record will show top-10 finishes the last two years, but only because he closed with rounds of 64 and 65 after he was no longer a factor in the Nissan Open.
 
Sam Snead never won the U.S. Open. Arnold Palmer never won a PGA Championship. Jack Nicklaus never won the Canadian Open despite seven runner-up finishes.
 
And then there's Woods and his hometown tournament.
 
``I have some great memories, some nervous memories,'' Woods said. ``It's just been great over the years to see the same people out here. It's basically my hometown. So to see my friends out here, it's a very special event.''
 
Maybe this will be the year he gives them something to cheer about.
 
Woods is coming off a three-week break in which he went skiing and worked on his game, and managed to inch closer to No. 1 in the world with Singh missing the cut last week at Pebble Beach.
 
But that's not what drives him at Riviera.
 
``The No. 1 ranking is really not that important to me. It's winning,'' Woods said. ``Winning is how I get to No. 1 in the world, (how) Vijay got to be No. 1 in the world ... and the guys before us. You have to win. I have started to put together some wins here. It's been really cool, and hopefully I can continue that
trend.
 
Maybe he should seek out Mike Weir for advice.
 
The Canadian has a chance to make history this week as he tries to become the first player in the 79-year history of the Nissan Open to win three straight times.
 
Ben Hogan won three straight at Riviera, the last one of those at the 1948 U.S. Open. The other back-to-back winners at the Nissan Open were MacDonald Smith, Paul Harney, Palmer and Corey Pavin.
 
``Usually in the big scheme of things, I don't look at records too much,'' Weir said. ``But I thought about this one. This would be a pretty cool one. This course has a lot of history. I'd like to add a little piece of it if I could.''
 
The former Masters champion doesn't have a method for winning at Riviera.
 
Weir made up a seven-shot deficit in the final round two years ago by closing with a 5-under 66 to get into a playoff against Charles Howell, then beat him on the second extra hole.
 
Last year, Weir took a five-shot lead into the final round and threw it all away on the back thanks to a tremendous charge by Shigeki Maruyama. But just when the Canadian was headed for a collapse, he nearly chipped in from the side of the hill on the 18th green and won by a shot.
 
There's hope for Woods yet -- Weir missed the cut his four times at Riviera, and now can't seem to lose.
 
``Even from the first time I played Riviera, I loved the golf course,'' Weir said. ``The first couple of years, I never played well there, but I thought it was the type of course that set up well for my game. Just the way the course is shaped, you have to use your imagination out there.
 
``It took me a couple of years to get a handle on it, but I like the place.''
 
Woods and Weir are the only players among the top 10 in the world ranking. U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen was supposed to play, but he didn't get a wake-up call Wednesday morning and missed his pro-am time. Under the PGA Tour's policy, players cannot be in the tournament if they don't take part in the pro-am.
 
Singh is taking the week off for only the second time this year, while Mickelson is taking off this tournament during a stretch of playing six out of seven.
 
Even if Woods were to return to No. 1 this week, it might not last long. The two-year points system favors Singh over the next few months, and the only way for Woods to get to the top and stay there is to win.
 
Doing that at Riviera would make it that much sweeter.
 
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    Levy wins Trophee Hassan for fifth European Tour title

    By Associated PressApril 22, 2018, 6:32 pm

    RABAT, Morocco - Alexander Levy finished with a 2-under 70 Sunday to win the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco by a shot from overnight leader Alvaro Quiros.

    One off the lead overnight, Levy made two of his four birdies in his first five holes to hit the front and stayed ahead for the rest of the final day at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course.

    It was the 27-year-old Frenchman's fifth European Tour victory and he will take winning form to Beijing next week when he defends his China Open title.

    Levy ended 8-under 280 overall, one ahead of Spain's Quiros, who closed with a second straight 72.


    Full-field scores from the Trophee Hassan II


    With his chasers pushing hard, Levy kept his cool after dropping a shot on No. 16. He birdied the short, par-3 No. 17 and made par at the last.

    Quiros birdied his last two holes to make sure of second place outright. He needed an eagle on No. 18 to force a playoff.

    A group of four players finished in a tie for third, including Italy's Andrea Pavan, who finished with a brilliant 6-under 66. Swedish pair Joakim Lagergren (70) and Alexander Bjork (70) and Finland's Mikko Ilonen (72) also shared third.

    Levy had three other top 10 finishes in his five previous events this season and moved up to ninth on the European Tour's Race to Dubai points list.

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    (Not that) Jutanugarn shares lead with (not that) Ko

    By Associated PressApril 22, 2018, 1:58 am

    LOS ANGELES - A player eager for her first win and a rookie top the leaderboard at the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open. Lurking two shots back is a Hall of Famer.

    Winless Moriya Jutanugarn overcame a poor start and birdied the 18th for a hard-earned 1-under 70 to tie rookie Jin Young Ko at 9 under on Saturday at Wilshire Country Club.

    Ko shot a 66 in her bid to become the year's first two-time LPGA winner. She won the Women's Australian Open in February, her first victory as an official tour member after a successful run on the Korean LPGA circuit.

    ''I'm ready for win or top 10, so maybe tomorrow I will really focus on shot by shot,'' said Ko, who added an exclamation point to her golf bag for each of her wins on the KLPGA. ''I won 11 times, so if I win tomorrow, maybe I change to 12. I need more, I need every time motivation.''

    Jutanugarn is trying to match younger sister Ariya as a tour champion. Seven-time winner Ariya was tied for 27th after a 72 in the third round.

    Usually when one of the Thai sisters is in the lead, the other will watch when her round is finished.

    ''If she's not too lazy, she is probably going to come out,'' Moriya said about Ariya.

    Playing in an all-Korean threesome, Hall of Famer Inbee Park was two shots back in third after a 69. Her birdie putt for a share of the lead on 18 slid just by the hole. The group drew a large contingent of Korean fans.


    Full-field scores from the Hugel-JTBC Open


    ''I kind of started off a little bad. I was able to come back strong, so I'm really happy with that,'' Park said. ''I left a few putts out there. The greens around this golf course are just really tough. You just don't know what's going to happen.''

    Moriya Jutanugarn's round included a double bogey on the par-4 first hole and a bogey on the par-4 sixth. She eagled the par-4 14th after holing out from the fairway 93 feet away. The ball took once bounce and went in, eliciting a stunned look from Jutanugarn before she high-fived her caddie.

    ''Today was kind of a pretty rough day for me with not a very good start and like trying to come back,'' Jutanugarn said. ''I just try to play my game and be patient out there I think is the key.''

    Jutanugarn, the second-round leader, read the break perfectly on a long putt to make birdie on 18 and share the lead with Ko.

    Playing two groups ahead of Jutanugarn, Caroline Inglis also eagled the 14th from 180 yards. She briefly jumped up and down and smiled after three bogeys and a double bogey. She shot a 69 and was four shots back in a tie for sixth with Minjee Lee.

    ''It was like one bounce and then it like trickled in,'' Inglis said.

    Aditi Ashok eagled 14 early in the round.

    Ko did some scrambling of her own. Her ball found a sandy hazard on the 17th with a scoreboard and a winding creek in between her and the green 190 yards away. Her approach landed just off the green and she made par. Her round included six birdies and a bogey on 16.

    Eun-Hee Ji (70) and American Marina Alex (72) were tied for fourth at 6 under.

    Top-ranked Shanshan Feng shot a 70 and was in a six-way tie for 12th at 2 under.

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    Defending champs Singh, Franco take senior lead

    By Associated PressApril 22, 2018, 12:15 am

    RIDGEDALE, Mo. - Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco took the third-round lead Saturday in the windy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

    Singh and Franco shot a 7-under 47 in wind gusting to 20 mph on the Top of the Rock par-3 course to get to 19-under 145, a stroke ahead of the teams of David Toms-Steve Flesch and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett.

    ''It was a tough day,'' Singh said. ''The wind was swirling, have to get the club right and we made some putts. Carlos played really well on the back nine and I played really well on the front nine, so we ham-and-egged it a little.''

    Toms and Flesch also shot 47, and Broadhurst and Triplett had a 33 on the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course.

    ''We just paired well together,'' Toms said. ''I don't think either one of us played great. We picked each other up out there.''

    Wind and rain is expected Sunday when the teams finish at Top of the Rock, again playing the front nine in alternate shot and the back nine in better ball.

    ''Make as many birdies as possible and see what happens,'' Singh said. ''That's all we can do.''

    Singh and Franco are trying to become the first to successfully defend a title since Jim Colbert and Andy North in 2001. Singh won the Toshiba Classic in March for his first individual senior title.


    Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf


    Flesch won the Mitsubishi Electric Classic last week in Georgia for his first senior victory.

    Tom Lehman and Bernhard Langer had a 34 at Mountain Top to join Spanish stars Miguel Angel Jimenez and Jose Maria Olazabal at 17 under. Jimenez and Olazabal had a 33 at Mountain Top.

    ''It's great for me to be able to play with him as a team member,'' Olazabal said. ''We do have great memories from the Ryder Cup and other events, and it's always a great pleasure to play with a great player and a friend.''

    Langer took the final-round forecast in stride.

    ''We've done it hundreds of times before and we'll probably do it again,'' Langer said. ''We'll make the best of it. We both have a good attitude. We're known to play in all sorts of weather and I just look forward to playing one more day with my partner here.''

    Wisconsin neighbors Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly were 16 under after a 48 at Top of the Rock.

    John Daly and Michael Allen, the second-round leaders after a 46 at Top of the Rock, had a 37 at Mountain Top to drop into a tie for seventh at 15 under.

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    Landry shares Valero lead, eyes first career win

    By Will GrayApril 21, 2018, 11:15 pm

    After coming up just short of a breakthrough win earlier this season, Andrew Landry has another chance to earn his maiden victory at the Valero Texas Open.

    Landry came within inches of winning the CareerBuilder Challenge in January, ultimately losing to Jon Rahm in a four-hole playoff. He struggled to find form in the wake of his close call, missing the cut in each of his four starts following his runner-up finish in Palm Springs.

    But Landry took some time off to welcome his first child, Brooks, last month and he made it to the weekend in his first start back last week at the RBC Heritage, where he finished T-42. He made a move up the standings Saturday at TPC San Antonio with a bogey-free 67, and at 13 under shares the lead with Zach Johnson heading into the final round.

    "I just did everything really good," Landry told reporters. "I was staying patient and just trying to make a bunch of pars. This golf course can come up and bite you in a heartbeat, and I had a couple bad putts that I didn't really make. I'm happy with it, it's a good 5-under round. Gets me in the final group tomorrow and we'll see what happens."


    Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

    Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


    Landry started the day one shot off the pace and in the final group with Johnson and Ryan Moore, and at one point he took sole possession of the lead after birdies on three of his first six holes. Now he'll have another chance in the day's final tee time where he's grouped with Johnson and Trey Mullinax, who sits one shot back after firing a course-record 62 in the third round.

    For Landry, it's another opportunity to break into the winner's circle, and it's one for which he feels prepared after coming so close three months ago.

    "I mean, I don't want to go too deep into it because I don't want to sound cocky or anything, but I just believe in myself. There's no other explanation for it," Landry said. "You can totally get out here and play with Zach Johnson, Ryan Moore, two top players in the world, and you can go out there and fold under pressure or you can learn a lot.

    "Zach's always been a role model to me the way he plays golf, I feel like we have very similar games, and it's just going to be fun tomorrow getting to play with him again."