Woods Hopes to Write Different Ending

By Associated PressMarch 3, 2004, 5:00 pm
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Unusual things happen to Tiger Woods in Dubai.
When Woods first played in the Dubai Desert Classic in 2001, the crown prince named a thoroughbred after him: Dubai Tiger. This week, Woods was taken by helicopter to the roof of the world's tallest hotel so he could hit golf balls into the Arabian Gulf.
Strange things happen to him on the golf course, too.
Woods returns to the European tour event (Live Thursday on TGC at 4:30 a.m. ET; Re-airs at 9:00 a.m and 8:30 p.m.) where he had one of his rare collapses.
On his way to a wire-to-wire victory in 2001, Thomas Bjorn tied Woods for the lead on the 17th hole of the final round, then won the tournament when Woods hit into the trees, into the rough and into the water on the last hole. Woods made double bogey and finished two shots behind.
'It got away on the last hole,' Woods said.
It was only the fourth time worldwide that Woods has failed to win when he had at least a share of the 54-hole lead, and he hasn't blown one since in 15 tries.
Woods gets another chance in Dubai this week against a strong field that includes Bjorn, Darren Clarke and Ernie Els.
Woods, who received a $3 million appearance fee, was supposed to play Dubai last year, but withdrew because of the impending war against Iraq.
'We gave a promise last year that Tiger would return, and we're happy to be back,' said Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent at IMG.
Noting the proximity of Dubai from Baghdad, Steinberg added, 'It does not look far on the map, but it feels a long way from it.'
Woods is coming off a victory in the Match Play Championship, and he doesn't expect an 18-hour trip across 12 time zones to be a factor this week.
'I feel good. Why would I be tired?' Woods said Wednesday after finishing an 18-hole practice round that began at 7:45 a.m. 'I get up early every day.'
Els, a runner-up in Dubai last year, is much more fresh.
The Big Easy has not played since he won the Heineken Classic in Australia four weeks ago, where he shot a 60 in the opening round, built an eight-shot lead and then had to hang on against Adam Scott.
Els decided to skip the Match Play Championship for the first time, spending time at his home in London before his 4-year-old daughter went to school for the first time.
Els is used to the hype Woods brings to golf, having squared off against him several times on the PGA Tour. It gets even bigger on the European tour.
'Obviously, in America it's not that big a deal,' Els said.
'But it is over here, since you don't see Tiger at every European event. He's No. 1 in the world and just came off a victory, so he's feeling good about his game. I feel good about my game, too, so let's see what happens.'
It could be the first of several clashes between Woods and Els as they work their way to the Masters.
Both are expected to play in two weeks at the Bay Hill Invitational in Orlando, Fla., where Woods is going for an unprecedented fifth straight victory.
The following week is The Players Championship, with a week off before the Masters.
Clarke, meantime, apparently isn't handling the jet lag as well as Woods.
'I'm ready to lie back here and go to sleep right now,' Clarke said after his warmup Wednesday. 'And I imagine a few other people are, too.'
Clarke was poised to meet Woods in the finals at La Costa until he blew a 2-up lead with two holes to play, losing to Davis Love III in the semifinals.
Clarke won the consolation match against Stephen Leaney.
Still, he brought plenty of good vibes to Dubai.
'Last week I didn't have my game, but I was able to grind out scores and grind out results,' Clarke said. 'The fact that I can finish third in a World Golf Championship event and not really be on top of my game is very positive.'
Related Links:
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    Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 7:20 pm

    Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.

    Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
    (1) D. Johnson: 0-1-0 (2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0 (3) J. Rahm: 0-0-1 (4) J. Spieth: 2-0-0
    (32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1 (21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0 (28) K. Aphibarnrat: 1-0-0 (19) P. Reed: 2-0-0
    (38) A. Hadwin: 0-0-1
    (48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0 (43) C. Reavie: 0-1-0 (34) H. Li: 0-2-0
    (52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
    (60) L. List: 0-1-0 (63) K. Bradley: 0-0-1 (49) C. Schwartzel: 0-2-0
    Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
    (5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0 (6) R. McIlroy: 0-1-0 (7) S. Garcia: 1-0-0 (8) J. Day: 1-0-0
    (30) P. Cantlay: 0-1-0
    (18) B. Harman: 0-0-1 (20) X. Schauffele: 1-0-0 (25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-0-0
    (46) C. Smith: 1-0-0 (44) J. Vegas: 0-0-1 (41) D. Frittelli: 0-1-0 (42) J. Dufner: 0-1-0
    (53) Y. Miyazato: 0-1-0 (51) P. Uihlein: 1-0-0 (62) S. Sharma: 0-1-0 (56) J. Hahn: 0-1-0
    Group 9 Group 10 Group 11 Group 12
    (9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0 (10) P. Casey: 1-0-0 (11) M. Leishman: 0-1-0 (12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0
    (26) D. Berger: 0-2-0 (31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-1-0 (23) B. Grace: 0-1-0 (22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0
    (33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0 (45) K. Stanley: 1-0-0 (35) B. Watson: 1-0-0 (36) B. Steele: 1-0-0
    (58) I. Poulter: 2-0-0 (51) R. Henley: 0-1-0 (64) J. Suri: 1-0-0 (55) A. Levy: 0-1-0
    Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
    (13) A. Noren: 2-0-0 (14) P. Mickelson: 0-1-0 (15) P. Perez: 0-0-1 (16) M. Kuchar: 0-0-1
    (29) T. Finau: 2-0-0 (17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-0-0 (24) G. Woodland: 0-0-1 (27) R. Fisher: 0-1-0
    (39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0 (40) S. Kodaira: 0-1-0 (37) W. Simpson: 0-0-1 (47) Y. Ikeda: 1-0-0
    (61) K. Na: 0-2-0 (59) C. Howell III: 1-0-0 (50) S.W. Kim: 0-0-1 (54) Z. Johnson: 0-0-1
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    Watch: Bubba hits 366-yard tee shot ... with an iron

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 6:47 pm

    You know Bubba Watson is plenty long off the tee. And when you put a little wind to his back and let him hit downhill, the ball is bound to travel a great distance.

    But, still, this is a 366-yard tee shot at the par-4 ninth hole at Austin C.C. ... with an iron. Yeah, it runs for a long time. But, again, 366 ... with an iron.

    Watson won the hole with a par and made the turn, 2 up, in his Day 2 match against Marc Leishman at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

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    Romo starts hot, stumbles to 77 in PGA Tour debut

    By Will GrayMarch 22, 2018, 5:14 pm

    There was plenty of good, but also plenty of bad for Tony Romo in his PGA Tour debut.

    Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption, Romo shot an even-par 36 for his opening nine holes in the Dominican Republic. The former NFL quarterback bogeyed his first two holes, but steadied the ship with three birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 4-8.

    The early highlight of the round came at the par-4 fifth hole, where Romo drained a putt from across the green for his second straight birdie:

    But the back nine wasn't as kind for the 37-year-old, who dropped five shots in a four-hole stretch from Nos. 13-16. It added up to a 5-over 77 in the opening round, which left Romo ahead of only Guy Boros among the players who had finished in the morning wave.

    "I hit two poor tee balls. Just didn't commit to it, and ultimately just got put in a tough spot where you're just trying to make par," Romo said. "I hit a lot of good shots, and they ended up a couple times in some poor spots. But you learn the golf course as you play it throughout the week."

    Romo has played as an amateur partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and has played individually in U.S. Open local qualifiers and mini-tour events as an amateur. But this marks his first attempt to gauge his game against the best players in the world who are not in Austin for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

    Romo was even par through 12 holes before a three-putt bogey from the fringe on No. 13. A nasty lie in the rough led to a double bogey on the par-5 14th, and Romo had to hit provisional tee shots on both Nos. 15 and 16. While he ultimately found his original ball on both holes, he left with a pair of bogeys.

    "I really hit some good shots, and I'm close," Romo said. "I had a chance to be under par pretty easily there for a while, and then two or three shots on the back nine cost me. But that's golf."

    Romo will tee off at 1 p.m. ET Friday in the second round alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.

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    Horschel, Kisner & Perez join "Feherty," Monday, March 26 at 9 p.m. ET

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 22, 2018, 5:10 pm

    PREVIEW: Perez details rocky collegiate golf experience at Arizona State

    Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner and Pat Perez – each winners of multiple events on the PGA TOUR – will join David Feherty on his self-titled, Emmy-nominated series Feherty presented by Farmers Insurance®, Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

    “This might be the biggest group of benign social deviants I’ve ever had the privilege of speaking to,” said Feherty. “They’ve been responsible for nine career wins on TOUR collectively, but they’re each also capable of getting into some mischief.”

    The episode – filmed in Naples, Fla. – will touch upon several topics, including:

    • Their respective upbringings and corresponding introductions to golf.
    • Reflections on their junior golf and collegiate playing days, and how it helped prepare them to compete as a professional.
    • Contemplating which mulligan(s) they’d take in their life if given the opportunity.

    Future guests on Feherty this year include Paul Azinger, Stewart Cink, Boo Weekley and Paul Goydos, among others.

    A two-time Emmy-nominated host (Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host) Feherty has been described as “golf’s iconoclast,” by Rolling Stone, and “the last unscripted man on TV,” by Men’s Journal. His all-star lineup of golf-enthused and culturally relevant guests feature celebrities from across entertainment, sports and politics. To date, Feherty has sat down with four U.S. Presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump); sports legends Charles Barkley, Nick Saban, Stephen Curry and Bobby Knight; Hollywood icons Matthew McConaughey, Larry David and Samuel L. Jackson; World Golf of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson; and a host of current golf superstars including Paula Creamer, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Michelle Wie. Feherty is produced by Golf Channel’s original productions group, which also oversees production for Driver vs. Driver and Golf Films.