Woods Wins 5th Straight at Bay Hill

By Associated PressMarch 16, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 Arnold Palmer InvitationalORLANDO, Fla. -- Tiger Woods studied his 25-foot birdie putt from every angle, convincing himself he could make it to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational because he had a similar putt in the same situation seven years ago at Bay Hill.
 
He wasnt alone in his thinking.
 
Palmer stood behind the 18th green in his pink shirt and blue blazer, waiting to hand him the trophy. The King was joined by an army of fans who squinted into the late afternoon sun, all expecting Woods to continue a winning streak that began in September.
 
And then there was Bart Bryant, who challenged Woods over the final two hours, but now sat in the scoring trailer and listened.
 
I heard a big cheer, and I got up and left, Bryant said. Thats why hes Tiger Woods.
 
This one was special.
 
Tied for the lead on one of the most intimidating closing holes in golf, Woods delivered his best swing of the week with a 5-iron from 164 yards into a stiff breeze, then a 25-foot birdie putt that tumbled into the cup to stretch his PGA TOUR winning streak to five.
 
It was his 64th victory, tying Ben Hogan at No. 3 on the TOUR s career list.
 
And it produced a celebration like none of the others. Woods backpedaled as the ball crept closer to the hole, turned and slammed his cap to the ground as he let out a roar. Woods looked perplexed when caddie Steve Williams handed him his hat.
 
I was like, How in the hell did he get my hat? Woods said. Evidently, it came off. I need to see the highlights. I was so into the moment of the putt going in and winning the golf tournament.
 
Woods closed with a 4-under 66 to keep intact the ridiculous notion of a perfect season.
 
Or is it?
 
What hes doing right now, you cant even fathom, Bryant said after closing with a 67. He was the only player to break par all four rounds at Bay Hill, and all it got him was second place.
 
There have been five winning streaks of at least five tournaments in PGA TOUR history. Woods owns three of them, with the others belonging to Hogan (6) and Byron Nelson, whose 11 in a row is considered among the most untouchable records in all of sports.
 
Woods won Bay Hill for the fifth time, becoming the first player in PGA TOUR history to win at least five times in four different tournaments. The others are the Buick Invitational, Bridgestone Invitational and the CA Championship, where he plays next week at Doral as the three-time defending champion.
 
No wonder some are starting to question whether he will lose again.
 
Not since Bay Hill in 2001 against Phil Mickelson has Woods won a PGA TOUR event with a birdie on the 72nd hole to win by a shot.
 
I kept telling myself, Ive done this before. I did it against Phil, and this time its a little bit deeper into the green and the putt has a little bit more break and it has a little more grain. Ive done it before, and I can do it again, Woods said.
 
And he did.
 
Palmer grinned and nodded, as if to tell those around him, I told you so.
 
He just said, It doesnt surprise me you made the putt, Woods said, who passed Palmer on the career victory list a month ago in Arizona. Somehow you just get a good feeling. And he being a player knows better than anybody.
 
Hogan won 64 times over 21 years, the last victory coming at the 1959 Colonial National Invitational. The next target for Woods is Jack Nicklaus at 73, with Sam Sneads record of 82 victories looking closer each time Woods plays.
 
'Its pretty amazing to be in that kind of company, Woods said. Ive had an amazing run in my career, and hopefully, it continues.
 
No one can say these guys are laying down for Woods. He had to fight to the finish under a sweltering sun, and Bryant was visibly disappointed when he heard the roar and saw the putt. A victory would have sent him to the World Golf Championship next week, and earned him a spot in the Masters.
 
I was pretty hopeless sitting there in the trailer, but I did what I thought I was supposed to do, which was put the pressure back on Tiger to make the play, Bryant said. And he has a habit of making it when he needs to.
 
Woods has won six straight times worldwide, which includes a thrilling rally in Dubai last month. The winning streak does not include his seven-shot victory at the Target World Challenge in December, an unofficial event with 16 players.
 
His average score during the PGA TOUR streak is 66.13, and his dominance is such that he has more career victories than Mickelson and Vijay Singh combined.
 
Woods finished at 10-under 270 and earned $1,044,000, putting him on the cusp of going over $80 million for his career.
 
Sean OHair, playing in the final group with Woods, overcame a sluggish start with three birdies on the back nine to keep alive slim hopes, but he could only manage a 69 to tie for third with Singh (69) and Cliff Kresge (67).
 
It was the biggest buzz in the final round this year, and fans who stood four-deep around Woods expected an early knockout. He delivered early with a 15-foot birdie putt on the second hole to break out of a five-way tie for the lead, and he didnt trail again the rest of the day.
 
But in the stifling heat, it was never easy.
 
The greatest challenge came from Bryant, who played bogey-free for the first 10 holes to stay one shot behind Woods, and then both players squandered great chances to set the stage for a gritty back nine.
 
Woods hit yet another flawless approach to 6 feet left of the flag on No. 10 and was on the verge of going two shots ahead. But he gunned it 30 inches by the hole, quickly settled over the par putt and missed it for his first three-putt bogey of the week. That dropped him into a tie with Bryant, who had a 25-foot birdie on the 11th for the outright lead. He also three-putted for bogey, missing a 2 1/2 -foot putt to again fall one shot behind.
 
Woods didnt make another birdie until the final hole.
 
Divots
 
Marc Turnesa made a hole-in-one at No. 7, only the 12th ace in the 30-year history at Bay Hill and the first one at No. 7. Among those in the gallery at Bay Hill was Se Ri Pak, who last year was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. She was the second LPGA major champion at Bay Hill this week. Suzann Pettersen, a member at Bay Hill, was in Tiger Woods gallery on Friday.
 
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    Miller to retire from broadcast booth in 2019

    By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 15, 2018, 9:14 pm

    After nearly 30 years in the broadcast booth, Johnny Miller is ready to hang up his microphone.

    Following a Hall of Fame playing career that included a pair of major titles, Miller has become one of the most outspoken voices in the game as lead golf analyst for NBC Sports. But at age 71 he has decided to retire from broadcasting following the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

    “The call of being there for my grandkids, to teach them how to fish. I felt it was a higher calling,” Miller told GolfChannel.com. “The parents are trying to make a living, and grandparents can be there like my father was with my four boys. He was there every day for them. I'm a big believer that there is a time and a season for everything.”

    Miller was named lead analyst for NBC in 1990, making his broadcast debut at what was then known as the Bob Hope Desert Classic. He still remained competitive, notably winning the 1994 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at age 46, but made an indelible mark on the next generation of Tour pros with his frank and candid assessment of the action from some of golf’s biggest events.

    Miller’s broadcasting career has included 20 U.S. Opens, 14 Ryder Cups, nine Presidents Cups, three Open Championships and the 2016 Olympics. While he has teamed in the booth with Dan Hicks for the past 20 years, Miller’s previous on-air partners included Bryant Gumbel, Charlie Jones, Jim Lampley and Dick Enberg.

    His farewell event will be in Phoenix Jan. 31-Feb. 3, at a tournament he won in back-to-back years in 1974-75.

    “When it comes to serving golf fans with sharp insight on what is happening inside the ropes, Johnny Miller is the gold standard,” said NBC lead golf producer Tommy Roy. “It has been an honor working with him, and while it might not be Johnny’s personal style, it will be fun to send him off at one of the PGA Tour’s best parties at TPC Scottsdale.”

    Miller was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1998 after a playing career that included wins at the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont and The Open in 1976 at Royal Birkdale. Before turning pro, he won the 1964 U.S. Junior Amateur and was low amateur at the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic, where he tied for eighth at age 19.

    Born and raised in San Francisco, Miller now lives in Utah with his wife, Linda, and annually serves as tournament host of the PGA Tour’s Safeway Open in Napa, Calif.

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    Randall's Rant: Tiger vs. Phil feels like a ripoff

    By Randall MellOctober 15, 2018, 7:45 pm

    Usually, you have to buy something before you feel like you were ripped off.

    The wonder in the marketing of Tiger vs. Phil and “The Match” is how it is making so many people feel as if they are getting ripped off before they’ve shelled out a single penny for the product.

    Phil Mickelson gets credit for this miscue.

    Apparently, the smartest guy in the room isn’t the smartest marketing guy.

    He was a little bit like that telemarketer who teases you into thinking you’ve won a free weekend getaway, only to lead you into the discovery that there’s a shady catch, with fine print and a price tag.

    There was something as slippery as snake oil in the original pitch.

    In Mickelson’s eagerness to create some excitement, he hinted back during The Players in May about the possibility of a big-money, head-to-head match with Woods. A couple months later, he leaked more details, before it was ready to be fully announced.

    So while there was an initial buzz over news of the Thanksgiving weekend matchup, the original pitch set up a real buzzkill when it was later announced that you were only going to get to see it live on pay-per-view.

    The news landed with a thud but no price tag. We’re still waiting to see what it’s going to cost when these two meet at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, but anything that feels even slightly inflated now is going to further dampen the original enthusiasm Mickelson created.

    Without Woods or Mickelson putting up their own money, this $9 million winner-take-all event was always going to feel more like a money grab than real competition.

    When we were expecting to see it on network or cable TV, we didn’t care so much. Tiger's and Phil’s hands would have felt as if they were reaching into corporate America’s pockets. Now, it feels as if they’re digging into ours.

    Last week, there was more disappointing news, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting that tickets won’t be sold to the public, that the match at Shadow Creek will only be open to select sponsors and VIPs.



    Now there’s a larger insult to the common fan, who can’t help but feel he isn’t worthy or important enough to gain admittance.

    Sorry, but that’s how news of a closed gate landed on the heels of the pay-per-view news.

    “The Match” was never going to be meaningful golf in any historical sense.

    This matchup was never going to rekindle the magic Tiger vs. Phil brought in their epic Duel at Doral in ’05.

    The $9 million was never going to buy the legitimacy a major championship or PGA Tour Sunday clash could bring.

    It was never going to be more than an exhibition, with no lingering historical significance, but that was OK as quasi silly-season fare on TV on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23), the traditional weekend of the old Skins Game.

    “The Match” still has a chance to be meaningful, but first and foremost as entertainment, not real competition. That’s what this was always going to be about, but now the bar is raised.

    Pay per view does that.

    “You get what you pay for” is an adage that doesn’t apply to free (or already-paid for) TV. It does to pay per view. Expectations go way up when you aren’t just channel surfing to a telecast. So the higher the price tag they end up putting on this showdown, the more entertaining this has to be.

    If Phil brings his “A-Game” to his trash talking, and if Tiger can bring some clever repartee, this can still be fun. If the prerecorded segments wedged between shots are insightful, even meaningful in their ability to make us understand these players in ways we didn’t before, this will be worthwhile.

    Ultimately, “The Match” is a success if it leaves folks who paid to see it feeling as if they weren’t as ripped off as the people who refused to pay for it. That’s the handicap a history of free golf on TV brings. Welcome to pay-per-view, Tiger and Phil.

    Celia Barquin Arozamena Iowa State University athletics

    Trial date set for drifter charged with killing Barquin Arozamena

    By Associated PressOctober 15, 2018, 7:28 pm

    AMES, Iowa – A judge has scheduled a January trial for a 22-year-old Iowa drifter charged with killing a top amateur golfer from Spain.

    District Judge Bethany Currie ruled Monday that Collin Richards will stand trial Jan. 15 for first-degree murder in the death of Iowa State University student Celia Barquin Arozamena.

    Richards entered a written not guilty plea Monday morning and waived his right to a speedy trial. The filing canceled an in-person arraignment hearing that had been scheduled for later Monday.

    Investigators say Richards attacked Barquin on Sept. 17 while she was playing a round at a public course in Ames, near the university campus. Her body was found in a pond on the course riddled with stab wounds.

    Richards faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

    LeBron's son tries golf, and he might be good at everything

    By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 5:36 pm

    LeBron James' son seems well on his way to a successful basketball career of his own. To wit:

    View this post on Instagram

    Finally got it down lol

    A post shared by Bronny James (@bronnyjames.jr) on

    But with just a little work, he could pass on trying to surpass his father and try to take on Tiger and Jack, instead.

    Bronny posted this video to Instagram of him in sandals whacking balls off a mat atop a deck into a large body of water, which is the golfer's definition of living your best life.

    View this post on Instagram

    How far, maybe 400 #happygilmore

    A post shared by Bronny James (@bronnyjames.jr) on

    If you listen closely, at the end of the clip, you can just barely hear someone scream out for a marine biologist.