Notes A new shot in Woods repertoire

By Doug FergusonJuly 2, 2009, 4:00 pm
AT&T NationalBETHESDA, Md. ' Tiger Woods first tried the shot in competition during the third round at the Memorial, choking up on the grip of his driver about 2 inches, and he pulled it off to perfection.
 
He used it again on the eighth hole Thursday in the first round of the AT&T National.
 
It soon might become a regular part of his repertoire, much like the stinger he made popular with a 2-iron and later a 3-wood.
 
Woods said he began working on the shot a few months ago, and the idea is to give him a range that is a little less than a full driver, and a little more than a full 3-wood.
 
The eighth hole played 341 yards on Thursday, a slightly elevated green that makes it nearly impossible to drive, but Woods wanted to take the bunkers out of play.
 
A full driver I felt would get me too far down there, and 3-wood couldnt take the bunkers out of play, he said. So its nice to have a little bit of a tweener. I drop down and hit just this little softy cut out there. Its a lot further than my 3-wood, but its nowhere near a full driver, and I can keep that in play.
 
It worked to perfection, at least off the tee. Woods came up short with his wedge, however, and had to scramble for par from the front of the green.
 
On the par-5 fifth hole at Muirfield Village last month, he felt enough breeze in his face that he figured 3-wood wasnt enough to get beyond the tree-lined portion of the fairway, yet driver was too much because of a stream. He choked up on that driver, landed the ball in an ideal spot and made an easy birdie.
 
BRITISH OPEN RACE: U.S. Open runner-up Ricky Barnes took a step toward making it to the British Open, as did Bryce Molder.
 
There are two ways for PGA Tour players to qualify for the British Open at the AT&T National ' as the top two players from a special money list that ends this week, or as the leading player from among the top five. In both cases, its only for those not already eligible.
 
Barnes is second on the special money list of six tournaments ' The Players Championship, Memorial, St. Jude Classic, U.S. Open, Travelers Championship and AT&T National. He opened with a 70.
 
Paul Goydos, the leader of that money list, opened with a 73 and was in danger of missing the cut. Also in the chase are John Mallinger (70), Matt Bettencourt (70) and Kevin Na (71).
 
Molder is $20,000 behind Barnes, and it helped that he opened with a 64.
 
The tour had the standings posted in the locker room at Congressional, although Molder didnt need to see it.
 
I did check late Sunday afternoon, he said with a smile. That would be a tremendous honor to play in the Open Championship, which I never have. I love the golf over there. It would be a great challenge and a great honor to play.
 
Molder played on the Walker Cup team that competed in Nairn in Scotland, and on a Palmer Cup team at St. Andrews. Despite being in a tie for second, he realized there was a long way to go until Sunday.
 
Im going to try to ignore that as much as I can and just play golf, he said. Its hard to.
 
SPECIAL VISIT: Jim Furyk found perspective Wednesday night going to a barbecue at the Walter Reed Hospital to visit wounded soldiers, some of whom have lost limbs.
 
Just like last year, he thought he could help cheer them up. And just like last year, Furyk came away inspired.
 
It was just good to meet a lot of wonderful people that have gone and risked their lives for our country, he said. Some of them have gone through some very tough experiences, and the hospital is all about getting them back on track. Its amazing, their outlooks and their positive attitudes.
 
Its an odd scenario where you think want to go there and try to cheer some people up, and you leave there in awe of their attitude and how tough they are. They end up inspiring you.
 
ON A ROLL: Bryce Molder, a four-time All-American at Georgia Tech, has been trying to find his way to the PGA Tour most of the decade. He finished 185th on the money list as a rookie in 2007, and after earning back his card, was headed in the same direction.
 
It started to turn around, however, at the Byron Nelson Championship, and it continued Thursday with a 64, his ninth consecutive round at par or better.
 
A key moment was being paired in Memphis with Brian Gay, who finished five shots ahead of Molder.
 
His golf game is not the same as a lot of guys out here, he said. Theres so many guys that bomb it and everything, but he putts so well and he keeps the ball in play. And I think the biggest part of playing with him, what meant so much, was just seeing that hes extremely comfortable with who he is as a player, as a person out there.
 
I think its more important how you see yourself than what type of player you really are, Molder said. And I think thats a big part of it is Ive been able to take whatever shots I can play with at that time, take it to the golf course and try to score. When Ive played my best golf, thats what Ive done.
 
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    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.

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    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

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    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.”

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    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.”