Slow start, but season still young for Woods

By Doug FergusonFebruary 25, 2014, 9:51 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Imagine being one-third of the way through the PGA Tour season and having a slight edge over Tiger Woods in the FedEx Cup.

''I would say, 'God, I'm playing well,''' said Joe Ogilvie.

Except that he's not.

But he does have a slight edge over Woods, who is hardly playing at all.

The points distribution system goes down to the very decimal. Ogilvie finished in a two-way for 74th at the Phoenix Open, but because one full point is awarded only to 70th place, he earned 0.91 points. Woods did not make the 54-hole cut at Torrey Pines and finished in a two-way tie for 80th, thus receiving 0.79 points.

So at least Ogilvie has that going for him.

''It is amazing that we're one-third of the way through the season,'' Ogilvie said. ''But he's playing the Honda Classic, so I know he's looking at the stats and saying, 'If I can just get ahead of Ogilvie, I should be OK for the rest of the year.'''

Woods has said he's having a hard time getting his head around the wraparound season that started in July. That should start to clear up this week at the Honda Classic, which the No. 1 player sees as the start to his season.


Honda Classic: Articles, videos and photos


The Florida swing is better known as the road to the Masters, and it's time for Woods to get into gear.

He's in good company, of course. Masters champion Adam Scott, who has played twice as much as Woods this season on the PGA Tour (that would be two tournaments) is holding steady at No. 101 in the FedEx Cup. He's three spots ahead of Rory McIlroy.

That's what prompted NBC Sports analyst Johnny Miller to effectively dismiss the three wins this season by Jimmy Walker, the winners of the tournaments last fall (which include Webb Simpson and Dustin Johnson), or even the 64-64 weekend by Bubba Watson when he won at Riviera.

''We've had a lot of good stories,'' Miller said. ''But I think now the guns are back and probably ready to do something in the next couple weeks. So I don't see players that maybe are the second-tier players ... I think the big boys are warmed up and ready to go.''

Some of them are, anyway.

Scott followed his amazing run Down Under with a pair of top 10s in Hawaii before taking a six-week break. McIlroy had chances to win at Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Woods is the mystery, though it's early, even if the PGA Tour's new schedule says otherwise.

He has played only four times since the Presidents Cup last October – the Turkish Airlines Open, his World Challenge against an 18-man field, Torrey Pines and Dubai. He missed the 54-hole cut at Torrey Pines with his worst score in America (79), and he tied for 41st in the Dubai Desert Classic.

Woods said he spent most of the offseason ''trying to get my body organized,'' and he said his game was slow to come around. But he's playing three of the next four weeks, including title defenses at Doral and Bay Hill.

Even with 14 tournaments already in the books, there is a sense the PGA Tour season is just started.

Besides, at this stage in his career, it's all about being ready for the majors for Woods.

He is not unlike Jack Nicklaus at age 38. Nicklaus played only five times before the Masters in 1978, and he played two events a month in the heart of the season (February through August). Then again, Nicklaus didn't have to worry about a FedEx Cup at the end of the year in which most players will be asked to compete seven times in nine weeks, all big tournaments. It would not be surprising for Woods to consider skipping a playoff event.

Woods rarely goes to a tournament without hearing some mention of being stuck on 14 majors - four short of the Nicklaus standard - since 2008. Expect to start hearing even more of that speculation with Augusta National around the corner.

Miller said last month that how Woods fared in the Masters would be a precursor to the rest of his year in the majors. During a conference call Monday, the two-time major champion made it sound as though the task were tougher than ever.

''Before it was like if he had his A-game, you could just kiss it off,'' Miller said. ''It wasn't going to happen. He was just so much better than everybody and so much better under pressure and so much better on Sundays and so much better in the majors. It was not a fair fight, as Roger Maltbie would say.''

That was Maltbie's famous line from the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach after Woods hit 7-iron out of the rough on the par-5 sixth hole to 15 feet. He won by 15 shots.

''Now, it's a fair fight, wouldn't you say?'' Miller said.

He asked that of Notah Begay, a close friend of Woods who also works as an analyst for NBC. Begay agreed, saying ''his game has come back down to Earth a little bit.''

''Prior to everything that's happened away from golf, if you were to pace your game according to Tiger Woods, you knew you were going to be around the top 10 and probably most likely near the lead,'' Begay said. ''And I don't think that's the case right now.''

That would be good news for those trying to challenge Woods – and bad news for Ogilvie.

''I just hope Tiger can pass me,'' Ogilvie said.

The sarcasm was heavy and the message was clear. No matter what the schedule says, it's early. Golf is just getting started.

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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.”