Woods heads to major coming off another win

By Doug FergusonJuly 6, 2009, 4:00 pm
AT&T NationalBETHESDA, Md. ' Tiger Woods watched good friend Roger Federer in the championship match at Wimbledon for as long as he could before heading out to prepare for the final round of the AT&T National.
 
The fifth set was tied at 14 when he was on the putting green. When he arrived at the practice range, he heard that Federer finally broke the serve of Andy Roddick to win 16-14, capturing a record 15th title in Grand Slam events, one more than Woods has majors.
 
He paused to take his cell phone from his golf bag and send Federer a text message: 'Great job. Now its my turn.
 
He smiled as a room full of reporters laughed. Woods knew what they were thinking and quickly corrected them.
 
Not by 15, he said. I meant win today.
 
He took care of that Sunday at Congressional, although it wasnt quite as dramatic. Tied going into the final round ' a position from which Woods has not lost in nearly five years ' he surged past Anthony Kim with three birdies in a five-hole stretch, only to see that Hunter Mahan had joined Woods atop the leaderboard by tying the course record with a 62.
 
He saved par on the next two holes, from a tough spot in the bunker and with a 6-foot putt to atone for a pedestrian chip, then turned another poor chip into a winner when he holed a 20-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole.
 
Woods wound up with a 3-under 67 and a one-shot victory, his third this season in nine starts.
 
It would seem as though the timing was impeccable. What better way to go into a major than by winning?
 
But that hasnt helped him lately. Woods also won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in his final start before the Masters, then struggled with his swing and finished four shots behind. Then came a victory at the Memorial, where he rarely missed a fairway, only to go to the U.S. Open without being able to make a putt.
 
Asked if that had crossed his mind, Woods smiled.
 
It has now, he said. Hopefully, I can play like I did this week and continue to build next week. Our practice sessions, hopefully well do some good work and continue to build on what were doing right now.
 
The British Open is at Turnberry, a links course Woods has never seen. That shouldnt be an issue, he had never been to Royal Liverpool in 2006 until dismantling the course to win by two at 18-under 270.
 
He made it clear last week, however, that he needs all facets of his game to be working ' driving, iron play, chipping and putting ' to win a major because the Grand Slam events demand so much.
 
It looked plenty good to Kim.
 
The 24-year-old from California, who used Woods as his role model growing up and practiced beating him with 10-foot putts, went from a one-shot lead to a three-shot deficit in a matter of four holes, and never caught up. It was their first time playing together, and Kim still hasnt finished higher than Woods in any event.
 
I have seen him dissect a golf course, Kim said. Hes done it to perfection in many tournaments. Now I just need to go and learn. Ill learn a lot from this event.
 
Mahans 62 tied the course record that Kim had set on Thursday, although this one came in the final round when the greens were more firm and the flags were tucked. It was four shots better than anyone else Sunday.
 
It still wasnt enough, and Mahan figured that would be the case considering Woods had six holes remaining.
 
He knows how to play this game better than anybody, Mahan said.
 
The left knee that caused Woods to miss the British Open and the second half of last year is no longer an issue. Woods said thats one reason he is driving the ball so well, which was evident at Congressional.
 
Swing coach Hank Haney will travel to Orlando, Fla., this week to work with Woods. They wont be able to mimic links conditions, how the ball reacts not only in crosswinds, but when it hits the ground.
 
Just making sure that you can flight your ball and making sure you can maneuver it both ways efficiently, Woods said of his practice sessions. Because over there, you dont know what kind of weather youre going to get.
 
A victory would give him 15 majors, although he is pursuing Jack Nicklaus and his 18 majors, not Federer and his 15.
 
Our playing career is a little bit longer than theirs, Woods said. So Ive got one good thing there.
 
Sunday was the second time this year that Woods and Federer have won on the same day. He was a few minutes late getting to the practice range at the Memorial last month because he wanted to see the end of the French Open, which Federer won to complete the Grand Slam. More text messages followed, and Woods rallied from five shots behind.
 
Theres one big difference between their victories, however.
 
He won the French and I won Memorial, so it was kind of, Lets do it on the same day. Lets do it again today, Woods said. His are a hell of a lot bigger than mine, though. He won two Slams, and I won two tour events. Hopefully, I can get the majors now.
 
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    Hataoka leads Minjee Lee by one at LPGA Volvik

    By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:54 am

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. - After losing in a playoff last weekend, Nasa Hataoka is making another bid for her first LPGA Tour victory.

    Hataoka shot a 4-under 68 on Friday, and the Japanese teenager led by one stroke over Minjee Lee after the second round of the Volvik Championship. Hataoka, who is coming off the first two top-10 finishes of her LPGA career, made seven birdies at Travis Pointe Country Club. She began her round on No. 10, and her best stretch came toward the end, when she birdied Nos. 4, 5 and 6.

    ''I'm really comfortable playing the LPGA,'' the 19-year-old Hataoka said through a translator. ''I've really got confidence now.''

    Hataoka made the cut nine times in 17 starts as a rookie in 2017, and she has made significant strides of late. She tied for seventh at last month's MEDIHEAL Championship and nearly won a week ago at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia.

    Hataoka finished the second round in Michigan at 9 under. Lee (69) was also solid Friday. Gaby Lopez (68), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (70) and Lindy Duncan (70) were a stroke behind Lee in a tie for third.

    Hataoka did not make a single bogey in last week's three-round tournament, and she didn't have any in the first round in Michigan. She finally made a few Friday, but that didn't stop her from taking sole possession of the lead.

    ''I kind of feel like not really perfect, but I just kind of try to (be) aggressive,'' she said.


    Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


    Lee, who lost by one stroke on this course last year, is in contention again.

    ''I guess the fairways are pretty generous and I think the greens are a little bit on the trickier side to read,'' Lee said. ''As long as your iron shots are pretty solid, I think you're going to be in good position around this golf course.''

    Lee birdied the first two holes, and the only blemish on her scorecard Friday came on the par-5 14th. After missing the fairway to the right, she hit an aggressive shot out of the rough that went straight toward a water hazard well in front of the green. She settled for a bogey after taking a drop.

    ''I thought the ball was sitting OK in the rough, but it must have been a bit funny, or underneath it,'' she said. ''I made a mistake. I thought it was good enough to hit 3-wood there.''

    Lee lost last year in Michigan to Shanshan Feng, but Feng will have some ground to make up in her attempt to repeat. She shot 69 on Friday but is still eight strokes behind the leader.

    Ariya Jutanugarn was 6 under after a second consecutive 69.

    Lopez made only six pars in the second round, tied for the fewest of the day, but her eight birdies and four bogeys put her near the top of the leaderboard.

    ''It was a little bit of an up and down,'' she said. ''There's so many opportunities out here to make birdie, that the most important thing to do is just to be patient, to be in the moment and not to get ahead of yourself. I think I came back from a couple mistakes that I did.''

    In contrast to Lopez, Brittany Lincicome parred all 18 holes Friday and made the cut at 1 under. Paula Creamer (71) triple bogeyed the par-4 13th. She followed that with an eagle on the very next hole but missed the cut by a stroke.

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    Childhood rivals share Sr. PGA lead

    By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:00 am

    BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Kevin Sutherland and Scott McCarron have been rivals since their junior golf days around Sacramento, California. The two old friends were back at it Friday at the top of the Senior PGA Championship leaderboard.

    ''It's honestly, nothing new for us,'' said Sutherland who played in the third-to-last group and birdied his last two holes for a 5-under 66 to match McCarron at 8 under.

    McCarron had a 68 in the morning wave to emerge from a championship record group of six tied for the first-round lead.

    Sutherland was last year's Charles Schwab Cup winner with his only senior win coming in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, while McCarron has six PGA Tour Champions wins, including a major at the 2017 Senior Players Championship.

    ''We are both (Northern California) guys, played in high school, junior golf, on tour and it seems like a lot on the Champions Tour,'' Sutherland said. ''We were in the last group on Sundays a lot last year. Scott played so well and had an incredible year, and I had a great year, too.''

    Sutherland's lone PGA Tour victory came at McCarron's expense in 2002 at La Costa in the Accenture Match Play Championship, when he beat McCarron 1 up in the 36-hole final. As youngsters they played on opposing high school teams located about an hour apart and met often in state tournaments as well as on the California junior circuit.

    ''It's been happening for 30 years, wait 35 years now, I guess,'' Sutherland said. ''Playing together on a Saturday is a little different. We're both still trying to get in position to win.''

    Jerry Kelly shot a 65 to join Tim Petrovic (69), Chris Williams (68) and Joe Durant (67) at 7 under. Durant tied for second last week in the Regions Tradition, also a major championship.


    Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship


    McCarron feels like he is just starting to warm to the task this year. He had to replace his clubs, including a favored putter damaged beyond repair in air transit two months ago.

    ''I've been putting with a back-up putter I had, but it just didn't feel quite right,'' he said. ''I changed last Sunday at the Regions Tradition and started putting better on Sunday. So I'm using this one again this week and seem to be putting pretty good with it.''

    McCarron said the Harbor Shores course played a little tougher in light winds in the second round. He made six birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I would just like to have a couple of those bogeys back,'' he said. ''But we're in a good position going into the weekend.''

    McCarron came to the press center after his round and walked in on a press conference where course-designer Jack and Barbara Nicklaus were being honored by sponsoring KitchenAid with the establishment of a local college scholarship program in their name.

    McCarron, who said he has idolized Nicklaus since his youth, played media and asked Nicklaus what he ate when he was near the lead going into the weekend of a major championship.

    Nicklaus said if you play well one day, eat the same thing the next day.

    ''But no hamburgers, or you will play like hamburger,'' he said.

    Stuart Smith, the Reno, Neveda, club pro who was tied for the lead after the first round, missed the 36-hole cut with a second-round 83.

    ''I'll take the 66, 83 and enjoy the 66 yesterday,'' he said. ''You put this one down to just plain old golf. It's a nasty game we play sometimes. Glad I have a day job.''

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    Wise, Simpson both miss cut at Colonial

    By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 11:34 pm

    The two most recent winners on the PGA Tour, Aaron Wise and Webb Simpson, missed the cut at the Fort Worth Invitational on Friday.

    Wise and Simpson both came up short of the 2-over total by a shot following rounds of 70-73.

    Wise was safely inside the number before playing his last four holes in 4 over par with two bogeys and a closing double following a trip into the water at the par-4 ninth.


    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

    Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


    Simpson, making his first start following his Players triumph, similarly struggled coming home, bogeying three of his final six holes.

    Other notables who won't be around for the weekend at Colonial include Xander Schauffele (+4), Jason Dufner (+5), Patrick Cantlay (+6), Smylie Kaufman (+13), and Sam Burns (+13).

    This is Kaufman's 11th consecutive MC and his 15th in his last 16 starts.

    Jason Seaman and Kristi Hubly Seaman

    Sr. PGA caddie learns of nephew's heroism in school shooting

    By Tim RosaforteMay 25, 2018, 10:33 pm

    Tracy Hubly caddied for her husband, club pro Chris Starkjohann, on Friday at the KitchenAid Senior PGA and learned after their round that her nephew was credited with helping stop the school shooting at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana.

    Jason Seaman, a 29-year-old science instructor and seventh grade football coach at the school, took three bullets but survived as what his aunt called a hero.

    “You hear the stories about these shootings and I think about Parkland and the officer that was trained but didn’t go into the school,” Hubly said. “It’s really shocking to think it comes close to your family, but it does."

    It’s not unusual for Hubly to caddie for her husband, a teacher at Carlsbad Golf Center and coach of a PGA Junior League program in Southern California. Hubly, who works in the pro shop at Emerald Island Golf Course in Oceanside, Calif., was on the bag when he was low golf professional at the 2009 Senior PGA Championship held at Canterbury GC. 

    Starkjohann, 61, missed the cut at Harbor Shores with rounds of 76-79—155 and was heading to the Colorado State Open.

     “I didn’t hear about it until after my round was done,” Starkjohann said. “Everything happened after I got in.”