Damaged greens prompt TPC Sawgrass changes

By Rex HoggardApril 30, 2014, 9:15 pm

Less-than-championship quality greens at TPC Sawgrass in the days leading up to next week’s Players Championship have prompted the PGA Tour to plan significant changes to the Stadium Course in the coming years.

According to a memo sent to Tour players on Wednesday, a particularly cold and wet winter in northeast Florida combined with the “misapplication” of a product designed to combat the wintery conditions has resulted in greens that were recently described by one Tour player as “awful.”

Specifically, Nos. 4, 9, 11, 12 and 14 were damaged by the combination of factors, which prompted officials to use temporary greens beginning on March 28 and the course’s closure on April 14.

As a result, the Tour announced in Wednesday’s memo that a “significant” number of trees have been removed from around the most severely affected greens and that after the 2015 Players Championship the circuit will convert to a hardier variety of Bermuda grass and “will also make strategic design changes to expand certain green complexes to disperse wear and tear from foot traffic.”

“It isn’t one thing that caused this it was several things, shade, foot traffic, winter conditions and the application program, while accepted as the right thing to do it proved to be too aggressive,” said Ty Votaw, the Tour’s executive vice president of communication and international affairs.

GolfChannel.com toured the Stadium Course on Tuesday and found significant stress on the fourth, ninth, 11th and 12th holes, which has prompted officials to cancel practice rounds this weekend. No decision has been made regarding practice rounds beginning on Monday.

The Tour declined a request to interview the circuit’s director of agronomy Tom Vlach or TPC Sawgrass superintendent Clay Breazeale, nor would Votaw say what “product(s)” damaged the putting surfaces.

However, Tour officials explained in Wednesday’s memo it was, “an application program that, while widely accepted in the industry, was utilized in a manner that proved to be too aggressive.”

Cold and wet winters have impacted course conditions at the Tour’s flagship event since the move to May in 2007, particularly in 2010, and the circuit also told players in Wednesday’s memo that the Tour, “will selectively remove additional trees that impact sunlight conditions, (and) continue aggressive play restrictions throughout the year and temporary greens will be maintained for immediate use as conditions dictate.”

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Key stats from Woods' historic win at East Lake

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 23, 2018, 10:47 pm

Tiger Woods won his 80th career PGA Tour title on Sunday with a two-stroke victory at the Tour Championship. Here are the key stats from the final round at East Lake.

• 80th career PGA Tour win; first since 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

• Two wins behind Sam Snead for most in PGA Tour history

• Snead was 47 years old when he won his 80th career PGA Tour title (Woods is 42)

• 43-for-45 converting outright 54-hole leads in PGA Tour career

• 24-for-24 converting 54-hole leads of three or more shots

• First win in 1,876 days; 118 players won on PGA Tour between Woods' wins

• Third career Tour Championship victory (most all-time)

• Has won Tour Championship in three different decades (1999, 2007, 2018)

• Fifth PGA Tour event won in three different decades (1990s, 2000s, 2010s)

• Projected to move to 13th in World Ranking with victory

• Was ranked 1,199 before beginning of 2017 Hero World Challenge

• Snead won 11 times after turning 43 (Woods turns 43 in December)

• Eighth PGA Tour win in Georgia; fourth-most of any state (Fla., Calif., Ohio)

• Extended lead to four strokes with birdie on first hole of round

• Second in field in strokes gained: putting this week

• First in field in scrambling this week (17-for-24)

• Finished second in FedExCup; was making first Tour Championship start since 2013

• Led field in one-putt percentage this week (51.4%)

• Finishes season first on PGA Tour in strokes gained: approach

(Stats provided by the Golf Channel editorial research unit.)

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Social media explodes over Tiger's 80th win

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 23, 2018, 10:45 pm

After a five-year hiatus, Tiger Woods made his triumphant return to the winner's circle on Sunday at the Tour Championship.

As evidenced by a quick look at social media, Woods' win set the golf world on fire, with everyone from Jack Nicklaus to Michelle Wie sending their congratulations to the 42-year-old.

Here are the best reactions from a wild Sunday at East Lake, where Woods claimed PGA Tour victory No. 80:

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Rose captures FedExCup, $10 million

By Mercer BaggsSeptember 23, 2018, 10:45 pm

ATLANTA – Like the “Price is Right” big wheel, $10 million spun around and around on Sunday, waiting to land on someone. It rolled past Dustin Johnson, looked like it was going to settle on Tiger Woods, and then made a final tick to rest on an ecstatic Justin Rose.

Rose won the FedExCup title on Sunday at the Tour Championship, two-putting for birdie on the par-5 18th to secure the big bonus. Woods, who won the tournament, finished second, with Bryson DeChambeau third.

Rose entered the final round as the projected winner, tied for second in the event, three shots back of Woods. However, it was a struggle from the start for the – now former – world No. 1. Rose made four bogeys and one birdie over his first 15 holes, and when he bogeyed the par-4 16th, the scenario became clear: Play the last two in 1 under or lose the cup.


Final FedExCup results and payout breakdown

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Johnson had an outside shot at claiming the $10 million, but parred the last. He finished in solo third place, four back of Woods.

Woods, meanwhile, was in command of the tournament from the start on Sunday. He played steadily, for the most part, and no one provided a challenge. In order to win the cup, he needed to win the event – which was close to a lock all day – and Rose needed to finish in a three-way tie for fifth or worse.

So, here he was, Rose, tied for SIXTH place on the 18th hole. A birdie and he’d jump into a three-way tie for fourth – as well as into a mountain of cash.

Rose hit the par-5 18th in two and successfully two-putted to clinch the cup. He didn’t win a playoff event, but his MC-2-2-T4 results were good enough, points wise, to capture the season-long race.

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Highlights: Tiger's final round at East Lake

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 23, 2018, 10:40 pm

Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship on Sunday by two strokes. Here are the highlights from the final round.

Woods got off to a great start with a birdie on No. 1.


He then made eight straight pars to close out the front nine in 1 under par. Woods started the back nine with a bogey at 10, but he rebounded with this birdie at No. 13.


Woods leaked some oil coming in with bogeys at 15 and 16, but this par putt on 17 gave him a crucial two-stroke lead heading to 18.


For the fourth straight day, Woods smoked his drive on 18.


A huge gallery followed Woods up the 18th hole.


Woods missed his birdie putt on 18, but it was an easy par for a two-stroke victory and win No. 80.