TT postscript: Positive signs despite MC

By Tiger TrackerJanuary 27, 2017, 11:51 pm

SAN DIEGO – A few thoughts before hopping on a plane to Dubai ...

Let’s start with Tiger’s exit. He may have missed the cut Friday at the Farmers Insurance Open, but, dammit, he left with his glutes activating! There’s a victory in that. There’s hope in that when you remember how he left here two years ago, slumped in a cart, withdrawing with back spasms, leading to more physical woes that year.

Seriously, Tiger left Torrey Pines healthy on Friday, joking with playing partners as he left the North Course and then with media as he left his post-round scrum. That’s where you start evaluating his short week at the Farmers Insurance Open. He left upright, walking in gorgeous long strides, and that keeps alive his larger ambitions.

“I’m trying to get ready for the first full week in April,” Tiger said of the Masters. “That’s where I want to have everything come together.”

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

There was another upside Friday. That’s the fact that Tiger spent a lot less time in the rough scaring the bejeezus out of his faithful hacking shots from all the cabbage patches here. He hit a lot more fairways on Friday, 10 of them, compared with a paltry four on Thursday. He also hit more greens, 11 of them compared to nine on Thursday. He gave himself more birdie chances but converted just two of them.

And before we get down to brass tacks, Tiger’s short game looked good again. He got up and down five of seven times. He nearly chipped in for eagle at the fifth.

• Not gonna lie, I had a lot of great tweets today. But this was the best:

Yeah, there were issues in his first PGA Tour start in 17 months. The North Course was fairly gettable, even in the wind, and he didn’t get it. He missed a cut at Torrey Pines, his glorious playground, for the first time. Tiger quasi-chunked three short irons, missing greens short with terrific opportunities with his scoring clubs.

Bottom line – Tiger isn’t competitive, not yet. He left the Hero World Challenge 15th out of 17 competitors. He didn’t come close to making the cut at Torrey (missing by four shots). He was tied for 107th when he left the course.

Getty Images

Lewis wins Portugal Masters for second time

By Associated PressSeptember 23, 2018, 6:19 pm

VILAMOURA, Portugal – Tom Lewis won the Portugal Masters for a second time after shooting a 5-under 66 in Sunday's final round.

Lewis finished three strokes ahead of fellow Englishman Eddie Pepperell (67) and Australia's Lucas Herbert (71).

Sergio Garcia prepared for the Ryder Cup next weekend with a 65 to finish seven strokes behind Lewis.

Lewis made six birdies along with a single bogey on No. 10 to finish the tournament at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course on 22-under 262.

Herbert led through the first three rounds only to struggle on the final day. He hit a double bogey on the final hole to finish the round on par.

Lewis had trailed Herbert by nine shots after the first round.

''It's been a rough ride but this week I played hard,'' Lewis said. ''I obviously got off to a bad start, to finish the way I've been finishing has been brilliant.''

Lewis first won the tournament in 2011.

''I think this one means more,'' Lewis said, ''it means a lot to come and win this again.''

Getty Images

Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 23, 2018, 3:00 pm

Tiger Woods began the final round of the Tour Championship with a three-shot lead, and he's cruising at East Lake. We're tracking him.

Getty Images

Rose tries to ignore scenarios, focus on winning

By Rex HoggardSeptember 23, 2018, 12:59 am

ATLANTA – No one has more to play for than Justin Rose on Sunday at the Tour Championship.

The Englishman will begin the day three strokes behind front-runner Tiger Woods after a third-round 68 that could have been much worse after he began his day with back-to-back bogeys.

Winning the tournament will be Rose’s top priority, but there’s also the lingering question of the FedExCup and the $10 million bonus, which he is currently projected to claim.

Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

“The way I look at tomorrow is that I have many scenarios in play. I have the FedExCup in play. I have all of that to distract me,” Rose said. “But yet, I'm three back. I think that's my objective tomorrow is to come out and play good, positive golf and try and chase down the leader and win this golf tournament. I think in some ways that'll help my other task of trying to win the FedExCup. It'll keep me on the front foot and playing positive golf.”

Although there are many scenarios for Rose to win the season-long title, if Woods wins the Tour Championship, Rose would need to finish fifth or better to claim the cup.

There’s also the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking to consider. Rose overtook Dustin Johnson for No. 1 in the world with his runner-up finish at the BMW Championship two weeks ago. He will retain the top spot unless Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka or Johnson win the finale and he falls down the leaderboard on Sunday.

Getty Images

McIlroy needs putter to heat up to catch Woods

By Rex HoggardSeptember 23, 2018, 12:29 am

ATLANTA – Although Rory McIlroy is three strokes behind Tiger Woods at the Tour Championship and tied for second place he had the look of a man with a secret when he left East Lake on Saturday.

Trying to play catch up against Woods is never ideal, but McIlroy’s confidence stemmed from a tee-to-green game that has been unrivaled for three days.

“I definitely think today and the first day were similar,” said McIlroy, whose 66 included birdies at two of his final three holes. “I gave myself plenty of chances, and I think the biggest thing today was only just that one bogey. Got to put your ball in the fairway, put yourself in position, and for the most part, I did that today.”

Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

For the week McIlroy ranks first in strokes gained: off the tee, third in strokes gained: approach to the green and second in greens in regulation. But to catch Woods, who he will be paired with, he’ll need a much better day on the greens.

The Northern Irishman needed 30 putts on Day 2 and ranks 23rd, out of 30 players, in strokes gained: putting.

McIlroy skipped the first playoff event, opting instead for an extra week at home to work on his swing and the move has paid off.

“I hit the ball well. My wedge play has been really good,” he said. “I've done a lot of work on it the last few weeks, and it seems to have paid off.”