'Winging it,' Casey in position to 'win it'

By Ryan LavnerApril 26, 2014, 9:31 pm

AVONDALE, La. – Paul Casey has fared awfully well this week for a guy who is winging it.

His plan was to begin his Zurich Classic preparation on Monday morning, play a few holes at TPC Louisiana and then walk the rest of the course since he had never seen the place. That changed once his flight out of Savannah, Ga., was delayed, so he scrapped those plans altogether and flew back home to Phoenix.

By Tuesday morning he was in Los Angeles, applying for a green card. He couldn’t fly out until midday Wednesday, though, and he arrived here too late to practice. And besides, he couldn’t do much anyway, with a 7 a.m. tee time Thursday.

“Really just winging it completely blind,” he said Saturday, “but it’s paid off.”


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This isn’t Casey’s first time ad-libbing at a tournament. When he won the ANZ Championship in 2003, he said he didn’t hit a single practice ball all week, because the driving range was off-site. When he was in the final group Sunday, “I had a bit of a panic attack, like, should I go warm up? I thought, Nah, and ended up winning.”

Casey has no status on the PGA Tour this season other than the past champions’ category. That doesn’t afford him a full schedule, and he’s making only his seventh start of the season, this one on a sponsor exemption.

After a third-round 64, Casey is now in position not only to finish in the top 10 and earn a spot in next week’s event in Charlotte, but also to win for the second time in his PGA Tour career, and first since 2009.

The former world No. 3 has battled injuries in the past few years, most notably a dislocated shoulder that essentially cost him the entire 2012 season. Last summer, he snapped a two-year winless drought when he captured the EuropeanTour’s Irish Open.

“For me, there’s a nervous excitement going into tomorrow,” he said. “I feel very much over all the injuries and the struggles I’ve had. It’s just a really exciting day for me.”

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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.