Complete coverage of The Players Championship
May 9, 2010
Mell: The Razor's Edge
Winning Titles, Shedding Titles
Notes: Wayward Westwood; Goydos' gaffe
Shag Bag: Funk wants a better goodbye
Tim Clark wins The Players Championship
TIger Tracks: Love knows Tiger's pain
Shag Bag: TPC showing its teeth
Tiger Tracks: Early signs
Shag Bag: Island hole looking meaner
Hoggard: Another dramatic turn in the Tiger Woods camp
Woods withdraws from The Players citing injury
Tiger Tracks: Woods out at The Players
May 8, 2010
PGA Tour - Notes: Young golf fan talks trash to Tiger
Shag Bag - Mother's Day plan
PGA Tour - Can Woods ever be the same on the course?
Shag Bag - Golf can be hard...but better than kidney stones
Shag Bag - The Pepper Curse
PGA Tour - Westwood maintains slim lead at The Players
Tiger Tracks - Woods needs more reps
Shag Bag - Safe at 17
Tiger Tracks - Woods fades at TPC
Shag Bag - Lefty: 'One more low round...'
Shag Bag - College football Saturday
Shag Bag - Lefty makes birdies from the straw
Tiger Tracks - Woods still sporadic in Round 3
Shag Bag - Mickelson on a tear in Round 3
Shag Bag - Merrick’s late move
May 7, 2010
PGA Tour - Players critical of Players' greens
Tiger Tracks - Verplank gets Rd. 3 call
Shag Bag - Another Mother’s Day miss
Hoggard - Cut Line: Sawgrass Stew
Shag Bag - The tougher, the better for Phil
Lerner - In Shape and In Stitches
PGA Tour - Golf fan Tasered, arrested at TPC Sawgrass
Shag Bag - Lefty's late-round dance
PGA Tour - Woods: 'Got to keep plodding along’
Shag Bag - No thrills from Phil
Shag Bag - Officials play it safe on 18th green
Tiger Tracks - Good luck orb
Shag Bag - A united kingdom
Shag Bag - The hole story
Tiger Tracks - Woods makes cut, feels better about game
PGA Tour - Kim to miss two majors, hoping to make Ryder Cup
Tiger Tracks - Just good advertisement
Shag Bag - Driver nearly wrecks eighth green
Shag Bag - Rita honored
Shag Bag - Moore style and substance
Tiger Tracks - Tiger under par through 9
Shag Bag - Magic on Poulter's mind at No. 17
Tiger Tracks - Not how Dye drew it up
Tiger Tracks - Early expectations
May 6, 2010
Shag Bag: The fascinating world of Bubba
Shag Bag: Weekley working his way back
Mell: Let's All Take a Deep Breath
Notes: Singh loosens up; Lucky shot of the day
Holmes, Allenby share lead at Sawgrass
Tiger Tracks: Woods likes where he's headed at The Players
Tiger Tracks: Harmon weighs in on Woods' woes
Shag Bag: Owen all wet at No. 17
Tiger Tracks: Woods still struggling off the tee
Shag Bag: Mickelson high on Dustin Johnson's game
Tiger Tracks: Woods in comfort zone
Shag Bag: Good vibes for Aussie Scott
Tiger Tracks: Tiger hits the range
Shag Bag: Sizing up the 17th
Shag Bag: Young Gun style excites peers
Tiger Tracks: Poulter measures up against Tiger today
Shag Bag: Hot weather, not so hot starts
Shag Bag: Longer isn't always better
Shag Bag: At The Players, let's bring fun back
Shag Bag: Prugh tames Nos. 16 and 17
Shag Bag: Mickelson off to solid Players start
May 5, 2010
Shag Bag: Greek mythology ... Sawgrass style
Perez: Scrutiny suffocating Woods
Notes: Sutton recalls classic battle with Tiger
Shag Bag: Paddy hopes to change May doldrums
Tiger Tracks: Haney vs. Miller on Tiger
Tiger Tracks: Perez: Tiger's found a fix
Hoggard: 'Fun Zone'
Shag Bag: Rory's birthday bash
Shag Bag: Poulter's knee ready for Woods' pairing
Shag Bag: Dustin Johnson looks to step up with Harmon's help
Shag Bag: Poulter's virtual skills help him at The Players
Shag Bag: Couples WDs from The Players
Shag Bag: A real caddie challenge
Shag Bag: I don't do fifth major debates
Tiger Tracks: Williams takes caddie challenge
May 4, 2010
Scott can relate to current youth movement
Mell: The Road Gets Tougher
Shag Bag: Phil: 'I need him for me to play my best'
Shag Bag: McIlroy enjoying the embrace at The Players
Shag Bag: Furyk delivers the honest truth
Tiger Tracks: Woods says Haney's still his coach
Tiger Tracks: Tiger's take on his game
Fantasy Island: The Players
Shag Bag: Kim withdraws from The Players
Mell: Bunker Shots: Youth Served
May 3, 2010
TPC Sawgrass finally in perfect condition
Golf Guy's Sawgrass Showdown
Shag Bag: Stricker WDs from The Players
Berger more than ready to rebound at Travelers
CROMWELL, Conn. – Daniel Berger hopes that this year he gets to be on the other end of a viral moment at the Travelers Championship.
Berger was a hard-luck runner-up last year at TPC River Highlands, a spectator as Jordan Spieth holed a bunker shot to defeat him in a playoff. It was the second straight year that the 25-year-old came up just short outside Hartford, as he carried a three-shot lead into the 2016 event before fading to a tie for fifth.
While he wasn’t lacking any motivation after last year’s close call, Berger got another dose last week at the U.S. Open when he joined Tony Finau as a surprise participant in the final group Sunday, only to shoot a 73 and drift to a T-6 finish.
“It was one of the best experiences of my professional golf career so far. I feel like I’m going to be in such a better place next time I’m in that position, having felt those emotions and kind of gone through it,” Berger said. “There was a lot of reflection after that because I felt like I played good enough to get it done Sunday. I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hit a lot of really good putts. And that’s really all you can do.”
Berger missed the cut earlier this month to end his quest for three straight titles in Memphis, but his otherwise consistent season has now included six top-20 finishes since January. After working his way into contention last week and still with a score to settle at TPC River Highlands, he’s eager to get back to work against another star-studded field.
“I think all these experiences you just learn from,” Berger said. “I think last week, having learned from that, I think that’s even going to make me a little better this week. So I’m excited to get going.”
Rory tired of the near-misses, determined to close
CROMWELL, Conn. – Rory McIlroy has returned to the Travelers Championship with an eye on bumping up his winning percentage.
McIlroy stormed from the back of the pack to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, but that remains his lone worldwide win since the 2016 Tour Championship. It speaks to McIlroy’s considerable ability and lofty expectations that, even with a number of other high finishes this season, he is left unsatisfied.
“I feel like I’ve had five realistic chances to win this year, and I’ve been able to close out one of them. That’s a bit disappointing, I guess,” McIlroy said. “But at least I’ve given myself five chances to win golf tournaments, which is much more than I did last year.”
The most memorable of McIlroy’s near-misses is likely the Masters, when he played alongside Patrick Reed in Sunday’s final group but struggled en route to a T-5 finish. But more frustrating in the Ulsterman’s eyes were his runner-up at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, when he led by two shots with eight holes to go, and a second-place showing behind Francesco Molinari at the BMW PGA Championship in May.
“There’s been some good golf in there,” he said. “I feel like I let Dubai and Wentworth get away a little bit.”
He’ll have a chance to rectify that trend this week at TPC River Highlands, where he finished T-17 last year in his tournament debut and liked the course and the tournament enough to keep it on his schedule. It comes on the heels of a missed cut at the U.S. Open, when he was 10 over through 11 holes and never got on track. McIlroy views that result as more of an aberration during a season in which he has had plenty of chances to contend on the weekend.
“I didn’t necessarily play that badly last week. I feel like if I play similarly this week, I might have a good chance to win,” McIlroy said. “I think when you play in conditions like that, it magnifies parts of your game that maybe don’t stack up quite as good as the rest of your game, and it magnified a couple of things for me that I worked on over the weekend.”
Sunday run at Shinnecock gave Reed even more confidence
CROMWELL, Conn. – While many big names are just coming around to the notion that the Travelers Championship is worth adding to the schedule, Patrick Reed has been making TPC River Highlands one of his favorite haunts for years.
Reed will make his seventh straight appearance outside Hartford, where he tied for fifth last year and was T-11 the year before that. He is eager to get back to the grind after a stressful week at the U.S. Open, both because of his past success here and because it will offer him a chance to build on a near-miss at Shinnecock Hills.
Reed started the final round three shots off the lead, but he quickly stormed toward the top of the leaderboard and became one of Brooks Koepka’s chief threats after birdies on five of his first seven holes. Reed couldn’t maintain the momentum in the middle of the round, carding three subsequent bogeys, and ultimately tied for fourth.
It was a bittersweet result, but Reed is focusing on the positives after taking a couple days to reflect.
“If you would have told me that I had a chance to win coming down Sunday, I would have been pleased,” Reed said. “I felt like I just made too many careless mistakes towards the end, and because of that, you’re not going to win at any major making careless mistakes, especially on Sunday.”
Reed broke through for his first major title at the Masters, and he has now finished fourth or better in three straight majors dating back to a runner-up at the PGA last summer. With another chance to add to that record next month in Scotland, he hopes to carry the energy from last week’s close call into this week’s event on a course where he feels right at home.
“It just gives me confidence, more than anything,” Reed said. “Of course I would have loved to have closed it out and win, but it was a great week all in all, and there’s a lot of stuff I can take from it moving forward. That’s how I’m looking at it.”
Koepka back to work, looking to add to trophy collection
CROMWELL, Conn. – Days after ensuring the U.S. Open trophy remained in his possession for another year, Brooks Koepka went back to work.
Koepka flew home to Florida after successfully defending his title at Shinnecock Hills, celebrating the victory Monday night with Dustin Johnson, Paulina Gretzky, swing coach Claude Harmon III and a handful of close friends. But he didn’t fully unwind because of a decision to honor his commitment to the Travelers Championship, becoming the first player to tee it up the week after a U.S. Open win since Justin Rose in 2013.
Koepka withdrew from the Travelers pro-am, but he flew north to Connecticut on Wednesday and arrived to TPC River Highlands around 3 p.m., quickly heading to the driving range to get in a light practice session.
“It still hasn’t sunk in, to be honest with you,” Koepka said. “I’m still focused on this week. It was just like, ‘All right, if I can get through this week, then I’m going to be hanging with my buddies next week.’ I know then maybe it’ll sink in, and I’ll get to reflect on it a little bit more.”
Koepka’s plans next week with friends in Boston meant this week’s event outside Hartford made logistical sense. But he was also motivated to play this week because, plainly, he hasn’t had that many playing opportunities this year after missing nearly four months with a wrist injury.
“I’ve had so many months at home being on the couch. I don’t need to spend any more time on the couch,” Koepka said. “As far as skipping, it never crossed my mind.”
Koepka’s legacy was undoubtedly bolstered by his win at Shinnecock, as he became the first player in nearly 30 years to successfully defend a U.S. Open title. But he has only one other PGA Tour win to his credit, that being the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, and his goal for the rest of the season is to make 2018 his first year with multiple trophies on the mantle.
“If you’re out here for more than probably 15 events, it gives you a little better chance to win a couple times. Being on the sidelines isn’t fun,” Koepka said. “Keep doing what we’re doing and just try to win multiple times every year. I feel like I have the talent. I just never did it for whatever reason. Always felt like we ran into a buzzsaw. So just keep plugging away.”