Tiger Takes on Torrey Pines and the Streak

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2007, 5:00 pm
2007 Buick InvitationalTiger Woods makes his much-anticipated season debut this week in the Buick Invitational and tries to add to his streak of six straight PGA TOUR wins. However, the one thing he hasn't been called in his career is a streaky player. In fact, he's almost the complete opposite -- remarkably, off-the-charts consistent. Consistently great that is.
Yet at the same time, Tiger very well could be called a streaky player. Heck, he indeed is the player who has fashioned some of the greatest streaks the game has ever seen.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods likes what he sees when he arrives at Torrey Pines.
Let's start with the streak of six straight USGA titles he won as an amatuer - three U.S. Junior Amatuers followed by three consecutive U.S. Amatuer titles. There's the mind-numbing 142 straight no-cut streak he held together from 1998 to 2005. The streak of four majors, five straight Player of the Year awards and money titles from 1999 through 2003, and his current streak of 11 straight years with at least one PGA TOUR victory.
Which leads us to this week and his quest to extend another current streak that has the golfing world abuzz - his attempt to win his seventh consecutive PGA TOUR stroke-play event. He already produced a similiar streak at the end of the 1999 season and beginning of the 2000 season. A win here would give him seven, just four behind Byron Nelson's TOUR record of 11.
A victory here would hardly come as a shock - he just so happens to be the two-time defending champion at Torrey Pines and the winner three of the last four years. Simply put, his record in the Buick Invitational is staggering - in his nine starts, his worst finish is a tie for 10th. Other than that, he has four wins, a runner-up, a third, a fourth and a fifth.
'I've been playing here since I was 12,' Woods has said in an understatement about Torrey Pines. 'I've had some success here even in the junior ranks. The golf course just suits my eye.'
Yet there is someone else in the field who also has a hankering for the course - Phil Mickelson. Mickelson, who grew up in San Diego, has been playing the course even longer than has Tiger. And his results are quite similiar: three wins, a runner-up, a third-place showing, and a pair of fourth-place ties. Unlike Tiger, however, he has missed the cut on four ocassions.
Heres our list of players to watch for from four different categories: Superstar (top-10 ranked player from the Official World Golf Ranking); Second Tier (guys outside the top 10, but no lower than 100); First-Timer (a player who has never won before on TOUR); Veteran (a guy who has played 10-plus years on the PGA TOUR and may or may not have won in some time).
As stated above, Tiger is obviously the man to beat. Maybe more so here than at any other event. Other than he and Phil, Vijay Singh is the only other player from the top-10 in the field this week. Although Singh already has a win under his belt this year, his performance at the Buick Invitational is just so-so, not even a top-10 in his four starts. Even with the question concerning Tiger and how rusty his game might be come Thursday, Woods is still the pick to take home the trophy from Torrey.
Charles Howell III
Charles Howell III is currently seventh on the PGA TOUR money list.
Second Tier
Currently ranked 59th in the world, Charles Howell III finished off last season on somewhat of a roller-coaster. Following his best showing of the season with a second-place at the 84 Lumber Classic, he missed the cut in his next event. He then had a T19 at the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro and then another missed cut. He registered a top-10 at the FUNAI Classic before yet another missed cut. This season, more of the same - a tie for second and then a T65. Time for another good finish -- and maybe his first win since the 2002 season.
Former U.S. Amatuer champion Jeff Quinney is a rookie on the PGA TOUR this season. And he is wasting no time trying to make his mark. He got his feet wet by making the cut at the Sony Open and then held a share of the lead midway through the final round last week at the Bob Hope. Quinney had a great year on the Nationwide Tour in 2006 with eight top-10s to finish sixth on the money list.
When he's been able to make it to the weekend, Mark Calcavecchia has had very good results in the Buck Invitational. In his 12 starts he's missed the cut four times and withdrawn on two ocassions. But he has racked up five top-10s in the other six attempts. His best showing was a runner-up finish back in 1995 and a tie for seventh in 2003. He played well at the Hope, finishing in a tie for eighth.
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    Watch: Bubba casually hits flop shot over caddie's head

    By Grill Room TeamMarch 22, 2018, 9:20 pm

    We've seen this go wrong. Really wrong.

    But when your end-of-year bonus is a couple of brand new vehicles, you're expected to go above and beyond every now and then.

    One of those times came early Thursday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, where Bubba Watson’s caddie Ted Scott let his boss hit a flop shot over his head.

    It wasn’t quite Phil Mickelson over Dave Pelz, but the again, nothing is.

    And the unique warm-up session paid off, as Watson went on to defeat Marc Leishman 3 and 2 to move to 2-0-0 in group play.

    Hey, whatever works.

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    Spieth explains why he won't play in a 'dome'

    By Rex HoggardMarch 22, 2018, 9:01 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – No one at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play was as excited about Thursday’s forecast as Jordan Spieth.

    Winds blew across Austin Country Club to 20 mph, which is typical for this time of year in Texas, and Spieth put in a typical performance, beating HaoTong Li, 4 and 2, to remain undefeated entering the final day of pool play.

    The windy conditions were exactly what Spieth, who never trailed in his match, wanted. In fact, demanding conditions factor into how he sets his schedule.

    “I have, and will continue to schedule tournaments away from a dome, because it's just unusual for me. I like having the feel aspect,” said Spieth, who attended the University of Texas and played Austin Country Club in college. “Places with no wind, where it's just driving range shots, it's just never been something I've been used to. So I don't really know what to do on them.”

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    Spieth used the CareerBuilder Challenge as an example. The Coachella Valley event rarely has windy conditions, and as a result he’s never played the tournament.

    “I played in a dome in Phoenix, and I didn't strike the ball well there. Actually I've had quite a few this year, where we didn't have very windy conditions,” said Spieth, who will face Patrick Reed in his final pool play match on Friday. “I don't go to Palm Springs, never have, because of that. Look at where you can take weeks off and if they match up with places that potentially aren't the best for me, then it works out.”

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    Curry jokes about Romo's 77: 'Got him by a stroke'

    By Grill Room TeamMarch 22, 2018, 8:40 pm

    This just in ... professional athletes are competitive. Even when they're playing their secondary sport.

    Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption Thursday, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo started hot with an even-par 36 on his opening nine holes, but faded down the stretch to open with a 5-over 77.

    According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Ron Kroichick, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry couldn't help but crack a smile when informed of the score, saying, "I got him by a stroke."

    Curry was referencing his brief foray into pro golf last August, when he shot back-to-back 4-over 74s at the Web.com's Ellie Mae Classic.

    So just in case Romo needed another reason to go low tomorrow when he tees off at 1 p.m. in the second round, he's got one.

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    Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 7:20 pm

    Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.

    Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
    (1) D. Johnson: 0-2-0 (2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0 (3) J. Rahm: 0-1-1 (4) J. Spieth: 2-0-0
    (32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1 (21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0 (28) K. Aphibarnrat: 2-0-0 (19) P. Reed: 2-0-0
    (38) A. Hadwin: 1-0-1
    (48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0 (43) C. Reavie: 1-1-0 (34) H. Li: 0-2-0
    (52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
    (60) L. List: 0-1-0 (63) K. Bradley: 0-1-1 (49) C. Schwartzel: 0-2-0
    Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
    (5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0 (6) R. McIlroy: 1-1-0 (7) S. Garcia: 1-0-0 (8) J. Day: 1-0-0
    (30) P. Cantlay: 0-1-0
    (18) B. Harman: 0-0-1 (20) X. Schauffele: 1-0-0 (25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-0-0
    (46) C. Smith: 1-0-0 (44) J. Vegas: 0-1-1 (41) D. Frittelli: 0-1-0 (42) J. Dufner: 0-1-0
    (53) Y. Miyazato: 0-1-0 (51) P. Uihlein: 1-0-0 (62) S. Sharma: 0-1-0 (56) J. Hahn: 0-1-0
    Group 9 Group 10 Group 11 Group 12
    (9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0 (10) P. Casey: 2-0-0 (11) M. Leishman: 0-2-0 (12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0
    (26) D. Berger: 0-2-0 (31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-1-0 (23) B. Grace: 1-1-0 (22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0
    (33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0 (45) K. Stanley: 1-1-0 (35) B. Watson: 2-0-0 (36) B. Steele: 1-0-0
    (58) I. Poulter: 2-0-0 (51) R. Henley: 0-1-0 (64) J. Suri: 1-1-0 (55) A. Levy: 0-1-0
    Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
    (13) A. Noren: 2-0-0 (14) P. Mickelson: 1-1-0 (15) P. Perez: 0-0-1 (16) M. Kuchar: 1-0-1
    (29) T. Finau: 2-0-0 (17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-1-0 (24) G. Woodland: 0-0-1 (27) R. Fisher: 1-1-0
    (39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0 (40) S. Kodaira: 0-2-0 (37) W. Simpson: 0-0-1 (47) Y. Ikeda: 1-1-0
    (61) K. Na: 0-2-0 (59) C. Howell III: 2-0-0 (50) S.W. Kim: 0-0-1 (54) Z. Johnson: 0-1-1