A Year Later So Much Has Changed For Tiger

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 1, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Deutsche Bank ChampionshipNORTON, Mass. -- Tiger Woods must have felt his world was falling apart a year ago when he left the Deutsche Bank Championship.
 
He lost a high-stakes duel against Vijay Singh and surrendered his No. 1 ranking for the first time in more than five years. A gossip-page column in the Boston Herald that week reported his engagement was on the rocks. And there were whispers among players that a swing change with Hank Haney was sending Woods toward mediocrity.
 
Its nice to see that I made a comeback, Woods said Thursday.
 
Woods returns to the Deutsche Bank Championship at No. 1 in the world ranking by six points over Singh, the largest margin in more than two years. He is approaching his first wedding anniversary with Elin Nordegren. And two major championships among his five PGA Tour victories took care of any concerns about his swing.
 
Which change brought him the most satisfaction?
 
Im supposed to say my wedding, right? he said with a laugh.
 
Woods still has just over three months left in his season, with six official tournaments (two of them in Asia) and the Presidents Cup. But he already can look back on a year that allowed him to restore some order in his world.
 
His swing his getting tighter, getting better, and hes getting back to a point that hes dominant, which hes been this year, Fred Couples said.
 
Woods clearly is the dominant figure on the TPC at Boston, if only because hardly anyone else is here.
 
He has reason to play because the Deutsche Bank Championship, which starts Friday and ends on Labor Day, benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation. Tournament officials had high hopes for a top-heavy field with Singh as the defending champion, Ernie Els planning to play and Adam Scott having won and tied for second the first two years of the event.
 
Singh, however, pulled out Tuesday when he suffered back spasms playing table tennis with his son. Els tore knee ligaments during a boating vacation before the PGA Championship and is recovering from surgery. Scott decided two weeks ago that he was spinning his wheels and needed a break, so he went home to Australia.
 
Retief Goosen is playing in China, Sergio Garcia is in Switzerland.
 
The result is a field that resembles Disney, without the Magic Kingdom across the street.
 
Having Woods in the field is enough to generate a buzz, but there isnt a lot of star power to go with him. Only two other players in the top 20 are at the TPC at Boston'Davis Love III (No. 15) and Couples (No. 16).
 
We were scheduled to have three of the top four players in the world, Woods said. Weve still got a really good, solid field here this week, and the golf course is in fantastic shape. So were going to have a great tournament. But it would have been an even better event with those two players in the field.
 
The local favorite is Brad Faxon, who grew up about 45 minutes away in Rhode Island. Faxon is coming off a dynamic win last week at Hartford, where he closed with a 61 and then hit a 7-iron from the bunker to 3 feet in the playoff.
 
Faxon cant wait for the tournament to start for other reasons. He is part-time player, part-time unofficial host this week. He is involved with the title sponsors, his wife is in charge of a massive fund-raiser, and he finally got more than three hours sleep.
 
Thank God this tournament starts tomorrow, he said.
 
The course had received only 2 inches of rain since June, then got deluged with 4 inches on Tuesday, leaving the greens soft and the pin accessible. Big hitters have done well on the TPC at Boston the first two years, and that again would seem to favor Woods.
 
Woods cares most about the majors, and those ended three weeks ago. But there are other goals to pursue, such as ending Singhs two-year reign atop the PGA Tour money list. Woods leads by more than $1.2 million, despite playing seven fewer tournaments.
 
Its hard for me to compete against Vijay if Vijay just plays well, because obviously he plays nine or 10 more events than I do per year, Woods said. What I can do is have a higher money total per event played, and try to get the number of victories higher than anyone else on tour. If you can do that, then youve had a very good year.
 
It already has been a good year'a great one, considering his Masters and British Open titles. And it sure beats what he went through last season, with only one PGA Tour victory, at the Accenture Match Play Championship.
 
Woods said he didnt feel his swing coming together until after the Tour Championship, where he lost a 54-hole lead for only the third time in his career on the PGA Tour.
 
It takes time to make changes, and Ive made a bunch of changes in my swing, he said. Unfortunately, that didnt happen during the season last year. It happened after the season was over, in Japan, when I really put it all together. After that, Ive really started to play some pretty good golf.
 
A year later, not many would argue with that.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Deutsche Bank Championship
  • Getty Images

    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 22, 2018, 5:30 pm

    Tiger Woods held sole possession of the lead Sunday afternoon, but settled with an even-par 71 and finished three shots behind the champion.


    Getty Images

    'Hungover' Pepperell improbably in mix after 67

    By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 4:20 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eddie Pepperell’s 11:40 a.m. tee time on Sunday at The Open was a tad early, and not just because the Englishman was heading out more than three hours before the leaders.

    Following a third-round 71 that dropped him eight strokes off the lead, Pepperell did what many golfers do after a less-than-stellar round – he drank.

    “Honestly, I was a little hungover. I won't lie. I had too much to drink last night,” said Pepperell, who said he went to bed on Friday at around 11:30 p.m. “I was so frustrated yesterday, that today was really, I wouldn't say a write-off, but I didn't feel I was in the golf tournament. Whether I shot 69 or 73 today, it wouldn't have been heartbreaking.”

    Pepperell was much closer to the former on Sunday, posting a round-of-the-day 67 to move to within one stroke of the lead held by multiple players as the leaders made the turn.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Pepperell had just a single bogey on a blustery day at Carnoustie and closed his round with birdies at Nos. 14 and 17. It was one of just four rounds in the 60s on a course that had become increasingly difficult with each gust.

    With six players tied for the lead at 6 under par, including defending champion Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, Pepperell planned to wait and see how the afternoon progressed.

    “The only hope I have is that it's Carnoustie, and the last three, four holes, even though they're downwind, still anything can happen with obviously pressure and all that sort of stuff out here,” he said. “So I'll have to hang around.”

    Getty Images

    Pros melting down on Twitter as they watch Tiger

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 3:42 pm

    Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.

    His fellow pros have been watching and tweeting like your average fans.

    We're compiling their missives below:

    Getty Images

    Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 22, 2018, 11:00 am

    NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

    Saturday, Day 3 (Times ET)

    7AM-3PM (Watch): Jordan Spieth fired 65 to move into a three-way share of the 54-hole lead, while Tiger Woods (66) played his way into contention. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler and Thorbjorn Olesen.

    4:30-7AM (Watch): Sunny skies and birdies were on the menu early in Round 3, as Justin Rose made his way around Carnoustie in 64 strokes. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Henrik Stenson and Bryson DeChambeau.


    Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

    8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

    1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.


    Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

    Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

    1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.