Things Looking Up for Singh

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 24, 2003, 4:00 pm
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) -- Vijay Singh is on a roll that might take him all the way to his first PGA Tour money title.
 
Singh made three straight birdies to start the back nine and holed a 25-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole Saturday for a 3-under 69 that left him in a four-way tie for the lead in the Funai Classic at Disney.
 
Scott Verplank (66), Stewart Cink (66) and John Rollins (67) also were at 18-under 196.
 
Singh not only is shooting for his fourth victory of the year, but with Tiger Woods stumbling on the back nine for a 71, the big Fijian has an excellent chance to surpass Woods on the money list and maybe even clinch by the time they get to the Tour Championship.
 
'I can't ask for any better position,' Singh said. 'I'm leading going into the last day, but it's going to be a battle tomorrow. I've got to keep my head down and keep playing.'
 
Indeed, there is plenty of work left on a Magnolia course across from the Magic Kingdom that featured gusts up to 20 mph and tougher hole locations.
 
And just about everyone at the top of the leaderboard has something riding on the final round Sunday.
 
Verplank, winless since the 2001 Canadian Open, is 27th on the money list and was hopeful of earning enough money at Disney to clinch a spot in the Tour Championship and skip next week's tournament in Tampa.
 
The former NCAA champion from Oklahoma State desperately wants to be in Norman, Okla., next Saturday to watch his Cowboys play the top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners.
 
Now, he's most interested in winning.
 
'My No. 1 focus is to win the tournament,' Verplank said. 'The other stuff will take care of itself.'
 
Cink's tee shot on the edge of the water on No. 17 led to a bogey, but his 40-foot birdie putt on the final hole gave him a share of the lead. Cink is 41st on the money list and is trying to get into the Tour Championship.
 
Rollins is 43rd on the list. He was the only player among the leaders to avoid a bogey.
 
David Peoples had a 69 and was at 16-under 200.
 
Davis Love III, also in the running to win the money title, was poised to join the leaders until he drove into the left rough on the 18th hole. Worse yet, he chunked a chip short of the green - it traveled a mere 16 feet - and took double bogey for a 69 to finish at 201.
 
Love had not made worse than par all week until that hole.
 
Woods had three bogeys on the final five holes for a 71, ending a streak of 14 consecutive rounds in the 60s at Disney and dropping him out of contention.
 
'I'm not going to watch today's tape because it's just terrible,' Woods said.
 
He was poised to be among the leaders going into the final round after back-to-back birdies early in his round, including an approach to 18 inches at No. 5, put him at 13 under and only one stroke behind.
 
It all fell apart on the back nine.
 
Unable to reach the green on par-5 14th with the wind in his face, Woods hit a wedge into 35 feet and three-putted for bogey. Two holes later, he was 60 feet from the cup and took another three-putt bogey.
 
Then, a flyer out of the rough on the 17th sailed over the green for his fourth bogey of the day. He wound up at 204, six shots out of the lead.
 
'My iron game has been carrying me all year. Now, I'm driving it good and then my iron game leaves me,' Woods said. 'Welcome to golf, you know?'
 
Woods' largest comeback on the PGA Tour is five shots at Pebble Beach in 2000, and with so many talented guys playing well ahead of him on the leaderboard, his best hope Sunday is to make enough money to keep Singh in his sights on the money list.
 
Singh, who trails Woods by $171,239 on the money list, is playing the $4.8 million Chrysler Championship next week in Tampa, while Woods won't play until the season-ending $6 million Tour Championship.
 
Woods is going for a record fifth straight money title, and no one has come close to beating him since the streak began in 1999.
 
Now, Singh appears to have a clear advantage.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Funai Classic at Walt Disney World Resort
  • Full Coverage - Funai Classic at Walt Disney World Resort
     
    Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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    Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 12:55 pm

    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:

    Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

    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.


    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 early 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 early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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    Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.

    Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.

    “We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.

    Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.

    “It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”

    It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.

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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

    Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.


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    McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

    McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

    But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

    Said Harmon:

    “Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

    “This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

    McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

    “Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

    McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.