Tiger Sputters at Buick Opens Door for Toledo
Tiger Woods started the day with a four-stroke advantage, but double bogeyed the first hole and bogeyed the last for a 1-under 71.
The worlds No. 1 finished three rounds in Grand Blanc, Mich., at 15-under-par 201, one shot clear of Esteban Toledo (67).
The former boxing professional was 7-under over his first 13 holes Saturday ' and led Woods by three shots ' before stumbling home with bogeys on 15 and 17.
'I've told a lot of people that I will quit this game if I win (on the PGA Tour),' said Toledo, who won the 2000 Mexican Open. 'My wife doesn't agree with that because I have to feed the family.'
Fred Funk (67) and Bob Tway (68) are the next nearest competitors, three back at 12-under.
Woods has won 24 of 26 PGA Tour events in which he had led or been tied for the lead after 54 holes.
This is Tiger's first event since his seasonal Grand Slam chances ended at the British Open. He entered the third round having not dropped a shot in 51 holes, dating back to the final round in Muirfield.
That streak ended abruptly Saturday.
After driving his ball into the fairway at the first, Woods went for the green in two, 296 yards from the pin. His ball failed to cut, however, and viciously kicked left and out of bounds. Tiger took a penalty drop from his original position and played his fourth shot into the greenside bunker, from where he blasted out to 12 feet and missed the bogey putt.
'I just had to hit a big high slice, had to start the ball pretty far left,' said Woods, referring to his second shot. 'I had 260 to the front and I didn't slice it. I cut it. I absolutely killed it.'
Tiger regrouped with an 18-footer for birdie at the second, and then saved par from 12 feet at the fourth.
By then, though, Toledo had caught him. The world's 218th-ranked player birdied four of his first six holes to tie the Woods at 13-under.
Tiger tried to trade punches with Toledo over the next couple of holes. Toledo, playing two groups in front of the overnight leader, birdied the ninth to make the turn in 31. Woods matched him with a birdie at the sixth.
Toledo again moved one clear with a 12-footer at 10, but this time Tiger couldnt do the same at the seventh. The 39-year-old Mexican just missed a third consecutive birdie when his bunker shot on the par-3 11th stopped on the lip of the hole.
His lead still increased, however, as Woods bogeyed the ninth to fall to minus 13. After hitting his approach shot into the down-slope of the right greenside bunker, Tiger was barely able to advance his ball out of the hazard.
Toledo moved three clear by sinking a 10-footer for birdie at the 13th, but thats when his round peaked, and started downhill.
First, Woods pitched an approach to three feet at the par-4 12th to cut his deficit to two.
Toledo then found trouble at the par-4 15th. He pushed his drive behind a group of trees in the right rough and decided to play his second shot down the fairway of the adjacent sixth hole.
His third shot, from just over 80 yards, came up well short of the pin. His bogey, coupled with a Woods birdie at the par-5 13th, left the pair tied for the lead at 15-under.
After missing a two-foot birdie putt at the par-5 16th, Toledo flew the green with his tee shot on the par-3 17th and failed to get up and down from the bunker. He dropped to 14-under, and fell two back as Tiger two-putted 16 for birdie.
Woods gave that shot back, though, by lipping out a five-foot par putt at 18.
'I didn't really have the stuff I had the last couple days,' Woods said. 'Didn't quite feel as comfortable over the shots, but I got it to under par for the day, that's something I am proud of.'
Full-field scores from the Buick Open
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Watch: 100mph storm destroys tent at St. Andrews
The first named storm of the season struck Wednesday, bringing 100 mph gusts, killing two people and leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power in parts of Ireland, Scotland and England.
According to the Courier no one was injured in the St. Andrews area, but a video posted from the home of golf shows just how powerful the storm was as wind absolutely destroyed one of the hospitality tents set up in advance of the Dunhill Links Championship:
TAKE CARE – ST ANDREWS OLD COURSE AREA— Fife Police (@FifePolice) September 19, 2018
Police in Fife are asking the public to take care around St Andrews Old Course after reports of tents from the Alfred Dunhill Links Championships site being blown about. #stormy #stormAli #staysafe
While plenty of clean-up is sure to be needed, officials say the Dunhill Links, which also be conducted at Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, will go on as scheduled October 4-7.
Web.com Tour releases 2019 schedule, trims Finals
The Web.com Tour has officially released its full schedule for the 2019 season, a slate that will feature a Labor Day finish and only three Finals events as opposed to four.
The developmental circuit will feature 27 tournaments, the same number as this season. Things will kick off in the Bahamas for the third straight year, as two events in the islands begin a stretch of five events in as many weeks across four different countries.
The Feb. 14-17 Suncoast Classic in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., will be the first domestic event of 2019, and one of three new events to the schedule. Also added are the Evans Scholars Invitational in suburban Chicago and the TPC Colorado Championship in Berthoud, Colo.
But with the PGA Tour overhauling its schedule and dropping a FedExCup playoff event to finish ahead of football season, the Web.com schedule also features changes next year. The Web.com Tour Finals, which are used to determine the 50 players who will be promoted to the PGA Tour for the following season, will now feature only three events and follow a similar timeline.
The first Finals event will be the Aug. 15-18 Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, followed by the Albertsons Boise Open. The season will conclude Aug. 30-Sept. 2 with the Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Fla., one week after the PGA Tour season ends with the revamped Tour Championship in Atlanta.
The DAP Championship at Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood, Ohio, a Finals event for each of the last three years, has been dropped from the 2019 schedule. Gone, too, are the North Mississippi Classic in Oxford and the Rust-Oleum Championship in Ivanhoe, Ill.
Inside Attica: Interviewing Valentino Dixon
By RYAN GRIFFITHS
Some stories stick with you longer than others. First time you get to do a feature. First time you meet a sports legend (it was Allen Iverson for me). Seeing a championship isn’t bad, either. Been there, done that. Lawnmower museum on the east coast of England, tsunami survivors in California, re-connecting Al Geiberger with his lost 59 tape, all good, but no story or environment has stuck with me like going to Attica Correctional Facility in 2013 to tell the story of Valentino Dixon.
For starters, I’d never been searched before setting up for an interview. Not just me, everyone - all three cameramen, Jimmy Roberts, the guy escorting us in who worked there. Everyone. Attica trusts no one. Can’t blame them after 1971, when inmates protesting living conditions took members of the prison staff hostage. The ensuing police response left 29 inmates and 10 hostages dead.
Attica has a "shank wall," a collection of homemade weapons seized from inmates and displayed like baseball cards in a plastic case on the wall outside the guards' lunchroom. Prison interior decorating at its finest. Nice touch.
We went to do a story on an inmate who was introduced to the world in a Golf Digest article by Max Adler in 2012. "The golf artist who had never stepped foot on a golf course - Valentino Dixon.: He was in for murder. Second degree. You know, your standard golf story.
Dixon, a former aspiring artist before getting caught up in the Buffalo drug-dealing scene, started sketching photos from Golf Digest for the warden. I’ve never been to prison, but from what I have gathered from watching The Shawshank Redemption some 8,000 times, getting in the warden’s good graces is a smart habit to pick up if you’re doing serious time.
Dixon's art was insanely good. Even more so because he did it all with colored pencils. No paintbrushes allowed (see shank wall above). Jimmy, the crew and I stopped for a good 10-15 minutes to marvel at his creations before continuing with the interview.
We spent a solid 40 minutes talking to the man who supposedly killed a man 20-something years prior. In that time, he pleaded his innocence to us over and over again. He spoke like a man who had rehearsed every angle of his story over and over and over again. I give him credit - there were no holes in his story. I consider myself a pretty good judge of character, and he didn’t look like a killer, didn’t sound like one. either. But what did I know? I’d never met one - that I know of. And if you were stuck in prison for 20-plus years and all of a sudden had a camera in front of you and a platform to plead your innocence, wouldn’t you do your best to try to get out of there?
Since the guards wouldn’t allow any food, the crew and I stopped at the first deli we saw on the ride back into Buffalo. After we were done eating, we all looked at each other, knowing what we all were thinking: "Do you think he did it?”
Didn’t matter what we thought, we were just there to tell the story. On Wednesday, however, people whose opinions mattered made a decision and allowed someone who loves the game of golf, but has never stepped foot on a golf course, to do just that if he so chooses. That's a story that will stick with him for the rest of his life.