Disastrous start sinks Woods' chances

By Jay CoffinJune 18, 2012, 2:17 am

SAN FRANCISCO – It’s difficult to know where to begin with Tiger Woods’ week at the U.S. Open.

Golf’s alpha male was essentially handed the U.S. Open on Friday evening when he held a share of the 36-hole lead. He was grouped with Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson for the first two rounds and beat them so badly that they looked like amateur playing partners during a casual Wednesday pro-am. A fourth Open and 15th major were within grasp and many in these parts thought the weekend would be one long coronation ceremony.

Then, suddenly, Woods looked like the guy who slapped it around the Masters for four days and tied for 40th place. He began missing fairways, lost control of his distance – particularly on wedge shots inside 125 yards – and could not buy a putt with all the money in his bank account.

After opening with 69-70 he closed with 75-73 on the weekend for a 7-over-par 287 total. On Sunday he went 6 over par on the first six holes with four bogeys and a double bogey, ending any hope of contending. He tied for 21st place.  

“There’s a lot of positive this week,” Woods contended. “Hit the ball really well. Unfortunately I just didn’t have the speed of the greens.

“The way I struck the golf ball, the way I controlled it all week is something that’s very positive going forward and if I just would have hung in there a little bit better yesterday and missed it on the correct side a couple times then I would have been in a better position.”

The statistics don’t suggest that Woods was on top of his game. He certainly didn’t play as well as he did in victory two weeks ago at the Memorial. All told he hit 33 of 56 fairways for the week, hit 45 of 72 greens and took 123 putts. He was in a greenside bunker 11 times and got up and down just twice.

Woods contends that the numbers do lie.

“I'm excited about the consistency of it, how well I hit the ball all week, really,” Woods said. “The misses were just a fraction off, which is great. That's what we want to have happen. And this golf course is just so demanding that a fraction off you pay a price.”

Woods’ next event is the AT&T National in two weeks at Congressional. He will play the following week at the Greenbrier Classic, take a week off, then attempt to win major No. 15 at the British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in mid-July.

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Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 23, 2018, 9:30 pm

Tiger Woods began the final round of the Tour Championship with a three-shot lead, and he's cruising at East Lake. We're tracking him.


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Lewis wins Portugal Masters for second time

By Associated PressSeptember 23, 2018, 6:19 pm

VILAMOURA, Portugal – Tom Lewis won the Portugal Masters for a second time after shooting a 5-under 66 in Sunday's final round.

Lewis finished three strokes ahead of fellow Englishman Eddie Pepperell (67) and Australia's Lucas Herbert (71).

Sergio Garcia prepared for the Ryder Cup next weekend with a 65 to finish seven strokes behind Lewis.

Lewis made six birdies along with a single bogey on No. 10 to finish the tournament at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course on 22-under 262.

Herbert led through the first three rounds only to struggle on the final day. He hit a double bogey on the final hole to finish the round on par.

Lewis had trailed Herbert by nine shots after the first round.

''It's been a rough ride but this week I played hard,'' Lewis said. ''I obviously got off to a bad start, to finish the way I've been finishing has been brilliant.''

Lewis first won the tournament in 2011.

''I think this one means more,'' Lewis said, ''it means a lot to come and win this again.''

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Rose tries to ignore scenarios, focus on winning

By Rex HoggardSeptember 23, 2018, 12:59 am

ATLANTA – No one has more to play for than Justin Rose on Sunday at the Tour Championship.

The Englishman will begin the day three strokes behind front-runner Tiger Woods after a third-round 68 that could have been much worse after he began his day with back-to-back bogeys.

Winning the tournament will be Rose’s top priority, but there’s also the lingering question of the FedExCup and the $10 million bonus, which he is currently projected to claim.


Projected FedExCup standings

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“The way I look at tomorrow is that I have many scenarios in play. I have the FedExCup in play. I have all of that to distract me,” Rose said. “But yet, I'm three back. I think that's my objective tomorrow is to come out and play good, positive golf and try and chase down the leader and win this golf tournament. I think in some ways that'll help my other task of trying to win the FedExCup. It'll keep me on the front foot and playing positive golf.”

Although there are many scenarios for Rose to win the season-long title, if Woods wins the Tour Championship, Rose would need to finish fifth or better to claim the cup.

There’s also the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking to consider. Rose overtook Dustin Johnson for No. 1 in the world with his runner-up finish at the BMW Championship two weeks ago. He will retain the top spot unless Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka or Johnson win the finale and he falls down the leaderboard on Sunday.

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McIlroy needs putter to heat up to catch Woods

By Rex HoggardSeptember 23, 2018, 12:29 am

ATLANTA – Although Rory McIlroy is three strokes behind Tiger Woods at the Tour Championship and tied for second place he had the look of a man with a secret when he left East Lake on Saturday.

Trying to play catch up against Woods is never ideal, but McIlroy’s confidence stemmed from a tee-to-green game that has been unrivaled for three days.

“I definitely think today and the first day were similar,” said McIlroy, whose 66 included birdies at two of his final three holes. “I gave myself plenty of chances, and I think the biggest thing today was only just that one bogey. Got to put your ball in the fairway, put yourself in position, and for the most part, I did that today.”


Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


For the week McIlroy ranks first in strokes gained: off the tee, third in strokes gained: approach to the green and second in greens in regulation. But to catch Woods, who he will be paired with, he’ll need a much better day on the greens.

The Northern Irishman needed 30 putts on Day 2 and ranks 23rd, out of 30 players, in strokes gained: putting.

McIlroy skipped the first playoff event, opting instead for an extra week at home to work on his swing and the move has paid off.

“I hit the ball well. My wedge play has been really good,” he said. “I've done a lot of work on it the last few weeks, and it seems to have paid off.”