Punch Shot: Which course do you most associate with Tiger?

By Jason Sobel, Randall Mell, Will GrayJanuary 20, 2014, 10:00 pm

As Tiger Woods prepares for his season debut at Torrey Pines - a course on which he's won eight times - GolfChannel.com writers debate which course they most associate with Woods. For more on the events Woods has dominated over the years, click here.


When we think Tiger Woods, we think major championships - and since three of the four rotate on an annual basis, that leaves one logical course for us to most greatly associate him.

Even though Woods has won more tournaments at Torrey Pines … and Bay Hill … and Firestone … his greatest successes and biggest failures have come on the hallowed grounds of Augusta National.

From that 12-stroke win as a precocious 21-year-old which ignited Tigermania to the 2001 victory that gave him the so-called Tiger Slam to the thunderous chip at 16 four years later that hung on the lip before dropping into the cup, Woods’ most memorable moments happened on the world’s most revered golf course. Even in defeat, he’s made major headlines there; we need only look back to last year for evidence, when his flagstick-to-water shot led to a bad drop which in turn led to a penalty and in turn led to one of the most controversial rulings in recent memory.

It’s not as if we’d think of venues such as Torrey or Bay Hill or Firestone and think of anyone besides Woods – he’s won a combined two dozen titles on those three courses, more than many Hall of Famers have won in their entire careers – but if there’s one course with which we most associate with him, it can’t be anything else other than Augusta National. 


Tiger Woods marveled just like the rest of us back then.

Not over his 15-shot victory at Pebble Beach in the 2000 U.S. Open, or his 12-shot triumph at the ’97 Masters, but with trophy in hand after limping home to win the ’08 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines on a left leg ravaged by a torn ligament and fractured tibia.

Woods looked at the trophy that day in a way we’ve never seen him look at a trophy before. He looked at it as if he couldn’t believe he won it. He has amazed us with his performances so many times over the years, but, for the first time that day, he looked like he amazed himself.

“All things considered, I don’t know how I ended up in this position,” Woods said back then. “It’s probably the greatest tournament I ever had.”

Tiger Woods has won eight times as a professional at Torrey Pines, seven times in the PGA Tour’s annual event there, and once in that U.S. Open. Yes, he has dominated at Firestone, Bay Hill and Augusta National, but his signature victory, the one even he couldn’t believe he won, came on his signature course, Torrey Pines.


He may have won more at other venues, but the course I most associate with Tiger Woods remains Augusta National.

It was at Augusta that Woods burst onto the scene with his runaway victory in 1997, demonstrating a combination of command and power the likes of which few have replicated before or since. No other venue took such overt lengths to “Tiger-proof” itself following that breakthrough win, though Woods now has a total of four green jackets despite those efforts.

Augusta is where he has had many of his most memorable moments, for better or worse – the fist pump on the 18th green in 1997, the chip-in at No. 16 eight years later and the drop from the 15th fairway just nine months ago. It’s also where he arguably reached the zenith of the game, winning in 2001 to hold all four of golf’s major trophies at the same time.

Augusta was where Tiger first asserted himself on golf’s biggest stage, and the link between player and venue remains strong to this day.


Augusta National, with its history and hierarchy atop the game’s most important tilts, will always be central to the narrative that is Tiger Woods’ career, but considered in recent context Torrey Pines is the course most easily associated with the world No. 1.

It was at the Southern Cal municipal gem where Woods last hoisted major glory, an ageless victory on one leg against a dogged opponent.

On a broken leg and a knee bound for a medical overhaul it was quintessential Woods during Round 3 at the 2008 U.S. Open complete with eagle putts at the par-5 13th and 18th holes to move into the lead.

He would finish 72 holes tied with affable everyman Rocco Mediate and through pain that wasn’t fully acknowledged until well after the fact he grinded out an 18-hole playoff lap for his 14th major championship.

Add to that historical masterpiece seven other professional victories at Torrey Pines, including last year’s four-shot rout at the Farmers Insurance Open, and the city fathers in San Diego could be forgiven if they renamed the seaside layout Tiger Pines.

San Diego may be Phil Mickelson’s home, but Torrey Pines will always be synonymous with Woods, at least until he wins Grand Slam No. 15.

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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”