Tiger Tracker: A Side Of Frys

By October 7, 2011, 1:20 pm

SAN MARTIN, Calif. – Tiger Woods shot 73-68 the first two rounds of the Frys.com Open and his 1-under total is projected to fall within the cut line. NBCSports.com writer Ryan Ballengee is at CordeValle and tracked Tiger's second round.

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5:54 p.m. ET: Taking a 3-wood – the Friday club of choice – off the tee at the closing par-5 ninth, Woods seemed to be setting up for a layup. Instead, Woods successfully went for the green in two. Two putts later and Woods was in with birdie, 3 under on the day and 1 under for the Frys.com Open. (Overall: 1 under thru 18)

5:30 p.m. ET: The eighth is another hole suitable to Woods' eye. He drilled a perfect drive about ten yards back of where he was Thursday. The approach was a world better - he knocked it to six feet - but the result was the same: par. Woods and Cantlay were again chatting and they appear to have hit it off today. But that's probably because they speak the same vernacular. (Overall: Even thru 17)

5:12 p.m. ET: On the shortest hole on the course, Woods hit a disappointing 9-iron at the par-3 seventh. Woods then hit his worst putt of the day, nuking it past Cantlay's superior tee shot. Facing a dropped shot to fall to the cut line, Woods grinned to save par. (Overall: Even thru 16)

5:04 p.m. ET: Tiger's tee ball at the sixth was his second worst of the day. He pulled it well left and dropped the club as compared to a full tomahawk at the first. He recovered nicely, however, to stay even on the tournament. Par at No. 6. (Overall: Even thru 15)

4:45 p.m. ET: Woods is on a fairway streak. Farthest back off the tee, though, Woods was closest to the pin. From the fringe, Woods walked after his birdie putt with disgust. It nearly went in side door, but he had to settle for a par. (Overall: Even thru 14)

4:27 p.m. ET: Woods found his second consecutive fairway and third of the day at the par-4 fourth hole. He was unable to cash in on an approach to 12 feet, but his putting today has been much better than Thursday. (Overall: Even thru 13)

4:14 p.m. ET: Woods played conservatively at the par-3 third. Unlike the aggressive pull Thursday, Woods left himself an easy two-putt for par. After the hole, a Tour official trailed Patrick Cantlay and put the group on the clock. 'We need to close this gap, Patrick,' he said. Cantlay responded, 'Yes, sir.' (Overall: Even thru 12)

4:08 p.m. ET: Woods dropped his first shot of the day at the 13th, his fourth, but recovered with birdie to start a three-hole run at No. 14. Running parallel to those holes, Woods bogeyed No. 1 and played a perfect approach to the second to bounce back again with birdie. Will it be the start of another run? (Overall: Even thru 11)

3:53 p.m. ET: Woods hit a smother hook at his 10th hole, the par-4 first, and fired his driver into the ground. Opting not to take relief from a sidehill stance on the cart path, Woods nearly fell during his follow-through. A poor effort with his pitch hitched him a ride on the bogey train. He's now flirting with the cut line again. (Overall: 1 over thru 10)

3:38 p.m. ET: The slight tug off the tee finally caught up with Tiger. His pulled drive at No. 18 landed in a hazard bisecting fairways. A member of the gallery said Woods and the volunteers were looking 40 yards behind where his ball crossed the lateral hazard. Woods took a drop and made bogey for a 2-under 34 over his first nine. (Overall: Even under thru 9)

3:12 p.m. ET: After another drive into the left rough on the short par-4 17th, Woods muscled his approach inside 10 feet. The crowd was begging for a birdie, but the streak ends here. Par for Woods on 17. (Overall: 1 under thru 8)

2:57 p.m. ET: Woods is dialed in with his irons. His tee ball at the par-3 16th finished inside 3 feet. The last time Woods had a three-hole stretch like this? The final round of the Masters. Birdie-birdie-eagle from Nos. 6-8. (Overall: 1 under thru 7)

2:47 p.m. ET: Woods' driving has been slightly off - a fourth consecutive mild tug into the lip of a fairways bunker. The recovery has been outstanding on the last two holes, however. With a mid-iron, Woods stuck it close to leave a delicate birdie putt, which he made. (Overall: Even thru 6)

2:21 p.m. ET: The crowd following Woods has dissipated a bit, but the loyalists saw an impressive bounce back. After a third consecutive missed tee shot to the left, Woods recovered nicely. He finally sank a lengthy putt, leading the gallery to let out a raucous cheer. (Overall: 1 over thru 5)

2:07 p.m. ET: Woods went grass-sand-sand-grass on No. 13, hitting his third shot from a fried-egg lie. The short tester to stay under par for the day never hit the cup. (Overall: 2 over thru 4)

1:50 p.m. ET: Another pulled tee shot on the par-5 12th leads to a heavy, but dry layup. He still can't find the right speed on the greens, but he is under par deeper into the round today than yesterday. Par at No. 12. (Overall: 1 over thru 3)

1:33 p.m. ET: Something about the par-3 11th catches Woods' eye. For the second consecutive day, he hit his tee shot to a few feet. Woods clipped the edge of the cup on Thursday. The ball disappeared today. Birdie for Woods at 11. (Overall: 1 over thru 2)

1:16 p.m. ET: Woods nearly replicated his first hole yesterday, except the bid for birdie did not drop from a dozen feet on the proper tier. Even par start for Woods. (Overall: 2 over thru 1)

1:02 p.m. ET: Woods has made his way to the 10th tee, with a crowd lining the hole as large as yesterday. The delay likely helped the size of his gallery.

12:36 p.m. ET: After a number of false starts, the second round of the Frys.com Open is finally underway. The fog has almost entirely burned off. Woods will go off on the 10th tee at 1 p.m. ET. If Woods and his playing partners go at the same pace as yesterday, they should finish around 5:30 p.m.

12:22 p.m. ET: To use a famous Tiger phrase, 'It is what it is.' Or what it isn't, maybe. The Tour has tacked on another 10 minutes to the 10 minutes they added about 10 minutes ago. For those keeping score, the total delay is now 2 hours, 20 minutes. The delays have been incrementally added: 30 minutes, followed by additions of 30, 15, 15, 30, 10, and 10. Woods is now scheduled to tee off at 1 p.m. ET.

12:11 p.m. ET: With less than three minutes before second-round play was to begin, PGA Tour officials extended the fog delay. It is now a total of 2 hours, 10 minutes. Woods' originally scheduled tee time has gone from 10:40 a.m. ET to 12:50 p.m. He is still on the range, mostly conversing with Pat Perez and David Duval.

11:52 a.m. ET: A Tour official just came on the range to announce the fog delay has been extended to two hours. One player shouted back, 'Oh, come on!' Meanwhile, Sean Foley has pulled out the camera to do a photo shoot on Tiger's swing. New Tiger start time: 12:40 p.m. ET.

11:40 a.m. ET: As the delay continues, Woods has made his way back to the practice range for the second time today. This start-stop-start pattern can't help him as he tries to find his rhythm.

11:37 a.m. ET: We have one more (and hopefully final) addition to the fog delay. It is now a 90-minute delay altogether, with Woods going off at 12:10 p.m. ET. The fog is still on the course, but slowly burning off. From the clubhouse, one can see about 250 yards into the distance.

11:13 a.m. ET: Tournament officials have just extended the fog delay to 75 minutes. Now completing the second round on Friday is in question. It was a close call to complete play on Thursday without a delay. The cut will now likely be made on Saturday morning. Looks like Woods will see the weekend in some fashion.

11:11 a.m. ET: Following a stop in the locker room and clubhouse, Woods stepped outside to converse with a rules official. Not far behind him out the clubhouse was Patrick Cantlay. Behind him was Sean Foley and Stephen Ames. First words out of Ames' mouth on getting outside? 'Holy [expletive], it's cold.' He's Canadian (sort of), so he knows cold.

10:57 a.m. ET: After appearing to get better, the fog has grown thicker. Woods is trying to stay active while players who are slated to see off before him, starting at the updated time of 11:10 a.m. ET, stand outside the locker room trying to stay warm.

10:35 a.m. ET: Tack on another 30 minutes to the original half-hour delay. Woods now will go off at 11:40 a.m. ET, seeking to end a skid of six consecutive rounds at par or worse. It's a stark contrast for the man who owns the Tour record of 52 consecutive rounds at par or better. He'll need an under-par round today to avoid missing consecutive cuts for the first time in his career.

10:11 a.m. ET: Woods begins the day T-86 and one stroke off the cut line. With 85 players at 1 over or better, however, Woods needs to hope for separation to not worry about being an MDF victim for the first time in his career.

10:01 a.m. ET: An hour before Tiger tees off at CordeValle and it is pretty darn foggy. And cold. And no sun yet. Officials have announced a 30-minute delay to the start of the second round. Woods is practicing, however. Foley is watching intently just behind Joe LaCava. If they can see the ball flight past 50 yards, they are hawks.

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Football coach hates golf: Don't need practice swearing

By Jason CrookApril 20, 2018, 10:15 pm

Some football coaches are a little more talkative than others. On one side of the spectrum, there's Bill Belichick. On the other sits Washington State football coach Mike Leach.

Leach always delivers the goods, and when asked recently if he liked golf, he didn't hold back:

As wrong as the 57-year-old is on the topic (golf is awesome), the man makes some hilarious points:

• “It’s boring. I don’t care where that ball goes.”

• "Golfers are always practicing their swing. But you know what I never did? I never practice fishing in my living room.”

• "They'll line up over the ball and they'll say they're going to do something that you can't do with a sniper rifle and a scope, but they're going to do it with a stick and a ball."

• “Golf’s pretty much for people that don’t swear effectively enough or need practice. And so there are people that need golf, and I don’t think I do.”

So in conclusion, it's confirmed: Mike Leach - not a golf guy.

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Quiros takes 1-shot lead in Morocco

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 8:22 pm

RABAT, Morocco - Alvaro Quiros shot a solid 2-under 70 in windy conditions to push into a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco on Friday.

Quiros fought the elements, carding seven birdies and five bogeys to move to 7 under overall and take the outright lead at the halfway point of the European Tour event.

The Spaniard was one clear of Andrew Dodt, who moved into contention with a 4-under 68 at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course. Dodt dropped two shots in his first six holes but the Australian recovered from that shaky start to collect four birdies and an eagle.

Full-field scores from the Trophee Hassan II

Erik van Rooyen of South Africa was another shot back in third on 5 under after his 71.

Bradley Dredge of Wales, who shared the first-round lead with Quiros, slipped off the pace with a 1-over 73. He's tied for fourth with Austin Connelly of Canada (71), 4 under par and three shots behind Quiros.

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Bogey-free Moore shares Valero lead

By Will GrayApril 20, 2018, 8:20 pm

Amid the swirling winds on a difficult track at the Valero Texas Open, Ryan Moore has yet to blink.

Moore was one of only two players among the 156-man field to go bogey-free during the opening round at TPC San Antonio, and he's now the only player still boasting a clean scorecard after a second-round 67 that included five birdies and the rest pars. At 9 under, the veteran shares the lead with Zach Johnson and was three shots clear of any other player at the end of the morning wave.

"Really, around this golf course what matters is the right distance," Moore told reporters. "You can get in some pretty tough spots if you're long and short. So I kind of hit it the right distance all day, gave myself plenty of good birdie opportunities and didn't stress myself out too much with too many up-and-downs."

While many players struggle to find a true offseason, Moore took nearly three months off between starts at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba and Waste Management Phoenix Open. During that time he shed nearly 20 pounds thanks to changes to his diet and teamed up with a new swing coach, Drew Steckel, in December.

The results have been solid if not spectacular, as Moore tied for fifth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and finished T-16 last week at the RBC Heritage.

"It's been solid golf, especially the last few weeks. I haven't got a ton out of it," Moore said. "The putter just wasn't there. So this week, just got a little more comfortable with the putter and knocked a few putts in that kind of matter early in my rounds, and it's going in. That's kind of what's been missing lately."

Moore had a breakthrough season in 2016 that included his victory at the John Deere Classic and spot on the Ryder Cup team, but he hasn't sniffed career win No. 6 since a T-3 finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions 16 months ago. Should he keep a clean card this weekend in San Antonio, his chances to end that victory drought appear bright.

"I played some really nice golf yesterday, I just controlled the ball nicely all the way around and was bogey-free yesterday, so thought, 'Let's go try and do that again,'" Moore said. "So to play in tough, windy conditions, to go bogey-free (again), it was some good solid golf."

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Former champ Z. Johnson surges at Valero

By Will GrayApril 20, 2018, 7:31 pm

Midway through his opening round at the Valero Texas Open, Zach Johnson appeared far closer to a missed cut than a spot on the leaderboard.

Johnson initially struggled in the winds at TPC San Antonio, playing his first 13 holes in 3 over. But he eagled No. 14 and closed with three more birdies to post a 2-under 70, then went unconscious during a second-round 65 where he made six birdies over his first 10 holes.

It added up to a 9-under total at the halfway point, and instead of packing his bags the two-time major champ now shares the lead with Ryan Moore.

"You just never know. That's the beauty of this game," Johnson told reporters. "I didn't have anything going putting-wise. I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. Shoot, I made some good pars all while being 3 over. You just never know."

Johnson won this event in both 2008 and 2009, but that was when it was held across town at La Cantera Golf Club. Since the switch to TPC San Antonio in 2010, he has only one top-10 finish and two missed cuts, including last year's early exit with consecutive rounds of 74.

But Friday he played like a man unaware of the venue shift, with four straight birdies on Nos. 12-15 and a hole-out eagle from the greenside bunker on the par-4 fifth hole. His closing bogey on No. 9 was his first dropped shot in the last 25 holes.

"The confidence is there, and when you can step on the tee with this kind of wind, you trust your clubs and trust your ball, that's pretty important," Johnson said. "I felt good. It was hard, I'm not going to deny that. That was one of the better 27-hole stretches that I've had in a long time."

Johnson's 65 was his first sub-70 score since an opening-round 69 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, a span of 12 stroke-play rounds. The veteran has made every cut in 11 starts this season, but his T-8 finish at the RSM Classic in November remains his only top-10 finish.

"I felt really good coming into the week," Johnson said. "Confidence was there, it just wasn't showing up on the scorecard."