Woods posts 4-shot victory at Torrey Pines

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 28, 2013, 10:59 pm

On an agonizingly slow day at Torrey Pines, Tiger Woods hit only three fairways, lost one of his tee balls and played the closing stretch in 4 over.

And it didn’t matter a bit.

Continuing his unprecedented run of dominance at Torrey Pines, Woods was never challenged during his final 11 holes Monday, scrambling his way to an even-par 72 and a four-shot victory over two players at the fog-delayed Farmers Insurance Open.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, videos and photos

“It got a little ugly towards the end,” Woods said afterward. “I started losing my patience a little bit with the slow play, lost my concentration a little there. But I got it back on 18. I knew I needed to grind it out and play a three-shot hole and make my par and get this tournament.” 

Woods, who finished at 14-under 274, became the first player to win at the same venue eight times. It was also his 75th career PGA Tour title.

“I played great this week,” he said. “Pretty much every facet of my game was going.”

Before the sloppy finish – he was 3 over in 11 holes Monday – Woods seemed destined to either match or surpass his own tournament record for largest margin of victory at the Farmers (eight strokes, set in 2008). Less than five months later, of course, he won the U.S. Open there on a broken leg. 

Will he enjoy a similarly prosperous major season this year? Well, history is on his side. When Woods has begun his PGA Tour season with a victory at Torrey Pines, he has won at least four times that year. And he has won a major in five of the six seasons in which he won at the Farmers earlier that year.

Now, though, he’s simply content to erase what had been a bizarre start to his season. Woods missed the cut in Abu Dhabi, but only after being penalized two strokes for taking an improper drop in the second round.

At Torrey Pines, he shot 68-65-69 to create a comfortable cushion. When the final round resumed at 2:10 p.m. ET Monday, he was staked to a six-shot lead with 11 holes to play.

Woods moved eight shots ahead midway through the back nine, but bogeyed the 14th and then lost his tee shot on 15 en route to a double-bogey 6. He dropped another shot on 17. Despite the miscues, he maintained a four-shot advantage as he stepped to the tee of the par-5 18th. 

“I started to lose my patience out there because it was just so freaking slow,” he said. “Just over three hours for 9 holes, and three of them are par 3s. It’s like, come on. I started losing my patience a little bit, and consequently I made a few mistakes.” 

Brandt Snedeker (69) and Josh Teater (69) tied for second, with Nick Watney and Jimmy Walker sharing fourth place.

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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.”

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After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.

While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.

Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2

Zach Johnson: 13/2

Rory McIlroy: 7/1

Jordan Spieth: 8/1

Rickie Fowler: 9/1

Kevin Kisner: 12/1

Xander Schauffele: 16/1

Tony Finau: 16/1

Matt Kuchar: 18/1

Pat Perez: 25/1

Brooks Koepka: 25/1

Erik van Rooyen: 50/1

Alex Noren: 50/1

Tiger Woods: 50/1

Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1

Danny Willett: 60/1

Francesco Molinari: 60/1

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Perez (T-3) looks to remedy 'terrible' major record

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 7:34 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez’s major record is infinitely forgettable. In 24 Grand Slam starts he has exactly one top-10 finish, more than a decade ago at the PGA Championship.

“Terrible,” Perez said when asked to sum up his major career. “I won sixth [place]. Didn't even break top 5.”

It’s strange, however, that his status atop The Open leaderboard through two rounds doesn’t seem out of character. The 42-year-old admits he doesn’t hit it long enough to contend at most major stops and also concedes he doesn’t exactly have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the game’s biggest events, but something about The Open works for him.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I didn't like it the first time I came over. When I went to St. Andrews in '05, I didn't like it because it was cold and terrible and this and that,” he said. “Over the years, I've really learned to like to come over here. Plus the fans are so awesome here. They know a good shot. They don't laugh at you if you hit a bad shot.”

Perez gave the fans plenty to cheer on Friday at Carnoustie, playing 17 flawless holes to move into a share of the lead before a closing bogey dropped him into a tie for third place after a second-round 68.

For Perez, links golf is the great equalizer that mitigates the advantages some of the younger, more powerful players have and it brings out the best in him.

“It's hard enough that I don't feel like I have to hit perfect shots. That's the best,” he said. “Greens, you can kind of miss a shot, and it won't run off and go off the green 40 yards. You're still kind of on the green. You can have a 60-footer and actually think about making it because of the speed.”