Tiger's 2012 timeline: Wins, MCs and major flops

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 30, 2012, 1:29 pm

Tiger Woods' 2012 included three PGA Tour wins, two missed cuts and four missed opportunities at the majors. As Tiger celebrates his 37th birthday on December 30th, GolfChannel.com reflects on his 2012 season.

January 29: Woods began his season on the European Tour, finishing T-3 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. He started the final round tied for the lead with Robert Rock but only managed an even-par 72 to finish two shots behind Rock, who edged Rory McIlroy by one shot for the victory.

February 12: In his first PGA Tour event of the season, Woods played with Phil Mickelson in the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Woods began Sunday in third place, four shots back of 54-hole leader Charlie Wi, but Woods posted a 3-over 75 to finish T-15, while Mickelson blistered Pebble Beach with an 8-under 64 to win.

February 26: After defeating Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano in Round 1 of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, Woods lost to Nick Watney, 1-up, in the second round.

March 4: Woods fired an 8-under 62 – his lowest final round ever – Sunday at The Honda Classic, but it wasn't enough to thwart Rory McIlroy, who eventually topped Woods by two shots for his first of three PGA Tour victories in 2012.

March 11: Withdrew from the WGC-Cadillac Championship after 11 holes in the final round due to soreness in his left Achilles tendon. It was the sixth WD of his career.

March 25: Won the Arnold Palmer Invitational by five shots, the seventh time he has won the event in his career. It was his first Tour title since the 2009 BMW Championship.

April 8: Had a disappointing Masters, never really in contending, failing to break par in any round at Augusta National. He finished T-40, at 5 over. It was his worst 72-hole performance in a major championship, just edging out a tie for 39th at the 2003 PGA Championship.

May 4: Missed a 4-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole in the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship to finish one shot outside the cut line, the second time he has missed the cut at Quail Hollow.

May 13: Again struggled all week at The Players Championship culminating in a final-round 73, finishing T-40, 12 shots behind eventual winner Matt Kuchar.

June 3:  Fired a 5-under 67 in the final round to win the Memorial Tournament by two shots and tie tournament host Jack Nicklaus for second on the all-time Tour victories list with 73. It was Woods’ fifth Memorial title. He birdied three of the final four holes, including his memorable chip-in from behind the 16th green.

June 17: Held a share of the lead at the U.S. Open at The Olympic Club heading into the weekend but struggled to a 75-73 finish and fell out of contention, finishing T-21, six shots back of champion Webb Simpson. It was his second-worst finish in 15 U.S. Open starts as a professional.

July 1: Won for the third time of the season at the AT&T National. He notched a two-shot victory to overtake Nicklaus for second in all-time Tour wins. His 74 wins trail only Sam Snead’s 82. It was the 12th time in his career he had won at least three Tour events in the same season. Because Woods hosts the AT&T National, his three victories this year took place at Arnie’s tournament, Jack’s tournament and his own tournament.

July 6: Just five days after passing Nicklaus' mark, he struggled to his ninth career missed cut at The Greenbrier Classic. Also watching from home on the weekend was Mickelson, marking the first time the two stars missed the cut in the same tournament as professionals.

July 22: Finished T-3 at the British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, his best finish in a major since his second-place finish to Y.E. Yang at the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine. It vaulted him to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

August 5: Fired a 4-under 66 in the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to finish T-8. Coupled with his top-10 finish at the British Open, it marked the first time since 2009 that Woods had back-to-back top-10 finishes.

August 12: Finished T-11 at the PGA Championship at the Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, 11 shots back of runaway winner McIlroy.

August 26: Finished T-38 at The Barclays, 11 shots back of champion Watney, after shooting a Sunday 76, his worst final round of the season.

September 3:  Finished in third at the Deutsche Bank Championship, two shots back of winner McIlroy. Woods finished at 18 under, his lowest under-par total this year. He became the first player in Tour history to surpass $100 million in career earnings.

September 9: Although never seriously in contention, Woods' three late birdies in the final round at the BMW Championship got him into a tie for fourth, three shots back of winner McIlroy, who won his second consecutive FedEx Cup playoff event.

September 23: Entered the FedEx Cup finale, the Tour Championship, as the No. 2 seed in the playoff standings. But a Sunday struggle featuring four bogeys and a double-bogey left him T-8, eight shots back of champion Brandt Snedeker, who also locked up the FedEx Cup.

September 30: At the Ryder Cup at Medinah, Woods lost all three of his team matches with partner Steve Stricker and then halved his singles match with Francesco Molinari to finish 0-3-1. Europe stormed back on Sunday to retain the cup 14 1/2 to 13 1/2.

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Winning on Kerr's mind this week and beyond

By Randall MellMarch 24, 2018, 2:11 am

Cristie Kerr moved into position Friday to do more than win the 21st LPGA title of her career.

She moved into position to claim an LPGA Hall of Fame point this week.

Yes, winning is foremost on her mind at the Kia Classic, where she took the lead with an 8-under-par 64 in the second round, she’s on a larger quest, too.

After turning 40 last fall, Kerr was asked what her goals are.

“The Hall of Fame is attainable, if I stick with it,” she said.

Kerr is five shots ahead of Lizette Salas (67), In-Kyung Kim (69), Hee Young Park (70) and Caroline Hedwall (70).

It’s a good time for Kerr to get on a hot streak, with the year’s first major championship, the ANA Inspiration, next week. She has long been one of the best putters in the women’s game, but her ball-striking is impressive this week. She hit 17 greens in regulation Thursday, and she hit 16 on Friday.

“I like winning,” Kerr said. “I like challenging myself. Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older, with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, `Man, why does my hamstring hurt?’ From working around this hilly golf course.”

Kerr acknowledged Friday that her body is more vulnerable to time’s realities, but her mind isn’t.

Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

“The golf ball doesn't know an age,” Kerr said. “I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.”

Kerr won two weeks after her 40th birthday last fall, boosting her LPGA Hall of Fame point total to 22. She is five points short of eligibility for induction. A player earns one point for an LPGA victory and two points for a major championship title. So there’s a lot of Hall of Fame ground to gain this week and next.

It’s a long-term goal that motivates Kerr to take care of her body.

“I don't think the golf changes,” Kerr said. “I think, physically, it gets harder as you get older. Like I said, I've got tape on my hamstring. I strained it, just a little bit yesterday, walking around this golf course. It's tough as you get older, just being fresh and rested. I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.”

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Big names chasing Kerr into the weekend at Kia Classic

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 1:55 am

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Cristie Kerr shot an 8-under 64 on Friday in the Kia Classic to take a five-stroke lead into the weekend.

The 40-year-old Kerr had eight birdies in her second straight bogey-free round to reach 13-under 131 at rain-softened Aviara.

''I like winning. I like challenging myself,'' Kerr said. ''Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, 'Man, why does my hamstring hurt?' From working around this hilly golf course. The golf ball doesn't know an age. I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.''

She has 20 LPGA victories, winning at Aviara in 2015. She won twice last year and helped the U.S. beat Europe in her ninth Solheim Cup appearance.

''It's tough as you get older just being fresh and rested,'' Kerr said. ''I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.''

Lizette Salas, In-Kyung Kim, Hee Young Park and Caroline Hedwall were tied for second. Salas shot 67, Kim 69, and Park and Hedwall 70.

''I really like this golf course. I really like the environment,'' said Salas, the former University of Southern California player from Azusa. ''My family gets to come out. So much confidence at the beginning of the week, and definitely showed the first two days.

Jeong Eun Lee was 7 under after a 69, and defending ANA champion So Yeon Ryu had a 70 to get to 6 under.

Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

Ariya Jutanugarn (72), Brooke Henderson (70) and 2016 winner Lydia Ko (71) were 5 under. Shanshan Feng (68) was another stroke back, and Singapore winner Michelle Wie (72) was 1 under.

Lexi Thompson was 2 over after a 74, making the cut on the number in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills.

Kerr opened with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-3 11th, added birdies on the par-4 16th, 18th and second, and ran off three in a row on the par-3 sixth, par-4 seventh and par-5 eighth.

''I don't think you can fall asleep on one shot,'' Kerr said. ''It's a really good golf course. I think I play better on courses that demand the focus, so I think that's why I've played well here in the past. ... I'm trying not to put limits on myself right now. I've got some good things going on with my swing.''

She has long been one best putters and green-readers in the world.

''I can see the subtleties that a lot of people can't,'' Kerr said. ''It's a gift from God being able to do that. I've always had that, so I'm lucky.''

Laura Davies withdrew after an opening 82. The 54-year-old Davies tied for second last week in the Founders Cup in Phoenix, playing through painful left Achilles and calf problems.

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DJ hits 489-yard drive, but it doesn't count for history

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 12:22 am

AUSTIN, Texas – Dustin Johnson is no stranger to big drives, but even for DJ this one was impressive.

Trailing in his Day 3 match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Johnson launched a drive at the par-5 12th hole that traveled 489 yards, but that number comes with an asterisk.

“He got lucky it hit the road,” smiled Kevin Kisner, who was leading the world No. 1, 3 up, at the time. “I thought he would make an eagle for sure, he only had 80 yards [to the hole]. He didn’t hit a very good putt.”

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Johnson’s drive, which was 139 yards past Kisner’s tee shot, is the longest recorded on the PGA Tour in the ShotLink era, surpassing Davis Love III’s drive of 476 yards in 2004 at the Tournament of Champions.

The drive will not go into the record books, however, because the Tour doesn’t count statistics from the Match Play.

It should also be noted, Kisner halved the 12th hole with a birdie and won the match, 4 and 3, to advance to the round of 16.

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Durant leads Champions event in Mississippi

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 12:21 am

BILOXI, Miss. - Joe Durant had three straight birdies in a back-nine burst and a shot 6-under 66 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' Rapiscan Systems Classic.

Durant birdied the par-4 11th and 12th and par-5 13th in the bogey-free round at breezy and rain-softened Fallen Oak. Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairway.

''It just sets up nice to my eye,'' Durant said. ''It's a beautiful golf course and it's very challenging. The tee shots seem to set up well for me, but the greens are maybe as quick as I've ever seen them here. You really have to put the ball in the right spots. I played very nice today. With the wind swirling like it was, I'm really happy.''

He won the Chubb Classic last month in Naples, Florida, for his third victory on the 50-and-over tour.

Full-field scores from the Rapiscan Systems Classic

''Done this long enough, Friday's just one day,'' Durant said. ''Especially in a three-day tournament, you've got to go out and shoot three good numbers. Fortunate to put one on the board, but I know I have to back it up with a couple of good days because you can get passed very quickly out here.''

Mark Calcavecchia was a stroke back. He won last month in Boca Raton, Florida

''It's probably my best round I've ever had here and it was a tough day to play,'' Calcavecchia said. ''The greens are just lightning fast. They're pretty slopey greens, so very difficult to putt.''

Steve Stricker was third at 68. He took the Tucson, Arizona, event three weeks ago for his first senior victory.

''Just getting it around and managing my game I think like I always do,'' Stricker said. ''You get in the wrong position here with the greens being so fast and you're going to be in trouble. I did that a couple times today.''

Billy Mayfair, Billy Andrade and David McKenzie shot 69. Jerry Kelly, the winner of the season-opening event in Hawaii, was at 70 with Wes Short Jr., Glen Day, Gene Sauers and Jesper Parnevik.

Bernhard Langer opened with a 71, and two-time defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez had a 72.

Vijay Singh, coming off his first senior victory two weeks ago in Newport Beach, California, had a 73.