Water Cant Douse Woodys Fire

By Ian HutchinsonSeptember 28, 2007, 4:00 pm
MONTREAL -- Despite being on the unfavorable side of a dominating performance by the Internationals, there were some laughs on the part of the Americans and the usual suspect was the target for all their needles.
 
Scott Verplank sat down beside Woody Austin, gave him a sniff and made a sour face before beaming a grin. If there is ever a highlight reel made of Austins career, there will be a few that are suitable for Americas Funniest Home Videos.
 
The No. 1 humorous choice will be his suddenly infamous dive into the water on the 14th fairway during Presidents Cup four-ball play on Friday.
 
I dont think I look any worse than I always do. Scotty says I smell different, but I think I look just as ugly as I always do, said Austin, who played with David Toms to halve their match against Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini.
 
The whole idea of the shot was just to try and get it to the bank because I felt like, from the bank, I could make three. I knew, deep down, I probably couldnt pull the shot off. I was doing okay until I stepped on the rock. I lost my balance and your lakes arent very clean.
 
Long after the smell washes off, the memory of his impromptu dive will linger, according to those who witnessed it. I have the feeling that he will be hearing about that for the rest of his life, said his team captain Jack Nicklaus.
 
Hell be kidded about it, have fun with it and hell laugh about it for the rest of his life. They showed Jim Furyk right after that and he couldnt contain himself, added Nicklaus. He says, I was 30 yards away. I didnt know what to do. I was trying not to laugh, but I couldnt help it.
 
That was a common reaction around the golf course, according to International captain Gary Player. Obviously, Im on the opposing side. Im dying to laugh, but Im scared the cameras will be on me, so I didnt know what to do. I sort of turned my back, but I was really laughing because Woody is such a great sport.
 
I thought, damn it, that water must be cold, but I was pleased to see his head come up, added Player, who couldnt resist an old golf joke that suited the occasion.
 
Its like the guy who said to his caddie, If I dont play well today, Ill drown myself. He says, I dont know if you can keep your head down that long.
 
Austin has said all along that he wants to make an impact in his first Presidents Cup and he certainly did that on Friday, but Nicklaus says its for more than his slimy dip in the lake.
 
Hes actually been terrific in both matches. Woody is a character, as you know, but hes just a great competitor. It just kills him to not play well, or not hit the right shot, or not do the right thing. He is pure grit coming down the stretch. Hes been great.
 
Here is a guy thats 43 years old, first time hes ever made an international team. This is the first time and he just says he wants to make the most of it. I give him a lot of credit.
 
That character that Nicklaus speaks of wont change with the infamous swim. I can only tell you how much the competitive fire burns in me. It didnt douse it. I was still fired up and ready to go, said Austin.
 
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    Toronto Sun Editor's Note: Ian Hutchinson is golf columnist for the Toronto Sun and senior writer for Pro Shop Magazine, a Canadian golf trade publication, and Canadian Golfer Magazine. He is also a frequent contributor to Golf Scene and Golf Canada Magazine, the official magazine of the Royal Canadian Golf Association.
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    Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

    Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

    “I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”


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    Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

    To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

    “More punishment,” he said.

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    DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

    Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

    Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

    It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

    With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

    Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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    TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

    • Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

    • This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

    • Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery

     


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    • In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

    • At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

    • Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

    • My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.

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    Woods fires shot into crowd: 'I kept moving them back'

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:14 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It added up to another even-par round, but Tiger Woods had an eventful Friday at The Open.

    His adventure started on the second hole, when he wiped a drive into the right rough. Standing awkwardly on the side of a mound, he prepared for a quick hook but instead fired one into the crowd that was hovering near the rope line.

    “I kept moving them back,” he said. “I moved them back about 40 yards. I was trying to play for the grass to wrap the shaft around there and hit it left, and I was just trying to hold the face open as much as I possibly could. It grabbed the shaft and smothered it.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I was very, very fortunate that I got far enough down there where I had a full wedge into the green.”

    Woods bogeyed the hole, one of four on the day, and carded four birdies in his round of 71 at Carnoustie. When he walked off the course, he was in a tie for 30th, six shots off the clubhouse lead.

    It’s the first time in five years – since the 2013 Open – that Woods has opened a major with consecutive rounds of par or better. He went on to tie for sixth that year at Muirfield.