Tiger Down But Not Out

By Mercer BaggsJune 15, 2006, 4:00 pm
U.S. OpenMAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Tiger Woods isnt about to panic. At least hes not about to let you see him panic. If Woods has any real concern about missing the cut after opening in 6-over 76 Thursday at the U.S. Open, youd never know it by listening to his post-round comments.
 
Of all the things that Woods said in his brief, five-minute session with the media, one line was most telling.
 
Scorecard: Tiger struggled again in Rd. 2
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods found plenty of trouble in his opening 6-over 76.
If I shoot under par the next couple of days, he said, Ill be fine.
 
Note the word couple. Apparently, Woods has every intention of sticking around for the weekend.
 
He also added that he was trying to get back to 4 under after shooting 5-over 40 over his first nine holes, but that I did not quite do that, but at least Im still in the ballgame with two (good) rounds.
 
To do so, however, hes going to have to improve upon just about every aspect of his game. Playing in his first tournament in nine weeks, Woods was terribly erratic with his driver, a bit inconsistent with his irons, and read the greens like a blind man.
 
According to Woods, the greens were bumpy like brail, but the primary problem was their pace.
 
Theyve been slow all week, said Woods, who shot what amounted to the field average in round 1. I just didnt make that adjustment faster.
 
If I would have made a faster adjustment on the greens, I would have been fine.
 
USGA officials have said that the greens are measuring 12 on the Stimpmeter, just as they did in practice. Woods would agree with half of that assessment: they are at a similar speed to that of the past few days, but they are not that quick.
 
No, responded Woods when asked if they were playing like a 12. Youre used to playing U.S. Opens with fast greens; these arent. With the pitch on these greens, you have to keep it on the slower side; were just not used to being in the U.S. Open with greens this slow.
 
Woods needed 33 putts in the first round. Still, statistically, it was his driver that failed him most of all. He hit only three of 14 fairways.
 
Some of the holes I drove it through the doglegs and on some I just hit bad tee shots, he said. I have to hit the ball in more fairways to be marginally more aggressive (on approach shots) ' marginally.
 
Marginally, because danger lurks everywhere at Winged Foot. And it found Tiger ' or Tiger ran into it ' over and over again Thursday. He was Marvin Gaye's 'Trouble Man.'
 
Woods started the day by bogeying his first three holes. He then made a birdie at the par-5 fifth, but gave away three more shots over his next four holes going out. He capped his opening 40 by hitting his tee shot on the par-4 ninth well to the right, and then hooking a 9-iron over some corporate tents into the right grandstand, where he received a free drop on his way to another dropped shot ' nine holes, six bogeys.
 
Woods shot 40 over his first nine holes at Augusta National in 1997 and went on to win the Masters Tournament with a record total of 18 under par. Birdies on the West Course, however, are not nearly as plentiful. And that year at Augusta, he shot 6-under 30 on his back nine in the first round; this time it was a 1-over 36.
 
The lowlight of his back nine came when he butchered the par-5 12th. He pulled his tee shot into the left rough, hit a 9-iron out and into the intermediate rough, hit 8-iron from there into a bunker, blasted his next shot over the green, pitched to 8 feet, and two-putted for double bogey.
 
He is tied for 68th after 18 holes, with the top 60 and those within 10 strokes of the lead qualifying for the final two rounds.
 
He said that he didnt believe rust was a factor in his poor play, nor did he feel any emotional strain.
 
No, it wasnt hard at all, he said about playing for the first time since the death of his father on May 3. Ill tell you what; the fans were absolutely incredible cheering me on. I understand the situation where everyone is looking to me to be more emotional. Right now, Im just focused on trying to win the championship.
 
And there is precedent for him doing so. Twice since World War II have players opened in 76 and gone on to win their respective U.S. Opens: Ben Hogan in 1951 and Jack Fleck in 1955, both on par 70 courses.
 
When asked if Woods felt like he could be the third such man over the last 55 years to accomplish that feat, he replied, Its been done before, hasnt it?
 
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    M. Jutanugarn eyeing first win with L.A. Open lead

    By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:50 am

    LOS ANGELES - Moriya Jutanugarn took the lead into the weekend at the Hugel-JTBC L.A. Open in her latest bid to join younger sister Ariya as an LPGA winner.

    Moriya Jutanugarn shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 on Friday at Wilshire Country Club to get to 8-under 134 in the LPGA Tour's first event in Los Angeles since 2005. The 23-year-old from Thailand started fast with birdies on the par-5 second, par-4 third and par-3 fourth and added two more on the par-4 11th and par-5 13th.

    Ariya Jutanugarn has seven LPGA victories.

    Marina Alex was second after a 68.


    Full-field scores from the Hugel-JTBC Open


    So Yeon Ryu was 6 under after a 69, and fellow South Korean players Inbee Park(71) and Eun-Hee Ji (69). Park was the first-round leader at 66. Lexi Thompsonwas 3 under after a 71.

    Top-ranked Shanshan Feng followed her opening 74 with a 67 to get to 1 under.

    Ariya Jutanugarn (71) was even par, and Michelle Wie (70) was 1 over. Brooke Henderson, the Canadian star who won last week in Hawaii, had a 79 to miss the cut.

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    Garcia tosses driver, misses Valero cut

    By Will GrayApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

    It wasn't quite to the level of his watery meltdown earlier this month at the Masters, but Sergio Garcia still got frustrated during the second round of the Valero Texas Open - and his driver paid the price.

    Garcia had a hand in redesigning the AT&T Oaks Course along with Greg Norman several years ago, but this marked his first return to TPC San Antonio since 2010. After an opening-round 74, Garcia arrived to the tee of the short par-4 fifth hole and decided to get aggressive with driver in hand.

    When his shot sailed well left, a heated Garcia chucked the club deep into the bushes that lined the tee box:

    It took considerable effort for Garcia to find and retrieve the club amid the branches, and once he did things only got worse. He appeared to shank a chip once he got up to his ball, leading to a bogey on one of the easiest holes on a demanding track.

    Garcia closed out his round with four straight pars, and at 2 over he eventually missed the cut by a shot. It marks the first time he has missed consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour since 2003, when he sat out the weekend at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Fort Worth Invitational and Memorial Tournament in successive weeks.

    Garcia entered the week ranked No. 10 in the world, and he was the only top-20 player among the 156-man field. He missed the cut at the Masters in defense of his title after carding an octuple-bogey 13 on the 15th hole during the opening round.

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    Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

    By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

    SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

    He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

    ''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''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. You just never know.''

    Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

    They had a one-shot lead over Grayson Murray (69) and Andrew Landry (67).

    Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots behind. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.


    Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

    Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


    Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, had a short stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.

    Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and missed the cut.

    It was the first time since 2010 that Garcia missed the cut in successive starts. That was the PGA Championship and, 10 weeks later, the Castello Masters in Spain. This time, he missed the cut in the Masters and Texas Open three weeks apart.

    Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

    The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

    Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

    ''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

    The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

    ''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

    The cut was at 1-over 145, and because 80 players made the cut, there will be a 54-hole cut on Saturday.

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    Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

    RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

    Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

    ''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

    On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

    ''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

    Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

    ''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''


    Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf


    Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

    ''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

    Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

    First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.