Two Shots for Tiger One for Us

By Mercer BaggsFebruary 27, 2006, 5:00 pm
For Tiger Woods, the 69th Masters Tournament was decided by two shots. For everyone else, it will be remembered for just one.
 
For me, its by far the drive and the iron, Woods said in his Masters teleconference last month when asked what stood out most about last years victory at Augusta National.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods reacts to winning his fourth Masters title and his first major in nearly three years.
Woods was referencing his tee shot and approach shot on the first hole of his sudden-death playoff with Chris DiMarco.
 
Coming off back-to-back bogeys to force the extra session, Woods piped a 3-wood down the center of the 18th fairway and then hit an 8-iron 15 feet over the flag. He then converted the birdie putt for his fourth green jacket.
 
To step up there and hit my two best golf shots all week, Woods said about his drive and approach, that gave me so much confidence going down the road into the other major championships and other tournaments, because I was able to pull out my best stuff when I absolutely needed to.
 
Tigers performance on the 73rd hole of the tournament was validation for all of his swing changes with instructor Hank Haney. It also trumped the bogeys on 17 and 18 in regulation ' and allowed his chip-in on 16 to take on near mythical proportions.
 
Though Tiger, who went on to also win the British Open in 2005, counts his two playoff shots as the most important of the tournament ' and the most important of his season, he readily admits that it is his chip-in on the 16th hole that is the signature shot of last years Masters.
 
And since he was able to overcome his subsequent stumble and win the event, it's not only one of the most memorable shots in all of major championship history; it's not tainted with failure.
 
Woods entered the 70th hole with a one-stroke lead over playing competitor DiMarco. The two were locked in a match-play situation, well clear of the rest of the field.
 
DiMarco hit first and put his 7-iron tee shot about 20 feet short of the hole. Woods then pulled his 8-iron long and left of the green.
 
His ball nestled some 40 feet from the flag, near the edge of the second cut of rough, but not right up against it.
 
I knew it was going to be virtually one of the most difficult shots you could possibly have on the whole golf course, Woods recounted.
 
From where he was, Woods was unable to take a direct route to the hole. Instead he had to play a shot well left and somehow hope that he could get his ball to finish inside of DiMarcos.
 
I thought I had an opportunity to put the ball inside of Chris, which was about 15 feet. And to be honest with you, thats all I was trying to do, he admitted.
 
Woods surveyed the situation intently. He paced around the green and picked out a spot of daylight at which to aim.
 
Said CBS analyst Lanny Wadkins, Theres a good chance he doesnt get this inside DiMarcos ball.
 
Standing over his ball, following three practice chips, his eyes darted back and forth, taking everything into account, becoming comfortable with it all.
 
He then pulled the trigger.
 
The ball skipped hard onto the green and around hole high it took a right-hand turn and tracked towards the hole like it had a homing device.
 
A shade over 14 seconds after the ball left Tigers wedge, it stopped. For two seconds, the ball lay almost motionless on the edge of the cup. And then it dropped.
 
The crowd exploded. Woods and caddie Steve Williams attempted two rather disjointed high-fives. Woods yelled, Come on! DiMarco said, Good shot.
 
In you life, said CBS commentator Vern Lundquist, have you seen anything like that.
 
The birdie gave Woods a two-stroke advantage over DiMarco, who narrowly missed his birdie effort on 16. A couple of missed fairways on 17 and 18 cost Woods a chance to win the event in regulation, but he recovered with two near perfect swings and one perfect putt in the playoff.
 
The final swings are the one most special to Woods, for they are the ones that ultimately won him the Masters, and the ones that gave him the confidence to finish 2-1-4 in his next three major championships.
 
But its his second shot on 16, his 61st shot of the final round ' thats the one that will live forever in the minds of everyone else.
 
Related Links:
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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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    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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    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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    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.