Rory WDs from Honda as Tiger barely makes cut

By Randall MellMarch 2, 2013, 12:03 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods turned the Honda Classic on its head early Friday evening.

Some six hours after Rory McIlroy made news abruptly checking out for the weekend at PGA National, Woods made news finding a way to stick around.

With the galleries marching across the Champion Course almost oblivious to what was happening on the top of the leaderboard, Woods turned this tournament’s attention to the cut line. He turned all the buzz over the confusion surrounding McIlroy’s withdrawal into some drama over whether he was going to join McIlroy in an early exit from another PGA Tour event.

With brilliant saves at the 17th and 18th holes, Woods saved the weekend for tournament officials fretting over the possible exits of the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 players.

Woods might have sneaked into the weekend on the cut line, but he’ll be looking to see if he can rock this place on yet another Sunday.

Woods will bring that electric possibility back here with him when he tees it up with David Lynn at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday.

Honda Classic: Articles, videos and photos

“I’ve got to get something going,” Woods said. “There are 70-plus guys within nine shots of the lead, just pretty bunched. Anybody in this tournament can win it.”

Don’t believe him? Just a year ago, Woods was nine shots back going into the final round and nearly won.

With a brilliant Sunday charge, Woods put all kinds of pressure on McIlroy, shooting 62 and getting within a shot before McIlroy closed out the victory.

“Hopefully, tomorrow, I can get it going, at least give myself a chance going into Sunday,” Woods said.

McIlroy seems to be intent on doing Woods favors in his new role as a Nike stablemate.

With McIlroy picking up his ball and walking off after plunking three shots in the water on his first nine Friday morning, there is all kinds of handwringing over the state of his game.

It wasn’t so long ago that golf seemed defined by one question: What’s wrong with Tiger Woods?

There is a new question threatening to take its place: What’s wrong with Rory McIlroy?

McIlroy fueled that question, withdrawing after pumping three balls in the water on his first nine. He fueled it assuring reporters there was nothing wrong with him physically while marching to his car. He fueled it later by releasing a statement that he was suffering from a painful wisdom tooth.

This is the third troubling exit for McIlroy since he opened the year with news trumpeting his mult-imillion dollar deal with Nike.

It follows a pair of 75s and the missed cut in his 2013 debut at Abu Dhabi. It continued with his first round bounce from the WGC-Accenture Championship last week.

Now this.

While it might all prove to be just another blip on the radar for McIlroy, who endured a worse spell last year, there’s mounting pressure to prove this swoon isn’t the clubs.

Woods was asked if he could relate to the intensifying scrutiny McIlroy’s under.

“I’ve been through it a long time,” Woods said. “But, also, this is a slightly different era, as well.”

Woods was speaking of the instantaneous spread of news through Twitter and blogs.

“You’ve got to think about it more before you say something or do something,” Woods said.

Woods said he didn’t know details of how McIlroy was feeling physically, but Woods did say he understood the dilemma in trying to decide whether to withdraw in the middle of an event. Woods withdrew in the second round of the WGC-Cadillac with Achilles heel pain last year. He withdrew from The Players Championship in 2011 with pain in his left knee. He WD’d from The Players in 2010 with a neck injury.

“It’s tough,” Woods said. “I’ve done it a couple of times. I just couldn’t go.”

Woods also understands the challenge of working through swing problems with it feeling as if the whole world is analyzing your every swing.

“People don't understand,” Woods said. “Most of the people that are commentating or analyzing don't understand the game of golf, so I didn't have a problem with it.”

Woods managed to avoid following McIlroy out of the Honda Classic with his fight to the finish Friday. Woods shot another even-par 70 while battling along the cut line most of the day. He moved two inside the cut line with back-to-back birdies at No. 4 and No. 5, but he gave that right back with back-to-back bogeys at No. 6 and No. 7. Woods fell a shot over the cut line with a double bogey at the 13th but got himself back on the inside with a bounce-back birdie at the 14th.

Woods saved his weekend getting up-and-down for par from an awkward lie in a back bunker at 17th, and making an even better par from a sloppy, downhill lie left of the 18th green.

“I didn’t have it today,” Woods said of his swing. “But I putted well.”

Woods turned the Honda Classic on its head with his scrambling.

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Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:32 pm

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 early 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.

Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots out of the lead among those who played Friday morning. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.

Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, might have a long 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.

Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos

Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and was outside the cut. He was in jeopardy of missing his second straight cut, depending on afternoon scoring.

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.

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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.

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Football coach hates golf: Don't need practice swearing

By Jason CrookApril 20, 2018, 10:15 pm

Some football coaches are a little more talkative than others. On one side of the spectrum, there's Bill Belichick. On the other sits Washington State football coach Mike Leach.

Leach always delivers the goods, and when asked recently if he liked golf, he didn't hold back:

As wrong as the 57-year-old is on the topic (golf is awesome), the man makes some hilarious points:

• “It’s boring. I don’t care where that ball goes.”

• "Golfers are always practicing their swing. But you know what I never did? I never practice fishing in my living room.”

• "They'll line up over the ball and they'll say they're going to do something that you can't do with a sniper rifle and a scope, but they're going to do it with a stick and a ball."

• “Golf’s pretty much for people that don’t swear effectively enough or need practice. And so there are people that need golf, and I don’t think I do.”

So in conclusion, it's confirmed: Mike Leach - not a golf guy.

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Quiros takes 1-shot lead in Morocco

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 8:22 pm

RABAT, Morocco - Alvaro Quiros shot a solid 2-under 70 in windy conditions to push into a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco on Friday.

Quiros fought the elements, carding seven birdies and five bogeys to move to 7 under overall and take the outright lead at the halfway point of the European Tour event.

The Spaniard was one clear of Andrew Dodt, who moved into contention with a 4-under 68 at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course. Dodt dropped two shots in his first six holes but the Australian recovered from that shaky start to collect four birdies and an eagle.

Full-field scores from the Trophee Hassan II

Erik van Rooyen of South Africa was another shot back in third on 5 under after his 71.

Bradley Dredge of Wales, who shared the first-round lead with Quiros, slipped off the pace with a 1-over 73. He's tied for fourth with Austin Connelly of Canada (71), 4 under par and three shots behind Quiros.