Tiger Woods Dangerous Game

By Randall MellAugust 14, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 PGA ChampionshipCHASKA, Minn. ' The mans a menace.
 
Thats meant as respectfully as it can be alleged.
 
Tiger Woods is a brilliant, extraordinary but confounding menace.
 
Tiger Woods PGA Championship
Tiger Woods confidently watches his tee shot on the eighth hole during the second round of the 91st PGA Championship. (Getty Images)

 
If you love sport, and by that I mean the fiercest competition, with uncertain outcomes driving you to the edge of your seat in anticipation of heart-thumping drama, then Woods is continuing to ruin golf for you.
 
With his 2-under-par 70 in blustery winds Friday at the PGA Championship, Woods grabbed yet another 36-hole lead in a major.
 
You know what that means.
 
Hes about to wreck another weekend at the majors.
 
He is, after all, 8-0 with a 36-hole lead, or share of the lead, in major championships.
 
He has won the last 12 times he has had the 36-hole lead or share of it in any event.
 
Yeah, I know, theres always a first and maybe this is the weekend Woods finally blows a major, but its a lousy bet.
 
His four-shot lead isnt what convinces you hes poised to win his 15th major. Its the way he stalked his ball on the back nine.
 
After Woods hit his tee shot at the 15th hole, he did that elegant little thing with the club, the thing he likes to do when hes feeling his powers taking hold, that little twirl. Before the ball even landed, he was strutting to his bag, a subtle but unmistakable strut. You can almost feel what hes feeling when hes like that. You see him move that way, and you hear Muhammad Ali singing in your head. You hear Ali singing: I am the greatest. I am King of the World. Of course, Woods would never say that, but he doesnt have to with body language as articulate as his.
 
Woods worked his way into that zone of his on the back nine.
 
At the 14th hole, with the tees up to 299 yards, Woods drove the green. The remarkable thing is that he did it with his 3-wood. In fact, he knocked his ball 25 feet past the hole. Padraig Harrington and Rich Beem, playing beside him, didnt reach the green with their drivers. They both plunked their shots in the front left bunker.
 
Woods two-putted there, tapping in for birdie. He also tapped in for birdie at the 15th, a 642-yard par 5.
 
Back-to-back tap-in birdies on the longest course in major championship history is a bit disconcerting to the competition.
 
Harrington started the day a shot back of Woods, and give him credit, he put up another game fight. Harrington hit a magnificent second shot from a fairway bunker at the 15th, knocking the shot stiff from 301 yards. It was brilliant play to 12 feet, though he missed the eagle putt. Still, when Woods rolled in his third consecutive birdie, a 25-footer at the 16th, Harrington looked weary. The switch to that famed Harrington glare, where it looks like his eyes are going to pop out of his head, was turned off there.
 
Harrington kept coming back all day. Three times he came from behind to pull even with Woods, but he couldnt keep up when Woods found his twirl and mojo and on the back nine.
 
With swirling winds, Woods was the only player among the top 16 starting the day who was able to break par.
 
Woods isnt taking his front-running record for granted.
 
Youve got to go out and play those shots, Woods said. Just because I did it [the last 12 times with a 36-hole lead] doesnt do a damn bit of good tomorrow.'
 
If only he could make us lovers of sport actually believe him.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - PGA Championship
  • Getty Images

    Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.

    Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.

    “We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.

    Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.

    “It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”

    It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.

    Getty Images

    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

    Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.


    Getty Images

    McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

    McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

    But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

    Said Harmon:

    “Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

    “This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

    McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

    “Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

    McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

    Getty Images

    How The Open cut line is determined

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

    Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

    The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    • After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

    • There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

    • There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

    The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.