Woods has the last word at Sawgrass

By Rex HoggardMay 13, 2013, 1:41 am

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Sometimes David doesn’t beat Goliath.

With respect to 5-foot-7 Swede David Lingmerth, it wasn’t a fair fight. Not when Tiger Woods, by his own definition, is driving it well, flushing his irons, scrambling when needed, putting with consistency and healthy. By any definition, a five-tool freight train.

Perhaps not since his last top 10 at TPC Sawgrass (2009) has Woods been as prepared to suffer the slings and arrows of the quirky north Florida layout or the pointed barbs from Sergio Garcia.

“I feel like I'm driving it well, hitting it well with my irons, my distance control is good, short game is really solid, and I'm making my share of putts,” Woods said.

Of course, that blunt and chilling assessment came on Friday, when the faux major leaderboard resembled those of the bona fide Grand Slam variety. It wasn’t until Sunday dawned that Woods showed the world the full display of his arsenal.

The world No. 1 began the final round tied with rookie Lingmerth and Sergio Garcia, who solidified his status as Woods’ nemesis with a surreal episode early in Saturday’s second round.

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He began his march to his second Players Championship trophy, and his first this decade, with a 10-footer for birdie at the first. By the time he turned he was a layup clear of the field and cruising.

It was quintessential Tiger – build a lead, play prevent defense on the closing nine and watch contenders fall away. But the 14th hole awaited. Woods played the par-4 14th in 3 over for the week, missed the fairway every day and when he popped up his tee shot into a water hazard late Sunday afternoon the normal game plan just wouldn’t do.

His double bogey at the 14th hole dropped Woods into a tie with Lingmerth, Garcia and Jeff Maggert at 12 under. One by one, however, they dropped away. They always do.

First it was Maggert, the 49-year-old senior-in-waiting, who dropped his tee shot in the watery abyss surrounding the 17th hole, followed by Lingmerth’s bogey at the 14th hole after missing the green with his approach shot.

But it will be Garcia’s pile-up at the island-green penultimate hole that will be remembered.

The Spaniard, who a day earlier sparked a heated give-and-take when he complained that Woods pulled a club on the second hole just as Garcia was hitting his second shot and prompted the crowd to react, missed his tee shot at the 17th and found the water. In a scene reminiscent of the movie “Tin Cup,” Garcia took his next shot from the tee box and again found the hazard.

Rinse, repeat, lose.

Garcia has now won a Players on the 17th hole – having beaten Paul Goydos in a playoff on the hole in 2008 – and now lost the PGA Tour’s flagship event there.

“That hole has been good to me for the most part. Today it wasn’t,” said Garcia, who took a quadruple-bogey 7 on the hole.

Garcia completed what was a challenging week with another tee shot into the drink at the 18th hole for a double bogey to tie for eighth. That’s a full sleeve lost in two holes and a good amount of public support in two days.

On Sunday morning following the completion of the weather-delayed third round, Garcia was asked if he would rather have been paired with Woods – they were tied at 11 under through 54 holes – for the final turn. His answer seemed to sum up the spat.

“I'm not going to lie, he's not my favorite guy to play with,” Garcia told Sky Sports. “He's not the nicest guy on Tour.”

On a week that started with Vijay Singh suing the Tour over his run-in with the circuit’s anti-doping policy, Garcia’s comments simply seemed to feed the contentiousness.

The only thing missing was a much-awaited announcement on anchoring, but that can wait for another day.

For Woods, his 78th Tour victory – in his 300th Tour start – was every bit the statement victory. One top-10 finish in his last decade at TPC Sawgrass had created a wave of second-guessing that seemed to reach a crescendo this week.

“We were on a mission,” Woods’ caddie Joe LaCava said. “He is too good of a player not to play well here.”

How good?

For the week, Woods was first in par-5 scoring (4.25), third in greens in regulation (76 percent), 19th in fairways hit (67 percent) and 38th in strokes gained-putting on his way to a closing 70 for a 13-under total and two-stroke victory over Lingmerth (72), Maggert (70) and Kevin Streelman (67).

Woods pulled away with a birdie at the par-5 16th hole, found the middle of the green at the graveyard that the 17th hole had become and marched up the 18th fairway looking like a new man before a friendly reminder from LaCava jarred him back to reality.

“He said to me, ‘This is what patience will do for you,’” LaCava said following Woods’ approach into the 72nd green. “I wanted him to know there was still work to be done.”

In many ways, Woods’ Players victory had the look of a precursor of what is to come. His game plan on the Stadium Course was to play control golf, miss in the right spots and plod the field into submission.

On Sunday, he hit just one driver and, other than the 14th hole, looked in control at a golf course that hasn’t always had a friendly-confines feel to it. With respect to the so-called “fifth major,” The Players looked strangely like a U.S. Open tuneup. If he can beat the best at TPC Sawgrass with fairway woods, wouldn’t Merion, which will measure in under 7,000 yards, succumb to a similarly measured approach?

“It's a great question,” Woods said when asked if a similar strategy will work next month in Philadelphia. “I've never played Merion. It sounds good in theory. But I don't know. We happened to get a dry, hot week where the ball was traveling. You've got to play the golf course for what it gives you.”

Merion can wait, for the first time in a decade Goliath took the honors at TPC Sawgrass.

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Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 5:30 pm

Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
(1) D. Johnson: 0-1-0 (2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0 (3) J. Rahm: 0-0-1 (4) J. Spieth: 1-0-0
(32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1 (21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0 (28) K. Aphibarnrat: 1-0-0 (19) P. Reed: 1-0-0
(38) A. Hadwin: 0-0-1
(48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0 (43) C. Reavie: 0-1-0 (34) H. Li: 0-1-0
(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
(60) L. List: 0-1-0 (63) K. Bradley: 0-0-1 (49) C. Schwartzel: 0-1-0
Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
(5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0 (6) R. McIlroy: 0-1-0 (7) S. Garcia: 1-0-0 (8) J. Day: 1-0-0
(30) P. Cantlay: 0-1-0
(18) B. Harman: 0-0-1 (20) X. Schauffele: 1-0-0 (25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-0-0
(46) C. Smith: 1-0-0 (44) J. Vegas: 0-0-1 (41) D. Frittelli: 0-1-0 (42) J. Dufner: 0-1-0
(53) Y. Miyazato: 0-1-0 (51) P. Uihlein: 1-0-0 (62) S. Sharma: 0-1-0 (56) J. Hahn: 0-1-0
Group 9 Group 10 Group 11 Group 12
(9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0 (10) P. Casey: 1-0-0 (11) M. Leishman: 0-1-0 (12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0
(26) D. Berger: 0-1-0 (31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-1-0 (23) B. Grace: 0-1-0 (22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0
(33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0 (45) K. Stanley: 1-0-0 (35) B. Watson: 1-0-0 (36) B. Steele: 1-0-0
(58) I. Poulter: 1-0-0 (51) R. Henley: 0-1-0 (64) J. Suri: 1-0-0 (55) A. Levy: 0-1-0
Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
(13) A. Noren: 2-0-0 (14) P. Mickelson: 0-1-0 (15) P. Perez: 0-0-1 (16) M. Kuchar: 0-0-1
(29) T. Finau: 1-0-0 (17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-0-0 (24) G. Woodland: 0-0-1 (27) R. Fisher: 0-1-0
(39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0 (40) S. Kodaira: 0-1-0 (37) W. Simpson: 0-0-1 (47) Y. Ikeda: 1-0-0
(61) K. Na: 0-1-0 (59) C. Howell III: 1-0-0 (50) S.W. Kim: 0-0-1 (54) Z. Johnson: 0-0-1
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Romo starts hot, stumbles to 77 in PGA Tour debut

By Will GrayMarch 22, 2018, 5:14 pm

There was plenty of good, but also plenty of bad for Tony Romo in his PGA Tour debut.

Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption, Romo shot an even-par 36 for his opening nine holes in the Dominican Republic. The former NFL quarterback bogeyed his first two holes, but steadied the ship with three birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 4-8.

The early highlight of the round came at the par-4 fifth hole, where Romo drained a putt from across the green for his second straight birdie:

But the back nine wasn't as kind for the 37-year-old, who dropped five shots in a four-hole stretch from Nos. 13-16. It added up to a 5-over 77 in the opening round, which left Romo ahead of only Guy Boros among the players who had finished in the morning wave.

"I hit two poor tee balls. Just didn't commit to it, and ultimately just got put in a tough spot where you're just trying to make par," Romo said. "I hit a lot of good shots, and they ended up a couple times in some poor spots. But you learn the golf course as you play it throughout the week."

Romo has played as an amateur partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and has played individually in U.S. Open local qualifiers and mini-tour events as an amateur. But this marks his first attempt to gauge his game against the best players in the world who are not in Austin for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Romo was even par through 12 holes before a three-putt bogey from the fringe on No. 13. A nasty lie in the rough led to a double bogey on the par-5 14th, and Romo had to hit provisional tee shots on both Nos. 15 and 16. While he ultimately found his original ball on both holes, he left with a pair of bogeys.

"I really hit some good shots, and I'm close," Romo said. "I had a chance to be under par pretty easily there for a while, and then two or three shots on the back nine cost me. But that's golf."

Romo will tee off at 1 p.m. ET Friday in the second round alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.

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Horschel, Kisner & Perez join "Feherty," Monday, March 26 at 9 p.m. ET

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 22, 2018, 5:10 pm

PREVIEW: Perez details rocky collegiate golf experience at Arizona State

Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner and Pat Perez – each winners of multiple events on the PGA TOUR – will join David Feherty on his self-titled, Emmy-nominated series Feherty presented by Farmers Insurance®, Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

“This might be the biggest group of benign social deviants I’ve ever had the privilege of speaking to,” said Feherty. “They’ve been responsible for nine career wins on TOUR collectively, but they’re each also capable of getting into some mischief.”

The episode – filmed in Naples, Fla. – will touch upon several topics, including:

  • Their respective upbringings and corresponding introductions to golf.
  • Reflections on their junior golf and collegiate playing days, and how it helped prepare them to compete as a professional.
  • Contemplating which mulligan(s) they’d take in their life if given the opportunity.

Future guests on Feherty this year include Paul Azinger, Stewart Cink, Boo Weekley and Paul Goydos, among others.

A two-time Emmy-nominated host (Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host) Feherty has been described as “golf’s iconoclast,” by Rolling Stone, and “the last unscripted man on TV,” by Men’s Journal. His all-star lineup of golf-enthused and culturally relevant guests feature celebrities from across entertainment, sports and politics. To date, Feherty has sat down with four U.S. Presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump); sports legends Charles Barkley, Nick Saban, Stephen Curry and Bobby Knight; Hollywood icons Matthew McConaughey, Larry David and Samuel L. Jackson; World Golf of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson; and a host of current golf superstars including Paula Creamer, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Michelle Wie. Feherty is produced by Golf Channel’s original productions group, which also oversees production for Driver vs. Driver and Golf Films.

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Match-by-match: WGC-Dell Technologies, Day 2

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 4:00 pm

Here is how things played out on Day 2 of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, as 64 players take on Austin Country Club with hopes of advancing out of pool play. Click here for Day 1 match results:

Group 1: Dustin Johnson (1) vs. Adam Hadwin (38)

Group 1: Kevin Kisner (32) vs. Bernd Wiesberger (52)

Group 2: Justin Thomas (2) vs. Patton Kizzire (48)

Group 2: Francesco Molinari (21) vs. Luke List (60)

 Group 3: Jon Rahm (3) vs. Chez Reavie (43)

Group 3: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (28) vs. Keegan Bradley (63)

Group 4: Jordan Spieth (4) vs. Haotong Li (34)

Group 4: Patrick Reed (19) vs. Charl Schwartzel (49)

Group 5: Hideki Matsuyama (5) vs. Cameron Smith (46)

Group 5: Patrick Cantlay (30) vs. Yusaku Miyazato (53)

Group 6: Rory McIlroy (6) vs. Jhonattan Vegas (44)

Group 6: Brian Harman (18) vs. Peter Uihlein (57)

Group 7: Sergio Garcia (7) vs. Dylan Frittelli (41)

Group 7: Xander Schauffele (20) vs. Shubhankar Sharma (62)

Group 8: Jason Day (8) vs. Jason Dufner (42)

Group 8: Louis Oosthuizen (25) vs. James Hahn (56)

Group 9: Tommy Fleetwood (9) def. Kevin Chappell (33), 7 and 6: Avenging an opening-day loss, the Englishman won the first four holes and needed to make only three birdies in a monster rout of Chappell. The 2017 Presidents Cupper made five bogeys and conceded two other holes but still has a chance to win the group.  

Group 9: Daniel Berger (26) vs. Ian Poulter (58)

Group 10: Paul Casey (10) vs. Kyle Stanley (45)

Group 10: Matthew Fitzpatrick (31) vs. Russell Henley (51)

Group 11: Marc Leishman (11) vs. Bubba Watson (35)

Group 11: Branden Grace (23) vs. Julian Suri (64)

Group 12: Tyrrell Hatton (12) vs. Brendan Steele (36)

Group 12: Charley Hoffman (22) vs. Alexander Levy (55)

Group 13: Alex Noren (13) def. Thomas Pieters (39), 5 and 4: Noren made quick work of Pieters in what could be a match of future Ryder Cup teammates. Noren built a 4-up lead after seven holes and then cruised from there, moving to 2-0 this week and eliminating Pieters. In 30 holes this week, Noren has made 12 birdies and no bogeys.

Group 13: Tony Finau (29) vs. Kevin Na (61)

Group 14: Phil Mickelson (14) vs. Satoshi Kodaira (40)

Group 14: Rafa Cabrera Bello (17) vs. Charles Howell III (59)

Group 15: Pat Perez (15) vs. Webb Simpson (37)

Group 15: Gary Woodland (24) vs. Si Woo Kim (50)

Group 16: Matt Kuchar (16) vs. Yuta Ikeda (47)

Group 16: Ross Fisher (27) vs. Zach Johnson (54)