Crouching Tiger Woods Two Back of Rookies

By Sports NetworkJanuary 27, 2007, 5:00 pm
2007 Buick InvitationalSAN DIEGO -- Tiger Woods came within one shot of playing in the final threesome with a pair of rookies at the Buick Invitational.
Not that the youngsters would have minded.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is looking for his fifth career win at the Buick Invitational.
Nationwide Tour grads Brandt Snedeker and Andrew Buckle are the surprise leaders heading into the final round at Torrey Pines, where the only star near the top of the leaderboard just happens to be the world's best player.
Snedeker, who has led since his first-round 61 tied the North Course record, sputtered to a 2-over 74 playing with the rest of the field at the tougher South Course on Saturday.
Buckle fired a 4-under 68 to join Snedeker at 11-under-par 205.
The only thing keeping Woods out of the final group was a 3-foot birdie putt by Kevin Sutherland at No. 18, which gave Sutherland a 70 and moved him within a shot of the leaders.
Snedeker and Buckle, apparently unaware that Sutherland -- not Woods -- would be joining them, gave giddy interviews behind the 18th green.
'I don't think there will be many people watching us,' Buckle joked.
Later Snedeker added: 'I'm just going to enjoy every minute of it.'
For his part, Woods missed a lot of fairways and greens, but still managed a 3-under 69. He is two shots back, tied for fourth place with three others at 9-under 207.
'Things have gotten better each day and I've put myself in contention,' Woods said.
Woods is playing for his third straight Buick Invitational win and fifth overall. He has won six straight PGA TOUR starts dating back to last year's British Open.
Saturday, all three of his birdies came on the front nine at Nos. 4, 6 and 7. His real work came on the back, though, as he scrambled from bunkers to save par at 11, 15 and 16 to remain in the hunt.
If not for a pair of near misses -- a long birdie try at 13 hung on the edge and a 6-footer at 18 drifted left -- Woods would be right there with the rookies.
As it is, he's still only two shots off the lead.
'I had a couple opportunities to make a few more coming in, but I didn't do that,' Woods conceded. 'But I did make some good pars.'
Woods was joined at 9 under by Troy Matteson (69), Charles Howell III (73) and Bill Haas (72).
The top seven players on the leaderboard share 57 PGA TOUR wins: Woods has 54 of them; Sutherland, Howell and Matteson own one apiece. Howell and Matteson will play with Woods in the second-to-last threesome.
'It's like everyone imagines. If you can get in the group with Tiger, that's great because you know you're doing well,' Matteson said. 'But it will be different than the final rounds of other tournaments that I've been in. It will definitely be a different atmosphere.'
Snedeker, 26, made the PGA TOUR by finishing ninth on the Nationwide Tour money list last season despite missing five starts with a broken collarbone suffered when he tripped over a tree root.
He continued to lead without the luxury of playing from the fairways, which he missed 57 percent of the time Saturday. Snedeker hit just a quarter of Torrey Pines' fairways through the first two rounds.
'I tried to avoid all trees,' he joked, 'but I did seem to hit a few wayward drives.'
Snedeker made four bogeys and just two birdies over his first eight holes and watched a three-shot lead dwindle to a tie with Howell, who joined him in the lead when Snedeker missed an eight-foot par putt at No. 8.
At No. 9, Snedeker bounced back into the lead with a long birdie putt. But it would be a dog fight the rest of the way: three more bogeys and a round-saving 17-foot birdie putt at the 17th.
Buckle was steadier, posting seven birdies and three bogeys. He was alone in the lead following consecutive birdies at 12 and 13, but let it slip away with bogeys at 14 and 16.
He made a 14-foot putt at the 18th to get himself into the final group.
'When I got to 14 I couldn't find the green and I got anxious a few times, but it was nice to get that one on the last,' said Buckle, who was 13th on the Nationwide Tour money list last year.
Not out of the picture are former major winners Mark Calcavecchia (68) and Rich Beem (73), who are tied with five others at 8-under 208 -- just three shots back.
Phil Mickelson remained a non-factor, tied for 40th place at 213 following a 73. Vijay Singh (74) is two shots further back.
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    Watch: Bubba casually hits flop shot over caddie's head

    By Grill Room TeamMarch 22, 2018, 9:20 pm

    We've seen this go wrong. Really wrong.

    But when your end-of-year bonus is a couple of brand new vehicles, you're expected to go above and beyond every now and then.

    One of those times came early Thursday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, where Bubba Watson’s caddie Ted Scott let his boss hit a flop shot over his head.

    It wasn’t quite Phil Mickelson over Dave Pelz, but the again, nothing is.

    And the unique warm-up session paid off, as Watson went on to defeat Marc Leishman 3 and 2 to move to 2-0-0 in group play.

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    Spieth explains why he won't play in a 'dome'

    By Rex HoggardMarch 22, 2018, 9:01 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – No one at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play was as excited about Thursday’s forecast as Jordan Spieth.

    Winds blew across Austin Country Club to 20 mph, which is typical for this time of year in Texas, and Spieth put in a typical performance, beating HaoTong Li, 4 and 2, to remain undefeated entering the final day of pool play.

    The windy conditions were exactly what Spieth, who never trailed in his match, wanted. In fact, demanding conditions factor into how he sets his schedule.

    “I have, and will continue to schedule tournaments away from a dome, because it's just unusual for me. I like having the feel aspect,” said Spieth, who attended the University of Texas and played Austin Country Club in college. “Places with no wind, where it's just driving range shots, it's just never been something I've been used to. So I don't really know what to do on them.”

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    Spieth used the CareerBuilder Challenge as an example. The Coachella Valley event rarely has windy conditions, and as a result he’s never played the tournament.

    “I played in a dome in Phoenix, and I didn't strike the ball well there. Actually I've had quite a few this year, where we didn't have very windy conditions,” said Spieth, who will face Patrick Reed in his final pool play match on Friday. “I don't go to Palm Springs, never have, because of that. Look at where you can take weeks off and if they match up with places that potentially aren't the best for me, then it works out.”

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    Curry jokes about Romo's 77: 'Got him by a stroke'

    By Grill Room TeamMarch 22, 2018, 8:40 pm

    This just in ... professional athletes are competitive. Even when they're playing their secondary sport.

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    According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Ron Kroichick, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry couldn't help but crack a smile when informed of the score, saying, "I got him by a stroke."

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    Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 7:20 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: 0-2-0 (2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0 (3) J. Rahm: 0-1-1 (4) J. Spieth: 2-0-0
    (32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1 (21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0 (28) K. Aphibarnrat: 2-0-0 (19) P. Reed: 2-0-0
    (38) A. Hadwin: 1-0-1
    (48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0 (43) C. Reavie: 1-1-0 (34) H. Li: 0-2-0
    (52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
    (60) L. List: 0-1-0 (63) K. Bradley: 0-1-1 (49) C. Schwartzel: 0-2-0
    Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
    (5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0 (6) R. McIlroy: 1-1-0 (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: 0-1-1 (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: 2-0-0 (11) M. Leishman: 0-2-0 (12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0
    (26) D. Berger: 0-2-0 (31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-1-0 (23) B. Grace: 1-1-0 (22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0
    (33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0 (45) K. Stanley: 1-1-0 (35) B. Watson: 2-0-0 (36) B. Steele: 1-0-0
    (58) I. Poulter: 2-0-0 (51) R. Henley: 0-1-0 (64) J. Suri: 1-1-0 (55) A. Levy: 0-1-0
    Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
    (13) A. Noren: 2-0-0 (14) P. Mickelson: 1-1-0 (15) P. Perez: 0-0-1 (16) M. Kuchar: 1-0-1
    (29) T. Finau: 2-0-0 (17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-1-0 (24) G. Woodland: 0-0-1 (27) R. Fisher: 1-1-0
    (39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0 (40) S. Kodaira: 0-2-0 (37) W. Simpson: 0-0-1 (47) Y. Ikeda: 1-1-0
    (61) K. Na: 0-2-0 (59) C. Howell III: 2-0-0 (50) S.W. Kim: 0-0-1 (54) Z. Johnson: 0-1-1