Tiger Nips Goosen for AmEx Victory

By Sports NetworkSeptember 22, 2002, 4:00 pm
THOMASTOWN, Ireland -- Tiger Woods posted a 6-under 66 Sunday to capture the WGC-American Express Championship in wire-to-wire fashion. Woods finished the tournament at 25-under-par 263, one shot clear of South Africa's Retief Goosen.
Vijay Singh finished alone in third at 21-under-par 267 after a round of 65. He was followed by Jerry Kelly and David Toms, who were tied at 20-under-par 268.
Woods dominated each day at Mount Juliet Estate and the final round was no different. Woods was always in control en route to his second victory at the American Express Championship, despite late heroics by Goosen, who eagled the par-5 17th to pull within one of the lead, and a bogey at the closing hole, Woods' only dropped shot of the tournament.
'It means a lot when you play against the best and come out on top,' said Woods, who earned his 34th career win on the PGA Tour. 'Forty-nine of the top 50 players of the world are here this week. A lot of guys did play well and it was nice to keep it up.'
More from Tiger on his win.
Woods had a five-stroke advantage after Round 3 and continued the blistering pace with a birdie at the opening hole after he knocked his approach to 14 feet.
At the fourth, Woods landed his second shot inside 15 feet for birdie and two-putted for birdie at the par-5 fifth to reach 22-under.
While several of his competitors put together solid rounds, Woods again distanced himself from the field after he lifted his second shot over a tree to 14 feet at the par-5 10th. He drained the putt for eagle and a four-shot lead.
Woods continued to roll with a six-foot birdie at the par-3 14th, but Goosen suddenly made things interesting on his way to a record round.
Goosen was part of a six-way tie for second to start the day and picked up four birdies on the front nine to make the turn at minus-18. He birdied the 10th to pull within three, but faltered with a bogey at the very next hole.
The 33-year-old responded well with back-to-back birdies from the 12th and added a pair of birdies starting at the 15th before the eagle at the par-5 17th moved him within one of Woods.
Goosen parred the 18th for a round of 62 to match the course record, set earlier in the round by Sergio Garcia.
'Today was one of the best rounds I've ever played,' said Goosen. 'I've shot 62 a couple of times at Loch Lomond, but this tops that. Overall, I'm very happy with the week.'
Woods seemed to buckle under the pressure with an errant drive at the par-5 17th and a second shot that found the rough, but the 26-year-old was never in doubt. He knocked his third shot to 18 feet and ran home the putt for fist-pumping birdie and a two-shot lead.
'That was probably one of the best shots I've hit all week,' said Woods of his whack from the rough. 'I knew that was probably going to be the shot of the tournament.'
Woods, whose last bogey came at the WGC-NEC Invitational in August, had four feet to complete a flawless tournament, but he sent the ball right of the hole. Even with the late bogey, Woods walked away with his sixth title in 12 World Golf Championships starts and a first-place prize of $1 million.
Scott McCarron, Woods' playing partner on Sunday, finished six shots back at 19-under-par 269 after a round of 67. He was followed by Garcia, who was phenomenal on his way to a course record.
The young Spaniard didn't pick up his first birdie until the fifth, but a stretch of four straight birdies around the turn started him on his way.
Garcia added a birdies at 12, 14 and 16 before a long eagle try at the par-5 17th found the center of the cup en route to a round of 10-under 62.
'I'm happy I played very solid today, very consistent,' said Garcia.
Davis Love III finished alone in eighth at 17-under-par 271, while Michael Campbell and Bob Estes were one back at 16-under-par 272.

Final scores from the WGC-American Express Championship
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Watch: Rory finds trouble, and more trouble, and more ...

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 4:33 pm

Rory McIlroy was in a must-win situation against Brian Harman in order to have a chance to advance to the one-and-done portion of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

And, as you can see, McIlroy did not get off to an ideal start on Friday.

McIlroy lost the third, fifth and ninth holes at Austin Country Club. Harman led, 3 up, at the turn.

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Watch: Stefani makes hole-in-one, has no clue

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 3:18 pm

Shawn Stefani made a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th in the second round of the Corales Puntacana Resorts and Club Championship.

However, he never saw it go in.

Stefani knew he hit a great shot, and this isn't shown in the video below, but he just questioned everyone around him if they saw the ball go into the hole.

A Golf Channel cameraman finally gave him the news and Stefani responded with an enthusiastic thumbs up.

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Trio lead Kia Classic; Davies shoots 82

By Associated PressMarch 23, 2018, 3:01 am

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Laura Davies had a nightmare round days after contending for a title at age 54, and Caroline Hedwall, Jackie Stoelting and Hee Young Park topped the Kia Classic leaderboard.

Davies shot a 10-over 82 on Thursday at rainy Aviara Golf Club - four days after tying for second behind Inbee Park in the Founders Cup, and five days after shooting a 9-under 63 in the Phoenix event.

Fighting Achilles tendon and calf problems in her left leg, Davies opened double bogey-bogey-par-bogey. She bogeyed Nos. 9, 10 and 12, had another double on 15 and bogeyed 16. The 82 was the World Golf Hall of Famer's highest score on tour since also shooting 82 in the 2013 Marathon Classic. On Monday, she jumped 208 spots to No. 155 in the world.

Hedwall, Stoelting and Park shot 66 in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills. Ariya Jutanugarn, also coming off a second-place tie in Phoenix, was a stroke back with 2015 champion Cristie Kerr, In-Kyung Kim and Nicole Broch Larsen.

Hedwall closed her bogey-free round with birdies on the par-5 eighth and par-4 ninth. The Swede played her final 10 holes in 6 under. Players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairways because of the damp conditions.

''I hit it really well and started making a couple putts in my back nine,'' Hedwall said. ''I'm really happy with how I'm playing and looking forward to the rest of the days.''

Stoelting finished with a birdie on the par-4 18th. She had seven birdies and a bogey.

''I hit a lot of fairways,'' Stoelting said. ''I don't necessarily hit if far, but keeping it in the fairway is super key this week. The rough is much thicker this year than last year.''

Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

Hee Young Park birdied the final three holes, finishing on No. 9.

''The greens are really soft,'' Park said. ''So, easier on the second shot.''

The 40-year-old Kerr had a bogey-free round.

''I like this golf course,'' Kerr said. ''I think it's a tough golf course and you can't fall asleep on any shot. I mean, it's just a really great course. The layout. The rough is high. You got to pay attention. I think that's maybe why I play a little better here than some other places.''

Jutanugarn closed with a 5-under 31 on the front nine.

''It's rain today and a little bit windy, but my irons help me a lot,'' Jutanugarn said. ''Just start to make some putts. ... It's pretty tough for me. I always feel like the course here is really hard because the greens really bumpy, and you're not going to hit far here.''

Lydia Ko and defending ANA champion So Yeon Ryu topped the group at 68.

Ko also played her final nine in 31. She missed the cut last week in the Founders Cup in Phoenix.

''I holed some really good putts on my back nine,'' Ko said. ''I didn't hit the ball fantastic, but just being able to hole some good birdie putts was key.''

She won the 2016 event at Aviara.

''This is a pretty tough golf course,'' Ko said. ''Putting is a huge key around this course where if you do miss a green, making those clutch par putts and then making those birdie opportunities that you get.''

Jennifer Song and Jeong Eun Lee also shot 68. Brooke Henderson had a 69, and Lexi Thompson a 70.

Inbee Park was at 71 with Singapore champion Michelle Wie and 2014 Kia winner Anna Nordqvist. Top-ranked Shanshan Feng had a 72, playing alongside Park. Defending champion Mirim Lee shot 74.

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With old clubs returned, Kim (and new clubs) starts strong at Kia

By Randall MellMarch 23, 2018, 1:53 am

Almost two months after her golf clubs went missing, the same clubs she used to win last year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open, In-Kyung Kim was happily reunited with them this week.

She fetched them and her golf bag two days ago at the Carlsbad, Calif., police department.

A man bought them as a used set from a sporting goods store in the area, with Kim’s LPGA I.D. still in the golf bag.

Notably, Kim celebrated with a return to the leaderboard Thursday in the first round of the Kia Classic.

Kim opened with a 5-under-par 67, though she didn’t use her newly rediscovered clubs. She stayed with the replacement set that she put together after her clubs went missing. Her Women’s British Open clubs never showed up after she got off a plane in Southern California upon her return home from the season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic.

“It was really difficult at first,” Kim said of getting used to her new set of clubs. “I really worked hard, like worked a lot, went to the factory like a dozen times.”

Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

Kim said she made several visits to the factory folks, trying to get the loft and lies of her new clubs just the way she wanted, close to the configuration that helped her win the Women’s British Open.

“They were like, `I.K., are you ever happy?’” Kim said.

Actually, only five of Kim’s “lost” clubs turned up with her golf bag at that sporting goods store. Still, Kim was happy to get three wedges, two hybrids and her golf bag back.

“It’s kind of good to have a conclusion,” Kim said.

Kim can thank a “What’s in the bag?” segment with Ladies European Tour TV analyst Alison Whitaker for leading to the retrieval of her clubs. Kim explained to Whitaker how her clubs went missing during the telecast of the HSBC Women’s World Championship three weeks ago.

A golf fan in the San Diego area saw Golf Channel’s telecast of that segment.

“One of his friends bought the tour bag,” Kim said. “The other friend knew about my story, and he was like, `No, dude, that's not for selling. It's stolen.’”

Kim was delighted to meet the men who returned her clubs when she picked them up at the Carlsbad Police Department.

“Just good for me,” Kim said.