Watson Aces His Way Into ACE Group Classic Lead

By Sports NetworkFebruary 8, 2002, 5:00 pm
Tom Watson fired an 8-under 64 that included a hole-in-one to grab the first-round lead at the ACE Group Classic. He holds a one-stroke lead over Dana Quigley.
Watson, who is still looking for his first win in Florida, began his day with a stretch of three consecutive birdies from the fourth before three-putting for bogey on the par-4 seventh.
He made the turn at 2-under and quickly picked up back-to-back birdies starting at the 10th. The 2001 Senior PGA Championship winner then added another birdie on the 14th before stepping on the tee at the 163-yard 16th.
Watson hit his 6-iron to the front of the green and waited for the crowd to tell him the ball rolled in for an ace, the 13th hole-in-one of his career and his first on the Senior Tour.
'I couldn't see the pin but I saw the gallery behind the green. When all the arms went up, I knew it was in.
'The hole-in-one really came at the right time,' said Watson, who moved three shots clear of the field with the shot. 'The proverbial icing on the cake.'
Quigley had nine birdies and two bogeys for his 65. The Senior Tour iron man, playing in a record 155th straight tournament, bogeyed the 17th but ran home a 12-footer for birdie on the last to grab sole possession of second place.
'I love Naples,' said Quigley. 'Jack designed a course you could make some birdies on. I had my putter going today.'
The course at the TwinEagles Golf Club saw quite a few eagles during the opening round as well, including a 20-foot putt by Jim Thorpe on the par-5 13th. The putt helped move Thorpe into third at 6-under 66.
'Perfect round of golf,' said Thorpe. 'I left two or three birdies out there but overall I made some nice putts today.'
Allen Doyle played a bogey-free round with five birdies to finish three shots off the lead in forth place. He was followed by a group of five players at 4-under 68, including Hale Irwin.
Defending champion Gil Morgan carded a three-under 69. He finished in joint 10th alongside Mike Smith, Jay Sigel, Stewart Ginn, Jim Dent and John Bland.
Ben Crenshaw made his much anticipated Senior Tour debut Friday. The 19-time PGA Tour winner was scheduled to make his first start on the 50-and-over circuit last week at the Royal Caribbean Classic but withdrew from the tournament with flu-like symptoms.
Crenshaw struggled on the front nine with a bogey at the fourth and a double-bogey at the eighth. He seemed to rid himself of the jitters on the inward nine with a birdie at the 10th and a stretch of three consecutive birdies from the 13th.
However, the two-time Masters champion finished in disappointing fashion with a bogey at the 17th and a quadruple-bogey at the par-5 18th to complete a 4-over 76.
'I will try to forget this round,' said Crenshaw, who earned his breakthrough PGA Tour victory in his first start at the 1973 San Antonio-Texas Open. 'Can't compare my first event on the PGA Tour and today.'
Full-field scores from the ACE Group Classic
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Tiger putts way into contention at The Open

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 5:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – When Tiger Woods benched his trusty Scotty Cameron blade putter last month at the Quicken Loans National for a new TaylorMade mallet-headed version some saw it as a sign of desperation, but if his performance on Carnoustie’s greens on Saturday were any indication it could end up being a calculated success.

Woods stormed into contention on Day 3 with a 5-under 66 to move to within shouting distance of the lead at The Open, thanks in large part to his vastly improved putting.

“I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I've had really good feels,” said Woods, whose 29 putts on Saturday belies his performance on Carnoustie’s greens. “Even as this golf course was changing and evolving, I've maintained my feels with the putter. I've made a couple of putts from about 40 to 60 feet, which is nice. I just feel like I've been able to roll the ball.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

The highlight of Woods’ round came at the par-4 ninth hole when he charged in a 40-footer for birdie from the front edge of the green to begin a run of three consecutive birdies. Perhaps more impressive, he didn’t have a three-putt, and has only had two all week, which is always a bonus on links courses.

Woods temporarily took a share of the lead with a lengthy birdie putt at the 14th hole and scrambled for a par save at the last after his drive nearly found the Barry Burn.

“I hit a few putts that I think should have gone in from 20, 30 feet today," he said. "So that's always a good sign.”

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TT postscript: A 66, he's in contention - awesome

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 4:58 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods went berserk Saturday and shot 5-under 66 to vault up the leaderboard at The Open at Carnoustie:


At 4:13PM here in Scotland, when Tiger two-putted for birdie on the par-5 14th hole, he held a share of the lead in a major championship. It was once unthinkable, but it happened. I saw it with my own eyes.

• Tiger’s last two weekend rounds in the 60s in The Open both happened at Carnoustie and both happened on July 21. In 2007, Woods shot 69 here. On Saturday, that score was clipped by three shots. Tiger shot 65 in the second round of The Open at Royal Liverpool in 2006. He won his third claret jug that week. Tiger last shoot 66 in a major during the second round of the 2011 Masters.

• This is the sixth time that Tiger has recorded three consecutive rounds of par of better to start The Open. He went on to win three of the previous five times.

• One bad swing, the only bad swing of the day according to Tiger, produced the luckiest of breaks. Standing on the 18th tee with an iron in hand, Tiger pulled his tee shot that hit on the top of the Barry Burn and very easily could’ve ended in a watery grave. Instead it ended in thick rough, some 250 yards from the pin. Tiger punted it up the fairway, but got up and down from 83 yards to save par and shoot 66. “I hit my number,” he quipped about hitting wedge to 2 feet.

• On the other hand, the lone bogey came from one poor putt. On the par-3 16th hole, with half of Scotland screaming his name, Tiger missed a 7-footer for par. It was deflating at the time because the last three holes are so difficult. Pars on the last two holes were stellar.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• Final stats: 12 of 15 fairways, 14 of 18 greens and 29 total putts. Tiger hit six drivers and one 3-wood, proving that he was way more aggressive. He hit four drivers on Friday and only one on Thursday.

• One of the aforementioned drivers that he hit on the ninth hole was well left and in some thick round, 170 yards from the hole. A safe approach to 40 feet set him up for and easy two-putt par. But he slammed the putt home and made an improbable birdie. “I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I’ve had really good feels,” he said.

• In his own words about his chances of winning: “It certainly is possible. I’ve shown that I’ve been there close enough with a chance to win this year. Given what happened the last few years, I didn’t know if that would ever happen again, but here I am with a chance coming Sunday in a major championship. It’s going to fun.”

Yes, yes it is.

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Watch: Guy sleeps next to many beers at Open

By Grill Room TeamJuly 21, 2018, 4:55 pm

It's Moving Day at The Open Championship for all but one sedentary fan.

Cameras caught this potentially browned-out man having himself a Saturday snooze on the browned-out grasses of Carnoustie:

Browned out. That's a great term. Glad it's in the public domain. We've been using it all weekend. I imagine we'll continue to use it. A lot.

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Watch: Tiger makes 6 birdies, 1 amazing par in Rd. 3

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 4:10 pm

Tiger Woods started the third round of The Open at even par, having made seven birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 holes at Carnoustie.

Following three pars to start on Saturday, Woods went on a birdie binge.

No. 1 came with this putt at the par-4 fourth.

No. 2 with this two-putt at the par-5 sixth.

No. 3 thanks to this 30-footer at the par-4 ninth.

No. 4 after nearly jarring his approach shot on the par-4 10th.

No. 5 when he almost drove the green at the par-4 11th and two-putted, from just off the green, from 95 feet.

And No. 6, which gave him a share of the lead, came courtesy another two-putt at the par-5 14th.

Woods bogeyed the par-3 16th to drop out of the lead and almost dropped - at least - one more shot at the par-4 18th. But his tee shot got a lucky bounce and he turned his good fortune into a par.

Woods shot 5-under 66 and finished the day at 5 under par.