Woods Going Wild in Ireland
'I actually drove the ball better today,' said Woods. 'The conditions were a little bit more difficult today. The wind was blowing a little bit harder and the pins were tucked in some pretty good corners. I was possibly a little more conservative off the tees to get the ball in play. I had to control my spin going into some of these flags.'
Woods started the day with a two-shot lead over Jerry Kelly at Mount Juliet Estate. He continued his fine play on the par-5s with birdies at the fifth and eighth holes to make the turn at 16-under as his closest competitors attempted to close the gap.
At the par-5 10th, Woods was left with five feet for birdie and drained the putt to reach 17-under. While Woods parred the next six holes, his challengers stalled.
Chris DiMarco came the closest with five birdies on the front nine. He then birdied the par-3 11th to pull within one of the lead. DiMarco struggled, however, with a double-bogey at the 13th en route to a round of 70.
Woods kept plugging along until the par-5 17th where he ran home an eight-foot putt for his fourth birdie of the day. At the following hole, Woods dropped his approach within four feet of the hole for birdie and a more than comfortable margin over the rest of the field.
'This golf course, you can shoot some low numbers on it,' said Woods, who has not made a bogey since the final round of the last World Golf Championships event, the NEC Invitational. 'I had to keep making birdies and keep playing well.'
Woods, who has four PGA Tour wins in 2002 to go along with a European Tour victory at the Deutsche Bank Open, is seeking his second title at the American Express Championship.
The 26-year-old, who has won at least one WGC event every year since the tournaments began in 1999, is also looking to keep that streak alive.
'It means I've played well against the best players in the world,' said Woods who has won 29 of 33 events worldwide in which he's held the 54-hole lead. 'Definitely you take pride in competing against the best players in the world and hopefully beating them.'
Scott McCarron, the runner-up at the WGC-Match Play Championship in February, was flawless on Saturday with eight birdies and no bogeys for a course-record 64.
'I've got things clicking today, which was fun,' said McCarron. 'It really is an absolutely great golf course and these greens are possibly the best greens I've ever seen. It makes it a lot of fun.'
McCarron was joined by Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen, Steve Lowery, David Toms and Kelly in a tie for second at 14-under-par 202.
Rocco Mediate shot his second consecutive round of 67 to finish six shots back at 13-under-par 203. Mediate was followed by Davis Love III, who carded a 68 to finish alone in ninth at 12-under-par 202.
Mike Weir, who won this event the last time it was contested in 2000 at Valderrama, had five birdies and one bogey to finish at 11-under-par 205 alongside Justin Leonard, Bob Estes and Stuart Appleby.
Thomas Bjorn, Padraig Harrington, Scott Hoch and DiMarco share 14th at 10-under-par 206.
Full-field scores from the WGC-American Express Championship
Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
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: 0-0-1||(4) J. Spieth: 2-0-0|
|(32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1||(21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0||(28) K. Aphibarnrat: 1-0-0||(19) P. Reed: 2-0-0|
|(38) A. Hadwin: 1-0-1
||(48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0||(43) C. Reavie: 0-1-0||(34) H. Li: 0-2-0|
|(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
||(60) L. List: 0-1-0||(63) K. Bradley: 0-0-1||(49) C. Schwartzel: 0-2-0|
|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: 0-2-0||(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: 2-0-0||(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: 2-0-0||(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: 0-2-0||(59) C. Howell III: 1-0-0||(50) S.W. Kim: 0-0-1||(54) Z. Johnson: 0-0-1|
Watch: Bubba hits 366-yard tee shot ... with an iron
You know Bubba Watson is plenty long off the tee. And when you put a little wind to his back and let him hit downhill, the ball is bound to travel a great distance.
But, still, this is a 366-yard tee shot at the par-4 ninth hole at Austin C.C. ... with an iron. Yeah, it runs for a long time. But, again, 366 ... with an iron.
Watson won the hole with a par and made the turn, 2 up, in his Day 2 match against Marc Leishman at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Romo starts hot, stumbles to 77 in PGA Tour debut
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.
Horschel, Kisner & Perez join "Feherty," Monday, March 26 at 9 p.m. ET
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.