Woods three-peats at the Memorial

By Sports NetworkJune 3, 2001, 4:00 pm
Tiger Woods fired a six-under 66 on Sunday to come from one shot down and win his third straight Memorial title. His total of 17-under-par 271 was seven shots better than Sergio Garcia and third-round leader Paul Azinger.
Woods captured the same tournament three times in row for the first time in his already historic career, and became the first player to accomplish the feat since Tom Watson won consecutive Byron Nelson Classics from 1978-80.
The victory also marked Woods' fourth win in his last five starts on the PGA Tour. He posted his 28th career victory to pass Lee Trevino on the all-time win list.
Stewart Cink finished alone in fourth at nine-under par, one shot ahead of Toru Taniguchi and Vijay Singh.
Woods began Sunday's final round one shot behind Azinger after they and 23 others finished their third rounds Sunday morning due to a six-hour weather delay on Saturday. Azinger extended the lead to two strokes with a birdie at the first hole but Woods cut the lead to one after a birdie of his own at the next.
The par-five fifth hole proved to be the turning point in the tournament. Azinger missed his approach left and landed in water. Woods had 240 yards and nailed a three-iron six feet right of the hole. Azinger missed a 15- foot par save and Woods ran home the eagle for a three-shot swing that translated into a two-shot lead for the World No. 1.
'With Paul hitting the water I needed to get the ball on dry land anywhere,' said Woods, who added to $738,000 to his tour-leading earnings. 'I was able to do that and just luckily made three.'
Azinger carded his second bogey in a row at six. Woods then took advantage of the next par-five, the seventh, when he hit his second on the right fringe and chipped to three feet to set up a birdie that padded his cushion to a commanding four strokes.
Woods committed his only mistake of the round at the eighth when his tee shot landed in a bunker. He blasted out to 12 feet but could not save par.
At the par-three 12th, Woods knocked a seven-iron to 25 feet and drained the birdie putt for a five-shot lead. Woods added back-to-back birdies at 14 and 15, the latter after roping a two-iron 15 feet short of the stick.
Woods narrowly missed birdie on 17 as his 15-foot try stopped one revolution short of the cup. He went on to par the final hole after his ball popped out of a greenside bunker.
'I feel like I'm playing well,' said Woods. 'I drove the ball pretty decent this week but I really hit my long irons well. When you get greens with this much undulation and this speed, to roll hit it the way you want to how you want to, that's what it's all about.'
Woods, who will be taking this coming week off before defending his U.S. Open title at Southern Hills, offered his philosophy on how he can come out on top again.
'Hit it straight,' said Woods. 'If you get the ball in the fairway in any U.S. Open consistently, I think you're going to have a wonderful chance of winning.'
Garcia recovered from back-to-back bogeys at five and six with a pair of birdies at the next two holes. He posted a one-under 71 for his second runner-up finish to Woods, the last coming in the 1999 PGA Championship.
Azinger, who won this event in 1993, could not recover from the pair of early bogeys. He added bogeys at 11 and 14 but matched Garcia for second place with a birdie at 15. Azinger had a chance to take sole possession of second but could not convert a birdie putt at the last.
Stuart Appleby, who played with Woods and Azinger in the final threesome, was in the mix until the 12th. He chipped his second with a three-wood into the water and then whiffed on his fourth shot. After finally chipping on to the putting surface, Appleby two-putted for quadruple-bogey seven.
Appleby posted a two-over 74 to finish tied for seventh with close friend and fellow Australian Robert Allenby and Kenny Perry at minus-seven.
Scott Hoch posted his fourth consecutive finish in the top-11, taking 10th place at six-under 282.
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Four top finishers in Japan qualify for The Open

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:19 am

IBARAKI, Japan – Shota Akiyoshi of Japan shot a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The 147th Open.

Akiyoshi offset three bogeys with five birdies at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, to finish 1 under overall and secure his first ever tournament win on the Japan Golf Tour.

Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Japanese golfers Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi were tied for second one stroke off the pace to also qualify for The Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 19-22.

Hendry, who led the tournament coming into the final round, came close to forcing a playoff with Akiyoshi but dropped a shot with a bogey on the final hole when he needed a par to draw level.

Hendry will make his second appearance at The Open after qualifying at the Mizuno Open for the second year in a row.

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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.

Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship

Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."