Tag Archives: Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods at The Open Championship

With one more win, Tiger Woods will tie Sam Snead for most career PGA TOUR victories at 82. Each time Tiger tees it up, we’ll take a look at his chances for that particular week. Here’s a CHASING 82 preview entering this week’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

RECENT FORM

Difficult to say what his form is, given the fact that his last competitive start was the U.S. Open. From that final round to Thursday’s first round at Royal Portrush, 32 days will have passed. And in the 95 days since winning the Masters in mid-April, he has played just 10 competitive rounds – a missed cut at the PGA Championship, a T-9 at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, and a T-21 at the U.S. Open.

NBA players could learn a lesson from Woods about load management.

But that’s not to say Woods has avoided preparing for the Open. Earlier this month, Nike posted a video in which Woods discusses waking up at 1 a.m. ET in order to prep for the time change for the Open, which is five hours ahead.

“If you want to succeed, if you want to get better, if you want to win, if you want to accomplish your goals, it all starts with getting up early in the morning,” Woods explained in the video.

Although Woods has never played a competitive event in Northern Ireland, he has played practice rounds there while prepping for previous Opens. But this will be the first time he’s seen Royal Portrush.

“I’ve only played (Royal) County Down, I’ve never been up to Portrush and I’m looking forward to getting up there and taking a look at the golf course and trying to figure it out,” Woods said. “I’ll get there early and do a little bit of homework – see if the golf course is going to be dry, fast or not.

“Hopefully I’ll get practice rounds with different winds to try and get a feel for the golf course.”

TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Woods is making his 21st start in the Open Championship and has won three times:

2000 – At St. Andrews, Woods won with a final score of 19 under, eight strokes ahead of Thomas Bjorn and Ernie Els. The 19 under was the lowest score, in relation to par, of any major winner (eventually surpassed by Jason Day at 21 under at the 2015 PGA Championship). Woods’ win also completed the career Grand Slam. “It may be years before I fully appreciate it, but I’m inclined to believe that winning the Open at the Home of Golf is the ultimate achievement in the sport,” Woods said.

2005 – At St. Andrews, Woods won by five strokes over Colin Montgomerie, leading wire to wire. It was the 10th major win of his career. “When I first started playing the Tour, I didn’t think I’d have this many majors before the age of 30,” said the then-29-year-old Woods. “ There’s no way. No one ever has.”

2006 – At Royal Liverpool, Woods won by two strokes over Chris DiMarco, an emotional victory as it was his first major win after the death of his father Earl two months earlier. “To win your first tournament after my father had passed away, and for it to be a major championship, it makes it that much more special,” Woods said. “And mom was watching, I’m sure she was bawling her eyes out.” It was the first time a player had won consecutive Opens since Tom Watson in 1982-83.

Since his last win, Woods’ best finish was a T-3 at Royal Lytham in 2012. Last year at Carnoustie, he was in contention midway through the final round until a double bogey-bogey stretch on his back nine, eventually finishing T-6.

Pebble, Bethpage results only make Tiger’s Masters win more remarkable

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – As Tiger Woods stepped to the microphone after a frustrating third round, one that torpedoed any chances of a fourth U.S. Open title on an overcast and chilly afternoon at Pebble Beach, he offered a surprising bit of candor.

When it comes to health matters, Woods usually likes to keep things close to the vest. He built a legendary intimidation factor in part on the lack of a perceived weakness, and that tendency carried over even as his body began to break down years ago. But this time, with the kinesiology tape peeking out visibly from beneath his gray sweater, Woods took off his cap, wiped his brow on both sleeves and opened up.

“When it’s cold like this, everything is achy. It’s just part of the deal,” Woods said. “It’s been like that for years.”

The chase for a 16th major has not gone as planned. Woods was clearly ailing at last month’s PGA Championship, dealing with an undisclosed illness that offered another example of his penchant for keeping disclosed details to a minimum when it comes to his health. While he seemed in better spirits this time, returning to the site of his most dominant victory, the margin for error in a USGA setup is razor-thin. Woods didn’t have it this week, saving his best golf for a back-nine rally Sunday when he was as far off the lead as his closest pursuers were 19 years ago.

That was another round where the KT was visible along his neck, this time black to match his final-round color scheme. It was there last summer at Carnoustie, when he finished in a tie for sixth, and his neck was cited as the reason he skipped the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March.

Even with a fused back allowing him to return to a competitive level, at age 43 Woods is never going to be fully healthy. It’s simply a matter of managing various degrees of discomfort.

“My back impacts every shot I play. It’s just part of the deal,” Woods said. “Let me put it this way, I feel every shot I hit. I think that’s always going to be the case from here going forward.”

It’s a sobering take from a man who knows his body better than any fan with WebMD at the ready. The chances that Woods’ body and game align at a major will be slim moving forward, especially when the temps remain stuck in the 50s as they have been at each of the last two events and could again next month.

But knowing that he has a finite amount of arrows in the quiver should also make his Masters win in April seem all the more remarkable in hindsight.

“It was impressive anyway, no matter how he played here or at Bethpage. The colder weather, I think it affects a lot of guys,” said Marc Leishman, who played with Woods in the final round. “But no matter how he plays from here, that Masters win was impressive.”

Woods’ body was surely an obstacle at Augusta, when he chased down Francesco Molinari and held off Brooks Koepka. Just look at the context clues: he dealt with nagging issues last summer, and again during a stop-and-start Genesis Open in February, before opting out of Bay Hill. With the Masters final round pushed up because of expected weather, you could almost sense him doing the mental math on exactly how early he’d need to wake in order to give his body a chance to function properly.

And yet despite it all, knowing that chances to win after 54 holes won’t grow on trees from this point forward, he steeled his nerves and slipped into a green jacket. The fact that he then skipped the Wells Fargo Championship showed how much the Masters took out of him, both physically and emotionally.

So moving forward, Woods will likely speak with optimism before every major, just as he did at Bethpage before cobbling together a forgettable result. But the raw, physical truths won’t go away. Woods is at a point where every swing, every start comes at a cost – and it’s been that way for a while.

“The forces have to go somewhere,” Woods said. “And if they’re not in the lower back, they’re in the neck. And if they’re not in the neck, they’re in the mid-back, and if not, they go to the knee. You name it.”

Granted, the margin for error and level of familiarity Woods enjoyed at the Masters is unparalleled at the other three majors. The old feels didn’t count for much at either Bethpage or Pebble Beach, two places he had won before, and he’ll now face his biggest unknown with Royal Portrush, a course he’s never played. But as was the case with Jack Nicklaus, the magic amid the azaleas still seems to have a tangible impact each spring.

“If there was any major he was going to win, it was going to be Augusta. He’s just so good around there,” said Jason Day at Pebble Beach. “You don’t really need to hit a lot of drivers around that golf course. Even still here, but at the U.S. Open you’ve got to keep it straight down the middle.”

After closing out his final round and leaving the Monterey Peninsula with a deceptively respectable T-21 finish, Woods was peppered with questions about his upcoming schedule. Attempts to subtly dodge the topic didn’t do the trick, so Woods again spoke with unusual candor and laid out the hard truth: he won’t play competitively in the month leading up to The Open.

“It’s just trying to wind down from the championship, as well as my lifts and getting back into it,” Woods said. “And I know that Florida will not be the same temperature as Northern Ireland.”

Wind down. Gear up. Adjust for climate. Anticipate future aches and pains. It’s all part of the process now, one that has produced a lean-as-possible schedule in the wake of his Masters victory and one that will likely lead to far more misses than hits when it comes to contending on a major stage.

But it’s also a set of circumstances that should make it easier to appreciate the moment it all came together in April, when Woods put all the obstacles in his way on his aching back and still came out on top.

Tiger Woods updates: PGA Championship

By PGATour.com

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — Tiger Woods is back. Wednesday’s opening round of the PGA Championship was his first competitive round since his memorable victory at the Masters.

Woods said he feels “rested and ready” after taking four weeks to enjoy his first major victory in more than a decade. He’ll need all the energy he can muster to tackle a big and brawny Black Course at Bethpage State Park. The 7,459-yard layout is playing even longer because of cold, wet conditions. Penal rough will make finding fairways even more important, especially with so many elevated greens.

Woods is playing the first two rounds with Francesco Molinari and Brooks Koepka, a group that features the past three major winners. They’re accustomed to facing each other in golf’s Grand Slam events. Koepka and Molinari finished second to Woods at the Masters. It was Koepka who held off Woods at last year’s PGA, and Molinari played alongside Woods en route to victory at The Open.

This may be a new date and new site for the PGA Championship, but it is familiar territory for Woods. He won the 2002 U.S. Open here. That’s the only year he won the first two majors of the year. Once again, he’s trying to start the season with major wins at Augusta National and Bethpage Black.

History may be on his side. The last time the PGA was played in May, the winner was the same man who’d won the Masters a month earlier. That was Sam Snead in 1949. Woods can tie Snead’s record for PGA TOUR victories (82) this week. He’s also seeking his 16th major championship.

THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE: It will be a tough start to the PGA Championship’s first round for Tiger Woods, who is back at Bethpage after not coming to the course on Wednesday. He tees off on No. 10 today. Bethpage Black’s back nine does not offer a friendly welcome. Two of the first three holes are par-4s longer than 500 yards. The first 10 players on No. 10 were a combined 8 over par. Max Homa was the only player to birdie the hole. Early in the first round, players are nearly 2 over par on Nos. 10-12. The driver will be an important club this week – hitting fairways will be a must because of the thick rough and elevated greens – and Woods will be forced to use it early and often Thursday.

 

https://www.pgatour.com/news/2019/05/16/tiger-woods-updates-scores-2019-pga-championship-bethpage-black-round-1.html

 

The 22 Times Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods Played in The Same Major

You may not realize this, but the two greatest major champions in golf history — Jack Nicklaus with 18 and Tiger Woods with 14 — actually crossed paths in the majors on 22 occasions.

In a recent interview with Cigar Aficionado, which you can watch here, Michael Jordan — arguably the greatest basketball player in history — was asked who he believed to be the best golfer of all time.

It was no surprise that His Airness, who also happens to be a golf aficionado, wasn’t falling into that trap.

“They’re both great and I would never say one is greater than the other,” Jordan said.

Jordan also said, “Jack and Tiger never played against each other. They never played in the same tournament. They never played with the same equipment. They never played with the same length of golf course. I never played against Wilt Chamberlain. I never played against Jerry West. To now say that one is greater than the other is being a little bit unfair.”

Not all of that is entirely true, though we do understand Jordan’s point. Woods and Nicklaus actually played in many of the same events early in Tiger’s career, but at that point, the Golden Bear was well past his prime while Tiger was coming into his own.

Since the talk is always about majors when it comes to Nicklaus and Woods, we decided to breakdown the 22 occasions in which the two played in the same major.

A couple of fun stats that came out of this:

  Nicklaus got the better of Woods on five of the 22 occasions, most notably his T6 to Tiger’s T8 in the 1998 Masters when Nicklaus was 58 years old.

   In four of the five majors where Nicklaus bettered Woods, Woods was still an amateur.

   Perhaps most remarkably of all, in the 22 majors where Woods and Nicklaus were both in the field, Woods collected seven of his 14 majors and finished in the top 10 nine times.

Tiger Woods happy with where game is despite Sunday struggles

Tiger Woods made it interesting again, but slipped from contention on the last day of a tournament.

Despite being done in by some poor putting at the Memorial, he believes there still was valuable progress.

“I keep getting a little better,” the 42-year-old Woods said after shooting an even-par 72 on Sunday at Muirfield Village. “Week in, week out, I keep getting just a little bit more fine-tuned. For instance this week, just to be able to make the slight adaptations after the first nine holes and be able to flip it around and shoot a respectable number.”

Woods started the final round five shots off the lead, the third time this year he has been within five to start the last day and couldn’t turn it into a win. Bryson DeChambeau won the event in a playoff.

Playing in the Memorial for the first time in three years, Woods birdied two of the first five holes Sunday before hitting from a fairway bunker on No. 6 to the rough in the back of the green. Still, he managed par.

He hit his approach over the green on No. 7 and settled for par again. He couldn’t make up any ground on the par-3 No. 8, either, leaving his second shot just short of the hole.

Missing a 3-foot par putt on No. 10 was a killer. He made a slick birdie on the par-5 No. 11, but missed a 7-foot birdie putt on No. 12, then hit his tee shot out of bounds on the 13th and finished with a bogey.

He bogeyed the par-3 No. 16 when he missed another short putt, an unfortunate trend for Woods in a week when he was hitting the ball well off the tee.

He now turns his attention to the U.S. Open in two weeks.

“I just need to hit better putts,” he said. “This week I didn’t really have, didn’t feel comfortable with my lines, and my feel was a little bit off. Consequently, I missed a bunch of putts. But I hit it really good this week, so that’s a positive going into Shinnecock, where ball striking is going to be a must.”

Moving up and then falling back has become a trend for Woods in his comeback bid.

He was one shot behind going into the final round at the Valspar Championship in March and finished tied for second, a shot behind winner Paul Casey. He was five back at the Arnold Palmer Invitational the next week, but couldn’t do better than a tie for fifth, eight shots behind winner Rory McIlroy.

He knows he has to improve but is happy with his game overall, especially because before back surgery in April he didn’t know if he would ever walk again, let alone play competitive golf.

“Overall, if I just keep building on this, with how I’m hitting it right now, I’m in good shape for two weeks from now,” he said.

His participation dialed up the energy level here all week, with thousands following him on the course and roaring their approval with every good shot. The crowds were supportive and respectful all week, he said, and he tried to just appreciate being here again.

“It’s incredible to be able to play golf again at this level,” he said. “Not to have any worries about being able to walk again, like I was. I was struggling there for a while, and now I’m on the other end of the spectrum.”

DeChambeau chuckled when asked whether he was hoping Woods would make a run Sunday so they could duel it out. He answered with a firm “no.”

“To be able to have this type of caliber (of players) all chasing is kind of special,” he said. “I knew I had to go out there and play well. I couldn’t make many mistakes.”

17 years ago today, Tiger Woods overcame 7-shot deficit with seven to play at Pebble Beach

Tiger-Woods_16

By T.J. Auclair
PGA.com

Golf fans everywhere, including Hampton Roads, love Tiger Woods.

If, like most of us, you’re bummed out about the recent setback in the return of Tiger Woods — back spasms that forced his withdrawal after one round in Dubai last week and have his future unclear — allow us to take you back to a happier time in Tiger’s career.

On this day 17 years ago,Feb. 7, 2000, Woods remarkably overcame a seven-shot deficit with seven holes to play to defeat Matt Gogel in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am to claim his sixth consecutive PGA Tour victory.

That win allowed Woods to tie Ben Hogan, who won six consecutive starts in 1948, for the second-longest streak in professional golf history. Byron Nelson holds the all-time record with 11 consecutive wins in 1945.

RELATED: A timeline of Tiger Woods injuries, setbacks and returns

Tiger’s win at Pebble that year marked the 17th of his career. Since then, he has won an eye-popping 62 more times. The Pebble triumph was also the second of Tiger’s nine wins for the 2000 season, which also included the first three legs of the “Tiger Slam” — the U.S. Open (also played at Pebble Beach that year, a major Woods won by a record 15 strokes), Open Championship and PGA Championship. He would complete that slam with his win at the Masters in 2001.

Woods fired an 8-under 64 in the final round and it included this incredible eagle hole-out at the par-4 15th from 97 yards:

Gogel, of course, gave Woods a little help with four bogeys over his final nine holes to lose by two.

“I’m not the first pro that has struggled on the back nine at Pebble, and won’t be the last,” said Gogel, 28 at the time. “Trying to win a golf tournament for the first time, battling the emotions, it was quite a test.”

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.