Connect with us

Golf

Woods effect has US golfers riding high!

Published

on

SOUTHAMPTON: Rory McIlroy says the United States of America can thank the influence of Tiger Woods for the current dominance of American golfers all over the world – which he’ll be trying to disrupt at the US Open.

The four-time major-winner from Northern Ireland looked slightly taken aback on Wednesday when was reminded that Americans have won the last four major championships, and currently hold the trophies from the professional and amateur team competitions the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, Walker Cup and Curtis Cup.

“That’s a lot of pressure,” McIlroy said, drawing a laugh as he addressed the press at Shinnecock Hills on the eve of the 118th United States  Open.

“They’ve had a great run,” he said of the Americans but added: “Look, these things go in cycles. European golf was very healthy a few years ago for a long time. It seemed every major someone from the island of Ireland turned up to we were winning it. It doesn’t seem that long ago.”

With the Ryder Cup looming in September this year at Le Golf National southwest of Paris, European and United States golfers are already sizing each other up.

McIlroy said the current crop of US stars – including world number one Dustin Johnson, second-ranked Justin Thomas, reigning British Open champion Jordan Spieth, defending the United States Open champion Brooks Koepka and recently crowned Masters champ Patrick Reed – have been inspired by 14-time major champion  Tiger Woods. The 42-year-old superstar has now become a mentor to younger players.

Even as he was sidelined by back trouble last year Tiger Woods served as an assistant captain on the United States  Presidents Cup team that demolished the International team in New Jersey.

Now that he’s back on tour, younger players are still benefitting from the guidance of a more mellow Tiger Woods, McIlroy said.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Golf

Fowler, Lowry join leaders with Tiger lurking at PGA

Published

on

ST. LOUIS: Rickie Fowler, seeking his first major title despite eight top-five major finishes, and Ireland’s Shane Lowry charged into contention Saturday at the PGA Championship while Tiger Woods lurked six adrift.
With Gary Woodland setting the pace on 10-under par 130 for 36 holes, one ahead of fellow American Kevin Kisner, ninth-ranked Fowler completed a three-under-par 67 to share third with US Open champion Brooks Koepka on 132.
Lowry, who hasn’t had a top-10 finish this year, shot 64 to share fifth as a storm-interrupted second round resumed in the year’s final major tournament at rain-soaked Bellerive Country Club.
“It’s going to be a long day,” Fowler said. “If you miss a fairway the rough is thicker with the rain. The golf ball being wet makes it a little tougher to control.
“It can be dicey at times but nice that we navigated our way around and ready for the weekend. It’s going to be a long day.”
Woods, a 14-time major winner in the eighth month of his comeback from spinal fusion surgery, finished a round of 66 to stand on 136, boosted by a quick birdie at the par-5 eighth.
“It was a nice way to start the morning,” Woods said.
The 42-year-old American sandwiched five-foot par putt misses for bogeys at the 10th and 12th holes around a birdie from half that distance at the 11th. He later made a tap-in birdie at the par-5 17th and a five-footer to par the 18th.
“I missed two short ones that I’ve been making. That kind of stemmed the momentum a little bit,” Woods said.
“Hopefully I can go shoot a low one. It’s going to take that. I just have to make birdies.”

PGA leaders make early start while Tiger, McIlroy out late

A relevant piece published earlier: 

Leader Gary Woodland and many of his closest pursuers were set to tee off early as today’s second round of the 100th PGA Championship began while Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy make afternoon starts.
Woodland, who has never finished better than 12th in 27 major starts, fired a six-under-par 64 Thursday to seize a one-stroke lead over fellow American Rickie Fowler at Bellerive Country Club.
“I’ve started to feel pretty comfortable this week and it was nice to see results,” 44th-ranked Woodland said.
“I’ve been hitting the ball very well. Now when I get out of position I have the short game to give myself a chance. And to see putts go in was very, very cool.”
Woodland sank a career-high 153 feet of putts in round one and begins round two in the seventh group off the 10th tee with Spain’s Sergio Garcia, the 2017 Masters champion, and Kevin Kisner, among a pack of 11 golfers sharing fifth on 67.
Two-time major winner Zach Johnson and South African Brandon Stone, who share third on 66, will be in hot pursuit quickly. Stone was in the first group to begin on the back nine while Johnson is two groups behind Woodland.
World number one Dustin Johnson, Britain’s Justin Rose and Belgium’s Thomas Pieters are also early starters in the pack on 67.
Woods, a 14-time major champion in his comeback season after spinal fusion surgery, drew the largest crowds in a supergroup with McIlroy and second-ranked defending champion Justin Thomas. But Woods and McIlroy ground out par 70s to share 48th place with Thomas little better on 69.
“Just hung in there. I was able to grind out a score,” Woods said. “It kept me in the golf tournament.”
They figure to command attention again as the fifth-to-last group off the first tee but moving their way up the leaderboard will be the bigger challenge on greens that were iffy even before absorbing two days of tournament punishment.
“They’re bumpy, for sure,” Woods said. “The shorter putts are a little more interesting because they’re a little chewed up.”
World number nine Fowler, this year’s Masters runner-up, has eight top-five major finishes without a victory but matched the low major round of his career with a 65.
He starts in the fifth-afternoon group off the first tee with Britain’s Ian Poulter, in the group on 67, and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, another shot back.
“It was fun to feed off each other,” Fowler said of his trio’s success. “Hopefully we can do that again.” Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, ranked eighth, can complete a Career Grand Slam with a victory this week. But the 25-year-old American opened with a double bogey and shot 71 Thursday to share 62nd.

Relevant piece: American Gary Woodland, who has never cracked the top-10 in 27 major starts, fired a six-under-par 64 Thursday to grab a one-stroke lead over Rickie Fowler late in the opening round of the 100th PGA Championship.
On a day when Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy ground out level par, unlikely Woodland – who snapped a five-year PGA win drought by winning in February at Phoenix – unleashed the best-putting round of his career at Bellerive Country Club.
“When I see putts go in, that just gets me going,” Woodland said. “It’s really starting to click. I thought I was putting well. It was nice to see them go in.”
World number 44 Woodland, whose best major finishes have been shares of 12th at the 2011 PGA and 2016 British Open, sank seven birdie putts in 10 holes to pass Fowler, who matched the best major round of his career with a 65.
Ninth-ranked Fowler, twice a top-five finisher in every major, is without a win to show for it, having finished second at the Masters in April.
“I always have hope. It’s not something I necessarily worry about,” Fowler said. “Keep putting ourselves in position, get in contention. We’ll just keep beating down that door.”
Woodland, 34, opened with a bogey but closed the front nine with back-to-back birdies then sank a 44-foot birdie putt at the par-4 11th and added 23-foot birdie putts at 12 and the par-3 16th.
At the par-5 17th, Woodland dropped his approach three feet from the cup and tapped in for a birdie to seize the lead, then closed with a par.
“It was nice to get the jitters over early,” Woodland said. “I really settled in. I played great all day.”
Woods, a 14-time major champion making a comeback after spinal fusion surgery, battled back all day to overcome a bogey-double bogey start.
“It kept me in the golf tournament,” Woods said. “I could have easily gone the other way, but I hung in there and turned it around.”
The 42-year-old American battled back with birdie putts from four feet at 18, nine feet at the first and eight feet at the par-5 eighth.
“Just hung in there. I was trying to chip away at it, pick away at it,” Woods said. “I was able to grind out a score today.”
Four-time major champion McIlroy found a bunker at 10 and made bogey, then sank birdie putts at 11 13, but made bogey at 18 and parred in from there.
“It wasn’t that easy out there,” said McIlroy. “I gave myself a few chances. I finished off with nine pars. It could have been a little better.”
Fowler, a back-nine starter, found 11 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens in regulation. He birdied 14 but landed in a bunker at the par-3 16th and made bogey, then bounced back with a 12-foot birdie putt at the par-5 17th, a 14-footer at the first and six-footer at the third.
Fowler followed with a 31-foot birdie putt at the par-4 seventh hole and blasted from a bunker to eight feet to birdie the par-5 eighth.
“I’m definitely happy about the start and we’ll see if we can keep that rolling,” Fowler said. “I kept it very stress-free. Just play within me.”
South African Brandon Stone, who won July’s Scottish Open, shot 66 to share third with US two-time major winner Zach Johnson.
“The game felt really good,” Stone said. “Just tried to stay calm and I made a few great putts.”
Johnson saved par at 17 from a bunker and dropped his 155-yard approach two feet from the cup to set up a closing birdie.
“That was big at 17 and then I had the right distance at 18,” Johnson said.
Among those in a pack on 67 was Britain’s Ian Poulter, who birdied three of his first six holes in quest of his first major title.
“I got off to a flying start,” Poulter said. “It was a good day. I feel pretty comfortable.”
Also on 67 was Australian Jason Day, the 2015 PGA winner who birdied two of the last three holes.
“I’m very happy with how things progressed out there,” Day said. “It’s always nice to get around in like this, start your week knowing that you’re in the right direction.” (Published on 11th August 2018).

Continue Reading

Golf

PGA leaders make early start while Tiger, McIlroy out late

Published

on

ST. LOUIS: Leader Gary Woodland and many of his closest pursuers were set to tee off early as today’s second round of the 100th PGA Championship began while Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy make afternoon starts.
Woodland, who has never finished better than 12th in 27 major starts, fired a six-under-par 64 Thursday to seize a one-stroke lead over fellow American Rickie Fowler at Bellerive Country Club.
“I’ve started to feel pretty comfortable this week and it was nice to see results,” 44th-ranked Woodland said.
“I’ve been hitting the ball very well. Now when I get out of position I have the short game to give myself a chance. And to see putts go in was very, very cool.”
Woodland sank a career-high 153 feet of putts in round one and begins round two in the seventh group off the 10th tee with Spain’s Sergio Garcia, the 2017 Masters champion, and Kevin Kisner, among a pack of 11 golfers sharing fifth on 67.
Two-time major winner Zach Johnson and South African Brandon Stone, who share third on 66, will be in hot pursuit quickly. Stone was in the first group to begin on the back nine while Johnson is two groups behind Woodland.
World number one Dustin Johnson, Britain’s Justin Rose and Belgium’s Thomas Pieters are also early starters in the pack on 67.
Woods, a 14-time major champion in his comeback season after spinal fusion surgery, drew the largest crowds in a supergroup with McIlroy and second-ranked defending champion Justin Thomas. But Woods and McIlroy grinded out par 70s to share 48th place with Thomas little better on 69.
“Just hung in there. I was able to grind out a score,” Woods said. “It kept me in the golf tournament.”
They figure to command attention again as the fifth-to-last group off the first tee but moving their way up the leaderboard will be the bigger challenge on greens that were iffy even before absorbing two days of tournament punishment.
“They’re bumpy, for sure,” Woods said. “The shorter putts are a little more interesting because they’re a little chewed up.”
World number nine Fowler, this year’s Masters runner-up, has eight top-five major finishes without a victory but matched the low major round of his career with a 65.
He starts in the fifth afternoon group off the first tee with Britain’s Ian Poulter, in the group on 67, and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, another shot back.
“It was fun to feed off each other,” Fowler said of his trio’s success. “Hopefully we can do that again.” Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, ranked eighth, can complete a Career Grand Slam with a victory this week. But the 25-year-old American opened with a double bogey and shot 71 Thursday to share 62nd.

Relevant piece: American Gary Woodland, who has never cracked the top-10 in 27 major starts, fired a six-under-par 64 Thursday to grab a one-stroke lead over Rickie Fowler late in the opening round of the 100th PGA Championship.
On a day when Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy ground out level par, unlikely Woodland – who snapped a five-year PGA win drought by winning in February at Phoenix – unleashed the best-putting round of his career at Bellerive Country Club.
“When I see putts go in, that just gets me going,” Woodland said. “It’s really starting to click. I thought I was putting well. It was nice to see them go in.”
World number 44 Woodland, whose best major finishes have been shares of 12th at the 2011 PGA and 2016 British Open, sank seven birdie putts in 10 holes to pass Fowler, who matched the best major round of his career with a 65.
Ninth-ranked Fowler, twice a top-five finisher in every major, is without a win to show for it, having finished second at the Masters in April.
“I always have hope. It’s not something I necessarily worry about,” Fowler said. “Keep putting ourselves in position, get in contention. We’ll just keep beating down that door.”
Woodland, 34, opened with a bogey but closed the front nine with back-to-back birdies then sank a 44-foot birdie putt at the par-4 11th and added 23-foot birdie putts at 12 and the par-3 16th.
At the par-5 17th, Woodland dropped his approach three feet from the cup and tapped in for a birdie to seize the lead, then closed with a par.
“It was nice to get the jitters over early,” Woodland said. “I really settled in. I played great all day.”
Woods, a 14-time major champion making a comeback after spinal fusion surgery, battled back all day to overcome a bogey-double bogey start.
“It kept me in the golf tournament,” Woods said. “I could have easily gone the other way, but I hung in there and turned it around.”
The 42-year-old American battled back with birdie putts from four feet at 18, nine feet at the first and eight feet at the par-5 eighth.
“Just hung in there. I was trying to chip away at it, pick away at it,” Woods said. “I was able to grind out a score today.”
Four-time major champion McIlroy found a bunker at 10 and made bogey, then sank birdie putts at 11 13, but made bogey at 18 and parred in from there.
“It wasn’t that easy out there,” said McIlroy. “I gave myself a few chances. I finished off with nine pars. It could have been a little better.”
Fowler, a back-nine starter, found 11 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens in regulation. He birdied 14 but landed in a bunker at the par-3 16th and made bogey, then bounced back with a 12-foot birdie putt at the par-5 17th, a 14-footer at the first and six-footer at the third.
Fowler followed with a 31-foot birdie putt at the par-4 seventh hole and blasted from a bunker to eight feet to birdie the par-5 eighth.
“I’m definitely happy about the start and we’ll see if we can keep that rolling,” Fowler said. “I kept it very stress-free. Just play within me.”
South African Brandon Stone, who won July’s Scottish Open, shot 66 to share third with US two-time major winner Zach Johnson.
“The game felt really good,” Stone said. “Just tried to stay calm and I made a few great putts.”
Johnson saved par at 17 from a bunker and dropped his 155-yard approach two feet from the cup to set up a closing birdie.
“That was big at 17 and then I had the right distance at 18,” Johnson said.
Among those in a pack on 67 was Britain’s Ian Poulter, who birdied three of his first six holes in quest of his first major title.
“I got off to a flying start,” Poulter said. “It was a good day. I feel pretty comfortable.”
Also on 67 was Australian Jason Day, the 2015 PGA winner who birdied two of the last three holes.
“I’m very happy with how things progressed out there,” Day said. “It’s always nice to get a round in like this, start your week knowing that you’re in the right direction.”

Continue Reading

Golf

Golf: Zach Johnson sets British Open pace

Published

on

CARNOUSTIE (UK): Former champion Zach Johnson survived miserable conditions and birdied the 18th for the second day running to seize the clubhouse lead at the British Open, but Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy also excelled early on here today. 
The 42-year-old Johnson, who won the Claret Jug at St Andrews in 2015, followed his 69 in the first round with a second-round 67 in the rain, as he moved to six under par for the tournament. He recovered from a bogey at the first hole of his morning round with five birdies and no more dropped shots after that to lead by a stroke in the clubhouse from Fleetwood.
The latter had briefly surged to the top of the leaderboard at the end of his second round, starting the day one over par before shooting a brilliant six-under-par 65 to go to five-under overall.
That put him level with overnight leader Kevin Kisner of the United States before Kisner began his second round at 12:53 pm (1153 GMT).
Fleetwood was already drying off by that point, delighted to also cap his round with a birdie at the difficult 18th hole on the Scottish links. That was his sixth birdie of a round that was not blemished by a single bogey, with the 27-year-old showing how comfortable he is at a venue where he holds the course record following a 63 at last year’s Dunhill Championship.
Friday’s effort was surely better than that, given the weather, and the score was also the lowest for the second round of a British Open at this venue.
Now right in contention going into the weekend, Fleetwood can keep an eye on how his rivals fare in the afternoon before assessing whether he really can become the first English golfer to lift the Claret Jug since Nick Faldo back in 1992.
“I never felt at ease all day, but the ball was doing what I wanted it to do,” said Fleetwood, who was unable to properly challenge in last year’s Open on his home course at Royal Birkdale.
“We are only halfway through the tournament, unfortunately. You’ve got 36 holes to go but there’s no point thinking about the end game.
“Thirty-six holes is a long time, it’s two days, and for me, I just have to keep doing the same things. If I can hit it like I did today then I’ll have a lot of chances going into the weekend.”
Kisner, who like Fleetwood is looking for his first major, will not relish playing in weather that is in stark contrast to the perfect summer conditions of Thursday, with the prolonged heatwave on Scotland’s east coast coming to an abrupt halt.
Indeed, Fleetwood was one of just two players in the opening seven groups of the day to score under par, the other being fellow Englishman Tom Lewis, who had a one-under 70.
McIlroy went out shortly before 8am and shot his second successive 69 to go to four-under for the tournament, two shots off the clubhouse lead.
The Northern Irishman, looking for his first major since 2014, had four birdies for his day as well as dropped shots at the 13th and 14th holes, and was happy with his effort.
“In those conditions, I would’ve taken that score today going out. It wasn’t that bad, but it was just damp enough and cold enough that the game plan that I was trying to adapt to be aggressive and hit driver a lot, I just couldn’t do it,” he said.
“There is still a long way to go, but I’m in a great position going into the third day.”
It is looking less likely that this tournament will finally be the one where Tiger Woods ends his decade-long major drought, as he was even-par for the tournament on the back nine.
At least he can still hope to be here for the weekend, in contrast to world number one Dustin Johnson, whose underwhelming 72 leaves him six over par for the tournament.
Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, the 2016 champion, had a bad day as well, a 75 leaving him three-over, on the projected cut mark.

Continue Reading

News Pakistan Trending