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Tiger Woods Shoots 69 in Hero World Challenge Round 1 in Return from Back Injury

November 30, 2017

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – NOVEMBER 30: Tiger Woods of the United States lines up a putt on the seventh green during the first round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany, Bahamas on November 30, 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

In his first round of competitive golf in 301 days, Tiger Woods finished with a three-under 69 at the 2017 Hero World Challenge on Thursday.

Woods last played Feb. 2 in the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic when he shot a 77. The 41-year-old withdrew from the tournament the following day due to back spasms that later required surgery to alleviate the pain.

Woods wasted no time testing his surgically repaired back with this tee shot on the 423-yard first hole:

Any doubts about Woods’ ability to crush the ball were squashed within the first three holes. He followed that opening tee shot by reaching the green in two shots on the 572-yard third hole, which led to his first birdie.

The first real indication that this version of Woods looks to be in much better spirits than the last time we saw him 10 months ago came on No. 4 when he saved par and celebrated the moment in vintage fashion:

Woods came into the Hero World Challenge trying to manage expectations, simply stating he wanted to make it through Sunday.

“I’m just looking forward to getting through these four rounds and having a better understanding of where I’m at,” he said (via Karen Crouse of the New York Times).

Woods is also avoiding talking about what his tournament schedule for the 2017-18 PGA Tour season might look like, via the Golf Channel’s Tiger Tracker:

 

Defending Champion of the Hero World Challenge Hideki Matsuyama rallied to shoot one under and close to the leaders.

November 30, 2017

Matsuyama was born in Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan. He was introduced to golf at the age of four, by his father. During eighth grade, he transferred to Meitoku Gijuku Junior & Senior High School in Kochi Prefecture, in search of a better golf environment.

He studied at Tohoku Fukushi University in Sendai. He won the 2010 Asian Amateur Championship with a score of 68-69-65-67=269.[1] This gave him the chance to compete as an amateur in the 2011 Masters Tournament, becoming the first Japanese amateur to do so. At the Masters, Matsuyama was the leading amateur and won the Silver Cup, which is presented to the lowest scoring amateur.[2] He was the only amateur to make the cut.[3] A week after his victory, he finished in a tie for third at the Japan Open Golf Championship which is an event on the Japan Golf Tour.

In 2011, Matsuyama won the gold medal at the 2011 World University Games. He also led the Japan team to the gold medal in the team event. In October 2011, he successfully defended his title at the Asian Amateur Championship.[4] In November, Matsuyama won the Mitsui Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters on the Japan Golf Tour while still an amateur.[5]

In August 2012, Matsuyama reached number one in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.[6]

 

Matsuyama turned professional in April 2013 and won his second professional tournament, the 2013 Tsuruya Open on the Japan Golf Tour. Five weeks later, Matsuyama won his third title on the Japan Golf Tour at the Diamond Cup Golf tournament. Following a top 10 finish at the 2013 U.S. Open, Matsuyama entered the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking. He won his fourth Japan Golf Tour event in September at the Fujisankei Classic. Matsuyama would win his fifth Japan Golf Tour event in December at the Casio World Open. The win also made Matsuyama the first rookie to lead the Japan Tour’s money list.

 

On 4 December 2016, Matsuyama won the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

In Matsuyama’s return to the Waste Management Phoenix Open, he again entered a playoff on Sunday to defend his title, this time against Webb Simpson. On the fourth playoff hole, Matsuyama made birdie to win the tournament for the second time in as many years. After finishing second in the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills, while the top three players in the world at the time (Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day) failed to make the cut, Matsuyama reached 2nd in the Official World Golf Ranking, his highest ever, and the highest ever for a male Japanese golfer.

The 2017 season has been a breakthrough year with Matsuyama winning three Tour titles, including his first World Golf Championship, and three second-place finishes in his first 15 events, as well as winning $5,945,990, putting him second on the money list behind Dustin Johnson, before the month of July. He then won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in August, shooting a course record-tying 61 in the final round to win by five strokes.[12]

The 2017 Australian PGA Champion Harold Varner III has returned to RACV Royal Pines Resort to defend a professional title for the first time in his young career.

November 30, 2017

Varner, 27, proved a popular winner with the Australian public last year; the affable American endeared himself to golf fans Down Under with laidback approach to the tournament and genuine joy following his breakthrough title on the Gold Coast.

The enthusiasm hasn’t wavered from the Ohio native who said he’s excited to be back for the third consecutive year, this time as the holder of the Kirkwood Cup.

“I’m super excited, I’ve been out of the country (U.S) for three weeks, so I played Dunlop Phoenix in Japan and I played Hong Kong last week,” said Varner, who will conclude his golf season for 2017 after the Australian PGA Championship.

“I’m starting to play well again and hopefully we can rekindle some of the flame from last year.”

The familiar surroundings have set Varner at ease ahead of his title defense and he has noticed improvements to the Graham Marsh designed layout.

“I was thinking about the first time I came here and how I didn’t know anyone, didn’t know where to hit it, and now I feel like I have an idea what to do.  And how different the course has matured the last three years because the first time I played it, I think that was the first time they opened the course since the redesign.

“Just seeing how it’s easier, but I think I just played really well, so just excited for the challenge and just ready to compete.”

Varner admittedly said his form following the 2016 Australian PGA Championship has been less than stellar and today revealed he was dealing with personal issues off the course that had a bigger impact on his game then he thought it would.

“Last year after this tournament I obviously didn’t play much golf. This year I’m going to stay in Australia for another week, and then I’m going to go to California.

“I think I just want to do well all the time, period. I think after I got my card, she (Varner’s girlfriend) looked at me and she said, ‘well, it’s going to be all right no matter if you had your card or not.’” Varner added.

“And that’s what it’s about to me because at the end of the day, golf is not always going to be there. I’ll play it, but she’ll always be there and that’s the most important to me. That’s how I grew up, that’s how my parents are. They’re going to love me if I finish dead last in this tournament.  If I win it, it doesn’t matter.

“So people like that, those are the people I want around me.”

Varner said the tough weeks following his euphoric win in 2016 has taught him some valuable life lessons and is now set for this week’s title defense.

“I learned a lot, I grew up, and I just want to have a chance to win this week and I’m just really excited. It feels good to be back, though.”

Varner will tee off at 11.10am playing alongside Marc Leishman and Matt Jones.

 

Bill Dickey Scholarship Tournament update

November 5, 2017

The 1999 PGA Distinguished Service Award recipient and one of the founders of the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, passed away Oct. 16, 2012 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Bill Dickey-photo BDSA

Bill Dickey Scholarship Board of Directors announced that Last month our new Chairman, Bill Donan, commissioned a task force to establish the feasibility and profitability of hosting the East/West Golf Classic in January or February of 2018. Read more

January 18, 2017

 

Michael Jordon at 2016 Ryder Cup
Michael Jordon at 2016 Ryder Cup
Photo: Getty Images

Michael Jordan looks on during morning foursome matches of the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club on October 1, 2016.

by Coleman McDowell

We all know golfers who have, ahem, uncomely swings, but they’re always winning money off you in your weekend matches. You’ve got your backswing perfectly on plane, weight transfer is solid and that time at the range spent working on your angle of attack is really paying off. And yet the player who steps up to the tee and swings like a mashup of Jim Furyk-Charles Barkley-Ryan Moore-This Guy is beating you all the time.

That person is Michael Jordan.

MJ is the greatest basketball player of all time, and he’s a really good golfer, too. (His handicap is officially a 1.9, even though he hasn’t posted a score in more than three years.) The stories of him trash-talking on the course are almost as legendary as his smack talk on the court, and it seems like he’s always teeing it up in Florida or the Bahamas. But goodness, that swing. How can someone whose body produced a picture-perfect jump shot also generate this type of movement? Even the Washington Post has piled on the hate.

There’s no need to break it down frame-by-frame, just rest easy tonight knowing your swing might be prettier than Michael Jordan’s…but you’d never beat him in a match.

Cheyenne Woods (Tiger’s Niece) chosen as one the most beautiful women in golf.

January 18, 2017

Cheyenne Woods - photo Golf.com
Cheyenne Woods - photo Golf.com

Welcome to the fourth annual edition of GOLF.com’s Most Beautiful Women in Golf, which shines a light on some of the game’s most dynamic personalities: LPGA sensations, golf-loving celebrities, TV stars and more.

This year’s roster includes pro golfers Cheyenne Woods, Danielle Kang, Belen Mozo and the sister duo of Jessica and Nelly Korda. It also features a trailblazer for the women’s game (Jan Stephenson), a former Miss Idaho (Melissa Jones, wife of PGA Tour pro Matt Jones), a golf-mad Miss America winner (Kira Kazantsev) and the gorgeous women of the Crenshaw family. And, of course, Fox Sports golf and NFL reporter Holly Sonders, who is the only woman to appear in all four editions of our franchise.

You can check out a collection of our best photos in our main gallery at golf.com (photo: Jeff Newton/JW Marriott Desert Ridge, Phoenix, AZ

November 18, 2016

By Herschel Caldwell

harold-varnwe-iii
harold-varnwe-iii
Harold Varner III nabed spot at British Open with stellar play….

Ray Farnell, Harold Varner III’s caddie, was aware how close Varner was to qualifying for the 2016 British Open at Royal Troon in Scotland in the late stages of the Quicken Loans National .

“I just knew when we got on the 14th green, I knew 9 under was a good number to get to because 8 under seemed a logjam,” Farnell said. “Definitely the thinking on 17 was a little more defensive from my end, knowing what was on the line compared to a normal week.”

When Varner, 25, made par on the par-4 18th hole at Congressional Country Club, Farnell walked over to Varner, telling him that he had played well enough to qualify.

Varner said he had no idea what his caddie was talking about.

“As soon as we got done, [Farnell] said, ‘That’s enough.’ I said, ‘Enough for what?’?” Varner said. “I wish we had more holes. We got our asses kicked. I didn’t know, really. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but that’s whatever. Just trying to birdie every hole.”

[Thomas Boswell: Billy Hurley III wins as an officer and a gentleman]

Varner finished seventh at 9 under par after shooting a 1-under 70 on Sunday. He reached the British Open by finishing in the top four among players at the Quicken Loans National who had not already qualified.

Varner has played in one major, the 2013 U.S. Open, and is looking forward to the opportunity to play in another. “It’s very exciting,” Varner said.“You don’t want to go over there and lay an egg.”

When Varner arrived to the clubhouse, he was given a British Open flag, which he said he will give to his mother, and a player badge. He was told not to lose the badge, but he joked that he probably will. After the big week, Varner’s looking forward to some much deserved time off.

“I’m ready to go home tonight and sleep in my bed,” Varner said. “And ride jet skis tomorrow. That’s all I want to do.”

(Harold Varner III is taking time during the wrap around season to work on his game and get ready for the grueling part of the 2017 PGA Tour season.

Stackhouse gives Stanford its first NCAA women’s golf title

November 16, 2016

By Herschel Caldwell

November 16, 2016

mariah-stackhouse-trophy-grey-dress
mariah-stackhouse-trophy-grey-dress
rallied to beat Hayley Davis in 19 holes to give Stanford its first NCAA women’s golf title, 3-2 over Baylor on Wednesday in the match-play final.

Stackhouse, a junior from Riverdale, Georgia, won when Davis’ 3-foot par putt missed to the right on the par-4 10th hole at The Concession Golf Club.

“My heart is hurting right now for Hayley,” Baylor coach Jay Goble said. “She has been the heart and soul of our team and she has singlehandedly elevated our team to this position. My heart is really hurting for her right now. This group is amazing and they are winners and we are going to see we did a lot of great things this year.”

Two holes down after losing the par-4 16th, Stackhouse won the par-5 17th with a two-putt birdie and took the par-4 18th with a 15-foot birdie putt.

“I actually thought a lot about it last night,” Stackhouse said. “It felt kind of silly, but I envisioned some kind of crazy finish with me having to hit huge shots. I knew I was going to be down and I was going to have to do something crazy to come back.”

Davis, a senior from England, birdied the 16th, hitting a 134-yard shot from a muddy lie in the left-side hazard to 8 feet.

“It was tough because the thing was my feet were sinking a little bit, so I was a little bit worried about that,” Davis said. “But then, just the way it went, it was perfect.”

Casey Danielson and Shannon Aubert also won matches for Stanford in the event that switched to the match-play format for the team title this year.

“I think we should keep it,” Stanford coach Anne Walker said about match play.

After Danielson gave Stanford a 2-1 lead with a 2-up victory over Laura Lonardi, Baylor tied it with Dylan Kim’s 3-and-1 victory over Lauren Kim. Stanford took a 1-0 lead when Aubert beat Lauren Whyte 4 and 3, and Baylor pulled even with Giovana Maymon’s 4-and-3 victory over Quirine Eijkenboom.

“I knew Casey was a key match for us right out of the gate,” Walker said. “I thought if we can get Casey’s match then we had a real shot at it. I had a good feeling about Casey. She kept putting herself in a good position.”

The Cardinal beat Arizona and Southern California on Tuesday to reach the final.

“I like it a lot,” Stackhouse said about the new format. “I wasn’t sold on it when it first started just because I always remembered how tired we always are at the end of four days of stroke play. So I was like, `Oh, God, when we’re done with that, we got to go play more?'”

On Monday, Alabama’s Emma Talley won the individual title.

Cancer Claims Past Women’s Committee Chairman Barbara Douglas

April 7, 2012

Winner of 2011 Ben Hogan Award was first minority to chair USGA Women’s Committee

By Rhonda Glenn, USGA
January 27, 2012

Barbara Douglas, the first minority chairman of the USGA Women’s Committee and the recipient of the 2011 Ben Hogan Award from the Golf Writers Association of America, succumbed to cancer at the age of 69. (Jeff Noble/USGA)

Douglas was diagnosed with stage-4 ovarian cancer in March 2009, just one month after she was appointed Women’s Committee chairman, a dream come true after her 16 years of service as a committee member. Despite the disabling effects of treatment, which included chemotherapy, Douglas displayed tremendous courage and endurance as a proactive chairman who seldom missed a USGA women’s championship.

Four days after her diagnosis, Douglas endured more than five hours of surgery, and when she awoke immediately asked her surgeon if she could attend U.S. Women’s Open Media Day.

Throughout her battle, she scheduled treatments to fit her schedule of Women’s Committee duties, often serving as a walking Rules official in a 36-hole championship final, then flying to Scottsdale to begin another round of chemotherapy.

Last year, the Golf Writers Association of America honored Douglas with the prestigious Ben Hogan Award, which has been awarded annually since 1954 to an individual who continues to be active in golf despite a physical handicap or serious illness.

“When she wasn’t on the golf course, she was in the hospital,” said one GWAA member in nominating Douglas.

When the award was presented at the 2011 Masters, Douglas called it one of the highlights of her life.

When she spoke of her battle against the disease, Douglas said her lifelong positive outlook helped her in her fight. “Charles Swindoll, an American writer and clergyman, says, ‘Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it,’ ” Douglas told the audience. “…I would not let ‘the big C’ control my life.”

Over her two-year term as Women’s Committee chairman while suffering from cancer, Douglas worked at two U.S. Women’s Opens, two U.S. Women’s Amateurs, two U.S. Opens, the Curtis Cup Match and the World Amateur Team Championship. Getting up every day wasn’t easy, she said, but “my focus on the positives kept me going. It fueled my fire and gave me the wherewithal to get up and get going.”

As an African American growing up in a primarily white neighborhood, Douglas was accustomed to challenges. Blessed with strong, supportive parents, Douglas shrugged them off.

“I’ve endured a lot of discrimination, both from being a female and a minority,” Douglas said in a 2009 interview. “But it’s never the first thing that comes to my mind.”

As a beginning golfer, she went alone to New York-area public courses and asked to be paired with other golfers, utter strangers to her. Still a new golfer, she entered a USGA national championship, the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, and surprised herself by qualifying. While she never advanced to match play, she qualified several times. In addition, she was on a fast career track as an executive with IBM and was president of the National Minority Golf Foundation for five years.

In 1992, she was named to the USGA Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship Committee and in 1993 became the first minority member of the USGA Women’s Committee. While she was soft-spoken and quietly pleasant, Douglas was a staunch defender of the game. At one WAPL, where she was championship chairman, several spectators behind the ninth green told her that they believed a father who was caddieing for his daughter had intentionally broken a Rule.

Douglas grabbed her copy of The Rules of Golf, striding quickly to the 10th tee. “I think I’m going to stay with this group,” she said, and followed the player and her father for the rest of the round.

During her two-year term as Women’s Committee chairman, Douglas worked hard to further involve state and regional golf associations as grass-roots supporters of the game and focused on growing the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Program. In 2011, she was inducted into the National Black Golf Hall of Fame. After her term as Women’s Committee chairman ended in February of 2011, Douglas devoted more time to her career as a realtor and was able to spend more time playing the game she loved. But the medical treatments that had kept her going throughout 2009 and 2010 failed to keep pace with the disease in 2011 and she was often confined by side-effects.

Douglas is survived by her closest friend, Bob Tomisak of Glendale, Ariz., and a host of devoted friends from around the nation.

 

Make it a baker’s dozen….aka big number 13

December 24, 2007

-The 13th major for Tiger Woods looked like so many others until he finished-

AP

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods
TULSA, Okla. – Woody Austin and Ernie Els give it their best shot, but Tiger Woods claims his fourth PGA Championship and 13th major title on Sunday afternoon by two strokes at Southern Hills.

His father is no longer alive for Woods to walk into his arms. His mother no longer travels to any major but the Masters. He now shares his triumphs with a wife and baby daughter, and the biggest surprise Sunday at the PGA Championship was seeing them when he walked into the scoring trailer to sign for a 69 and a two-shot victory.

Naturally, 2-month-old Sam Alexis was decked out in red.

“It’s a feeling I’ve never had before,” Woods said after turning back a brief scare to win the final major of the year. “Having Sam there and having Elin there, it feels a lot more special. And it used to be my mom and dad. And now Elin, and now we have our own daughter. So it’s evolved, and this one feels so much more special than the other majors.”

On the golf course, it was the same old story.

With his five-shot lead trimmed to a single stroke, Woods kept his cool in temperatures that reached 102 degrees. He hit 7-iron to 10 feet on the 15th hole for a birdie that gave him some breathing room, and the bold drive on the 16th – Woods twirled the club in his hand when he saw it split the middle – was the sure sign this major was over.

Woody Austin (67) and Ernie Els (66) made spirited runs, but that wasn’t nearly enough. Read more

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