In the opening round of the 2011 Chevron World Challenge, Tiger Woods nearly holes his third from greenside on the par-4 7th hole.
Tiger Woods told the media on Wednesday that he'd made "tremendous strides" rebuilding his swing under the watchful eye of Sean Foley. Then he went out and showed everyone how comfortable he was during the first round of the Chevron World Challenge.
Woods birdied four of his first five holes on the way to a 69 that left him two strokes off the pace set by K.J. Choi. In all, he had six birdies and three bogeys, all of which came in Woods' final 10 holes.
The former world No. 1 is tied with Steve Stricker at 3 under and they are two strokes ahead of Nick Watney, Rickie Fowler and Presidents Cup hero Jim Furyk. No one else in the elite field of 18 broke par at Sherwood Country Club.
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Nick Watney earned his first point of the Presidents Cup on Saturday afternoon in Four-Balls and he rode that momentum into the Singles.
Watney beat K.J. Choi, who was the leading point-getter on the
International side, by a 3-and-2 score in the sixth match on
Sunday. The U.S. now needs three points to win the match.
Watney never trailed in the match after winning the fourth and fifth holes with a par and a birdie. Choi did manage to square the proceedings with a birdie at No. 7 and a par at the 11th but Watney won three of the next five to earn the win.
MELBOURNE, Australia – The International Team of K.J. Choi and Adam Scott have just evened the match at 1-1 with a stunning 7 and 6 victory over Americans Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods.
Choi made a 6-footer for birdie at the 12th hole to seal the lopsided victory over the U.S. duo that went unbeaten in four matches at Harding Park two years ago.. The International team was 4 under while the Americans didn’t make a birdie all day.
“We just played well,” Scott told NBC’s Jimmy Roberts. “K.J. hit a lot of good shots. I hit a lot of good shots, and the other guys didn’t play their best.”
The Americans agreed.
“They got off to a quick start, and we just couldn’t keep up,” Woods said. “This golf course is so difficult, it’s hard to make up shots on it.”
Woods and Stricker only hit four fairways and six greens on Thursday. Not to mention, the Americans were 1 of 3 in sand saves.
“That’s the nature of this course,’ Stricker said. “It seems like we were always just a little bit off. We’ve got to do a better job of putting it in play.”
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
MELBOURNE, Australia – The Presidents Cup will be played in the Pacific Rim for the first time in 2015 when the 10th renewal of the biennial matches are held in South Korea.
The venue will be announced in the first half of 2012. PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem said there are a number of options and the search is on-going.
Joining Finchem at Wednesday’s press conference were three members of the International Team – K.J. Choi, Y.E. Yang and K.T. Kim. This is the first year more than one Korean has been represented on the squad.
“I think when you look at K.J. Choi, Y.E. Yang and Kyung‑tae Kim, this is the future,” Finchem said. “This is the future of golf in Korea, certainly on the men's side, and it represents to a great degree what The Presidents Cup is all about: Allowing players who come from places outside the United States and Europe to showcase their skills in this unique team environment.
“So all of that adds up to very strong, compelling reasons to go to Korea, to take advantage of taking what The Presidents Cup is all about and sharing it with the Pacific region and particularly Korea and Asia.”
Choi, who is the reigning PLAYERS champion, said he is excited about the development.
"To be one of the players involved in such a prestigious event and hopefully in the prestigious event coming up in Korea in 2015, I'm very honored and very delighted,” Choi said. “It's an honor, still, just to have three players from the same country play at such an event, and it's a much bigger honor to have the event held in my home country.
“It's a good step and positive step in heading to globalization for golf in Korea, and I think everyone in here, including K.T., myself and Y.E., we will try and do our best to keep our a‑level games up until 2015. I know that a lot of my compatriots back home are going to target their goals towards the 2015 Presidents Cup, so I'm very delighted and thank you very much.”
Yang, who won the 2009 PGA Championship and is playing in his second Presidents Cup, echoed Choi's words.
"The first time I came to The Presidents Cup in San Francisco I was a bit awestruck,” Yang said. “Now I can actually absorb a little of what this is and what the meaning of The Presidents Cup is, and apart from it being competitive and a competition for two continents, it's also a golf festival for not just the host country but also for everyone involved, and all of the countries involved.
“So to have that kind of huge golf festival coming to Korea is a great honor, and it just adds to the delight that I chose right in my line of work. I'm very glad; it's one of the occasions where I feel proud that I picked up golf as a living.”
Before the three players left to join the International Team at its barbecue, Choi was asked whether he wanted to throw his name in as a potential captain. He said that he would rather play.
“I learned a lot from playing with the Aussie players this week, how they take pride in playing in their home country,” Choi said. “ would like to feel that, and feel that kind of feel back home, not as a captain but as a player.
“And it's a great stepping stone for a lot of Asian players, and it's a good target for a lot of Asian players to aim for participation in The Presidents Cup. So throughout the years, it was my role and I guess Y.E.'s role to sort of open up the windows for Asian players in Europe and in the U.S. It was quite predominately U.S. and European players in South African and Australian players, and I believe that we sort of trail-blazed that Asian players can compete at that level as well.
“I do believe that with The Presidents Cup coming into Korea and with a lot of Asian players growing up, it's going to be another endeavor for the younger generation to build upon what we opened up and maybe better it and try to compete at a high level in the bigger events.”
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
MELBOURNE, Australia -- The buzz in the media center could be felt as soon as the respective captains announced the pairings for Match 5.
With 20 players on the pairings board, just four players were left -- including Tiger Woods and Adam Scott.
As you might imagine, the post-pairings conversation Wednesday at Royal Melbourne was dominated by the Match 6 pairing of Woods-Steve Stricker vs. Scott-K.J. Choi. This will be the first time Woods and Scott will be in the same group since Scott's caddie Steve Williams made his controversial remarks about his former employee.
Although Williams has apologized for his remarks and has shaken hands with Woods in hopes of putting the issue to rest, interest about the final match will certainly be high on Thursday when The Presidents Cup begins with six foursomes matches.
"I think it's great for the tournament," International captain Greg Norman said. "It needed to be done. It played out the way it played out. There wasn't any premeditation by it.
"I think at the end of the day, the guys in that last group will be the consummate professionals and go out and play the game of golf representing their International Team and the U.S. Team the way they should do."
Couples made similar sentiments, saying there was no planning by both sides to make the match happen.
"I think it worked out awesome for everybody involved to have Adam and Tiger play," Couples said. "As we said all along, they are still very good friends, and I think it's an exciting match."
Australia’s Jason Day was in the team room with the rest of the Internationals when the pairings were announced. He said the players were all clapping when the pairings for the final match took shape.
“I think everyone is kind of pumped for it,” Day said.
American veteran Jim Furyk, when asked about Match 6, used the word “interesting.” Twice.
“I think it's probably a pairing that y'all have been talking about for two weeks now since we were in China,” Furyk said, “and it was probably a matter of time before it happened. So just want to get it out of the way right off the first.”
Couples did have the opportunity to avoid the pairing when he made his Match 5 announcement. Norman had already selected K.T. Kim-Y.E. Yang, and Couples could have countered with putting Woods-Stricker against the Korean duo.
Instead, he opted for Hunter Mahan-David Toms in Match 5, setting the stage for the final match of the day.
"There's more to this thing than where you slot the players," Couples explained. "Like Greg said, and we were right here, we were writing down cards and it's just the way it fell, and I think it would be worse if we hid this deal."
Most of the questions posed to the two captains centered around Match 6. Norman was even asked if he had a sense whether Williams wanted the pairing.
"I have not even had a conversation with Steve Williams," Norman said. "His job is to carry Adam Scott's bag and doesn't matter whether they are playing Tiger Woods or not."
Both Norman and Couples said they are hopeful that by getting the Woods-Scott pairing done early, the conversation will turn elsewhere.
"It's a dead issue as far as we are concerned," Norman said. "There's no animosity between any of the players or any of the issues have taken place.
"I know it's good fodder. People like to talk about it in the media. But from our perspective, it's dead and gone, and we would like to keep it that way going forward."
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
ATLANTA -- K.J. Choi usually spends about 30 minutes on the putting green before his round. On Friday, he pushed his practice session to 45 minutes.
The move paid off.
Choi, winner of THE PLAYERS Championship earlier this year, was much more effective on East Lake's greens in Friday's second round than he was in the first round. And thanks to his 5-under 65, Choi is now in position to make a run this weekend at both the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and the FedExCup. He entered this week ranked 13th in points and would need to win the event and hope other scenarios fall into place in order to win the FedExCup.
"Today, I spent a little longer on the putting green," said Choi, who is in second place, one stroke behind leader Adam Scott, going into Saturday's third round. "Normally I have trouble reading lies on this course, lies and the speed of the putt. So that's what I focused on today."
Choi gained 1.1 strokes on the field on Friday, according to the TOUR's primary putting statistic, Strokes Gained-Putting. In the first round, Choi gave away 1.237 strokes to the field while shooting a 2-under 69.
Inside 10 feet, Choi made all 17 of his attempts on Friday; the previous day, he missed four of 20 attempts from that distance.
Of course, it helps that Choi's irons were on fire Friday. He led the field in proximity to the hole on Friday and didn't need to hole any super-long putts.
"I definitely had good rhythm today," Choi said. "Good rhythm leads to great confidence. ... "It's important to try to keep that rhythm and take it onto the golf course when you're playing, and I think that's what I was able to do today."