During the final round of the 2011 Chevron World Challenge, a young fan dressed in Rickie Fowler's trademark blaze orange mimics his swing off the tee on the par-5 2nd hole.
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- We’re one-third of the way through the final round of the Chevron World Challenge and Tiger Woods and Zach Johnson are tied for lead after Johnson birdied the par-5 fifth to get back to 8 under after two straight bogeys had dropped him briefly out of the lead.
Woods, meanwhile, hasn’t been able to get much going, other than a birdie on the par-5 second.
The tournament has mostly turned into a two-player race between those two with Matt Kuchar three shots back and K.J. Choi four off the lead.
Looking ahead to the back nine, Woods hasn’t been great here this week. He’s played the last nine holes at Sherwood in a combined 2 under with only one of those nines under par. Johnson, on the other hand, is a combined 5 under with two of his three final nines played under par.
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Thanks to back-to-back bogeys by Zach Johnson, Tiger Woods is again in the lead again at Sherwood Country Club.
Woods is 1 under through his first four holes with a birdie and three pars. The lone birdie came on the par-5 second, where Woods found the hazard off the tee but was able to hit out before sticking a wedge shot to a few feet.
Johnson, on the other hand, has struggled the last two holes with a bogey on the par-3 third after missing the green then running his chip shot well past the hole. He then bogeyed the par-4 fourth to drop back to 7 under and one shot back of Woods.
Matt Kuchar, meanwhile, has moved into contention at 5 under after playing his first holes in 2 under.
K.J. Choi is another stroke back at 4 under. Click here for live scores .
Should Woods go on to win, it would be his first victory since 2009 and move him into the top 25 in the Official World Golf Ranking
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Tiger Woods enters the final round of the Chevron World Challenge one shot off the lead and on the verge of his first win anywhere in the world in two years. If not for a hole-out from the fairway for eagle by Zach Johnson, Woods would be tied or in the lead.
Woods and Johnson will tee off at 1:40 p.m. ET, so here are some numbers to set up Sunday’s final round.
-- The 54-hole leader/co-leader has won the Chevron World Challenge just once in the last seven seasons (Woods in 2007) and in the last 12 times the third-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win four times (Tom Lehman/1999, Padraig Harrington/2002, Davis Love III/2003 and Woods).
-- Johnson, meanwhile, finished runner-up in his inaugural appearance at the 2007 Chevron World Challenge and has since added a tie for fifth in 2009 and a tie for ninth last year.
-- Johnson’s best finish in 2011? A tie for third at the John Deere Classic.
-- A year ago, Woods held a four-shot lead over Graeme McDowell after the second and third rounds here but shot a final-round 73 to land in a playoff with McDowell, who eventually won. The flip side to that is that three of Woods’ four wins at this event were in come-from-behind fashion, with 2007 the exception.
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.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Where Tiger Woods will open his 2012 PGA TOUR still remains unknown -- he said Wednesday he’ll take a look at the schedule in the next couple of weeks. What isn’t is that he will likely turn up somewhere he hasn’t played before, or at least at a tournament he hasn’t played in some time.
“What [PGA TOUR Commissioner] Tim [Finchem] wanted us to do is play different events each year, and I did that this year,” Woods said from the Chevron World Challenge. “I see no reason why I’m not going to do that next year.
“I will play a new event next year. That’s something that I think is good for the TOUR so I’m going to do that for sure.”
One such possibility: The Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. which is just down the road from Woods’ new home in Jupiter.
As for a possible opener on TOUR for Woods, the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, is one. Woods hasn’t played there since 2002, but he’s won there before.
Since 2006, Woods had opened his TOUR season at the Buick Invitational four times, including this year. But Woods has already committed next year to the Abu Dhabi Championship, which is the same week as the Torrey Pines event.
“I love playing [at Torrey], but I also like playing in the desert,” Woods said. “I have never been to Abu Dhabi so decided to mix it up a little bit.”
Another possibility, at least judging by Woods’ schedule in recent years, would be starting his year at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
While Woods could open his 2012 season at any number of stops, what he won’t necessarily change is the number of tournaments he’ll play. While he has in recent months talked about needing reps, he said Wednesday that his schedule, at least in terms of numbers, has worked out pretty well through the years.
“People don’t realize how much golf I play when I’m getting ready for an event,” Woods said. “I wasn’t able to do any of that [when injured] because I was under a strict ball count for the day.
“I like to practice and then go out and play. I’m not one of those guys who can play a bunch of weeks in a row. I'd much rather just practice a lot, come out, play and be fully invested in that one event.”
From 2000 to 2007, Woods played more than 19 events just twice. In 2008, his season was cut short by knee surgery, while in 2009 he played 17 events. His 2010 and 2011 schedules were impacted by injury or personal issues or both.
So while it doesn’t sound like Woods will be adding to his schedule, he will be showing up somewhere new.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- After winning $11.4 million for capturing the FedExCup and winning The TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, Bill Haas’ biggest challenge might be trying to avoid being complacent. As he said Tuesday, it’s hard to top the kind of season he just had.
“I try to just look back on it and realize how fortunate I was,” Haas said from the Chevron World Challenge. “You gotta find motivation somewhere and not just say, ‘This has been great’ and that's it. I’m just trying to stay motivated, and there's a lot I need to improve on.
“I saw that at The Presidents Cup, playing with these guys and seeing how much there's a lot I need to do to get on some of these guys' levels. It's not necessarily demoralizing. It's more just if I work hard, maybe I can get to this guy's level, which is a lot of fun to see.”
Of course that’s nothing new to Haas. Growing up with that last name -- his father Jay won nine times on the PGA TOUR and 15 more times on the Champions Tour -- it would be just as easy to fold under the pressure of living up to his father’s career as it would to settle on being a good, but not great, player.
Bill’s first win, at the 2010 Bob Hope Classic, in some ways was the turning point and prevented either of those from happening.
“I remember saying this is something I want to do more,” Haas said. “I've done it once. You can do it again.”
And at age 29, having just completed his sixth season on TOUR and newly married -- he and his wife will finally take an overdue honeymoon in Costa Rica next week -- Haas seems to be hitting his stride. But he also wants to take it a step further.
“I had three or four bad Sundays this year that I wish I could get back, and certain players don't have those,” Haas said. “They get in the position and they win; your Tigers, your Phils, those guys.
“I'm still trying to learn that. I think once I do, maybe if I get in more positions to win, maybe I could win more golf tournaments.”