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Tiger shoots 61, takes 7 shot lead

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It was an exceptional start to an exceptional round.

Tiger Woods began Round 2 of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational birdie-eagle-birdie, a 4-under start on the first three holes. He added another birdie on the par-3 seventh hole, and parred the other holes on the front nine for a score of 5-under 30, which put Woods squarely on “59 watch.”

And forget the huge lead Woods was amassing on the field — three shots at the turn and seven shots at the finish — the world’s No. 1-ranked golfer birdied the first four holes of the back nine, putting himself 9-under through 13 holes. At that point, 59 wasn’t just being whispered about by the Golf Channel’s announcers. “59 Watch” was displayed prominently above the Golf Channel’s logo during television coverage.

Only five men, Stuart Appleby, Paul Goydos, David Duval, Chip Beck and Al Gieberger, have shot rounds of 59 on the PGA Tour, and none of them in a World Golf Championship event or on a course as tough as Firestone Country Club. All Tiger needed was two birdies on Firestone’s last five holes to add to his already gaudy resume. Heck, the way Tiger was going, he might shoot 58!

But the seven-time WGC-Bridgestone Invitational winner couldn’t convert a birdie on any of Firestone’s closing holes. He hit a wayward driver on No. 14, but managed to save par by holing an 8-footer. He had two makeable putts for birdie on Nos. 15 and 17, but the putt on No. 15 didn’t break, and the putt on No. 17 broke too much.

On the final hole, Tiger found the deep rough on the left side of the fairway, forcing him to try to hook an iron shot around and over the trees. But the ball hit a large pine tree and careened  into the trees on the right. It seemed like Woods would make a bogey or worse on No. 18, but he bumped an iron to the back part of the green and holed an improbable par putt to tie his course record of 61 at Firestone.

After the round, Woods said that 59 was not his sole focus on the back nine, because he has achieved the feat before (in informal setting). Coming down the stretch, he said he began to play a bit more conservatively, which led to key putts missing the hole.

Although an inability to make a couple more birdies on the final few holes left him unable to claim the mystical “59,” Tiger’s round of 61 will still go down as one of his more dominant performances on the PGA Tour. Especially for the reason that the next best score on the course in Round 2 was a 66 from John Merrick — five shots higher than Woods’ score.

Woods’ 61 and seven-shot lead is so far his most impressive feat under swing instructor Sean Foley, but as Woods said after the round, “there is still a long way to go.”

Other golfers in the mix

Keegan Bradley and Chris Wood are tied at 6-under after matching rounds of 68, seven shots behind Woods.

Bill Haas and Henrik Stenson are tied for fourth at 5-under, and Jim Furyk, Luke Donald, Jason Dufner and Bubba Watson sit nine shots back of Woods at 4-under, tied for sixth place.

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Brody has proudly been with GolfWRX since July 2012. He is a full time student, but enjoys getting around to writing whenever he has the chance. His interests include Tour coverage, equipment reviews, as well as interviewing figures from within the golf world. Most recently, he spoke with the founder of AimPoint Technologies and coach of Adam Scott and Stacy Lewis, Mark Sweeney.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. BigBoy

    Aug 3, 2013 at 1:23 am

    its just a Saturday comp for him, easy, but can he now do it again in a major?
    …dont get me wrong, i love it when he’s on song.

  2. Matt C

    Aug 3, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Yeah I agree sick round but a 61 is a 61 not 59 due to conditions…I think Tiger is so sick!!!!

    • Tservos

      Aug 3, 2013 at 8:31 am

      Is “sick” good, and if so, why?

      • christian

        Aug 4, 2013 at 8:04 am

        I really dislike this kind of dumbed down beavis&buthead english..I mean Tiger was “sick”?

  3. TravisLG

    Aug 2, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    I birdied the first two holes of my round today, wonder if thats why the Golf Channel had “59 Watch” above their logo.

  4. Sean

    Aug 2, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Why would this be posted if folks wanted to watch the replay tonight on Golf Channel? Yes, one could say, “Well, don’t go to a golf website.” But, GolfWRX is very good about spoiler alerts. I’ve already seen the coverage, but perhaps some people haven’t.

    • Matthew Bacon

      Aug 2, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      waaaaaahhh

    • Jordan

      Aug 2, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      Its a golf news site

    • Tservos

      Aug 2, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      I DVR/TIVO’d it and knew not to go to golf site until I watched it.

    • Desmond

      Aug 2, 2013 at 11:27 pm

      Let’s grow up. After a few hours, Tiger’s round is on smart phones, emails, everywhere…

  5. george

    Aug 2, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    61 at firestone under these conditions is a 59

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Tour News

Tiger Woods catches fire after a slow start, shoots 5-under 65 at Tour Championship to tie lead

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Tiger Woods, who came to the Tour Championship 20th on the FedExCup points list, is making early moves at the Tour Championship at East Lake. After an opening-hole 3-putt from 25 feet for a bogey, and then three straight pars, Tiger played the rest of his round 6-under par (birdies at 5, 6, 12 and 14), capping it with a 27-foot eagle putt at the 18th hole. In the end, it was a 5-under 65 for Tiger, who currently sits tied for the lead with Rickie Fowler.

Here’s his approach to the par-5 18th hole, which measures 590 yards in total:

And here’s the eagle putt, to which he reacted with a few casual fist pumps and a putter raise.

As we’ve reported, Tiger recently switched back to his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS putter with which he’s one 13-of-14 majors throughout his career. He may have found the spark of old on the greens.

The only problem is, even if Tiger wins this week’s Tour Championship, he’s going to need some help winning the FedExCup and $10 million payout. Here are the scenarios he needs to happen:

But hey…

Here’s where the top-5 players on the FedExCup points list sit currently on Day 1:

  1. Bryson DeCheambeau (+3 thru 15, T27)
  2. Justin Rose (-2 thru 15, T6)
  3. Tony Finau (-2 thru 16, T6)
  4. Dustin Johnson (+2 thru 16, T23)
  5. Justin Thomas (-3 thru 16, T4)

Who do you think is going to win the Tour Championship and the FedExCup?

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Tour News

Tour Rundown: Sangmoon Bae is headed back to the PGA Tour

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The schedulers may have whiffed with Tour Championship and Ryder Cup in back-to-back weeks, but that’s what we have on the horizon. As the 2017-18 PGA Tour season comes to a close, and with it, the Web.Com Tour playoffs, number one on everyone’s mind is next season: where will I play? Do I have status? Some of those questions were answered last week, so let’s run down the answers to the questions, in this week’s Tour Rundown.

Bae back on PGA Tour after Web.Com playoff win

The oldest event on the Web.Com Tour was the site of Sang-moon Bae’s comeback completion. Two years of mandatory military service in South Korea did little to derail the 32-year old’s professional career. Bae birdied the 72nd hole to hold off his challengers, including the eponymous Anders Albertson, to win the Albertson’s Boise Open at 19-under. Bae was a stroke off the first-round lead, then moved into a first-place tie after 36-holes. He continued to advance, seizing the 54-hole lead. Albertson caught fire on Sunday, making 5 birdies in his opening 9 holes. After a bogey stall at the 11th, Albertson birdied 5 of the closing 8 holes. Roberto Diaz of Mexico was tied with Bae after round 3, but a Sunday 68 dropped him back to 5th place. Bae guaranteed a return to the 2018-19 PGA Tour with his Idaho triumph.

Wu works wonders in Holland for KLM victory

Like Bae, Ashun Wu of China birdied the 72nd hole at The Dutch club, host site of The KLM championship on the European Tour. Like Bae, his closest pursuer (Chris Wood) failed to match it, and Wu walked away with his third career European tour title. Wood held a 1-stroke lead over Wu after 54 holes, and the battle to see which “W” would emerge with the “W,” came down to the final 9 holes. Wood played well, making 3 birdies in the inward half. They were sandwiched around a double-bogey at the 12th, and the Englishman closed with 5 pars to finish at 15-under. Wu’s card included only one hiccough, a front-nine bogey, and he was a bit more clutch when it counted. The victory moved Wu inside the top 50, in the season-long Race To Dubai.

Stanford claims first LPGA major title at Evian

For her entire career, Angela Stanford has been a fixture in the top 5 of major championships. It has been a wonder that she did not claim one of them until the fall of 2018. In France, Stanford mounted a final-round comeback, overcame 3rd round-leader Amy Olson, and captured the Evian Championship by one shot over Olson and 3 others. Stanford opened with 72 on Thursday, then dived into the 60s with abandon. Rounds of 64-68-68 brought her to 12-under par. The Texan was able to keep her head, despite an eagle-double-birdie stretch on holes 15-17. Austin Ernst had a clean card on Sunday, but 3 birdies were 1 shy of victory. Mo Martin also had 3 birdies on day 4, but 2 bogeys brought her back to 11-under with Ernst. Sei Young Kim and Olson both went above par in the 4th round, after playing marvelous golf through the first 3 days. Despite their struggles, they also finished in that second-place tie.

Broadhurst claims third title of PGA Tour Champions

Paul Broadhurst won his first 2 Champions title in 2016. After taking a break in 2017, the Englishman returned with abandon in 2018. Wins at the 2-man Bass Pro and the May Senior PGA were followed this week with a triumph in Michigan. Broadhurst overcame a surging Brandt Jobe, who birdied 5 of his firs 6, back-9 holes, before he stalled. Jobe reached 13-under to claim second place alone. Broadhurst finished in style, with birdie at the last, for a 2-shot win.

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Photos from the 2018 European Tour Properties Senior Classic

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Thanks to photographer Mladen Aleksandrov, GolfWRX was live from the 2018 European Tour Properties Senior Championship at Lighthouse Resort & Spa in Balchik, Bulgaria.

For those who don’t know, this tour is essentially the equivalent to America’s Champions Tour, and this event hosted legends such as Ian Woosnam and Jarmo Sandelin. Magnus P Atlevi took home this year’s title, winning by three shots over Stephen Dodd.

Check out our photos from the event, including a bit of culture and a bit of golf equipment. Enjoy!

Photo Galleries

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