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Here we go again

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By Seth Kerr

GolfWRX Staff Writer

Here we go again. At nearly every tournament Tiger Woods has played in this year we have thought he was back.

At Abu Dhabi, it was the first three rounds before Robert Rock took him down in the final round. Phil Mickelson dispatched him with ease in the final round at Pebble Beach after Woods played three solid rounds. And at the Honda Classic, Woods put together a pressure free final round 62 to finish in second place but could not take down Rory McIlroy.

The question is what will we remember him for at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at Bay Hill. Will it be his second round tie for the lead with Charlie Wi at 10-under or something more? Because there have been plenty of Charlie Wis of the world leading after two rounds of a PGA Tour tournament. What matters is who is leading after the final putt on Sunday.

Woods shot an impressive bogey-free 65 after hitting a remarkable 17 of 18 greens in regulation. Woods birdied four straight holes from Nos. 4-7 and finished the round with 30 putts.

He will start the third round with Charlie Wi, who like Woods had a chance to win at Pebble Beach. Wi will be looking to erase his demons and close better than he did at Pebble Beach with the added carrot of playing in the Masters.

Another player looking to regain his form is Graeme McDowell. McDowell, who struggled most of last year, shot a second round 63 to get in contention, one back of the lead. McDowell played a solid, if not spectacular round of golf hitting 12 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens.

Jason Dufner is tied with McDowell in second place at 9-under. A solid player on Tour for a number of years, Dufner is still looking for his first win. He would be the first player since Paul Goydos to make Arnie’s tournament his first PGA Tour victory.

Ernie Els sits seven strokes back at 3-under par. Coming off the heartbreaking finish at Innisbrook last week, Els needs victory this week or next week at the Shell Houston Open to make the Masters on merit. You would hope a player like Els, who has done so much on and off the course for so many years, would be considered for an exemption to a tournament he has been a staple of for so many years.

But really the final two rounds come down to one thing. Is Tiger back or is he another player who puts together his best rounds when the pressure is off?

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Seth is an avid golfer playing year round in Florida.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Jonathan

    Mar 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Els can’t make the top 50 without winning

  2. Anthony Petrozza

    Mar 24, 2012 at 8:10 am

    That last paragraph is completely off. Tigers short game is his problem and even with that he is right at the top. The putts will drop and he will win a bunch!!!

  3. Casey Morris

    Mar 24, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Ernie Els doesn’t have to win this week to make the masters. He could get into the top 50 without winning.

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Tour News

REPORT: Tiger Woods to play in the Genesis Open on Feb 15

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Last season, Tiger Woods withdrew from a press conference at the Genesis Open due to back spasms. This season, Woods will reportedly play in the 2018 Genesis Open at Riviera C.C. in Pacific Palisades, California from February 15-18.

By withdrawing from the 2017 Genesis Open — an event which his Tiger Woods Foundation hosts — Woods ensured that a promising comeback was not to be. At the start of 2017, Woods committed to play in the Farmers Insurance Open, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, the Genesis Open and the Honda Classic… an aggressive schedule for Woods, who hadn’t played much competitive golf in the previous year due to back injuries and surgeries. Things didn’t go as planned, however, as Woods missed the cut at the Farmers, withdrew after an opening-round 77 in Dubai, and withdrew from the Genesis Open and the Honda.

Since then, Woods has had spinal fusion surgery, and he recently finished T9 at the 18-player 2017 Hero World Challenge. It was there he showed the golfing world — and probably himself, too — that he can still compete among the world’s best golfers when he’s healthy.

At the Hero World Challenge, Woods was consistently hitting 179 mph of ball speed off the tee with his driver, and despite some early concerns with the wedge, he showed prowess around and on the greens. He was yip-less, fast, healthy, and finished 8-under through four rounds. A Tiger Woods comeback seems more plausible now than it has in three years.

Woods will continue to test his game at the 2017 Genesis Open — a start that will come 26 years after competing as a 16-year-old amateur in the 1992 Nissan Open at Riviera. Much like 26 years ago, Woods comes to Riviera as a golfer who needs to prove himself… it’s just that this time around, he has 14 majors and 79 PGA Tour wins to his name.

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Thursday’s Photos from the 2017 PNC Father/Son Challenge

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2017 PNC Father/Son Challenge at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida.

The 20-team field includes some of the game’s legendary major champions, and their sons. Notable teams include John Daly/Little John Daly, Nick Faldo/Matthew Faldo, Tom Kite/David Kite, Bernhard Langer/Jason Langer, Greg Norman/Greg Norman Jr., Jack Nicklaus/Gary Nicklaus Jr., and Lee Trevino/Daniel Trevino.  The teams will compete in a scramble format over 36 holes to decide the winners of the Willie Park Trophy.

Last year, David Duval and his step-son Nick Karavites took home the trophy, and they are back in the field this year to defend.

Check out our photos below from this year’s event!

Thursday’s Photos

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos

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Friday’s Photos from the 2017 QBE Shootout

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2017 QBE Shootout at Tiburon G.C. in Naples, Florida. Formerly known as the Franklin Templeton Shootout, or the Shark Shootout, the unofficial event plays host to 24 of some of the world’s best golfers, competing in a two-person team competition. The format calls for 54 holes; first-round scramble, second-round modified alternate shot, and third-round fourball (or better ball).

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Here is a list of the teams:

  • Daniel Berger-Gary Woodland
  • Keegan Bradley-Brendan Steele
  • Kevin Chappell-Kevin Kisner
  • Jason Dufner-Billy Horschel
  • Harris English-Matt Kuchar
  • Tony Finau-Lexi Thompson
  • Brian Harman-Pat Perez
  • Russell Henley-Kyle Stanley
  • Charley-Hoffman-Zach Johnson
  • Shane Lowry-Graeme McDowell
  • Brandt Snedeker-Bubba Watson
  • Sean O’Hair-Steve Stricker

Last year, Harris English and Matt Kuchar took down the crown, finishing at 28-under par for the event. Of course, they’ll be playing together again this year as the defending champs.

Check out our photos from the 2017 QBE Shootout below!

Friday’s Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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