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Bridesmaid No More – Tim Clark Wins THE PLAYERS

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In 2009 Tim Clark pushed his streak of finishing 2nd at once on the PGA Tour to five frustrating years. The South African has finally put the brakes on that run, and with a win at the THE PLAYERS today hopes to start a new tradition of winning on the world’s biggest tour.

The 34 year-old Durban native has become a familiar site on the PGA Tour since he first became a member in 2001. His steady, consistent play has been his trademark, but winning has just not been in the cards. A previous winner on the Canadian, South African, European, and Nationwide Tours, and a 3-time Presidents Cup Team Member (’03,’05,’09), that success has never translated on to the PGA Tour where Clark has racked up eight second-place finishes. Finally, he has the win he has been seeking and he made his first one a real beauty.

“I feel like I hit every shot I wanted to today,” said the newly crowned champion. That he did, as Clark posted 67 on Sunday, the lowest round of any player in the field. It was even more impressive than his 66 on Saturday when scoring conditions were much more amenable. Clark achieved his five under par total on Sunday on holes 7 through 12 where he compiled five birdies, including four consecutively on holes 9 through 12. After that he hung on with solid putt after solid putt to maintain a stranglehold on the lead.   “I must have gotten some inspiration from Rory,” said Clark about the hot stretch that mimicked the play of Rory McIlroy at Quail Hollow last week.

Robert Allenby was the only man to bring Clark’s possible win into any doubt after a birdie on the 16th hole on Sunday pushed him to one stroke off the lead. Unfortunately for the Australian he would leave a very makable birdie putt short of the hole on 17 and fail to catch Clark on the last hole when his approach shot sailed right of the green. From there he could not convert the birdie he needed to push Clark to extra holes.

Allenby would not have needed that putt to force a playoff if Clark had not managed to hole his 7 foot, 9 inch par putt for his final stroke of the tournament. It was a clutch moment that he can certainly lean on in the years ahead. “I just told myself to trust myself and hit it,” said Clark of the fateful putt. “It worked out,” he added with a smile.

Third round leader Lee Westwood stumbled down the stretch, barely scraping out a 39 on the final nine, including a wet double bogey on the island green 17th. A tied for fourth was the Englishman’s fate.

After a circuitous route that saw him go from being the 1997 U.S. Publinks Amateur winner to grabbing professional titles around the world, Tim Clark can finally say he is a PGA Tour winner.   It may have taken more than 200 tournaments for it to happen but never again will he have to answer the question about why he has not won on the PGA Tour.

Said Clark, who cashes a check of $1.71 million for the win, “I came out today and showed what I can do on the golf course; I was really pleased.”

And he should be, after all not only is he a PGA Tour winner; he is THE PLAYERS Champion.

It’s a huge win, and while it is Tim Clark’s first, after what he showed he is capable of this week more than likely it will not be his last.

This report provided to GolfWRX.com by Flagstick Golf Magazine (www.flagstick.com)

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Tour News

Tiger Woods fires second-round 76, will miss Genesis Open cut

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Tiger Woods’ trip to Los Angeles is over sooner than he’d hoped. Woods fired a 5-over 76 during the second round of the Genesis Open to miss the presumed cut at Riviera by four strokes (the second round won’t be completed until Saturday morning due to darkness).

Hopes were high Woods would continue to build on a T-23 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, as the driving woes that plagued him at Torrey Pines followed him to the Riv, despite changing shafts in his TaylorMade M3.

RELATED: Tiger Woods WITB

Wayward off the tee, Woods made eight bogeys Friday, unable to grind out a decent score as he did with his opening-round 1-over 72. He was unable to rely on his putter the way did in this first round, three-putting back-to-back holes (No. 11 and 12). A stretch of three straight bogeys sunk Woods’ hopes of hanging around for the weekend.

(c/o PGATour.com)

We won’t have to wait long to see the Big Cat back in action, however, as Woods committed to next week’s Honda Classic at PGA National in Florida. Woods most recently put a peg in the ground at the course in 2014, where he ultimately withdrew due to back spasms.

The 79-time PGA Tour winner hasn’t teed it in back-to-back weeks since 2015, so while fans may not be encouraged by his play, at least he continues to be free from any issues with his surgically repaired back.

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Tiger Woods shoots an opening-round 72 (1-over) at the 2018 Genesis Open

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After hitting just 17 fairways all week at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open, where he finished T23, Tiger Woods switched driver shafts and added 0.75 degrees of loft in his TaylorMade M3 driver ahead of the 2018 Genesis Open this week. He went from using a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70TX shaft, to a Matrix TP6HDe shaft — he used a TP7HDe shaft back in 2015.

So how did the switch work out for him at Riviera CC on Thursday?

Well, he hit driver 9 times during his round of 72 strokes; four went right — one of which got lost in a tree and he had to re-tee — one went left, and four found the fairway. He hit 8-of-14 fairways in total; no Fred Funk, but an improvement. Woods’ bigger issue on Thursday, actually, was that he hit only 7 greens in regulation, leaving himself a few tricky up-and-downs. Despite hitting only 38 percent of greens, Woods managed to make 5 birdies, and he continues displaying prowess on the greens (1.784 Strokes Gained Putting, and 82 feet worth of putts made).

He also showed some flashes of old Tiger with Arnie-esque follow through.

Of course, that means he missed the fairway way right, and he did go onto bogey the hole, but the shot made for some excitement on golf twitter, at least.

According to @RandallMellGC, Tiger described his round in a post-round interview: “I fought hard. I made a few simple, silly mistakes, bad shots here and there, missed on the wrong side, made a few birdies as well. 1-over’s not bad.”

Yea, that’s about right.

Tiger currently sits at T66, and six shots off the leader. Lots of golf to play, but he’ll likely be contending with the cutline come Friday afternoon. How do you think Tiger will finish this week at the 2018 Genesis Open?

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Custom Camerons, wedge stampings, a 6-hybrid, and Tiger wearing Tennis shoes?

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Yesterday, we brought you shots of Thomas Pieters’ iron stamping, Adam Scott’s new (shorter) wand, and more.

Today, we’ve got some more choice shots from the range at Riviera from Tuesday’s practice. Strap in for a sampling from a cornucopia of WITB shots and a helping of Tiger Woods (who we feature in two galleries). We also discussed his new driver shaft yesterday, so if you missed that piece, check it out.

On to the pictures.

First up, Wesley Bryan looks to be gaming an some Anthony Taranto artistry with his 54-degree Mack Daddy 4 wedge. Do work, indeed!

Ted Potter, Jr. won more than a million dollars at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week. But as the check hasn’t come yet, he hasn’t been able to buy Goo Gone to take the tape residue off the bottom of his putter.

A custom Cam for Rafa Cabrera Bello.

…and William McGirt.

#GrindGoals (Luke Donald’s 60-degree Mizuno T7)

Vijay Singh looks to have gotten his foot stuck in a bear trap, and yet he’s still practicing!

The most famous putter in golf, and Nike Vapor Advantage tennis shoes for Tiger?

Apparently, all the weight modification available on PXG 0311 irons was insufficient for Charl Schwartzel.

When your name scripting matches your sponsor’s script…

This is not the WITB of a 20-handicapper, rather Camilo Villegas may be the only Tour pro gaming a 6-hybrid.

So much is going on with Camilo Villegas’ irons…

You’ve seen custom stampings, but how about Bubba Watson’s custom shaft and custom shaft graphic?

When you’re the only PGA Tour professional to own a candy store, your wedge imagery reflects that fact.

The Big Cat browsing GolfWRX on mobile, no doubt…

If you’d like to dig deeper, we have two galleries of range photos from the Riv, plus 13 (!) WITB threads. Dig in!

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