Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Golf

Kuchar leads PGA's Memorial; Woods shoots 44 on back nine

DUBLIN, Ohio — Matt Kuchar couldn't think of conditions more difficult than Saturday in the Memorial, and he had plenty of evidence.

The swirling wind that made it difficult to pull the right club. Fast greens that led to 65 three-putts in the third round alone. And 44 on the back nine for Tiger Woods, the worst nine-hole score of his career.

"I think most of us would tend to be surprised anytime Tiger shoots a number like that, but a lot more understandable in these conditions," Kuchar said after hanging on for 2-under 70 that gave him a two-shot lead.

"If you're not on good form, these conditions are really going to beat you up."

Woods rallied on the front nine to salvage 79, matching his second-worst score on the PGA Tour. That wasn't even the highest score on a tough day at Muirfield Village. Jordan Spieth shot 45 on the front nine for 82, and Zach Johnson and Justin Hicks each had 81.

Kevin Chappell matched the best round of the day with 4-under 68, leaving him two shots out of the lead, along with Kyle Stanley, who had 70. Chappell loves having a chance to win his first PGA Tour event, which isn't to suggest it was fun getting to that position.

"I guess it's like a prize fighter," he said. "He enjoys winning, but I don't know if he enjoys getting hit that much."

Kuchar was at 8-under 208, among 10 players separated by four shots.

"It was a bit of survival," Kuchar said. "I was fortunate to make a handful of birdies. I think anytime you make a birdie in these conditions, you feel like you're really up on the field here. Most of these holes, you're looking at just getting out with a par."

Woods didn't get away with anything. Going for his sixth win at the Memorial and fourth in his past five tournaments overall, Woods had two double bogeys and triple bogey on the back nine.

"The conditions were tough and when I missed, it cost me," Woods said through a PGA Tour media official after storming past reporters without commenting. "I caught the wrong gusts at the wrong time, made a couple bad swings and, all in all, it just went the wrong way."

LPGA: Shanshan Feng, who last year became the first Chinese player to win a tour title and a major event in capturing the LPGA Championship, shot 4-under 67 and grabbed a three-shot lead heading into the final round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic in Galloway Township, N.J. The round gave Feng 6-under 136 total. Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse (7-over 149) and Kristy McPherson (13-over 155) missed the cut.

CHAMPIONS: Duffy Waldorf shot 5-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Principal Charity Classic in Des Moines, Iowa. Waldorf had 8-under 136 total. Bart Bryant and Jay Don Blake were tied for second. Bryant had 64 and Blake 66. Russ Cochran was 6 under after 67.

Comments

Dustin Johnson, Ted Potter Jr. tied for lead at Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Dustin Johnson overcame a sloppy back nine in the stiffening breeze by making a 10-foot birdie on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach for 2-under 70 that gave him a share of the lead going into the final round of the Pebble Beach Nat...
Published: 02/10/18
Tiger Woods at the Valspar Championship? Maybe

Tiger Woods at the Valspar Championship? Maybe

PALM HARBOR — Every year at this time, Valspar Championship officials release a list of players committed to the tournament, those likely to commit and those who have not definitively said no. For the first time since it became a PGA Tour event in 20...
Published: 02/08/18
Gary Woodland rallies to win Phoenix Open in playoff

Gary Woodland rallies to win Phoenix Open in playoff

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Gary Woodland was surprised to see infant son Jaxson with wife Gabby late Sunday afternoon at the Phoenix Open. "My wife kind of surprised me with him," Woodland said. "I didn’t think he was going to be there. I thought it would j...
Updated one month ago
Record crowd watches Rickie Fowler take Phoenix Open lead

Record crowd watches Rickie Fowler take Phoenix Open lead

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Rickie Fowler birdied the last three holes in front of the largest crowd in golf history Saturday to take the lead in the Phoenix Open. Fowler shot 4-under 67 to reach 14 under with a round left at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course,...
Updated one month ago
Fowler back in contention in Scottsdale

Fowler back in contention in Scottsdale

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Rickie Fowler took a share of the lead into the weekend in the Phoenix Open. He knows from experience the party is just getting started. "Just keep the gas pedal down," Fowler said. Fowler has had a lot of success at TPC Scottsdal...
Updated one month ago

Bill Haas takes first-round lead at PGA’s Phoenix Open

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Bill Haas’ 9-iron landed to the right of the pin and spun left, settling 3 feet away for birdie on the par-3 16th in the Phoenix Open. "I just tried to play the hole like I would any other hole, even though it’s not like any other...
Updated one month ago
Jason Day wins playoff at Farmers Insurance Open

Jason Day wins playoff at Farmers Insurance Open

SAN DIEGO — Jason Day calmly sank an 18-inch birdie putt at 8:17 a.m. Monday in front of empty grandstands on No. 18 at Torrey Pines for his first PGA Tour win in 20 months. There were no roars, just cheers from Day’s family and a handful of mates. I...
Updated one month ago

Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome defends title at Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — Brittany Lincicome beat darkness — with help from floodlights Sunday on the Ocean Club’s 18th green — to win the Bahamas LPGA Classic for the second straight year. The Seminole resident birdied the final two holes and four ...
Updated one month ago

Nine-time European champion Alex Noren takes lead at Farmers Insurance Open

SAN DIEGO — A nine-time winner on the European Tour, Alex Noren of Sweden gave himself a chance to make his mark in America with 3-under 69 Saturday for a one-shot lead going into the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open. Noren finished strong, ...
Updated one month ago
Ryan Palmer leads Farmers Insurance Open; Tiger Woods barely makes cut

Ryan Palmer leads Farmers Insurance Open; Tiger Woods barely makes cut

SAN DIEGO — Ryan Palmer is the 36-hole leader in the Farmers Insurance Open. Jon Rahm is right behind, poised to reach No. 1 in the world. And for the first time in 29 months, a PGA Tour event will feature Tiger Woods on the weekend. Palmer finished ...
Updated one month ago