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Tiger is The PLAYERS Champion. Sergio Shoots Himself in the Foot.

Tiger Woods won The PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP at TPC Sawgrass on the Stadium Course, in the end by a canter.

Tiger Woods acknowledging his win / Getty Images

Tiger finished The PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP with a final round of -2 under 70, for a  tournament total of -13 under par. He said he was trying to get better each year;

“Each year I’m tying to get better, so far this year, I’m off to a pretty good start.”

Talking about his errant tee shot on 14, which found water;

“Just hit absolutely the worst shot I could possibly hit, but it was the only bad swing I made all day. I told myself I could still win the tournament.”

Sergio Garcia stood on the tee box at the 17th par 3 Island hole tied with Tiger at the top of the leaderboard. Two lazy tee shots later and a couple of putts and it was all over, a quad bogey deflating Sergio. His slump was so bad he double bogied the 18th as well, dropping six shots on the final two holes, crashing down to tie for eight place at -7 under par. Sergio’s tender temperament under pressure was in question again. Why did he take a pitching wedge to the 17th green, when just about everybody else used a nine iron. He came up short, and in a strange move decided to replay the shot from the tee, ignoring the easier option of walking over to the drop zone, he failed again, his tournament was all over.

Three players tied in second place, Kevin Streelman, Jeff Maggert and David Lingmerth, all at -11 under par. Kevin put together a very good last round of -5 under par, 67. Jeff was in the hunt for most of the day, he finished with -2 under par of 70. David Lingmerth was unable to improve on his third round total and finished the day with an even par round of 72.

Martin Laird, Henrik Stenson and Ryan Palmer were the next bunch of players, they completed the tournament at -10 under par.

Joining Sergio on -7 under par were; Ben Crane, Rory McIlroy, Brandt Snedeker, Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood and Casey Wittenberg.

Not sure if this tournament will be better remembered for Tiger’s second win at The Players, or Sergio’s monstrous  meltdown on the intimidating island green par three 17th hole.

The PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP. Bad Light Stops Play, In 3rd Round

After an earlier weather delay the third round of The PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP at TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course, was halted because of poor light. The third round will resume at 7:10 a.m. ET Sunday with eight players still on the course.

Swede's Saturday

David Lingmerth / Lyons/Getty Images

At the close of play an unknown Swede, David Lingmerth was at the top of the leaderboard at -12 under par for the tournament. David still has one hole left to play to complete his memorable third round, at the moment he is -4 under par on the round.

Tied in second place are Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods, all at -10 under par. Henrik has completed 16 holes, and tomorrow faces the dreaded Island green of the par three 17th. Not a shot anyone would relish as their first strike of the day.

Sergio and Tiger, who were paired together for the third round have completed 14 holes, Sergio currently +1 over par on the day and Tiger is at even par. There has always been bad blood between the two players, and today was no different, they made sure they were miles apart, and there was no conversation between them at all.  During Sergio’s backswing on number two, Tigers fans let out a great roar. The commotion lead Sergio to hit a poor shot, this is how he reported the incident later;

” It was my shot to hit. He moved all the crowd that he needed to move and I waited for that. I want to say that he didn’t see that I was ready. But you do have a feel when the other guy is going to hit.”

Tiger remarked to the reporters;

” It’s not surprising that he was complaining about something.”

When told of Tiger’s comment Sergio responded;

” That’s fine. At least I’m true to myself.”

Both of these guys will be desperate to partner the leader tomorrow, another round of the pair of them together will not be conducive to good golf, from either of them, as today’s round has proved. If either of them want a decent chance to win tomorrow, they will have to be separated.

Tomorrow will be long day out on the course, lets hope that the weather does not intervene again, and we get a good result tomorrow. One thing is for sure, it will be fascinating, especially if the leaders are tightly grouped and facing the par 3 17th.

Leading the bunch on -9 under par is 49 year-old Jeff Maggert, he put together the days best round, a -6 under 66, and is quietly confident of playing this course well;

” I felt like this golf course would kind of fall in to my favor, the way I’ve been hitting the ball this year, and it was just a matter of trying to make a few putts. It’s funny, the older I get, some of the struggles that I’ve been through, I joke a little bit about that. I’m still very competitive on the inside and want to play well every week, but it’s just tough, just trying to keep it together and keep your health in good shape.”

 

The Players Championship. Sergio Surges, Castro Crashes.

Sergio Garcia surged to the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage of The PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP at TPC Sawgrass, while Roberto Castro, yesterdays first round hero crashed down the board.

Sergio Garcia is a past winner of The Players Championship, taking the crown in a playoff in 2008.

Sergio Garcia / Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Sergio shot a second round -7 under par 65, to surge to the top of the leaderboard with a tournament total of -11 under par.

Sergio, a past winner here, in 2008, is his own man, and fears no one, not even second placed Tiger;

“I don’t have to measure myself against anybody, I know what I want to try to do, and any given day I can shoot a round like this and any other day he can shoot a good round and beat me. Like we always say, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. So there are going to be good days and not so good days, so just got to enjoy the good ones as much as possible. Fortunately for me, I’ve managed to play quite decent on this golf course, so any good thing that you can get in your head, it’s obviously positive and those kind of things always help. But it’s a different year. We’ll see if we can manage to do something similar.”

Tiger is just one shot adrift of the leader, at -11 under par, after his second round of -5 under par 67.

Tiger was pretty happy to be where he is;

I’m pretty pleased with where it’s at right now, I’ve just never been able to put it all together for this one particular week. But so far this year, I’m right there. Even though I haven’t played well in the past, I’ve still won here, actually, I’ve won here twice, technically. { Tiger was referring to the U.S. Amateur in 1994 }  I haven’t played my best here, but I’ve always felt that courses, even though it’s been a while I’ve won on them, I’ve still won on them, I know how to get around this golf course. This course, more than most, really tests every facet of your game. You have to drive the ball well. You have to hit your irons in the correct spots, and if you don’t hit your irons in the correct spots, you’re going to have some really funky up-and-downs. It’s trying to manage the ball in the correct spots, and I’ve done that the first two days.”

There are three players tied in third place, at -9 under par for the tournament; they are, Kevin Chappell, second round -6 under. Lee Westwood also with a -6 under,66, and Henrik Stenson, -5 under par second round.

Roberto Castro crashed down the leaderboard, struggling with a second round +6 over par,78, but he did make the cut.

Big name cut casualties include, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell and Ernie Els. Quite a star-studded list.

Tomorrow is moving day, who will move out of the reckoning ?

 

Tiger the TV Ref ? No Way

Focus: Woods puts in some putting practice with his coach Sean Foley ahead of the Players Championship

Sean Foley & Tiger, putting practice  ahead of the Players Championship.

Tiger has admitted he would not pick up the phone and call in any infringement he may have witnessed on TV, no matter what sport he happened to be watching;

“I don’t ever see myself calling in and saying that Kobe traveled or things like that;  or some offensive lineman held. But it’s our sport, and that’s what we’ve accepted. Certain groups are going to get more heat than others just because they’re on TV. It is what it is.”

Tiger was speaking at TPC Sawgrass, where he is preparing for The Players Championship, he was referring to the incident at the Masters, which eventually cost him a triple bogey, and lost him the chance of winning the tournament;

” I had a lot of momentum going at that time,’ I think I was tied for the lead with Fred, and I thought I’d stuffed it in there and I thought it was going to be a birdie and I could take the lead there and maybe sneak one in on the final three holes and basically start building a lead in the tournament. And it kind of turned the other way with a good shot. When I was away from it I reflected on the things I did right, but also the things I did wrong. Unfortunately, I hit a good shot and caught a bad break. I still had an opportunity over the next 36 holes to get it back but I just didn’t do it.”

Talking about The Players Championship, and its importance in association with the four Majors, Tiger thought if there was to be another Major, this would be it;

“We have our four major championships, and that’s that. But if there was going to be another one, this would be it. This is the best field that we have. We have guys from all over the world playing, and probably next to the PGA Championship, one of the deepest and stiffest fields we’ll face.‘It is one of those tricky courses where they have some very tough lines off the tee and if you are not playing well you are going to get exposed,’ said Woods. ‘On top of that the greens are now a lot more fiery coming into them, so that makes it even more important to hit the ball in these fairways. And if you miss these greens at all, you’ve got some of the weirdest, funky little shots you will ever face.”

Tiger Woods’ whistle blower was one David Eager, a rules official, who not only embarrassed himself, but other officials, and TV commentators, who were on the course at the time. Maybe those guys will be seeking revenge on him the next time he tees it up on the Champions Tour. If Tiger never quite gets passed Jack Major record, misses out by one, just think.

Tiger Woods's Masters TV whistleblower revealed to be rules official David Eger

Tiger and The Drop / AP

 

THE PLAYERS Championship @ TPC Sawgrass · Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

File:PlayersChampionshipNewLogo.png

The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, third round comings and goings.

Kevin Na lead the Players Championship at the conclusion of the third round on Saturday, at TPC Sawgrass. Kevin shot a -4 under par round of 68 to top the leaderboard with a total score of  -12 under par. He leads by one shot from Matt Kuchar who had a third round of -3 under par for 69, and a tournament score of -11 under par.

Live Report Image

Kevin Na Lyons/Getty Images

Kevin  took an incalculable number of waggles as he set up over the ball, backed off the shot if he didn’t feel comfortable and a couple of times purposely missed so he could start over. Not sure if the swing over the ball could be interpreted as an air shot, that is a decision for the marshals to ponder over. Kevin’s group were on the clock for the entire back nine, while Kevin himself was swishing away irritatingly and erratically.

On the 16th hole. He made an unsuccessful appeal, claiming he went over the allotted time because his caddie’s shadow was in the way. Kevin tried to explain his behavior,

“There’s so much on the line that I just have to sometimes back off. Or I’ll force myself to take it back, and on the way down I’ll pull up and go over the top of the ball. As ugly as it is, and as painful as it is, believe me, it’s really tough for me. And I’m trying. Trust me, I get ripped a lot. I know TV, Twitter and fans are tired of me backing off. I understand people being frustrated with me backing off, but all I can tell you guys is honestly, I’m trying. And it’s hard for me, too. But just bear with me, and hopefully we get that tomorrow round in. I know it’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for me. I want to pull the trigger. It’s getting better little by little. Hopefully, it will go away by the end of the year.”

Matt Kuchar had an up and down round that he called exciting;

“It was exciting. A lot of birdies and a lot more bogeys than I normally make. But I knew today was going to be a tricky day. I knew there were going to be a lot of bogeys. I knew there were dangers around every corner.”

Rickie Fowler is in third spot, and just three shots off the lead after a marvelous third round of -6 under par, for a 66. It was the lowest round of the day and gives him a tournament total of -9 under par. Rickie is trying to win his first two tournaments back to back, a feat that has not been accomplished since David Duval did it in 1997.

Rickie thinks he is the underdog in this tournament;

“I feel like I’m in a kind of underdog position, maybe overlooked at the start of the week. Won last week, maybe a little tired, I’m ready to go. Like I said last week, it’s all about giving yourself chances out here, and I gave myself a chance last week on Sunday and took advantage of it. Go out tomorrow, have some fun, give it our best shot and see where that puts us.”

Outside of these three players I can not see anyone else contending for the title tomorrow. I have a sneaking suspicion that Rickie Fowler will find the desire to win again.

THE PLAYERS Championship @ TPC Sawgrass · Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

   File:PlayersChampionshipNewLogo.png

The second round of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach florida, finished with a three way tie at the top of the leaderboard. Zach Johnson, Kevin Na and Matt Kuchar are all level pegging at -8 under par for the tournament, but lead by only one shot from Harris English.

Zach Johnson had the round of the day with a marvelous -6 under par for 66, while Kevin had a -3 under par 69, and Matt with around of -4 under par 68.

First round leader Ian Poulter slumped to a tournament score of -3 under par, shooting a miserable +4 and 76 on the day. Joining him at -3 under par for the championship are Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, all three of them will hope hope to improve their positions before the start of the final round on Sunday. As they say in golfing circles, Saturday is “Moving Day.” With Rory missing the cut here it is inevitable that Luke will return to the number one ranking.

Live Report Image

Ehrmann/Getty Images

Last weeks winner Rickie Fowler is also on -3 and will look to improve tomorrow, it is always hard to feature the week after your win, especially your first win on Tour.

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickleson are lurking back on -2, and both would need something magical to contend for the Championship, but these things do sometimes occur in golf.

Making it to the weekend on the cut line are Justin Rose, and ex champion Sergio Garcia. Biggest surprise of the day was Rory McIlroy shooting a +4 over par second round of 76, to miss the cut. He was not alone in the big name bracket to miss the weekend, he was joined by, Ernie Els, Reteif Goosen, Padraig Harrington,Louis Oosthuizen, Graeme McDowell, and last weeks European Tour winner, Francesco Molinari.

THE PLAYERS Championship @ TPC Sawgrass · Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

   File:PlayersChampionshipNewLogo.png

Ian Poulter and Martin Laird are at the top of the leaderboard at the Players Championship after round one of the tournament at        TPC Sawgrass, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Ian and Martin both had opening rounds of -7 under par 65, and lead the field by just one shot. Blake Adams is the player who is one shot off the lead with his -6 under par round of 66.

Ian said of his round today;

“Got off to a nice start really. Hit a nice shot into the first and had a great look there. Two putts at the second for birdie. Hit a lovely sand iron, which was probably a millimeter from dropping on four, for eagle. It just didn’t seem to want to go in. So I had to tap it in. Soft bogey for me, middle of the fairway on seven. Pulled an 8-iron left and really had no shot. So that was a soft bogey. And then from 9, I had nine single putts, I didn’t realize, until someone just told me.  It was a very, very good round of golf. That’s definitely probably in the top 10 of the rounds of golf I’ve ever played. To turn around and say, that you’re going to walk off seven-under par a little bit disappointed, but if I look at the chances I had on the front nine, that could have easily been a few more. I birdied 9, 10,11, 12. All of those were decent chances, putts you would expect to hole. And had a nice birdie on 16 and 17.”

Martin was very happy with his bogey free first round effort;

” Obviously very happy with my round today. You know, going bogey-free anywhere is good, but around this golf course it feels extremely satisfying. Really the key to my round today was the putter. I putted really well. I had a few par saves that I made, but chipped the ball really well, too, which is really important around here because the greens are so small; if the wind picks up a little bit you’re going to miss some greens. Real solid day, and any time I hit a good shot, I feel like I made the putt for birdie, which is always nice when you have one of those days.”

Martin had just  had 12 putts on the front and the back nines.

Blake Adams had nine straight birdies at the start of his round;

Obviously any time you finish on nine with five straight birdies, it’s a good day. I was fortunate to get out early. Had perfect greens; I was the first group out. A little wind until about halfway through the front nine or whatever, and you know, just kind of rode the momentum of those five birdies to the back side. I was obviously trying to make more birdies on the back side, but you know, finished the way I finished, signed my card and here I am.”

The Big names did not have such an easy time of it.

Major winner Padraig Harrington was the best of them with a -3 under par round of 69. Lee Westwood continued his trend of starting slowly with a first round score of -1 under par, 71, the same score as Phil Mickleson.

Lee rued all those missed chances;

It was a bit tricky out there. The wind felt like it was switching a little bit. It was tough to club. The most disappointing thing about the day was only shooting 1-under having made seven birdies. Played really nicely. Birdied all the par 5s which you need to do around this golf course. Hit the ball well. Semi-sort of pleased with the day, really. Just a few too many mistakes. If I can eradicate those, then I should have a chance over the weekend.”

Phil is still full of confidence after -1 under round;

” I played really well today. So it was one of those days where I probably didn’t get the score out of it that I should have, but I played really well, and have a lot of confidence heading into tomorrow that when we see a little bit different course, a little bit more receptive greens, I think that I’ll be able to turn that 1 under into something quite a bit lower.”

On even are last weeks winner Rickie Fowler, Luke Donald and world number one Rory McIlroy.

Still struggling are Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, who both had +2 first rounds of 74, and will need to do some work tomorrow to male the cut.

Tiger did not have any excuses;

“It wasn’t certainly the most positive start. Any kind of momentum that I would build, I would shoot myself in the foot on the very next hole. Just one of those days.”

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