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Category: PGA Tour

Humana Challenge: Third round over; Phil Mickelson makes cut


The wind-delayed third round of the Humana Challenge is now complete in La Quinta with Mark Wilson holding a three-shot lead over Brandt Snedeker, Zach Johnson, Ben Crane and Robbert Garrigus.

Wilson is at 21 under par entering the final round, which began at 10:10 a.m. Garrigus shot a third-round 61 to move into contention while Snedeker birdied his last six third-round holes, including the five he played Sunday.

And while two-time champion Phil Mickelson probably can't make up 14 shots, he did birdie his final hole Sunday morning to get to seven under and make the cut, which came at six under and leaves 75 players to try to finish the final round today.

Groups are going off in threesomes from both the first and 10th tees at the PGA West Palmer Private Course.

The final group of Wilson, Johnson and Garrigus will go off the first tee at 12:10 p.m. Crane, Snedeker and Long Beach's John Mallinger are in the second-to-last group.

Golf Channel will offer extended coverage Sunday, coming on the air at noon Pacific time and running until play concludes. If the tournament doesn't finish Sunday, Golf Channel would also have coverage Monday.


Bill Clinton charms at tournament

Wind delays third round of Humana Challenge

Dustin Johnson withdraws from Humana Challenge

-- Diane Pucin, reporting from La Quinta

Photo: Mark Wilson hits his tee shot on the ninth hole during the wind-delayed third round of the Humana Challenge on Sunday morning. Credit: Chris Carlson / Associated Press

Tiger Woods maintains 3-shot lead in Chevron World Challenge


A chip-in birdie from off the green helped Tiger Woods maintain a three-shot lead over Hunter Mahan early in Saturday's third round of the Chevron World Challenge.

After going birdie-bogey-par on the first three holes at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Woods was just off the green in the rough on the par-four fourth when his chip rolled into the cup, lifting him to nine under par for the event.

Mahan made birdies on No. 2 and No. 5 to reach six under par, and Matt Kuchar was five under.

After a morning in which frost covered much of the Jack Nicklaus-designed course, the 18-player field again battled unpredictable bursts of gusty winds on a chilly day. 

Woods, seeking his first win in two years, attacked on the opening hole, hitting his second shot on the par-four first to within three feet of the cup and making the birdie putt. But then he made bogey six on the second hole, a par five he had eagled the previous day.

Meanwhile, some other contenders promptly fell back.

First-round leader K.J. Choi bogeyed the first hole, then the South Korean made double bogey on the second hole to drop to two under par.

Rickie Fowler of Murrietta was four under when he found disaster on the par-three third hole. His tee shot went way left, he chipped over the green into a bunker and eventually made a triple-bogey six to drop to one under.

--Jim Peltz

Photo: Tiger Woods walks onto the 18th green after hitting out of a bunker at the close of the second round Friday at the Chevron World Challenge. Credit:Danny Moloshok / Associated Press

Tiger Woods charges, but Choi still leads Chevron World Challenge

Tiger Woods mounted an early charge, but first-round leader K.J. Choi still led Woods by one shot early in the second round of the Chevron World Challenge on Friday.

Woods eagled the second hole at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks after reaching the par five in two shots, then sank a birdie putt on the third hole to tie Choi at six under par.

Choi, the South Korean who is playing with Woods in the 18-player field's final pairing, responded with a birdie at the par-four fourth hole to regain the lead at seven under par.

Zach Johnson, meanwhile, jumped into contention with four consecutive birdies on Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 9 to climb from one over par to three under.


Complete coverage of Chevron World Challenge

K.J. Choi leads after first round at Chevron World Challenge

Bill Dwyre: Tiger Woods is optimistic, but a window of opportunity is closing

-- Jim Peltz in Thousand Oaks

Photo: Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the fifth hole during the second round of the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club onFriday. Credit: Scott Halleran / Getty Images

K.J. Choi leads Tiger Woods after first round at Sherwood


South Korean K.J. Choi ignored swirling wind gusts and shot a six-under-par 66 to take the first-round lead Thursday in the Chevron World Challenge, the tournament that benefits Tiger Woods' charitable foundation.

Woods, who started fast with four birdies on the front nine holes at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, made back-to-back bogeys on the 15th and 16th holes. But then he birdied the 17th and finished tied for second place with a three-under 69.

"Anything under par is a good day today with the wind up," said Woods, who is trying to win his first tournament in two years.

Woods' playing partner, Steve Stricker, also shot a 69 that included a 40-foot birdie putt on the 18th green. Three others were tied at one under: Nick Watney, Rickie Fowler and Jim Furyk, who won the tournament in 2009.

When the 18-player field teed off in pairs of two, thewinds that had invaded Southern California were mostly dormant, and Choi and Woods took advantage of the break.

Choi reeled off birdies on the first five  holes and Woods birdied four of the first five. Then, as the winds regained force, most of the golfers struggled simply to shoot par the rest of the way.

"Conditions got very difficult probably on our sixth or seventh hole," Stricker said. "The fan turned on and made club selection pretty tough."

The winds were expected to dissipate during Friday's second round.


Tiger Woods is optimistic but a window of opportunity is closing

Q&A: Keegan Bradley and his 'unbelievable' rookie year on PGA Tour

Presidents Cup victory is vindication for Fred Couples and Tiger Woods

-- Jim Peltz in Thousand Oaks

Photo: K.J. Choi of South Korea tees off on the sixth hole Thursday at the Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks. Credit: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Tiger Woods grabs early lead in Chevron World Challenge


Tiger Woods birdied four of the first five holes Thursday to jumped out to an early first-round lead in the 13th Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks.

Steve Stricker was one stroke behind Woods at three under par, while Nick Watney and Webb Simpson were two under.

Woods is a four-time winner of the 18-player tournament, which benefits his charitable foundation.

But he hasn't won a tournament of any kind in two years, a streak he's hoping to break this weekend at the Jack Nicklaus-designed, par-72 Sherwood course.

Woods has played better of late, and he carried the momentum into Thursday's round with birdies on the first, second, fourth and fifth holes.

Course conditions were mostly good, although the gusty winds plaguing the Los Angeles area also were swirling somewhat at Sherwood, which is nestled against the Santa Monica Mountains.


Tiger Woods still has a long way to go in comeback attempt

Tiger Woods' ex-caddie may not be racist, but he sure is bitter

Tiger Woods makes peace with Steve Williams at Presidents Cup

— Jim Peltz

 Photo: Tiger Woods. Credit: Scott Halleran / Getty Images.

Tiger Woods has hot dog thrown at him by spectator


Tiger Woods was standing over a putt at the seventh green Sunday at the Open when a fan charged out of the crowd yelling “Tiger” and tossed a hot dog at him.

Woods calmly backed away from his putt and the man immediately threw his hands up, surrendering to security officers and police.

“When I looked up, the hot dog was already in the air,” Woods said. “He was pretty far away from me.”

The suspect, a white male in his late 20s or early 30s, was arrested and taken off the premises. Officials described him as intoxicated.

“It wasn’t a chili dog,” said Dan Diggins, a tournament security official. “It could have been really bad.”

Rod Pampling, who was playing with Woods, called it “bizarre. I don’t know what he was trying to prove.”


Tiger Woods's comeback still has long way to go

NBA labor leaders meet in last-ditch effort to save games

13 unbeaten college football teams may make for complicated BCS rankings

--David Wharton, reporting from San Martin, Calif.

Photo: Tiger Woods acknowledges the gallery after putting out at No. 17 on Sunday during the final round of the Open. Credit: Allan Henry / US Presswire

Tiger Woods has left Farmers Insurance Open; leaders still playing


Tiger Woods finished off his first tournament of the season, the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, with a three-over-par 75 on Sunday. That came on top of a 74 on Saturday, and those are only Woods' second and third rounds over par in the 47 he has played in PGA Tour events at Torrey Pines. The good news? He was gone before the rain began.

Woods talked about his swing being a work in progress. It is under construction with new coach Sean Foley. Woods said his new swing has a different release point.

"The release that you want to have for the good shots and full swings are the same and even the putting stroke," Woods said. "The putting stroke is the smallest swing there is. Everything should be the same throughout the golf bag. And that's where I was with all my other teachers and that's what I'm trying to do here."

And Woods said he is committed to the changes being made, despite a shaky weekend of golf.

"How else are you going to get better?" he said. You've got to do it. It takes reps and it takes reps under competition. You can't be afraid to go ahead and try it."

Woods wouldn't commit to when he would play next, though it is expected to be in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in the United Arab Emirates on Feb. 10-13. When asked if his schedule was set yet, Woods said, "Yeah, I'm definitely playing in the future, no doubt."

-- Diane Pucin in La Jolla

Photo: Tiger Woods waits for his turn to putt on the fourth hole Sunday during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines South Course. Credit: Mike Blake / Reuters

Tiger Woods, Rocco Mediate together again at Torrey Pines

Even some hardened and cynical sports fans got emotional at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines when Tiger Woods, limping badly and grimacing after many shots, battled through 72 holes of regulation, then an entire extra round of 18 holes on Monday plus another sudden-death hole against Rocco Mediate, who is 48 now and who was golf-old then, at the U.S.Open.

Woods won, finally, and broke down. He spoke of missing his father Earl and of his physical pain and it made the then world's best golfer likable. Since then almost everyone is aware of what's happened. Woods has had knee surgeries and physical problems and a very public scandal involving marital infidelity and divorce that has cost him almost two lost seasons of golf.

So here Woods comes again, to Torrey Pines, where he will open his 2011 season at the place where he last starred as a golfer and has won seven times. And with whom is he paired? Mediate. And Anthony Kim. The trio will play together Thursday and Friday. It is a grouping Commissioner Tim Finchem said Tuesday made with television in mind.  It made Mediate smile too.

While many others in the field were playing practice rounds Tuesday, Woods wasn't expected to arrive until Tuesday evening. On Wednesday he will play the Zurich Pro-Am, teeing off at 11 a.m. on the South Course with Robert Allenby.

Woods, Mediate and Kim will tee off at 9 a.m. on the 10th tee of the North Course at 9 a.m. Thursday and from the No. 1 tee of the South Course at 10 a.m. on Friday.

Other notable pairings include John Daly, who briefly announced his retirement on his television show on the Golf Channel here last year, Boo Weekley and Jesper Parnevik, who was critical of Woods' behavior last fall; new Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, Stewart Cink and Bubba Watson; Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose; and Bob Hope Classic winner Jhonattan Vegas, Charley Hoffman and Nick Watney.

-- Diane Pucin reporting from La Jolla


Tiger Woods falls to No. 3 ranking in the world

Tigerwoods_300 Tiger Woods is not even No. 2 in the world golf rankings.

He has dropped to No. 3 after Martin Kaymer won in Abu Dhabi and overtook him for the No. 2 spot. Lee Westwood is ranked No. 1.

Kaymer has been No. 3 but advanced by winning the European Tour event by eight strokes in his first tournament this year. Woods begins his 2011 season on Thursday at Torrey Pines in San Diego.

"We'll see how long it takes him to overtake me again," Kaymer said after his victory Sunday.

Masters champion Phil Mickelson dropped to No. 5 in the rankings. He had been sharing fourth with U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, who tied for third in Abu Dhabi.

Mickelson finished 37th Sunday. He says he doesn't dwell on the rankings and is concentrating on the upcoming majors. He, too, will play at Torrey Pines this week.

--Associated Press

Photo: Tiger Woods during the final round of the HSBC Champions tournament in November. Credit: Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images

Tiger Woods to return to Torrey Pines


Tiger Woods will make his first 2011 PGA Tour appearance at the Farmers Insurance Open.

The Tour stop, based in San Diego, has become the traditional start of his season since 2006. He has won the last five times he played Torrey Pines, though he missed the last two years due to a knee surgery and personal matters relating to his extramarital affair.

The 35-year-old tweeted Wednesday, "I've been working hard on my game, it's game time hooah!!"

Woods, ranked No. 2 in the world, lost the No. 1 spot to Lee Westwood last year, and has not won since the Australian Masters in November 2009.

-- Melissa Rohlin

 Photo: Tiger Woods. Credit: John Sommers / Reuters.

Graeme McDowell beats Tiger Woods in playoff to win Chevron World Challenge


Graeme McDowell won the Chevron World Challenge with a birdie during the first hole of a sudden-death playoff Sunday after Tiger Woods blew a four-shot lead -- and his best opportunity to win his first golf tournament this year.

Both players birdied the final hole of regulation to force the playoff, which started on the par-four 18th hole at the Sherwood Country Club course in Thousand Oaks, Calif. McDowell birdied the hole by sinking a putt of about 20 feet while Woods missed his birdie putt of roughly the same distance.

Despite losing the tournament after leading the first three rounds, Woods said "it was a great week even though I didn't win. I played really well for most of the week."

It was the first time in Woods' career that he didn't win after leading by at least three shots going into the final round.

Woods is a four-time winner of the 18-player tournament, which benefits his charity. But the world's former No. 1-ranked golfer has not won since his delayed return to competitive golf in April following revelations of his extramarital affairs that made worldwide headlines.

Englishman Paul Casey finished third in the tournament at 12 under par.

--Jim Peltz

Photo: Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland celebrates his birdie on the first playoff hole to win the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Credit: Danny Moloshok/Reuters


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