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Category: Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods looking to continue comeback in 2012

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is poised for a comeback in 2012. He finished strong last year, taking finished third at the Australian Open, delivering the clinching point for the U.S. at the Presidents Cup and winning the Chevron World Challenge, his first victory in more than two years.

Plus, Woods said Tuesday, he's starting the season healthy for the first time in at least eight years.

“It's been quite a few years since I've been physically fit,” Woods said during a news conference at the Abu Dhabi Championship. “So I'm looking forward to getting out there and giving it a full season, which I haven't done in a while.”

Woods started 2011 at No. 2 in the world rankings but dropped out of the top 50 after missing much of the season with injuries and often not playing well when he was able to participate. But he recovered toward the end of the year to finish with both a No. 25 ranking and increased confidence.

Now he's looking to continue riding that momentum, starting this week against a field that includes top-ranked Luke Donald, second-ranked Lee Westwood, defending champion Martin Kaymer and U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy.

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Tony Romo, not Tim Tebow, to play Pebble Beach with Tiger Woods

Tony Romo, Tiger Woods

Tony Romo will be Tiger Woods' partner at next month's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, according to multiple reports -- which means the dream pairing of Woods and NFL phenom Tim Tebow will have to wait until another day.

Romo, who has played Pebble Beach with John Daly the last two years, has been expected to get the nod as Woods' partner ever since the former world No. 1 golfer announced last week he would return to the event for the first time in 10 years.

Woods and the Dallas Cowboys quarterback have played together before -- at the AT&T National at Congressional near Washington, D.C., in 2009 -- and were seen together at a U2 concert at Cowboys Stadium.

But somewhere along the line, the Tebow speculation started. It definitely would have been an intriguing pair-- the devout Christian quarterback of the Denver Broncos playing with a golfer who hasn't exactly been a saint over the years, one player quietly taking a knee in prayer while the other pumps his fist in celebration.

Last week, tournament official Ollie Nutt confirmed that a spot was being held for Tebow, who grew up playing golf in Florida and has played in pro-ams before, if he were interested in taking part in the event. But Nutt also said that a pairing with Woods was not likely.

So Tuesday's reports were really no surprise. And maybe it's better this way. Romo may not grab as many headlines as Tebow does these days, but the last thing Woods needs at this point is more of a media circus. Woods is looking to return to the top of the golfing world after two disappointing years on the course and has momentum going into 2012.

So Tebow Time will have to wait for another time. At least for Woods.


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-- Chuck Schilken

Left photo: Tony Romo. Credit: Jeff Zelevansky / Getty Images

Right photo: Tiger Woods. Credit: Mark Nolan / Getty Images

Tiger Woods to open PGA Tour season at Pebble Beach


Tiger Woods is returning to the spot of some of his most memorable golfing moments.

He announced Monday on his website that he will open his PGA Tour season with the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, which takes place Feb. 9-12. It will be the first time he's played the event in 10 years.

"I'm looking forward to playing in this event," Woods said. "I haven't been to this tournament lately, but I have a lot of good memories at Pebble. It will be fun going back."

Woods won the event back in 2000 after trailing by seven shots with seven holes to play. Back at Pebble Beach later that summer, he turned in what is arguably his best performance by running away with the U.S. Open by 15 shots.

But his fortunes dipped at Pebble Beach after that. He finished 13th at the National Pro-Am in 2001 and tied for 12th in 2002, the last time he played the event.

The last time Woods played at Pebble Beach was the 2010 U.S. Open, where he tied for fourth place.

After a rough couple of years, Woods has momentum entering 2012. He ended a two-year drought by winning the Chevron World Challenge, a non-PGA event, last month after a solid performance at the Presidents Cup in November.


U.S. wins the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne

Photos: Tiger Woods wins Chevron World Challenge

Tiger Woods is optimistic, but the window of opportunity is closing

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Tiger Woods. Credit: Rob Griffith / Associated Press

Phil Mickelson, Greg Norman to play Humana Challenge


Phil Mickelson and Greg Norman were announced Friday as being in the field for the 2012 Humana Challenge golf tournament on Jan. 19-22 in La Quinta.

Norman, a two-time British Open champion, and Mickelson ,who has won four major tournaments including three Masters titles, the most recent in 2010, join a field that will also include defending champion Jhonattan Vegas, 2011 FedExCup champion and 2010 event champion Bill Haas, 2001 PGA Championship winner David Toms and 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson.

Norman has played in the tournament previously known as the Bob Hope Classic just once, in 1986. He last played in the Coachella Valley in the 2001 Skins Game, in which he shut out Tiger Woods, Colin Montgomerie and Jesper Parnevik to take home the event’s entire $1-million purse.

Mickelson won this tournament in 2002 and 2004, both times in playoffs, and he is one of only seven players to have won it more than once.

For the third consecutive year, the $5.6-million tournament will take place entirely within La Quinta, where players will compete for a $1.008 million winner’s check at La Quinta Country Club and the Palmer and Nicklaus Private Courses at PGA West.

The purse and winner’s check are the largest in event history. The event has been shortened from 90 to 72 holes.


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-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Phil Mickelson hits out of bunker during Presidents Cup play in Australia. Credit: Quinn Rooney / Getty Images / November 20, 2011

Tiger Woods will not win the Chevron World Challenge again

Tiger Woods lines up his birdie putt on the 18th at Sherwood Country Club.

Tiger Woods broke his victory drought by winning the Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks on Sunday. But it is virtually guaranteed that he won't win it again.

Chevron, which has been the sponsor of the event for the last four years, said it will not renew its title sponsorship of the tournament, which is held at Sherwood Country Club.

Tournament director Greg McLaughlin says he is confident that he will be able to find another title sponsor. The tournament has had three title sponsors since it began in 1999.

Meanwhile, Sherwood Country Club extended its contract to host the tournament through 2015.

Woods has won the tournament five times, although his victory Sunday was the first time he won when it was called the Chevron World Challenge. Woods also plays host to the tournament, with all proceeds benefiting the Tiger Woods Foundation.

After going more than two years and 26 tournaments without a win, Woods made a six-foot birdie putt on the last hole Sunday to close with a 69 and beat former Masters champion Zach Johnson by one stroke.

The win moved Woods from No. 52 to No. 21 in the world rankings. His next tournament will be in Abu Dhabi at the end of next month.


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--Houston Mitchell

Photo: Tiger Woods lines up his birdie putt on the 18th green Sunday. Credit: Allan Henry / US Presswire.

Tiger Woods wins first golf tournament since scandal erupted


Tiger Woods won his first golf tournament in two years Sunday when he sank a birdie putt on the 18th hole to edge Zach Johnson by one shot and capture the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks.

Woods finished at 10 under par to win his own tournament, which benefits Woods' charitable foundation, for the fifth time after he and Johnson, the 2007 Masters winner, had a see-saw match throughout the round.

Woods birdied the last two holes to secure the win, his first since the world's former No. 1 golfer was engulfed in a personal scandal that erupted Thanksgiving weekend in 2009. The Chevron World Challenge is not a PGA Tour event, though, with an 18-player invitational field.

PHOTOS: Tiger wins Chevron World Challenge

It was Woods' first victory since the Australian Masters on Nov. 15, 2009, a duration that included 26 official tournaments. Less than two weeks later, Woods crashed his car on Thanksgiving night outside his Florida home amid revelations of extramarital affairs.

After being tied at seven under through the first nine holes, Woods gained a two-shot advantage with birdies at the 10th and 11th holes.

But Woods gave one back on the par-three 12th hole when he pulled a six-iron shot into a bunker and finished with a bogey four.

Johnson pulled even with Woods again with a 10-foot birdie putt at No. 13 as Woods missed a similar putt for birdie and settled for par.

Johnson made another birdie at the 16th hole, and Woods tied him again with a birdie on the par-three 17th to set up the dramatic finish.

Paul Casey, who ballooned to a first-round 79, rebounded to finish in third place at five under after shooting 69 on Sunday.

Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan finished tied for fourth at four under.


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--Jim Peltz

Photo: Tiger Woods watches tee shot at third hole Sunday in Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks. Credit: Allan Henry/US Presswire   

Tiger Woods, Zach Johnson tied in final round in Thousand Oaks


Zach Johnson's wobbly start helped Tiger Woods pull into a first-place tie with Johnson at eight under par early in Sunday's final round of the Chevron World Challenge

Johnson, who led Woods by one shot after 54 holes, made back-to-back bogeys on hole Nos. 3 and 4 before rebounding with a birdie at No. 5 at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks.

Woods, wearing his signature final-round red shirt under a black sleeveless sweater, reached eight under par after making a birdie on the par-five second hole.

"Take it home today, Tiger!" one member of the gallery yelled after Woods teed off on the sixth hole.

PHOTOS: Tiger wins Chevron World Challenge

K.J. Choi and Matt Kuchar were tied in third place at five under par.

The swirling, gusty winds that bedeviled the event's 18 players during the first three rounds — and gave Woods an especially tough time Saturday — were dormant early Sunday, although it was a chilly morning despite sunny skies.

Woods is trying to win his first tournament in two years, and he and Johnson were followed by a large contingent of photographers. More than once, Woods stepped away from his ball after cameras clicked just as he was about to tee off.

— Jim Peltz

Photo: Tiger Woods blasts out of a sand trap at the third green on Sunday during the final round of the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club. Credit: Danny Moloshok / Associated Press

Zach Johnson takes lead from Tiger Woods at Thousand Oaks


Zach Johnson grabbed the 54-hole lead of the Chevron World Challenge from Tiger Woods in dramatic fashion Saturday when he holed out a fairway shot for an eagle two on the 18th hole.

That gave Johnson a four-under 68 for the day and a three-round total of 208, or eight under par, one shot ahead of Woods at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks.

Woods, who started the day with a three-shot lead, struggled to get traction and shot a one-over-par 73 in the 18-player tournament that benefits Woods' charitable foundation.

On the final hole, Johnson was 163 yards from the pin and he hit a seven-iron that took a couple of short bounces on the green before disappearing into the cup.

The crowd lining the 18th green, many of them bundled in ski caps and gloves on a cold, windy day, erupted in cheers as Johnson raised his arms in celebration.

Starting the day four shots behind Woods, Johnson caught fire on the back nine with an eagle at the par-five 11th hole and birdies at Nos. 12 and 13. He also had a bogey six on the 16th hole.

Johnson, 35, won the Masters in 2007 but the Iowa native often has struggled the last two years; his last victory came in May 2010.

First-round leader K.J. Choi was in third place at five under par, while three golfers stood at three under: Hunter Mahan, Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland.

--Jim Peltz

Photo: Zach Johnson celebrates after making eagle on the 18th hole Saturday at the Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks. Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Tiger Woods seizes three-shot lead halfway at Chevron Challenge


Tiger Woods, seeking his first tournament win in two years, took a three-shot lead over K.J. Choi and Matt Kuchar at the halfway point of the Chevron World Challenge on Friday.

Woods was eight under par after making two eagles in a round of five-under-par 67 at Sherwood Country Club, where he's a four-time winner of the tournament that benefits his charitable foundation.

Kuchar, coming off a World Cup win with Gary Woodland in China, also shot 67.

Choi, the first-round leader, finished with a one-over 73 after he found disaster on the par-three 15th hole, hitting two balls into the water guarding the front of the green for quadruple-bogey seven.

Woods' tee shot on the same hole also was short and found the water, leading to a double-bogey five, yet Woods gained two shots on Choi.

A year ago, Woods had a four-shot lead over Graeme McDowell at the halfway point of the Chevron World Challenge, but McDowell ultimately defeated Woods in a playoff.

--Jim Peltz

Photo: Tiger Woods after hitting from the rough on the second hole during Friday's round of the Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks. Credit: Allan Henry / US Presswire 

Zach Johnson surges but K.J. Choi keeps Chevron Challenge lead

Zach Johnson surged into contention but K.J. Choi still held a one-shot lead over Tiger Woods on Friday midway through the second round of the Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks.

Woods1Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, reeled off six consecutive birdies on holes Nos. 6-11 to climb from one over par to five under at Sherwood Country Club.

That was two shots behind Choi, the first-round leader who got to eight under par Friday until he flubbed a chip shot and made bogey on the par-four ninth hole.

Tiger Woods, who started the round three shots behind Choi, got off to a fast start with an eagle at the par-five second hole and a birdie on the third hole, a par three.

But on the par-four sixth hole, Woods missed a short putt for par to drop a shot, and he was one shot behind Choi in second place heading to the 10th hole.

It was breezy at Sherwood but conditions were calmer than on Thursday, when gusty winds made club selection difficult for the field's 18  players.

-- Jim Peltz

Photo: Tiger Woods celebrates after hitting a fairway shot onto the green at the second hole Friday at the Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks. Credit: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

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


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