• 70°

Golf: Progress leaves Woods with mixed emotions

By Mike Cranston
Associated PressCHARLOTTE ó When Tiger Woods shot a 30 on the front nine during a seven-under 65 in the opening round of the Quail Hollow Championship, he appeared poised to dominate on a tough course with a major-like feel.
But Woods was still working out the kinks in his fifth tournament back from knee surgery. Entering Sunday two shots out of the lead, Woods wasted several birdie chances and one eagle opportunity, closing with 10 straight pars for a 72.
He finished at 9-under 286, good for fourth place, two shots behind winner and buddy Sean O’Hair.
“I’ve been very pleased with some of my progress. I’m also not so pleased with some of it,” Woods said. “It’s been spotty, streaky. I just need to get a little more consistent.”
In an event he won in 2007, Woods could have tied for the lead with an eagle when he drove the green on the par-4 14th. He ended up nearly four-putting.
“It was baked out. I knew that,” Woods said of the tricky, fast green, the signature element of this event. “It was downwind and I saw George (McNeill’s) putt roll out. I kept telling myself, ‘This putt is faster than it looks. It’s faster than it looks.’ And I didn’t heed my own warning.
“The next one I blocked again. And I made a wonderful 6-footer for my three-putt.”
Still, Woods believes his short game is ahead of the rest. He hit only 25 of 56 fairways.
“That’s all I did for months is chip and putt,” Woods said of his limitations during rehab. “I just need to get more crisp with my driving and my long irons. The longer stuff is not where I want it.”
He’s hardly been bad, with one win and four consecutive top-10 finishes. The next step is playing consecutive weeks for the first time at The Players Championship.
“I haven’t done it yet, and this will be a nice little test,” Woods said. “Obviously toward the end of the year we play a lot. You’ve just go to keep building toward that throughout the year and have no setbacks.”
n
JOHNSON HEADACHE: Third-round leader Zach Johnson had a nasty headache Sunday that affected his vision, perhaps from allergies.
It got worse when he triple-bogeyed a par 3 that has no water.
Johnson entered the day at 11 under and ahead by two shots. After parring the first hole, Johnson hit his tee shot on No. 2 so far right it hit a cart path and stopped 75 yards from the pin.
“It was just a dead block push. Got in front of it. Terrible swing,” Johnson said.
Facing a chip shot with a tree just to his right, Johnson hit the tree square. The ball ricocheted behind him and to the right, leaving him 80 yards to the hole.
“I was in pine straw,” Johnson said. “I hit it 8 feet right of where I was trying to hit it.”
He reached the green on his third shot, then three-putted after he lipped out a 6-footer for double.
nLEFTY’S CHARGE: Phil Mickelson declared himself out of contention Saturday after a 75 left him eight shots out of the lead. Lefty’s tune changed when he birdied No. 14 on Sunday to move to 8 under and within one of the lead.
“I never really thought about winning until the last four or five holes,” Mickelson said.
He finished with four straight pars and a 67 that momentarily left him in the mix.
“I enjoyed getting a good round and hitting some shots, making some key putts, feeling the pressure,” Mickelson said. “The last hole I had a 4-footer and I had pressure on that. That’s cool. I haven’t been in a tournament the last couple of weeks, and it was fun to feel that.”
nA SUCCESS: Ticket sales were down about 2,000 per day compared to last year. But the presence of Woods produced similar crowds to 2008, when he didn’t play.

Comments

Comments closed.

High School

High school football: Hornets overpower South to secure playoff spot

Crime

Jeffrey MacDonald won’t be released despite deteriorating health

Business

Amazon warehouse workers reject union in Alabama

Nation/World

Ex-NFL player’s brain to be probed for trauma-related harm after Rock Hill shootings

Education

Duke University to require COVID vaccinations for fall term

Education

Cooper OKs bill offering K-12 students summer school option

High School

High school football: Record night for Pinckney as East cruises; Carson wins thriller in OT

Nation/World

D-Day survivor, WWII torch bearer Ray Lambert dies at 100

Nation/World

Prince Philip was always defined by role as husband of British queen

China Grove

One dead, several injured after head-on collision in China Grove

Crime

Man, woman charged for selling drugs to undercover deputies

Crime

Blotter: Rowan County man charged with indecent liberties with children

Local

Spencer town board gets look at Park Plaza progress

Business

‘Applicant market’: Unemployment rate improving as businesses hire more workers

Local

National, local business leaders praise Salisbury’s initiative to support Black-owned operations

Nation/World

Tillis has prostate cancer surgery

Coronavirus

Adverse reactions surface from Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Nation/World

Expert: Lack of oxygen killed George Floyd, not drugs

Local

Quotes of the week

Nation/World

Biden seeks crackdown on homemade firearms

Nation/World

Victim of former NFL player’s rampage wrote of faith, life’s fragility

News

Wrongly imprisoned man gets $750,000

High School

West falls to Statesville, finishes second in NPC

Education

Middle, high school students head back to classes full time