Archive for the ‘PGA’ Category

Rory McIlroy fired a final-round 66 on Sunday to win the Tour Championship by four shots and claim his second career FedEx Cup title.

The Northern Irishman entered the fourth round one shot back of Brooks Koepka and turned in a flawless front nine while the 54-hole leader crumbled. McIlroy drove the ball brilliantly and then drained multiple clutch putts down the stretch. He closed with back-to-back birdies to shoot 4-under for the day and finished the tournament at 18-under par.

Additionally, McIlroy would have won the Tour Championship even without the new staggered-scoring format rolled out for the 2019 FedEx Cup finale. He shot a total of 267 (13-under), three strokes better than Xander Schauffele.

The 30-year-old McIlroy will take home $15 million for his effort at East Lake Golf Club. He also joined Tiger Woods as the only two-time FedEx Cup champions.

Meanwhile, Schauffele carded an even-par 70 to end up alone in second and earn $5 million.

Koepka played alongside McIlroy in the final pairing, which had the potential to become a heavyweight battle for golf’s biggest prize. However, Koepka’s round was derailed when a lost ball on No. 7 led to a double-bogey and a three-shot swing. He then made three straight bogeys on the back nine to fall further out of contention.

Justin Thomas – who started the week in the lead at 10-under – posted a 68 to share the third spot with Koepka.

McIlroy’s victory concluded the 2018-19 PGA Tour season. The new campaign will begin Sept. 12 with the Military Tribute at The Greenbrier.

Steve Williams, who was on Tiger Woods’ bag for 13 of his 15 major victories, thinks his former employer’s win at Augusta National will do wonders for the sport.

“Now that Tiger has come right back there again, winning a major championship, possibly putting (Jack Nicklaus’) record in play … it just re-energizes the game,” Williams said, according to ESPN’s Bob Harig.

“It’s absolutely awesome. He’s the only guy who can energize the game like that. All those kids watching had to think it was fantastic. And so what he’s done is a remarkable achievement. It’s so positive.”

Williams began working with Woods in 1999, but the two split in 2011 as Tiger battled injuries.

Woods captured his fifth green jacket – and the complete attention of the sporting world – with a 13-under performance at the Masters last week. While he and Williams didn’t end on the best terms, Tiger’s former caddie was thrilled to watch him win again.

“Given the fact two years ago he stated that he was unlikely to play competitive golf again, or was seriously doubting it … he wouldn’t just say that in jest,” Williams said. “There would have been a lot of truth to it. For him to actually come back full cycle to win a major championship … it’s just an incredible story.”

Tiger Woods wowed the sports world with one of the most remarkable wins of his career when he secured his fifth Masters title Sunday and slipped on the green jacket for the first time since 2005.

It was the 43-year-old’s first major victory since 2008 after spending a decade fighting through injuries and controversy.

The historic achievement drew high praise from some of the best athletes on the planet, including NBA legend Michael Jordan, who believes Woods’ redemption win is the greatest of its kind.

“I took two years off to play baseball, but nothing like that,” Jordan told The Athletic’s David Aldridge on Wednesday. “I’m pretty sure he questioned himself, whether he could get it back, and he had to put a lot of work in. But he took it head-on. He had to change his game; he had to change his perspective a little bit. To me, it was the greatest comeback I’ve ever seen.”

Jordan, a Naismith Hall of Famer and six-time NBA champion, left the sport for two years after winning three straight titles, then returned and won three more.

“I never thought he’d get back physically,” Jordan said of Woods. “He didn’t think he’d get back physically. But he did it. No one expected him to be back the way he is now. He’s probably the only person who believed he could get back. To me, that’s a major accomplishment. To me, it’s unbelievable. Mentally, you always think you can. But you can’t answer to what your body has to deal with.”

Woods and Jordan are widely regarded as the greatest of all time in their respective sports.

Jordan, 56, retired from the NBA for a third (and final) time in 2003 and has since become the majority owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.

Even coming from a man who’s often made the impossible look routine, the scenes surrounding Tiger Woods on Sunday at Augusta had to be seen to be believed.

The 43-year-old is a Masters champion once again after outlasting a star-studded field with a final-round 70 to claim his fifth green jacket and 15th major title.

Woods entered play on Sunday two shots off the lead held by Francesco Molinari but was able to narrow that gap to one heading to the 10th tee. After the Italian found the water with his tee shot on the par-3 12th, Woods’ par putt was enough to grab the lead.

His move up the leaderboard continued with three birdies in a four-hole stretch between Nos. 13 to 16 to open a two-stroke advantage. Knowing he could bogey and still win, he would play it safe on 18 and finish one shot ahead of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, and Xander Schauffele.

While last year’s win at the Tour Championship was an incredible moment along Woods’ comeback trail from back fusion surgery, another Masters title takes things to a whole new level. The victory gets Woods one step closer to Jack Nicklaus’ records of six green jackets and 18 career major titles.

Tiger Woods carded a 2-under 70 in Round 1 of the Masters to get off to a strong start in his hunt for a fifth green jacket.

Rocking the mock neck T-shirt circa 2005, Tiger’s quest to regain his old Augusta magic began with a birdie on the par-5 second. He would play the remainder of the front side at even par despite three missed putts from within 10 feet.

On the back nine, Tiger recorded back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th to grab a share of the lead. However, he was unable to save par on No. 17 due to an errant tee shot, a rarity after spending much of Round 1 splitting the fairways with his driver.

Tiger has broken 70 only once in the first round at Augusta and shot opening rounds of 2-under in three of his four Masters victories, a stat the 43-year-old is well aware of.

“I know three of four times I’ve won the Masters I opened with 70,” he said after his round, according to Golf Channel’s George Savaricas. “So I’m off to a good start.”

Woods will begin his second round Friday at 1:49 p.m. ET.

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Tiger Woods has withdrawn from this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational due to a neck strain he’s suffered through for “a few weeks,” he announced on Twitter.

Woods added that his lower back is fine, and he’s not concerned about the injury long term.

The 43-year-old’s last appearance was at the WGC-Mexico Championship Feb. 21-24. He finished tied for 10th at 8-under par.

Tiger added that he’s hoping to be ready for The Players Championship beginning on March 14.

Woods has won the Arnold Palmer Invitational eight times during his storied career.

When LeBron James unveiled the I Promise School for at-risk youth in Akron, Ohio last week, golfer Bubba Watson knew he wanted to contribute to the cause.

Watson purchased one of 114 game-worn shoes being sold through Upper Deck to benefit the I Promise School, but only after he was assured that 100 percent of the proceeds would be donated to the institute. If not, he was prepared to write the school a check.

“When Upper Deck said yes, I said, ‘Why not get a shoe, too?'” Watson told Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal.

Watson spent $30,000 on the shoe, which James wore in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals in Cleveland. Every individual who purchases a shoe will have their name displayed on a plaque inside the school.

Watson said he’s considered following in James’ footsteps and opening a school of his own.

“What’s crazy about it is we’ve talked about it,” he said of James. “I’ve talked to his people. It’s a lot of money, a lot of effort, a lot of work to get to that point of actually opening the doors. He’s taken his time and he’s done it right. For me to be a small piece of helping, it’s nice.”