MAMARONECK, N.Y. — By his admission on Tuesday, Tiger Woods was not ready to play in the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot. His father, Earl, had recently died, and Woods did not put in the practice time necessary before taking on the challenge of one of the most demanding courses in the United States.
He missed the cut 14 years ago, but is now trying to win his fourth U.S. Open and 16th major.
Tiger played a practice round on Tuesday morning with Justin Thomas and John Augenstein, the Vanderbilt star who was the 2019 U.S. Amateur runner-up.
U.S. Open: Tee times, TV info | Photo gallery
Practice rounds are typically loose affairs, with golfers often hitting more than one tee shot, trying numerous chips and pitch shots and completely ignoring the hole’s location. However, they can provide an insight into how well a player is hitting the ball and what he thinks will important for success.
Here are my three takeaways from Tiger’s Tuesday practice round.
Tiger did not look good off the tee
Tiger hit 3-wood off the tee on the 11th hole, a 384-yard par 4, and missed the fairway to the left. On the next hole, the 633-yard par-5 12th, Woods again found the left rough after hitting driver. The grass was so thick and tall that even taking a full swing, his second shot only advanced the ball about 100 yards. Tiger’s divot looked like an exploded head of cabbage flying through the air.
Tiger’s driver on the 14th hole went into the fairway bunker on the left, and then, on the par-4 15th, he hit two extra 3-wood shots after his first went into the left rough.
He missed the fairway to the right on the 16th hole, then hit another tee shot and split the fairway. Tiger found another fairway bunker on the right side of the 17th hole before hitting into the left rough on 18.
“Wow,” said Tiger’s caddie, Joe LaCava, upon seeing Woods’ lie on 18. Instead of playing the ball, Tiger picked it up and dropped it in the fairway. Justin Thomas, who also missed left on 18, did the same thing.
It was only nine holes on a meaningless Tuesday, but if Woods doesn’t straighten out his driving, he will struggle at Winged Foot.
Woods may putt instead of chip
On several occasions, Woods dropped several balls in front of the green and hit pitch shots and chip shots at tees positioned in spots where logical hole locations might be this week. That happens every week, but Woods also practiced putting from those same spots on the 12th, 14th and 17th holes. That is not something we see much at PGA Tour events.
Tiger Woods on the 12th hole during a practice round on Tuesday at Winged Foot in advance of the U.S. Open. Photo by David Dusek/Golfweek
Several holes at Winged Foot have false fronts and closely mowed areas that guard the greens. The lies are incredibly tight, and that can make pitching over humps and ridges tricky business. It was fascinating to watch him study how balls slowly rolled off the 14th green. They wobbled, sometimes for 10 to 15 seconds as Tiger made mental notes of where they finally came to rest before putting them back to different spots.
Don’t be surprised to see Tiger putting from 30 feet off some putting surfaces.
Woods’ lag putting appeared solid
If Tiger is wayward off the tee and forced to play shots from the rough, just getting the ball on the green is often be a good accomplishment. The greens will likely roll to about 12 on the Stimpmeter starting on Thursday and could reach 13 by Sunday afternoon. Many have large swales and undulations too, so lag putting and controlling the speed on long putts will be critical.
Woods, Thomas and Augenstein often ignored the holes Tuesday morning and opted to putt at tees they put in the greens’ corners, so gauging how well they putted was tough. However, Tiger spent a lot of time hitting 30- to 50-foot putts, monitoring how the balls rolled off slopes and features. His lag putts rarely stopped more than a few feet from the hole and replicating that this week could help him avoid three-putts and bogeys.
U.S. Open: Rough at Winged Foot could be 5 or 6 inches by the weekend
En route to Winged Foot, U.S. Open trophy makes rounds at public course
King throws 2 TD passes, No. 12 Miami routs Florida State
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Miami avoided a lightning delay, amped up the offense and overwhelmed its in-state rival.
D’Eriq King threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns and the No. 12 Hurricanes beat Florida State 52-10 on Saturday night.
The kickoff appeared headed for a delay because of lightning near Hard Rock Stadium, but the teams received clearance to start on time.
”We get to the stadium, we’re getting ready to go through warm-ups and you find out there’s a possibility of a lightning delay,” Miami coach Manny Diaz said. ”All of our guys and their ability to adjust with all that’s been thrown at them this year – they were worthy victors tonight.”
Cam’Ron Harris and Don Chaney scored twice and Brevin Jordan and Dee Wiggins each caught touchdown passes for Miami (3-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Miami scored touchdowns on its five possessions and built a 35-point lead at halftime. The margin of victory was the largest for Miami in the series since a 47-0 rout in 1976, the first season of Bobby Bowden’s 34-year coaching career at Florida State.
”We had a great attitude and great focus all week,” Diaz said. ”It showed the way we started the game.”
The Seminoles (0-2, 0-2) were without head coach Mike Norvell, who tested positive for coronavirus and remained in Tallahassee under quarantine. Assistant Chris Thomsen served as head coach.
”They really dominated in all phases,” Norvell said. ”Disappointed for our team, for our players, for our coaches, for our fan base. Definitely not the way we wanted to play. This is something that completely falls on me. I’ve got to do a better job of putting our guys in a position to play a better brand of football.”
King capped the Hurricanes’ game-opening drive with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Jordan.
After Ryan Fitzgerald’s 26-yard field goal ended Florida State’s first drive, Miami responded with Harris’ 3-yard-run late in the first quarter. Harris’ second touchdown from 12 yards put the Hurricanes ahead 21-3.
Asante Samuel recovered Mark Pope’s fumble inside the Miami 40 but the Seminoles turned it over on the next play after Jaelan Phillips intercepted Jordan Travis’ pass. Three plays later, King connected with Wiggins from 40 yards to make it 28-3.
King, a graduate transfer from Houston, has completed six touchdown passes without an interception through his first three games with the Hurricanes. He also ran for 65 on eight carries against Florida State.
”We still have a lot of football but I think it’s coming together pretty good right now,” King said.
Chaney scored his first college touchdown on a 2-yard run with 3:37 late in the second quarter. Jose Borregales closed the first half with a 30-yard field goal as time expired.
”It felt so, so good,” Chaney said about his touchdown. ”You have to take advantage of your chances.”
Camren McDonald caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from James Blackman on the Seminoles’ first drive of the second half before Chaney’s 5-yard run early in the fourth quarter gave Miami another 35-point lead.
”Any time you give up 52 points, it’s never progress,” Florida State linebacker Amari Gainer said. We’ve just got to go and get better and practice harder. Whatever we’re doing, it’s not working.”
Miami won its fourth straight over Florida State and leads the series 35-30. The Seminoles enjoyed a seven-game winning streak before the Hurricanes’ current string.
SELLOUT BUT FAR FROM CAPACITY:
The attendance of 12,806 was listed as a sellout. The crowd total fell within the 20% capacity allowed at 65,000-seat Hard Rock Stadium to comply with coronavirus social distancing guidelines.
Florida State: Host Jacksonville State next Saturday.
Miami: At No. 1 Clemson on Oct. 10.
Betts exits after HBP, Dodgers edge Angels following outage
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mookie Betts exited early after getting hit by a pitch, giving the Dodgers a brief scare with the playoffs approaching, and Los Angeles beat the Angels 7-6 on Saturday night following a power outage in the ballpark.
Joc Pederson hit a go-ahead homer in the sixth inning shortly before the lights went out at Dodger Stadium. The Freeway Series resumed in the top of the seventh after a 25-minute delay.
”I panicked for two seconds, to be honest,” said Edwin Rios, who was in the dugout. ”It was dark and I couldn’t see anybody.”
Rios quickly regained his composure and homered in the seventh, and Will Smith added a solo shot in the eighth, giving the NL West champions 116 homers to lead the majors.
The Angels closed to 7-6 in the ninth. Jahmai Jones was safe at first on a fielding error by Rios at third base. Elliott Soto stroked a ground-rule double to deep right, putting Jones on third. Soto and Jones scored on David Fletcher’s double to left off Alex Wood.
Albert Pujols lined out to right, moving Fletcher to third with two outs. But then Shohei Otani grounded out to Adam Kolarek to end the game. Kolarek earned his fourth career save and first this season.
The game was already official, having completed five innings, and the Angels had been eliminated the night before, rendering the outcome meaningless. But Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said it didn’t qualify to be called because the the outage was not due to natural causes.
”It would have been a suspended game,” he said. ”Then to pick it up where we left off tomorrow morning with a day game, we wanted to wait it out.”
Angels manager Joe Maddon called the sudden blackout ”surreal.”
”Right away you think something’s going on somewhere, but we were assured that was not the case,” he said.
The Dodgers led 3-0 in the first, when Angels starter Julio Teheran (0-5) needed 52 pitches to get through the entire nine-man lineup. Betts scored on a bases-loaded walk to Cody Bellinger, Will Smith had a RBI single, and Pederson grounded into a fielder’s choice to first that scored Max Muncy, who had walked.
Betts was plunked in the left hip by Teheran and stayed in the game until scoring the first run. He was replaced as a precaution by Kike Hernandez in right field to start the second. Roberts said Betts wasn’t seriously hurt.
The Angels tied the game and then took a 4-3 lead in the third, one night after being eliminated from playoff contention with a 9-5 loss in the series opener. Jones had an RBI single, and Jared Walsh hit a two-run triple and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Pujols.
Hansel Robles gave up a leadoff walk to Smith in the sixth, setting up Pederson’s shot to the lower left-field seats to put the Dodgers back in front, 5-4.
The third-oldest stadium in the major leagues went completely dark as players left the field after the sixth. The ballpark’s emergency generator kicked on, sending power to the ribbon boards, video boards and loge-level concourse.
”It was spooky,” Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin said. ”It got real dark, real fast.”
Eventually, the stadium’s power returned and so did the Dodgers’ muscle.
Jo Adell had Rios’ shot to center field in his glove, which hit the top of the fence, causing the ball to pop out. It was third homer this week for Rios, a defensive replacement for third baseman Justin Turner in the seventh.
”It was moments away from a spectacular play, then the ball goes over the wall,” Maddon said.
In the eighth, Smith hit his eighth homer off Luke Bard, making it 7-4.
Gonsolin (2-2) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out six against no walks. Gonsolin hadn’t given up more than two runs in his first seven starts this season. The right-hander is vying to be the third starter behind Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw when the playoffs begin Wednesday at home.
Angels: INF Luis Rengifo went on the IL with a right hamstring strain.
Dodgers: Betts was hit in the left hip by Teheran leading off the bottom of the first. Betts initially stayed in and scored, but was limping in the dugout afterward.
LHP Patrick Sandoval (1-4, 5.56 ERA) pitches for the Angels on Sunday. The Dodgers had not announced a starter.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
‘It’s one of the dirtiest things you can do.’
UFC president Dana White gives his biggest star, Conor McGregor, a lot of leeway most times. It appears the Irishman crossed an invisible line recently.
White responded to a recent tweet in which McGregor posted screenshots of a private messaging conversation between the two earlier this year.
McGregor was tweeting about how he had asked for a fight with Diego Sanchez and how the White quickly shot down the idea. McGregor was trying to explain how he had tried to line up several fights this year, but grew tired of the UFC not lining them up quickly enough. That eventually led to him announcing his retirement in June.
Outing the conversation publicly didn’t sit well with White, who commented about it after UFC 253 on Saturday night on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
“This is some man-code stuff. It’s just something you don’t do. It’s one of the dirtiest things you can do,” White said.
He also went on to criticize McGregor asking to fight Sanchez. Though Sanchez won the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter and is in the UFC Hall of Fame for his spectacular fight with Clay Guida in 2009, he hasn’t been a legitimate contender in any division for the past decade.
Diego Sanchez is exciting, yes. Fans typically love to watch him fight, but McGregor is still near the top of the lightweight division. White questioned McGregor’s logic.
“When you’re the number two or three ranked guy in the world and you’re telling me that you want to fight, but you want to fight un-ranked, 39-year-old Diego Sanchez in a main event in Los Angeles?”
To Diego Sanchez…
I seen your recent comments about your final bout and I am in!
After you fought Pereira, I had requested for myself and you to compete in Dublin. This was back in February when I was working on opposition for my season, pre covid.
Good luck this weekend! pic.twitter.com/Y0hf6Zr7XF
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 25, 2020
TRENDING > Conor McGregor says he’s boxing Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East
What about Conor McGregor boxing Manny Pacquiao?
Around the same time he was tweeting about asking to fight Sanchez, McGregor also tweeted about his next fight… although he has insisted to this point that he is retired.
Seemingly, another slap in the face of the UFC, McGregor tweeted, “Anyway all water under the bridge who gives a fook. I’m boxing Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East.”
White said that he had “no idea” how valid a fight between McGregor and Pacquiao might be.
Although McGregor publicly retired from fighting, he remains under contract with the UFC. So any bout with Pacquiao would need the promotion’s blessing to move forward.
Though he didn’t address such a possibility, White curtly pointed to McGregor’s supposed retirement.
“You guys have been asking me about Conor McGregor forever. Did you see Conor McGregor’s tweet? The retirement tweet. I’m retired – birthday cake – I’m retired.”
Trending Video > Dana White addresses latest Conor McGregor sexual assault allegations
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