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Jan 28, 2015

Golf-Scottsdale’s sweet 16th evokes strong memories for Tiger

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Tiger Woods has not competed at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in 14 years but he is remembered most by the raucous crowds that gather here at the TPC Scottsdale for his electrifying debut four years earlier.

In January 1997, Woods was just three months from clinching his first major title in record-breaking style at the Masters and he gave the fans at Scottsdale a hint of the magic to come with a stunning ace in the Phoenix Open third round.

Jan 27, 2015

Golf-Super Bowl, Tiger give Phoenix Open extra spark

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona, Jan 27 (Reuters) – The Waste Management Phoenix Open and Super Bowl are both being staged this week in the Phoenix area and Patrick Reed, one of the hottest players on the PGA Tour, is licking his lips in anticipation.

The National Football League’s showpiece is the biggest sports event in the United States while the $6.3 million Phoenix Open, played at the TPC Scottsdale, is renowned for its raucous crowds and the loudest hole in golf.

Jan 27, 2015

Golf-Rusty but smiling Woods reveals a full set of teeth

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Tiger Woods, set to compete at the Waste Management Phoenix Open this week for the first time in 14 years, was in a humourous mood on Tuesday as he spoke about his rusty game and a repaired set of teeth.

Eight days ago, Woods lost a front tooth and had another cracked by a video camera after watching his girlfriend Lindsey Vonn claim a record 63rd World Cup Alpine ski win in Italy.

Jan 27, 2015

Golf-Allenby stands by initial report of Honolulu ordeal

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona, Jan 27 (Reuters) – The curious tale of Robert Allenby’s bruising ordeal in Honolulu has taken some unexpected twists but the Australian on Tuesday stuck by his original version of events.

On Jan. 17, Allenby reported that he had been abducted the previous day from a wine bar, robbed and then dumped from a car in a Hawaii park about six miles (10 km) away after failing to qualify for the Sony Open in Honolulu.

Jan 15, 2015

Golf-Kapalua’s elite formula under pressure to change

KAPALUA, Hawaii, Jan 15 (Reuters) – For almost two decades, the PGA Tour’s opening event of the year has been held on the picturesque Hawaiian island of Maui with a winners-only field, an elite aspect tournament director Nancy Cross wants to retain.

The absence in recent seasons of top drawcards such as Tiger Woods and reigning world number one Rory McIlroy has led to dwindling spectator attendance and calls for a change to the qualification process but Cross is happy with the status quo.

Jan 13, 2015

Golf-Reed embellishes credentials with Kapalua win

KAPALUA, Hawaii, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Ten months after clinching his third PGA Tour title and declaring he was among the game’s top five players, Patrick Reed enhanced his golfing status by winning the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Monday.

Never short of confidence, the 24-year-old American produced a stellar display of shot-making over the closing holes at the Kapalua Resort before beating compatriot Jimmy Walker in a playoff to earn the winner’s cheque for $1.14 million.

Jan 13, 2015

Golf-Cold putter over closing holes costs Walker title

KAPALUA, Hawaii, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Jimmy Walker was left to rue a few putts that got away over the closing stretch as he narrowly failed in his bid to win a third PGA Tour title in 12 months at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Monday.

Walker squandered a three-shot lead with eight holes to play on a gorgeous afternoon of dazzling sunshine at the Kapalua Resort before being edged out by fellow American Patrick Reed in a playoff.

Jan 13, 2015

Golf-Reed wins Kapalua title in playoff

KAPALUA, Hawaii, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Strong-finishing Patrick Reed held his nerve to beat fellow American Jimmy Walker in a playoff for the $5.7 million Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Monday to clinch his fourth victory on the PGA Tour.

Reed, who vaulted into contention by spectacularly holing out from the fairway to eagle the par-four 16th, coolly sank an 18-foot birdie putt at the par-five last to win the PGA Tour’s opening event of the year.

Jan 13, 2015

New putting grip helps Kirk sign off with a 62

KAPALUA, Hawaii (Reuters) – Chris Kirk ended a roller-coaster week at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in record-equalling style, profiting from a new putting grip as he fired a sizzling 11-under-par 62 in Monday’s final round.

Dead-last overnight in the elite winners-only field of 33, Kirk rocketed up the leaderboard with a barrage of birdies on the hilly Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort to post a 13-under total of 279.

Jan 12, 2015

Golf-Looming putter ban a belly ache for some

KAPALUA, Hawaii, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Less than a year remains before PGA Tour players have to accept a ban by golf’s rulemakers on long putters being anchored to the body and Tim Clark is among those who expect “some challenges along the way.”

South African Clark has been using the anchored technique for 17 years, and the same putter for more than a decade, and he was vocal in his opposition to the proposal when it was first suggested in December 2012.