Following a wayward approach shot on the 12th hole during Saturday’s third round at the AT&T National, D.H. Lee was caught by television cameras gesturing with his middle finger in an apparent expression toward the nearby gallery.
After the round, though, Lee contended that the gesture was meant for himself rather than anyone behind the ropes.
“I’m sorry for that,” said the 25-year-old South Korean. “No, it was just for me. My ball. It was frustration. It wasn’t aimed at anyone.”
However, if this video is Lee flipping himself off, we'd hate to see his road rage.
BY MICHAEL ROSENGART, Golf.com contributing writer
Jason Day surprised the crowd here at Congressional this afternoon when he walked up to the first tee with his right wrist bandaged. But after a round that included six missed fairways and four visits to greenside sand traps, the U.S. Open runner-up didn't seem concerned, saying that the rough was "fluffy, but it's no Merion."
After finishing his round of 70, Day seemed fine signing autographs for grateful fans outside the clubhouse. The pain, he said, only bothered him on uphill lies and sand shots.
"It hurts a bit through impact; it goes down into my bottom two fingers, but it's okay," he added. "I'm not complaining about it, I just got to watch it."
Whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, it’s hard to deny the Tiger Effect on a golf tournament. The faithful and the cynics flocked together in throngs to CBS’s broadcast to watch Woods play the final round at Congressional Sunday. That drove the ratings through the roof, according to John Ourand at Sports Business Journal:
The Tiger Effect: CBS delivered a 4.6 overnight for the AT&T National, up +188% from last year's tournament, which was won by Nick Watney.
With numbers like that, the networks are probably fine letting the internet argue over just how “back” Tiger is. As long as he’s there on the weekend.
Greenbrier cleans up after storm damage The Greenbrier will be somewhat less green, but this week's PGA Tour stop should continue on schedule despite storm damage over the weekend, according to PGATOUR.com. The storm smashed "70 to 80 trees" across the Old White Course, said Jim Justice, the chairman and owner of the resort.
"The Greenbrier Classic 2012 will start on schedule this Monday and go off without a hitch," continued Justice. "It's really special to see how everyone has come together over the past 48 hours. While we have a golf tournament to put on, our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the widespread damage and power outages the storms have caused throughout the Virginia's and our beautiful region. We hope that The Greenbrier Classic can help serve as a positive diversion during these difficult times."
Justice is right, though: Golf tournaments -- particularly ones held at exceedingly rural, five-star resorts -- rarely bump up against real world problems. But a good walk in a green field can be a nice distraction when they do.
And if the golf isn't diversion enough, hopefully Virginia can drum up enough power to juice the Bon Jovi concert scheduled to go off on Saturday. Or for Rod Stewart on Friday, or for Tobey Keith and Lionel Ritchie Wednesday… Wait, is this a golf tournament, anyway?
Portrush makes case for Open Championship as Irish Open host The Royal and Ancients haven't brought an Open championship to Northern Ireland since 1951, but after last week's Irish Open at Royal Portrush, many are clamoring to end the surprising streak. Most reports said the event went off without a hitch, and called the audition a resounding success. As Golfweek's Alistair Tait writes:
This Irish Open proved Royal Portrush deserves to have the Open Championship. The tournament was a sell-out before play teed off, and fans came out in their thousands despite incessant rain and cold temperatures. Attendance for the week was 130,785, beating last year's 85,179 by the proverbial country mile…
… This felt like an Open Championship. The event ran without a hitch, and was a fantastic test run for a future Open. The first available slot for the game's oldest tournament is 2017. The R&A should seriously consider Royal Portrush again. The course deserves it, the fans will support it and it would be a fantastic Open venue.
If that didn't convince you, maybe the perspective from a comfortably seated spectator 3,000ish miles away will: It looked good on TV.
Tiger Woods won the 2012 AT&T National at Congressional Country Club on Sunday and passed Jack Nicklaus on the career wins list.
It was Woods's third PGA Tour victory of the season and the 74th of his career, which put him one ahead of Nicklaus's total. Woods got his 73rd earlier this month at the Memorial in Columbus, Ohio, the annual Tour stop that is hosted by Nicklaus. Sam Snead, with 82, is the only player with more wins.
Woods has 14 career major championship victories, four shy of Nicklaus's record of 18, and will next have a chance to add to that total at the British Open, which starts July 19 at Royal Lytham and St. Annes in England.
On a blistering hot day in Bethesda, Md., Woods played a nearly flawless round. He shot 69 for a total score of eight under, two shots clear of Bo Van Pelt.
His victory included a remarkable 9-iron around a tree from the rough on the par-4 12th hole. After hooking his drive, he was forced to play a shot in which his club was certain to slam into a tree on his follow-through. He pulled it off, putting his ball on the green, in a moment that was reminiscent of a similar swing he made at the 2007 Masters. This time, however, the club didn't break.
Woods will go for win No. 75 this week at the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia.
Tiger Woods is still five majors away from beating Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major championships, but Woods could pass the Golden Bear for career PGA Tour wins with a victory Sunday at the AT&T National, a tournament Woods hosts.
Woods fired a four-under 67 Saturday in sweltering temperatures at Congressional to finish one shot behind Brendon de Jonge, a Virginia Tech graduate from Zimbabwe who is still looking for his first win on the PGA Tour.
Starting the day five shots off the lead, Woods climbed into contention with four birdies in the first 10 holes, including a holed pitch shot from the back of the green at the par-5 sixth hole. The shot was similar to the one Woods holed last month at Nicklaus's tournament in Dublin, Ohio. Woods went on to win the Memorial for his second victory of the season, and it tied him with Nicklaus for second on the all-time PGA Tour wins list with 73. Sam Snead holds the record for the most wins at 82.
On the last eight holes, Woods made eight pars to get to six under for the tournament.
It was a miracle any golf was played at Congressional on Saturday. The start of play was delayed six hours after a wind storm called a derecho (duh-RAY'-choh) produced 80 mile-per-hour winds on Friday night in the Washington area, uprooting dozens of trees, knocking out power and damaging hospitality tents.
"It was amazing that we even got it in," Woods said. "The staff, maintenance crew, all the volunteers, picking up twigs and getting everything cleared out so we could actually give it a go today was an amazing effort."
Workers spent all morning cutting up large tree trunks and removing limbs scattered across the golf course, while PGA Tour officials made a rare decision to forbid volunteers and spectators from attending the third round due to safety concerns.
"It's too dangerous out here," said Mark Russell, the PGA Tour's vice president of rules and competition, on Saturday morning. "There's a lot of hanging limbs. There's a lot of debris. It's like a tornado came through here. It's just not safe."
Fans will be allowed back on Sunday, and those who had tickets on Saturday can attend the final round. They'll likely all be trying to get a glimpse of Woods as he tries to make history once again.
Suzann Pettersen will become the latest golfer to strip down for ESPN Magazine's the Body Issue, according to CBSSports.com (and, well, much of the internet). For comment on this development, I defer to the source of the article, CBS's Shane Bacon:
"Back in my caddie days, I had a few experiences with Suzann in the gym and let me tell you, she's a beast. Her workouts are hard and long and intense and she works really hard on her body to get the best out of it. Having her in the Body Issue seems like a lay-up for ESPN and golf fans should be excited to see a speciman (speciwoman?) in the game."
And there it is.
The magazine hits newsstands July 13. The Norwegian pro, currently ranked fifth in the world, joins the expanding Mt. Rushmore of LPGA players to appear in the annual issue, alongside Belen Mozo, Christina Kim, Sandra Gal and Anna Grzebien.
Furyk Ready to Forget U.S. Open Meltdown Jim Furyk would, very courteously and with all due respect, request that you stop reminding him of his early-evening misadventures Sunday at Olympic Club. Thank you.
That was the gist of his performance for the press Wednesday before the AT&T National, according to Emily Kay of SBNation. It's making it really hard for him to forget, and that's an important step toward recovery:
"I've always been really good at kinda putting it behind me," Furyk said, adding that those around him have made it harder for him to do that. "I get reminded of it at least two dozen times a day [by] hundreds of hundreds of people just seeing me in public at the grocery story, at a restaurant, and you know, 'I was rootin' for you, I was pullin' for you.'"
Even PGA Tour service personnel have hopped aboard the sympathy train.
"Our commissioner was telling me yesterday that our local dry cleaner was trying to figure out, 'well, why did he hit that shot?'" Furyk recounted. When Tim Finchem noted that Furyk was not trying to shoot himself out of contention, the launderer pressed him further. "'Yeah, but he shouldn't have done it in that situation.'
"Well, no s**t," Furyk said with a laugh, "but you shouldn't break the buttons on my shirt, but it happens once in a while."
Furyk starts his first round at 1:02, alongside Robert Garrigus and Jason Day. Please address your Hallmark "Get Well Soon" cards to the Congressional locker room, c/o Fluff Cowan.
Another Open Closed Do you want to be Merion's "Jungle Bird" at the 2013 U.S. Open? Tough. All the general admission tickets for the championship rounds are already sold out. And while fences are probably no problem for the real Jungle Bird, well, we're not all quite so avian.
Aside from the usual "secondary" market, you can also buy tickets for the Monday-Wednesday practice rounds. You can also pony up some big bucks for the premium "Trophy Club" and "1895 Club" tickets. Both offer access to food, drink and (most notably) air conditioning in tents located near the 18th hole. Prices range from $50 for single-day practice-round tickets to $385 for Sunday 1895 Club ducats. (You can also get in free if you happen to be a kid or active-duty military, which is nice.)
The 2012 U.S. Open marked the event's 26th straight sell out. In all, 230,000 people graced Olympic's grounds. Since Merion is a smaller site, the USGA paired back ticket allotments - down to 25,000 per day from 33,000. Never too early to start digging your tunnel to the action…
And now for something frightening: Yahoo came across this add for SkySports, and found it in their dark hearts to share it:
Watching Tiger morph into Monty is like watching the bad guy age after picking the wrong grail in The Last Crusade. I wonder if this will turn me away from golf the way that did from water. Always choose the pewter cup, that's the lesson there. Applied here, it means always stick to a single spokesman's face, even that face belongs to Colin Montgomerie.
Tweet of the Day:
I guess the news has come out! Yes, Iam one of the athletes in ESPN's body issue! It was a different experience but an honor to be asked!
When Phil Mickelson started the final round at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, he seemed like a long shot to win the event. By the time he finished the front nine, he seemed like a lock.
Mickelson was nine under, six shots behind leader Charlie Wi, after 54 holes, but he charged out of the gate with birdies on three of the first five holes and an eagle on the par-5 sixth. As Mickelson climbed the leaderboard with a 31 on the front to get to 14 under, his competitors fell all around him.
Wi four-putted the first hole for a double bogey and was 12 under after going out in 39. Tiger Woods, paired with Mickelson in the second-to-last group, bogeyed the last three holes on the front nine to fall to nine under. Duke also fell back with a front-nine 37.
Mickelson never let up, shooting a bogey-free 64 to finish 17 under, two shots clear of Wi. It was Mickelson's 40th PGA Tour victory and his fourth win at this event.
Woods, whose game has showed improvement in recent months, was again unable to finish a tournament with a victory. His three-over 75 left him at eight under, tied for 15th.
When asked about playing with Woods, Mickelson said it helped.
"I am inpsired playing with him, and I think most people are," Mickelson said. "He seems to bring out the best in me."
When asked about Woods's game, he was complimentary.
"He was hitting it so solid, you could tell his game was really close," Mickelson said.