Category: Gary Woodland


August 25, 2013

Barclays leaders Kuchar and Woodland have bond formed in China

Posted at 10:29 AM by Joe Passov

Kuchar-and-woodland
Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland at the 2009 World Cup at Mission Hills, China (Getty Images).

Nearly two years ago, I took some time over the Thanksgiving holiday to catch a few hours of the Omega Mission Hills World Cup. Over time, the event had morphed into something barely a notch above a glorified exhibition, but year after year, it seemed to produce compelling team competition. The 2009 event in particular, was sensational, when the Molinari brothers brought a surprising win home to Italy, edging the Irish team of McIlroy and McDowell and the Swedes -- Stenson and Karlssson -- by one shot. The Americans hadn't won one of these since 2000, when Tiger Woods and David Duval (remember him?) took the crown in Argentina. There was no reason to think things would be any different for the Americans in 2011.

A funny thing happened on the way to the title. Matt Kuchar, a quality champion but not yet a superstar, picked as his partner the mostly unheralded Gary Woodland, a bomber with exactly one win on Tour. Not exactly Nicklaus-Palmer in terms of scaring their competitors, but that didn't seem to matter. Kuchar and Woodland hammered home a well-earned victory. Also-rans included the English team of Ian Poulter and Justin Rose, South Africa's Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen, and the heavy favorites, Ireland's Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.

I had tuned in primarily to see Asia's newest and toughest tournament venue, Mission Hills' Blackstone, a Brian Curley design on Hainan Island. This beautiful brute stretched 7,800 yards, splashed with bunkers everywhere and framed by black volcanic lava rock, making recoveries next-to-impossible. The pros praised the layout as tough but fair -- and was not one that I thought would surrender a 24-under-par winning score. Woodland's power and Kuchar's consistency proved the perfect combination in the alternate-shot format, allowing the duo to birdie all four par-5s on Sunday on their way to an impressive 5-under 67.

"We really clicked," said Woodland.

Added Kuchar, "When I got selected to represent the United States in the World Cup, I also got to choose my partner, and I knew it was going to be a great honor to come here to play for my country. I thought if I picked the right partner, I'd have a real shot at winning the title. And I chose Gary Woodland, thinking that he would team up well with me. He played fantastic this week. I have no doubt that he was the best player in the field."

Since 2011, Kuchar has enhanced his status as one of the Tour's prime-timers, while Woodland has overcome a disastrous 2012 to win again in 2013. He'll feel the nerves, but the guess here is that based on the recent past, both men will bring out the best in the other -- with the edge to Kuchar.

February 03, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Woodland's early bid for shot of the year

Posted at 10:20 AM by Alan Bastable

Waste Management got some bang for its sponsorship buck Thursday when mad bomber Gary Woodland tried to drive the green at the par-4 10th on the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale. Woodland’s ball never made it to its intended destination, instead vanishing into a row of Waste Management recycling bins short and right of the green. Gary McCord handled the trash talk…

 

Woodland two-putted for his par. He was one-under through 15 holes when the first round was suspended due to darkness.

For FedEx Cup points leader, competitiveness is all in the %$#&! family
If you’re impressed not only by Johnson Wagner’s ’stache but also by his steel, give some credit to his fiery mother and smack-talking brother, reports Karen Crouse of The New York Times:

Johnson’s stiff upper lip in competition can be traced to the family golf games he played growing up, contentious rounds that featured thrown clubs and hurled invectives — mostly by Wagner’s mother, Betty. Her sons describe her as the fiercest competitor in the family, with Johnson Wagner running a close second. 

And then there’s his supportive bro, T.J.:

Johnson Wagner sometimes hated his outings with his brother, who played golf at Washington and Lee from 1996 to 2000.

“My brother used to like to get under my skin,” said Wagner, who starred at Virginia Tech. “He knew how to push my buttons. I remember one time I hit a bad drive and he made fun of me, and I tomahawked my putter and it hit the windshield of the cart and shattered it.”

And the sweet, loving vibe at family game night:

...the combativeness that Wagner learned to bottle up on the golf course is uncorked when the family gathers to play board games like Cranium.

“Both my brother’s wife and mine have been brought to tears,” Wagner said. 

Mickelson’s lawyer “very close” to identifying Lefty basher
The attorney who is representing Phil Mickelson in Lefty’s quest to “out” a menacing message-board poster says they are nearing their goal. Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic checked in with the lawyer, Glenn Cohen, after Mickelson’s opening-round three-under 68 at the Waste Management Open Thursday.

Cohen was happy to hear his client played well while he focused on the dirty work. And it's dirty all right. As Cohen recounted some of the things posted about Mickelson and his wife, he grew madder and madder.

"Enough is enough," he said. "It has to change. We're very close to finding out who this is."

Tweet of the day

 

January 03, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Rickie Fowler vs. Tiger Woods at Fiesta Bowl

Posted at 2:10 PM by Michael Chwasky

Though their accomplishments on the golf course aren't exactly comparable (0 tour wins vs. 71), Waggle Room points out that Rickie Fowler did get a victory of sorts over Tiger Woods when Oklahoma State beat Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl last night. (Photos: Fowler, Woods, Wie.) Tiger was an honorary captain of Stanford's squad and participated in the coin toss, while Rickie was also named honorary captain of his alma mater.

After the close game Fowler Tweeted to his followers, "victory is sweet...what a game...my boys hung in there and found a way to win...the gifts helped though...a win is a win!!" Meanwhile Tiger avoided Twitter but did tell the AP earlier in the week that he was feeling good and looking forward to the '12 season: 

"The lowest moments [last year] came from the fact that I wasn't healthy and couldn't put in the time on and off the course that I wanted and needed to, and that was frustrating," Woods said. "I was playing with pain and that isn't fun. The last couple of months have been really fun and that is mostly because I am feeling healthy again and building week on week."

 Check out Tiger on the sidelines as he rooted for the Cardinal squad: 

RANKING THE FIELD AT KAPALUA
Another golf season has come and gone with more than a few big stories. One of the more interesting developments in 2011, which was probably overlooked by a lot of golf fans, was the emergence of big-hitting Gary Woodland.

Woodland, a Topeka native, played basketball at Washburn before transferring to Kansas to play golf. He notched his first win at the Transitions Championship and put up some extremely impressive season stats, including ranking fifth in driving distance, 12th in greens in regulation, 13th in birdie average, and 14th in scoring, while raking in close to $3.5 million. Not bad for a guy who nobody seems to know much about. Throw in a win with Matt Kuchar at the World Cup, and you might say Woodland had a pretty nice year.

In light of his breakout season, it's not surprising that he topped PGATour.com's first fantasy golf Power Rankings of 2012 for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions this week. Here's the top five:

1. Gary Woodland: A huge hitter who can bring Kapalua to its knees.

2. Webb Simpson: #1 in all-around ranking in '11. 

3. Nick Watney: Won twice last year. 

4. Bill Haas: Finished 8th at Kapalua in '11. 

5. David Toms: Has four top-10 finishes in Maui so far. 

TWEET OF THE DAY

November 29, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Nicklaus suggests changes to Gleneagles for Ryder Cup

Posted at 4:01 PM by Michael Chwasky

The European host of the 2014 Ryder Cup is taking preparations seriously, to say the least. Need proof? With the event more than three years away, none other than Jack Nicklaus has provided suggestions on course changes at the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles Resort in Perthshire, Scotland, to make the event more difficult for the players and more entertaining for fans. Nicklaus wants work done on the ninth, 10th, and 18th holes, and the specific alterations are: an increase in the size of a water hazard on the par-5 ninth hole, which would increase the risk-reward quotient; new tee boxes on the par-3 10th, which will change the approach angle to the green; and a more level landing area on the par-5 18th. Organizers said they are also working to reduce the amount of water that might collect on the greens.

In light of the foul weather that plagued the last Ryder Cup, which was held at Celtic Manor in Wales, the 2014 event will be held Sept. 26-28 instead of October.  

Stevie appears on 'Least Influential' list

Adam Scott's current caddie Steve Williams has made plenty of news as of late, including some less-than-positive press after making a seemingly racist remark about Tiger Woods, his former employer. Now the New Zealand native is reaching a new audience, as he has landed on GQ's famed, "25 Least Influential People Alive" list. Yup, the guy who "won," all those majors comes in eighth on the impressive list, edging out the likes of Paul Reiser, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Bobby Bonilla. Here's a bit from GQ's funnymen: 

"Obviously it's well documented I've won 145 golf tournaments." YOU WON NOTHING, YOU BAG APE. No one has documented anything about you, other than what a prick you can be when pushing photographers out of the way. There's nothing worse than a profoundly inessential person who's deluded himself into thinking he's the opposite.  

Knowing a bit about Stevie, we're guessing he won't be too bothered by the piece, but it would be interesting to know how he feels about being ranked below Tia and Tamera Mowry. 

Woodland heading for Ryder Cup?

After finishing 17th on the money list in 2011 with close to $3.5 million in earnings and snagging his first career win at the Transitions Championship, you'd think young Gary Woodland would be satisfied. Nope. To cap off the year, the former Kansas State standout traveled to China and won the World Cup with Matt Kuchar, marking the first time the U.S. has taken home the trophy since Tiger Woods and David Duval teamed up to win the event in 2000. 

Now that Woodland has finished off his dream season he's eyeing another goal he says he's always dreamed of -- playing in The Ryder Cup. 

Ever since I turned professional I have dreamt about being in a US Ryder Cup team and it now seems a big step closer. I had the goal at the start of the year to make the Presidents Cup. That didn't pan out but then Matt chose me to partner him in the World Cup and I could not have been happier. Europe has kind of had the States's number in most of the recent Ryder Cups but it would be nice to be in the team that win back the trophy on home turf. It's been a long while since the States had the Ryder Cup, World Cup and Presidents Cup in the same trophy cabinet but for me winning the World Cup is going to be a big inspiration to make the Ryder Cup team.

Woodland was also highly complimentary of Kuchar, whom he credits for helping him adapt to the team format. 

I've learned so much from playing alongside Matt and that's going to be a great springboard for me to take into 2012. He was always very positive, very encouraging and always very helpful in putting me at ease. It helps my confidence and it further boosts Matt's confidence given that he was also on the winning Presidents Cup side the week before. Hopefully both he and I can play well enough in 2012 to make Davis's side. I grew up watching the Ryder Cup and it would be an honor for me to play.

When you consider the would-be Ryder Cupper's PGA Tour stats from '11 (Driving Distance: 5th, Greens in Regulation: 12th, Birdie Average: 13th, Scoring Average: 14th), it's a good bet Woodland will be at Medinah next year: 

Tweet of the Day

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Monty














August 23, 2011

Earthquake in Virginia shakes up the Barclays Championship

Posted at 4:31 PM by David Dusek

EDISON, N.J. -- The pros were hitting balls on the range and playing practice rounds at Plainfield Country Club on Tuesday afternoon when tents swayed and the ground shook for about 15 seconds due to the 5.8-magnitude earthquake in Virginia.

The club, about 300 miles from the quake's epicenter, is the site of this week's Barclays, the first FedEx Cup playoff tournament.

Hunter Mahan and John Wood, his caddie, both felt the ground move on the practice range. "It wasn't hard, but it was definitely noticeable," Wood said.

Heath Slocum, who won the Barclays in 2009, was hitting chip shots on the range when the earthquake happened. As the ground rumbled under his feet, he told Ping tour manager Matt Rollins, "I feel like I'm going to pass out." Rollins told Slocum he felt the same sensation, and then the two realized what was happening.

On the practice green, Charles Howell was hitting putts off a mirrored training aid. The trembling caused the balls on the mirror to slide off.

One after another, the players on the range looked around, and then started Tweeting.

JustinRoseTweet

GaryWoodlandTweet

ZachJohnonTweet

Beyond giving players and fans something unique to talk about, the earthquake will have no effect on the Barclays, which is scheduled to begin Thursday morning. No signs fells, no tree limbs came down and within moments it was business as usual on the range.

May 25, 2011

Greens OK at Nelson after hailstorm

Posted at 1:05 PM by David Dusek

IRVING, Texas -- According to the Dallas Morning News, the powerful thunderstorms that struck the Dallas area Tuesday night left more than 70,000 area residents without electricity as high winds knocked down trees and power lines. The paper also reported that a man was killed near downed power lines, approximately 10,000 air travelers were stranded at Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport and the Texas Rangers' game against the Chicago White Sox was delayed for about three hours. At one point, the field was pelted with golf ball-size hail.

At the TPC Four Seasons, site of this week's HP Byron Nelson Championship, downed tree branches, garbage and small pieces of debris were easily cleaned up Wednesday morning. Repairing hail damage, however, was a much bigger job.

"It was a mess; I don't know if I have ever seen anything like it," said Slugger White, the PGA Tour's vice president of rules and competitions . "The hail was about half the size of baseballs, and it beat everything up pretty well. My admiration goes out to [superintendent] John Cunningham and his crew. They did just a great job getting this place playable again this morning with just an hour delay."

White wasn't exaggerating. Gary Woodland, winner of this season's Transitions Championship , posted the picture below on his Twitter feed Tuesday night of a piece of hail that fell outside his hotel.

GaryWoodland-Hail

The hail damaged several greens, leaving pockmarks scattered across the putting surfaces. "They had about 10 or 12 guys out there this morning, just going from front to back trying to fix what looked like ball marks," White said. "Then they rolled them after that, so we're just going to see what happens tonight." The photo shows the damage done to the 18th green.

18Green-wed-Nelson_600x450
White said the greens may need extra water Wednesday evening to make them a little more receptive to the rollers. He also said most of the course's bunkers were washed out, so the grounds crew had to shovel the mud off the surface and rake the sand into place.

Tuesday night's storms are not expected to cause a delay in the start of the tournament, which begins at 7:15 a.m. local time Thursday.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

May 05, 2011

David Feherty says Rory McIlroy could 'easily' be No. 1

Posted at 12:17 PM by Mike Walker

David Feherty, the wit of CBS Sports' golf broadcasts and the soul of Golf Magazine, says his Northern Ireland countryman Rory McIlory has all the makings of a No. 1 player, and he doesn't expect it will take too long for McIlroy to get there.

He finished second the week after the Masters so he has shown that he can bounce back from both bad rounds and bad weeks. His finish at the Wells Fargo last year was the best of the year by a comfortable margin. That was a most stunning finish to a tournament from an untested player that I have ever seen in my life. Six three’s in row for 62 in the last round on a golf course like Quail Hollow? It’s unthinkable. I expect him to contend this week. He loves the golf course and has good memories of it. And, for the first time in his career he kind of has something to prove. He really hasn’t had that up until now. He has shown himself to be like a Top-10 player in the world and he could quite easily be No. 1 before long.

Feherty made his comments to promote CBS Sports' coverage of the Wells Fargo Championship this weekend. In addition to the defending champ, Feherty will be watching another player closely as well: long-hitting Gary Woodland, who is playing with Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney on Thursday and Friday.

I will be interested to see if Phil can get it past Woodland. Woodland may actually vaporize the ball and I don’t know if there is ruling for that.

January 22, 2011

What to Watch For: Sunday at the Bob Hope Classic

Posted at 9:46 PM by Ryan Reiterman

Who Will Blink First?
Woodland For the second straight day, Gary Woodland and Jhonattan Vegas are tied for the lead. Woodland had the lead to himself until Vegas closed with five consecutive birdies. So who will take home the title Sunday? Vegas leads the field in birdies; Woodland made several clutch par saves Saturday to keep his round going. Both players have enough game to capture their first title, but if they falter, there are plenty of names within five shots -- including defending champion Bill Haas, Matt Kuchar, Boo Weekley, Ryan Palmer and Charles Howell III -- who could move quickly up the leaderboard.

Early Birds Get the Trophy?
It will also be interesting to see how Woodland and Vegas will respond if someone from the earlier groups goes really low. Haas, who shot 62 on Saturday, showed a crazy-low score is not out of the question, and with the winning score looking to be around 30 under, guys will be flag hunting all day.

More from the Hope: Scores | Tee times | Photos | Recap

(Photo: Gary Woodland; Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

January 21, 2011

What to Watch For: Saturday at the Bob Hope Classic

Posted at 10:23 PM by Ryan Reiterman

Young Leaders
Jan21_woodland_600x427 Rookie Jhonattan Vegas and second-year PGA Tour member Gary Woodland are tied for the lead after three rounds, but it will be interesting to see if they can stay at the top over the next two days. Woodland and Vegas are bombers -- both players are averaging more than 310 yards off the tee this week -- and both lead a key statistical category. Vegas leads the field in fairways hit (39 of 41), while Woodland leads greens in regulation (48 of 54).

'Boom, Baby!' is Back
Jeff Overton had his breakout moment last year at the Ryder Cup when he made an eagle on a par 4 and capped it off by screaming, "Boom, baby!" Overton is still seeking his first PGA Tour win, but he's only three strokes off the lead after a five-under 67 on Friday at La Quinta. The key for Overton over the next two days could be the par 3s. Through three rounds, Overton is one over on the par 3s.

Hot Putter
Before his round on Friday, Greg Chalmers got a putting tip from an unlikely source. Chalmers overheard a caddie telling one of the amateurs in the field to make sure his hands were forward during his putting stroke. A lightbulb went off for Chalmers, and he went out and shot a bogey-free 65 and now finds himself only one shot back.

But can Chalmers keep his putting stroke going Saturday on the SilverRock course, often considered the hardest of the four courses at the Bob Hope?

Birdies for a Cause
There's usually no cheering from the press box, but it will be hard not to root for Steve Elkington when he makes a birdie this week. Elkington will donate $1,000 for every birdie to aid flood victims in Australia. He has made 16 birdies through three rounds.

More from the Bob Hope: Scores | Tee times | Photos | Recap

(Photo: Gary Woodland; Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)





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