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December 21, 2008
Kim implodes, Singh explodes
Vijay Singh has caught fire on the back nine, making three birdies in his first five holes to take a 1 sht lead over Jim Furyk. At the same time, Anthony Kim has shot himself in the foot on back to back holes. Kim made double bogey on the par-4, 14th and then stepped up and knocked the ball in the water on the par-3, 15th. If he's going to win, he's going to need a miracle over the last few holes.
The weather turned out great again, giving the tournament a boost after a tough start to the week weather wise,
Lost in the final round shuffle may be Luke Donald's 6-under 66. It was too late for him this week, but it should give him confidence for the coming season.
Posted by bbuttitta at 2:24 PM
Final day run
The first group is about to tee off, meaning the last group with Anthony Kim and Jim Furyk is about an hour and a half from starting. I like Kim's chances to finish what he started yesterday and win the tournament.
His game is just getting better and more importantly his confidence and command of himself is growing by leaps and bounds.
Of the guys chasing, I like Vijay's chances. He is a guy who knows how to post a number on the final day and he has played here a lot more than the other guys at the top of the board.
I think it will be a good day of golf. The tournament certainly does not have the same kind of buzz without Tiger playing, but even with that it's been solid, with big names like Furyk, Villegas and Kim giving fans some fun golf to watch.
Posted by bbuttitta at 9:36 AM
December 19, 2008
Woods in the media center
Not Tiger, but his daughter Sam, accompanied by her grandmother Kultida Woods. The littlest Woods came in to see the large inflatable Santa that stands nears the entrance to the media center. Now 18 months, she seemed very content to hang out with Granny. And don't worry that she was crashing the media center, Sam had her proper photo credential that gives her access to the media complex.
As for the golf, KJ Choi and Hunter Mahan have both caught first round leader Jim Furyk at 4 under. Viajy Singh is 3 under and Fred Couples is 3 under for the day, under for the tournament.
Without Tiger, crowds are down, making it nice for those here to get a good look at the golfers who are competing.
Posted by bbuttitta at 11:41 AM
December 18, 2008
Off and running
After two brutal days of weather, the first round of the Chevron World Challenge has been greeted by sun and better temperatures.
Early on, Hunter Mahan, and Jim Furyk share the lead at 2 under. A bunch of players, including Luke Donald, and Camilo Villegas are at 1 under.
It will be curious to see what kind of crowds are drawn without Tiger in the field. The media center, which was packed with reporters yesterday when Tiger held his press conference, is now a lot less crowded, which I like more.
Even without Tiger it should be a good event, and pretty competitive.
Posted by bbuttitta at 11:16 AM
December 17, 2008
The power of Tiger
Judging by the turnout for his press conference this afternoon at Sherwood Country Club, there's little doubt that Tiger is the absolute center of the golf world.
While there are only a handful of reporters in most of the interviews, the room for Tiger was packed to overflow capacity. Guys like Tim Rosaforte from NBC and Golf World, representatives from media outlets like the New York Times and USA Today are here, and it's primarily because of Tiger. With Tiger not playing this week, most of the press folks won't be here after today.
As for what was said, Tiger fielded mostly questions about his health. He is on schedule for full recovery and has actually started hitting some full shots with his wedges and high clubs. I would not be surprised if he makes a run at trying to play the Buick Invitational in early February.
He only briefly touched on the controversy caused by caddie Steve Williams with his comments about Phil Mickelson. Tiger said he talked with both Williams and Mickelson and the issue is over. He also said Stevie will be on his bag when he returns.
Tiger is probably glad he's not playing this week with all the cold, but it should make for an interesting four days.
Posted by bbuttitta at 2:33 PM