Monday, May 4, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Torrey Pines a good gauge for Tiger

Tiger Woods

FILE - In this June 14, 2008, file photo, Tiger Woods lines up his shot during the third round of the US Open championship at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. To try to gauge what kind of year Woods can expect, pay no attention to a missed cut in the Middle East. The better measure is Torrey Pines. It's one of five golf courses that account for more than 40 percent of his PGA Tour wins. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

By
From page B3 | January 23, 2013 |

SAN DIEGO — Based on his record alone, there could be cause for alarm the way Tiger Woods started his season.

Woods never finished out of the top 10 in his season opener until his 13th season, when he was coming off reconstructive surgery on his left knee and was eliminated in the second round of the Match Play Championship.

He was eliminated on the second day of the Abu Dhabi Championship in memorable fashion — a late rally to seemingly make the cut with one shot to spare, only to be informed that he was not supposed to get relief from an imbedded lie in sandy soil on the fifth hole. Two shots were added to his score, and Woods was on his way back with only the 10th missed cut of his career, his first outside the PGA Tour and a bad start to the year.

The more important measure, however, is this week at Torrey Pines.

Woods has won seven times as a pro on this track along the Pacific bluffs. It’s a public course, but it feels as if he owns it. Such is his dominance at Torrey Pines that after the first round of the 2008 Buick Invitational, when Woods opened with a 67 on the South Course, a caddie standing behind the 18th green said, “He just won two tournaments with one round.” Sure enough, Woods won that week by eight shots, and then won the U.S. Open that summer on a mangled knee in a playoff.

That was his 14th — and at the moment, his last — major championship.

That also was his last win at Torrey Pines.

He didn’t play in 2009 because he was still recovering from knee surgery. He didn’t play in 2010 because he was recovering from the humiliating collapse in his personal life. The last time he played Torrey Pines was in 2011, which turned out to be the worst season of his career. He was embarking on a brand new swing, his game was a wreck and it showed. Woods went 74-75 on the weekend and tied for 44th.

Where is he now?

“It’s nice to be healthy, to be able to train and practice and do all of the things that I know I can do,” Woods said Tuesday after playing the back nine on the South Course. “It’s definitely a very different feeling, so it’s nice to be back. It’s nice to get out there and play a course that I know.”

When it comes to horses for courses, Woods is a thoroughbred at Torrey Pines. The only course comparable to his success level at Torrey would be Firestone, where he also has won seven times and never finished out of the top 10 until 2010 and 2011, both times when his game was a mess. He has won seven times at Bay Hill, but that’s different from the other two because Woods has seven finishes out of the top 10. Bay Hill always has been feast or famine.

“This has always been a pretty good benchmark, hasn’t it?” Geoff Ogilvy said.

If he doesn’t win this week, it certainly wouldn’t be a disaster. Woods is getting older, and the competition is getting deeper every year. Winning is not as easy as it was.

But how he plays this week could be a fair measure of his game going into a pivotal year when the balance of power has shifted to 23-year-old Rory McIlroy. Woods talks a lot about the courses where he feels most comfortable, with Torrey Pines and Firestone at the top of his list. He also includes Augusta National and St. Andrews.

Most telling was his last win at Torrey Pines.

He was runner-up at the Masters that year, and then had arthroscopic surgery to repair some cartilage damage in his left knee that caused him to miss Quail Hollow and The Players Championship. He was getting ready for the U.S. Open when doctors found two stress fractures of the left tibia and recommended six weeks off, which he ignored.

So when he showed up at Torrey Pines, the opening round was the first time he had walked 18 holes since the final at the Masters.

Of his 14 majors, this was among the most remarkable, foremost because of the injury.

“Here I am just talking about it and my hands are sweating just thinking about the feeling I had to get through each and every day,” Woods said Tuesday. “Just trying to get up and having to warm up again and go to the gym. I just don’t want to move. Then having to get out here and warm up and trying not to show you guys and any of my competitors what I was feeling. It was a very difficult week.”

But it was at Torrey Pines.

Could he have won the U.S. Open in that kind of physical shape had it been played anywhere else?

“Yeah,” he said.

But did it help that it was Torrey Pines?

“Yeah, definitely. Probably those three courses I just mentioned,” he said, referring to Torrey, Firestone and Augusta.

Woods won a Junior World Championship at Torrey Pines as a teenager. He first came to the course with his father for the Andy Williams Invitational, spending most of his time watching the California players — Mark O’Meara, John Cook, Corey Pavin. He recalled seeing Andy Bean reach the par-5 18th in two shots.

It’s different now. The world watches him. That much was evident when he finished the 18th hole of a practice round on a cool, quiet morning. The golf course, which had been so quiet, came to life with a few hundred rushing over to a walkway with hopes of an autograph, and the pounding of steps heard on a bridge as two dozen photographers trampled behind him.

McIlroy is taking the next month off. The field at Torrey Pines includes Dustin Johnson, Masters champion Bubba Watson, defending champion Brandt Snedeker, Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson. But it’s still Torrey Pines. This is where a healthy and happy Woods is usually at his best.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    New Torah being written for Solano County Jews

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

     
    Napa Valley College site of Girls on the Run event

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Putah Creek Council plans bat outing

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Vacaville Museum celebrates historic pioneer girl

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Chambers of commerce plan Cinco de Mayo event

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Tickets available for Dixon May Fair, sneak peek

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Local governments set to meet

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Fairfield police log: May 2, 2015

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

     
    Suisun City police log: May 2, 2015

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

    Suisun City police log: May 1, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

     
    Fairfield police log: May 1, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

    Biz Buzz: First Northern Bank announces earnings

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A10

     
    Weather for Monday, May 4, 2015

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

    Biz Buzz: Sleep Train continues clothing drive

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    Biz Buzz: Solano College site of business expo

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A10

     
    .

    US / World

    Google embeds engineers as professors

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Oyez! Town crier at royal baby birth captures attention

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Quakes hit California, but no damage or injuries reported

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    With rescue near, Boko Haram stoned Nigerian girls to death

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Survey: States spent heavily to clear winter snow and ice

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    City: 2 gunmen killed outside Muhammad cartoon contest

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Slain trooper’s parents say they forgive suspected ambusher

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Baltimore mayor lifts curfew 6 days after riots

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Italy: At least 10 migrants found dead in sea off Libya

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Arab coalition ‘reconnaissance’ troops land in Yemen

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Nepal shuts airport to big jets; more bodies found

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    .

    Living

    Catholics honor mother of church with special event

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Today in history: Monday, May 4, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Community Calendar: May 4, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Returning home puts far-flung choices in relief

    By Sharon Randall | From Page: B5

    Horoscope: May 4, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

     
    Family member has still not paid for commissioned artwork

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

    .

    Entertainment

    Ashes of ballerina Plisetskaya to be spread over Russia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    New project in US South promotes music “triangle”

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

    ‘Avengers’ sequel is second biggest US opener of all time

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    TVGrid May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Wanted by the US, Roman Polanski gets film award in Poland

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    TVGrid May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    JC softball: Solano eliminated after late rally comes up short

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    AP Source: Warriors star Stephen Curry to be named NBA MVP

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. cruises to 1st Talladega win since 2004

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    McIlroy top of the world at Match Play Championship

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Warriors roll past Grizzlies 101-86 in Game 1 of West semis

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Unusually wild Gray, Vogt HRs carry A’s past Rangers 7-1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Texas the front line on high school ECG debate

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Giants beat Angels 5-0 behind Lincecum for 3-game sweep

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Mayweather takes his $100 million check and runs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Vonn says relationship with Woods is over

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    5-year drought ends as Chelsea is champion of England again

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Montoya fastest on opening day of Indy tests

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    LeBron, Cavs ready to take on raging Bulls

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Paul questionable as Clippers and Rockets begin series

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    James Taylor debuts new song about Fenway, at Fenway

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Westbrook, Valiante win IMSA Tudor race at Monterey

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Inbee Park wins North Texas Shootout for 2nd time

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Ian Woosnam wins Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Royals’ Lorenzo Cain drops appeal, begins serving suspension

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    This date in sports history for May 4

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Beal leads well-rested Wizards past Hawks 104-98 in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Arthur Martin

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Ora May Bray

    By Daily Republic | From Page: A4

    Lois G. Johnston (Leib) (Bayard)

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Wizard of Id May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Rose is Rose May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Zits May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    For Better or Worse May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    B.C. May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Sally Forth May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Get Fuzzy May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Garfield May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Baldo May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Blondie May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Peanuts May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Pickles May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Frank and Ernest May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Dilbert May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Word Sleuth May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Bridge May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Cryptoquote May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Crossword May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sudoku May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Zits May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Garfield May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    B.C. May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Peanuts May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Sally Forth May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Frank and Ernest May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Blondie May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Baldo May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Wizard of Id May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Beetle Bailey May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Baby Blues May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Pickles May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    For Better or Worse May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Get Fuzzy May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Dilbert May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Rose is Rose May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Bridge May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

    Word Sleuth May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Crossword May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

    Sudoku May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Cryptoquote May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7