Sunday, February 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Westwood, McIlroy ride momentum at PGA Championship

By
From page B7 | August 08, 2014 |

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Rory McIlroy showed no sign of letting up. Lee Westwood might just be getting started. Momentum was a big theme Thursday in the opening round of the PGA Championship, and it even applied to Tiger Woods.

Except that Woods kept going the wrong direction.

Westwood followed up a season-best 63 four days ago at Firestone by matching his best score in a major championship. He made nine birdies at Valhalla for a 6-under 65, giving him a share of the lead with Ryan Palmer and Kevin Chappell.

One shot behind was McIlroy, the No. 1 player and overwhelming favorite in the final major of the year. McIlroy, coming off back-to-back wins at the British Open and a World Golf Championship, overcame a wild double bogey on the par-5 10th hole by running off four straight birdies. His eagle attempt on the 18th hole narrowly missed. He settled for a 66, a solid start in his bid to become only the seventh player to win the last two majors of the year.

Woods achieved that feat twice, including at Valhalla in 2000. That now seems even longer than 14 years ago.

On a day when nearly half the field shot par or better, Woods opened with a 3-over 74. He hit two tee shots that missed the fairway by some 30 yards, hooked a 3-wood into a creek and hit a spectator with his tee shot on a par 3. His two best putts were for par and bogey.

“It wasn’t very good,” Woods said.

He didn’t look very sharp. In his last competitive round, Woods withdrew after eight holes at Firestone because of another back injury. He said his trainer was able to pop a joint back into place above the sacrum, eliminating the pain. But it apparently did little for the rust.

Woods wasn’t the only player who hit a few wild ones.

Right when McIlroy was building momentum, he hooked his second shot on the par-5 10th hole over a fence and out-of-bounds, leading to a double bogey. He was more upset about a three-putt bogey on the next hole, but then Boy Wonder bounced back with four straight birdies to get right back into the mix.

“Whenever you are confident and you have some momentum on your side, it’s easier to do what I did today rather if everything is sort of going against you, and you’re struggling for form and you have a patch like that,” he said.

Everything is very much going his way right now. It was his 11th straight round under par, and his third straight round of 66.

Westwood also had a double bogey on his 10th hole that kept his score from being even better. He played the back nine first, and hit his tee shot right down the middle at No. 1, and right at the edge of a divot that wasn’t entirely filled with sand.

“It was like caught or plugged,” Westwood said. “So it would have been a perfect 9-iron from the fairway, and just unlucky. Caught it a bit heavy.”

He flubbed a chip trying to be too perfect and missed a 4-foot bogey putt. Much like McIlroy, he responded in splendid fashion by closing out his round with four straight birdies, finishing with a 30-footer on the ninth hole.

Westwood also had a 65 in the third round at Congressional in the 2011 U.S. Open.

“I’ve played better rounds of golf, but I was really pleased today,” he said. “I hit a lot of quality iron shots, and it felt like 65 was a fair enough score for the way I played. I got a couple of bad breaks out there, but I rolled a couple of putts in that you probably wouldn’t expect to hole. But that’s just the way it is. A bit of momentum is a wonderful thing.”

The timing was great for Westwood, who is trying to avoid missing the Ryder Cup for the first time since 1995. European captain Paul McGinley told Westwood he wanted to see some form, and Westwood has delivered a 63 at Firestone and a 65 in the opening round of the final major.

Chappell played bogey-free in his 65, while a late bogey was about the only thing that spoiled Palmer’s day. He was the only one to reach 7-under par, with a birdie on the seventh hole, and he allowed himself to think about two more birdies for a 62 and the lowest score ever in a major. He missed a short par putt on No. 8 and that was that.

“I wanted to get to 8 (under) so bad and it kept driving me,” Palmer said. “So we’ll take 6 going into tomorrow.”

The course was generally soft and gentle, and it showed in the scores.

While it’s daunting to see McIlroy anywhere near the lead the way he’s playing, Valhalla offered good scores to plenty of players.

Henrik Stenson and Jim Furyk were among five players at 66. Kentucky native J.B. Holmes had a 68 despite taking a double bogey on the 13th hole when his drive landed in a divot and his next shot to the island green didn’t find the island.

Phil Mickelson played alongside Woods and rallied for a 69.

For Woods, it was the second straight round in a major when he didn’t beat the Ryder Cup captain, 64-year-old Tom Watson, who had a 1-over 72.

Watson was more interested in how his team was shaping up than his own game. Qualifying ends after the PGA Championship, and Watson gets three picks on Sept. 2.

“I’m going to with horses that are running well,” he said.

After one day, Tiger was stumbling badly. Woods’ first order of business Friday was simply to make the cut.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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

.

Solano News

 
Police make 2nd arrest in deadly Thanksgiving Day shooting

By Glen Faison | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Fire Department honors top firefighters

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Everything you need to know about Super Bowl

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
$340,688 brick replacement for Texas Street complete

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
4th annual Health and Wellness Fair a big success

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Banish dry skin this winter

By Sarah Porkka | From Page: C4

 
Chocolate: A long journey to deliciousness

By Karen Metz | From Page: C4

 
County board to consider DA reorganization plan

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Eurozone offers lesson in debt

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B7

 
Rodriguez graduate completes basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Video: Islamic State group beheads Japanese journalist

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
NASA launches Earth-observing satellite

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

From ocean to ocean, through the Panama Canal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Scientist considered father of birth control pill dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Rolled Sleeves Bandit’ tied to 7 bank robberies in custody

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Bay Area agency accuses former official of embezzling $1.3M

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Los Angeles female-only mosque may be first in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California health care contract fight resolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Man arrested after body parts found in suitcase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Letter with suspicious powder received at Samaritan’s Purse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Snails slither into spa scene in Thailand and around world

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Not so ‘Good to Go’ when man gets $18,000 toll bridge bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Balloon pilots make history with trans-Pacific flight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Whitney Houston’s daughter found unresponsive in tub

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Drivers: Return to your dealers for a 2nd air bag recall fix

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Hatfields, McCoys make moonshine legally in southern W.Va.

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Airport authorities: Traveler beats homeless man with chair

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Kerry: ‘Enormous interest in new relationship with Cuba

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Fire devastates major Russian library, threatens rare texts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Swiss police: 4 dead after avalanche hits group of skiers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Fire at Bangladesh plastics factory kills at least 13

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Vatican investigates 2 cases of child porn possession

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Islamic State fighters admit defeat in Syrian town of Kobani

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
From car lots to city budgets, cheap oil means change

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Africa agrees to send 7,500 troops to fight Boko Haram

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
5 given preliminary charges over jihadi network in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Civilians flee east Ukraine town as fighting intensifies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

British actress Geraldine McEwan dies at age 82

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Greek leader tamps down rhetoric, vows to pay off debts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Iraqi libraries ransacked by Islamic State group in Mosul

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

 
Sound off for Feb. 1, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Good old days weren’t as good as we remember

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A8

Editorial Cartoon: Feb. 1, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Feb. 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Feb. 1, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Sundance doc pulls back curtain on Scientology

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Prayer, commonly misunderstood

By The Rev. Rick L. Stonestreet | From Page: C3

Mormon leaders call for measures protecting gay rights

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: Feb. 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Volunteer or visit because February is National Salute to Veteran Patients

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

 
Lorrie Moore nominated for short story prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

New book to feature unpublished Hemingway conversations

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Review: ‘First Bad Man’ is Miranda July’s debut novel

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Mustangs win the whole Encalada

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Super Bowl the final act of the NFL’s worst season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lowest prices on last-minute Super Bowl tickets near $9,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Laird takes a 3-shot lead in Phoenix Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Seau, Bettis, Brown, Haley, Shields voted into Hall of Fame

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Rodgers wins MVP, Watt unanimous top AP defensive player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Lydia Ko takes No. 1 spot at 17, Na Yeon Choi wins opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

On the money: Low gas prices, incentives change math for electric cars

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Small talk: NFL players find second careers as entrepreneurs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Recalls this week: space heaters, orbital sanders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Sumptuous seaside hotel sells for record-shattering $360M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Review: Open e-book format comes with headaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Obituaries

Flora Mae Brooks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Otilia (Tela) Quinn

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Lester Singer

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
WillIiam “Bill” Hunter

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Garry A. Britton

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Anthony Neal Hunley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Frank Z. Perez

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Joe Lambert Robinson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

.

Comics