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New PGA Tour Champions golf tournament begins in Bradenton this week. What to know

  • Oops! Something went wrong. Please try again later. More content below

The text message last week wasn’t a total surprise for Billy Andrade.

The United States vice captain had a conversation a few months ago with captain Jim Furyk about Furyk’s back not feeling great.

“Just be ready, be prepared,” Andrade said Wednesday of the conversation.

Then, Andrade said, Furyk let him know he couldn’t play.

Andrade is stepping in to fill the void as Team USA battles Team Europe and Team International in the inaugural World Champions Cup at the Concession Golf Club in East Manatee.

The PGA Tour Champions tournament begins Thursday, with ESPN and ABC airing the action through Sunday’s final round. The format features Scotch sixsomes, sixball and singles matches. However, unlike the Ryder Cup and President’s Cup, the World Champions Cup is a stroke play competition over nine holes.

In Scotch sixsomes, both players in each two-man team tee off with alternate shot played into the hole after a tee shot is picked. Two points are awarded to the team with the lowest score, the next lowest receives one point and the highest score gets zero points.

The team with the most points at the conclusion of Sunday’s singles matches wins the tournament, with each team member getting $100,000 of the $1.35 million purse.

World Champions Cup set to begin in Bradenton

Andrade’s inclusion as a player due to Furyk’s back injury means he’ll join Steve Stricker, Justin Leonard, Brett Quigley, David Toms and Jerry Kelly as players to watch on Team USA this week.

“Every hole is its own tournament, really, and you’re trying to win each hole,” Andrade said about the tournament format using stroke play compared to traditional match play.

The U.S. faces an International side comprised of captain Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen, K.J. Choi, Stephen Ames and Steven Alker and a European team with captain Darren Clarke , Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Robert Karlsson and Alex Čejka.

And they’ll do it at the Concession, an East Manatee golf course that plays tough on approach shots and around the greens.

“The greens are pretty treacherous. They’re difficult, they’re elevated and they have so many runoffs and collection areas on all sides,” World Champions Cup tournament chairman Peter Jacobsen said. “So I think this is more of a second shot golf course than it is a tee ball golf course. Fairways are pretty generous, pretty wide. When Tony Jacklin and Jack Nicklaus designed it, I think they had the intent of making it pretty easy off the tee. Not easy, but wide.”

“But I think the precision is asked for on the second shots. And on and around the greens, that is where matches are won or lost. So you’re going to see a lot of chipping. I’ve always said on The Concession Golf Club, players that have the more superior short game are going to be the ones that come out on top.”

Clarke was in the area last year for some tarpon fishing, but he also got in a round at the Concession.

“I really enjoyed the golf course,” Clarke said. “It was brilliant.”

But it’s also a hard test.

“Even when you think you’ve got an opportunity with like a sand wedge or a wedge in your hand, you’ve got to be so precise to not catch the wrong slope,” Clarke said. “Because you can hit a good shot and it just trickles down off a slope and then you’ve got no shot from there. So it’s challenging, to say the least.”

Thursday’s sixball session begins at 9:30 a.m. Tickets and more information are available at www.worldchampionscup.com/ticket-information/ .

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stephen ames leads by three at -13 

Stephen Ames Leads by Three After Round 2

Stephen Ames turned in nine birdies en round to an 8-under 64 to move up the leaderboard and take a three-stroke lead heading into Sunday's final round.   Learn More

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Ames (64) takes aim at another Champions triumph – and may already have it

By Jeff Babineau   NAPLES, Fla. – The wind kicked up, many flagsticks were tucked, but still there were birdies to be had on an overcast Saturday afternoon at the Chubb Classic presented by SERVPRO at Tiburon Golf Club’s Black Course.   Here’s what made Canadian Stephen Ames stand out among his peers: As...

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St. louis hosting two pro events this week as apga, pga tour champions visit the gateway city, share this article.

There’s going to be no shortage of options for golf fans in St. Louis to quench their thirst this weekend.

The PGA Tour Champions and Advocates Professional Golf Association Tour are both in the Gateway City, and there’s a bit of connection between the two events.

The Ascension Classic, the launch event of APGA’s Farmers Insurance Fall Series, will be the circuit’s first visit to St. Louis. Meanwhile, the second Champions tour returns for the second Ascension Charity Classic.

On Wednesday, the APGA will play its pro-am at Norwood Hills Country Club, site of the Champions tour event. There will also be a practice round at Glen Echo Country Club, where Thursday and Friday the APGA will play its 36-hole event.

Tim O’Neal is also going to make some history in St. Louis. After turning 50 in August, O’Neal received the first-ever exemption for an APGA Tour player into a PGA Tour Champions event, so O’Neal will tee it up with other legends of the game.

The Ascension Charity Classic begins Friday and concludes Sunday. David Toms is the defending champion.

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The golfer Brooks Koepka holds a silver trophy and smiles after winning a tournament.

Koepka Wins P.G.A. Championship, Vanquishing Demons and Boosting LIV

Koepka claimed his fifth major championship when he outlasted a swarm of stars on Sunday at Oak Hill Country Club near Rochester, N.Y.

Credit... Desiree Rios/The New York Times

Supported by

Alan Blinder

By Alan Blinder

  • May 21, 2023

PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Six weeks ago on Sunday, Brooks Koepka did not sleep. He had brooding to do and demons to chase. After everything — the ghastly knee injury, the agony of unfulfilled ambition, the taunts and the splenetic rift in professional golf that he helped personify — he had rallied to a Masters Tournament lead, and then he had fizzled. Collapsed, really.

He ultimately vowed, he recalled over the weekend at Oak Hill Country Club, never to “think the way I thought going into the final round.” On Sunday evening, Koepka found his vindication: a two-stroke win at the P.G.A. Championship, earning him his first major tournament trophy since 2019. It was Koepka’s fifth career major victory, tying him with figures like Seve Ballesteros and Byron Nelson.

“I think this one is probably the most meaningful of them all with everything that’s gone on, all the crazy stuff over the last few years,” said Koepka, who said that he had received about 600 text messages by the time he held a news conference. “But it feels good to be back and to get No. 5.”

The victory made him the first member of LIV Golf , the year-old breakaway league bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund , to win a major title since joining the circuit. And while Koepka’s triumph at Oak Hill may do little to stanch some of the criticisms of LIV — its ties to a repressive government, its disputed intentions, its gleeful instigation of a financial arms race in an ancient sport — it definitively ended the wrangling over whether men who play a smattering of 54-hole tournaments can prevail on golf’s grandest, 72-hole stages.

“I definitely think it helps LIV,” Koepka said, “but I’m more interested in my own self right now, to be honest with you.”

Fair enough, for he silenced the notion, one that seemed a little more off-the-mark after the Masters, that his contending days were done by carding a three-under-par 67 on Sunday, taking him to nine under for the tournament. But this is a 33-year-old player whose results in 2022’s major season looked like this: missed cut, tie for 55th, solo 55th, missed cut. It had been easy to forget that in 2021, the sequence went like this: missed cut, tie for second, tie for fourth, tie for sixth.

Koepka holds the follow through of his swing with a driver, with his hands over his left shoulder.

By the end of last year, he had a mounting hunch that his recovery was nearly done and that he could, finally, be relevant again. Around January, he has said, he was certain of it.

“He is back to being healthy,” said Cameron Smith, who won the British Open last summer and then joined LIV later in the year. “I think that brings a little bit of internal confidence as well being out there and just being able to do your stuff.”

It did not look that way as recently as Thursday, when the prospect that Koepka would outlast a swarm of stars seemed closer to impossible than even improbable. He had opened this tournament with a two-over-par 72 and, by his own account, was out of sorts and struggling to strike the ball as he wished. He could not remember, he said, the last time he had hit so poorly.

But he was not that far behind because the tournament, the first major played at Oak Hill since a sweeping effort to restore some of the daunting tests that characterize Donald J. Ross-designed courses, emerged as one of the most fearsome P.G.A. Championships in recent decades, often evoking the rigors of the 2008 competition at Oakland Hills in Michigan. Of the 156 players who competed this past week, only 11 finished below par — a departure from 2013, when 21 players finished in the red at the P.G.A. Championship at Oak Hill.

The stinginess came even with the course, with its perilous rough and humbling bunkers, being more accommodating on Sunday than it had been earlier. Smith, Cam Davis, Kurt Kitayama and Sepp Straka all shot 65s on Sunday, running them high up the leaderboard. Patrick Cantlay, who made one of the tournament’s scarce eagles, signed for a 66. Michael Block , whose day job is being the head pro at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club southeast of Los Angeles, had a hole in one at No. 15, the first P.G.A. Championship ace by a club professional since 1996.

But much of the focus on Sunday was on Koepka; Viktor Hovland, the budding Norwegian talent; and Scottie Scheffler, the No. 2 player in the Official World Golf Ranking. Koepka, his standing shriveled because of his lucrative ties to LIV, whose tournaments are not accredited in the ranking system , entered Sunday at No. 44. (The P.G.A. of America, which organized this tournament, is distinct from the PGA Tour, LIV’s rival.)

Koepka stepped into the first tee box with a one-stroke lead and doubled his margin in short order when he made a birdie at the second hole. He had played the hole to par the first three days, always reaching the green in two shots but leaving himself with long putts. On Sunday, with the pin at the front-right of the green, he needed less than 5 feet.

His birdie putt at the third hole required even less, after his longest tee shot of the tournament at the hole known as Vista, moving his advantage to three stokes.

The sixth hole, a threat to so many players throughout the tournament, loomed. Koepka had survived the hole, a par-4 challenge that the field finished in an average of 4.52 strokes, well enough on Thursday, Friday and Saturday: par in each of the first three rounds. On Sunday, though, his tee shot rocketed rightward into a thick grass in the so-called native area. He took a drop and then, about 191 yards from the hole, struck it onto the green and eventually escaped with a bogey. Although Koepka followed with another bogey, Hovland also stumbled at No. 7.

At the turn, Koepka led Hovland by a lone stroke. Scheffler, a steady-voiced sensation since he won last year’s Masters, and Bryson DeChambeau , the 2020 U.S. Open winner, were three off the lead.

Koepka answered with a tantalizing streak: birdie, bogey, birdie. Hovland had a chance for birdie at the 12th hole, but his tap from nearly 15 feet edged just left of the cup. With six holes to play, Koepka’s advantage was back to two strokes. Two holes later, it was down to one.

But at nearly every major, there comes a moment when one man’s victory appears inevitable. It may not be mathematically buttoned-up yet, but almost everyone knows that the tournament is finished before it actually ends.

On Sunday, the scene for that moment was the 16th hole. It had not been the most hellish at Oak Hill, not by far. Hovland will remember it, though.

His ball in a bunker after his tee shot, he wielded his 9-iron. With less than 175 yards to the hole, he swung and blasted his ball — not onto the green, but into the bunker’s lip. His fourth shot reached the green. A bogey putt missed, leaving him with a double bogey. Koepka, in the twilight of his pursuit for his third P.G.A. Championship victory, made a birdie to lay claim to a four-stroke lead.

“It’s not easy going toe-to-toe with a guy like that,” Hovland, who finished in the top seven for his third consecutive major, said of his duel with Koepka. “He is not going to give you anything, and I didn’t really feel like I gave him anything either until 16.”

Scheffler made a birdie putt at the 18th green soon after to narrow Koepka’s path. Koepka himself narrowed it further with a bogey at No. 17.

He arrived at the 18th hole, which was playing 497 yards on Sunday, with two shots to spare. He tee shot soared and then thumped into the fairway, stopping at 318 yards. The towering grandstands waited in the distance, filled with spectators, as the fairway-lined galleries were, looking to see whether, after everything, Koepka was indeed back.

His next swing lifted the ball onto the green. The applause was rising, seemingly with every step in his march up the steep incline, the kind of incline that would have felt Everest-like to Koepka in the recent past. He knelt — there had been times, he said, when he could not so much as bend his knee — and then approached the ball. He steadied himself and tapped the ball forward.

It stopped, according to tournament officials, about 3 inches short.

He flashed a tight smile, as if to say that, of course, there would be one last hiccup.

He tried again. The ball fell into the cup. He pumped his fist and then embraced his caddie for nearly nine seconds.

Indeed, after everything, Koepka was back.

Alan Blinder is a sports reporter. He has reported from more than 30 states, as well as Asia and Europe, since he joined The Times in 2013. More about Alan Blinder

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PNC Championship returns this weekend, with pairs including Tiger and Charlie Woods: How to watch

pga tour champions tournament this weekend

Golf stars and their family members will compete against each other at this weekend's PNC Championship.

The tournament which debuted in 1995 as the Father/Son Challenge will see 18 returning players from last year and two new ones. Twenty teams will play in the 36-hole scramble where the winner will earn the Willie Park Trophy, named after British Open champions, Willie Park Sr. and Willie Park Jr.

The championship consists of two-player teams made up of a PGA Tour, Champions Tour or LPGA Tour player and a family member of theirs who isn't a current touring professional.

Vijay Singh and Qass Singh, who took home the trophy after a two-shot win, are set to return. Gary Player and his son Jordan as well as Jordan Spieth and his father Shawn will not be returning this year. Instead the two pairs will be replaced by Retief Goosen and his son, Leo, as well as Steve Stricker and his daughter, Izzi.

Bernhard Langer, who has won the event four times, could tie five-time winner Raymond Floyd with another win.

A game of integrity? Golf has a long tradition of cheating and sandbagging

Here's what you need to know about this year's tournament.

When does the PNC championship start?

The 2023 PNC Championship takes place on Dec. 14 to 17, at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando.

Where to watch the PNC championship

Fans can watch the family golf tournament on the Golf Channel and NBC or stream on Peacock.

NBC will air the event on Saturday and on Sunday, the coverage will start on the Golf Channel before shifting to NBC. The the Pro-Am will also be covered during a two-hour window on Friday.

Here is the full schedule for this weekend's PNC championship:

Friday, Dec. 15

NBC/Peacock:  12 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. ET  (Watch FREE with Fubo)

Saturday, Dec. 16

NBC/Peacock:  2:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. ET  (Watch FREE with Fubo)

Sunday, Dec. 17

Golf Channel/Peacock:  12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET  (Watch FREE with Fubo)

NBC/Peacock:  1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET  (Watch FREE with Fubo)

When does Tiger Woods play next?

Father-son duo Tiger and Charlie Woods will play at the PNC Championship facing off against PGA teams and LPGA Tour pros this weekend. The two will compete against another professional golf family, such as Nick and Matthew Faldo and Nick and Greg Price.

Tiger Woods made his comeback last month following seven months off the course due to an injury by reaggravating his plantar fasciitis . The 15-time major champion played at the Hero World Challenge , the tournament he hosts, which occurred from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3.

"I hit a lot of shots," Woods said during the tournament. "I was rusty, I didn’t have my feels, conditions were tough early. I kind of hung through there and didn’t finish off my round the way I needed to and consequently, it kind of went sideways at the end."

Full field for 2023 PNC Championship:

  • Justin Thomas and Mike Thomas
  • Tiger Woods and Charlie Woods
  • Stewart Cink and Reagan Cink
  • John Daly and John Daly II
  • David Duval and Brady Duval
  • Nick Faldo and Matthew Faldo
  • Jim Furyk and Tanner Furyk
  • Retief Goosen and Leo Goosen
  • Padraig Harrington and Ciaran Harrington
  • Nelly Korda and Petr Korda
  • Matt Kuchar and Cameron Kuchar
  • Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer
  • Tom Lehman and Sean Lehman
  • Justin Leonard and Luke Leonard
  • Mark O’Meara and Shaun O’Meara
  • Nick Price and Greg Price
  • Vijay Singh and Qass Singh
  • Annika Sorenstam and Will McGee
  • Steve Stricker and Izzi Stricker
  • Lee Trevino and Daniel Trevino

Players Championship executive director Lee Smith confident with safeguards for fan behavior

Smith said he and other pga tour tournament directors pay attention what goes right and wrong at other events and adapt.

pga tour champions tournament this weekend

The WM Phoenix Open was overcrowded to the point where attendants stopped trying to scan mobile tickets, gates were later closed and alcohol sales on Saturday were halted at noon. 

A fan ran onto the course and did a somersault into a sand trap. 

Another fan sustained serious injuries after falling from a viewing stand. 

Multiple videos were posted on social media showed fans urinating in public areas and brawling in the mud. 

Hecklers pushed fan-friendly players such as Zach Johnson, Billy Horschel and Jordan Spieth to the limits of their endurance. 

That was the weekend at the TPC Scottsdale, where the rowdy charm of past tournaments jumped the shark into a desert golf version of a Clockwork Orange. 

“This tournament has been inappropriate and crossed the line since I’ve been on Tour,” said Johnson, a St. Simons Island, Ga., resident, to Theo Mackie of the Arizona Republic. “I don’t know what the line is but you have people falling out of the rafters, you have fights in the stands. It’s to the point where now, how do you reel it in? Because it’s taken on a life of its own." 

Johnson, ordinarily one of the most mild-mannered Tour players, lashed out at fans after several days of heckling over the U.S. performance in last fall's Ryder Cup. Spieth got on fans for yelling his backswing. Horschel did the same for fans yelling in a playing partner's swing. 

It was an ugly scene overall and numerous calls by players and media alike were made for the Thunderbirds, the organization that runs the tournament, to take measures to tone down the overall party scene. 

"I think the Thunderbirds probably need to do something about it," Johnson told the Republic. "I’m assuming they’re ashamed. Because at some point, somebody’s either going to really, really get hurt or worse." 

Players Championship executive director Lee Smith, who is in his first season running the PGA Tour's marquee event, has been at The Players enough times to know the overall conduct of fans at the TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course has been exemplary.

While there have been a few incidents of heckling in past years and the amphitheater setting around the 16th green and 17th hole Island Green can get boisterous, Smith said he expects another enthusiastic but mostly respectful gallery again March 12-17 when the tournament is played for the 50th time. 

But he said management for other tour events observe what happens elsewhere and he said the pitfalls last week at the TPC Scottsdale will be discussed. 

"You're always looking at other tournaments to address your own policy on-site," he said. "Because it is so fresh, we'll be reviewing all of our policies, certainly around alcohol consumption, security ... those types of things." 

Among other measures, The Players limits ticket sales to safely manage on-course congestion, the parking lot and traffic on A1A, Solano Road and C.R. 210 and cuts off alcohol sales in late afternoon, depending on the starting time that day. Each person is limited to buying two alcoholic beverages at a time. 

Smith said from his observation of attending past Players Championship, galleries at the Stadium Course "are respectful, courteous and knowledgeable."

Chance Cozby, executive director of the Thunderbirds, told Golf Channel that changes would be made at the WM Phoneix Open.

"We've got 365 days to fix this," he said. "I think you will see a complete operational change of the way we manage … the entire week. We're very proud of what we've built but we don't like what happened on Saturday. Nothing is off the table."

Golfers are churning out sub-60 golf scores 

Followed the next day in the same tournament by a 59? 

Welcome to the new normal in professional golf. 

Cristobal Del Solar, a native of Chile and an All-ACC player at Florida State, set the 18-hole scoring record for PGA Tour-sanctioned events with a 57 last week in the first round of the Astara Golf Championship, at the Bogota (Col.) Golf Club. 

A day later, Aldrich Potgieter of South Africa shot 59. Three weeks after becoming the youngest Korn Ferry Tour winner, he's now the youngest player at 19 years and nearly five months to shoot in the 50s. 

Here's the fun part: they're thinking about it. 

“I was kind of trying to get to that 57, so I was trying to push myself,” Potgieter told reporters after the round. “But then I kind of realized that we’re still in a golf tournament, we’re not playing a fun round out here. So, I was kind of trying to concentrate when I made those last three birdies, which helped a lot.” 

The caveat to their two sub-60 scores is that they played the Pacos course, which measures 6,254 yards and is at an elevation of 8,500 feet. The tournament finished on the 7,238-yard Lagos Course on the weekend. 

In addition, neither one of them won the golf tournament. Kevin Velo beat Brian Campbell in a playoff after both finished 22-under 261. Del Solar was solo fifth, following his 57 with rounds of 69-75-63 and Potgieter tied for 20th, with weekend rounds of 73-71 to follow his 59. 

There's also been a 59 on the LIV Golf League, by Joaquin Niemann at Mayakoba. 

Since Al Geiberger recorded the first 59 in 1977, there have been 12 scores in the 50s on the PGA Tour (topped by Jim Furyk's 58 in 2016 ), 12 on the Korn Ferry Tour, two in LIV Golf and one each on the DP World Tour, LPGA and PGA Tour Champions.

Scottie Scheffler making similar path to Players

World No. 1-ranked Scottie Scheffler posted five top-10s finishes in the seven events before winning The Players Championship last year.

He's carving out a similar track record of consistency so far this season as the 50th Players looms in four weeks.

Scheffler's tie for third at the WM Phoenix Open last week was his 19th top-three finish since the start of the 2021-22 season and his third top-10 finish in four starts in 2024. The next-nearest player on top-threes over the same span is Rory McIlroy with 11.

Scheffler has 20 top-10s in his last 27 starts, nearly 75 percent.

Ludvig Aberg commits to Players  

Ludvig Aberg of Sweden, who had a sensational summer and fall on both sides of the Atlantic, is among the early commitments to The Players. 

Aberg earned a Tour exemption by finishing atop the PGA Tour University rankings and won on the DP World Tour, then on the PGA Tour in the final event of the season, the RSM Classic at Sea Island, where he shot 61-61 on the weekend to set a Tour record. 

Aberg also played for Europe in the Ryder Cup, going 2-2. So far this season he has two top-10 finishes in four starts, including a solo second behind Wyndham Clark in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. 

Players have until March 8 at 5 p.m. to commit to The Players. 

Event: Genesis Invitational, Thursday-Sunday, Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, Calif. 

At stake: $20 million purse ($4 million and 700 FedEx Cup points to the winner). 

2023 champion: Jon Rahm. 

TV:  Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 4-8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m.); CBS (Saturday, 3-7 p.m.; Sunday, 3-6:30 p.m. 

Area players entered: Brian Harman, Harris English, J.T. Poston, Sam Ryder. 

Notable: Rahm, who is not playing because he moved to LIV Golf, defeated Max Homa by two shots. ... Tiger Woods is making his first PGA Tour start since the 2023 Masters after ankle surgery knocked him out the rest of the season. ... Woods has played the tournament 12 times professionally without a victory, the most starts he has made in one event without winning it. ... The PGA Tour’s Florida Swing begins next week in Palm Beach Gardens with the Cognizant Classic, at PGA National. 

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS 

Event: Chubb Classic, Friday-Sunday, Tiburon Golf Club, Naples. 

At stake: $1.8 million purse ($270,000 to the winner). 

Defending champion: Bernhard Langer. 

TV: Golf Channel (Friday, 12-3 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 3-5:30 p.m.).  

Area players entered: David Duval, Davis Love III. 

Notable: Langer, who is out with an injury, beat Steve Stricker and Padraig Harrington by three shots. 

ROAD TO THE PLAYERS  

Dates: March 14-17.  

Site: Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach.  

Purse: $25 million ($4.5 million and 750 FedEx Cup points to the winner.  

Defending champion: Scottie Scheffler. 

Days until the first round: 28.  

Tour events until The Players: Four.  

Notable: This will be the 50 th Players Championship.  

Players trivia: The first two Players winners at the Sawgrass Country Club, Mark Hayes (1977) and Jack Nicklaus (1978) won at 1-over 289. The highest winning score since then was David Duval in 1999 with a 3-under 285 at the TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course. 

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Tiger Woods withdraws in second round of 2024 Genesis Invitational due to illness

Woods will not be around for the weekend as he cut his tournament short friday.

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Tiger Woods' 2024 Genesis Invitational is officially over. Woods withdrew from the second round of competition while on the seventh hole at Riviera Country Club on Friday.

Woods' early departure came due to illness, according to Woods' camp, and not his physical state. The 48-year-old was dealing with back spasms down the stretch of his first round Thursday, and he was noticeably limping while walking into the clubhouse and playing his second round Friday.

"He started feeling some flu-like symptoms last night," said Rob McNamara, Tiger's longtime business partner and vice president of TGR Ventures. "[Tiger] woke up this morning, they were worse than the night previous. He had a little bit of a fever and that, and was better during the warm-up, but then when he got out there and was walking and playing, he started feeling dizzy. Ultimately, the doctors are saying he's got some -- potentially some type of flu and that he was dehydrated. He's been treated with an IV bag and he's doing much, much better and he'll be released on his own here soon."

Woods confirmed his influenza diagnosis on Saturday.

I would like to confirm that I had to withdraw from @thegenesisinv due to illness, which we now know is influenza. I am resting and feeling better. Good luck to the players this weekend. I’m disappointed to not be there and want to thank @GenesisUSA and all the fans for the… — Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) February 17, 2024

Woods was battling to make the cut after opening the Genesis Invitational with a 1-over 72. After starting with a birdie, the tournament host dropped shots on the par-3 4th and the par-4 5th, falling to 2 over for the tournament. He was in danger of not playing the weekend sitting outside the top 50 and more than 10 strokes behind leader Patrick Cantlay.

The Genesis Invitational was Woods' first start on the PGA Tour since the 2023 Masters where he was forced to withdraw due to an ankle injury. Woods has now withdrawn from three of his last six tournaments since the 2022 Masters and only completed 72 holes on the PGA Tour twice (including at Riviera last season).

Where Tiger goes from here is up in the air. Either the Arnold Palmer Invitational or The Players Championship -- both in March -- make for a logical return tournament for Woods as he ramps up preparations for the Masters.

It is clear Woods needs more time in the arena. He flashed vintage Tiger in his latest comeback attempt but lacks the consistency to string together four rounds and keep pace with his peers. Woods' first round was emblematic of this as he carded five birdies, six bogeys and seven pars. Ultimately, his battle for consistency is not against his game but against his body, too.

Physically, Tiger is limited in terms of practice time, and of course, tournament action where sharpness -- or lack thereof -- ultimately surfaces. If he chooses to forgo competition during the Florida Swing, the 15-time major champion could arrive at Augusta National in April with little or no game reps under his belt for the third straight year.

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Steven Alker seeking some PGA Tour Champions history at the 2024 Chubb Classic

W ith Bernhard Langer’s quest to become the first golfer to win three consecutive Chubb Classic championships derailed by an Achilles injury, Steven Alker’s quest for his own three-peat takes center stage this weekend in Naples.

The 52-year-old New Zealand native will go for his third consecutive PGA Tour Champions victory after capturing January’s season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai and the 2023 season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship last November. He would become the 10th player in Champions Tour history to win three straight events.

“Obviously the wins build confidence, so I'm just feeling good about my game,” Alker said Wednesday at Tiburón Golf Club. “I've worked on my game and my swing, and just everything is good, kind of where I want it. This is the strongest field we've had for a while, so just got some work to do and go low.”

Work is what’s enabled Alker to transform what was once a middling pro career into what’s rapidly becoming one of golf’s greatest second acts. Alker earned his PGA Tour card three times but never recorded a top-10 finish in a PGA event. He won four events on the Korn Ferry Tour but also endured a stretch where he missed the cut in 21 consecutive starts.

As he approached 50, Alker stayed in excellent physical condition and continued to work on his game in preparation for the Champions Tour. After becoming eligible in July 2021, he played his way into his first Champions event via a Monday Qualifier, which launched a run of six consecutive top-10 finishes.

Since then, he’s been one of the senior tour’s most successful players. In 2022, Alker was named the Champions Player of the Year after winning four times and finishing top-3 in 13 of his 23 starts. Overall, he’s ended up first (8) or second (10) in exactly one-third of his 54 Champions events with 40 top-10 finishes.

Along the way, Alker’s become a golfing example of the power of perseverance.

Steven Alker of New Zealand reacts after winning the PGA TOUR Champions Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai Golf Club on January 20, 2024, in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

“It just goes to show if you just kind of keep dreaming and just keep chasing it then yeah, good things can happen," he said. "I’ve been around the game a long time and gained a lot of experience. If I can pass some of those experiences on to help people speed up the process, all the better."

Alker, who carded top-10 finishes in his two previous Chubb Classic appearances, said while the long layoff between his recent wins has been challenging from a momentum standpoint, it also has some benefits.

“It's a little bit tough with the start-and-stop schedule at the moment, but I think having that break rather than just mentally being kind of worn down … that's probably a good thing,” he said.

Langer, the winningest player in PGA Tour Champions history, congratulated Alker on the 18th green following his victory last month in Hawaii. Alker said he’s picked up a few key lessons competing alongside the legendary Hall-of-Famer the past three seasons.

“He's always just striving to get his game in shape every week to try and have a chance to win,” Alker said. ”He just does that very well.

“He's got everything, and mentally he's very strong, so that's a good thing to learn from, too.”

Alker hopes to utilize those lessons gleaned from Langer at this year’s Chubb Classic to make a little history of his own.

This article originally appeared on Golfweek: Steven Alker seeking some PGA Tour Champions history at the 2024 Chubb Classic

Steven Alker's 'good karma' and 63 secures victory in memory of late caddie at Mitsubishi Electric Championship

The Genesis Invitational

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Pacific Palisades, CA • USA

Feb 15 - 18

Mexico Open at Vidanta

Mexico Open at Vidanta

Vallarta • MEX

Feb 22 - 25

Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

Palm Beach Gardens, FL • USA

Feb 29 - Mar 3

Tiger Woods withdraws from Riviera with flu symptoms. His 2024 debut lasts only 24 holes

LOS ANGELES — Tiger Woods returned to the PGA Tour and lasted only 24 holes, withdrawing Friday from the Genesis Invitational with flu-like symptoms and dehydration after hitting his tee shot on the seventh hole at Riviera.

Rob McNamara, his longtime associate and vice president of TGR Ventures, said Woods felt flu symptoms Thursday night that worsened when he woke up.

“He had a little bit of a fever and was better during the warm-up, but then when he got out there and was walking and playing, he started feeling dizzy,” McNamara told a PGA Tour official. “Ultimately, the doctors are saying he’s got potentially some type of flu and that he was dehydrated. He’s been treated with an IV bag and he’s doing much, much better, and he’ll be released on his own here soon.”

Woods left Riviera about two hours after he withdrew, sitting in the front seat of a red SUV as it departed.

He was 1-over par for the round — 2 over for the tournament — and projected just outside the cut when he asked for a cart and was driven off the course by a rules official. He has been walking slowly and looked drained of energy playing the front nine.

“He obviously wasn’t himself, just didn’t look right. Saw that before the round started,” said Gary Woodland, who played in the same group with Woods along with Justin Thomas. “Obviously, everything’s better with him there and for him for his first tournament back and he couldn’t come out and finish the way he wanted to, that sucks for all of us.”

Woodland said he noticed Woods being quieter than normal, though they all were trying to make sure they were among the top 50 to make the cut.

“I feel bad for him. He wasn’t right,” Woodland said. “He definitely was trying to fight through it and I hope he’s all right.”

The 48-year-old Woods still managed to create quite a spectacle at Riviera.

An ambulance and a ladder truck from the Los Angeles Fire Department were parked outside the clubhouse, presumably waiting for Woods. PGA Tour officials said IV fluid bags were needed and there were none at Riviera, so the paramedics had to deliver them.

Photographers and media crowded near the ambulance next to a 6-foot high hedge raised cameras and mobile phones when there was movement, except the trucks were leaving without Woods.

On the golf course, there was a steady stream of spectators headed for the exit. Woodland and Thomas approached the ninth green surrounded by only a few hundred fans.

Woods had not played an official event since the Masters last April, withdrawing in the middle of the rain-delayed third round. He played the unofficial Hero World Challenge in December against a 20-man field with no cut, and the 36-hole PNC Championship with his son, Charlie.

Woods now has played six official tournaments since returning from a February 2021 car crash in Los Angeles that shattered bones in his right leg. He has pulled out of three of them — the 2022 PGA Championship after 54 holes, the 2023 Masters when he didn’t return Sunday morning to complete the third round.

Woods had said he hoped to play one tournament a month through the major season. He had said Thursday he was experiencing back spasms, which led to his shank on the final hole when he started the tournament with a 72.

Along with playing, Woods is the tournament host of the Genesis Invitational that is run by his TGR foundation.

His week in Los Angeles began with plenty of hype — the launch of his new apparel line with TaylorMade Golf and his first PGA Tour start of the year.

AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf

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