Notebook: Woods enduring drought in victories at WGC tournaments

Tiger Woods
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Tiger Woods won 15 of the first 27 world Golf Championships that were played, but now has gone 10 WGCs without winning.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Tuesday, March 05, 2013 | 6:24 p.m.

DORAL, Fla.  -- Tiger Woods has gone 14 major championships without winning, dating to his playoff win in the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

Perhaps more surprising is how long he has gone without a World Golf Championship.

No one was more dominant than Woods in these world championships. He won 15 of the first 27 events that were played (he missed the Match Play in Australia, so his winning rate at one point was 58 percent). When he won at Firestone for a record seventh time in 2009, he had won 16 out of 30.

Since then, however, Woods has gone 10 WGCs without winning.

Woods hasn't advanced out of the second round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play since he last won in 2008. He tied for 10th at Doral in 2011 and withdrew in the final round last year. He has only one top-10 finish at Firestone in the last three years. And he tied for sixth in his two appearances at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

OGILVY SPARK: Geoff Ogilvy never thought he would use a sports psychologist, though he enjoyed casual conversations with Bob Rotella and a few others. But he decided to hire Julie Elion about a month ago on what he described as a ''neighborly recommendation.''

Ogilvy is neighbors in Scottsdale, Ariz., with Jim ''Bones'' Mackay, who came to know Elion when she worked with Phil Mickelson.

''I just realized this was a good thing for me -- obviously it's been a good thing for me,'' Ogilvy said.

They first met at the Phoenix Open, and after he missed four straight cuts on the West Coast, the former U.S. Open champion delivered a clutch performance in the Honda Classic with four rounds at par or better to finish second. It moved him up 32 spots in the world ranking to No. 47, getting him into Doral and boosting his odds of staying in the top 50 at the end of the month to get into the Masters.

Ogilvy said he's fine Thursday through Sunday, but it was Monday through Wednesday where he had a ''history of messing my game up in practice.''

The move came with one endorsement.

''Bussy (caddie Matthew Tritton) says I'm in a better place on the golf course,'' Ogilvy said.

BACK ON THE BAG: Steve Stricker's wife caddied for him when he first joined the PGA Tour nearly 20 years ago, even though some players told him he should consider hiring a professional caddie. He won twice in 1996 to show otherwise.

Nicki Stricker mostly stays at home these days raising their two daughters in Wisconsin, but they started a few years ago picking one tournament a year for her to caddie. With his limited schedule this year, they chose the Cadillac Championship.

''We like to do it once a year,'' Stricker said. ''She did it last year at The Greenbrier.''

Nicki Stricker was asked if she was a good caddie, and she looked over at her husband.

''What do they say about caddies? Keep up, show up and shut up?'' she said. ''So yeah, I'm a good caddie.''

DIVOTS: Donald Trump is helping in a big way with the ''Els for Autism'' national golf tournaments. Six of the tournaments will be played at Trump-owned courses. ''He's giving us one hell of a break,'' Ernie Els said. ''This is going to really help us. We have made $4 million the last two years, and with his help, we could be setting the next year with $7 million. That's how big this is.'' ... EverBank has signed on as a presenting sponsor for the Tampa Bay Championship next week. The tournament at Innisbrook is still trying to land a title sponsor. ... Michelle McGann is not done with golf just yet. She plans to try to qualify for the Founders Cup next week in Phoenix when the LPGA Tour begins the domestic portion of its schedule. ... The U.S. Senior Open has extended its exemptions to the top six on the European Senior Tour money list, meaning Paul Wesselingh and Chris Williams will get in the field at Omaha (Neb.) Country Club this summer.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Fifteen players have won the last 15 official events on the PGA Tour schedule dating to Rory McIlroy's win in the BMW Championship.

FINAL WORD: ''When little brother beats up on big brother on a regular basis, the roles start to reverse. I'd feel out of place giving Rory advice.'' -- Graeme McDowell, on his relationship with Rory McIlroy.