Golf Buzz

December 4, 2016 - 4:23pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods
USA Today Sports Images
In a roller coaster of a final round at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods finished with a 4-over 76 in his first tournament in 466 days.

Tiger Woods has always taken pride in his ability to grind throughout a round.

Even after making his first competitive start in 15 months, that "grinder" mentality was alive and well this week at the Hero World Challenge... especially in a trying final round on Sunday.

Woods shot a 4-over-par 76 at Albany on the last day of the tournament he hosts (73-65-70-76, 4-under 284) -- his worst score of the week -- in a roller coaster of a round that saw him make five birdies, three bogeys, seven pars and three double bogeys. He finished the 17-player tournament (it was 18 until Justin Rose withdrew due to injury on Friday) in 15th place.

Woods got his third round off to a blistering start on Saturday with four birdies in his first five holes. Sunday, meanwhile, was quite the contrast. After pars at his first four holes, Woods went bogey, double-bogey on Nos. 5 and 6.

RELATED: Hero World Challenge leaderboard | Two unique shots from Tiger | Spieth's eagle pitch in

Ever the competitor, Woods erased those three shots he gave back to par with three straight birdies.

Just when it seemed as though he might get something going, Woods backed up the three consecutive birdies with a bogey at No. 10 and a double bogey at No. 11 to get back to 3 over for the round. A bogey on No. 12 made it 4 over for the day.

Woods collected birdies at Nos. 14 and 15 to claw back to 2 over for the day, but gave all that hard work back on the 18th with his third double bogey of the week on that hole.

Though it may not reflect in the final results, in a week where no one knew what to expect from the 79-time PGA Tour winner and 14-time major champion -- including the man himself -- it was most certainly a step in the right direction for Woods. His 24 birdies this week were the most in the field... as were his six double bogeys.

Now he has something to build on. We most likely won't see Woods in competition again until the Farmers Insurance at Torrey Pines, Jan. 26-29.

Here are some highlights from Tiger's final round:

Gotta love the immediate club twirl on the first tee.



Here's Tiger's bounce-back birdie at No. 7 after a double bogey on No. 6:



Tiger's third birdie in a row at No. 9:



Here's a collection of social media reaction to Tiger from Sunday:






























December 4, 2016 - 3:56pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Jordan Spieth
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Jordan Spieth holed a tremendous pitch shot in the final round of the Hero World Challenge on Sunday for an unlikely eagle.

Jordan Spieth moved himself up the leaderboard in fashion at the Hero World Challenge on Sunday.

At the par-5 15th hole, Spieth had a remarkable pitch in from an awkward lie for eagle.

Check it out:

That eagle moved Spieth into a tie for third at the time at 12 under with Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler. 

December 4, 2016 - 3:20pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Brooks Koepka
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Known mostly for his long game, Ryder Cup USA team member showed us on Sunday at the Hero World Challenge that his short game isn't so bad either.

Brooks Koepka is most well-known for his remarkable long game.

On Sunday at the Hero World Challenge, though, he flashed some brilliance with his short game.

Playing his third shot from a greenside bunker at the par-4 16th hole at Albany, Koepka went ahead and did this:



Birdies like that will work.

The shot moved Koepka to 7 under for the tournament. He won't win, but dinner will taste a little better with a shot like that.

December 4, 2016 - 2:16pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods hit two shots on his front nine Sunday in the final round of the Hero World Challenge that he might not hit again in competition all of next year.

Not all pars are created equal.

Most of the time with PGA Tour players, pars are made in the "routine" way. For instance, on a par 3: Tee shot on green, two putts, move along to the next hole.

That wasn't the case for Tiger Woods on his second hole Sunday in the final round of the Hero World Challenge. After getting a little unlucky with a bounce on his tee shot, Woods got up to the green to find his ball nestled between the fringe cut and the rough.

How do you play that shot?

If you're Tiger, just flip your putter sideways and hit it with the toe:



Not a bad recovery. And well done to hole the par putt.

At the par-5 sixth hole, however, Woods took a double-bogey 7 that dropped him to 3 over for the day (he bogeyed No. 5). The adventure on No. 6 included a chip shot from on the adjacent shared green with No. 13 that Woods chunked:



The next shot cozied up to 6 feet, but Tiger missed the putt and walked off with double -- his fourth double bogey of the week.

December 4, 2016 - 1:03pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bubba Watson
@PGATOUR on Twitter
We're not sure if he was disgusted with the putt and thought it was going to come up short, or confident that it was going to find the bottom of the cup. Either way, great highlight from Bubba Watson.

Bubba Watson is the defending champion at this week's Hero World Challenge.

Though he's not going to successfully defend his title, he did provide a fantastic highlight on the par-5 third hole Sunday.

Faced with a roughly 25-foot birdie putt, Watson hit the putt and then started walking the ball right to and into the hole.

Check it out:



I'm not sure what to make of this. Was Watson disgusted with the stroke and figuring he missed? Or, was he so confident that it was going in, he just figured he'd hurry up, pick it out of the hole and move on?

Either way, boss move.

December 3, 2016 - 5:08pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods
USA Today Sports Images
How did Tiger Woods follow up Friday's impressive 7-under 65? Find out here how his entire third round of the Hero World Challenge played out along with highlights and social media reaction.

Remember how spectacular Tiger Woods was in the early 2000s? Well, that's how he looked when he began the third round of the Hero World Challenge on Saturday at Albany in the Bahamas.

But he just couldn't keep the momentum for all 18 holes.

When the final score was added up after a double bogey due to a water-ball second shot on No. 18, Woods finished with a 2-under 70. That got him to 8-under 208 for the tournament and nine strokes behind leader Hideki Matsuyama when his round ended.

Woods birdied his first three holes of the day, got up and down for a brilliant par at the fourth and then holed out a ridiculous bunker shot at the par-3 fifth hole -- four birdies in five holes.

RELATED: Hero World Challenge leaderboard | Matsuyama's eagle hole out | Tiger's bunker blast

On the sixth hole, Woods made his first bogey of the day, but backed it up right away with a birdie at the seventh. The bogey was Tiger's first over-par score in 24 holes, going all the way back to his double-bogey on No. 18 on Thursday to finish with a 1-over 73.

Woods would birdie the par-5 11th hole, but was slowed with back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 12 and 13 to fall back to 3 under for the day and 9 under for the tournament.

At the 17th hole, Woods holed a roughly 20-foot putt for his seventh and final birdie of the day. Unfortunately, he gave it right back when he ran into trouble at the last. A tee shot sailed right into a waste area. With a sketchy lie, Woods was short and left of the green and wound up in the water. With his drop, Woods failed to get up and down and took double bogey. It was a disappointing end to what had been a mostly promising round.

That said, the week has gone better than anyone could have reasonably expected thus far -- no injury issues and a game that's looked sharp with occasional flashes of brilliance. 

Here are some of the highlights from Tiger's third round:

Just like in Round 2, Woods pounded his opening tee shot down the middle of the fairway on Saturday and stuffed a wedge approach to set up a kick-in birdie to quickly move to 7 under:

Woods also knocked it close with his tee shot on the par-3 second hole to make it two birdies in two holes:

Woods hit a fabulous pitch shot at the par-5 third hole to set up a tap-in for his third birdie of the day:

Woods holed out on No. 5 for birdie to get to 10 under and within two shots of the lead at the time:

Woods erased his bogey at the par-5 sixth hole with this up and down from a bunker for birdie on No. 7:

Here's a look at some of the reaction on Twitter to Tiger's third round.