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August 2, 2014 | From Staff and Wire Reports
AKRON, Ohio - Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational. Not just from back surgery, but from making bogeys. Woods bounced back with birdies all three times that he made mistakes, opening with a 2-under 68 on a soft, gentle day for scoring at Firestone. It left him 4 shots behind Marc Leishman of Australia and hopeful that this time he can build on a solid start. Woods opened with a 69 at the British Open two weeks ago, only to plunge down the leader board the rest of the week at Royal Liverpool.
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July 22, 2014 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
Rory McIlroy won the British Open on Sunday, completing three legs of golf's career Grand Slam, with only the Masters still to check off on his to-do list. The Northern Ireland native is 25, personable, hits the ball a ton and plays an exciting game. On this side of the ocean, however, McIlroy's win was greeted with little more than passing interest. Dedicated golf fans - at least those willing to plunk in front of the television for a tournament rather than pursue the unforgiving ball around the course - continue to follow the game, but their numbers are dwindling.
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June 15, 2014 | BY MIKE KERN, Daily News Staff Writer kernm@phillynews.com
PINEHURST, N.C. - Martin Kaymer went where not even Tiger Woods has gone. Or anyone else. Less than 24 hours after the 29-year-old German opened the 114th U.S. Open with a 5-under-par 65 at Pinehurst No. 2, he did it again yesterday, which history tells us should be impossible. The 2010 PGA champion, whose win at last month's The Players Championship was his first in 3 years, extended his lead from three shots to six halfway through the season's second major. The only others who ever led by that much after 36 holes were Woods in 2000 and Rory McIlroy 3 years ago. Kaymer's 130 is one lower than the Open record set by McIlroy at Congressional, which played as a par 71. The only other man thought to to post consecutive 65s in a major was David Toms, in the middle two rounds of the 2001 PGA in Atlanta that he eventually won by one over Phil Mickelson.
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June 13, 2014 | BY MIKE KERN, Daily News Staff Writer kernm@phillynews.com
PINEHURST, N.C. - Unless maybe you're Tiger Woods, you're not supposed to win the Masters when you're 20. But 2 months ago, Jordan Spieth almost did, tying for second in the first major of the year. So what now? The newest next-big-thing comes to Pinehurst No. 2 as, well, one of the blokes being taken the most serious. And maybe that's asking a lot, even of a two-time U.S. Amateur winner. After 19-year-old Sergio Garcia nearly beat Tiger at the 1999 PGA Championship, many said the same thing about him. Of course, we're still waiting.
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June 13, 2014 | By Marcus Hayes, Daily News Columnist
PINEHURST, N.C. - In the absence of Tiger and in the twilight of Phil, this is what golf needs. It needs charisma. It needs star power. It needs beknickered Rickie Fowler, and heartbroken Rory McIlroy, and even golf dork Jordan Spieth. Any one of them could wind up holding the U.S. Open trophy on Sunday evening. Fowler finished at even-par 70, McIlroy at 1-over, Spieth at 1-under, all within hailing distance of leader Martin Kaymer, who sits at 5-under. Tiger Woods has missed his second consecutive major tournament because of back surgery, but, after winning 14 majors in 12 years, Woods' crumbling body hasn't mustered another major win in 6 years.
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June 12, 2014 | BY MIKE KERN, Daily News Staff Writer kernm@phillynews.com
PINEHURST, N.C. - It all started here in 1999, when Phil Mickelson famously lost the U.S. Open to Payne Stewart by one on a closing 15-foot par putt. Three years later at Bethpage, he again finished second, three behind Tiger Woods. In 2004, he was runner-up, by two, to Retief Goosen at Shinnecock Hills. In 2006, going for his third straight major, Mickelson blew a 1-shot lead with a 72nd-hole double bogey at Winged Foot. In 2009, back at Bethpage, he lost by a deuce to Lucas Glover.
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May 29, 2014 | BY MIKE KERN, Daily News Staff Writer kernm@phillynews.com
LIKE MOST competitors, Mike Johnson dreamed big things when he was a kid. Yet for much of his athletic career, they had nothing to do with sinking a putt on the last hole to win a major golf tournament. Or even a minor one. When Johnson was younger his game was baseball. So his dreams were mostly about hitting a walk-off home run in Game 7 of the World Series. But by the time he was a sophomore at Hatboro-Horsham High, he started to take another swing more seriously. "I got a lot better at it," he said.
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May 21, 2014 | Daily News staff and wire reports
TIGER WOODS said yesterday he doesn't know when he will return to golf, and questioned at one point whether he'd ever play again. Speaking at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., in his role as host of next month's Quicken Loans National, Woods said his back injury became so debilitating this year it caused him to doubt his ability to play golf again. "Forget about playing golf at the highest level. I couldn't get out of bed," Woods said. "I was certainly doubtful at that point.
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April 15, 2014 | BY MIKE KERN, Daily News Staff Writer kernm@phillynews.com
AUGUSTA, Ga.- In 1963, Jack Nicklaus became the youngest Masters champion. Seventeen years later, Seve Ballesteros became the youngest. And seventeen years after that, Tiger Woods took the record lower. That was 17 years ago. For a while, it sure looked as if 20-year-old Jordan Spieth was going to keep the timeline intact. He was trying to make a whole bunch of history. Youngest to win this major. Youngest to win any major in 83 years. Second Masters rookie to get a green jacket since 1935.
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April 15, 2014 | By Marcus Hayes, Daily News Staff Writer
AUGUSTA, Ga. - At about 5 p.m. yesterday, leaders Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth stood on the ninth green. About 75 yards away, Bernhard Langer, the standard-bearer for the AARP delegation, was explaining why a record six 50-somethings not only made the Masters cut but half of them spent yesterday in contention. On the ninth green, Watson made a birdie putt that completed a four-shot swing atop the leader board over two holes and had the Masters caretakers heading to his locker to get out the green jacket he won 2 years before.
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