Tiger Woods surging ahead at U.S. Open

After shooting a 5-under par in the third round at Pebble Beach on Saturday, suddenly Tiger Woods is right back in contention at the U.S. Open. He’ll head into Sunday’s final day in third place on the leaderboard.

From ESPN.com:

After bogeys on the second and third holes, he ran off birdies on the next three and made the turn in even par. Birdies on the 11th and 13th holes got him closer to the conversation, and the final three holes set off a series of cheers that could be heard from all corners of the peninsula.

He rolled in a 12-foot birdie from the 16th, then made the downhill 15-footer from the fringe of the 17th, raising his index finger in the air.

The old Tiger showed up on the 18th hole.

Blocked behind a pair of cypress trees and hitting into an ocean breeze, Woods hit a 3-wood toward the Pacific and urged it on toward the green. “C’mon! C’mon!” he screamed at it, and followed that with a “Yes!” when it stopped in easy two-putt birdie range.

“I was hitting shots like this every now and again,” Woods said. “I would get into two-, three-hole stretches, but I haven’t strung it out for more than that. And today, I did.”

It was certainly vintage Tiger on Saturday, although keep in mind that he has never won any of his 14 majors when he wasn’t at least tied for the lead going into the final round. That said, the power fade from behind the tree on 18 might turn out to be the shot that propels him to a victory this weekend.

Even if he doesn’t come back and win, it was an epic performance by Woods on Saturday.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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Woods struggling at U.S. Open, shoots a 74 in Round 1

After rain delayed the opening round of the 2009 U.S. Open on Thursday, play resumed on Friday and perennial favorite Tiger Woods is off to a brutal start.

Woods shot a 74 in Round 1, which leaves him 4-over-par after his first day. The 74 marks his second worst start ever at the U.S. Open, with his worst coming in 2006 when he shot a 76 in the opening round.

For comparison, when Woods won the U.S. Open in 2000 he shot a 65 in the opening round and when he won again in 2002, he shot a 67 in Round 1. Compared to his 74 this year, he would appear to have his work cut out for him, but don’t forget he shot a 72 in Round 1 last year and won his third-career U.S. Open so he’s not out of it – not by a long shot.

As of this post, Drew Weaver and Graeme McDowell lead all play with 69, but not all golfers have wrapped up play yet in the first round. So considering he’s only five shots back of the leaders with 54 holes to play, Woods has a ton of time to make up ground.

Check out the Official Site of the U.S. Open for updated scores and more on this year’s event.

2008 Year-End Sports Review: What We Already Knew

While every year has its own host of surprises, there are always those stories that simply fit the trend. Sure, it can get repetitive, but if we don’t look back at history aren’t we only doomed to repeat it? Every year has its fair share of stories that fell into this category, and 2008 was no different.

Our list of things we already knew this year includes the BCS’ continued suckiness (Texas-Oklahoma), how teamwork wins championships (KG, Pierce and Ray-Ray), and the #1 rule for carrying a handgun into a nightclub – don’t use your sweatpants as a holster. (Come on, Plax. Really? Sweatpants?)

Don’t miss the other two parts of our 2008 Year-End Sports Review: “What We Learned” and “What We Think Might Happen.”

Brett Favre can’t make up his mind.

The biggest story of the summer was all the drama surrounding Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. This saga has been covered to death, but there’s one detail that never seemed to get that much play. At the start, it looked like the Packers were making a bad decision by moving on so quickly even when Favre decided he wanted to return. But when the news broke about Favre’s near-unretirement in March, the Packers stance became much more clear. They were ready to take him back after the owners’ meetings, but he called it off at the last minute. At that point, the Packer brass was understandably finished with Brett Favre, much to the chagrin of a good portion of the Packer faithful. – John Paulsen

The Chicago Cubs’ title drought is not a fans-only phenomenon.

The 2008 Cubs were easily the best team the franchise has assembled in decades, but they still couldn’t win a single game in the playoffs, and the reason is simple: the pressure finally got to them. Sure, they said the right things to the press about how they didn’t care about what had happened in the past, but don’t believe a word of it; there wasn’t a single person in that dugout that wasn’t fantasizing about being part of the team that finally, mercifully, ended the longest title drought in sports history. Once ESPN picked them to win it all, however, they were doomed. Ryan Dempster walked seven batters in Game 1, which matched his total for the month of September. The entire infield, including the sure-handed Derrek Lee, committed errors in Game 2. Alfonso Soriano went 1-14 with four strikeouts in the leadoff spot, while the team as a whole drew six walks and struck out 24 times. The team with so much balance in the regular season suddenly became the most one-dimensional team in baseball; take Game 1 from them, then sit back and watch them choke. And now that this group has lost six straight playoff games (the team has lost nine straight dating back to 2003), it isn’t about to get any easier. Get a helmet, Cubs fans. – David Medsker

If you’re going to wear sweatpants to a nightclub, leave the gun at home.

If winning a Super Bowl is the pinnacle of an NFL player’s career, than shooting yourself with your own gun in a nightclub has to be rock bottom. Case in point: Plaxico Antonio Burress. Just 10 months after helping the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg while at a nightclub. Apparently the (unregistered) gun was slipping down his leg and when he tried to grab it to keep it from falling, the lucky bastard wound up pulling the trigger and shooting himself. And that wasn’t the worst of it because as Plaxico found out, New York has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. He was arrested, but posted bail of $100,000 and is scheduled to return to court on March 31, 2009. If convicted of carrying a weapon without a license, he faces up to three and a half years in jail. He shouldn’t expect special treatment, either. The mayor of New York wants to be sure that Burress is prosecuted just like any other resident of NYC. The Giants, meanwhile, placed him on their reserve/non-football injury list and effectively ended his season. While “Plax” definitely deserves “Boner of the Week” consideration for his stupidity, what’s sad is that in the wake of Washington Redskins’ safety Sean Taylor’s death, most NFL players feel the need to arm themselves when they go out. Maybe players can learn from not only Taylor’s death, but also Burress’s accident so further incidents can be avoided. – Anthony Stalter


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