Saturday, April 7, 2012
Tiger Woods sorry for kicking club
By Bob Harig
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tiger Woods apologized Saturday for kicking his golf club on Friday during the second round of the Masters.
"Certainly, I'm frustrated at times and I apologize if I offended anybody by that," Woods said. "But I've hit some bad shots and it's certainly frustrating at times not hitting the ball where you need to hit it."
Woods has struggled during the first major championship of the year. He posted an even-par 72 during the third round on Saturday to scores of 72 and 75 to all but fall out of contention at Augusta National.
Woods said he was not approached by any club officials about Friday's incident, although he still could be fined for his behavior by the PGA Tour, which never announces such punishment.
"I certainly heard that people didn't like me kicking the club, but I didn't like it, either," Woods said. "I hit it right in the bunker and it didn't feel good on my toe either."
Woods dropped his 9-iron to the ground at the 16th hole on Friday, then kicked it backward roughly 10 yards.
The signs of frustration showed again Saturday as Woods seemed resigned to his fate.
After hitting his drive on the par-5 13th into the trees, Woods chunked his driver and took a big divot out of the tee box.
Then on 15, Woods' ball appeared to be tracking into the cup on a 25-foot birdie attempt, but it took a peek and went 4 feet past. A putt that used to go in for him fairly regularly, but not on this day. He dropped his putter to the ground and bent down in exasperation, arms hanging straight down.
All part of a round in which he opened with two quick birdies, but gave both back, failed to take advantage of any of the par 5s and finished where he started -- 3-over par and eight strokes behind the leaders when his round ended.
"I was so close to putting it together today," Woods said.
Woods now has failed to break par in any round at Augusta, something he's done just once before as a pro -- in 2007, when he still managed to tie for second in difficult weather conditions.
|Tiger Woods struggled through an emotional third round Saturday, then apologized for kicking a club during Friday's second round.|
For the second day in a row, Woods failed to birdie any of the par-5s, leaving his three-day total at 1 one birdie in 12 holes. He came into this Masters having played just two rounds in his career without a birdie on the par-5s. Last year, Woods played them in 10 under and was 15 under in 2010.
"I'd like to say it was poor driving, but then I drive it in the fairways and then miss into a bad spot or I would miss the drive and compound the problem from there ... it was just one thing after another," he said. "So you've got to be patient, which I was today. I was very patient out there. I was grinding hard and it was a tough day."
For the second day in a row, Woods got under par quickly with birdies at the third and fourth holes. But those wound up being his only birdies of the day. He bogeyed Nos. 6 and 9 and then made all pars on the back nine.
Woods will need a strong final day just to get into familiar territory. Since his last victory in 2005, Woods has not finished worse than a tie for sixth.
Three weeks ago, Woods suffered a strained Achilles -- the same one he originally injured during the third round of the Masters a year ago. But Woods said he feels "great" and said there were no issues with the Achilles, maintaining that his problems didn't stem from trying too hard or wanting it too much.
"I have done the same practice routine," said Woods, who won his 72nd PGA Tour title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on March 25. "It's worked out four times (at the Masters) for me. Unfortunately this week so far it just hasn't turned out that way."
After spending considerable time working on his game Friday evening and again Saturday morning, Woods said he would not be heading to the range for more work.
"I'm going to take it off," he said. "I'm a little tired. Last night took a little bit out of me and certainly trying to put everything I possibly had in this round to get it back. Going to go back, work out, and get ready for tomorrow."
Whether Woods' club tossing will get him disciplined remains to be seen. The PGA Tour has been criticized over the years for not disclosing fines.
John Daly told The Associated Press in December 2008 that he had been suspended for sixth months. Even then, the tour would not confirm it. Last year, the tour would not discuss whether Rory Sabbatini was suspended for his treatment of a teenage volunteer at Riviera and for getting into an argument on the golf course with Sean O'Hair.
A person close to Sabbatini later told the AP he had been suspended.
The tour has three categories of penalties -- minor (fines not more than $10,000); intermediate (fines between $10,001 and $20,000); major (in excess of $20,000).
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Certainly I'm frustrated at times and I apologize if I offended anybody by that. But I've hit some bad shots and it's certainly frustrating at times not hitting the ball where you need to hit it.
-- Tiger Woods
apologizing for kicking a club Friday