Notes: Tiger's health; Muirfield Village's rain; more
Sunday, October 6, 2013
It was clear as Tiger Woods walked fairways at Muirfield Village that he was not himself. His tee shot on the 18th hole was clearly painful and when he had to bend down to look at the line of a putt or pick something out of his line he was very deliberate.
The back has been an issue for a while and clearly bothered him this week, especially with all the starts and stops because of the weather.
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“It's the same thing as it was at Barclays,” Wood said after his 1-up victory over Richard Sterne. “Went out on me at 14 and from then on, it just kept getting worse.”
Woods' plans are limited the rest of the fall: Turkey for one of the Race to Dubai events, a one-day exhibition with Rory McIlroy in China and of course his tournament in California in December.
The question is will that much rest be enough to come back ready to go at Torrey Pines in late January?
“I've never played three matches in a day before,” Woods said. “So that was certainly our first yesterday, and it's been a long week and you know, I'm a little bit sore, and certainly I'm looking forward to not touching a club for a while.”
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• IT'S NEVER EASY: Muirfield Village saw its share of rain. According to Superintendent Paul Latshaw, the 1.7 inches that fell during the event's four days was far more than they see during any week of the Memorial Tournament that occurs late May or early June.
“Usually October is a really dry month,” Latshaw said. “You usually don't have this type of humidity in the air. Talking to Stewart Williams (PGA Tour meteorologist), he was saying it was 200 percent above normal with the atmospheric moisture, which triggered a lot of this rain, which is totally an aberration for this time of year.”
Aberration or not, Latshaw needed every one of the 95 workers (50 on staff, 45 volunteers) to keep the course playable in a timely manner or the Presidents Cup would have finished Monday.
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Surprisingly, the greens' speeds of 13 to 13.5 were maintained with no Sub Air system. Because the rain didn’t start until Thursday, the rough was cut at a uniform 2.5 inches.
All in all, the course stood up very well, but it will take awhile to get it back to where it should be.
“Truthfully probably into Thanksgiving,” Latshaw said of how long it will take to bring the course back. “The challenge on this restoration is when we have situations where it tears up during the Memorial, you have good growing weather and you can do a lot of seeding. This time of year, working with shorter days, a lot of the choices for grass selections for seeding we don't have that ability . . . tall fescue won't seed this time of year; bluegrass won't really seed, it might be more of a dormant seed. So we're stuck with ryegrass, and then we'll probably do a lot more sodding.”
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• NEVER TRAILED: Jason Dufner, Jason Day, Zach Johnson and Webb Simpson were never behind in Sunday singles.
Day and Dufner got off to fast starts, winning the first hole and winning their matches easily.
Day won 6 and 4 over Brandt Snedeker, Dufner 4 and 3 over Brendon de Jonge.
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• LEADING IS NOT UNDERRATED: In the last four Presidents Cups; the U.S. has had an average lead of 5 points entering Sunday singles.
On Sunday the lead was six points, the third-highest ever for the U.S. squad. The largest lead came in 2000 at Robert Trent Jones, when the U.S. led by 8 points, closely followed by a 7-point lead in 2007 at Royal Montreal in Canada.
In the history of the Presidents Cup, neither team has come back from a deficit going into singles to win the cup, but in 2003 the U.S. was behind three points and forced the only tie in Presidents Cup history.