Golf: Tiger Woods in great shape
BETTING À DAY
AUGUSTA | Tiger Woods keeps no one yearning as 87e edition of the Masters Tournament. His arrival on the hallowed ground of Augusta National was eagerly awaited. He showed up smiling and looking great in the middle of a wonderful afternoon yesterday.
Like last year, he showed up at the practice range around 3 p.m. for a short warm-up session. Moving with ease, the now 47-year-old famed golfer doesn't have to drag out the suspense like he did a year ago. second tournament of the season after attending the Genesis Invitational in California in mid-February. He then finished in 45th place.
Woods was quick to get down to business. After greeting the few peers present at the driving range, he gave a hug to his good friend Jason Day.
Even Augusta National President Fred S. Ridley gave a little detour to the warm-up mound to tighten his grip and poke a little bit of chatter. The Tiger seemed in high spirits under the hot Georgia sun and azure blue skies.
He tickled a few dozen small white balls for about 25 minutes then he headed, with a good gait, towards the course he knows like the back of his hand.
Details to come
If we follow his habits logically, he will be back today to prepare for the first Grand Slam tournament of the season. We remember that last year, his Monday practice round had pumped the vast majority of the approximately 40,000 spectators on the property. It was impossible to move there.
And tomorrow, he will take the microphone at his usual press conference. An appointment eagerly awaited by the journalistic community with all the upheavals in the world of professional golf and his personal life.
Woods is one of the ardent defenders of the PGA Tour in the war against LIV Golf.
And just three weeks ago, salty details of his split with girlfriend Erica Herman came to light due to legal proceedings. The latter has filed a lawsuit in a Florida court to invalidate a confidentiality clause and is claiming $30 million from it at the same time.
Woods intends to defend itself tooth and nail in these cases.
Returning to sport, the athlete with 15 major titles has only made four outings since his triumphant return to competition here last year, 14 months after his terrible accident which could have cost him his life.
He finished in 47th place after a very difficult weekend, particularly due to the weather conditions.
After his final round, he struggled to climb the small podium for his press briefing and he was then engulfed in the pavilion of sorrow and misery surrounded by his family.
During this last year, he took part in only four competitions. A reality that he accepts since his body no longer allows him to play frequently in competition.
He had not completed the PGA of America Championship at Southern Hills. Suffering from severe leg pain, he withdrew after the third round. His body had given up.
The next time he came out, he missed the ax at the British Open in St. Andrews.
This week he this is his 25th participation in the Masters, he who won the 2019 edition with panache.
Although he will be closely watched, it is utopian to expect miracles from the athlete with 82 professional titles in his career.
Conners repeats the feat in Texas
In another vein, Canadian Corey Conners won his second PGA Tour title yesterday at the 'Texas Valero Open.
The 31-year-old Ontarian repeated his feat of 2019 as he savored his first win on the same course at TPC San Antonio.
< p>He held off a late push from American Sam Stevens who narrowly approached with an eagle on the 17th pennant.
♦ On the coast of Pacific, Quebecer Maude-Aimée Leblanc slipped to 13th in the final round of the Los Angeles Open. A disastrous comeback punctuated by three bogeys and a double bogey forced her to turn over a 72(+1) card as she finished eight strokes behind the champion, Ruoning Yin.
Monet Chun learns lessons from his time at Augusta
Monet Chun had the best Canadian performance in the history of the Augusta National Women's Championship. His good job should allow him to break into the top 100 in the world.
When she left Chambers Bay after the final of the United States Women's Amateur Championship last summer, Monet Chun said that she had discovered a part of her personality. Flying out of Augusta yesterday morning, the Canadian felt she learned more.
Impossible to remain impassive after participating in one of the most prestigious women's amateur tournaments in the world and having wandered the fairways of the Augusta National.
With her phlegm, the 22-year-old golfer took it however considered any tournament she enters and any course she faces. It was not until the last rolled to the bottom of the cup, good for 14th position, that she achieved her feat.
She etched her name in the history of the Augusta National Women's Championship by achieving the best Canadian performance there. A performance that should allow him to break into the top 100 of the world rankings.
“It’s a spectacular event. It is difficult, because we face the best golfers on one of the most legendary courses in the world. I'm excited to be in it,” she said with a smile after her final round.
Back to work
Her stellar performance revealed what she now needs to accomplish to take her to the next level and tussle with her rivals in the biggest championships on the planet.
“There are some facets to my game which I absolutely must improve. That final round at Augusta National reminded me of that. I have to better judge the playing conditions and the weather conditions, ”listed among other things the one who made a few blunders to this effect in the final round on Saturday. These led to bogeys and a 77 (+5) ultimate card.
“I hope she continues to recognize that she belongs to the world elite and that she has a lot of skills, wished her instructor Matt Wilson. She's better than she was last summer. She now has more tools in her chest with this experience.
“She will therefore be able to offer better performances on the big stages like this Augusta National Amateur Championship,” he added, proud to have seen her in the main draw. She will be able to stand out internationally.
Expected end of season
This positive experience gives Chun a good dose of energy in the future. dawn of the last tournaments of the collegiate season. The University of Michigan Wolverines representative is scheduled to defend her Big 10 Conference Championship title in three weeks.
Thereafter, a busy summer awaits him with renowned events all over America and even in Europe. She will also have to defend her title of Canadian amateur champion presented in Halifax at the beginning of August.
BIG BONNETS PARADE
As the young ladies peacefully wrapped up their practice round on Friday afternoon, the bigwigs of the Augusta National, United States Golf Association (USGA), Royal and Ancient and PGA Tour parade on the first mound for a friendly game under the hot sun. Among the lot, we saw Mike Whan, big boss of the USGA, Jay Monahan, commissioner of the PGA Tour, and of course the host of the day, the president of the ANGC, Fred S. Ridley. Unfortunately, Greg Norman was not in the game…
Funny story near the first mound when the head honcho of the Augusta National closed the march to his herd of distinguished guests. Curious spectator near the bigwigs, the representative of the Journalhad to confirm some very bad news to Ridley. This was the last to go. While his playmates left the mound as soon as he touched the ball, he wondered where it had ended up. So he asked the only spectator who observed the trajectory. I had to tell him that he had to make his next shot at the beach, in the bunker to the right of the fairway. Which made him smile.
THE CITY CENTER IS VIBRATING
Augusta, a small town in Georgia with about 200,000 souls, is coming back to life after 50 weeks of tranquility. For the past few days, the city center has been in full swing. Fountains on Broad Street, the municipality's main street, spout fluorescent green water, restaurants and bars are packed and have seen parades of modified cars and motorcycles. The issues of COVID-19 are a thing of the past.
FIVE CANADIANS RACING
It was the turn of the kids and teens to storm the Augusta National facilities yesterday for the traditional Sunday skills competition. None of the five Canadians competing in this final topped their category. But they have all filled up with lasting memories in the same place where the greatest have passed for almost 100 years. Of the lot, Toronto's Dawson Lew had the best performance, finishing third in the boys' 12-13 age group.