Woods shows improvement, Spieth ready for WGC


By Adam Capps - Sports Editor



By Adam Capps

Sports Editor

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Okay, so Tiger had three good rounds, and one not so great round last week at the Quicken Loans National, the tournament that benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation. In the end, he was not in the hunt on Sunday, as Troy Merritt caught fire on the weekend, including a 61 in round 3 to capture his first PGA Tour win of his career.

Rickie Fowler was among others who played well during the event. Fowler’s opening round ended with a hole-in-one on the par three ninth hole, his last hole of the round, after starting on the back nine. Upon the completion of the round, Fowler sent drinks to the media room, on him. Just another reason why Fowler is so well-liked out on Tour.

What the tournament tells us entering the week is this, Fowler is primed to perform well in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and Tiger Woods did not qualify. That’s right, the guy that’s won the event at Firestone Country Club eight, yes eight times, will not be in the field this week because he is ranked well outside the top 80 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

But, Tiger showed promise in three of four rounds. Does that mean he will be a contender in next week’s PGA Championship at Whistling Straits? Who knows. The golf community can hope so, but not really count on it. Of Tiger’s last 12 major starts, 11 of them have began with bogeys. I say the key to Woods playing well in Kohler, Wisconsin for the year’s last major championship next week, is getting off to a good start. Crazy how nerves still seem to be a part of the trouble in golf, even for a guy who has hoisted 14 major championship trophies.

First, the players will be in Akron, Ohio this week for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Not only will Tiger be out of the field, but so will defending champion, Rory McIlroy. He is still nursing an injury he suffered in a ‘friendly kick-around’ with friends a little over a month ago.

If you’re playing fantasy golf, you can’t go wrong with Jordan Spieth, who is in the field this week. Spieth has just been beaten by four guys in his last five events, including three wins. He is looking to get primed up for possibly his third of four major championships in 2015.

If you can’t pick Spieth, Jason Day is the next best bet. Day was a winner in his last time out, and is the second-hottest player on Tour now behind Spieth.

It’s nice to have a premier event in place on Tour the week before a major championship. It makes waiting for that major not so difficult. It’ll be interesting to see if the big guns can keep it rolling this week at Firestone, and to see who is trending in the right direction before they head out to Wisconsin to battle for Glory’s Last Shot.

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