Tag:Nick Watney
Posted on: February 23, 2012 6:12 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 8:36 pm

Tiger Woods out in second round of match play

Tiger reacts after a second shot at the Accenture Match Play. (Getty Images)

By Shane Bacon

There was a stunned silence in the golf world when Tiger Woods, standing over a six-footer on the 18th hole to extend his match to extra holes against Nick Watney slide past the right lip, but it wasn’t as much a shocked silence as it was understandable disappointment. 

A man that used to drop just about every meaningful putt you put in front of him had once again missed a fairly simple putt in a match that was just begging for him to snag it the way Woods used to always do. Watney, for as well as he played on Thursday, was mediocre at best at the Accenture Match Play, allowing Tiger a chance to get back in the match time and time again. 

And when Woods stuffed his 9-iron just below the hole on the final green, sudden death almost seemed inevitable. But a strange thing happened. I actually thought Watney had a better chance of holing his birdie chip from just on the fringe than Tiger did of his short birdie putt on greens that he’s never seemed kosher with. 

Tiger is out at the match play, a result most experts probably guessed would happen when they saw him matched up against the steady Watney on Thursday. Woods hit the ball loose for much of the two days he played in Marana. He powered putt after putt through the break, never seeming comfortable with either his stroke or lines. 

But it goes back to the silence that fell right after his putt slide by, not even catching a lip to give the Tiger fans hope. It seemed ... likely. 

Woods is obviously not the same golfer he once was, and we all need to understand that. He was great at one point and now he’s another guy on tour with a staff bag and great golf swing. He plays well some days and bad others. He hits magnificent golf shots at times and follows it up with a poor putt. These are only shocking because he once was so great and now is so average. 

It was just that this match seemed strange because it was so predictable. Tiger playing a guy that he should lose to, losing to him, and doing it in a fashion that never seemed to be the Woods way. 

Woods has had some great moments this year, both at the start of Abu Dhabi and Pebble Beach. He has failed to close either of those events out for one reason or the other, much like any other professional golfer does at times when the trophy doesn’t end up in their outgoing luggage. And when the putt slipped by the hole at a match play event in the early part of the 2012 PGA Tour season, things seemed eerily normal. For the first time in the history of the Tiger era, a missed putt on his behalf seemed like the only logical conclusion. 

This game is a testy witch at times. Tiger feels that now as much as ever. 

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow Shane Bacon and Eye On Golf on Twitter. 
Posted on: February 21, 2012 6:33 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 1:23 pm

Matches we'd love to see at the Accenture

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy shake hands earlier this season in Abu Dhabi. (Getty Images)

By Shane Bacon

We know, we know, predicting things in golf is absolutely impossible, but the interesting nature of match play has us thinking ahead. What are the best possible matches that COULD happen this week at the Accenture? These are our favorite possible matchups. 

Nick Watney vs. Tiger Woods (second round) -- Any match Tiger is in will be featured, but I’d love see a player like Watney go up against him Tiger in a fairly even match.

Graeme McDowell vs. Hunter Mahan (second round) -- I’m fairly certain Mahan would love a piece of McDowell in match player after what happened at the 2010 Ryder Cup, and it would be the featured round of Thursday.  

Sergio Garcia vs. Keegan Bradley (second round) -- I’d like this just for the pre-match ceremony where Garcia hands over the “Incredibly Long Pre-Shot Gold Medal.” He’s held it for so many years!  

Adam Scott vs. Dustin Johnson (third round) -- I just like the idea of zero University of Arizona girls going to class on Friday so they can head out and see Mr. Scott vs. Mr. Johnson. 

Lee Westwood vs. Tiger Woods (third round) -- A clash of titans before the quarter-finals? Yes please.  

Rory McIlroy vs. Sergio Garcia (third round) -- Probably the best chance for McIlroy to get upset out of his bracket, Garcia is headed in playing some seriously good golf, and two of the bigger names in the game would bring tons of attention to the Gary Player bracket. 

Martin Kaymer vs. Bubba Watson (third round) -- I think just about everyone would be excited to see this rematch of the 2011 semi-finals, just as long as Kaymer leaves the scarf at home. 

Rory McIlroy vs. Jason Day (quarter-finals) -- I have a feeling this will happen, and I’m absolutely jazzed about it. 

Ben Crane vs. Kevin Na (quarter-finals) -- Can an entire match be put on the clock? Can even the guy putting people on the clock be put on the clock? No chance this isn't the final match of the day. It has to be!   

Rory McIlroy vs. Tiger Woods (semi-finals) -- Do I really need to explain why this would be awesome? 

Luke Donald vs. Tiger Woods (finals) -- Because I’d really like to see Tiger get his first win in something like this, over a bunch of big names, the last being the world number one. I think that would really show just where he is with his golf game, and give the guy about a 400 percent boost, confidence-wise. 

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow Shane Bacon and Eye On Golf on Twitter.  

Posted on: September 2, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2011 1:43 pm

Watney atop TPC board, not family social register

NORTON, Mass. -- You get the feeling that no matter what Nick Watney does this week, even if he shot 59 and won the Deutsche Bank Championship by 20 strokes, it wouldn't quite be enough.

He was reminded of that during his pro-am round on Thursday, when fans were yelling out the name of a certain relative who is just a little bit famous in this particular area.

"I must have heard her name yelled 100 times in the pro-am," Watney laughed.

This being ground zero for Boston Red Sox nation, we're talking about his cousin, Heidi Watney, the fetching and popular sideline reporter for the team over the past few seasons.

Watney opened with a 4-under 67 and was two strokes off the morning lead at TPC Boston, located about 40 miles from Beantown proper. He's third in the FedEx Cup rankings, and has a $10 million bonus and the tournament title within his sights.

But in this burgh, he's second banana on the familial register. Heidi, like Nick, is a native Californian. Her father Mike was Nick's golf coach at Fresno State, though she attended college in San Diego and earned a degree in communications.

You know, so she could get a real job.

Given the astounding foothold that the Red Sox hold as far as popularity, and that ratings on the New England Sports Network are always through the roof, Nick's got some work to do before he supplants his cousin in this particular town.

Not that he has much of a chance. Just ask a local BoSox fan. Nick has no prayer.

"Ha,'' laughed Keegan Bradley, the PGA Championsip winner and an area product. "No, definitely not."

All of this will make a lot more sense after viewing this website dedicated to Heidi: www.heidiwatney.net

Posted on: April 7, 2011 5:32 pm

Magic wand keeps Watney from disappearing

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- As though anybody needed reminding about which club is the most important at Augusta National, Nick Watney underscored it, wrote it in capital letters and emphasized it with italics at the Masters on Thursday.

Watney, ranked 14th in the world and touted as one of the Las Vegas favorites this week after a smoking spring on the PGA Tour, carved balls all over the Masters property in the first round but managed to escape with an ever-par 72 that left him seven shots off the lead.

It was easy to explain how. He made putts of 12, 30 and 15 feet for par on the last three holes to minimize the damage in a decidedly up-and-down day that included three straight birdies -- and sloppy bogeys on both ends of that streak.

Watney hasn't finished worse than 13th all spring, so he has some heavy lifting ahead to get back in the mix after finishing seventh at the Masters last year and holding the 54-hole lead at the PGA Championship. Nothing much was working outside of the putter.

"Everything, really," he said. It was rough. It was a rough day with the ball-striking. So I'm a little bit frustrated, just because I don't see it being much easier than it was today [for scopring].

"But at the same time, it could have been higher, so I'm relieved to get it over with and excited to go work on it."
Category: Golf
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