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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Not great, but still unbeaten
By BOB HARIG
Published February 7, 2006
If you didn't know who was speaking, you'd think things might be pretty ominous.
"I was just trying to hang in there."
"I either had it or didn't have it at all."
"I had a two-way miss going. I could hit it left or right at any given time, and that's not a whole lot of fun."
Those are just a sampling of comments in the past two weeks from Tiger Woods , who seems to be struggling just fine.
After being "very lucky" to get into a playoff Jan. 29 at the Buick Invitational in San Diego, Woods beat Jose Maria Olazabal on the first extra hole in his first event of 2006.
After traveling through 12 time zones to the Middle East, Woods pocketed a big appearance fee and might have been excused if he were not at his best in the United Arab Emirates.
Yet despite his issues with the driver and several instances when shots did not come off as planned, Woods managed to birdie the last two holes on Sunday at the Dubai Desert Classic, both times making testy short birdie putts, to forge a playoff with Ernie Els .
The PGA Tour should have been so lucky Sunday as three of the world's top five players (Retief Goosen was the other) finished in the top five and two played off.
And what does it say about Woods that he was able to win twice this year at far from his best?
Perhaps he was lucky. But it's scary to think what might happen if he gets his game together.
"My list of things I needed to work on is a lot shorter than it was last year at the same time," Woods said. "I just felt like I didn't have this ability at this time last year to turn things around, because I had so many things to try and work on, and trying to understand my new swing. But after another year of experience with it, I had that ability."
NO REGRETS: Els has lost three times to Woods in playoffs, but don't expect the South African to be down long. Unlike other times, when Els admitted that Woods got into his head, the Big Easy has plenty of positives to take from Dubai. He was 19 under par for the tournament, hit 16 of 18 greens Sunday and has one victory and two seconds in four starts on the European tour. Els will return to the United States next week for the first time since injuring his knee last summer. He is expected to play the Nissan Open, the Match Play Championship and Doral, as is Woods.
RULES VIOLATION: Brandt Jobe is the latest victim of the rule book. Jobe noticed Sunday during the final round of the FBR Open in Scottdale, Ariz., that his 6-iron was bent in the grip area. Jobe called for a rules official and learned he would be disqualified.
"I hadn't used the club and I didn't bend it during the course of play," Jobe told reporters afterward."In that case, I thought I could just declare it out of play, but he (the rules official) said it was disqualification. ... I have no idea how it got bent. I didn't hit it all day, so maybe it happened (Saturday) and I never noticed until I pulled it out of the bag."
Jobe would not have been disqualified had he noticed the bent club before the round. The same rule snagged Kevin Stadler at last year's Michelin Championship.
AROUND GOLF: Woods' past four victories worldwide - American Express Championship, Dunlop Phoenix, Buick Invitational, Dubai Desert Classic - have come in sudden-death playoffs. ... J.B. Holmes won the FBR Open on Sunday in his fourth PGA Tour start and became the fastest to win since Garrett Willis won the 2001 Tucson Open in his first start. ... Phil Mickelson birdied five of his last six holes Sunday at the FBR Open to tie for seventh, giving him three top 10s in three starts. ... Hall of Famer Byron Nelson turned 94 Saturday.