BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Tiger Woods can run down the list of the top 100 golf courses in America and find plenty that he hasn’t played unless he was in a golf tournament.
He is No. 1 in the world, but has yet to play Pine Valley, the perennial No. 1 golf course on most lists.
Woods is building a house in south Florida, and only then might he have a chance to play Seminole, the fabled course where Ben Hogan and others used to practice for the Masters. He hasn’t played Merion, either, although he’ll have that chance in 2013 for the U.S. Open.
“I don’t play golf on my vacations,” Woods said. “I get away from it. I’d never, ever have a golfing vacation, because it’s not interesting for me to go out there and do that.”
Even so, he plays at home all the time.
There are those who play golf for a living and take a clean break when they get home, and others who flat out love golf. Brad Faxon comes to mind. He once had a practice round at the British Open, then took some buddies with him to play a nearby links course for the sheer fun of it. Todd Hamilton is another, rarely going a day without playing golf.
Arnold Palmer? Indeed, he’s the king.
“I’m not anywhere in the same league as Arnold when it comes to playing golf,” Woods said.
So why does he play so much? It’s all about competition.
“I love playing,” Woods said. “But when I’m at home, it’s more of preparing. I’ll go out there and I’ll play, but it’s preparing for the next event. I rarely ever go and play just to play. Arnold used to do that all the time, and still does.
“I enjoy going out and practicing, playing 9 or 18, and testing what I just worked on. But that’s how I’ve always done it.”
BRITISH OPEN: Paul Goydos jokingly took offense at an AP story he read Thursday night that indicated he was in danger of missing the cut, and jeopardizing his British Open chances, after opening with a 73.
“It was much tougher in the afternoon,” he said after following that with a 68 to make the cut at 1-over 141.
It was an important cut to make.
Thanks largely to his runner-up finish at the Travelers Championship last week, Goydos leads the special money list from which two players not already eligible will earn a spot in the British Open. The money list ends this week.
Goydos has roughly a $200,000 lead over U.S. Open runner-up Ricky Barnes, who was at 2-over 142. Barnes was given a reprieve when the two guys closest to him on the list, John Mallinger and Kevin Na, missed the cut.
Next on the list is Bryce Molder, who shot a 70 and was in a tie for fifth. He is only about $20,000 behind Barnes.
Goydos won’t bank on a return trip to the British Open until the week is over, but he sure would like to return. He called it “one of the coolest” tournaments he has played, and he wasn’t talking about the weather.
“I think I’ll either make it easily or I won’t make it at all,” he said.
SOUTHERN CHARM: Sometimes it takes winning a major for people to get to know the champions, and in this case, the honesty and deadpan humor of Lucas Glover now is getting some exposure.
Glover was firing on all cylinders before the second round even began.
He was listening to a discussion on the media frenzy surrounding the death of Michael Jackson when someone posed what it would have been like for this climate of media during the death of Elvis Presley.
Feigning surprise, Glover said, “Elvis is dead?”
GRACIOUS VISITOR: Paul Goydos hasn’t played particularly well at Congressional the last couple of years, for reasons he cannot figure out. But he had no reservations about returning this year.
“It’s an issue of respect,” he said, referring to tournament host Tiger Woods.
Goydos made it clear how he feels about this event last year when he compared the AT&T National with the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial.
“I think Tiger has done a lot for this tour,” he said. “And I think when Tiger asks you to come help him out, you’re going to come help him out. And if you don’t, you’re nuts.”
WEEKEND OFF: Jeff Maggert, Jason Bohn and Chris DiMarco were among those who birdied the final hole to make the cut on the number at 2-over 142. Others weren’t so fortunate.
Among those with the weekend off were Charles Howell III, Robert Allenby, Rich Beem and Paul Casey, the No. 3 player in the world who has been struggling with a massive head cold this week. Casey gave it a strong effort Friday, going out in 30 to get back to even par until he started dropped shots on the back nine. He shot 69 and missed by two shots.
DIVOTS: Vijay Singh, who unsuccessfully tried to help with a $500,000 bond for Allen Stanford, showed up at Congressional without the Stanford Financial logo on his visor and his shirt. Singh had an endorsement deal worth a reported $8 million a year. He wore a plain shirt, his old Cleveland logo on the visor and Never Compromise, the putter brand, on his bag. … Tournament officials last year used all but nine of the same hole locations that the U.S. Open used at Congressional in 1997.