Ancer regrets Tiger comments being ‘twisted’ by media

It may be a new year, but Abraham Ancer is still facing questions about what he considered an innocent remark he made months ago.

It was at the Mayakoba Golf Classic that Ancer was asked by reporters who he might like to face in singles’ play when he made his Presidents Cup debut at Royal Melbourne.

“I would like to play against Tiger (Woods),” Ancer said. “But the truth is that our objective is to do everything we can to win. Winning a match in the singles would be very special, so we need to try to get the cup.”

Ancer got his wish last month in Australia, having gone 3-0-1 through the first four sessions as the International team built up a lead. But Woods was well aware of Ancer’s quip, placed himself against the Mexican in Sunday’s opening match and took the point, 3 and 2, to spark an American comeback victory.

“Abe wanted it, and he got it,” Woods said.

Abraham Ancer said at last month’s Mayakoba Golf Classic that he wished to play against Tiger Woods at the Presidents Cup. He got his wish, but it didn’t go the way he had hoped.

Teeing it up this week for the first time since the Presidents Cup, Ancer explained to reporters at the Sony Open that his initial comment that made the rounds was given in Spanish and that some of his intent was lost in translation when the comments were transcribed.

“I was like, well, out of the 12 guys who I would like to play on a big stage in a big event like that … obviously I would like to play my hero growing up, Tiger Woods. (It would) be an incredible experience,” Ancer said. “And so I didn’t only learn from the golf course and from golf. I learned a lot about media and how it can get twisted. Yeah, definitely got twisted and just the context of how I said things. And maybe Tiger didn’t know the way I said it.”

Ancer won the 2018 Australian Open but remains in search of his first career PGA Tour win, a drought he hopes to end this week in Honolulu coming off a season in which he made his first trip to the Tour Championship. Despite the loss to Woods and the American comeback, he took plenty of positive memories from his Presidents Cup debut Down Under.

“Playing on a big stage like that was a lot of fun,” Ancer said. “It was a week that I will never ever forget. The feeling of playing in front of the Aussie crowd and really the people from all over the world made the trip, it was really special.”

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Scott (67) three back at Australian PGA Championship

Lucas Herbert and Brett Rankin shared the first-round lead at the Australian PGA Championship after carding 5-under 67s on Thursday at Royal Pines.

The Australian pair were one clear of a group of five players including New Zealander Ryan Chisnall, while Adam Scott and Stewart Cink were three back after opening 70s. Two-time defending champion Cameron Smith was 2 over.

Herbert went birdie-birdie-eagle in still morning conditions to begin his round before a run of three bogeys. He added four birdies on the back nine to finish before the breeze picked up.

Scott and 2009 British Open winner Cink were among the later starters and had to deal with trickier conditions.

Scott, the 2013 Australian PGA champion, made long-range putts for eagle and birdie to stay in touch despite a double bogey on the par-4 13th hole, when he hit into the water off the tee.

”I’m putting good. I’m playing good. Unfortunately I really miss-hit that drive off 13 and it cost me,” said Scott, who is chasing his first title since 2016. ”Other than that, it was pretty much stress free. I was very happy with it because it wasn’t very easy out there.

Smith, aiming to be the first player in more than 100 years to win three straight Australian PGA titles, said he lacked energy after an emotional Presidents Cup last week in Melbourne, where he and Scott were part of the International team that gave up an early lead before losing to Tiger Woods’ U.S. team.

He was even at the turn but had two bogeys and a double-bogey in a three-hole sequence.

”I’m just tire. Just a long couple weeks. It was as easy as it’s going to get out there this morning, so it was pretty disappointing to shoot what I shot,” he said.

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