Other Tiger Topics

By Adam BarrFebruary 4, 2007, 5:00 pm
Have mercy. I mean, this Woods character is making it tough for the water cooler crowd, let alone us journalists. All that time away from the buffet table, thinking up new things to say.
 
And thats the issue, isnt it? New things to say. We have all seen, time and again, how Tiger will wake up on a Sunday, yawn, have coffee, and decide on his usual weekend plan: Pick up the leaderboard like a sheet of paper, turn it around, crinkle it, flatten it back out again, make it into a paper Gulfstream, and land it perfectly in his own little Hangar of Glory.
 
Tiger Woods
We know Tiger can dominate, but what are some of the nuances of his game? (Wire Images).
Dont get me wrong; its still exciting to watch. But its time to stop talking about the guy in terms such as dominance, machine-like, determined, and so on. Its like saying the sky is blue, or that Congress will get nothing done today.
 
But no one plans to stop talking about Tiger. So here are some topics that will get us past mundane domination and take things one level deeper.
 
Tee strategy. How has it changed? When did a modicum of restraint creep in? Is it me, or are there more Stingers being hit? I seem to see more 2-irons instead of driver every time. Whats his favorite shot shape? I think he can move it either way, but does that ever go wrong for him? Then what happens? Also, with the driver, whats the best thing to do with the right elbow? If things begin to flare, can you cure it temporarily by jamming that elbow into your hip on the way down? Or would it work for him, but turn me into a pretzel on Advil?
 
Hangin on. The times Tiger decides to hold on to a mid- or short-iron shot for an extra secondthat fascinates me. Trajectory control, spin control, or both? Anything we golf mortals can learn from this?
 
Putting. Compare his style on have-to-makes to Nicklaus, who might have been the best ever at that kind of putt. Whats the mental process? How does Tiger quiet his mind on those putts? Does he like putting? Or, as with Hogan, could he do without it?
 
The Big Kiwi. What do he and Steve talk about, anyway? Is Steve keeping Tiger calm, or the other way around?
 
Hey, Dad. What will fatherhood be like for Tiger? In that he usually succeeds in whatever he sets out to do, it will be interesting to see how he maintains his golf prowess while having a fulfilling family life. Considering the strong bond he had with his late father, it seems natural that Tiger will be a conscientious dad.
 
Education. No one who understands modern professional sports can blame Tiger for leaving Stanford when his golf powers came to the fore. He said at the time he planned to finish his education eventually, and he is not one to say such things lightly. Although family life may make his time tighter, I have no doubt hell find a way to finish what he started at Stanford, and well see him in a cap and gown some day. This would be especially important for the example it would set for kids in Tiger Woods Foundation programs, which encourage striving for dreams through work, study and imagination. Other athletes have finished their careers and gone on to school and excellent second jobs (Minnesota Vikings great Alan Page is a state supreme court justice; San Francisco 49ers receiver John Frank became a doctor, to name just two). But Tiger is so high profile that the completion of his education could inspire a lot of kids.
 
Once the Record Falls. When the 19th major championship comes, then what? Will he get Michael Jordan Disease and have no new worlds to conquer? Or will he keep setting sports goals? Will he design courses full-time one day? Or run the PGA TOUR?
 
Sotawk amongst yerselves.
 
Email your thoughts to Adam Barr
Getty Images

After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

Getty Images

Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

Getty Images

Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

Getty Images

Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry