Caddie Woods still a few weeks away from returning

By Associated PressFebruary 18, 2009, 5:00 pm
WELLINGTON, New Zealand ' Tiger Woods is a few weeks away from a return to the PGA Tour and could decide within days where that return will take place, his caddie Steve Williams said Wednesday.
 
Williams told Television New Zealand in an exclusive interview that Woods is close to ending his long injury layoff and will return to the tour mentally stronger than before.
 
Its going to be anytime, shortly, Williams said.
 
Hes probably 95 percent of the way there. He was waiting for the birth of his second child which just came last week so hes ready to go. He just needs a little bit more walking. He hasnt been able to walk too well, he added.
 
Anytime in the next few weeks hes going to tee it up. He definitely wants to play a couple of tournaments before Augusta so any day now hes going to make a decision when hes going to play.
 
Speculation has increased over the past week that Woods would make his return at the Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson, Ariz., starting Feb. 25. His wife, Elin, gave birth to their second child ' a boy named Charlie Axel ' earlier in the month.
 
Woods has not played since reconstructive surgery on his left knee a week after winning the U.S. Open in June.
 
Williams said Woods had remodeled his swing to accommodate his injured knee and had been refreshed mentally by his long break.
 
Hes just got a couple of little issues but when he tees it up that will be a sign to say Im ready to go because he wont play unless hes 100 percent. Its getting closer, Williams said.
 
Woods had been doing six hours a day of rehab on his knee to get fit again, Willliams said.
 
He never tees it up unless he believes he can win and hes ready to go.
 
The New Zealand-born caddie said Woods still had the heart and brain that took him to No. 1 in the world rankings, so that alleviated some concerns about his return from the knee problem.
 
Hes had to modify his swing a little bit to accommodate his knee, but the guy always finds a way, Williams said. Im a little nervous myself to see how hes going to come back.
 
Nine months out of the game after a major operation is a long time but hes a hell of a competitor and one of the best weve ever seen in this game so I would suspect hell carry right on.
 
Williams said it was too early to anticipate what goals Woods might set on his return.
 
Its well documented that were trying to get to 19 majors and hopefully this year we might be able to capture one of those to add to the 14 hes already got, he said.
 
The lengthy period outside of the media spotlight also might have helped Woods, he said.
 
I know just over the last couple of years the tour has probably taken as toll a little bit on Tiger, Williams said. Hes a person thats different to everybody, hes unique and hes out there in his own league, if you like, and I think thats taken a toll a little bit.
 
So for him to get a break from it, mentally that will refresh him and thats a big thing. We already know hes the best mentally tough player whos ever played the game so that in itself is a big factor.
 
Related Links:
  • O'Meara says Tiger ready, not sure of return
  • Woods' wife gives birth to son Charlie Axel
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2010 video game
  • Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

    He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

    Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

    Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

    Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

    Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

    "I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

    The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

    Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

    "I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

    McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

    When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

    Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

    Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

    While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

    Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

    Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

    Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

    Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    "I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

    But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.


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    With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

    Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

    The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

    "I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."