Golfers at Old Hangout Remember Tiger and Father

By Associated PressMay 4, 2006, 4:00 pm
CYPRESS, Calif. -- Paul Traughber remembers the day a kid named Tiger Woods showed up to play in an 18-and-under golf tournament.
The tournament scout had invited the scrawny 14-year-old to participate in the annual event after watching him play on a school team. 'You're going to remember this kid because he's named after an animal,' Traughber recalls the scout saying.
Woods took fourth place. The next year, he won. The third year, his father, Earl Woods, said he wouldn't be playing again.
'I went to his house to ask why and Earl said, 'You know, Tiger's on a career path. He can't do any better than he's already done -- he's already won,'' Traughber recalled. 'He didn't want any setbacks for Tiger.'
Players on the golf courses where a young Tiger Woods grew up remembered the star's father above all for his kind but firm discipline as his son rose to stardom. Earl Woods died Wednesday at his Cypress home after a prolonged battle with prostate cancer. He was 74.
'Earl always did a great job with that kid in molding his mind and personality,' said Michael Keith, a PGA apprentice at the Dad Miller Golf Course where Tiger played in high school. 'That's all Earl ever did. I think they had a great relationship. His dad was his whole life.'
Many fellow golfers recalled watching Tiger putt ball after ball with his father on the greens, starting at the age of 5. The pair kept to themselves, they said, but father and son were always polite -- even after Tiger became famous.
Tiger often hit balls on the local courses for hours as a teenager, buying $2 buckets of golf balls with quarters he won from other players during putting games. His father, however, wouldn't let him play until he'd finished his homework.
'I've got a lot of respect for him the way Tiger's come out,' said Bill Huss, a 64-year-old PGA pro who's played at the Dad Miller course for 22 years. 'The old man would get on him a little bit and keep him straight.'
One of Tiger's first coaches, John Anselmo, said some people questioned the way Earl Woods handled his son. Anselmo, who coached Tiger from age 10 to 20, said the elder Woods was 'like a psychiatrist' who could keep everything about his son, including his emotions, in check.
'He was a human being,' Anselmo, now 85, said. 'There was a lot of talk about him, but he was right about everything he said. I agreed with him, because I could see the future of this young man (Tiger).'
Keith said that when Tiger played at Dad Miller, crowds of reporters would gather. The course was finally forced to put up signs that read 'Spectators are restricted to paved and concrete areas adjacent to clubhouse.' One still hangs above the counter in the pro shop.
Down the road, at the Navy Golf Course, players said they seldom saw Tiger, but often played with his father. The course, which is attached to the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base, is restricted to military veterans.
'We were so impressed with how well he did with his son. We asked him how he did it,' said Art Valenzuela, 73, of Garden Grove. 'He told us how Tiger used to come over that fence over there as a kid and pretend he was in the Masters.'
Another golfer, Tom Wright, said he recalled seeing Tiger and his father practicing at a 3-hole course in Long Beach in the late 1970s or early 1980s. It wasn't until years later, when Tiger was famous, that he realized who they were.
'Earl was pretty pointed in his comments' even at Tiger's young age, Wright recalled. 'He was an excellent teacher. He saw things in his swing that you're not liable to see even if you had a camera pointed at him.'
Related Links:
  • Earl Woods Succumbs to Cancer at 74
  • Lerner's Journal: Earl's Legacy is His Son
  • Statement From Tiger Woods
  • PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem statement
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  • Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.