Miller Tiger Wont Beat Nicklaus
Among his opinions in the book: Tiger Woods at his best was better than Jack Nicklaus, but Woods won't reach Nicklaus' benchmark of 18 professional majors.
'When he came on tour, I said he would win 12 majors and 50 tournaments, and all the players said I was a raving idiot,' Miller said Monday in New York. 'Now he's got eight majors and 40 wins, so 50 is going to be way conservative.
'But majors ... let's say he's got 10 more years. That's a major every year to tie Jack. And that's not factoring in a back injury. It's going to be hard for him break that.'
Woods, 28, has gone the last seven majors without winning. Nicklaus went through a dry spell of 12 majors at about the same stage in his career.
Miller believes the early dominance by Woods will hurt him. Along with four straight majors, Woods won seven out of 11 from the '99 Championship through the '02 U.S. Open.
'He had four majors sitting on his table,' Miller said. 'It's not good to bunch them up. I'm afraid those four major wins in a row gave him a real big dose of Johnny Miller and David Duval.'
Miller felt he was the greatest player in golf during a short span in the 1970s, when he won 15 times and two majors in three years, routinely firing at the flags and winning big. He was 12-2 with a 54-hole lead early in his career, and won 74 percent of time over his career with the lead going into the last round.
Duval won 11 of 34 tournaments during one stretch through 1999, cooled off significantly while battling injuries, then went into a tailspin after winning the British Open in 2001.
Among the reasons Miller thinks Woods will fall short of 18 majors:
-- 'He's an old 28,' Miller writes in his book. He says that child prodigies often age faster, and that Woods might be in his prime now.
-- Family life. 'Tiger has tremendous energy toward the game, but that was prior to now branching off into boating, fly fishing, snorkeling and falling in love,' Miller said. 'Now this 100 percent energy in the game is 80 to 90 percent.'
-- Health. Woods missed six weeks last year recovering from knee surgery. Miller says Woods is especially prone to injury because of his tremendous body speed.
-- How he reacts to the inevitable slump.
Miller says his edge was gone in 1975, when he began spending more time working on his ranch in Utah. He became more muscular, lost flexibility and lost his touch. The first thing to go was his driving. Miller went three years without winning and was never dominant again.
'Tiger may be too well-schooled to suffer a slump of that proportion,' Miller writes. 'In any case, it's bound to happen, and there's no telling for sure how he'll react to the frustration, the self-doubt and persistent questions from the media.'
Miller said Woods' best golf is behind him.
'People say he'll play his greatest from 28 to 38,' he said. 'I totally disagree.'
Miller now works as an analyst for NBC Sports, where he routinely irks players with his candor. He believes one of his contributions to golf broadcasting is his willingness to introduce the word 'choke.'
'When I hang up my microphone, that will probably be my legacy,' he said.
His blunt style was developed early. Miller said he played with a group of guys when he was growing up at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, and they held nothing back.
'It was like 12 Dennis Millers out there,' he said. 'I was trained to be very forthright. There were a lot of needles given, and we were all honest, whether it was a great shot or we were choking. There was very little middle ground, and that's close to where I am now.'
He touches on a variety of subjects in his book, from Annika Sorenstam's playing against men at Colonial (he thinks she could finish in the top 130 on the PGA Tour money list given a full season) to the PGA Tour being a closed shop (he thinks only the top 100 on the money list should keep their cards).
He also offers a few predictions over the next 20 years: the first 59 in a major championship, the Presidents Cup merging with the Ryder Cup, and a player better than Tiger Woods.
'But this player, though clearly the best, will not dominate the game the way Tiger has,' Miller writes. 'The competition will be too good.'
The book, which went on sale Monday, was written with Guy Yocom of Golf Digest magazine.
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings
Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.
Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.
As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.
"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."
Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.
Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.
Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut
If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.
Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.
But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.
Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.
Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:
Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180
Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70
Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5
Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450
Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200
Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000
Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements
SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.
Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.
“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.
Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.
“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”
Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.
“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”
Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back
SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.
Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.
Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim.
Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.