Notes Singh to Take Over No 1 Without Playing
Singh will get to the top by not playing at all.
Tiger Woods is No. 1 this week by .08 points. However, Woods will lose more points because of the gradual reduction that takes place every 13 weeks, meaning Singh is assured of returning to No. 1. Both players are off until the Memorial the first week of June.
One reason Tiger Woods makes so many clutch putts is a routine that never changes.
After he made one of the most pressure-packed putts of his career, a 15-footer in the dark that wound up salvaging a tie at the Presidents Cup in South Africa, his father spoke of the process Woods follows.
'When he gets over the ball and starts his procedure, watch him after he sets his putter,'' Earl Woods said in a November 2003 interview. ``He checks his alignment. He adjusts his feet. He takes one look, another look and then strokes the ball.''
The routine is the same whether it's a 10-foot par putt in the second round of the Memorial or a 6-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole of the PGA Championship to force a playoff.
He doesn't make them all, which is why he missed the cut at the Byron Nelson Championship to end his record streak at 142 consecutive tournaments in the money. But he has made more big putts than any player of his generation.
On the eve of the Nelson, Woods smiled and nodded when told of his father's comments.
'Sometimes when I really got locked into what I'm doing, you can put a stopwatch on it,'' Woods said.
That sounded like a good idea.
So, during his second round at Cottonwood Valley, Woods' putting routine was timed on three straight holes -- Nos. 4, 5 and 7. The clock started after he got over the ball and set his putter on the green.
He takes two quick practice strokes without stopping the putter. He steps to the ball and takes his first look at the hole. Then he adjusts his feet and takes a second look. Then he takes a third look and pulls the trigger.
On a 6-foot par putt at No. 4, the routine took 18.1 seconds (made it).
On a 10-foot birdie putt at No. 6, it took 18.0 seconds (made it).
On an 8-foot birdie putt at No. 7, the process took 18.2 seconds (missed it).
Earls Woods said one other thing about his son's routine with the putter.
'It requires trust in your ability and no hesitation,'' he said. ``And it requires the ability to accept the results.''
Woods was put on the clock one other time last Friday, on the 18th hole over his 15-foot par putt to extend his record. The putt just missed to the right.
The process took 19.3 seconds.
Phil Mickelson had planned to play in the Memorial for the first time since 2002, but that changed when he learned Pinehurst No. 2 will not be closed to the public until Memorial Day.
Instead, Mickelson is playing at Colonial this week.
No one prepares for a major quite like Lefty. He often takes up to eight hours for each practice round, studying every conceivable angle around the green and filling his yardage book with notes. That's tough to do with regular paying customers on the course.
Mickelson can't go to Pinehurst early in the week of Memorial because the pro-am at Muirfield Village is on a Tuesday, and PGA Tour policy requires players to take part in the pro-am if they want to play in the tournament.
Thomas Bjorn finished 73rd on the money list in his first year as a PGA Tour member, but he declined to take up membership this year and doubts he ever will again.
Bjorn has three young children, including twins, and can get home to them most Sunday nights when playing the European tour. His family has no desire to leave Wentworth, and he has no interest in spending up to a month at a time away from them.
I've tried America and it didn't work for me,'' Bjorn told reporters after winning the British Masters. We're happy in England, and if I'm not taking my family there, then I'm not going to play a full schedule there. If I was 22 and single, I'd be over there like a shot. But I'm not. I have a wife and three kids.''
Bjorn said he still planned to play about 10 times on the PGA Tour, mostly around the majors.
The outrage over corporate outings -- some called it appearance money -- has died since the Ford Championship at Doral.
But it was interesting to note that Chris DiMarco, Fred Funk and Canadian star Mike Weir joined Vijay Singh at a ``corporate outing'' Monday at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver, site of the Canadian Open in September. Singh is the defending champion.
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in late March that he was working on additional guidelines that would clear up the perception of appearance money on the PGA Tour, although it would not have a ``chilling effect.''
What became of those new guidelines?
Henry Hughes, chief operating officer for the PGA Tour, said Tuesday they will be presented to the policy board at the end of the month. He declined to go into specifics pending the approval.
It's not a change,'' Hughes said. 'It's really a guideline better explaining our existing policy regarding appearance money. We just felt we needed a guideline that puts stronger emphasis on the details of the regulation.''
This is a big week for Colin Montgomerie. Not only is he trying to get into the top 50 in the world to avoid U.S. Open qualifying, this is the first time a European tour event will be played on a course he designed. The Irish Open will be held at Carton House near Dublin, which opened two years ago. 'I've 155 potential critics, but it has been ranked the No. 1 new course in Europe, never mind just Great Britain and Ireland,'' Monty said. 'So double bogeys aren't my fault.'' Unless they're his. ... PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem has been elected to the board of directors for KB Home. ... James Dodson's book, 'Ben Hogan, An American Life,'' has won the USGA's 2004 International Book Award.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Vijay Singh has shot all four rounds in the 60s twice this year without winning, in the Ford Championship at Doral (68-67- 68-66) and in the Byron Nelson Championship (68-67-69-65). Both times he tied for third.
I wouldn't be able to do that in two lifetimes.'' -- Vijay Singh, with 27 career victories, on Sam Snead's record 83 victories on the PGA Tour.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18