Notes Tigers caddie in the TV booth Paddys battle

By Associated PressOctober 7, 2008, 4:00 pm
Instead of glaring at cameras, Steve Williams will be speaking in front of them.
 
The caddie for Tiger Woods will make his debut as a TV analyst during the Kiwi Challenge in his native New Zealand, which will feature Anthony Kim, Adam Scott, Hunter Mahan and Brandt Snedeker. They will play 36 holes, on Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers, with the winner of the stroke-play event getting $1.5 million of the $2.6 million purse.
 
The tournament will be played Oct. 27-28, and televised Nov. 15-16 on NBC Sports.
 
This is my first experience at this, Williams said. Im doing this because the Kiwi Challenge will bring great exposure for New Zealand and give New Zealanders the opportunity to see four of the worlds best players in one group. Seldom would we have four players of this quality at a tournament.
 
ORDER OF MERIT
 
Winning the last two majors still might not be enough for Padraig Harrington to win the Order of Merit.
 
Robert Karlsson won the Dunhill Links Championship on Sunday for his second straight European tour victory, moving him atop the Order of Merit by $193,527 over Harrington.
 
Karlsson, who has had five other top 3s this year, could wrap it up in two weeks at the Portugal Masters. Otherwise, it could come down to the season-ending Volvo Masters at Valderrama at the end of the month. Harrington is not scheduled to play in Portugal.
 
But the Swede says its no contest when it comes to European player of the year.
 
Hes won two majors and its hard to top that, Karlsson said. Only better thing you could do is win three majors. He is probably better on the bigger picture. But winning the Order of Merit, if it would come to that, I can only compete against myself. The goal is not to beat Harrington. The goal is to play my best golf. And then if Harrington is better, then congratulations to him.
 
Lee Westwood is in third place, about $476,540 behind Karlsson, and still has a chance.
 
PLAYOFF BEARD
 
Mike Weir sported a playoff beard at The Barclays this year, right about the time developers from Electronic Arts Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 showed up to capture his image for the game.
 
The beard was gone a week later, and it didnt last long on the video game.
 
He kind of wanted it to be more clean-cut, Travis Sailer, assistant designer on the game, told Canadian Press. Thats what he normally goes with. So we actually worked with him and worked with our modelers in the game and got it so that we wiped away his beard a little bit for him.
 
MONEY MATTERS
 
Tiger Woods earned $5,775,000 in six tournaments this year. Thats more than Jack Nicklaus made ($5,734,031) in his 594 starts on the PGA Tour.
 
DIVOTS
 
HP, which recently acquired EDS, will become the new title sponsor of the Byron Nelson Championship. Greg Norman has appointed Frank Nobilo of New Zealand his assistant captain for the Presidents Cup next year. They played on two Presidents Cup teams together. Dustin Johnson led the field in driving distance at Turning Stone, becoming the first player to win a PGA Tour event with the longest driving average since Tiger Woods at Firestone in 2007.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
 
Including his FedEx Cup bonus, Vijay Singh made $15,165,163 over the final two months of the season.
 
FINAL WORD
 
I would be the first to say that Ive underachieved, for sure. That hasnt been because of the lack of a work ethic or trying or caring or doing anything I can to get better. Whatever happens in my career, I know that Ive worked as hard as I could. ' Charles Howell III.
 
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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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