Tiger Played US Open with Wife in Hospital

By Associated PressJuly 3, 2007, 4:00 pm
AT&T NationalBETHESDA, Md. -- There was the slightest crack in Tiger Woods' voice when he did a TV interview after walking off the 18th green at the U.S. Open, where he finished a close second.
 
Now we know why.
 
Woods revealed Tuesday that his wife, Elin, was admitted to the hospital on Thursday of the U.S. Open, experiencing complications as she prepared to deliver the couple's first child.
 
'It wasn't life-threatening or anything, but she just had a few problems and had to be admitted,' Woods said. 'It wasn't easy. It was not easy, because I wanted to be there. And the doctor and Elin said, 'There's nothing you can do. So go out there and just get a 'W.''
 
'Well, came close. But that night was infinitely more rewarding than any 'W' ever could have been.'
 
Talk of Daddy Tiger nearly threatened to overshadow the real reason for his appearance at Congressional Country Club: his new PGA TOUR tournament, the AT&T National, which tees off Thursday.
 
Vague and guarded at times but emotional at others, Woods spoke for the first time about the birth of Sam Alexis Woods on the morning of June 18 and his subsequent first 2 1/2 weeks of fatherhood.
 
As often is the case when discussing his private life, Woods was scant on details. Asked to give a timeline of the night of his daughter's birth, he said simply: 'I flew, landed in Orlando, went straight to the hospital and next thing you know, we have Sam Alexis in our arms.'
 
Asked if he would have returned to Oakmont the next day for an 18-hole playoff had he birdied the final hole to tie leader Angel Cabrera, Woods said: 'Well, that didn't happen, so it would be all hypothetical. I'm not going down that road.'
 
Asked how he managed to focus on his game those four days, he said: 'You just do. You just do.'
 
'You've got to understand,' said Notah Begay, Woods' longtime friend and teammate at Stanford. 'When you grow up with a father and a military background, you've got to learn how to focus when you're getting yelled at, and you've got to learn how to focus when you have distractions.
 
'I would have to say when he's on the golf course, he's a golfer. And once he steps off, then he's a celebrity, he's a father, he's a husband -- just go down the list, depending on what situation he's in,' Begay said. 'But I think in that particular instance, he was so focused on winning that golf tournament and knowing that his wife was strong enough to deal with the things that she was dealing with. Give her some credit, too.'
 
The subject of Woods' late father, a former Green Beret who served two tours in Vietnam, came up frequently as Woods spoke about his newborn. He named his daughter Sam, for instance, because that's what Earl Woods used to call Tiger Woods, even though Tiger's real name is Eldrick.
 
'We wanted to have a name that would be meaningful to either side of the family, my side or Elin's side, because she was born (the day after) Father's Day,' Woods said. 'It just happened to fit. My father had always called me Sam since the day I was born. He rarely ever called me Tiger. I would ask him, 'Why don't you ever call me Tiger?' He says, 'Well, you look more like a Sam.''
 
Woods also said he's been 'changing diapers and doing feedings.' He has always maintained he doesn't need much sleep, but fatherhood is apparently testing his limits.
 
'I definitely don't sleep now,' Woods said, laughing.
 
He said he probably will cut back on his business ventures now that he has a new No. 1 priority in his life. Still, his expectation for his tournament this week is the same as for all others: win.
 
'It's just time management and understanding where your priorities are, and our priorities are Sam,' he said. 'That's the one priority. And from there, you work it out from there.'
 
And, for the record, Woods -- who himself was putting against Bob Hope on a TV talk show at age 2 -- said he already has put a golf club in his young daughter's tiny hands.
 
'She couldn't quite hold it,' Woods said with a smile. 'But it was there.'
 
Divots:
Congressional has agreed to host Woods' tournament this year and next, but PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem isn't sure what happens after that. Finchem didn't rule out moving the event out of the Washington market when Congressional hosts the U.S. Amateur in 2009 and the U.S. Open in 2011. Nearby TPC at Avenel is being renovated but might not be ready in two years. Eventually, the tournament could be rotated among Congressional, Avenel and Robert Trent Jones in Gainesville, Va. ... John Daly and Tim Petrovic were added to the 120-player field after John Cook and Paul Azinger withdrew with shoulder injuries.
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.