Tiger Ready to be a Dad - Wants Open First

By Associated PressJune 12, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 U.S. OpenOAKMONT, Pa. -- The 2 a.m. feedings. The sleepless nights. Those first tiny baby steps and the first mumblings of 'Da-da.'
Tiger Woods is so eager to be a dad, it wouldn't be a surprise if he reached for his yardage book and pulled out Dr. Spock instead -- there's no hiding that I'm-soon-to-be-a-father beam.
Bubba Watson and Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods chats with Bubba Watson during Tuesday's practice session. (Getty Images)
Ask about the baby that wife Elin expects to deliver next month, and Woods says, 'This is far more important than any game of golf.'
'Your nights are going to be a little more awake,' Woods said Tuesday, contemplating what fatherhood will mean to the world's No. 1 golfer. 'My practice sessions are going to have to be tailored around a little bit, have to move things around.'
Before he becomes Pops Woods, however, there's the matter of this week's U.S. Open.
Woods played his seventh practice round Tuesday at Oakmont, and for all of the fretting and fussing about how difficult it is, he seems eager to confront one of the few world-class championship courses he hasn't played in competition.
'I've had success in the past on difficult golf courses before, yes,' he said.
To Woods, playing Oakmont is far easier than the much more difficult test he had a year ago at Winged Foot, barely a month after his father, Earl, died of cancer.
Woods knew he was losing his dad and spent considerable time with him during his final days -- and, because of it, didn't play between the Masters and the U.S. Open.
That Woods missed the cut in a major for the first time by shooting a 76-76 might have been the result of where his mind was, not necessarily where his golf game was.
'I wasn't quite ready to play until I got to the U.S. Open -- probably not exactly the best tournament to come back to,' Woods said. 'So this year, I'm going to be a father, you know, shortly, and I think it's a complete polar opposite of where I was last year at this time.'
Woods, seeking his 13th major championship, tied for 15th at the Memorial two weeks in his last tournament tuneup for Oakmont. But he has won nine of his last 13 tournaments, and he's the runaway No. 1 in the world rankings, more than doubling No. 2 Phil Mickelson in the standings.
Johnny Miller, the 1973 Open champion at Oakmont, especially likes what he is seeing from Woods this week: the work ethic, the attitude, the confidence.
'Felt good vibrations from Tiger Woods,' Miller said. 'He looks like he's right on his game.'
Another edge to Woods: Oakmont's toughness. Sergio Garcia says it should be a par 78, not a 70, and that almost certainly means someone else can't run away with the tournament. Especially with the leader boards likely to be showing more black than red by Saturday.
While Woods hasn't played Oakmont competitively, not many others have, either -- this is the first Open there since 1994, and only 12 in this field played back then. Woods has played as many or more practice rounds there than anyone, too, beginning in April.
'I'm pleased with the things that I've been working on and pleased at the progress that I've been making in my practice rounds,' Woods said. 'Honestly, (I'm) really looking forward to Thursday.'
A 667-yard par 5? A par 3 that stretches to nearly 300 yards? The fastest greens the 31-year-old Woods has seen in his career? And he's looking forward to this?
'No, I think it's fantastic,' he said. 'This golf course is, without a doubt, difficult. We all know that. But it's also fair. I just think that we're going to see what happens on pin locations, because they can go crazy on pin locations and make it impossible. But if they put pins in generous spots, I think it will be just a fantastic test.'
If Woods finds himself in position to win Sunday, perhaps he can draw extra motivation from this: It's Father's Day.
After all, what better way for Woods to welcome his first-born into the world than as a three-time U.S. Open champion? Woods enjoyed what he considers to be the perfect bringing-up-a-child primer, and he credits it with helping him in every golf tournament of his life.
This one, too.
'My parents loved me unconditionally, no matter what,' he said. 'My parents always told me they loved me every night. I was never afraid to go out there and push myself to the limit. And if I failed, so what?'
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    Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

    By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

    One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

    Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

    "I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

    Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

    "I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

    Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

    "Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

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    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

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    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

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    Victory at Valderrama

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm