Tiger's caddie has become quite the frequent flyer

By Associated PressMarch 9, 2011, 11:04 pm

DORAL, Fla. (AP)—No other caddie has traveled so far to work so littlethan Steve Williams.

Part of that is because Williams lives in New Zealand, and his 5-year-oldson Jett is now going to school. And part of that is Woods playing in differentparts of the world this early in the season.

Asked how his frequent flyer profile was looking, Williams just shook hishead Wednesday.

“Put it this way,” he said. “Qantas has me on speed dial.”

When he leaves Miami after this week’s Cadillac Championship, Williamsalready will have flown some 60,000 miles to work four tournaments. In one case,Williams spent more time in the air than his hotel room.

He started in January by flying from Auckland to San Diego for the FarmersInsurance Open. Then came the Auckland-Dubai round trip two weeks later. But theworst of it was the Match Play Championship.

“I stayed in my hotel one night and went home,” he said.

Williams arrived in Tucson, Ariz., on Tuesday. Woods lost in the first roundthe next day to Thomas Bjorn , and by evening, Williams was on a flight to LosAngeles to catch a connection back home.

After this week, he will stay two days in Orlando for a made-for-TVexhibition, leaving Tuesday and getting home on Thursday. He’ll be home threedays before flying back to Orlando for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, thenreturn home after the tournament.

His wife used to come to America for Bay Hill, and they would go somewhereon vacation before the Masters. But with his son in school, Williams goes backto New Zealand for three days before flying to Augusta.

When he gets home after the Masters, he already will have logged nearly94,000 miles in the air.

TWITTER WARS: Tiger Woods is part of another emerging rivalry—between hiscoaches.

Sean Foley, who has been working with Woods since the PGA Championship,started with an interview last year in which he was quoted as saying aboutformer coach Hank Haney, “Let’s be honest about this, it’s not like he wasflushing it with Hank.”

Then came a story posted Wednesday on golf.com when Foley poked fun at Haneyonce saying he knew Woods from observing, without ever getting to know him.

Haney has been firing back on Twitter ever since.

“If you want to be entertained go to Golf.com and read Sean Foley’s latestversion of ripping Hank Haney, all I can say is wow,” was the first of severaltweets from Haney.

He sent out some two dozen tweets—mostly retweets from his followers—over the next five hours related to the dispute. Haney’s twitter account isHankDHaney.

SPANISH HERO: Alvaro Quiros knows plenty about Seve Ballesteros and thegreatness of his game. But when it comes to Spanish golfing heroes, he startswith Jose Maria Olazabal .

Quiros did not start playing golf until he was 9, and Ballesteros was on thetail end of his career. He remembers Olazabal winning his first Masters in 1994,and especially the second green jacket in 1999 after returning from an injurythat nearly ended his career.

“I think Olazabal is a gentleman inside and outside the golf course, andthis is the most important thing, to be a gentleman or to be a nice person, morethan a great golfer,” Quiros said.

The first time he met Olazabal, the big-hitting Spaniard could barely speak.

It was in 1999 for the American Express Championship at Valderrama, andOlazabal was invited to see the public course when Quiros and other juniors gottheir start.

“I played with a friend, and on the second tee, suddenly arrives the mainguy of the pro shop and he said, ‘Hey, get out of the way because Olazabal iscoming behind you,”’ Quiros said. “It was Olazabal! So he arrives to the tee,hits his driver in the third hole and he says, ‘Come on, hit the ball.’

“We were watching each other and I said (to his friend), ‘He’s speakingwith us.’ I cannot even put the ball on the tee. I was shaking.”

TIGER AND TYSON: NBC Sports analyst Johnny Miller didn’t pull any punchestwo weeks ago when he said Tiger Woods’ downfall reminded him of the Mike Tysonstory.

“Sort of invincible, scared everybody, performed quickly under pressure—until Buster Douglas came along,” Miller said. “Tiger sort of hit that andit’s life. And his life crumbled.”

Woods was asked about the comparison with Tyson on Wednesday.

“I don’t think I’m as big as he is,” Woods said. “No, that’s Johnny beingJohnny, and making statements like that, I think he’s done that before in thepast, hasn’t he?”

Woods then was asked if Miller had crossed the line.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion,” he said. “And he has his, whichis a lot.”

DIVOTS: Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel , who grew up together in SouthAfrica, will be in the same pairing the first two days. Schwartzel said it willbe the first time they’ve been in the same group for the early rounds since theyturned pro. … Tim Clark will be playing for the first time since his runner-upfinish at the Sony Open two months ago because of an elbow injury. … Of the 48PGA Tour members in the 69-man field, five have never won a PGA Tour event—rookie Charl Schwartzel, Kevin Na , Jeff Overton , Rickie Fowler and KevinStreelman , who got into the field based on his third-place finish in the FedExCup playoff opener last year at The Barclays.

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

 

 

Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.