Woods the favorite for Masters with British bookies
Barely an hour after the announcement Tuesday that Woods will make his return at Augusta National next month, the British bookmaker William Hill installed him the 4-1 favorite. Phil Mickelson is second at 6-1, followed by Padraig Harrington at 16-1.
Hill also lists Woods as 1-20 to make the cut at the Masters. He is 25-1 to win all four majors this year.
“All the major courses are Tiger’s favorites, so despite a terrible beginning we think that 2010 will end up being terrific for Tiger,” William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said in a statement.
Woods has not played competitively since crashing his car into a tree outside his Florida home, setting off revelations he had been cheating on his wife.
“We’re pleased to hear that Tiger is to return to golf,” Royal & Ancient Golf Club spokesman Malcolm Booth said. “Golf needs the world No. 1 to be playing.”
The Royal & Ancient, golf’s governing body sport outside the United States, hopes Woods will play at the British Open in July.
Woods has not yet entered to play at the British Open at St. Andrews, but has until May 27 to send his entry form. Booth said it’s “normal” that he hasn’t entered yet.
“Typically, we would receive entries within a few weeks of that deadline,” Booth said, noting several players from the “exempt field” of former champions have already sent their forms.
The Masters begins April 8.
Woods has won 14 majors, including four Masters titles and three British Opens – two of them at St. Andrews, Scotland. The British Open is July 15-18.
“We’d always want the world No. 1 to return to the Open championship,” Booth said. “He could be the first to win three times at St. Andrews, and it would be back-to-back. No one’s ever won three at St. Andrews.”
English golfer Ross Fisher was driving to this week’s Transitions Championship in Florida when he heard the news of Woods’ plan to return at the Masters.
“It’s going to be very interesting now to see what happens at Augusta,” Fisher said. “But I thought he might have come back a bit earlier at either the Tavistock Cup or Bay Hill to get some golf in. Still it’s going to be very exciting.”
Fisher said the atmosphere had not been the same at the recent Accenture and CA Championship without Woods in the field for the first two big-money tournaments of 2010.
“There is always an extra element when you have the best golfer in the world taking part,” Fisher said. “But the best news now is that he is coming back.”
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
Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.
With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.
Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.
The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.
In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.