Woods Federer in Action in Miami

By Associated PressMarch 20, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 WGC CA ChampionshipMIAMI -- Tiger Woods and Roger Federer go about their business in different ways.
 
Federer carries his own bag but has someone pick up his balls. Woods has someone carry his bag but picks up his own balls.
 
Unlike Federer, Woods rarely comes up with an ace, has no backhand and tries to be sub-par.
 
Federer's driver only drops him off at tournaments; Woods' driver helps him win tournaments. And Federer often hits more shots in a single round than Woods needs in a week.
 
Such disparities make comparing the two champions difficult. But lively debate is likely this week, when both will play in Miami.
 
Tiger and Roger are the best at what they do. But who's better?
 
'I'd whup him,' Woods says.
 
In tennis?
 
'Oh, in tennis! No.'
 
Woods will stick to golf this week in the WGC-CA Championship, which begins Thursday at Doral. Fifteen miles to the southeast on Key Biscayne, Federer plays his opening match Saturday night in the Sony Ericsson Open. Each player seeks to win in Miami for the third year in a row.
 
Both events will draw big crowds to the area that held the Super Bowl last month. Woods hopes to be among the spectators watching Federer.
 
'I would love to try and catch one of his matches, if not two,' Woods says.
 
Federer may skip Doral. He was in the gallery when Woods played tournaments in Shanghai in November and Dubai last month, and found walking with golf's most popular player a challenge.
 
'I went to watch Tiger, and it's not the easiest thing,' Federer says. 'Luckily I walked inside the ropes, but to go see him playing golf is tough. You never really see him. You only see the backs of other people. I guess tennis is more fan friendly in that respect.
 
'I don't know if I'm going to go see him here, but I hope he's going to come to the tennis on the weekend.'
 
The two became friends the past year. Woods and his wife, Elin, sat in the front row at the U.S. Open as Federer's guests when he won the final last September.
 
'We could relate very much to one another,' Federer says. 'We have a lot of expectations from everybody, so we have a lot of common ground. It's good that we kind of know each other and can talk to each other about it.'
 
They stayed in touch over the holidays, and again while Federer played in the Australian Open early this year. When he won the tournament for his 10th Grand Slam title, he received a teasing text message from Woods: '12 to 10.'
 
Woods, 31, has won 12 Grand Slam titles, six shy of Jack Nicklaus' record. Federer, 25, needs four more major titles to match Pete Sampras' record of 14.
 
They laugh about their friendly rivalry and are quick to compliment each other. When Woods was chosen AP Athlete of the Year in 2006, he said his achievements were exceeded by Federer's.
 
'He makes it look so effortless, and it's not,' says Woods, who plays a little tennis. 'The shots and the angles and the things he can create, no one in the history of the game has ever been able to do. I mean, it's pretty neat for all of us to be watching a living legend play. You know he's going to surpass Sampras' record. It's just a matter of when.'
 
Federer says he enjoys the bond with Woods because they both know what it's like to feel invincible.
 
'I'm a big fan of Tiger,' says Federer, who recently took up golf and played last week. 'What he has achieved is incredible. He has been able to win all four majors and stay at the top for so long. The impact he has had on golf is incredible. He's so charismatic and everything.'
 
When it comes to personalities, Woods has more magnetism, Federer the better giggle. Both are cool under pressure but capable of crying once they've won.
 
Most comparisons focus on their accomplishments. Woods has been ranked No. 1 for 435 weeks. Federer has been No. 1 the past 164 weeks, a record streak.
 
When the French Open begins in two months, Federer will bid for his fourth consecutive major title, which would match Woods' so-called Tiger Slam of four in a row in 2000-01.
 
Federer has yet to conquer clay by winning at Roland Garros, a glaring gap in his resume. Woods has won each major event at least twice. For some, that swings the debate regarding who's best in Woods' favor.
 
'He has it easier,' Federer says with a smile. 'He's playing on grass all the time, whereas I have to go to different surfaces.'
 
Both arrive in Miami mired in slumps -- by their standards, at least. Federer is coming off a defeat that ended his 41-match winning streak, a third-round loss to Guillermo Canas in Indian Wells on March 11. Woods tied for 22nd last week at Bay Hill, ending his streak of 13 consecutive top-10 finishes worldwide.
 
But such challengers as Rafael Nadal and Phil Mickelson have failed to mount much of a threat to the supremacy of Federer and Woods. Both could use a rivalry to inspire new achievements, and this weekend they have it: Roger vs. Tiger. Sit back, savor the matchup and prepare to say, 'Great shot.'
 
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  • 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.


    Masters victory


    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


    Growing family

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

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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

    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.

    PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

    The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    The statement reads:

    The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

    The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

    The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

    The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.