Woods' race to catch Jack depends on wounded knee

By Associated PressMay 31, 2011, 11:40 pm

DUBLIN, Ohio – Jack Nicklaus doesn’t want Tiger Woods to break his recordof 18 major championships.

But he does want him to be healthy enough to try.

Nicklaus told him as much last Friday when Woods called to say that for thesecond time in four years, he wouldn’t be able to play in this week’s MemorialTournament because of an injury to his left leg. Woods missed in 2008 whilerecovering from minor surgery to clean out cartilage damage in his left knee.

This time the culprit is a combination of a minor knee sprain and hisAchilles, which was bad enough to cause him to leave The Players Championshipafter only nine holes.

Woods hopes to play the U.S. Open. Trying to win majors starts with playingin them.

“I don’t know the extent of his injuries,” Nicklaus said Tuesday. “I toldTiger when I was on the phone with him - which is the same thing I’ve said tohim a thousand times - ‘Tiger, nobody ever wants their records to be broken …but I certainly don’t want you not to be healthy and not have the opportunity toplay to break records. I want you to get yourself healthy, do what you have todo to go play, get your golf game back in shape, and I wish you well.’

“I would say that to any athlete and anybody, because I think that’s theway it should be,” Nicklaus said. “But what his situation is, I don’t know anymore than what I read.”

It wasn’t long ago when Woods appeared to be a lock to not only catchNicklaus, but to break the most recognized record in golf.

He won his 14th major in the 2008 U.S. Open at age 32 - Nicklaus was 35 whenhe won his 14th major - and even after reconstructive surgery on his left knee,Woods went into the weekend of the 2009 PGA Championship with a four-shot lead.He was two rounds away from winning No. 15, with Pebble Beach and St. Andrews onthe rotation the following year.

It all changed so quickly.

He lost the lead - and the PGA Championship - to Y.E. Yang . Then cameThanksgiving night and revelations of serial adultery, which led to divorce. Hehired a new swing coach. He is in the middle of a slump that once seemedunfathomable. He has fallen out of the top 10 in the world ranking for the firsttime in 14 years.

And now there’s another injury that makes Woods seem a lot older than 35.

For all that has gone wrong with Woods during the last 18 months, his healthmight be the most troubling - at least as it relates to his golf, and especiallyin context with Nicklaus.

Nicklaus won 70 times in 19 years on the PGA Tour before the first sign ofan injury.

“Physically, I was pretty darned good,” he said.

Two weeks after he won the 1980 PGA Championship at Oak Hill for his 17thmajor, he had to withdraw from the final round of the World Series of Golf atFirestone with a bad back. About two years later, his back flared up again atthe 1983 Masters and he had to withdraw early in the second round.

The first time he had surgery was in 1984, when he hurt his left knee whileplaying tennis.

“I went and had it operated on and I won the Skins Game 17 days later,”Nicklaus said. “So obviously, it wasn’t a very major operation.”

Woods already has had four surgeries on his left knee.

“I’m sure down the road it may be more difficult,” he said. “Buthopefully, I’ll be in a cart by then on the senior tour. But between now andthen, I should be pretty good.”

It’s that area between now and then that has become such a mystery.

Woods says the state of his left leg is not the “doomsday” he keepsreading and hearing about in the media. And don’t forget, it was only two monthsago that he shot 31 on the front nine of The Masters to tie for the lead untilhis putter failed him on the back nine and he wound up in a tie for fourth.

Asked to handicap Woods’ chances of catching him now, Nicklaus could onlyoffer, “I would have no clue.”

What amuses Nicklaus is talk that the chase is over, even if Woods doesn’tmake it to Congressional in two weeks for the U.S. Open, or plays in the othertwo majors that follow this year.

“That’s ridiculous,” Nicklaus said. “You guys control that. By the timeyou get through writing somebody off, they may as well go sell their clubs.Tiger is hurt. He hasn’t been able to play. By the time you get done with him… there’s 400 golfers in front of him. You know what I’m saying. It getspushed too far.”

Even if Woods were to go winless this year, he would still have the samenumber of majors that Nicklaus won at age 35. Nicklaus believes that a player inhis era was “old” in his late 30s. These days, he thinks “old” is over theage of 45.

If that’s the case, Woods has some 40 majors still to play. But that dependson his health.

“That 18 is our benchmark in our sport,” Woods said last week. “No onehas played the major championships better than Jack has. It took Jack over 24years to do what he did. I still have plenty of time, and I feel that goingforward, I’m excited about playing major championships and playing golf again.

“I just want to be healthy and solid,” he said. “And I feel like I cangive it a go.”

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.