Woods will not play own World Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 1, 2009, 2:13 am
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – As first reported on Golf Channel and GolfChannel.com, Tiger Woods withdrew Monday from his own golf tournament, citing injuries from a car crash near his Florida home. He said he would not compete again until next year.

Woods said in a statement on his Web site that his injuries prevented him from playing in the Chevron World Challenge, which he hosts annually for a small, invited, field.

“I am extremely disappointed that I will not be at my tournament this week,” Woods said. “I am certain it will be an outstanding event and I’m very sorry that I can’t be there.”
News trucks
More news trucks gathered outside Isleworth Monday. (Getty Images)
His decision to withdraw comes after a car crash left him with cuts and bruises when his SUV hit a fire hydrant and a tree at 2:25 a.m. Friday outside his home in an exclusive, gated community near Orlando. Woods was treated and released from a hospital after the accident, and has not been seen in public since.

By skipping the tournament, Woods will escape having to face TV cameras and a horde of media seeking more details about the smashup. The tournament was to be the last of the year for Woods anyway, but he did not say just when he would make his return next year.

The first tournament of the 2010 PGA Tour is the SBS Championship, a tournament for winners from the previous year, in Hawaii beginning Jan. 7.

Woods released a statement Sunday saying the accident was his fault, but he did not address any of the questions still swirling around it. He asked that it remain “a private matter,” but with the Florida Highway Patrol still investigating and the media in full pursuit, Woods may not get his way.

Woods even faced questions from fans leaving comments on his own Web site. Most voiced support for the world’s No. 1 golfer, but some said he should address the questions about his own actions and those of his wife, Elin Nordegren, before and after the accident.

Woods hasn’t answered questions from Florida troopers, either, turning them down three days in a row. Meanwhile, the tabloid-fueled rumors continue to swirl around perhaps the richest and most-recognizeable athletes in the world.

Four cars were parked in Woods’ driveway Monday, but no lights appeared to be on inside. A new fire hydrant had already replaced the one that Woods plowed into. A dirt hole and an orange barricade remained in the old hydrant’s place.

A woman at the address listed on a FHP news release as the scene of the crash, told the Orlando Sentinel that her husband didn’t call emergency responders, but that someone else in the house did. The tape of the call was released Sunday.

The Associated Press called the home of Linda and Jerome Adams on Monday morning and asked to speak with the Adams’ son. The woman who answered the telephone told a reporter to call back later in the day. When the AP called back Monday evening, attorney Bill Sharpe answered and said he was representing the family. He said there was no comment at this time, but said a statement might be made Tuesday.

Woods, who both hosts and plays in the Chevron World Challenge, was there last year even though he couldn’t play because he was recovering from knee surgery. His absence this year will be the first since the tournament – which has only an 18-player field – began in 1999.

Though he cited injuries from the accident in withdrawing from the tournament, Woods didn’t specifically say what those injuries included. The neighbor, who called 911 after Woods ran over the hydrant and hit a tree, said he was unconscious and laying outside his SUV. His wife told Windermere police she used a golf club to smash the back windows to help him out.

Woods’ only public comment has been via two statements released on his Web site, one saying the accident was his fault alone and the second saying he was withdrawing from the tournament.

“This is a private matter and I want to keep it that way,” Woods said. “Although I understand there is curiosity, the many false, unfounded and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me are irresponsible. …

“I appreciate all the concern and well wishes that we have received,” the statement concluded. “But, I would also ask for some understanding that my family and I deserve some privacy no matter how intrusive some people can be.”

The reference to “false, unfounded and malicious rumors” may have involved a story published last week in the National Enquirer alleging that Woods had been seeing a New York nightclub hostess, and that they recently were together in Melbourne, where Woods competed in the Australian Masters.

The woman, Rachel Uchitel, denied having an affair with Woods when contacted by The Associated Press. On Sunday, she flew to Los Angeles and was met by high-profile attorney Gloria Allred at the airport.

Still, even the release of the 911 tape and Woods’ statement failed to answer several basic questions about the accident:

  • Where he was going at that time of the night?
  • How did he lose control of his SUV when it wasn’t going fast enough to deploy airbags?
  • Why were both rear windows of the Cadillac Escalade smashed?
  • If it was a careless mistake, why not speak to state troopers trying to wrap the investigation?
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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.