Appreciation and Annoyance

By Brian HewittApril 25, 2008, 4:00 pm
The Comebacker continues to field the debate on whether or not Trevor Immelman was a worthy champion at the Masters Tournament earlier this month.
 
Plus, The Comebacker appears to be getting under the skin of at least one reader.
 
Without further ado:
 
Sue writes: Brian, I think you are a complete idiot.
 
The Comebacker
And exactly what does that have to do with golf?
 

Connie writes: After reading The Comebacker, it is amazing to me that golf enthusiasts can be so narrow minded. We all have favorite golfers and when mine is either not playing or playing and not faring so well, I am pleased to be watching others and enjoy their shotmaking. These men are called professionals for a reason. Let's lay off of the criticism and give the guys their due. There are a number of golfers who have won only one major. Is there a problem with giving them their due for the one they have one? Many professionals will play their whole career and never win a major, and why should that take anything away from the work they do to compete. In Immelman's case, he was fortunate to even be on the course with the health issues he has had in the past year. Congratulations, and I would not be surprised to see him win another. The world of golf ought to be about ALL professional golfers not just a select few.
 
The Comebacker
Connie, I think you are a complete idiot..No, no, just kidding.Actually I think Trevor Immelmans health issues could have turned out to be a helping factor. After waiting for biopsy results, the pressure of trying to compete in the Masters cant possibly feel as intense.
 
Tom writes: Ill get to the point. Even though I appreciate the tremendously deep talent pool on the PGA Tour, I have definitely become a victim of what I call Majoritis Tigris..No, it probably wasnt the most exciting Masters of recent times, but a great tournament nevertheless. We all know the reasons for the final outcome and a simple hats off to Mr. Immelman.Dont get me wrong, I still genuinely appreciate the quality of golf played by these guys; but I think I have become so jaded by the emphasis placed on Majors, and Tigers flair for the ridiculously absurd, that my expectations for non-major events sans El Tigre have evaporated. Knowing that there will never be a fifth major, and that Tigers schedule will only get skinnier from here on in, I eagerly await the next prodigy/phenom to follow in his footsteps and rekindle my fervor for the everyday events. Someone please step up and save me from the doldrums!
 
The Comebacker
So with Tiger now rehabbing his knee after recent surgery are you suffering from Minoritis Tigris?
 
Ed writes:It just dawned on me what Trevor did in The Masters. There is a maneuver called 'an Immelmann' named after a German, WWI fighter ace. This is where you fly level to gain speed, then pull up into a steep climb until you are inverted, roll the plane back to horizontal and proceed the other direction. It is done to get another fighter off your tail. Trevor made that move on Tiger last week who was too far back to shoot him down.
 
The Comebacker
It never dawned on me that this Masters was all about aviation.
 

Canada Boy writes: I think I may have figured out why Brandt Snedeker had a rough Sunday and didn't win The Masters---three words--Toronto Maple Leafs. I noticed his caddie was wearing a Maple Leaf T-shirt under his white coveralls. As a die hard Leafs fan, I am well aware that we have not won the Stanley Cup since 1967. Once I saw that T-shirt, I knew Snedeker was not carrying around a particularly effective good luck charm. And those high paid analysts thought it was the Sunday pressure.
 
The Comebacker
Good thing, I guess, Mike Weir isnt a Maple Leafs fan.
 

Chris writes: Heres to Trevor, a classy kid with a future ahead of him. Sorry folks, until Tiger becomes impervious to bullets, leaps buildings in a single bound, and has to start wearing a size larger to conceal his red and blue suit and cape, he is going to lose every once in a while. As my friends constantly reminds me why one day I shoot well, and the next day I suck (a 25-handicap), thats golf.
 
The Comebacker
Or Tiger himself has said or more than one occasion, Welcome to golf.
 

Dale writes:NO, NO, NO, a thousand times - NO - to Olympic golf. This will be just another snafu that'll be nothing but problems for EVERYONE. The OLYMPICS are nothing but more corruption, stealing, more hassle about drug testing, and a lot more, ALL unpleasant disputes. - NOBODY needs it. Let's call it FINCHEM'S FOLLY
 
The Comebacker
I take it, by the use of all those capital letters, Dale doesnt think golf in the Olympics is a capital idea.
 
Larry writes: When watching the PGA (TOUR), I know for a down home fact that I could never play to that level but now and then when I am watching the LPGA I feel maybe I could hit a shot or two the way they play. After watching Lorena and those young ladies play recently, cancel the maybe thought and insert no way. What wonderful golf we are privileged to see now.'
 
The Comebacker
Indeed, these women are good. Especially Lorena.
 

Jan writes: Without Tiger teeing it up, theres a Tiger-esque feeling being generated by Ochoa. It makes me wonder if we arent going to ascribe Elvis-esque attributes after Tiger leaves this life for the next, refusing to believe hes really gone, spotting him on this or that golf course. Perhaps his ghost will visit Augusta National every April. Is it possible to go even one hour one simple broadcast hour without mentioning Tiger Woods? But back to Lorena momentarily she is amazing shes closing in on Nancy Lopezs record lets highlight that and leave Tiger out of womens golf.
 
The Comebacker
Im guessing if Jan had to use one adjective to describe Tigers incipient course design in the Middle East, it would be arabesque.
 
Shawn writes: I'm curious, why there hasn't been any talk of Lorena playing in a men's event? With her recent great play she seems to have been crowned the queen of the LPGA.
 
The Comebacker
She seems disinclined to play on the PGA TOUR. The marketing experts say she could raise her profit margins with the wider exposure a start on the PGA TOUR would provide (like it did for Annika Sorenstam) But unlike Annika, Ochoa doesnt feel the need to measure her skill sets against those of the best men.
 

Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Getty Images

McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

Getty Images

Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days of engaging in pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

Getty Images

Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

“I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

Getty Images

Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.