Bits and Tiger Pieces
And it occurred to me that November in professional golf is a kind of mixed bag of bits and pieces. Youve got shootouts and Cups and 54-hole events and tournaments with smaller fields.
Youve got players chasing contractual rainbows to all corners of the globe. And youve got local people in those outposts sometimes describing this for the first time.
Bits of a piece caught my eye recently that appeared in The Chosun Ilbo, a publication out of South Korea. It described Woods visit there last week for a one-day skins game with Colin Montgomerie, Se Ri Pak and K.J. Choi.
A few snippets:
Woods was in his jeans and shirt when he got out of his Gulf Stream IV personal plane Friday night. The official offered to carry his bags but he declined with great civility..He separated his things like clothes on his own, placing them into plastic bags. One bag was for tournament use, and the other for everyday use. Of course, he took care of his laundry himself, too, sorting it out himself and leaving it with the hotel.
.An official from IMG, the sports marketing company in charge of Woods visit, tried to explain to him about the time lag so that he could call his wife. He answered, Ive already calculated it. I will call her at the right time. Woods was more than impressed when he saw the hotel had inscribed his and his wifes name on the bed sheets.
..After the (press) conference he went back to his room and had a T-bone steak and broccoli. Eat well to play well is his motto. Woods said he loved broccoli.
.After finishing the ninth hole, he saw two rocks in front of the Raon GC clubhouse; one shaped like a penis entering the other, a circular-shaped one. When one of his companions joked that touching the rock would allow newlywed husbands to produce many children, he smiled bashfully.
.Woods showed great interest in the Korean golf situation, asking officials questions every chance he got.
.Woods departed windy Jeju Island, leaving behind warm feelings.
The headline on the story in The Chosun Ilbo was Three Days in Jeju with a Modest Golf King. And by the time I finished reading the article, I felt like I had learned more new about Woods in approximately 500 words than I had in the last five years.
This is a man who spent a lot of money for a yacht and then named it Privacy. This is a man whose current swing coach, Hank Haney, wont talk publicly about the changes made to Woods game. And Woods is perfectly, understandably and well within his rights on all of this.
Woods is a kind of king even though he is, at the moment, exiled from the top spot in the world golf rankings. People are always interested in bits and pieces about kings.
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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome
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 ...
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
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.
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
Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double
Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open
Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open
Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row
Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow
Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship
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
Photo Galleries: Best of ...
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com counted 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. And click here for the full collection of articles.
Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge
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.