Comebacker Kelly Rory Tiger

By Brian HewittJanuary 11, 2008, 5:00 pm
This is the maiden voyage for The Comebacker which will be posted every Friday in this space. If you have been paying even a little bit of attention, you already know there is no shortage of issues this week.
Before we tackle them, just another reminder of what The Comebacker is. Each week I will re-print the most compelling e-mails I have received. I will then comment on them which makes me The Comebacker.
Without further ado:
David writes: Brian, Im writing you to express my support for Kelly Tilghmans recent comments regarding Tiger Woods. Anyone who knows her, or has heard her on the air, could easily realize that she is not the type of person to make malicious comments. I respect your judgment and objectivity on issues and felt it appropriate to convey my comments to you. I hope you will pass along my offer of support to her. Its unfortunate that she probably feels bad when she has no reason to.
The Comebacker Kelly has a reason to feel bad, mostly because words came out of her mouth that dont represent the person she is. I know this because I worked with her on a regular basis for a years worth of 'Sprint' shows at GOLF CHANNEL. Kelly has apologized to Tiger and he has accepted. The poet Alexander Pope said it best: To err is human. To forgive is divine. I respect Al Sharptons vigilance when it comes to taking racism to task. I just believe if he thinks making an example out of Kelly Tilghman is the right thing to do, he has picked the wrong target. The Kelly Tilghman I know doesnt have a racist bone in her body. Last point: GOLF CHANNEL is taking a lot of heat for suspending Kelly for two weeks. I think the action shows GOLF CHANNEL understands that hurtful comments, even when inadvertent, need to be accounted for at the end of the day. Meanwhile, the time has come to move on from this.
Hector writes: The media continues to overplay Rory against Tiger in order to stir the pot. The best response stems from Woody Austin. 'If Tiger hits his head with a club he is soooooooooooooooooo competitive while I am viewed as somewhat goofy.' Rory mentions he thinks Tiger is beatable and the media goes nuts. If Rory does not say anything, he becomes another doomed and afraid PGA TOUR player of Tiger. In short, Rory and Tiger is like discussing religion. Youre not going to win or lose!!!!!
The Comebacker If Tiger hits his head with a club, that club becomes a valuable commodity on E-Bay. And actually, it is golf that wins when discussing Rory and Tiger. Its called free publicity.
Roger writes: Brian, How are things? This is Roger Federer. While it hasnt started yet, Im sure that somewhere over the course of 2008, the debate between the careers of my good buddy Tiger and myself will begin. I just want to start off 2008 correctly by stating that once and for all, Tiger Woods is by far the superior athlete
The Comebacker Yeah, but can Tiger hit a high-kicking, American Twist, up the middle, to the backhand, second-serve winner at love-40 triple match point in the finals of the French Open at Roland Garros against Rafael Nadal?
Jim writes 'Woods and Mickelson think they are larger than the game, and I, and most of my friends, are sick of hearing these wimps site exhaustion for not playing. At least be a man and give the real reason i.e. I dont care.'
The Comebacker Jim, youre going to have to trust me on this: Tiger cares. So does Phil.
Skip writes: 'At some point when the compulsive urge to be a moron overrides the present mindset of Im not talking, he (Sabbatini) will, in no particular order of importance:
Slam Tiger and his influence at Nike Golf.
Slam Nike Golf for their equipment, personnel, facilities, etc.
Blame Tiger for influencing decisions about the Ryder/Presidents Cup.
Hellhe is such an idiot.he may go after Arnie or Jack for some perceived slightwho knowsmaybe the clubhouse attendant at Bay Hill gave Tiger extra pickles with his cheeseburger last year. The guy (Sabbatini) needs to grow up, this whole..he stands up to Tiger thing .is a crock!!!! He is an immature, rude, self-serving jerk.'
The Comebacker Yikes, more Rory complaints. Theres a surprise. Skip, I like your bile, if not your style. Thats what The Comebacker column is all about. Meanwhile, my sources tell me only Palmer gets extra pickles with his cheeseburger at Bay Hill. And I beg to differ on at least one other of your points: For better or worse, Rory Sabbatini is unafraid to stand up to Tiger Woods.
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.