Day 12 Tiger Becomes a Father

By Brian HewittDecember 10, 2007, 5:00 pm
Editor's note; In the holiday spirit, the GolfChannel.com Team is counting down the 12 Days of Golf, the most memorable days of the 2007 season. This is Day 12
 
Day 12Tiger Woods golf game sure went to hell in a hand basket after the birth of his first daughter. It was inevitable, wasnt it?
 
Thats what certain uninformed critics were predicting anyway.
 
The worlds best golfer, they said, would lose his focus. The game wouldnt be important to him anymore, they said. Hed never win another major.
 
So along comes daughter Sam Alexis Woods on Monday, June 18, 2007. And sure enough Tiger stumbles to a sixth-place finish three weeks later at his own new tournament near Washington D.C. Then its off to the Open Championship at Carnoustie and Woods mails in a T12.
 
Tiger Woods, Sam Alexis Woods, Elin Woods
Tiger and Elin welcomed Sam Alexis into the world on June 18th.
See? See?
 
But where, exactly, were those same critics when Tiger returned from Scotland and won the WGC-Bridgestone?
 
Where were their strident voices when he followed that up with a resounding victory at the PGA Championship in the searing heat of Tulsa?
 
Yes, Phil Mickelson outdueled him Sunday at the Deutsche Bank Championship. But Tiger bounced right back with wins at the BMW Championship near Chicago and the TOUR Championship in Atlanta. In the process $10 million in deferred monies got wired into his retirement account for winning the inaugural FedExCup. Not a bad little start for little Sam Alexis trust fund.
 
OK, lets be serious about this for a second. Not too many really believed being a father would impede Woods' inexorable march to becoming the greatest golfer, with the greatest record, of any player who ever lived.
 
Now he just has a little more balance in his life. And hes the first to admit it. Here are a few of his own words on the subject:
 
I cant describe how wonderful it is to be a father. This is something I dreamed about and I am enjoying every minute. Its a good thing I dont need much sleep.
 
Something that Elin (Tigers wife and Sams mother) and I talked about on the first night was how can you love something so much that didnt exist the day before. We had never experienced anything like that. ... Its something we want to experience again.
 
Jack Nicklaus, somebody pointed out to Woods, won all 18 of his major championships after being a father.
 
I havent quite experienced what he experienced, Tiger said of Jack, and how its going to be when we start traveling together. But for him to do that throughout his entire career and raise great kids, just great kids'I mean Barbara (Nicklaus wife) is fantastic. Shes the best. And to have as close a family as they have, because a lot of times, when people are traveling a bunch, theres a disconnect.
 
Thats certainly not apparent in the Nicklaus household. Thats something that, you know, I want to have as well, because my mom and dad were always there for me, and I know I cant physically be there all the time. Thats something thats going to be frustrating because you want to be there, and unfortunately I cant be there physically all the time, but Ill try and be there as much as I possibly can.
 
There were, Tiger said, complications in the final stages of the pregnancy. Elin was admitted to the hospital on a Thursday and didnt deliver Sam Alexis until Monday. But mother and baby were resting comfortably by the end of the week.
 
So we can add the birth of Tiger Woods first child to those lists of things that happened On This Day June 18.
 
Beatle Paul McCartney was born on June 18. So was film critic Roger Ebert. And on June 18, 1928 aviatrix Amelia Earhart became the first woman to pilot a plane across the Atlantic Ocean when she flew from Newfoundland to Wales.
 
Sam Alexis Woods, meanwhile, is already famous for putting the lie to the myth that fatherhood would derail the career arc of Tiger Woods.
 
And for that, everybody in golf can be thankful.
 
Related Links:
  • News: Elin Gives Birth to a Daughter
  • 12 Days of Golf Countdown
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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

    Getty Images

    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials phoned Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial. 

    Getty Images

    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.