Taking on Tiger - COPIED

By Brian HewittNovember 6, 2006, 5:00 pm
It is easily the hottest topic in golf at the moment. I am referring to Tiger Woods decision to skip this weeks TOUR Championship.
I am already on record as supporting Woods right to play whenever and wherever he wants. Nobody is bigger than the game. But Woods is bigger than anybody IN the game at the moment.
Yes, it would have been a reassuring gesture on Woods part to support one of his Tours most important events. But I believe Woods has done quite enough to support the PGA TOUR and will continue to do quite enough, if not more than enough, in the future to support the PGA TOUR.
Meanwhile, those of us willing to excuse Woods absence from the TOUR Championship must now be willing to excuse Phil Mickelsons absence from the TOUR Championship as well. Woods cited fatigue for skipping the event. Mickelson says he wants to spend more time with his family.
There can be no double standard on this. Those of us unwilling to bash Woods on this issue must cease and desist immediately from bashing Mickelson. Simple as that.
Whats interesting, however, as I read the E-mails, is this: I am in the minority.
A majority of the people with enough energy to post their thoughts to me on this subject are upset with Woods decision.
Tiger is too tired to play at the TOUR Championship, but he is not too tired to go to the Far East for a couple of weeks of guaranteed money, wrote one man.
The same man added these comments:
This is just more garbage by Tiger and for that matter Phil.
I have been angry with the fat cat pro athletes in this country for many years. No one cares for the fans. I thought pro golf was better than the others. But I was an idiot for thinking that way.
I have to go to work when I am tired.
I guarantee you that many people purchased tickets to the TOUR Championship because they knew they would see Tiger. But who cares. The fans dont matter.
A majority of the E-mails received so far have echoed this mans thoughts.
There was one way this furor could have been avoided. The PGA TOUR could have added a provision for accepting membership that required players taking their cards to participate in the TOUR Championship if they qualified.
This shouldnt matter next year when the TOUR Championship will culminate the new FedEx Cup and the winner will receive $10 million. Woods took pains last week to say he would support the FedEx Cup next year.
The hope, then, is that this is a one-off. The expectation is that Woods and Mickelson will tailor their schedules in 2007 to be reasonably fresh for the TOUR Championship.
In the meantime, its important to note that I - and everybody on Tigers side this time - are in the minority.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.