Tiger People Are Talking
Meanwhile, it turns out all kinds of people are talking about Woods.
Over the weekend GolfChannel.com got a private audience with Annika Sorenstam near her Lake Nona, Fla. home and one of the subjects discussed was Tigers injury. Specifically, Annika was asked if she thought Tiger would be able to stay on top of mens golf when he returns even if the knee forced him to change his swing in any significant way.
Absolutely, Sorenstam said. Hes a very smart guy. One of the things that I was impressed with him is that he can imitate a lot of golf swings. He reads a lot, he watches a lot of TV, and he can just pick up a tip and try it. For him, if his knee is not perfectly healed ' even if he slows down a little ' hell still be very long. But powers not everything; he can do without the power and still be able to play.
Next, GolfChannel.com got into a discussion with Texas native Scott Verplank on why Woods has played just once (1997) at Colonial on the Texas Swing. Verplank said he wasnt sure why but said he had heard that Woods had once said Colonial was not a great golf course.
The only dumb thing Tigers ever said, Verplank said. Verplank added that Colonials test, although not a long one, calls for a full examination of shapes and trajectories and that it would be perfect Woods versatile arsenal.
Wish that all the rest of us could say we had only said one dumb thing in our entire lives.
Finally, rookie Kevin Streelman was a virtual one-man publicity machine for Woods at Disney last week.
I think any event he plays in is good for the U.S. Tour, Streelman said. And its good for the world of golf. This was a pretty cool year for him (not counting the injury). Ill vote for him for Player of the Year. I think he played six times in 2008 and won four. And the other two were top 5s.In my opinion its pretty evident whos Player of the Year.
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Streelman, who tied for sixth at Disney and wound up 35th on the season-ending money list, calls himself a huge golf nerd.
Asked to define huge golf nerd, Streelman said, .Courtney (his wife) sometimes has to cut me off and say, you cant watch the Golf Channel anymore, I want to watch a movie.
The fate of the Fall Series next year is not on the front burner up in Ponte Vedra right now. But it's a definite priority.
The problem is an economy that has weakened many of the financial institutions that serve as Tour title sponsors. That same economy isn't expected, according to the experts, to rebound any time soon.
When I asked PGA Tour executive VP Ty Votaw if there might be contraction next fall from seven events to a lesser number, his text messaged reply was: Still working on that. Will have definitive answers when we announce the Fall Schedule.'
The good news here for the Tour is that the amount of money it contributed to charity in 2008 is expected to surpass the $123 million it reported, across all three Tours, for 2007.
To be sure, the optimism is cautious at best. When I asked Votaw if he expected the Tour's charity contribution number to increase again in '09, his three-word reply was, 'We don't predict.'
The best golf played, by anybody, this year was authored by Tiger Woods in June at Torrey Pines South where he won his third U.S. Open.
The best year turned in by anybody this year was the one produced by Sergio Garcia, who climbed al the way to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Rankings with his recent HSBC victory in China.
Garcia won The Players Championship in May and finished his PGA Tour season with four top 5s in his last five events.
Having stated all of that:
The Player of the Year for 2008 is Padraig Harrington. You can debate this all you want. And it all makes for great bar talk. But the plain fact remains: Two major championship wins in one year trumps all. Harrington won the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale and the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills. Case closed.
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Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
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.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
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
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.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.