Tiger Woods Watch Intensifies

By Brian HewittJanuary 29, 2009, 5:00 pm
The Comebacker is cooking with gas this week, mostly about the wild atmosphere that surrounds the 16th hole at the TPC Scottsdale.
Without further ado:
Randy writes: The 16th at the FBR is the reason purists are shunning the FBR tournament. The Thunderbirds have totally ruined a fine golf event and equally great golf venue. Take it from someone who has lived in the Valley for 21 years and have attended the tournament faithfully until a few years ago when I and many of my friends said enough. First of all most of the drunks at 16 wouldnt know a birdie from a used car. The entire atmosphere is more akin to the state fair than golf. ...The FBR has become a joke in town. And forget all those hyped up attendance figures they tout every Saturday and Sunday. Ask them sometime how they come up with that then have a laugh. It is a fraud..
The Comebacker
To repeat the words of Rocco Mediate: If you dont like it, dont come.

Tom writes: You mentioned the story about Tiger (Woods) only coming to Scottsdale once since the gun in the fanny pack incident. What you may not know, or may have forgotten, is that last appearance was marred by a high school kid trying to bean him with an orange after being dared by his friend. That was also the year (Mark) Calcavecchia went nuts and set a scoring record or two. ... How about an article calling out Tiger for his lack of variation in his scheduling? In my opinion, he should try to show hes the best by adding in some of the scoring records to go along with the majors and the Vardons. Hes never shot a 59; I think he ought to play the easy courses and strive for the first official 58. He should be shooting for a 36-hole score of 21 under or a 54-hole score of 30 under. Do something to show hes the best other than just being the most consistent on tough courses.
The Comebacker
Yeah, really. What has Tiger ever done for golf?

Michael writes: I am a long-time golfer who was not alone in noticing that Pat Perez should have been given a two-shot penalty on hole 15 (Sunday). While in the deep rough (greenside), Perez grounded his club two or three times and the ball noticeably moved every time. Go back and look at it on video. The part that burns me the most is, there is no way Perez himself wouldn't have noticed it. Although he won by three shots, that would have considerably turned the tide, even putting him behind by one. I'm sure he wouldn't have been so calm/cool after that. Please respond.
The Comebacker
PGA Tour officials examined tape of the shot in question and determined there was no violation.

Bill writes: Add me to the list of real golfers who are tired of (Boo) Weekly and his ignorance, (John) Daly and his drunken waste of talent, and (Michelle) Wie and her act. I used to be a regular fan of the Golf Channel, but the incessant fawning over these idiots causes me to tune out every time you and the other announcers spout off. Criticize me as being from the country club set, but at least the real golfers I know have also gotten tired of the trend that is promoted by the Golf Channel.
The Comebacker
Wow. Where did all this anger come from in a year that hasnt even spawned a good, juicy golf controversy yet?

John writes: I have to disagree that you are a news organization, first. Your coverage of Michelle Wie over the past five years has bordered on fawning, with nary a critical word. For a young woman who has won exactly one USGA tournament (and not a single LPGA tourney), you have devoted an incredible amount of hype to her, rather than an honest assessment of her performance on the golf course (or lack thereof). If she competes successfully on the LPGA (after earning her way on) ' great. She is to be congratulated. If not, then I hope you will accurately reflect that, also.
The Comebacker
Michelle Wie has taken many hits at GolfChannel.com. Any hype, by the way, whether it come from Golf Channel or anywhere else, is more justified now than it ever was before with Annika Sorenstam in retirement and the LPGA struggling to hold on to its sponsors. If you dont think the powers-that-be in Daytona Beach werent overjoyed at Wies recent successful trip to LPGA Q-School, you dont get it.
Dorothy writes: I too am tired of the Boo Weekley show. It is more embarrassing than entertaining. Why the press thought his antics at the Ryder Cup was noteworthy, I am at a loss to understand. You have had more than your 15 minutes of fame Boo, lets move on and play golf.
The Comebacker
The Comebacker continues to be miffed by this ongoing antipathy towards Boo Weekley. Wake up, people. Hes a character. And hes genuine. So what if its possible that he cant name the five Great Lakes. This is golf, not Jeopardy.
Sam writes: Although I'm a keen fan of the Golf Channel and look forward to enjoying the season on my new large screen HDTV, I must say GC's coverage of the Hope has been really disappointing. I accept the premise of the Hope to incorporate amateurs, and (Nick) Faldo's analysis of some of their swings was instructive for us amateur viewers who commit the same sins. But to showcase the amateurs and dwell on who's attending whose soire that evening leaves your audience way behind. When you showed some celebrity narrowly missing a putt and then broke away to some other celebrity's tee shot just as Brad Faxon was preparing his putt, I threw in the towel. I'm curious, is the Hope format a vestige of what pro golf used to be? It strikes me that the whole concept is an anachronism. PS: It is sobering to see what these guys can do when roughs, green speeds and pin placements are comparable to what we amateurs face every weekend. My occasional sub-par rounds look a lot less like tickets to the tour now.
The Comebacker
Me? I just miss George Lopez; although, Im happy to see Arnold Palmer anytime anyplace. As to the conditions: Its also sobering to see what a gusting wind can do to anybodys golf game, even the best players in the world. Kind of makes what Padraig Harrington did at Royal Birkdale last year even more impressive, no?
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Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.

Original story:

Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''

Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.