Tigers Knee Update

By Brian HewittApril 16, 2008, 4:00 pm
Wachovia Championship tournament director Kym Hougham said Wednesday he is saddened by the news on Tiger Woods knee. But, he added when asked about the financial impact of Woods absence, his event is insulated in the sense that its corporate buys and ticket sales have been sold out for two months.
 
This was in response to the announcement Tuesday that Woods underwent arthroscopic on his left knee and will miss six to eight weeks of tournament golf.
 
Hougham also said he detected Woods struggling to get in and out of bunkers at the Masters last week and didn't think about it until Tiger's agent, Mark Steinberg, called him Tuesday night to tell him Woods wouldn't be defending at Wachovia.
 
Yes, Steinberg told Hougham when Hougham said he had noticed Tiger's discomfort at Augusta, that was what was going on.
 
Meanwhile, Woods swing coach Hank Haney informed GOLF CHANNEL late Tuesday that caddie Steve Williams had told him it was the best ball-striking Masters he had seen by Woods in his 10 years on Tiger's bag.
 
The big question now will be Tiger's fitness for The Memorial in six weeks. Haney said Tiger's availability for the U.S. Open in two months should be no problem.
 
THE LORENA SLAM:
It turns out Lorena Ochoas people have a definitive game plan in place starting with the next womens major'the McDonalds LPGA Championship at Bulle Rock in early June. And, it turns out, Bulle Rock could be the most difficult of the Slam events for Ochoa who won the years first major two weeks ago at the Kraft Nabisco.
 
For starters, Ochoa has never won the LPGA. And, her caddie, Dave Brooker, says, the golf course, in his opinion, lends itself to a free for all.
 
In my eyes, Brooker added, Bulle Rock does not have the look of a major that this years other venues do. Its more forgiving and gives more players a chance to win.
 
Those other venues are Interlachen, near Minneapolis--for the U.S. Womens Open later in June--and Sunningdale for the Womens British in early August. Brooker caddied at Interlachen for the 2002 Solheim Cup matches and says course knowledge there wont be a problem. Interlachen will be a lot like Pine Needles (site of last year U.S. Womens Open where Ochoa finished tied for second), he said. You have to hit it long and straight and the greens will be fast.
 
Sunningdale opens with two par-5s which will play right into Ochoas length advantage. As of now, no early scouting missions are planned. Ochoa and Brooker will arrive Monday at all three tournament sites and begin their homework at that point. Were pretty smart people, Brooker said.
 
Smart enough last year at the Old Course to figure out all the humps and bumps and hollows without the help of a local caddie. In winning her first major, Ochoa finished clear of runner-up Maria Hjorth by four shots at St. Andrews.
 
WINNING BIG:
By the way, Ochoas average margin of victory in her four wins this year is a scary 4.25 strokes. When Annika Sorenstam won 11 times in 2002 her average margin of victory was 3.27. Vijay Singhs number in 2004 was 1.78 for his nine wins. Only Tiger Woods 5.1 average margin of victory during his nine-win season of 2000 is more impressive that what Lorena is doing right now.
 
OLYMPICS AND GOLF:
When PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem posted his own personal blog Tuesday pushing the inclusion of golf into the Olympics, more than a few wheels started turning.
 
I believe the time is right to include golf as an Olympic sport, Finchem said, adding, the earliest it could happen would be 2016....
 
It is interesting to note that seven cities, including Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid, have submitted bids to host the 2016 summer Olympics.
 
Awarding the bid to Chicago and admitting golf as an Olympic sport would mean the Olympic officials would have to pick a golf course in the golf-rich Chicago area.
 
Why not Cog Hill No. 4?
 
TWENTY SOMETHINGS:
The last three winners of PGA TOUR events'Andres Romero (New Orleans), Johnson Wagner (Houston) and Trevor Immelman (Augusta) are in their 20s. Six of the first 17 PGA TOUR events in 2008 have been won by players in their 20s.
 
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
 
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    McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

    By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

    The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

    McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

    McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

    ''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

    Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

    ''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

    McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

    ''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

    The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

    ''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

    The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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    Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

    By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

    If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days of engaging in pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

    Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

    If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

    Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

    Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

    I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

    A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

    And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

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    Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

    Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

    The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

    Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

    “I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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    Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

    Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

    Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.