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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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