Why Tiger Might Play Barclays

By Brian HewittJanuary 30, 2008, 5:00 pm
The wooing of Tiger Woods has officially begun. Now that New Jerseys prestigious Ridgewood Country Club has acquired the rights to host The Barclays, which will also serves as the FedExCup playoff opener in late August, the drive is on to get the worlds No. 1 into the fold.
 
By all accounts, Ridgewood Country Club, a classic 27-hole A.W. Tillinghast design complex in Paramus, N. J., is golf in its purest form. There is an East nine, a West nine and a Center nine. The tournament course will be a composite of seven holes from the East, five holes from the Center and six holes from the West. That configuration will play 7,304 yards to a par of 71.
 
It will flow very well, said David Reasoner, Ridgewoods head pro. And that particular composite course will allow us to handle the infrastructure concerns.
 
One high-ranking USGA official told GOLF CHANNEL that room for corporate tents and other on-site support trailers and equipment could be a problem at Ridgewood. But that same official said it wouldnt matter what 18 holes the TOUR selected for The Barclays. Theyre all great, the official said.
 
The USGAs headquarters are also in New Jersey. So are other Tillinghast designs at Baltusrol and Somerset Hills. Tillinghast also designed Winged Foot across the state line in Westchester County.
 
The sixth hole for the Barclays (normally the third hole on the Center nine) is a drivable 294-yard, par-4 and Ridgewoods signature hole. In the old days the members called it the five and dime because most played it 5-iron off the tee and a 10-iron (now a wedge) into the green. Woods, who recently began designing courses himself, is on record as saying golf courses should have a drivable par-4.
 
Woods tied for fourth at the 2005 PGA Championship at Baltusrol and missed the cut by three strokes, not long after the death of his father, in 2006 at Winged Foot. But Woods has often spoken fondly of his rounds at the San Francisco Golf Club when he was a member of the Stanford Golf team in the mid-90s. San Francisco Golf is also a Tillinghast design.
 
I believe Tiger would love Ridgewood, Reasoner said. Its an old, traditional, tree-lined course and you have to be able to work the ball both ways.
 
It was no secret that Woods didnt like the layout at Westchester Country Club which preceded Ridgewood as The Barclays venue. And to be sure, if he decides to skip The Barclays this year it might be purely a matter of scheduling and have nothing to do with Ridgewoods relative merits.
 
But if he stays away, most course critics will tell you, he will be missing something special. Ridgewood is not overly tight, Reasoner says. But it has incredible green complexes.
 
THE COACH AND THE PRO:
It will be months before Woods commits himself, one way or the other, on Ridgewood and this years Barclays. Meanwhile Reasoner will be excused if he takes Sunday off to watch the Super Bowl.
 
Hes a Giants fan. And he gives the occasional golf lesson to New Yorks coach, Tom Coughlin. As you might imagine, Coughlin doesnt find the time to play a lot of golf. But every once in a while, Reasoner says, Ill get a call from him and hell say something like, Ive got to play in this outing coming up. Can you help me get the ball airborne?
 
The problem for Reasoner Sunday is the opponent. I come from New England, he says. And most of my family will be rooting for the Patriots.
 
BRADY, ROMO AND BELICHICK:
On another football/golf front, officials of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am will have their cell phones set on the loudest ring tone Sunday night.
 
They are still waiting to hear from New England quarterback Tom Brady and his coach, Bill Belichick. Both have been invited to play in their event which begins with practice rounds the day after the Patriots-Giants game.
 
We can wait until Sunday night if we have to, said tournament official Steve Worthy. Obviously wed like to know before then.
 
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, Worthy said, has already committed to play in the Pro Bowl, which is the same Sunday (February 10) as the final round at Pebble Beach. Brady, if he gets league clearance due to injury, could skip the Pro Bowl and play in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Brady indicated at Tuesdays Super Bowl media day that he probably will not make it to the Monterey Peninsula next week.
 
If Brady and Belichick dont make it, the tournament will go to the top of a very long waiting list and pick two local amateurs as invited guests. The tournament doesnt release the going rate. But the downstroke for an amateur to play in the event is believed to be somewhere between 10 and 15 thousand dollars.
 
HANKERING:
One of the last calls Tiger Woods made after destroying the field at Torrey Pines and before getting on the plane to Dubai was to instructor Hank Haney, who had left California a day earlier.
 
All he wanted to talk about, Haney informed me, was what he could improve on for next week.
 
Meanwhile, Haney remains sensitive to criticism of Tigers accuracy off the tee. And it speaks, among other things, to how fiercely loyal he is to Woods.
 
Tiger finished 59th in driving accuracy at the Buick Invitational but he tied for second in greens in regulation. Haney repeated that when Woods hits a drive, say, three degrees off line its more likely to end up on the first cut of the rough than a player who carries the ball 30 yards less off the tee and stays in the fairway.
 
Geometry, Haney said emphatically.
 
Tiger has been working hard on his short game, Haney added. And he had two chip-ins at Torrey and a great bunker shot on the last hole on Friday. It is always nice to see hard work pay off.
 
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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.

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    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.