Woods Haney Staying in Touch

By Brian HewittOctober 24, 2007, 4:00 pm
Among other things, during a prolonged vacation with no formal golf that is less than a month old, Tiger Woods has either been skiing or chilling on his yacht.
I would suspect, a source close to Woods told me, that will continue for a while.
Woods last event was the Presidents Cup late last month in Montreal. His next scheduled appearance isnt until mid-December when he will host the Target World Challenge in California.
Meanwhile rumors of the demise of Woods professional relationship with teacher Hank Haney remain greatly exaggerated.
I am still on the payroll, Haney declared earlier this week.
Haney and Woods have spoken by phone frequently since the Presidents Cup. Woods has not gotten the itch to start practicing again. When he does, Haney said, I am sure we will put in some good work.
Haney has been spending much of his time with his wife, Jerilynn, who is successfully recovering from an illness. He also has been focusing a lot of his attention on his IJGA Academy in Hilton Head, S.C.

Haney, who is understandably sensitive to criticism that Woods has become less accurate with the driver in his hand since the two began working together, has put together a stack of statistics that chart Woods progress over the last five years.
Haneys research shows Woods is 9.1 yards longer off the tee than he was five years ago while losing just 6.67 per cent in driving accuracy. World No. 2 Phil Mickelson, by comparison, is 9.2 yards longer but has lost 9.57 per cent in accuracy.
Most improved, among the top players on Haneys chart, are Ernie Els (+18.5 yards and -7.01 per cent in accuracy) and Adam Scott (+14.3 yards and -2.87 per cent in accuracy).
Do you think you could make the case that Tiger is one of the straightest, longest hitters in the game today? Haney asked. Then again, we all know that despite how much everyone wants to talk about accuracy, it doesnt mean a lot.

An examination of the driving statistics for the players currently 1-10 in the Official World Golf Ranking is, arguably, even more favorable to Woods than Haneys data.
Three things:
  • First, nobody currently in the world top 10 is averaging more yards off the tee than Woods.
  • Second, only three players currently in the world top 10 (Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker and K.J. Choi) have been more accurate off the tee this year than Woods.
  • Third, nobody currently in the world top 10 is ranked higher in total driving than Woods.
    For the record, Woods currently ranks 14th in driving distance on the PGA TOUR at 302.4 yards and 149th in driving accuracy at 59.83 per cent. He is tied for 49th in total driving with Chris Tidland.
    Chris Tidland currently sits at the No. 402 spot in the world rankings, which is part of the reason Haney also has little use for the formula that determines total driving.

    The Fall Series has been a boon to the Mercedes-Benz Championship, adding recent winners Mike Weir, Justin Leonard and Chad Campbell to the field for the event that will kick off the 2008 PGA TOUR schedule.
    Mike is always a big draw with Canadian fans here, said tournament chairman Gary Planos. He gets galleries as big as anyone. Particularly in recent times now that the Canadian dollar has improved against the U.S. dollar.
    Meanwhile, there has been something of a buzz from those who think Planos field should and could be bigger. Right now there are 33 players who have qualified for the 2008 edition.
    It has been suggested that getting more players in the field would offset the occasional absence of World No. 1 Tiger Woods and the repeated absences of World No. 2 Phil Mickelson.
    We like our format, Planos said, adding that no change is expected.
    Meanwhile Planos reports the greens on the back nine of the Bay Course at Kapalua will be completely renovated for the LPGAs 2008 debut at Kapalua. The Kapalua LPGA Classic will be the third Hawaii event on the LPGAs schedule next year.

    Jay Williamson, safe for next year at more than $825,000 in earnings, has received a sponsors exemption for next weeks Fall Series closer at Disney.
    His caddie, for the entire tournament, will be Golf Channels own Kraig Kann in a kind of self-styled bagmans busmans holiday.
    Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.