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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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.