Notes: Woods still wants to play, not broadcast

By Doug FergusonDecember 29, 2015, 7:12 pm

No one knows for sure when Tiger Woods will compete again, and that includes Woods. Still, there were indications earlier this month he wasn't ready to retire.

Woods watched from a golf cart at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. He also spent time in the TV booth, as he often does during his tournament. Woods might not always have a lot to offer in an interview, but he's a natural talking about golf. He is so good in the booth that someone jokingly suggested perhaps he should replace Johnny Miller when he's done playing.

Woods laughed.

''Talking about golf comes easy to me. I can do that all day,'' he said. ''But I don't want to sit around and watch golf up there. I want to be out here.''

The waiting game will continue into 2016, and who knows how much longer?

In the meantime, there were plenty of activity and anecdotes that went beyond Jordan Spieth's two majors, the rise of the next generation and Woods' future.

So much has been made of the high school class of 2011, and it came into focus during a practice round at the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook. Spieth joined Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger and Ollie Schniederjans for a (small) money game on the back nine.

Golf Channel wanted a shot of them all standing next to each other on the 11th hole, and one of them got the idea they should line up in order of their age. They were all 21 at the time. Spieth was in his third year on tour. Thomas and Berger were PGA Tour rookies. Schniederjans was still at Georgia Tech, playing that week on an exemption.

They started calling out their birthdays to get in the right order. The youngest of the bunch?


This was one week after he cleared $9 million in career earnings.

Unlike the PGA Tour's clandestine policy of discipline, the European Tour will confirm when a player has been fined, even though it might not disclose the amount.

That much was evident when word surfaced at Doral that Rory McIlroy had hurled a 3-iron into the lake to the left of the eighth fairway in the Cadillac Championship. McIlroy is a member of both tours.

A few British journalists inquired about a fine, leading to a radio exchange between two European Tour officials working the event.

''Is throwing a club a fine?'' came the query.

European Tour chief referee Andy McFee, sitting in a cart near the 11th hole, replied that it depended on the circumstances. A player who tossed his club in the direction of his golf bag, for example, might not be disciplined.

Long pause.

''In that case,'' the other official said, ''it appears his bag would have to be at the bottom of the lake.''

Not long after Augusta National Golf Club opened, co-founder Clifford Roberts wanted members to wear their green jackets during the tournament so that they would be easily recognized as reliable sources of information for the patrons.

It's a tradition that still lives today.

During the tournament, Augusta National member Geoff Yang (also working as a rules official) was in a cart to the right of the ninth fairway in his green jacket. About that time, a man approached and politely said to Yang, ''Can I ask you a question?''

Certainly, Yang replied.

''Do you have the time?''

OK, maybe this wasn't what Roberts had in mind.

Spieth and Justin Leonard were on the putting green at the Memorial when Leonard mentioned he didn't play the Byron Nelson Championship this year for the first time. This was a big deal. Leonard, among the prominent players to come out of Dallas, has never fared well at his hometown event.

Spieth was surprised and asked Leonard if he caught any grief.

''No. Because you played,'' Leonard told the Masters champion. ''So thank you. I owe you dinner.''

Spieth smiled, slowly nodded and went back to work on his putting. Moments later, two representatives from a PGA Tour event approached Spieth to introduce themselves. Spieth stopped what he was doing to shake their hands, and the two men felt comfortable enough to keep talking. A few seconds turned into a few minutes.

Leonard, in his 22nd year on tour, saw what was going on and walked over Spieth.

''Hey, Jordan, I need to tell you something,'' he said, placing his hand on Spieth's shoulder.

The two representatives recognized the private moment, thanked Spieth for his time, said goodbye and walked away.

Leonard looked right at Spieth and said in a low voice, ''You're welcome. And now we're even.''

Anirban Lahiri showed class and grace at the Presidents Cup, where he patiently took every question on a 3-foot putt he missed that cost his team a chance to win.

He is capable of frustration, too, and he showed that at the Hero World Challenge when he said, ''If my mom had putted, she would have shot 65.'' The next day, he felt terrible about what he said (after making it clear that his mother doesn't play golf) without making excuses.

''That's probably the most embarrassing thing I've said in the media in my life,'' he said. ''I pride myself in how I carry myself and what I say, and that's nothing like I would like to come across as. Having said that, what's said is said.''

How he presents himself was clear at ''India Night,'' a party Hero Motor Corp. hosted at Albany. Lahiri dressed for the occasion - a red kurta and jobhburis, which are sandals he said can be found only in the northwest region of India.

''I have to thank my wife for that. She made sure I put it in my suitcase,'' he said. ''Hero is very much part of the family, and it was important for me to represent.''

He gets to represent the PGA Tour next year, and it should be happy to have him.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.