Tiger still mulling swing change

By Doug FergusonAugust 27, 2010, 3:34 am

PARAMUS, N.J. – Tiger Woods spent two days with instructor Sean Foley in Florida before coming to the Barclays, this after the Canadian-born coach worked with him during the PGA Championship.

Still to be decided is whether Woods wants to revamp his swing.

From past experience, Woods knows that takes time. He overhauled his swing under Butch Harmon after the 1997 Masters, and it took nearly two years before he felt he had it down. Another overhaul under Hank Haney took about that long.

“That’s the reason why the hesitation, because I know it’s going to take a long time,” Woods said after opening with a 65 at Ridgewood. “If it takes less than that, that’s still a long time.”

Even so, some of the drills appear to be working.

Foley had caddie Steve Williams hold the end of a wedge over Woods’ right ear at Whistling Straits to keep his head from moving. During his pro-am round, Woods tucked a golf glove under his right armpit to keep his arms more connected.

The payoff was not just the 65. Woods said his session on the range Thursday morning was not going particularly well, yet he knew what was wrong and was able to fix it.

“I had a week-and-a-half of prep time before here. I get off to a bad start in warm-up, at least I know how to fix it. And then once I fix it, I was able to go out and play,” he said. “But if that happened at the PGA, I wouldn’t have played like I did today.”

The turnaround was remarkable. Woods missed only one fairway and essentially only two greens (one was on the fringe).

There has been talk that Foley’s teaching are similar to the “stack-and-tilt” method taught by Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett, whose clients have included Mike Weir, Dean Wilson and Aaron Baddeley over the years.

“There are some parts of it that do look like it,” Woods said. “But there are other parts that are very, very different.”

Woods is not sure when he will make up his mind. He is getting through the PGA Tour playoffs, however long they last for him, then most likely the Ryder Cup, then a two-week trip to Shanghai and Melbourne in November, concluding with his Chevron World Challenge the first week of December.

“It’s something I’m still mulling over,” he said. “When I do commit, I will commit to it. I just haven’t figured out which way I’m going to go with it yet.”


FOWLER PENALTY: Rickie Fowler stepped over a tap-in par that turned much more complicated and cost him a penalty shot.

On the par-3 second hole – his 11th of the opening round – Fowler quickly backed away when he noticed his ball move ever so slightly on the green. Then, it became a matter of whether he had addressed the ball.

“I kind of one-footed it when it moved,” he said.

With his right foot planted, he placed the putter about an inch behind the ball and was moving his left foot into position when the ball moved. The wind was blowing, but Fowler attributed the movement to being in a footprint.

“I saw it move as soon as I got over the ball,” he said.

After a discussion with rules officials, Fowler replaced the ball and tapped in. Then, he placed another ball in the spot as a provisional and tapped in, depending on what the ruling was going to be. Officials reviewed it on tape, and determined it to be a one-shot penalty.

Fowler wound up with a 71.


TAYLOR’S YEAR: Unlike the last two years, Vaughn Taylor gets to play more than one week in the FedEx Cup playoffs. He didn’t qualify last year, and made it through only the one event the year before.

Now, he comes into the playoffs at No. 38, and his opening 65 sure didn’t hurt.

Taylor started that high on the strength of four top 10s, the most memorable his playoff loss in the Houston Open that cost him a trip to the Masters in his hometown of Augusta.

“It kind of ate at me for a little while,” he said. “It was hard to sleep sometimes at night. You always think what you could have done differently, and I would have loved to have had that playoff again.”

The most peculiar part of his year was a tie for 35th in the Reno-Tahoe Open, not the result but the reason.

“I had a nice stretch there for about a month and went out to Reno and just struggled with the altitude,” he said. “Just couldn’t figure out how far the ball was going.”

This is unusual because Taylor’s only two victories were at the Reno-Tahoe Open.

Why was altitude a problem this time?

“I can’t figure it out the last two years,” he said. “Just clueless. Maybe I got lucky two years.”

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Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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