Dubai Win Exposes Victory Flaw

By George WhiteFebruary 7, 2006, 5:00 pm
OK, heres a little quiz for you: After his victory Sunday in Dubai, how many wins does Tiger Woods now have?
Is the answer 48? Or 47?
Actually, its neither. The correct answer is 57.
Woods now has 47 wins ' which hasn't changed since his victory at San Diego a couple of weeks ago. But thats just PGA Tour and majors wins. His 10 other wins have come elsewhere.
Tiger Woods
Just how many victories does Tiger Woods now have? 47? 57? Depends on who you ask.
Where? Well, Dubai, for instance. Throw in some more European Tour wins, some on the Japanese Tour, a couple of minor victories in other Asian venues and they add up to much more than just the PGA Tour list of wins. Tiger's list of wins don't all add up to his PGA Tour wins. But, most have been legitimate victories against good competition.
Sunday was most assuredly a legitimate victory. It came in a playoff with Ernie Els. It came in a tournament with three of the worlds top 5 playing. It was as sparkling a field as perhaps half the U.S. tour events have.
And it will be as if Feb. 5, 2006, never existed. Thats a shame.
Watching the telecast, I was struck by the nonsense of it all. Woods received his appearance fee, granted. But the win wont count if he someday should approach Sam Sneads tour record of 82. And no organization or body in the world is charged with keeping such information.
Why did Woods go to Dubai? Their might be a dozen reasons why, but as a laymen, let me share with you what I would expect to be the reasons:
(1) His sponsors (American Express can do millions of dollars worth of business in the Middle East; Buick gets a shot of much-needed exposure east of the Atlantic; Nike likewise);
(2) The competition (this tournament always lures the best in non-American players; and at this point in his career, Woods is all about beating the best competition available);
(3) Appearance money (yes, this is a lesser factor, but still its important. Reports are that Woods received $2-3 million, in addition to his $400,000 winners check and an estimated $50,000 figure for jet fuel, etc.)
This was an important tournament on the world golf scene, and its a pity that it counts nothing on Tigers resume of events won here in the U.S. Its a European Tour event, and while the European Tour certainly isnt a trivial matter with the PGA Tour, the American tour is hardly ready to include victories on that circuit along with victories in the U.S. Goodness knows, it was only recently the PGA Tour recognized the British Open.
Tiger, of course, is hardly the only one affected by this. And for that matter, the European Tour doesnt count American wins on its list of victories, either.
Did you know that Seve Ballesteros had 50 wins on the European Tour? Five of those 50 make the American win list because they came in major championships ' two Masters and three British Opens. But if you want to know how great Seve was, you certainly wont know by just reading the American record books. Seve only gets credit for his wins in the majors, plus his four other U.S. victories ' Greensboro in 78, Westchester in 83 and 88, New Orleans in 85.
Ernie Els? Ernie is credited with having won 15 victories on the PGA Tour. But he has won 19 times in Europe, not counting his two U.S. Open victories and one British Open. And he has won 20 more times at other tournaments around the globe ' a total of 54 times.
All of these wins, of course, should not be considered equal to a PGA Tour win. Some wins are in minor events in a players home country. All the American wins arent counted, either. A Nationwide Tour event, for example, gets placed in a different category. And some of the foreign tour wins are against competition that would approximate what a Nationwide event would have.
The point is, though, that there should be a better way of recognizing a players victories - and by that I mean meaningful victories. Woods should be recognized for the win last weekend, certainly, as well as six or seven other international wins. If he comes close to Sneads victory total, the win at Dubai certainly should be included. But - it won't.
What should be the criteria? Who should be in charge of selecting what wins we should count? I dont know ' but someone, somewhere should have a method for recognizing wins that are of a competitive nature.
Did Greg Norman win only 20 times ' his number of PGA Tour wins plus majors? Or did he win 88 times, the number of wins in the U.S., PLUS international victories. Eighty-eight is too big a number, but if you consider that, say, 30 of his international wins were in important events, then youve reached in the neighborhood of 50.
Isnt it time that someone, some organization, compiled a list of meaningful victories? Isnt it time that we really could compare, say, Colin Montgomery to Fred Couples? Who has the better career?
Of course, we run into the age-old problem at some stage of the comparison ' trying to compare Sam Sneads victories to Tiger Woods is like trying to compare Babe Ruths home runs to Michael Jordans total points ' its nonsensical. But the human animal is all about comparisons. And wouldnt you like the playing field to be somewhat equal between players of the same sport?
Give Tiger the win. And give Chris DiMarco credit for winning in Abu Dhabi this month. Come up with a way to add ALL the victories together, not just victories from this tour or that tour. Golf has become global. Lets have statistics that are global.
Email your thoughts to George White
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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.