Whos No 1 Wait Just a Minute
It makes for great conversation, of course, and not much else. Whos No. 1? Who knows for sure?
It's unbelievable - it's just remarkable, said Joey Sindelar earlier this year.
I'm probably way off base, but I want to say it would kind of be like having the best of the 70s, 80s and 90s all happening at one time. We didn't have that many dominators during those years. There were one or two, and you're seeing five or six and there's more. There are five or six that could be No. 1.
Those are strong words, coming from someone who has been around since way back in 1984, 21 years ago. That was two years before Jack Nicklaus won his last Masters. Tom Watson was still a threat, Greg Norman was still a newcomer to the U.S. Nick Faldo, Fred Couples, Nick Price would be the top players in the world five or six years later, Seve Ballesteros and Colin Montgomerie were the top Europeans.
But Sindelar believes NOW is the time to be following golf. Its a period when several players are jumbled up atop the world rankings.
Tiger doesnt believe now is necessarily a unique time. Probably back in like '98, '99, when you had me, Phil, Ernie, Vijay, (David) Duval, Davis (Love) ' we were all winning numerous tournaments each and every year, he said.
But theres no doubt that this is a very special era, he believes. You know, Phil had a wonderful year (last year), Vijay had a great year and Ernie came as close as close gets to winning three majors in one year. Could have won all four, actually. Just one of those things where I think Goose was up there, as well. There's, like, five guys, Woods said.
Goosen realizes he has a lot of ground to make up, but he sees plenty of possibilities. He discussed the matter earlier in the year.
Yeah, I think there's a lot of players feeling that they have a bit of a chance now to get up there, he said. They know they are going to probably have a very good year or two good years to catch up like Vijay did with Tiger, or that Tiger didn't play his best golf really to keep his points.
Vijay is playing the best golf of his life now. How long he can keep it up we don't know. He's obviously very determined to stay there the way he's working out and the way he's still practicing, but I feel Tiger's going to be a lot better this year than he was last year. I feel he's more set in his game at the moment and he's showing signs of playing better last year.
One player who wasnt mentioned, but who obviously has talent and youth on his side, is Sergio Garcia. Its difficult to believe Garcia is still only a few months past his 25th birthday. Hes been playing a full schedule in the majors since 1999, and has been a regular on the PGA Tour since he was just a 20-year-old in 2000. He has already won 14 times around the world, five on the PGA Tour.
Garcia is still five years or so away from his prime years. But he, too, can see a real battle shaping up for No. 1.
I think golf has been very fortunate for quite a while now. There's no doubt at the moment there's a lot of guys playing well, Sergio said.
Of course probably two or three years ago, Tiger was the one that was standing out. There were some other guys playing pretty well, but I think right now at the moment, there's a bigger group playing quite well. There's no doubt that it's exciting to see what's going to happen and, you know, see how everything is going to go around.
Fasten your seat belts because the ride to No. 1 may get a little bumpy. Too many guys are too deserving. Is golf going through another golden age?
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Watch: Tiger birdies 3 of 4, then goes OB
Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off in his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.
Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which he walked in.
Walking in the par putt at No. 2. pic.twitter.com/zuSGZmVL3z— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 18, 2018
A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.
A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.
Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.
Tiger gets it to 9-under.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 18, 2018
He's 4 shots back. pic.twitter.com/cAZtM14SlJ
Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at the par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.
His momentum was slowed by his first bogey of the day at No. 9, the product of an errant drive and its ensuing complications. As a result, Woods made the turn 2 under on his round, 9 under for the week, and still five off the lead, like when he started the day.
Drive on 9 is approximately 824 yards off-line right. Approximately.— Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) March 18, 2018
Slides by. Bogey. That’s deflating. Turns at -9 and needs to go lights-out coming home to have any chance.— Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) March 18, 2018
But Woods wouldn't wait long to make up for his mistake, immediately responding with another flagged iron and another birdie at No. 10.
He continued his assault on Bay Hill's par-5s at the 12th, getting up and down from the sand for a birdie-4 that moved him to 11 under par, just two off the lead.
And with this roll at 13 giving him his third birdie in four holes, the charge was officially on, with Woods just one back.
Just when it looked like Woods was primed for a late run at his 80th PGA Tour victory, Woods stepped to the tee at the par-5 16th, where he had missed wide right three days in a row, and sniped his drive out of bounds into a backyard miles left.
Uh oh. This is left...— Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) March 18, 2018
Tiger picked the absolute worst time to stop going right on 16. Mercy.— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) March 18, 2018
He made 4 on his second ball for a bogey-6 to drop back to 11 under, three behind.
Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational
Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.
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McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course
ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.
McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
“I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.
“I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”
This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.
A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.
McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.
“It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”
As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.
“It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”
Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders
PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.
She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.
Her confidence is high.
“Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”
Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.
Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.
“One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”
Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.
“I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”
Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.
“I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”
That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.