After Further Review: Wie, Kuchar, MAJ in spotlight

By Jason SobelApril 21, 2014, 2:15 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on The Most Interesting Golfer In the World winning in his Champions Tour debut (only serving to make him More Interesting), Matt Kuchar breaking through for a win after a series of disappointments and the marketing opportunities open to the LPGA in light of recent events, including Michelle Wie's win on Saturday.


Miguel Angel Jimenez doesn’t win trophies; trophies win him. The amount of The Most Interesting Golfer In the World memes in the past two weeks alone have been enough to saturate an unwitting Twitter feed, but lost behind the classic mirrored shades and the constantly cool persona is the fact that Jimenez still owns plenty of game. At age 50, he won his Champions Tour debut this week by two strokes, which should come as little surprise fresh off his Masters title contention seven days earlier. He still hits a ton of fairways and greens – and while his goal of making the European Ryder Cup team might sound lofty, it’s entirely possible. Like the fine wine that Jimenez knows all too well, he’s proving that sometimes golfers also get better with age. And there’s nothing cooler than that. - Jason Sobel

Matt Kuchar proved there is no shelf life for disappointment. After coming up short at the Shell Houston Open, where he began the final round with a four-stroke lead but closed with an even-par 72 and lost a playoff to Matt Jones, and at the Masters, where he finished in the top 10 the last three years in his quest for his first major championship, Kuchar rebounded on Sunday at the RBC Heritage with a closing 64 for his first victory of the season. “He doesn’t look in the rearview mirror,” said Kuchar’s swing coach Chris O’Connell. Nor does it seem like much bothers him. - Rex Hoggard

Women’s golf is doing its best to reach beyond its niche audience and win new followers this year. LPGA commissioner Mike Whan couldn’t give his marketing department a better script to sell the tour than what they’ve got to work with now. Michelle Wie wins the Lotte Championship on Saturday, following Lexi Thompson’s victory over Wie in a duel at the Kraft Nabisco. If somebody from WWE were hired to fix tour events to heighten excitement in the women’s game, that’s what the hired gun might have come up with.

The only way the casting and scripting get more brilliantly appealing this next week is if Cheyenne Woods suddenly appears on the Swinging Skirts field list and wins with her uncle Tiger following her in the final round.

With Paula Creamer winning this year, sinking that dramatic 70-foot putt in a playoff at the HSBC, with the controversy created over Golf Digest putting Paulina Gretzky on its cover, with some angst going public over the U.S. Women’s Open following the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, the women’s game is doing quite nicely breaking beyond its traditionally tight borders. Now that Whan has rebuilt the women’s schedule, his focus is on building tour purses. If the women can build new interest with all this new publicity, he might not have to sell the idea quite so hard. The women’s game will sell itself. – Randall Mell

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Watch: Tiger throws dart, pours in birdie at 8

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 18, 2018, 6:31 pm

Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off 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 we walked in.

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.

Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at 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.

(More coming...)

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 18, 2018, 5:00 pm

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

By Ryan LavnerMarch 18, 2018, 1:50 pm

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.

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

“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.”

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Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders

By Randy SmithMarch 18, 2018, 2:45 am

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.”

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

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.