Agent: Woods focused on 'healthy, active lifestyle'

By Will GrayApril 20, 2017, 10:24 pm

In the wake of his most recent back surgery, Tiger Woods is focused on returning to a "healthy, active lifestyle" according to his agent.

Woods underwent an anterior lumbar interbody fusion Wednesday, his fourth back surgery since April 2014. The procedure was designed to alleviate spasms and lower back and leg pain that have continued to plague Woods, and it's expected to effectively end his 2017 golf season.

According to Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, this latest surgery is "dramatically different" from the previous three procedures and one that Woods hopes will lead to a more permanent improvement in his overall quality of life.

"A fusion, while it sounds very serious, is meant to be a fix. A long-term fix," Steinberg told GolfChannel.com. "He is looking forward to life without pain, looking forward to day-to-day without pain. He's looking forward to playing with his kids without pain, playing golf without pain. He knows he's got a long road, but there's a huge sense of relief right now."


Timeline: Look back at Woods' injuries


Steinberg said that Woods has consulted with various doctors and physicians "over the past several weeks." While he did not officially withdraw from the Masters until days before the opening round, Steinberg explained that that decision was rooted in Woods' high regard for the event.

"Had it not been the Masters, had it not been a tournament that was so near and dear to him ... then I doubt he would've realistically thought he had a chance," Steinberg said. "But because of the local knowledge, and what that tournament means to him, he was going to give it a go."

Woods turned 41 in December, and now faces a recovery that his doctors estimate could last up to six months. While he hopes to return to competition once healthy, Steinberg reiterated that golf is now only part of the equation.

"His entire emphasis is quality of life and a healthy, active lifestyle," he said. "That includes living day-to-day pain-free, playing with his kids, playing competitive golf, going out in the backyard and having fun with his friends. Getting on his boat and doing what he wants in the water. It's all of that. Living a healthy, active lifestyle is absolutely the priority, and kids and golf and social and all of that's a part of it."

With Woods' next PGA Tour start again a matter of if, not when, Steinberg insists that his client will continue to adhere to the advice and orders of medical professionals when it comes to plotting a possible return to the course.

"I can tell you that one of the things Tiger has learned in the past several years is listen to your doctor's mouth," he said. "So whatever they tell him, whatever they recommend, that's what he can do so he can get back to that healthy, active lifestyle."

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PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

PGA Tour:

The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

LPGA:

We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

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Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm

Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.