Miller: Woods needs to temper comeback expectations

By Randall MellMay 5, 2016, 7:32 pm

Johnny Miller isn’t expecting Tiger Woods to make his return to golf at The Players Championship next week, but it isn’t Tiger’s swing he most wants to see overhauled when he does come back.

It’s Tiger’s expectations.

Miller: “If I had any advice for Tiger when he comes back, it’s that he should say, `I’ve been working really hard on my golf and it feels good in practice, but I really can't tell what I'm going to do when I tee it up. I hope to just make some cuts and build from there and see if I can get my game inching back to where it used to be,’ instead of saying, `I came here to win.’ I really think that puts too much expectation on him. If he could just go the other direction, which is not in his makeup by the way, but it would be good just to try to make the cut and do well on the weekend and just build and get your confidence back, because that other route sounds heroic, but it's just so much pressure. The eyes on Tiger are there every possible minute.

Miller: Spieth can overcome, but Masters collapse will 'haunt him'

“It's just so hard being Tiger Woods. It's not that hard being Tiger Woods if you are at the top of your game and you're winning everything and you are out driving everybody and outplaying everybody and out-chipping and out-putting everybody and gutting it out at the finish and making the pressure putts. It was probably fun to be Tiger then, but at this stage, coming back, it is just too much pressure.”

Woods, 40, who underwent a second microdiscectomy surgery in September and a follow-up procedure a month later, has not played since tying for 10th at the Wyndham Championship nine months ago.

Miller would like to see Woods make his return at The Open Championship this summer, where he could make his way around the course with a variety of shots. Miller believes Woods must be dealing with a lot internal doubt stemming from his struggles and injuries and long layoff.

“In the back of his mind, he is thinking `I might really embarrass myself,’” Miller said.

Miller has watched Woods struggle the last couple years in ways he never expected to see, including going through chipping yips. Miller said struggles like that remain in the memory bank.

“Those things haunt you,” Miller said. “The chipping yips are sort of always in the back of your mind, that `I hope I don't skull it or chunk it.’ There's a lot going on in his head, and he is so darn smart that he never forgets all the great things he does, but, conversely, he never forgets the things he does poorly. For a lot of guys, they don’t hardly remember what they ate for breakfast two hours earlier. It's hard when you are really smart and you remember all of the tire blowouts and things. He does do that. You can’t get them out of your head.”

Miller says Woods should look at his return as the beginning of something new.

“It’s almost like he is 16 or 17 years old again,” Miller said. “He's almost got to say, `OK, I have a new career.’ He is starting a new career. There's no doubt about it.”

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.