Golf Talk Live - Chi Chi Rodriguez Transcript Segment 1

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 10, 1997, 5:00 pm
TEASE

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ HAS EARNED 30 TOUR TITLES ON THE PGA AND SENIOR PGA TOURS AND WE'RE STILL COUNTING. HE'S ONE OF GOLF'S MOST VERSATILE AND COURAGEOUS SHOT MAKERS AND ONE OF THE GAME'S GREATEST AND CREATIVE ENTERTAINERS BUT HE'LL BE REMEMBERED BEST AND MOST LOVED FOR HIS GIFTS OF TIME AND COMMITMENT TO YOUNG PEOPLE WHO WOULD HAVE NEVER KNOWN THE GAME'S PLEASURES IF NOT FOR THE GENEROSITY OF HEART AND SPIRIT OF CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ. HE FOUGHT HIS WAY PAST THE SUGAR CANE FIELDS OF PUERTO RICO WHERE HE HELPED HIS FATHER PUT FOOD ON THE FAMILY TABLE. HE SHOT 67 AS A 12 YEAR OLD AND LEARNED TO USE HIS GIFT OF HAND EYE COORDINATION AND HIS DEEPLY DEVELOPED WORK ETHIC TO TRANSFORM HIMSELF INTO A WORLD CLASS PLAYER. HE'S WON TOURNAMENTS AND HEARTS WHERE EVER THE GAME IS PLAYED. HE'S BEEN HONORED FOR GIVING, HE'S BEEN HONORED FOR PLAYING. THE CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ YOUTH FOUNDATION IS HIS LEGACY THAT CHANGES THE FUTURE BY INTRODUCING OPTIMISM AND OPPORTUNITY INTO THE HEARTS OF LIFE'S UNCHOSEN ONES. JACK NICKLAUS CONSIDERS CHI CHI THE GAME'S FINEST AMBASSADOR OF GOOD WILL. HE MAY ONLY BE FIVE FOOT SEVEN AND A HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FIVE POUNDS BUT IT'S FIVE FOOT SEVEN AND A HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FIVE POUNDS OF HEART AND GOODNESS.

PETER KESSLER

WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE. I'M PETER KESSLER. GREAT PLEASURE AND HONOR TO INTRODUCE YOU TO ONE OF THE REALLY NICE MEN IN GOLF, ONE OF IT'S GREATEST SHOT MAKERS, ONE OF IT'S NICEST PEOPLE, CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ. WHAT A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU HERE SIR.

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ

PETER IT'S AWFULLY NICE UH BEING ON YOUR SHOW. I REALLY APPRECIATE YOU, YOU UH INVITING ME TO IT.

PETER KESSLER

I THINK THAT PEOPLE KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE DONE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE ON AN INTERNATIONAL BASIS BUT I THINK WHAT PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU IS WHAT A GREAT SON YOU WERE TO YOUR PARENTS. FOR YOUR DAD, FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN HE WOULD COME IN IN THE EVENING IN PUERTO RICO, YOU WOULD TAKE OFF HIS SHOES, YOU WOULD WASH AND YOU WOULD RUB HIS FEET FOR HIM WOULDN'T YOU?

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ

ALL THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS WE DID THAT. WE HAD THE UH, MY FATHER WAS A VERY POOR MAN FINANCIALLY UH BUT HE WAS SPIRITUALLY VERY, VERY WEALTHY. MY FATHER HAD THE LOVE OF ALL THE KIDS AND THE RESPECT THAT HE NEEDED AND WHEN HE USED TO GET FROM WORK, HE WORKED SOMETIMES 16 HOURS A DAY, SOMETIMES 18 HOURS. NEVER MADE OVER $18.00 A WEEK. AFTER 30 YEARS, HE NEVER MISSED A DAY OF WORK, HE GOT A HEART ATTACK AND THE GUY FIRED HIM, BUT WE FORGIVE AND MY DAD WHEN HE USED TO COME FROM WORK, ALL THE KIDS WERE USED TO WORK, WAIT FOR HIM AT THE DOOR LIKE AMISH PEOPLE YOU KNOW. THE RESPECT AND ADMIRATION FOR THAT MAN. HE USED TO SIT ON HIS ROCKING CHAIR, WE'D TAKE OFF HIS SHOES. WELL NOT SHOES HE WORE BOOTS. WE PULLED THE BOOTS OUT AND SOCKS. WE'D GET SOME HOT WATER, PUT HIS FEET IN, GET THE SOAP, WASH HIS FEET UH ANOTHER BROTHER WOULD DRY HIM OUT, JULIO, UH JESUS WOULD MASSAGE HIM. MY SISTER WOULD CUT HIS CORNS. I MEAN UH ALL OF US TOOK CARE OF OUR DAD.

PETER KESSLER

NOW HE DIED RELATIVELY EARLY IN YOUR PLAYING CAREER, 1963. WHAT WOULD HE HAVE THOUGHT OF THE MAN THAT YOU BECAME?

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ

HE WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT I WAS UH DOING WHAT HE WOULD HAVE LIKED TO DO HAD HE HAD ANY MONEY BECAUSE MY DADDY, HE, HE AND MY MOTHER, THEY SH..., THEY SHARE EVERYTHING THAT THEY HAVE WITH THE KIDS.

PETER KESSLER

YOUR MOM, HER PROUDEST MOMENT OR PERHAPS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT WAS WHEN YOU WON I GUESS THE DENVER OPEN IN 1963 AND WERE ABLE TO, FOR THE FIRST TIME, BUY HER A HOME OUT OF YOUR OWN POCKET.

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ

YES MY MOTHER WAS LIVING IN THE BRONX IN NEW YORK AND I, I THOUGHT THAT SHE WAS RICH BECAUSE ALL THE PUERTO RICANS USED TO GO DOWN THERE WITH A NICE SUIT AND TIE YOU KNOW AND UH AND, AND SOME MONEY YOU KNOW AND I THOUGHT, I WAS NAIVE YOU KNOW AND I WAS IN THE ARMY AND I CAME TO SEE HER IN NEW YORK FROM, FROM OKLAHOMA. I CAME TO SPEND 14 DAYS WITH HER AND UH WHEN I GOT TO HER APARTMENT I SAID MOTHER WHERE DO YOU LIVE? AND SHE SAYS HERE. I SAID YOU CAN'T LIVE HERE. SHE SAYS THIS IS WHERE I LIVE SON. I SAID I'M GOING BACK TO OKLAHOMA TOMORROW. SHE SAYS YOU CAME TO SPEND UH CHRISTMAS, AND NEW YEARS WITH ME. I SAID NO I'M GOING BACK AND UH SHE SAYS OKAY. I SAID I'M GOING TO GO BACK AND I'M GOING TO PRACTICE GOLF SO I CAN WIN A GOLF TOURNAMENT SOME DAY AND GET YOU OUT OF HERE AND I RODE A TRAIN FROM GRAND CENT..., GRAND CENTRAL STATION ALL THE WAY TO FORCILE (???) OKLAHOMA AND WHEN I GOT THERE UH A GUY THAT I USED TO CADDIE FOR NAMED GIM BISSUM BAKKA SENT ME A SET, A SET OF CLUBS THAT I LIKED AND EVERY BALL THAT I HIT ON THAT RANGE I WAS BUYING MY MOTHER THAT HOME AND UH WHEN I WON THE DENVER OPEN I GOT FIFTY THREE HUNDRED BUCKS. I GOT HER OUT OF THE BRONX AND SHE WENT TO PUERTO RICO AND SHE LIVED THE REST OF HER LIFE VERY, VERY HAPPY. OF COURSE MY SISTERS AND BROTHERS, THEY CHIPPED IN TOO TO HELP BUY, BUY HER THAT HOME.

PETER KESSLER

THE, YOU WERE NOT THE ONLY TALENTED YOUNG MAN IN PUERTO RICO BUT YOU WERE ONE OF THE FEW TO MAKE IT OUT AND BECOME A WORLD CLASS SUCCESS. WHAT DOES TALENT MEAN IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE PERSEVERANCE TO BACK IT UP AND MAKE IT HAPPEN?

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ

WELL PETER YOU HAVE TO HI, TO HAVE THE RIGHT BREAKS IN LIFE. YOU KNOW I HAD, I HAD ALL THE, THE GOOD BREAKS. I WORKED HARD FOR IT BUT I HAD A LOT OF GOOD BREAKS. THERE WERE GUYS FOR EXAMPLE, WE HAD A CADDIE CALLED CARMER... CARMELLO Y SALLES UH CARMELLO USED TO SHOOT IN THE 20'S PLAYING NINE HOLES. I MEAN HE, HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN UH AS GOOD A PLAYER AS I EVER SAW. HE COULD CARRY THE BALL OVER 300 YARDS IN THE AIR AND HE WOULD HAVE BEEN A CINCH TO MAKE IT AS A BIG NAME PRO AND HE WENT TO KOREA AND HE GOT HURT AND UH CARMELLO IS PROBABLY LIVING I THINK IN SAN DIEGO NOW AND HE'S GOT TO BE ABOUT 73 YEARS OLD BUT WHEN HE CAME BACK YOU KNOW HE WASN'T THE SAME MAN. HE GOT HURT IN THE WAR SO HE COULDN'T PLAY UH UH ANY MORE GOLF. HE COULDN'T PLAY GOOD ENOUGH BUT WE HAVE UH, JESUS CARMONA, WHO, ERACIO CARMONA WHO USED TO BEAT ME ALL THE TIME AND THE WAY HE MANAGED, ACTUALLY I WAS NOT IN THE TOP TEN PLAYERS OF THAT CLUB BUT I PERSEVERED. YOU KNOW WHEN, WHEN THEY UH WIN THEY, THEY TAKE IT EASY. WHEN I LOST I WANT TO WORK HARD TO TRY AND BEAT THEM AND I NEVER DID BEAT THEM. I NEVER WON THE CADDIE CHAMPIONSHIP SO THOSE, THOSE GUYS WERE GREAT, GREAT PLAYERS.

PETER KESSLER

HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT TO YOUR DEVELOPMENT AS A PLAYER AND TO YOUR HAND IRON COORDINATION THAT, YOU WERE FORCED TO NOT USE GOLF CLUBS AS A KID, BUT YOUR FIRST GOLF CLUB WAS REALLY THE LIMB OF A GUAVA TREE WAS IT NOT?

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ

YEAH I USED TO PUT THE, TAKE THE UH THE LIMB AND PUT A, PUT A PIPE THROUGH IT YOU KNOW AND THEN TAKE A NAIL AND NAIL IT AT THE END. THEN I'D TAKE A TIN CAN. THEY USED TO BE, BE MADE OUT OF LEAD IN THOSE DAYS. I'D TAKE A, A LEAD BALL AND PUT IT RIGHT ON THE CAN. THEN I'D TAKE A HAMMER, I'D HAMMER IT AROUND. MAKE IT PERFECTLY ROUND. THEN I'D GO TO THE BASEBALL PARK AND I'D PLAY FROM HOME PLATE TO SECOND BASE AND I GOT SO I COULD GET THAT BALL, THAT UH CAN IN, IN THREE STROKES UH FROM HOME PLATE TO SECOND BASE INTO, INTO A LITTLE HOLE SO SOMETIMES IT'S BETTER TO, TO BE BORN THE HARD WAY BECAUSE WHEN YOU'RE BORN THE HARD WAY LIKE I WAS, AND LEE TREVINO AND ARNOLD PALMER, UH YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO PROVE. WHEN YOU'RE BORN WITH EVERYTHING YOU HAVE TO PROVE YOURSELF ALL THE TIME THAT'S WHY I THINK THAT JACK NICKLAUS IS SO GREAT BECAUSE HE WAS, HE WAS BORN WITH IT. HE HAD TO PROVE THAT HE COULD DO IT. JACK HAD PROVED THIS THROUGH OUT THE YEAR, HOW GREAT HE IS.

PETER KESSLER

YOU KNOW I, WE GOT TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH JACK RECENTLY AND HE WAS TELLING US OFF CAMERA THAT THE SPORT THAT HE WAS REALLY GREAT AT, FORGET GOLF, THE ONE THAT HE WAS REALLY GOOD AT WAS BASEBALL. THAT HE WAS A SWITCH HITTING CATCHER, AND THAT WAS REALLY YOUR FIRST LOVE TOO AND REALLY THE WAY YOU GOT YOUR NICK NAME WASN'T IT?

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ

YEAH I USED TO IDOLIZE A GUY WHEN I WAS A KID, I, I, I WATCH A, THEY, THEY TALK ABOUT GREAT BALL PLAYERS, BUT I, I WATCHED A GUY NAMED JOSH GIBSON WHEN I WAS A KID

PETER KESSLER

SURE

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ

CATCHER AND I NEVER SAW A PLAYER LIKE JOSH GIBSON. I, I THINK HE HIT LIKE 900 AND 74 HOME RUNS IN THE, IN THE

PETER KESSLER

IN THE NEGRO LEAGUES

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ

AFRO AMERICAN UH LEAGUE

PETER KESSLER

THAT'S RIGHT

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ

AND HE, HE DIED WHEN HE WAS 34 BUT I PLAYED BASEBALL WITH ROBERTO CLEMENTE. YOU KNOW WE HAD A MANAGER, WHAT A GENIUS HE WAS. ROBERTO CLEMENTE IN CLASS `A' BALL IN PUERTO RICO WAS OUR PINCH RUNNER AND HIS NAME WAS DAVID AND IF HE'S WATCHING THIS SHOW I WANT HIM TO KNOW THAT, WHAT A GENIUS HE WAS, ROBERTO CLEMENTE, PINCH RUNNING FOR CHI CHI RODRIQUEZ. I MEAN WHAT A GENIUS HE WAS, AND ROBERTO OF COURSE, YOU KNOW IS ONE OF THE GREATEST BALL PLAYERS UH OF ALL TIME. I PLAYED WITH ORLANDO SEPETA, I PLAYED WITH UH WITH ROMAND HERNANDEZ, YOU KNOW HE USED TO BE, RE, RELIEF PITCHER FOR THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES. I PLAYED WITH ALL THOSE GUYS, AND THE OLDER I GET, I GET I'M LIKE JACK, I'M LIKE JACK WITH BASEBALL. THE OLDER I GET THE BETTER I USED TO BE.

PETER KESSLER

WHEN A GUY WHO GOT 3000 HITS LIKE ROBERTO CLEMENTE, AS YOUR PINCH RUNNER, YOU MUST HAVE BEEN PRETTY GOOD. NO WONDER YOU LIKE BASEBALL. WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A VERY SHORT BREAK. WE WILL BE RIGHT BACK WITH CHI CHI AND YOU RIGHT AFTER THIS DON'T GO AWAY.

BREAK
 
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Veteran Golf Journalist Bradley S. Klein Joins Golf Channel Editorial Team

By Golf Channel Public RelationsFebruary 20, 2018, 4:15 pm

Klein to Lend 30-Plus Years in Golf Architecture, History and Travel Journalism to Golf Advisor, Golf Channel’s Digital Travel and Lifestyle Brand

Read Klein’s first column here

Veteran golf travel, history and architecture journalist Bradley S. Klein has joined Golf Channel’s editorial team as senior writer for Golf Advisor, the company’s ever-expanding digital destination for the traveling golfer, featuring more than 700,000 reviews of nearly 15,000 golf courses in 80 countries worldwide. Klein’s first column appears today and provides eight simple tips for becoming a golf course architecture junkie – how architecture can be more relevant to everyday golfers and design aspects to observe that can make a round of golf a more fulfilling experience.

With more than 40 years of varied experiences within the game of golf – a career that began as a caddie on the PGA Tour – Klein most recently served as the long-time architecture editor for Golfweek magazine and the founding editor of Superintendent News.

"I've been in love with golf course design since I was 11 years old and have been lucky over the years to find a platform where I can share that fascination with fellow golfers,” Klein said. “It's an amazing opportunity now for me to bring that passion and commitment to Golf Channel and its travel and lifestyle brand, Golf Advisor."

"We are extremely excited to have Brad join the Golf Advisor team. His unique contributions covering history and architecture will be an excellent complement to the travel content Matt Ginella brings to Golf Advisor and Golf Channel’s Morning Drive,” said Mike Lowe, vice president and general manager, Golf Advisor. “Brad’s reputation and experience in the industry make him a wonderful addition to our expanding golf travel and course design editorial team.”

Other members of Golf Advisor’s editorial team include: Brandon Tucker, Mike Bailey, Jason Deegan, Bill Irwin and Tim Gavrich.

Including assignments for Golfweek, Klein has written more than 1,500 feature articles on course architecture, resort travel, golf course development, golf history and the media for such other publications as Golf Digest, Financial Times, New York Times and Sports Illustrated. He has published seven books on golf architecture and history, including Discovering Donald Ross, winner of the USGA 2001 International Book Award. In 2015, Klein won the Donald Ross Award for lifetime achievement from the American Society of Golf Course Architects. He is well known within the golf industry and has served as a consultant on numerous golf course development and restoration projects, most recently the Old Macdonald course at acclaimed Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon.

Golf Advisor now includes the integration of Golf Vacation Insider and Golf Odyssey, two leading travel newsletters with a combined reach of more than a half million subscribers. Both newsletters joined Golf Channel’s portfolio of businesses in 2017 as part of the acquisition of Revolution Golf, golf’s largest direct-to-consumer digital platform offering video-based instruction and integrated e-commerce.

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Stock Watch: Fans getting louder, rowdier

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 20, 2018, 3:01 pm

Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

RISING

Bubba (+9%): Half of his 10 Tour titles have come at Augusta National and Riviera – that’s pretty stout. Though he can be maddening to cover because of his personality quirks, an in-form Watson is a must-watch.

Phil (+5%): For the first time in 11 years, Mickelson put together three consecutive top-6 finishes on Tour. Suddenly, another green jacket or that elusive U.S. Open title doesn’t seem so far away.

Kevin Na (+3%): How much fun would this guy be on a Ryder Cup team? He hits it dead straight – which will be important at Le Golf National, where the home team will narrow the fairways – and would drive the Europeans absolutely bonkers.

West Coast swing (+2%): From Jason Day to Gary Woodland to Ted Potter to Watson, the best coast produced a series of memorable comeback stories. And that’s always good news for those of us who get paid to write about the game.

South Korean talent (+1%): They already represent nine of the top 16 players in the world, and that doesn’t even include Jin Young Ko, who just won in her first start as an LPGA member.



FALLING

Steve Stricker Domination (-1%): Those predicting that he would come out and mop up on the PGA Tour Champions – hi there! – will be surprised to learn that he’s now 0-for-7 on the senior circuit (with five top-3s), after Joe Durant sped past him on the final day in Naples. The quality of golf out there is strong.

Patrick Cantlay’s routine (-2%): Never really noticed it before, but Cantlay ground to a halt during the final round, often looking at the cup six or seven times before finally stroking his putt. Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that his final-round scoring average is nearly four strokes higher than his openers.

Lydia Ko (-3%): Another wholesale change? Whatever is going on here – and it reeks of too much parental involvement – it’s not good for her short- or long-term future.

Tiger (-4%): It’s early, and he’s obviously savvy enough to figure it out, but nothing else in this comeback will matter if Woods can’t start driving it on the planet.

Fan behavior (-8%): Kudos to Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas for taking the Riviera spectators to task for their tiresome (and increasingly aggressive) calls after a player hits a shot. The only problem? PGA National’s par-3 17th could be even worse – the drunk fans are closer to the action, and the hole is infinitely more difficult than TPC Scottsdale’s 16th. Buckle up.

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USGA, R&A detail World Handicap System

By Randall MellFebruary 20, 2018, 2:00 pm

The USGA and the R&A released details Tuesday of a proposed new World Handicap System.

The WHS takes the six handicapping systems that exist worldwide and aligns them under a new single system.

The USGA and the R&A will govern the WHS with the six existing handicap authorities administering them locally. A two-year transition will begin to fully implement the new system in 2020.

The unified alignment is designed to make it easier to obtain and maintain a handicap and to make the handicap more equitable among golfers of differing abilities and genders around the world.

“For some time, we’ve heard golfers say, ‘I’m not good enough to have a handicap,’ or ‘I don’t play enough to have a handicap,’” USGA executive director Mike Davis said. “We want to make the right decisions now to encourage a more welcoming and social game.”

Davis said the effort is designed to both simplify and unify the handicap system.

“We’re excited to be taking another important step – along with modernizing golf’s rules – to provide a pathway into the sport, making golf easier to understand and more approachable and enjoyable for everyone to play,” he said.

R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said the new handicap system should make the game more inviting.

“We want to make it more attractive to golfers to obtain a handicap and strip away some of the complexity and variation which can be off-putting for newcomers,” Slumbers said. “Having a handicap, which is easier to understand and is truly portable around the world, can make golf much more enjoyable and is one of the unique selling points of our sport.”

The new WHS system aims to more accurately gauge the score a golfer is “reasonably capable of achieving” on any course around the world under normal conditions.

Key features of the WHS include:

*Flexibility in formats of play, allowing both competitive and recreational rounds to count for handicap purposes and ensuring that a golfer’s handicap is more reflective of potential ability.

*A minimal number of scores needed to obtain a new handicap; a recommendation that the number of scores needed to obtain a new handicap be 54 holes from any combination of 18-hole and 9-hole rounds, but with “some discretion available for handicapping authorities or national associations to set a different minimum within their own jurisdiction.”

*A consistent handicap that “is portable” from course to course and country to country through worldwide use of the USGA course and slope rating system, already used in more than 80 countries.

*An average-based calculation of a handicap, taken from the best eight out of the last 20 scores and “factoring in memory of previous demonstrated ability for better responsiveness and control.”

*A calculation that considers the impact that abnormal course and weather conditions might have on a player’s performance each day.  

*Daily handicap revisions, taking account of the course and weather conditions calculation.

*A limit of net double bogey on the maximum hole score (for handicapping purposes only). 

*A maximum handicap limit of 54.0, regardless of gender, to encourage more golfers to measure and track their performance to increase their enjoyment of the game.

The USGA and the R&A devised the WHS after a review of the handicap systems currently administered by six authorities around the world: Golf Australia, the Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU) in Great Britain and Ireland, the European Golf Association (EGA), the South African Golf Association (SAGA), the Argentine Golf Association (AAG) and the USGA. Those authorities, plus the Japan Golf Association and Golf Canada, collaborated in helping develop the new system.

The six handicapping authorities represent approximately 15 million golfers in 80 countries who currently maintain a golf handicap.  

“While the six existing handicap systems have generally worked very well locally, on a global basis, their different characteristics have sometimes resulted in inconsistency, with players of the same ability ending up with slightly different handicaps,” the USGA and the R&A stated in a joint release. “This has sometimes resulted in unnecessary difficulties and challenges for golfers competing in handicap events or for tournament administrators. A single WHS will pave the way to consistency and portability.”

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Honda Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 19, 2018, 11:44 pm

The PGA Tour heads back east to kick off the Florida Swing at PGA National. Here are the key stats and information for the Honda Classic. Click here for full-field tee times.

How to watch:

Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET

Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET


Purse: $6.6 million ($1,188,000 to the winner)

Course: PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (par-70; 7,140 yards)

Defending champion: Rickie Fowler (-12) won by four, picking off his fourth PGA Tour victory.


Notables in the field:

Tiger Woods

• Making his fourth start at the Honda Classic and his first since withdrawing with back spasms in 2014.

• Shot a Sunday 62 in a T-2 finish in 2012, marking his lowest career final-round score on the PGA Tour.

• Coming off a missed cut at last week's Genesis Open, his 17th in his Tour career.


Rickie Fowler

• The defending champion owns the lowest score to par and has recorded the most birdies and eagles in this event since 2012.

• Fowler's last start was at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he failed to close a 54-hole lead. Fowler is 1-for-6 with 54-hole leads in his Tour career, with his only successful close coming at last year's Honda.

• On Tour this year, Fowler is first in scrambling from the fringe, second in total scrambling and third in strokes gained around the green. 


Rory McIlroy

• It's been feast or famine for McIlroy at the Honda. He won in 2012, withdrew with a toothache in 2013, finished T-2 in 2014 and missed the cut in 2015 and 2016.

• McIlroy ascended to world No. 1 with his victory at PGA National in 2012, becoming the second youngest player at 22 years old to top the OWGR, behind only Woods. McIlroy was later edged by a slightly younger 22-year-old Jordan Spieth.

• Since the beginning of 2010, only Dustin Johnson (15) has more PGA Tour victories than McIlroy (13).