Press Pass Tiger Raining on the TOURs Parade

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 22, 2007, 4:00 pm
Press PassEach week, GOLF CHANNEL experts and analysts offer their thoughts and opinions on hot topics in the world of golf with the Press Pass.
Hot Topic
Is Tiger Woods doing a disservice to the PGA TOUR by not playing in the first FedExCup event?
Brian Hewitt Brian Hewitt - Columnist,
No. The TOUR would be doing a disservice to Tiger to criticize him for not playing. Tim Finchem said it best Sunday: He is disappointed Tiger won't be at Barclays but he doesn't second-guess him. Put another way: Tiger has earned the right to take a week off whenever he wants. That having been said, the people at Barclays can't be happy and it will make it more difficult going forward for the TOUR to sell the Playoffs to potential title sponsors knowing Woods might not be in their field.
Steve Sands Steve Sands - Reporter, GOLF CHANNEL:
I think the way the TOUR set up the new playoff system it allows players to skip events but still take place in the 'Playoffs'. It won't be a true playoff until players have to play in each event and then are eliminated each week as the number drops from 144 to 120 to 70 then 30. The regular season points total should get you in the Playoffs, then every player should start at zero and be eliminated based on that week's performance.
Mercer Baggs Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer,
I don't blame Tiger for skipping, and I even understand why he didn't want to say prior to last week that he was not going to play The Barclays. I do, however, place blame on the system. The system should be as such: it should be designed to force players to compete in all four events in order to win the grand prize. The current system doesn't do that. I'd bet on a change for next year.
Mark Rolfing Mark Rolfing - Analyst, GOLF CHANNEL:
Absolutely not. The PGA TOUR should be happy that he is playing in the final three; particularly when they need him at the Presidents Cup in Montreal one week after Atlanta.
Hot Topic
Who is your pick to win the inaugural FedExCup?
I think Woods will win this thing and I will be surprised if he doesn't win at least one event given how successful he has been at TPC Boston and Cog Hill No. 4. Not just because of (this past week) but because of the last month, don't take your eyes off Brandt Snedeker, who starts at No. 9 on the point standings.
Vijay Singh. He's won at three of the four venues and gets a tournament head start on Tiger. Vijay will win this week and in Atlanta.
If Jim Furyk is healthy, then he's got a great shot. He finishes inside the top 10 of every event he plays, and if he can win one of them, he'll be tough to beat. I'd be surprised if anyone won the $10 million without winning one of the events. I think it comes down to Tiger, Vijay and Furyk.
I like Vijay Singh. With the readjustment of points he begins only 1000 points behind Woods and I expect Vijay to pass Tiger after Barclays. I think it will come down to Woods and Singh in the end.

With the $10 million prize money going to the winners retirement fund, how should he pay out his caddie?
Easy one. Compensate the winning caddie with an annuity equal to 10 percent of the deferred $10 million first prize going to the player. Maybe some of that 10 percent could also go to a caddie health insurance program or retirement fund program

I'd like to see the player who wins, put aside 10% of that annuity for the caddie. What a great retirement plan for guys who don't have that type of security. Regular percentage for the weekly money earned during the Playoffs then put aside a million for the caddie's own annuity from the winner.
Since the player can't officially touch the $10 million until he's at least 45, the TOUR should at least allow him to be able to designate a certain percentage to an annuity or retirement fund for his caddie. The caddie will already make a good sum of money based on his player's play over the Playoffs (prize money won at tournaments is different than the FedExCup payout), but a little bit -- doesn't have to be 10 percent -- of the big pie would be nice, too.
He should establish a retirement account for his caddy and contribute the normal percentage for winning a tournament.
What is the ONE thing you are most looking forward to this week?
It will be fun watching the bubble develop to see who advances from Westchester to Boston. But mostly I want to see if somebody passes the absent Tiger on the point standings. If so, that player will be a target for Woods when he returns.
The one thing I'm looking forward to the most this week is getting the 'Woody Allen Sandwich' at the Carnegie Deli. It's a combination of corned beef and pastrami. New York City is to food what Jack Nicklaus is to golf!
I want to see if any of the top players can get out of the gates quickly with a win and put some pressure on Tiger. I'd like to see Singh or Furyk win -- just to see if it lights a fire under Tiger over the next three weeks.
I am going to be really interested to see just how many players can still realistically win the FedExCup after the first event. My gut reaction is it will be less then 20 players.
Related Links:
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Full Coverage - The Barclays
  • Getty Images

    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

    Getty Images

    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

    Getty Images

    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

    Getty Images

    Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

    By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

    Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

    The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

    They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

    It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

    “I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

    The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

    The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.