A Year Later So Much Has Changed For Tiger

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 1, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Deutsche Bank ChampionshipNORTON, Mass. -- Tiger Woods must have felt his world was falling apart a year ago when he left the Deutsche Bank Championship.
He lost a high-stakes duel against Vijay Singh and surrendered his No. 1 ranking for the first time in more than five years. A gossip-page column in the Boston Herald that week reported his engagement was on the rocks. And there were whispers among players that a swing change with Hank Haney was sending Woods toward mediocrity.
Its nice to see that I made a comeback, Woods said Thursday.
Woods returns to the Deutsche Bank Championship at No. 1 in the world ranking by six points over Singh, the largest margin in more than two years. He is approaching his first wedding anniversary with Elin Nordegren. And two major championships among his five PGA Tour victories took care of any concerns about his swing.
Which change brought him the most satisfaction?
Im supposed to say my wedding, right? he said with a laugh.
Woods still has just over three months left in his season, with six official tournaments (two of them in Asia) and the Presidents Cup. But he already can look back on a year that allowed him to restore some order in his world.
His swing his getting tighter, getting better, and hes getting back to a point that hes dominant, which hes been this year, Fred Couples said.
Woods clearly is the dominant figure on the TPC at Boston, if only because hardly anyone else is here.
He has reason to play because the Deutsche Bank Championship, which starts Friday and ends on Labor Day, benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation. Tournament officials had high hopes for a top-heavy field with Singh as the defending champion, Ernie Els planning to play and Adam Scott having won and tied for second the first two years of the event.
Singh, however, pulled out Tuesday when he suffered back spasms playing table tennis with his son. Els tore knee ligaments during a boating vacation before the PGA Championship and is recovering from surgery. Scott decided two weeks ago that he was spinning his wheels and needed a break, so he went home to Australia.
Retief Goosen is playing in China, Sergio Garcia is in Switzerland.
The result is a field that resembles Disney, without the Magic Kingdom across the street.
Having Woods in the field is enough to generate a buzz, but there isnt a lot of star power to go with him. Only two other players in the top 20 are at the TPC at Boston'Davis Love III (No. 15) and Couples (No. 16).
We were scheduled to have three of the top four players in the world, Woods said. Weve still got a really good, solid field here this week, and the golf course is in fantastic shape. So were going to have a great tournament. But it would have been an even better event with those two players in the field.
The local favorite is Brad Faxon, who grew up about 45 minutes away in Rhode Island. Faxon is coming off a dynamic win last week at Hartford, where he closed with a 61 and then hit a 7-iron from the bunker to 3 feet in the playoff.
Faxon cant wait for the tournament to start for other reasons. He is part-time player, part-time unofficial host this week. He is involved with the title sponsors, his wife is in charge of a massive fund-raiser, and he finally got more than three hours sleep.
Thank God this tournament starts tomorrow, he said.
The course had received only 2 inches of rain since June, then got deluged with 4 inches on Tuesday, leaving the greens soft and the pin accessible. Big hitters have done well on the TPC at Boston the first two years, and that again would seem to favor Woods.
Woods cares most about the majors, and those ended three weeks ago. But there are other goals to pursue, such as ending Singhs two-year reign atop the PGA Tour money list. Woods leads by more than $1.2 million, despite playing seven fewer tournaments.
Its hard for me to compete against Vijay if Vijay just plays well, because obviously he plays nine or 10 more events than I do per year, Woods said. What I can do is have a higher money total per event played, and try to get the number of victories higher than anyone else on tour. If you can do that, then youve had a very good year.
It already has been a good year'a great one, considering his Masters and British Open titles. And it sure beats what he went through last season, with only one PGA Tour victory, at the Accenture Match Play Championship.
Woods said he didnt feel his swing coming together until after the Tour Championship, where he lost a 54-hole lead for only the third time in his career on the PGA Tour.
It takes time to make changes, and Ive made a bunch of changes in my swing, he said. Unfortunately, that didnt happen during the season last year. It happened after the season was over, in Japan, when I really put it all together. After that, Ive really started to play some pretty good golf.
A year later, not many would argue with that.
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    Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

    By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

    One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

    Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

    "I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

    Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

    "I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

    Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

    "Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

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    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

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    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

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    Victory at Valderrama

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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