Scott Removed from Tigers Shadow

By Golf Channel NewsroomAugust 31, 2004, 4:00 pm
Even with the sun serving as a backlight, its relatively simple to match a shadowed swing to its professional owner ' at least for the more popular players.
 
Jim Furyk is no challenge. Ernie Els is too easy. Vijay Singhs lean will always give him away. Mike Weir has his waggle. And Phil Mickelsons five inches taller and a good 50 pounds heavier than Weir, so you can never mistake the two lefties even if they swung similarly.
 
Then theres Tiger Woods; there is no mistaking him when he is encompassed by the shadows.
 
That, however, may not be a good thing.
 
There was a time, not too long ago, when you could watch Woods from a distance, only to discover that you really werent watching Woods at all ' you were watching Adam Scott.
 
The two had ' had being the operative word ' eerily similar swings. Both swings were the combination of natural ability and flexibility, and the coaching of Butch Harmon.
 
Woods no longer applies this perfectly manufactured swing in competition, having replaced it with an inconsistent, work-in-progress model. Scott, on the other hand, still uses it. And if you were to see the two, side-by-side, on the practice range, there would be no mistaking whos who. In fact, it would look a lot like New Tiger next to Old Tiger.
 
Throughout most of his still pubescent professional career, Scott has drawn comparisons to Woods ' primarily due to their swings.
 
So it was only appropriate that Scotts first PGA Tour victory would come at the so-called Tiger Woods tournament, the Deutsche Bank Championship.
 
Though Woods doesnt act as tournament host, his Tiger Woods Foundation is the primary charitable beneficiary of the Deutsche Bank.
 
Scott, in on a sponsors exemption, established a TPC of Boston scoring record with a 9-under 62 in the second round and never looked back. He closed 67-66 to win by four over Rocco Mediate.
 
That was Scotts first win on tour. But not his last. This year, the four-time European Tour winner added to his PGA Tour total with victories at The Players Championship and the Booz Allen Classic.
 
His success at Sawgrass elevated the now 24-year-old into the rarefied air of legitimate major championship contenders. However, he shot 80-73 to miss the cut at the Masters and then shot back-to-back 75s to do the same at the U.S. Open.
 
The majors are set up so difficult now that if you're playing average it's so easy to shoot 80 out there. If you're playing well you can still shoot that. It just can get away from you. And that's what the guys who win and the guys who do well in these things, they don't let that happen, Scott said at the British Open.
 
The attitude that I'm taking into the majors, is that if I can play well and get myself in a position, there's no reason why I shouldn't win the tournament. I know I can. I finished it off at The Players Championship and a couple of others in the U.S. and in Europe, and beat some good fields. It's just that this has the added pressure of a major championship and it kind of defines people's career.
 
Scott handled that pressure a little better at Troon, tying for 42nd, and even better at the PGA Championship, where he tied for ninth.
 
As Scott approaches his maiden title defense, he enters a different player than he was a year ago. Then he was seen a Tiger Woods knock-off. Now, he's arguably the best player under the age of 25. And he has more wins on the year than Woods himself.
 
Woods, still in search of his first stroke-play win of the season (he tied for seventh here last year), and Vijay Singh will renew their battle for No. 1. They, along with Scott, are joined in the field by Jim Furyk, David Toms and David Duval.
 
This tournament was created specifically to be played on Labor Day weekend. It will start Friday and conclude Labor Day Monday.
 
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.