Tiger Reappears in Shanghai

By Golf Channel NewsroomNovember 7, 2006, 5:00 pm
European TourJust two weeks after the season-ending Volvo Masters and just days following the PGA TOUR's season-ending TOUR Championship, The European Tour officially fires up its 2007 season with the HSBC Champions tournament at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China.
 
Headlining the field is the well-rested and world No. 1 Tiger Woods, who is back on the course after a month layoff from tournament action. Woods, who took some heat for bypassing the TOUR Championship at East Lake, played in the inaugural event last year and believes with the additional rest he can improve on his second-place showing to David Howell.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods narrowly missed out of winning the inaugural HSBC Champions event last season.
'Playing seven out of nine weeks with an additional trip to Ireland for Ryder Cup practice was taxing both mentally and physically and I feel like I need another week away from competitive golf,' said Tiger on his website last week. 'I'm confident that this extended break will help me to recharge my batteries for the 2007 season.'
 
'You can't play 'em all, and the ones which you don't play, people are going to wish you were there to play. That's just the way it's going to be,' said Woods on Tuesday in Shanghai. 'It was actually nice to get away from the game for a little bit.'
 
That could be bad news for the world-class field that has been assembled in Shanghai, a field that boasts 10 of the top-20 players in the world rankings, including defending champ Howell, newly minted Order of Merit winner Padraig Harrington and fellow American and world No. 2 Jim Furyk.
 
Howell, whose win here last season vaulted him to his best season ever and to a third-place finish on the Order of Merit, is looking forward to the challenge of repeating.
 
Winning the HSBC Champions last year kick-started my best season on Tour, said Howell. To finish top in an event with so many of the worlds best players ' and especially holding off Tigers challenge at the weekend - gave me a real boost and I am looking forward to my title defense.
 
While Howell is hoping for back-to-back HSBC titles, so to is England's Paul Casey, although not in this particular event but instead in regards to the title sponsor. Casey won the HSBC World Match Play Championship in September, his third win of the season. That victory helped Casey leapfrog Howell in the race for the Order of Merit, a position he held until Sergio Garcia bogeyed the final hole on the last day of the season at the Volvo Masters.
 
Also set to tee it up in Shanghai is Retief Goosen and Luke Donald, both coming off solid top-5 finishes at the TOUR Championship. Rounding out the star-studded field is Colin Montgomerie, American Chris DiMarco, rising PGA TOUR star Camilo Villegas and the Swedish pair of Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson.
 
The event is jointly sanctioned by The European Tour, Asian Tour, the PGA Tour of Australasia, the Sunshine (Southern Africa) Tour, and the China Golf Association. It is the richest event in Asia with a $5 million purse.
 
The Golf Channel will air all four rounds live beginning Wednesday evening at 11 p.m. ET.
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.