Face It Only Tiger Knows

By Mercer BaggsFebruary 16, 2009, 5:00 pm

WHO REALLY KNOWS - OTHER THAN TIGER: Rumors continued to swirl as to when Tiger Woods would make his return to competition. An unlikely source said Saturday that he would likely be defending his title next week at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Backspin If you had to guess who the source was, would you have gone with: A) Tom Jenkins B) Buzz Aldrin or C) Batman. I don't think I would have picked Jenkins. The Champions Tour player got the scoop from Mark OMeara, who then said Sunday he didnt exactly know when his pal would return, but that he had played a round recently with Woods. This was O'Meara's assessment: I would say hes better than ever.

WHATCHOO TALKIN 'BOUT: Butch Harmon - yet again - wondered aloud as to whether Woods would ever be able to break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 professional major championships won. Harmon said he was worried that Woods' decision to play the 2008 U.S. Open, despite his knee injury, might cost him a chance at adding to his current major haul of 14.
Backspin When Harmon's alone at his house, think he pulls out his cell phone and calls his home number just to interview himself? I think he does ... I think he does.


WHAT WOOD YOU DO?: While the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am was postponed until Monday due to inclement weather, the final round of the pro-am portion of the event was canceled in order to reduce the field size and increase the speed of play.
Backspin Who was leading after 54 holes of the pro-am? Who cares? Saturday at Pebble Beach ' when CBS focuses on the celebs ' may be the most brutal day of televised golf all year. Here's a list of three things I'd rather do than watch Ray Romano and Kevin James play golf: 1) Eat dry wood. 2) Watch an infomercial on how to clear out my digestive tract. 3) Eat dry wood.

ISN'T IT IRONIC?: Angela Stanford beat Stanford student Michelle Wie to capture the SBS Open at Turtle Bay, her third LPGA title in her last seven starts, dating back to last season.
Backspin Wie held a three-stroke lead with eight to play and ended up losing by that same margin. Wie bashers will rejoice in her latest defeat ' which was every bit her loss as it was Stanford's win. I'm not a big Wie fan, nor am I a hater. Regardless of where you stand, one thing is certain: Wie makes you want to watch. As much as LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens doesn't want to single out Wie from the rest of the 'rookie' class, no one is tuning in on a Saturday night to watch Stacy Lewis battle Angela Stanford.

YOUR A MEANIE :( Natalie Gulbis responded to Anna Rawson's controversial remarks, saying in an unsolicited e-mail to Golf Channel, 'I think Anna Rawsons comments were inaccurate inappropriate and an insult to the lpga. I was disappointed to hear her statements in the media.'
Backspin What's almost as offensive as referring to women golfers 25 years ago as 'dykes and unattractive,' is people's butchering of grammar, syntax and punctuation when sending electronic messages. You'd have a better chance at finding a living, fire-breathing dragon than someone online who knows the difference between your and you're.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Golf Channel signed a 10-year agreement with the LPGA, becoming the exclusive cable network for the tour. ... Anthony Kang won the European Tour's Malaysian Open. ... Mike Goodes won his first Champions Tour event by making birdie on the final hole of the Allianz Championship. Laura Davies won her second Womens Australian Open.
Backspin Now how do we get Wie to contend every week? ... That's Kang, not Kim. ... Goodes beat practice round playing partner Fulton Allem by one. Davies, in the clubhouse, trailed by one when Tania Elosegui made double bogey on 18 to hand her the title.

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
  • Full Coverage ' SBS Open at Turtle Bay
  • Complete News Headlines
  • Getty Images

    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry