Familiar excuse: Tiger can't adjust to green speeds

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 22, 2013, 4:38 pm

Why did Tiger Woods fail to win the 142nd Open Championship? Because he couldn't adjust properly to the speed of Muirfield’s greens, he said. That seems to be a recurring theme (or excuse) in Tiger’s losses this year.


Sunday, Open Championship at Muirfield

Q. Talk about your day, please.

TIGER WOODS: You know what, I had a hard time adjusting to the speeds. They were much slower today, much softer. I don't think I got too many putts to the hole today. I really had a hard time and left myself a couple of long lag putts early on when it was really blowing, and left them way short and didn't make those putts. I didn't really play that poorly. I hit a couple of bad shots at 10, 11, that was about it and at 3. But other than that I really hit the ball well today. I was just – I just couldn't ever get the pace of these things.

Q. What are you going to take away from the week? What's your assessment?

TIGER WOODS: I'm very pleased with the way I'm playing, there's no doubt. I'm right there and I hit a ton of good shots this week, and the only thing that I would look back on this week is I just never got the speed after the first day, because it progressively got slower. I thought today they would be faster, given it's Sunday, and I thought they would let it go, but they actually got it even softer.

Q. Obviously you put yourself there again, will you take the positives away or are you kicking yourself at all?

TIGER WOODS: Overall I've been very positive about how I played this week, and as I said, the frustrating part is I didn't get the speed. As the greens got slower, I had a harder time adjusting and hitting the putts harder because that first day I think it got to a lot of us that played in the afternoon. They were really quick and they kept getting faster and faster. As the week went on they got slower.


Sunday, U.S. Open at Merion

Q.  The way you putted, is that something you could work on?

TIGER WOODS:  I struggled with the speed all week. These greens are grainy. It's one of the older bent grasses, creeping bent. So it's a little bit grainy. I struggled with the speed, especially right around the hole, putts were breaking a lot more, I gave it a little more break and then it would hang. That's kind of the way it was this week.


Sunday, Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village

Q.  Was any one thing missing?

TIGER WOODS:  I didn't putt very well. I had bad speed all week. I thought the greens didn't look that fast, but they were putting fast. I could never get the speed of them.


Sunday, Masters Tournament at Augusta National

Q.  What was the course like today?

TIGER WOODS:  I just thought the greens were so slow. Yesterday they were so quick and dried out and today they were so much slower. And that was before it even rained. Once it rained it got even slower. From the first eight holes I think I left every putt short.

Q.  What do you take away from this week?

TIGER WOODS:  That I played well. I certainly missed my share of putts today, actually this week. I also made a bunch, too. So it's one of those things where this golf course was playing a little bit tricky, we had four different green speeds out there and I couldn't believe how slow they were the first two days, yesterday I couldn't believe how fast they were, and then today it was another different speed again. 

Q.  You needed sort of a burst on the front nine to really get in there and didn't have it, in fact you went the other way. Disappointing, obviously. 

TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, I really struggled with the green speeds starting out. I couldn't believe how much slower they were, even before it rained. I just couldn't believe how slow they were starting out. Because yesterday they were so fast and they were crusty, they were running out, and I think the first eight holes I didn't think I got a putt to the hole. Everything was short or low sided. So finally on 9 I said I'm going to hit this putt past the hole and it just snuck in on the front lip.

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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.