I Know Nothing Nothing

By Mercer BaggsDecember 14, 2009, 12:10 am

Tiger Woods

PUTTING THE CLUBS AWAY: Tiger Woods issued a statement on his Web site Friday evening saying he was “taking an indefinite break from professional golf.”  In the announcement Woods admitted to his “infidelity,” the first time he has used that word since his ongoing saga began two weeks ago.
BackspinEverybody seems to know what’s best for Tiger. You can’t flip a channel, click on a Web site or read a magazine without some genius giving his/her opinion on what Tiger needs to do. What Tiger needed to do was figure out what meant most to him – his family, his career, his image, his legacy – and then focus on that. It appears that he made his decision.
Steve Williams and Tiger Woods

HEAR NO EVIL, SEE NO EVIL: Woods’ longtime caddie Steve Williams told a New Zealand newspaper this past weekend that he was unaware of his bosses “indiscretions.”  Williams vehemently protested a column written by Rick Reilly, who said Woods should fire Williams because he was “an enabler.”
Backspin Reilly is one of the many aforementioned who has a moral compass to point Woods in the right direction moving forward. As for Williams, he might not have known to what degree Woods was being unfaithful, but he had to know something. “I just work for Tiger Woods” doesn’t wash when you’ve teamed for 10 years and been close enough to where he was the best man at your wedding. If people well removed from Woods had heard rumors of infidelities over the years, it’s hard to believe someone so close to him didn’t know some of the facts.

Tiger Woods

SPONSORS SHAVE TIGER?: On the sponsorship front, Accenture ended its relationship with Woods, saying he is 'no longer the right representative' for the company. Gillette announced that they will be limiting Woods’ role in their upcoming marketing campaign. And, Gatorade announced that they were discontinuing their line of “Gatorade Tiger Focus,” but said it had nothing to do with the recent events surrounding Woods.
Backspin The snowball got rolling once Gillette became the first of Woods' sponsors to publicly distance itself from the embattled superstar. Or maybe that was when the first domino fell. Not sure which metaphor works better here. Either way, thank goodness we may never again have to see a shaving commercial with Woods, Roger Federer and Thierry Henry.

Tiger Woods and Colin Montgomerie

MAJORS IN THE AIR?: Players from across the world of golf spent this past weekend reacting to the news of Woods’ indefinite leave of absence. Most wished him well and hoped for a speedy return to the PGA Tour; though, not everyone is anxiously awaiting his comeback.
BackspinColin Montgomerie quipped that with Woods out of action, it opened the door for others to win tournaments. Not everyone will admit to this, but most have to be thinking it – especially regarding the majors. The 2010 major venues are Augusta National, Pebble Beach, St. Andrews and Whistling Straits. You could have penned Woods in for at least two wins, with a possible chance at a seasonal Grand Slam. Now the doors could be wide open to all four. Not for Monty, but for many others.

Ben Crane and Tiger Woods

WHO SAID WHAT TO WHOM?: “Life & Style” magazine quoted PGA Tour players Ben Crane and Charles Warren as making some very harsh comments towards Woods. Crane and Warren both denied making any statements at all to the magazine.
BackspinThe magazine won’t reveal the author of the article, which is bunk. Just as people in the spotlight need to be held accountable for their actions, so, too, do the people who shine that spotlight. We need a name, we need tar and we need feathers.

Barbro Holmberg

SICK TO HER STOMACH: Elin Woods’ mother, Barbro Holmberg, was taken to an Orlando-area hospital early Tuesday morning after someone in the Woods home called 911 saying Holmberg was experiencing stomach pains. She was later released and reportedly doing fine.
BackspinThat was Tuesday? Of this past week? So much has happened so fast it’s hard to connect the Whats to the Whens. This didn’t appear to have anything to do with the scandal, perhaps a possible case of food poisoning. It was just a chance to ask, ‘What next?’ And hope you didn’t get an answer.

Elin Woods

THE GETAWAY: Elin Woods bought a six-bedroom house on a small island near Stockholm, Sweden that is reachable only by boat. A Swedish official said the negotiations to buy the property likely happened well before Tiger’s crash.
Backspin The Woods’ could buy a house on the moon and TMZ would still manage to get satellite footage – with an US Weekly reporter hiding in a crater.

In Kyung Kim

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: In non-Tiger news, Jerry Kelly and Steve Stricker won the Shark Shootout. … In Kyung Kim captured the Dubai Ladies Masters. … Robert Allenby won his fourth Australian PGA. … Pablo Martin was victorious at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
Backspin All of this really happened. It really did.

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Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

Memo to the golf gods:

If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

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Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x