Miller, Chamblee offer differing views on Tiger

By Randall MellNovember 10, 2011, 7:22 pm

NBC’s Johnny Miller believes Tiger Woods will carve out a second career and “win quite a few times.” He sees Woods getting his confidence back.

Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee is more skeptical.

Miller, Chamblee, Curt Byrum and Dan Hicks came together for a spirited teleconference Thursday to advance their television work for NBC and Golf Channel during next week’s Presidents Cup broadcasts. It ended up being dominated by Tiger talk.

“Tiger Woods’ decision to once again change his golf swing is the most baffling thing I’ve seen in sports,” Chamblee said.

Chamblee said he believes Woods’ decisions to change his swing multiple times after winning the ’97 Masters might ultimately be what costs him the chance to break Jack Nicklaus’ record for most major championship victories.

“I agree that Tiger’s swing was better in 1999, 2000 and 2001, but the Tiger Woods of 2007 to 2009 was almost, step by step, as good,” Chamblee said. “It’s why I say [the multiple swing changes] are the most baffling thing in sports that I have ever seen.

“The period where Tiger won 7 of 11 majors (1999-2002) and then when he won six of 14 majors (2005-08), those two periods where he won with two different swing philosophies, were separated by periods where he went 10 majors without winning. Now, he justifies the prolific run of victories by saying, `I changed my swing,’ but he did it at the cost of going those run of 10 majors without winning.”

Chamblee believes the winless adjustment periods it took Woods to master his multiple swing changes have hurt him more than they’ve helped him.

“If he decided not to change his swing in ’98 or 2003, he would already have broken Jack Nicklaus’ record,” Chamblee said.

If you’re thinking Woods had to change from Harmon’s swing techniques to protect his ailing knee, Chamblee disagrees.

“I’ve seen no changes in his swing that would alleviate pressure on his knee,” Chamblee said after the teleconference.

Miller and Byrum said they saw some positive improvement in Woods’ swing in the first round of the Australian Open.

“Tiger will have a second career like I did, and he will win quite a few times,” Miller said. “He’ll figure it out. This might be the start. I can see him getting his confidence back. He may not be the Tiger of old, but he has too much talent not to be one of the best players in the world.”

Chamblee believes Woods still faces daunting challenges as he remakes his swing under Sean Foley as coach.

“When you look at the injury, the scandal, the swing changes and all the other things Tiger Woods has done PR wise that have not helped him, I just don’t see how he’s going to turn this thing around,” Chamblee said. “Any one of those is enough to rob you of that little bitty edge it takes . . .

“The pre-scandal, pre-Foley Tiger and post-scandal, post-Foley Tiger are two entirely different golfers. The old Tiger is gone. What he creates from this point forward will be very interesting.'

Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''

Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.