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.'

Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey six on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

"He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

"I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

"From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

"And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

"There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."

Move over Lydia, a new Ko is coming to LPGA

By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 5:11 pm

Another gifted young South Korean will be joining the LPGA ranks next year.

Jin Young Ko, the Korean LPGA Tour star, informed the American-based LPGA on Sunday night that she will be taking up membership next year. Ko earned the right by winning the LPGA’s KEB Hana Bank Championship as a nonmember in South Korea in October.

Ko, 22, no relation to Lydia Ko, first burst on to the international spotlight with her run into contention at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry two years ago. She led there through 54 holes, with Inbee Park overtaking her in the final round to win.

With 10 KLPGA Tour titles, three in each of the last two seasons, Ko has risen to No. 19 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

Ko told Sunday afternoon that she was struggling over the decision, with a Monday deadline looming.

“It’s a difficult decision to leave home,” Ko said after the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, when she was still undecided. “The travelling far away, on my own, the loneliness, that’s what is difficult.”

Ko will be the favorite to win the LPGA’s Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award next year. South Koreans have won that award the last three years. Sung Hyun Park won it this year, In Gee Chun last year and Sei Young Kim in 2015. South Korean-born players have won the last four, with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko winning it in 2014. Ko was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand when she was 6.

Ko released this statement through the LPGA on Wednesday: 

"It has been my dream since I was young to play on the LPGA Tour and I look forward to testing myself against the best players on a worldwide stage. I know it is going to be tough but making a first win as an LPGA member and winning the Rolex Rookie of the Year award would be two of the biggest goals I would like to achieve next year."