Playoff FeverWe Got It - COPIED

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 28, 2008, 4:00 pm
In Backspin, GolfChannel.com takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf ' with a spin.
 
JUST THE START OF THINGS: Vijay Singh closed out a dramatic first week of the FedExCup playoffs by topping Sergio Garcia on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. It was Singhs second big win in the last month and vaulted him to atop The Playoffs standings.
 
Backspin As the Olympics finally came to a close, Singh and Garcia did their best to fill the void left in the drama department. And just when Garcia rolled in a long, long birdie putt on the first hole of sudden death, it appeared the Spaniard had finally caught a break. But Singh, not to be outdone, then decided to go all Padraig Harrington on him and struck back with a dagger of his own to force an extra hole. Another birdie of the following hole gave Singh his 33rd career PGA TOUR victory and again left Garcia on the outside looking in.
 

HELLO, WORLD: Danny Lee got up early against Drew Kittleson in the 36-hole U.S. Amateur final, withstood a rally from his opponent, then put the hammer down to secure a 5-and-4 victory to become the youngest winner in the events history, edging Tiger Woods by seven months in that department.
 
Backspin The historic victory caps off a wild few weeks for the 18-year-old Lee. A New Zealander who was born in South Korea, the top-ranked amateur is coming off a win at the prestigious Western Amateur and then an impressive tie for 20th at the PGA TOURs Wyndham Championship. Ironically, now comes the hard part for the teenager ' should he turn professional and give up his exemptions into the U.S. and British Opens, and an invitation to the Masters Tournament? Tough decisions for a teenager indeed.
 

WALKING ON WATER: Promoting the release of his new video game, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09, a new viral video surfaced where Woods walks on water and hits a shot off a lily pad. The video plays off a glitch in the 2008 game, where Woods could walk on water and hit a shot.
 
Backspin The folks at EA are certainly walking on thin ice considering how PC conscience today's society has become, which is probably why it was released on YouTube. But from a purely entertainment perspective, the video is golden. And heck, who knows, would it really be that surprising if there weren't any special effects involved?
 

KERR-TAIN CALL: Cristie Kerr rolled in a 15-footer for birdie to defeat Helen Alfredsson and Sophie Gustafson on the first playoff hole to win the Safeway Classic. It was the 11th career LPGA win for Kerr, who erased a four-shot deficit in the final round.
 
BackspinKerr was dynamite down the stretch, with birdies on four of the final seven holes including a 15-footer at the last to put her in the playoff. The win was not only her first of the season, but her first since capturing the U.S. Womens Open in 2007.
 

PADDY'S MOVE: Padraig Harrington has decided to take up a part-time residence in the United States, choosing White Oak Golf and Equestrian Community in western North Carolina as the site for his new home. Harrington, not surprisingly, will be a spokesman for the development.
 
BackspinAlso not surprising is the fact Harrington will probably be spending more time in the States and playing more on the PGA TOUR. As a newly minted three-time major champion ' joining Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh and Ernie Els ' the Irishman will no doubt start cashing in on his newfound superstardom and the financial windfall that comes with it. Life is good. Apparently even equestrian-like good!
 

TAKE A LOOK AT ME NOW: Another Irishman made a move this past week, as Northern Irishman Darren Clarke won the KLM Open on the European Tour to jump up in the standings on the Ryder Cup qualification list.
 
Backspin With only one week to go before the European ' and American ' team is finalized Clarke likely won't make it on his own merit. But his victory should make him a genuine candidate for a captain's pick. Nick Faldo's head must be spinning as he will likely have to choose from Clarke, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter. The one most hurt by all this is Colin Montgomerie, who can all but kiss Valhalla goodbye.
 

ONE AND DONE:For some, The Playoffs were over in the blink of an eye. Major champions Zach Johnson and David Toms each missed the cut at The Barclays and didn't make the top 120, which qualify for the upcoming Deutsche Bank Championship. Jason Bohn and Bob Tway decided not to play at The Barclays and are out of the playoffs as well.
 
Backspin Instead of being in New Jersey for The Barclays, Tway was in North Carolina caddying for his son, Kevin, at the U.S. Amateur. Last week only 24 players were out of the FedExCup picture, however this week the cutoff point is at 70th position. With less than 2,000 points separating 70th to 120th expect even more fireworks this week at the BMW Championship.
 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:Canada's Mike Weir sported a 'playoff beard' at last week's Barclays. Weir is currently featured in a commercial where hockey legend Wayne Gretzky advises the Canadian lefty to grow a beard for the FedExCup playoffs just as hockey players do for the Stanley Cup playoffs ... Scott Piercy won for the second time in two weeks on the Nationwide Tour at the NE Pennsylvania Classic ... Tom Kite fired to final round 66 to win the Boeing Classic by two strokes over Scott Simpson.
 
Backspin The first playoff beard in the history of the PGA TOUR, and of course it is sported by a Canadian. Since Weir finished in a tie for seventh, we can most likely expect it to stay. Here's to Weir keeping it and more importantly not trimming it 'It's been amazing. I felt it's been coming, even when I was 123rd on the money list,' Piercy said. Doubtful, but no one is arguing with his results Kite needed to birdie three of the last four holes to overtake Simpson, whose miss from 2 feet for par sealed his fate.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage -- The Barclays
  • Full Coverage -- U.S. Amateur
  • Full Coverage -- Boeing Classic
  • Full Coverage -- Safeway Classic Presented by Pepsi
  • Full Coverage -- The KLM Open
  • Full Coverage -- Northeast Pennsylvania Classic
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    McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

    By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

    The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

    McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

    McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

    ''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

    Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

    ''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

    McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

    ''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

    The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

    ''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

    The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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    Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

    By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

    If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days of engaging in pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

    Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

    If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

    Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

    Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

    I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

    A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

    And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

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    Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

    Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

    The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

    Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

    “I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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    Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

    Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

    Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.