Can Tiger Woods win the Masters

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 17, 2010, 2:42 am
Tiger Woods has made his decision to return to competitive golf at the Masters Tournament. Can he win his fifth career green jacket? Senior writers Randall Mell and Rex Hoggard offer their takes.

By RANDALL MELL

Tiger Woods can’t win this Masters.

I don’t believe I just typed that sentence, because it’s always been such a lousy bet against him winning anything he really wants to win.

We’ve seen Woods do the nearly impossible more than once. We’ve seen him win the U.S. Open by 15 shots and win the U.S. Open on a broken leg and blown-out knee. We’ve seen him win the Masters by 12 shots and win four consecutive major championships.

But this feels more like Woods’ comeback for the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in 2006 after his father’s death. He shot a pair of 76s and missed the cut. Playing there was harder than playing on a broken leg. Something internal was broken and still needed mending when he arrived.

You wonder what internal injuries still need mending this time. You wonder if a champion can tear something worse than cartilage and ligaments. You wonder if the confidence and sense of self worth woven into his nature as a champion are torn. If anything stops Woods from winning this Masters, you wonder if it will be rust or regret. The latter might make him a better person but worse player.

By REX HOGGARD

Good comedy Tuesday morning on Ladrokes.com, the betting site of choice for golf writers everywhere. In the moments after Tiger Woods announced he will return to the competitive fold at next month’s Masters his odds at the year’s first major flashed on the screen – 4-to-1.

That’s not to say a guy with a green jacket for every season (four) isn’t a favorite to cash Grand Slam glory every time he motors down Magnolia Lane, but one normally saves those kinds of odds for mortal locks.

We stopped betting against Woods when he limped past the field at the 2008 U.S. Open, but this time is different. This time he arrives at Butler Cabin with more emotional baggage than a Kardashian and with a game that, although looks splendid on the Isleworth turf, has been largely dormant since he drove his SUV into every immovable obstruction in his neighborhood.

Make no mistake, it is a personal, not professional, necessity that drives Woods down Magnolia Lane for his 2010 opener without a tune-up and under something less than ideal conditions.

Can Woods win? Of course. Will he win? We wouldn’t bet on it, at least not at those odds.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

Getty Images

Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.