Watson offers glimpse into Ryder Cup captain's pick strategy

By Will GrayMarch 15, 2013, 4:22 pm

Though the next Ryder Cup is still more than 18 months away, the man who will lead the U.S. squad at Gleneagles has already offered a blueprint as to how he will make his captain's picks.

'It will be easy for you to determine who I'm going to pick on Sept. 9, 2014, or whenever it is,' explained Tom Watson in an interview with reporters this week at the Toshiba Classic. 'You'll say, 'Watson is going to pick this guy because he told me back 17 months ago how he's going to make his decision.' Well, I'm telling you how I'm going to make that decision right now.'

According to Watson, who also held the captaincy during the 1993 Ryder Cup when the Americans won at The Belfry in England, current form leading up to the Matches will be his top criteria.

Watson: Too late to ban anchored stroke

'The way I look at it, I want somebody on the upswing when they're going to the Ryder Cup. They're playing well, they've got some momentum,' he noted. 'Are they on the upswing or downswing? That's how I assess who I'm going to be playing, putting in there.'

Since Watson last led the team, the number of selections allotted to the captain in rounding out the 12-man squad has expanded from two to four, with Hunter Mahan notably left off last year's U.S. team by captain Davis Love III despite two early-season wins after he struggled for much of the summer. With the next Ryder Cup on foreign soil, Watson confirmed the need for players to have momentum on their side coming down the stretch next season.

'If I have some players that are playing on the upswing, showing that they can play in the heat of competition and bad conditions, which we're going to have over there, those are the qualities I'm looking for in players.' he added.

An eight-time major winner who played on four Ryder Cup teams, Watson also noted the role that experience will play in his selection process – even explaining how it factored into his two picks 20 years ago.

'The best of all worlds is having great experience, a lot of time in playing the Ryder Cups, and playing well at that particular time. That's the perfect pick,' he explained. 'In 1993 I had two picks, and the players from 11th to about 17th to 20, they were all playing cruddy ... so I went with experience. I picked Lanny Wadkins and Ray Floyd.' 

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Watch: Tiger's drive startles strolling duck

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 7:21 pm

Tiger Woods split the eighth fairway with a 287-yard, 3-wood on Sunday and startled a duck (goose?) who was merely out and about for a stroll at PGA National.

The duck (goose?) walked away under its own power, and Woods followed up with a wedge to inside 9 feet and his third birdie of the front nine.

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Watch: Tiger's Sunday birdies at the Honda

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 6:40 pm

One day after he left a barrage of birdie opportunities out on the golf course, Tiger Woods worked his way into red figures early on Sunday.

Seven off the pace to start the day, Woods found the first fairway, hit the first green and rolled in a 20-footer for his firist birdie of the day.

After narrowly missing a 10-footer for what would have been another circle at the par-5 third, Woods came right back at the fourth, flying an approach from 148 yards to 9 feet and finishing the job.

At the par-4 eighth, Woods went with 3-wood off the tee and startled a duck that was walking down the middle of the fairway.

The duck walked away, and Tiger stuffed his approach inside nine feet, setting up his third birdie of the day.

Woods dropped his first shot of the day at the par-4 ninth after hooking his tee and then short siding himself right of the green. He made the turn in 2-under 33.

(More coming...)

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New-look Korda wins after serious jaw surgery

By Will GrayFebruary 25, 2018, 6:31 pm

If the pictures of Jessica Korda from the Honda LPGA Thailand cause you to do a double-take, you're not alone.

Korda's world-class talent was on full display this week in Asia, where she won by four shots, but so too was her new-look face. The 24-year-old underwent serious jaw surgery in December, a final attempt to address a significant overbite that led to ailments ranging from facial cramping to headaches to sleep apnea.

The procedure was intense. Doctors first broke her nose, then broke her jaw in five different places - three on the top, and two on the bottom. She now has 27 screws in her face, and the physical result still requires some adjustment for a woman who now has five career LPGA wins.

"I look at pictures of myself and I don't feel like I look like that person," Korda told Golfweek. "I don't know who that is. And then I look at pictures of my old self and that doesn't look like me either."

Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand

The Dec. 7 surgery left Korda unable to eat, with her mother reportedly feeding her through a syringe for "weeks." Korda's facial structure before the surgery was such that she was only using 20 percent of her teeth when chewing food.

But despite returning to practice only six weeks ago and still dealing with lingering numbness in her face, Korda promptly dusted a world-class field in her first start back. She shot 25 under for the week, highlighted by a second-round 62, leaving the likes of Lexi Thompson and Ariya Jutanugarn in her wake.

After a difficult winter, Korda's look may have changed but her game clearly remains unaffected.

"Coming in after surgery, I didn't know what to expect," Korda told reporters. "Obviously when I look at myself, I still don't feel like I look like myself yet. That will come. I'm just very, very happy. All the hard work I was putting in in the off-season when I could has paid off rather quickly."

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 25, 2018, 4:45 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.