What We Learned: WGC-Cadillac Championship

By Randall MellMarch 12, 2012, 12:00 am

Each week, the GolfChannel.com team offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the most recent events. This week, the team reflects on the WGC-Cadillac Championship from the TPC Blue Monster at Doral and Tiger Woods' withdrawal late Sunday due to a hurt left Achilles.

I learned that no matter what Tiger Woods does, he’ll always be wrong in the eyes of some fans. Here is a sampling of tweets I received after his withdrawal on Sunday: 

“I knew he was still injured!” (Funny. Didn’t hear anyone making that claim after he shot a final-round 62 last week.) 

“He’s just a quitter and a sore loser!” (In 278 career PGA Tour starts, he has withdrawn exactly five times – or once every three years.) 

“He would have kept going if he was in contention!” (Well, yeah. No kidding. Same goes for every other player on Tour. If you’re injured, but in contention, you gut it out; if you’re injured and out of the mix, there’s no point in risking further damage to the injury.) 

Conspiracy theories aside, the truth is, Woods was close to regaining top form before injuring himself once again. We don’t yet know the extent of the left Achilles injury, but if it was enough to force him from the event, then it’s enough to cause plenty of concern. I’ve never understood claims – in golf or other sports – from fans who consider athletes “soft” for repeatedly getting injured. Sometimes it’s just bad luck. Tiger didn’t hurt himself on purpose or through any fault of his own, so why is there such a backlash against him right now? Well, as we’ve learned when it comes to him, such criticism will always exist, no matter what. – Jason Sobel

Tiger Woods can’t push his practice regimen or his schedule or a body aging fast with injury.

Not now.

So excited because his body felt so good putting in so much practice time again, Woods took a step backwards at Doral. We don’t know how serious the Achilles’ injury is. Maybe this is just a minor setback, but given the history of his left leg, questions arise anew.

This week, Woods was making his third tournament appearance in three weeks. That seemed like terrific news, confirmation he was healthy and strong again. We learned his body isn’t ready for three consecutive tournaments. What that means to future schedules is unclear, but you could see Woods cutting back now, and that can’t be good, given how thrilled he was that the fruit of all his hard work was showing in his improved swing and game.

Woods has been slaying some demon doubts with his improved play, but this brings doubt back into play. We just aren’t sure how much it brings it into play or for how long. Randall Mell

I learned what Gil Hanse looks like. He's tall, very tall. Had known the name, played his Castle Stuart design in Scotland two years ago and loved it, but was not familiar with him. This week he was omnipresent – at dinners, in the media center, on the practice range, in news conferences, chatting with players. Good guy, thoughtful guy. No hint of ego, a disciple of Tom Doak and the perfect choice to design the 2016 Olympic golf course in Rio. – Jay Coffin

That golf’s new normal looks a lot like the past following Rory McIlroy’s closing 67 to finish third at Doral a week after winning the Honda Classic; and that no lead is safe on the PGA Tour. At last month’s Mayakoba Golf Classic, John Huh rallied from seven shots back to win and on Sunday at Doral, Justin Rose raced past Bubba Watson with a closing 70 after starting the final turn three strokes back. – Rex Hoggard

I learned that professional golfers can be just as uncomfortable on the links as us less-talented wannabes. 

Bubba Watson appeared ready to conquer a course that he didn't like on Sunday at Doral, but the course finally got in his head. Keegan Bradley looked to be ready to move beyond that playoff loss – and the spittle – at Riviera and the poor Sunday at PGA National, then the putter went ice cold. Even world No. 1 Rory McIlroy got close, but could not push his way through the open door to take the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Justin Rose, however, did step up and grab what was his for the taking. A fourth win in less than two years makes him a lock for the Ryder Cup team. – Ryan Ballengee

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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.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm