Bizarro world for Tiger

By John FeinsteinJuly 19, 2011, 7:26 pm

For the past 20 months, during Tiger Woods’ winter, spring, summer and fall of ongoing discontent, thousands of solutions have been offered by thousands of people who insist they can fix Tiger in about 15 minutes.

No doubt the Geico Gecko is somewhere on that list of potential fixers.

Everyone who has ever heard of Woods – much less met him – has the answer. The only surprise is that Woods hasn’t shown up on ‘Dr. Phil’ at some point. Of course, Dr. Phil doesn’t pay appearance fees.

Let’s go down the list of things that are not the reason why Woods sits in 104th place on the PGA Tour money list and 129th on the FedEx Cup points list.

– It is not his golf swing. You can slo-mo his swing, super slo-mo his swing, stop his swing altogether or break it down into 543 pieces, ala Sean Foley, and you aren’t going to fix the problem. Woods didn’t have the world’s best golf swing when he completely dominated the sport and he doesn’t need to have it now.

– It is not his Achilles or his knee. I’m sure they both hurt, don’t doubt that for a second. But the guy won the U.S. Open on a torn ACL and a broken leg. You think a little thing like a sore knee and an aching Achilles would have stopped that Woods from playing? Or winning? No way.

– It is not lack of play. Sure it would be nice if he played more often but this is a guy who didn’t play a competitive round between The Masters and the U.S. Open in 2008 – and won. Even after Hydrant-gate he came back to play the Masters after spending far more time in mystery-rehab than on the range or a golf course and finished T-4.

So what does Tiger need to become Tiger again? Hypnosis? A new Bhudda wristband? Butch Harmon? Oprah?

No. He needs Chubby Chandler.

Clearly the key to success in golf right now is to be represented by Andrew Chandler, the 58-year-old Brit who was an ordinary pro but has become an extraordinary agent. Chandler likes to tell people that he doesn’t aspire to represent the most players, just the best players. Well, as of this moment, Chandler’s players have won the first three major titles of 2011: Charl Schwartzel at the Masters; Rory McIlroy at the U.S. Open and now Darren Clarke – Chandler’s first client 21 years ago – at the British Open. That leaves Chandler one win away from the Chubby Slam if one of his guys wins the PGA Championship next month in Atlanta.

Oh, and if you’re keeping score at home, the man Clarke succeeded as the British Open champion was Louis Oosthuizen whose agent is Chandler. How defending PGA champion Martin Kaymer got away from Chubby no one knows.

The only problem for Tiger might be that Chubby already has a nickname. Tiger doesn’t call anybody by their actual name. His current agent is Steiny, his caddie is Stevie, his best friends on Tour through the years have been MO and Cookie. He was, no doubt, pleased for Clarkie this past Sunday and he’s still hoping to play for Triple D’s Ryder Cup team next year.

Chubby has been Chubby for years, dating back to his days as a player on the European Tour and, as people often point out, if you put him in a lineup and said, ‘which one do people call Chubby?’ 100 people out of 100 would pick him.

Tiger could call him Chubster, Chubber or Chubberoo. Chub might be tough because Clarkie appears to have staked that out already. But he could work a deal no doubt. Maybe he could make a trade with Clarkie: Steiny for Chub and a Nike commercial to be named later.

Of course there might be a few other issues to iron out. Chandler probably won’t want to give up his other clients at this point in his career and Tiger tends to need a full-time sitter. At most golf tournaments, both Steiny and PR guy Glenn Greenspan (Greenie) stick so close to their man that they have security.

Chandler isn’t a guy who likes an entourage. He doesn’t even like wearing a suit. Most agents look like their fallback job if agenting doesn’t work out is to model for GQ. Chandler looks more like he could model for Bowling Monthly most of the time. Actually he could fit in pretty well in most media rooms.

Steiny’s nickname on Tour is “Dr. No” because that’s the way his most famous client wants it. In the wake of Hydrant-gate, Steiny insisted he knew nothing about Tiger’s philandering and secret life. He was Sergeant Schultz (“I know NOTHING!”) to Tiger’s Colonel Hogan.

If Chandler had been Tiger’s agent he would have known what his client was up to. He might even have tried to convince Tiger that it was all a bad idea.

In which case one of two things probably would have happened: Tiger would have said, “Chubster, you’re fired.” Or, he might have listened and we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.