Here's a thought: Love as Tiger's next coach

By John FeinsteinSeptember 16, 2014, 7:05 pm

Editor's Note: Click here for Davis Love's response.


Tiger Woods needs a new swing coach. Shortly after his lost year ended with a missed cut at the PGA Championship, Woods announced that he would no longer be working with Sean Foley.

The announcement came as no surprise. After all, Woods hadn’t won a major title since hiring Foley in 2010 and 2014 had been a disaster – even if injuries were a big part of the problem.

And so the speculation began – and continues, even though Woods said on Monday that he’s in no hurry to find a replacement.

Who will Woods hire next? The rumors that he would try to go back to Butch Harmon, who was his coach during his most dominant days, started instantly. That’s not happening. Harmon works with Phil Mickelson and Woods and Mickelson sharing a teacher would be roughly the equivalent of the Yankees and Red Sox sharing the same manager.

Hank Haney? Forget it – did you read the book?

Swing coaches worldwide have been mentioned. One list of candidates included the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee – who wouldn’t be a bad choice – and Woods’ ex-wife, Elin Nordegren.

There’s one name that appeared on ZERO lists who would be the perfect pick for Woods, even though he’s never been a fulltime swing coach, mostly because it would have involved a massive pay cut.

Davis Love III.

Before you roll your eyes, give it some thought. Love is the son of the late Davis Love Jr. who was one of golf’s most revered and respected teachers before his tragic death in a private plane crash in 1988. Because of who his father was, Love grew up around great golf teachers – among them Harvey Penick – and has an understanding of the golf swing and how to fix swing flaws that goes beyond most of his peers on Tour.

For years, Love has been a go-to guy on the range when players are struggling. Golf is unique in that it is the one sport where competitors will help one another when one of them is struggling. Remember the last time Woods had a hot putter, back in 2013? He credited the improvement to a tip he got from Steve Stricker.

Love is a very confident teacher. Years ago, Tom Kite, who was one of Love’s mentors on Tour when he first came out, approached Love on the range in Greensboro and asked Love if he would take a look at his swing.

Love agreed – on one condition. “I don’t want to walk out here tomorrow and see you asking someone else for help,” he said. “I’ll tell you what I think but you better listen and you better not be trying something else a couple of days from now.”

Kite, as Love explained later, is one of those guys who is constantly seeking swing advice. “If a guy walked up to him on the street and suggested a change, Tom might listen to him.” Kite agreed and the two men went to work.

Love doesn’t just know the golf swing, he knows how to teach the golf swing. He’s been doing it in one form or another all his life.

There’s more – Woods likes Love, which is a statement that can’t be made about a lot of other players. He also respects him, which is an even shorter list. They’ve known each other since Woods first started playing Tour events as a teenage amateur. It is impossible not to like Love. Woods would listen to him and he would enjoy spending time with him. That’s no small thing. Plus, Love wouldn’t worry about telling Woods the truth about his swing or his game because he doesn’t need the job and won’t be worried about getting fired.

The timing is perfect. Love turned 50 in April. He can play on the PGA Tour forever because he has 20 victories, which makes him a member for life. He played 22 times on the PGA Tour this year and his highest finish was a tie for 35th place. Clearly, he could migrate to the Champions Tour whenever he wants and probably beat up 6,500-yard golf courses with slow greens.

But he doesn’t really want to do that. Back in June, he stood in the locker room at Congressional Country Club – during the event sponsored by Woods’ foundation – and talked about his future.

“I’m going to play here (PGA Tour) for as long as I can,” he said. “I know there will come a time when I have to go over there (Champions Tour) but I hope it isn’t for a while.”

Most top players feel that way when they turn 50. They still believe they can find the magic one more time while competing against the best in the world. Reality sets in at some point and off they go to the world of 54-hole, no cut tournaments. Love knows that time will come – but, at the moment, isn’t very fired up about it. (For the record, he'll make his senior debut this week in Hawaii.)

Why not take a hiatus for a couple of years and see if you can fix the greatest player (arguably) in golf history?

There will still be plenty of time to be successful on the Champions Tour if and when Love chooses to go there full time. He is already a lock Hall of Famer but this would be a unique addition to his resume.

Think of it: Won 20 times on the PGA Tour, including the 1997 PGA Championship; Played on six Ryder Cup teams and captained the 2012 Ryder Cup team; Fixed Tiger Woods.

Love can do it. He might even want to do it – if asked.

It isn’t as if there’s a no-brainer, this-is-the-guy-for-Tiger swing coach out there. Why not try something out of the box?

The last time inside the box worked in a tournament Woods truly cares about was six years, and two swing coaches, ago.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.


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“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.