No. 1 Best Seller

By John FeinsteinJuly 26, 2011, 7:38 pm

Steve Williams wants to write a book. I have news for him: The line forms to the right.

If I had a dollar for every athlete, coach, father, mother, fan or media member who has called me in the last 25 years to either ask for advice on how to write a book or to offer me the chance to co-author their book, I wouldn’t be as wealthy as Tiger Woods but I’d probably be as wealthy as Williams.

Everyone who has ever spent 15 minutes in sports thinks his or her life is worthy of a book. One of my favorites was an email I received from someone with the subject line, “Opportunity For You.” The opportunity was to write his book on the building of a sprint football team (that’s 150 pounds and under) at a Division III school. It wasn’t that there was any particular story line to it he just thought the school having a team was worthy of a book.

That wasn’t even close to the worst idea I’ve ever heard. It was just the most arrogant approach I can remember.

Almost every college basketball coach who has ever won more than 10 games in a season is convinced his life is book. Years ago a coach who had been fired from a major school in the midst of a scandal called me. He’d had a decent career pre-scandal, nothing you’d write a book about, but a reasonably good career. There was reason to believe if he bided his time for a couple of years he might get another job. Most cheaters who have won in the past get another chance.

“I’m ready to do my book,” he said. “I want you to write it.”

I wasn’t going to write the book but there were enough big names involved in the scandal and he probably knew enough stories that if he wanted to turn whistleblower someone might publish the book.

“Hang on a second,” I said. “You might get someone to publish the book but you need to think before you leap here. If you write about what happened in detail and what you’ve seen other coaches do, chances are good you’ll never coach again.”

He was stunned that I had missed his point and said, “You don’t understand. I’m not going to write about any of THAT. I’m only going to write the positive things: my big wins and my relationships with the student-athletes.”

The guy had won two NCAA Tournament games in his life. I politely suggested he lay low for a while and try to find another coaching job.

Which brings me back to Steve Williams. He says his autobiography would contain, “an interesting chapter on Tiger Woods.”

Really? What will all the other chapters be about? Your racing career in New Zealand? Your days not winning major titles with Greg Norman? Tales of Life with Finchie? (Ian Baker-Finch, a nice guy who won his major without Williams on his bag).

There’s only one reason anyone knows Steve Williams: he spent almost 13 years of his life working closely with Woods. People aren’t going to be all that interested in what Stevie whispered to Tiger before he made the putt at Torrey Pines back in ’08. (“You can do it mate,” sounds about right).

No. The only reason any publisher is going to pay Williams more than the price of lunch for his book is if he dishes on Tiger’s private life. I know that sounds cynical and, honestly, I still wouldn’t read the book but a lot of people probably would.

A year ago, after his split with Woods, Hank Haney began talking to writers about doing a book. Everyone asked him what he'd be able to tell the reader about what was going on in Woods’ personal life prior to Nov. 27, 2009. Haney had nothing, but was willing to dish on a lot of stories about what a bad guy Tiger can be.

You mean stories about him cursing? Not signing autographs? Blowing off the media? Making mean cracks behind people’s backs?

Gee Hank, thanks.

Williams has already categorically denied knowing anything about Woods’ personal life. It may take a leap of faith to believe him but he’d already start out with Strike 1 against him if he started telling people he had details. As in, “Oh, when you were still working for the guy you didn’t know anything; he fires you and you’ve got names, dates, places and times.” People already aren’t terribly sympathetic about Williams’ firing because he was such a lout during his years working for Woods. Turning on a man who made him millions isn’t going to make him more popular in most places.

That doesn’t mean someone wouldn’t pay for the book. Someone would. And the same people who make TMZ successful and buy books on The Life and Times of Paris Hilton would probably turn it into a best seller of some kind. The more Williams can prove what was going on the more he will get paid.

My bet is Stevie will try to sell a book about his role in the 13 majors Tiger won with him on the bag. Look, no one respects caddies more than I do, a good one can make a big difference for a player. But the Woods who won those 13 majors was so good he probably would have won with Gary Williams the basketball coach, or Gary Williams the Golf Channel broadcaster, on the bag.

When I think of Stevie in those days I think back to Jack Nicklaus at the 1981 U.S. Open when his son Jack Jr. caddied for him for the first time in a major. After his first round, someone asked Nicklaus if having Jack Jr. caddie for him had helped him in any way.

“He was a huge help,” Nicklaus said.

“Really?” the excited questioner said. “How exactly did he help?”

Nicklaus smiled. “Well,” he said. “Someone had to carry the bag.”

Maybe that could be the title for Stevie’s book: “Someone Had To Carry The Bag.”

Getty Images

Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

Getty Images

Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

Getty Images

Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

Getty Images

Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.