Woods forgiving Garcia would stun the world

By John FeinsteinMay 22, 2013, 7:45 pm

Almost everyone has a moment in life when something comes out of their mouth that they wish they could snatch out of the air and stuff back inside. It can be something said to a loved one or a friend in private. For public figures, it often happens with a microphone in front of them when they have to think on their feet.

That’s what happened to Sergio Garcia on Tuesday at the European Tour awards dinner. Golf Channel’s Steve Sands asked Garcia a question in jest about having dinner with Woods at next month’s U.S. Open and the words that came out of Garcia’s mouth: “We’ll have him round for dinner every night. We’ll cook him fried chicken,” can’t be snatched back.

Certain moments – both good and bad – follow public figures through their lives, right to the end. When Tom Kite finally won his major in 1992 in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach he said, “Well, at least now I know what the first line of my obituary will be.”

That was good news. This is not.

Bob Knight won 902 basketball games, three national championships and an Olympic gold medal. “The chair” incident will be near the top of his obit. LeBron James can win a dozen NBA titles in Miami and no one will let him forget “The Decision.” Bill Buckner was a borderline Hall of Fame baseball player. His error in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series is in the first sentence of any story written about him – even though the game had already been tied.

Fuzzy Zoeller’s “fried chicken and collared greens” comment in 1997 will be right there in the first two paragraphs with his two major championships someday. Woods can win 100 major titles and his marital infidelities in 2009 will follow him if he lives to 2109.

That’s life. And legacy. Now, Garcia has his very unfortunate legacy and, no matter how often he apologizes, no matter how sincere he may be, it isn’t going away. Not now. Not soon. Not ever.

That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t apologize. He should do so in person to Woods because it is the right thing to do. The remark was, as he put it, 'stupid' and mean. Unlike Zoeller, who wasn’t being malicious, just remarkably insensitive, Garcia seemed malicious because, as everyone knows, he and Woods can’t stand one another.

One of the sadder aspects of all this – from Garcia’s point-of-view – is that he was holding his own with Woods in the verbal sparring match that began during the third round of The Players Championship. He’d even shown some self-awareness earlier in the day on Tuesday when he said Woods was probably right to call him a whiner.

But then, on Tuesday, he came to his verbal/social/cultural 17th hole at Sawgrass. He didn’t put two in the water, he put about a dozen in the water. And, unlike in the movie “Tin Cup” he didn’t finally hole out. He’s not dry yet and won’t be anytime soon.

Of course, as in all things, there are ways to make some amends. The public apology was a first step; a personal apology should come next. Then some public gestures – even if they will be seen as PR moves – would be both smart and the right thing to do. Maybe a large donation to the Tiger Woods Foundation with the money earmarked for public schools in Washington.

Those sorts of things are the best Garcia can do right now. Woods is never going to truly forgive him, but Garcia needs to try anyway. He might also want to consider some sensitivity training – for his own sake, not anyone else’s. The only good thing about a mistake is that it gives you a chance to think about why you made it. Athletes are always saying, “I can learn from this” in the wake of defeat. This was the biggest loss Garcia has ever suffered. He would do himself a favor if he tried to learn from it.

Woods has now won the battle, just as he won the golf tournament when Garcia melted down on the 17th at Sawgrass a few weeks ago. His initial tweet in response to Garcia’s gaffe was pure Woods: he put a few extra bullets into the body while it’s still twitching. He’s entitled to do that.

Now though, Woods has another great opportunity. He should, at least publicly, accept Garcia’s apology. He should say something like “God knows I’ve made mistakes in my life that I regret. I’ve asked people to forgive me and been fortunate that so many people have done so. Sergio’s asked me to forgive him. I told him I hope we can start again on Square 1 and show one another the respect – on and off the golf course – that all of us would like to have.”

That would be game, set, match Tiger.

In all likelihood, the thought of letting Garcia off the mat a little won’t cross Woods’ mind now. And, if it does cross the mind of his agent or PR person, they aren’t likely to voice it to their boss. Imagine it though: Tiger the Magnanimous. It would be the most stunning thing Woods has done since he made the putt on 18 at Torrey Pines in 2008 to force the U.S. Open playoff with Rocco Mediate.

And there would be one huge difference: No one was surprised when Woods made that putt. Almost everyone would be shocked if he made this gesture.

Garcia just left him with a tap-in to win a major that could have more meaning than any victory already on his resume.

Knock it in Tiger.

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CareerBuilder purse payouts: Rahm wins $1.062 million

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 12:50 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry on the fourth hole of sudden death to win the CareerBuilder Challenger. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out in La Quinta, Calif.:

1 Jon Rahm -22 $1,062,000
2 Andrew Landry -22 $637,200
T3 Adam Hadwin -20 $306,800
T3 John Huh -20 $306,800
T3 Martin Piller -20 $306,800
T6 Kevin Chappell -19 $205,025
T6 Scott Piercy -19 $205,025
T8 Brandon Harkins -18 $171,100
T8 Jason Kokrak -18 $171,100
T8 Sam Saunders -18 $171,100
T11 Harris English -17 $135,700
T11 Seamus Power -17 $135,700
T11 Jhonattan Vegas -17 $135,700
T14 Bud Cauley -16 $106,200
T14 Austin Cook -16 $106,200
T14 Grayson Murray -16 $106,200
T17 Andrew Putnam -15 $88,500
T17 Peter Uihlein -15 $88,500
T17 Aaron Wise -15 $88,500
T20 Ricky Barnes -14 $57,754
T20 Stewart Cink -14 $57,754
T20 Brian Harman -14 $57,754
T20 Beau Hossler -14 $57,754
T20 Charles Howell III -14 $57,754
T20 Zach Johnson -14 $57,754
T20 Ryan Palmer -14 $57,754
T20 Brendan Steele -14 $57,754
T20 Nick Taylor -14 $57,754
T29 Lucas Glover -13 $36,706
T29 Russell Knox -13 $36,706
T29 Nate Lashley -13 $36,706
T29 Tom Lovelady -13 $36,706
T29 Kevin Streelman -13 $36,706
T29 Hudson Swafford -13 $36,706
T29 Richy Werenski -13 $36,706
T36 Jason Dufner -12 $27,189
T36 Derek Fathauer -12 $27,189
T36 James Hahn -12 $27,189
T36 Chez Reavie -12 $27,189
T36 Webb Simpson -12 $27,189
T36 Tyrone Van Aswegen -12 $27,189
T42 Bronson Burgoon -11 $18,983
T42 Ben Crane -11 $18,983
T42 Brian Gay -11 $18,983
T42 Chesson Hadley -11 $18,983
T42 Patton Kizzire -11 $18,983
T42 Hunter Mahan -11 $18,983
T42 Kevin Na -11 $18,983
T42 Rob Oppenheim -11 $18,983
T50 Alex Cejka -10 $14,025
T50 Corey Conners -10 $14,025
T50 Michael Kim -10 $14,025
T50 Kevin Kisner -10 $14,025
T50 Sean O'Hair -10 $14,025
T50 Sam Ryder -10 $14,025
T50 Nick Watney -10 $14,025
T57 Robert Garrigus -9 $13,039
T57 Tom Hoge -9 $13,039
T57 David Lingmerth -9 $13,039
T57 Ben Martin -9 $13,039
T57 Trey Mullinax -9 $13,039
T57 Brett Stegmaier -9 $13,039
T63 Scott Brown -8 $12,449
T63 Wesley Bryan -8 $12,449
T63 Brice Garnett -8 $12,449
T63 Sung Kang -8 $12,449
T67 Talor Gooch -7 $12,095
T67 Tom Whitney -7 $12,095
T69 Matt Every -6 $11,623
T69 Billy Hurley III -6 $11,623
T69 Smylie Kaufman -6 $11,623
T69 Keith Mitchell -6 $11,623
T69 Rory Sabbatini -6 $11,623
T69 Chris Stroud -6 $11,623
75 John Peterson -5 $11,210
76 Abraham Ancer -4 $11,092
77 Ben Silverman 4 $10,974
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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.