Promise Not Kept

By John HawkinsFebruary 16, 2011, 9:35 pm
A year ago this week, Tiger Woods returned to public view in the form of a hastily arranged confessional before a room full of close friends and millions of television viewers. His dirty laundry had been hung for all to see, so Woods put on a blazer, looked us in the eye and vowed to change his ways.

On the golf course, things have remained very much the same. Woods’ victory total hasn’t budged, and as he reminded us again last Sunday in Dubai, his competitive deportment leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many. To be fair, Tiger faces a much higher level of scrutiny than other Tour pros. No player is given nearly the same amount of attention during a final-round telecast when he is out of contention, nor does anyone do a poorer job of hiding his displeasure when things aren’t going well. Call it a flammable mix.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods promises to be better behaved on the course during his Feb. 19, 2010 statement. (Getty Images)
No one but Woods would warrant several seconds of camera time while squatting on a green, then turning his head and spitting onto the putting surface, a defiant act by a man whose nature is not wholly compatible with the simplest laws of compliance. Still, it boggles my mind that the incident was picked up by so many media agencies beyond the golf community. Front-page news: Sir Eldrick hocks a loogie.

Having known Woods for the better part of 15 years, having spent considerable time with him on practice ranges and putting greens in addition to a few occasions away from the course, I got to know the guy who wasn’t built for mass consumption. Petulant, definitely a bit sophomoric, but not in a harmful way. Overly sarcastic, exceptionally quick-witted -- Tiger always struck me as the caricature of a man’s man, and if he wasn’t the greatest golfer who ever lived, you might politely describe him as an acquired taste.

I’ve often told those who ask that the Tiger Woods they’ve seen in television ads is a 180-degree departure from the real dude in the red shirt, and for more than a decade, there really weren’t many conflicts. Woods was so good at playing golf and smiling on cue that marketing him as a wholesome, warm-blooded assassin was basically a no-brainer. He sold Buicks, fished off a pier with some unwitting codger and built a foundation that helped hundreds of kids from an educational standpoint.

He did a lot of good, won a lot of trophies, and when he did something bad, there weren’t any cameras around. Meanwhile, I spent a lot of time thinking. If you want to win 19 major titles and stuff every all-time record in your pocket, you have to turn up all the alpha-male dials and leave 'em there. As Springsteen said, 'no retreat, no surrender.' That’s not a gameface, partner. That’s just who I am.

People aren’t ganging up on Woods now because he’s winless since whenever. He got beat up for cussing and tossing clubs when he was hauling in six victories a season, but from the viewpoint of a wide-angle lens, he was a champion without peer, chained to exceedingly high standards, ferocious in his pursuit of excellence and atrocious when it came to controlling his temper. Way back when, Tiger’s conduct was easier to rationalize – you could always point to that great big pile of Ws.

Ain’t no pile anymore. When Woods stepped to that podium on Feb. 19, 2010, I think he really intended to change. I also think he thought he could salvage his marriage, but when that didn’t happen and the victory drought got larger, he realized, perhaps subconsciously, that trying to be Mr. Nice Guy wasn’t working. Better to win golf tournaments and be yourself than to not and not.

So here we are, one year later. Tiger tried to cover up the saliva with his putter, but that didn’t work, either.
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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

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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