What If Tiger Wanted a Trade
As for Kobe Bryant. just taking Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton from the front pages wasnt good enough. Hes done his best to send the league thats made him famous into chaos during its playoff spotlight.
In a day of radio interviews that seemingly had no end, the star of the Los Angeles Lakers - and perhaps the NBAs brightest star - had requested a trade from Hollywood. Tinseltown, which loves its stars, would perhaps never be the same without number 24 (or the former number 8.)
I would like to be traded, yeah. Tough as it is to come to that conclusion, theres no other alternative, Bryant told ESPN radio.
Then, about three hours later, after a conversation Bryant had with his current (perhaps soon to be former) coach Phil Jackson, Bryant told KLAC radio I dont want to go anywhere, this is my team. I love it here.
Regardless of whether Kobe stays or goes, it brought me to thinking about the world the PGA TOUR lives in.
Kobes frustrated that the Lakers arent pointed in the direction of winning. And with four years left on the seven-year $136.4 million contract he signed in July of 2004, Kobes burned out on trying to light a fire under his current franchise.
Kobes not winning ' enough.
Tiger Woods has 12 professional major titles to his credit. Bryant helped (along with Shaquille ONeal) guide the Los Angeles Lakers to three straight NBA titles but hasnt won since ONeal left town for Miami.
And so goes the difference between two of sports greatest superstars ' and their desire to win, win and win some more.
Tiger Woods is in control of Tiger Woods. As he approaches 60 PGA TOUR titles, he doesnt have to rely on Smush Parker or Lamar Odom or Chris Mimm for help.
Kobe Bryant, meanwhile, can shoot his way to 60 points in a single game ' but it hardly guarentees that his team wins or that his team wins the title that year.
Golfers are required to worry about themselves. NBA stars are required to play within a team concept.
There is no salary cap for Tiger. For the Los Angeles Lakers ' there is.
Tiger dominates the PGA TOUR with regularity but has never asked for a trade because the competition isnt quite good enough. Hes never asked to player for Europe in the Ryder Cup because his American side isnt competitive enough.
My problem with Kobe is not his $136.4 million contract. Its his apparent lack of understanding about the ramifications to the rest of the franchise because of the huge sum paid directly to him.
Sure, the Lakers need to do a better job of finding better pieces to the puzzle around Bryant. And they need to watch what they say about Bryants dedication to the team or lack of dedication. Frustration is one thing ' reality is another.
Does the PGA TOUR need to do a better job of finding the pieces around Tiger in a 156-man field? No, but could it do a better job of promoting its PGA TOUR winners?
Tiger is a part of the team on the PGA TOUR. Kobe Bryant is a part of a team named the Los Angeles Lakers. Fans pay big money to see each man do their thing. If Kobe doesnt like the frustration that comes with playing a team sport ' then give Butch Harmon a call and start working on the 60-degree wedge.
As I see it, Bryant called out Odom and Mimm and Parker as unfit parts in Kobes desire to build a winning team. Are they perfect? Perhaps not, but most NBA players arent stars and are thus reliant upon the likes of a Bryant to achieve a championship.
Michael Jordan never gave up on the Chicago Bulls along the way to its run of titles. And Bryant needs to sit back, be more like Mike as he perhaps chases his legacy, and work harder to make the others into champions just as Jordan did. Believe me ' it will feel a lot better to win when folks think you cant than to have two other stars dumped into his starting five where winning becomes easy.
PGA TOUR golf and the NBA are apples to oranges in comparison. But perhaps each could learn something from the other.
Kobe ought to learn that there isnt an I in team. Winning comes from making others better.
The PGA TOUR ' bolstered by a collective group of individuals focused on their own score ' should do more to develop the team concept that has been brought to light be Kobes comments this week.
For now, (and well see how long this lasts) Bryant and his coach Phil Jackson will be tested to prove their greatness as superstar player and coach. They chose the sport in which they live and play.
As for Tiger - with all due respect, you can bet hes glad his legacy is not directly tied to the likes of PGA TOUR winners Will MacKenzie or Paul Goydos who might be playing alongside in a three-man weave of their own.
Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings
Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.
Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.
As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.
"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."
Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.
Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.
Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut
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
Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements
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.”
Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back
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.