Whens Tiger Back Bad Question

By Kraig KannMay 5, 2006, 4:00 pm
Since the passing of Tiger Woods father Earl on Wednesday, more than a few have asked when we might see Tiger again on the PGA TOUR.

Some are members of the media and some are just golf fans. To me, it doesnt matter. And furthermore I dont think the question should be asked or answered ' at least for a little while.

Sure, wed love to get Tiger back out on the PGA TOUR. Sure, he makes the tour much more interesting. But family comes first. And right now, Earl Woods is far bigger for Tiger than a PGA TOUR stop, a World Ranking or a major championship. Go ahead and say that Im stating the obvious, but people have asked how soon hell come back.

Many are speculating that Woods would return for the U.S. Open, which happens to finish each year on Fathers Day. And while it would be a nice story for Tiger if he wins, it shouldnt matter a lick right now when the hurt goes so deep over losing your hero.

I was asked on a radio show what Earl did that worked so well. Actually, you could answer it by talking about the fact that Earl didnt do what so many other parents seem to do when their children find a love for sport or activity.

Many parents, myself included, find as much inspiration in their childs enthusiasm for sports or drama or whatever the interest, that they drive them to be the success story that they (the parent) couldnt quite be. Why is Little League so great? Cmon, youve heard the line. Because it keeps the parents off the streets.

Well, that wasnt Earl Woods. Earl wasnt the bully who wanted Tiger to achieve greatness at all costs. Earl said that his goal was not to create the good golfer. Instead, he wanted to create the good person.

Earl laid the groundwork. Earl instilled the drive to be the best that Tiger could be ' not the best that Earl wanted him to be. Theres a huge difference.

We all want success for our children. But what is the definition of success? And who determines if success is reached? For me, that choice is obvious ' its the child who decides.

Tiger and his father were a team. Together they worked. Together they achieved. And together they strived to make a difference beyond just Tigers success on the golf course.

The Tiger Woods Learning Center, the Tiger Woods Foundation. Each of these is probably as important to Tiger and Earl as his collection of ten major championships as a professional.

So why is this topic of when Tiger will come back the focus for me this week? Well, Thursday, in a meeting about the nights Golf Central show, the question was asked about whether or not we should discuss his potential dates of return.

And the topic created quite a stir. Sure, Tigers return to golf will be a story. Sure, Tiger will spend much of that time ' whatever tournament that might be ' answering questions about his Dad. And lets face it ' wed love to know if hell play the Memorial Tournament or the U.S. Open or some tournament beyond that.

But the decision was made to leave it alone. There will be a time to discuss Tigers return to the PGA TOUR. There will be a time to think about what major will come his way next. And there will be a time to discuss any potential rivalries on the golf course.

But the time is not now. Now, the time is right to let family be family. The time is to let Tiger be Tiger the person and not Tiger the player. The time is to let the family share in the joy of Earls life and the legacy he leaves behind.

Tiger will have plenty of time to chase titles and trophies. Right now, Tiger should have the right to do whatever he chooses at his own pace ' and without murmurs about his whereabouts or speculation about his future schedule.

Tiger has always been good about calling his own shots ' regardless of what others think. This time, there should be no questions.
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Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

Memo to the golf gods:

If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

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Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x