Woods Wie Beat of Two Drums

By Kraig KannSeptember 15, 2006, 4:00 pm
This week the sagas continue. Two players detailed, discussed and debated more than any other trying to win a golf tournament. But my how different their worlds have become.
 
Lets start with Tiger Woods, who this week set sail overseas with sights set on a sixth win in six starts. His previous five included two major championships, a WGC event, his Deutche Bank stop in Beantown, and yet another title that included keys to a new Buick. Five wins in completely different fashion ' proving that Woods can do -- and does -- whatever it takes to hold the trophy when its finished.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods has won seven times on the PGA TOUR this season.
If youve been one to find fault with Woods over the last five years or so.. then stop. Forget about the reasons you challenged his thought process. Dismiss the criticism of his swing changes. Laugh at the preposterous belief that hed fallen prey to a slump. Quit thinking that Hank Haney isnt a good match.
 
Nobodys perfect, including Tiger. But when it comes to winning, to use his lingo: hes close.
 
In order of wins, this streak of five provides a clinic in the art of How To. Irons off the tee to win the British at Royal Liverpool. More birdies at the Buick than migrate south each year before winter. A Sunday throttling of Luke Donald and everyone else who believed they could put more red on the board, or in their wardrobe, than Woods himself at the PGA Championship. A back-nine blip at Firestone, as if on purpose to light a fire necessary to remind Stewart Cink and us that he can come from behind and outlast any challenger in a playoff. And then a Monday charge in Boston to make Paul Revere proud and Vijay Singh forget all about his awesome display on Sunday.
 
Whatever it takes, Woods does it. And just when we find reason to believe that Phil Mickelson or someone else might be fit for a challenge, Woods proves hes really no match.
 
Take it from Lee Trevino. A major champion, Lee watched Jack Nicklaus dominate the game in an era that included Palmer and Watson, Trevino and Floyd, Player and Casper, and made the assessment recently that if Woods were in the mix, only Jack would be able to give him a run with some dose of regularity, and he might not have gotten him very often.
 
If that isnt saying something, then what is?
 
This week provided a chance at the six-pack, if you will - Woods joining 15 others (including six other Ryder Cup members) in a tune-up for the Ryder Cup at the World Match Play outside London.
 
And, though he lost to Shaun Micheel in the first round, five straight is still not too bad.
 
By the way, 53 victories on the PGA TOUR for Tiger is exactly fifty-three more than Michelle Wie has earned on any professional tour of duty.
 
And so where is Michelle this week in hopes of getting her first? Shes rubbing shoulders again with the big boys at the 84 Lumber Classic in Pennsylvania. And after her appearance overseas on the European Tour last week, ruffling feathers might be a more proper way to describe the state of her very presence on any tour right now.
 
Ive said it before. And Ill say it again. I like Michelle Wie a lot. Shes a charming teenager with a phenomenal amount of ability and the potential to be a dominant force for years to come.
 
But its very good for her that charming comes before ability, because right now the million-dollar smile and the classy way she carries herself isnt outweighing friction from comments last week on the mens European Tour about hopes to give the -- gulp -- Ryder Cup a try someday.
 
Teenagers are allowed to dream big. We encourage it in our children. We admire it in those who achieve greatness. But the time and the place for a speech like that is in the bedroom mirror during some quiet time after a few victories. Not in front of the media with a Ryder Cup just a few weeks away.
 
I give Michelle all the credit in the world for her finishes in LPGA majors over the past few years. Her consistency in the big ones rivals so few.
 
But imagine the conversation in the Ryder Cup team room next week. What might rookies Brett Wetterich and J.J. Henry be thinking? And what would Woods and Mickelson be uttering? And one could only wonder what Annika was saying to herself.
 
Someday soon, 16 year-old Michelle becomes 17-year-old Michelle and suddenly the age becomes much the same as Paula Creamers was when she jumped aboard the LPGA train. Cristie Kerr was young, too. Look at their resumes.
 
Talent is one thing. Shes got that and then some. But if things dont calm down a bit, the million-dollar smile and the millions in the bank arent going to keep the millions who love to watch her play from calling her into further question. Twelve with superstar talent hasnt equated to 16 with a stack full of victories.
 
Tiger did it one way. Michelle is doing it another way. For Wie, the jury is still out. But juries can be awfully tough.
 
Just ask Tiger.
 
Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann

Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

"He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

"I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

"From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

"And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

"There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."

Move over Lydia, a new Ko is coming to LPGA

By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 5:11 pm

Another gifted young South Korean will be joining the LPGA ranks next year.

Jin Young Ko, the Korean LPGA Tour star, informed the American-based LPGA on Sunday night that she will be taking up membership next year. Ko earned the right by winning the LPGA’s KEB Hana Bank Championship as a nonmember in South Korea in October.

Ko, 22, no relation to Lydia Ko, first burst on to the international spotlight with her run into contention at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry two years ago. She led there through 54 holes, with Inbee Park overtaking her in the final round to win.

With 10 KLPGA Tour titles, three in each of the last two seasons, Ko has risen to No. 19 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

Ko told GolfChannel.com Sunday afternoon that she was struggling over the decision, with a Monday deadline looming.

“It’s a difficult decision to leave home,” Ko said after the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, when she was still undecided. “The travelling far away, on my own, the loneliness, that’s what is difficult.”

Ko will be the favorite to win the LPGA’s Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award next year. South Koreans have won that award the last three years. Sung Hyun Park won it this year, In Gee Chun last year and Sei Young Kim in 2015. South Korean-born players have won the last four, with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko winning it in 2014. Ko was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand when she was 6.

Ko released this statement through the LPGA on Wednesday: 

"It has been my dream since I was young to play on the LPGA Tour and I look forward to testing myself against the best players on a worldwide stage. I know it is going to be tough but making a first win as an LPGA member and winning the Rolex Rookie of the Year award would be two of the biggest goals I would like to achieve next year."