Notes Woods Speaks on Augusta Wie

By Mercer BaggsJune 29, 2005, 4:00 pm
LEMONT, Ill. -- Augusta National is getting longer. And the reigning Masters champion isnt thrilled.
 
Tiger Woods
Even though Tiger Woods doesn't like Augusta's latest alterations, they may help him win even more Masters titles.
Ill tell you what, theyre trying to get it to play like it used to play, four-time winner Tiger Woods said Wednesday after his pro-am for this weeks Cialis Western Open. But they fail to realize the greens are running at 12 (on the stimpmeter) now. They used to run at, what, 7 and 8?
 
I dont quite understand it because we havent had ' since they changed it in 2002, we have yet to have a dry Masters.
 
Augusta National announced Tuesday that they are adding length to six holes: Nos. 1, 4, 7, 11, 15 and 17. The additions will measure the course at 7,445 yards; an increase of 155 yards.
 
Nine holes were altered leading up to the 2002 Masters, which added 285 yards to the venue.
 
When we went into this years Masters, we thought that over par could probably win the tournament, and it rained. It softened the golf course up, and there were (still) only a handful of guys under par.
 
We have yet to have it hard and dry and fast for the entire week, and if we do, with these new tee locations, its more likely that over par will win.
 
Woods and Chris DiMarco finished regulation this year at 12-under-par 276; though, they were seven strokes clear of third place. Only 16 of the 50 players who posted four rounds finished under par.
 
That 12-under winning total tied the lowest number since the 2002 changes. Woods also won in 02 at 12 under. Champion Mike Weir and Len Mattiace finished regulation at 7-under 281 in 2003. And Phil Mickelson captured his first major championship at 9-under 279 last year.
 
I dont agree with it, but weve all got to play it, Woods said.
 
WIE-SY DOES IT
One thing that Woods agrees with is the right of tournament sponsors to invite players at their discretion.
 
Woods, who received his first PGA Tour sponsors exemption in the 1992 L.A. Open, near his Southern California home, said that he has no problem with Michelle Wie competing in next weeks John Deere Classic.
 
Well, if the sponsors want to get a crowd, thats why they do, Woods said. I got an exemption when I was 16, too. I understand where shes coming from.
 
The John Deere, which is contested the week before the British Open, is traditionally a tournament that is bypassed by the top-ranked players and overlooked by media and fans.
 
Two-time major champion John Daly was also asked his opinion on the matter.
 
Its fine with me. It doesnt bother me, he said. Thats whats great about the tournament organizers or chairmen or whatever. They can pretty much pick whoever they want.
 
I think shell draw a lot of attention. It helps our tour a little bit, but it helps the LPGA more than anything when she gets out here.
 
Reigning British Open champion Todd Hamilton agrees that sponsors can invite whomever they wish. But he added that it would probably behoove her to compete against lesser talent.
 
I think, and I've heard this said by other people, she needs to learn how to (win), he said. She's obviously a great talent, and I'm sure she will win many, many tournaments, and she may even win before she turns pro. She might win on the ladies' tour, but I honestly don't think it's necessary that she plays on the men's tour.
 
This will be Wies third foray into a PGA Tour event, but her first on the U.S. mainland. She missed the cut in each of the last two Sony Opens, played in her native Hawaii.
 
The 15-year-old amateur shared the 54-hole lead in last weeks U.S. Womens Open, but shot 82 on Sunday to tie for 23rd.
 
I was very, very proud of her, the way she played in the U.S. Open, Daly said. It was too bad about her last round. I think shes getting closer and closer (to winning).
 
'It would have been great if Michelle had won last Sunday at the Ladies' Open,' Hamilton said. 'She's a great talent.'
 
ALL RIGHT, HAMILTON
Hamilton is playing each of the next two weeks in Illinois, before heading over to Scotland to defend his British Open title.
 
That means he has less than a fortnight to hold onto the Claret Jug ' unless, of course, he wins again ' until he has to return it to the Royal & Ancient.
 
So where is one of golfs most prized possessions at the moment?
 
I actually have it in the trunk of my car right now, he said Wednesday during his press conference.
 
Hamilton is traveling with the jug since he wont be headed home before going to St. Andrews. He had it with him at Cog Hill in anticipation of showing it to a friend.
 
The jug, which is kept in a very protective case, was in no danger of being damaged. And it had some company in its rental car confines.
 
I've got a backpack and I think my rain gear, he said of his trunk contents. Could be a good commercial.
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

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    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

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    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

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    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

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