Tiger Woods took 34 putts in the first round at The Honda Classic but while the putts did not fall, Sobel said that his swing looked really good and even added that he has seen some worst putting rounds from Tiger than what he saw on Thursday. Everyone who plays the game of golf understands how you can putt well but not have a lot of them go in and that is what Tiger said after his first round.
When it comes to opinions on Tiger from other players, Sobel said that what he tends to hear the most often is how players are expecting Tiger to return to form but they are just waiting for when that exact moment is. Players also want to Tiger to return to form.
He has always heard from fans how the media is too nice to Tiger. The media tries to do its job by asking solid, relevant, and sometimes difficult questions. Members of the media do not necessarily have an agenda but they do have a job to do and sometimes that job involves asking Tiger Woods some hard questions even when the expectation is that Tiger will not answer those questions. A couple of weeks ago at Pebble Beach, he asked Tiger if he would play in The Honda Classic. Tiger did not answer him that day but he ended up playing at PGA National.
It seems like every two years a Ryder Cup Captain has a great round and the discussion about whether or not he could be a playing captain begins again. He does not think that Davis Love III will be a playing captain and that is not a negative reflection on him. Instead, it is an acknowledgement of the reality that the quality of younger Americans who are trying to make the team is so much stronger than it was in years past when there were playing captains. The quality is so strong that there will be some big American names who play well but do not make Davis Love III’s team at Medinah.
In his second visit to Friday’s Morning Drive, Sobel began by saying that the future is now and the future is Rory McIlroy. When he was not winning tournaments, he was often missing cuts or finishing at the bottom of the field. But what we are starting to see now is what we saw with Tiger Woods when he first became the future of golf: McIlroy will either win or he will be in contention deep into the final round. Rory will become #1 in the world and while it is not always the case, Sobel thinks it will be the case with Rory that the World #1 is truly the best player in the world.
While Sean Foley teaches Tiger Woods and receives a lot of coverage, he also teaches 2012 WGC-Accenture Match Play Champion Hunter Mahan and Justin Rose who got off to a great start on Thursday. Sobel thinks that Rose is on the verge of having a big season and Mahan has already proven that he can win in big events. Both Mahan and Rose are on the short list of players who will be big contenders to win Majors in 2012.
This is a home game for Erik Compton and he started with a 67 at PGA National on Thursday. Compton has acknowledged that his story involving the two heart transplants is bigger than he is. Sobel said that Compton is trying to make his story now about his golf game and not about his medical experiences. He is a very, very good player and we should not be surprised anymore when we see him on the leaderboard. If Compton is in the final group of a tournament, more people will root for Compton than anyone else and that includes Tiger Woods.