Tiger Woods - June 27, 2012

By Morning Drive TeamJune 27, 2012, 12:55 pm

14-time Major Champion Tiger Woods appeared on Wednesday’s Morning Drive with Tiger Woods Foundation President & CEO Greg McLaughlin. The AT&T National, which benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation, returns to Congressional Country Club this year after being played at Aronimink Golf Club near Philadelphia, PA in each of the last two years. Woods won the 2009 AT&T National at Congressional Country Club.

The Tiger Woods Foundation has had a great deal of success in the Washington, D.C. with millions of dollars contributed to a pair of Tiger Woods Learning Centers in the area which has led to the improvement of the lives of so many kids in the D.C. area alone. The Foundation is very happy with the work that has been done and they look forward to doing more work in part through the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club.

Congressional Country Club is playing firm and fast this week and it will certainly play differently than it did in the 2011 U.S. Open when Rory McIlroy won with a score of 16 under par. It is very hot this week and although there will be a lot of water put on the course to keep it alive, the course will still play very firm and fast.

Since the start of the AT&T National, Tiger has not personally tried to recruit players to play in the tournament because he understands what it feels like to be put in the position of answering an invitation to play an event from a fellow player so he leaves the task of inviting players to Greg McLaughlin.

While this event is not the same as a Major Championship because they are in a class by themselves, it is certainly near and dear to his heart and the hearts of everyone involved with the Tiger Woods Foundation because of all the money that has been raised to build Learning Centers and help improve the lives of so many young people in the United States.

On the question of anchored putters, Tiger said that he is not sure what if anything the USGA or R&A will say this year based on that policy. He has stated what he thinks of anchored putters in the past and while he has his opinions, he has not spoken to officials from either organization recently so he is not sure what will ultimately be decided.

While playing in Washington, D.C. is easier than Philadelphia in terms of tournament organization, McLaughlin said that it is actually a bit more difficult in terms of attracting corporate sponsorship because of the current state of the economy and the fact that the tournament has been out of the D.C. area for the last two years. McLaughlin is optimistic that it will be easier to attract corporate sponsors for the 2013 AT&T National.

When it comes to the Major Championships, Tiger says that he has always taken the good with the bad and he tries to learn something from every experience. Whether the experience was positive or negative, he has taken something from each and every Major that he has played in and he tries to apply those lessons to future Majors.

He is making a great deal of progress with Sean Foley and it has taken some time because he has essentially had to relearn his golf swing but he is now feeling a lot more confident on the course and as a result, they do not need to spend as much time together before or after the round as they have in the past. Instead, they work together mostly to make little fixes here and there when they are needed.

A big reason why there have been nine straight first-time Major Champions is that the fields are so much deeper today than they have been in years past. Another reason is that when you look at many of the 36-hole cuts in the recent Major Championships, the number of strokes between the leader and the players in last place is much fewer than in years past so you end up having many more players in contention to win.

When looking at the young players on the PGA TOUR, there are so many who have a great deal of talent and potential but the person at the head of that class has to be Rory McIlroy not only because of his talent but also because of what he has already accomplished on the European Tour and PGA TOUR as well as his win in the 2011 U.S. Open.

Beau Hossler played so well in the 2012 U.S. Open but he also played in the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional. The AT&T National had an available sponsor’s exemption and after discussions with the tournament and with Tiger, everyone agreed that Hossler should be invited to play and they are very happy that he is in the field this week along with a number of other great young players including Patrick Cantlay, Jordan Spieth, and Kelly Kraft.

Rahm, Koepka both jump in OWGR after wins

By Will GrayNovember 20, 2017, 1:19 pm

Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka both made moves inside the top 10 of the Official World Golf Rankings following wins in Dubai and Japan, respectively.

Rahm captured the European Tour season finale, winning the DP World Tour Championship by a shot. It was his third worldwide victory of 2017 and it allowed the Spaniard to overtake Hideki Matsuyama at world No. 4. It also establishes a new career high in the rankings for Rahm, who started the year ranked No. 137.

Koepka cruised to a nine-shot victory while successfully defending his title at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix. The victory was his first since winning the U.S. Open and it helped Koepka jump three spots to No. 7 in the latest rankings. Reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele, who finished second behind Koepka in Japan, went from 30th to 24th.

After earning his maiden PGA Tour victory at the RSM Classic, Austin Cook vaulted from No. 302 to No. 144 in the world. Runner-up J.J. Spaun jumped 48 spots to No. 116, while a hole-out with his final approach helped Brian Gay rise 73 spots to No. 191 after finishing alone in third at Sea Island.

Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas with Rahm and Matsuyama now rounding out the top five. Justin Rose remains at No. 6, followed by Koepka, Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson. Rory McIlroy slid two spots to No. 10 and is now in danger of falling out of the top 10 for the first time since May 2014.

With his return to competition now less than two weeks away, Tiger Woods fell four more spots to No. 1193 in the latest rankings.

Love to undergo hip replacement surgery

By Rex HoggardNovember 20, 2017, 1:08 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Two days removed from arguably the most hectic week of his year, Davis Love III will undergo replacement surgery on his left hip.

Love, who hosted and played in last week’s RSM Classic, said he tried to avoid the surgery, but the pain became too much and he will undergo the procedure on Tuesday at the Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center in Birmingham, Ala.

“I had a hip problem the last few years, and I had a hip resurfacing trying to avoid hip surgery because I’m a chicken, but after playing [the CIMB Classic and Sanderson Farms Championship] I realized it was an uphill battle,” Love said.

RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

Love said doctors have told him recovery from the procedure will take between three to four months, but he should be able to start work on his chipping and putting within a few weeks.

Love, who missed the cut at the RSM Classic, said earlier in the week that his goal is to become the oldest PGA Tour winner and that the only way to achieve that was by having the surgery.

“Now I’m excited that I’ve crossed that bridge,” said Love, who will turn 54 next April. “Once I get over that I can go right back to the Tour. I won after a spine fusion [2015 Wyndham Championship] and now I’d like to win with a new hip. That’s the reason I’m doing it so I can get back to golf and keep up.”

LPGA awards: Ryu, S.H. Park tie for POY

By Randall MellNovember 20, 2017, 1:56 am

NAPLES, Fla. – In the end, the CME Group Tour Championship played out a lot like the entire 2017 season did.

Parity reigned.

Nobody dominated the game’s big season-ending awards, though Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park came close.

Thompson walked away with the CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot and the Vare Trophy for low scoring average. If she had made that last 2-foot putt at the 72nd hole Sunday, she might also have walked away with the Rolex Player of the Year Award and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

Park shared the Rolex Player of the Year Award with So Yeon Ryu. By doing so, Park joined Nancy Lopez as the only players in LPGA history to win the Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year titles in the same season. Lopez did it in 1978. Park also won the LPGA money-winning title.

Here’s a summary of the big prizes:

Rolex Player of the Year
Ryu and Park both ended up with 162 points in the points-based competition. Park started the week five points behind Ryu but made the up the difference with the five points she won for tying for sixth.

It marks the first time the award has been shared since its inception in 1966.

Ryu and Park join Inbee Park as the only South Koreans to win the award. Park won it in 2013.

Vare Trophy
Thompson won the award with a scoring average of 69.114. Sung Hyun Park finished second at 69.247. Park needed to finish at least nine shots ahead of Thompson at the CME Group Tour Championship to win the trophy.

There were a record 12 players with scoring averages under 70.0 this year, besting the previous record of five, set last year.

CME Globe $1 million prize
Thompson entered the week first in the CME points reset, but it played out as a two-woman race on the final day. Park needed to finish ahead of Thompson in the CME Group Tour Championship to overtake her for the big money haul. Thompson tied for second in the tournament while Park tied for sixth.

By winning the CME Group Tour Championship, Jutanugarn had a shot at the $1 million, but she needed Park to finish the tournament eighth or worse and Thompson to finish ninth or worse.

LPGA money-winning title
Park claimed the title with $2,335,883 in earnings. Ryu was second, with $1,981,593 in earnings.

The tour saw a tour-record 17 players win $1 million or more this season, two more than did so last year.

Ryu came into the week as the only player who could pass Park for the title, but Ryu needed to win to do so.

Rolex world No. 1 ranking
The top ranking was up for grabs at CME, with No. 1 Feng, No. 2 Sung Hyun Park and No. 3 So Yeon Ryu all within three hundredths of a ranking point. Even No. 4 Lexi Thompson had a chance to grab the top spot if she won, but in the end nobody could overtake Feng. Her reign will extend to a second straight week.

Rolex Rookie of the Year
Park ran away with the award with her U.S. Women’s Open and Canadian Pacific Women’s Open victories among her 11 top-10 finishes. She had the award locked up long before she arrived for the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

Ko ends first winless season with T-16 at CME

By Randall MellNovember 20, 2017, 1:07 am

NAPLES, Fla. – Lydia Ko carved a hybrid 3-iron to 15 feet and ended the most intensely scrutinized year of her young career with a birdie Sunday at the CME Group Tour Championship.

“Nice to finish the season on a high note,” Ko said after posting a 3-under-par 69, good for a tie for 16th. “Obviously, not a top-10 finish, but I played really solid. I feel like I finished the season off pretty strong.”

Ko posted two second-place finishes, a third-place finish and a tie for fifth in her last eight starts.

“Ever since Indy [in early September], I played really good and put myself in good positions,” Ko said. “I felt like the confidence factor was definitely higher than during the middle of the year. I had some opportunities, looks for wins.”

Sunday marked the end of Ko’s first winless season since she began playing LPGA events at 15 years old.

Let the record show, she left with a smile, eager to travel to South Korea to spend the next month with family after playing a charity event in Bradenton, Fla., on Monday.

CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

Much was made of Ko beginning the year with sweeping changes, with new equipment (PXG), a new coach (Gary Gilchrist) and a new caddie (Peter Godfrey).

In the final summary, it wasn’t a Ko-like year, not by the crazy high standards she has set.

She saw her run of 85 consecutive weeks at No. 1 end in June. She arrived in Naples holding on to the No. 8 ranking. She ends the year 13th on the LPGA money list with $1,177,450 in earnings. It’s the first time she hasn’t finished among the top three in money in her four full years on tour. She did log 11 top-10 finishes overall, three second-place finishes.

How did she evaluate her season?

“I feel like it was a better year than everyone else thinks, like `Lydia is in a slump,’” Ko said. “I feel like I played solid.

“It's a season that, obviously, I learned a lot from ... the mental aspect of saying, `Hey, get over the bads and kind of move on.’”

Ko said she learned a lot watching Stacy Lewis deal with her run of second-place finishes after winning so much.

“Winning a championship is a huge deal, but, sometimes, it's overrated when you haven't won,” Ko said. “Like, you're still playing well, but just haven't won. I kind of feel like it's been that kind of year.

“I think everybody has little ups and downs.”