The 6-Minute Man Looked Like a New Man
Yes, six minutes with Golf Channel and a similar allotment with ESPN Sunday night didn’t seem like enough for his first interviews since his fall from grace, and yet Woods managed to give us a more telling glimpse of who he intends to be from now on than he did reading his public apology over 16 minutes a month ago.
Six minutes isn’t enough to know the new man, or if there truly is a radically different man emerging, but it was a promising start.
This six-minute man doesn’t look like he could angrily bounce a club into the gallery without appearing to care who he hits.
He doesn’t look like he could use a certain vulgar word as a noun, verb and adjective in the same sentence without caring how those words bruise innocent bystanders.
This guy looks like he might be undergoing a transformation beyond the way he views marriage. This guy sounds like somebody who might be changing his relationship with the world.
For six convincing minutes, at any rate, Woods did.
If there’s more of this new man to come, then this great journey Woods will resume when he tees it up at the Masters next month might not be something to dread after all. It might not be a repeat of Barry Bonds’ miserable march to break Hank Aaron’s record. It’s full of hope that it might be the greatest march to redemption we’ve yet witnessed in sport.
Because Woods’ quest to break one of the great records in the history of sport, Jack Nicklaus’ 18 major championship triumphs, is not a solitary journey. Everyone who loves the game, who loves sport, will walk with Woods. This six-minute man looked and sounded like somebody you could embrace when he officially becomes the greatest player who ever lived.
This six-minute man deftly dodged a question that he deems as personal but so many of us deem more than that.
What happened the early morning hours of Nov. 27 matters.
It didn’t just change Woods’ life; it changed the golf world.
Yes, something happened between Woods and his wife, Elin, to set off the crash that was obviously personal, but the crash damaged more than Woods. It damaged the entire golf industry. How and why the game was forever changed is relevant, even important.
“It’s all in the police report,” Woods told Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman.
It isn’t all in the police report, but it appears we may never know how and why the game was changed. It seems destined to go down as one of the sport’s great mysteries. Of course, Woods will protect his family, and that’s understandable, but some general accounting is due because of the way the game was injured early that morning.
There also are still serious questions about why Woods would seek treatment from a doctor who has a history of using and prescribing banned HGH substance. The game’s integrity is potentially damaged by the link, no matter how innocent the treatments were.
Still, the six-minute man set a tone that leads us to believe he might be more transparent in the future, if not in these matters, in matters he has closed us off to so severely in the past.
Frankly, even after the public apology, it was difficult to envision Woods transforming his nature, to envision him somehow becoming less guarded, less controlling, less private and more revealing. The suggestion that he might even become more of a “people person” seemed farfetched. It was easier to envision him as a man determined to aim the formidable powers of his personality at fixing a problem, at taming the unruly lust that turned his life upside down. The six-minute man is easier to see changing.
The revelation that Woods is wearing a Buddhist wrist band for “protection and strength” tells us a lot about his fragile state of mind. So did his revelation of how therapy is helping him: “The strength I feel now, I have never felt this type of strength before.”
The six-minute man looked and sounded like somebody on his way to winning more than golf’s biggest events again.
For six minutes, Woods sounded like a man who will win his redemption.
Of course, it will take a lot more than six minutes to know if Woods wins that match, but it was a sure-footed step for a guy who's counting his steps.
Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge
ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.
The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.
They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.
Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.
Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.
Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.
''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''
The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.
In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''
Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.
Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia
Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.
Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.
Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.
Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.
It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.
The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.
Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.
Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.
''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''
They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.
''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''
Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.
''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''
Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.
Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.
Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.
Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.
Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.