Golden Bear offers up his take on Tiger's game

By Randall MellFebruary 29, 2012, 1:19 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Jack Nicklaus marvels at all his memories of Tiger Woods sinking clutch putts.

After a news conference at the Honda Classic Tuesday, Nicklaus sounded like a giddy fan recalling putts Woods made for him when Nicklaus was the American Presidents Cup captain. His eyes danced with memories of putts Woods drained winning the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational in dramatic finishes and winning countless other events with clutch putts.

“You don’t always learn the ability to make that 6-footer every time you need it, and he made a 6-footer every time he needed it,” Nicklaus said. “When he had to make a putt, drain-o. It’s fantastic.”

Nicklaus can relate better than any human on the planet today, maybe better than anyone who ever lived. Nicklaus had that remarkable gift to make clutch putt after clutch putt, too.

With Woods struggling with his putter now, Nicklaus was asked if he ever felt like he lost his putting mojo. It happens, after all, to the game’s greatest players. Ben Hogan lost it, Sam Snead, too. Tom Watson’s reign as a major championship force ended with putting woes.

So what about Nicklaus? He shrugged his shoulders.

“I never lost [it],” Nicklaus said. “Even today, I’m still as quiet over a putt as I was when I was 25.”

Nicklaus isn’t sure why Woods is struggling with his putter now. He certainly isn’t ready to say Woods has lost anything.

“I haven’t watched Tiger enough to know what he’s doing, but I know he’s not putting like he was,” Nicklaus said.

Woods will tee it up at the Honda Classic this week looking to shake the memories of too many missed putts in his last two PGA Tour events. With a chance to win in the final round at Pebble Beach, Woods missed five putts inside 5 feet. In his second-round match against Nick Watney at the Accenture Match Play Championship, Woods missed a 5½ foot birdie putt at the last hole to lose. Woods failed to convert a number of short birdie chances in first-round victory against Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.

While Nicklaus isn’t sure what’s happening to Woods’ putting, he believes fixing a wayward putting stroke is more difficult than fixing a wayward swing.

“I think it’s easier to rebuild your long game,” Nicklaus said. “The long game should not be difficult to make adjustments to. Putting? If you lose your confidence in putting or chipping, very tough, very tough. With the long game, you are going to figure out some way to get the ball around the course.”

Nicklaus believes Woods’ swing will be fine.

“You don’t win three U.S. Opens and not figure out how to control the golf ball,” Nicklaus said. “He maybe hit some wild shots, but he knows how to control the golf ball when he has to control the golf ball, and he always has.”

Nicklaus didn’t say this, but you know he knows it. Woods needs his old putting magic back if he’s going to break Nicklaus’ major championship record.

“My opinion, I still think Tiger will regain what he does, he will come back and play very, very well,” Nicklaus said. “Whether he will break my record or not, that’s another issue. I think he probably will. He still has to go do it, not only do it, but he has to win more majors than anyone playing today. That’s a pretty good task. What is he? 36? How many majors did I win past 36? I won four.”

Woods needs five more major championship triumphs to break Nicklaus’ record.

“Will he win again? Sure, he’ll win again,” Nicklaus said. “He’s too good a player not to win again, but will he be as prolific as he was? Probably not.”

Nicklaus believes that’s due in part to the emboldened competition Woods faces now compared to what he faced in years past. Nicklaus sees a lot of young talent learning how to win.

“Tiger didn’t really have a lot of competition from guys who knew how to win, prior to now,” Nicklaus said.

And Nicklaus is impressed with the up-and-coming young stars, like Rory McIlroy.

“McIlroy’s going to win a lot of majors,” Nicklaus said.

If Woods is going to compete with young nerves in more dramatic finishes, he’ll need his putting mojo back.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

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.