Hot Seat: Can Murray pull a 'Groundhog Day' at Pebble?

By Randall MellFebruary 7, 2012, 6:03 pm

Time again to gauge who is facing the most heat in golf.

Here is our special heat index for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

Klieg light heat – Bill Murray

Can the comedic master muster a 'Groundhog Day' reprise?

Murray worked out his perfect day in the final round of last year’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, winning with D.A. Points. The world will tune in to see if Murray can live that day all over again and repeat with Points as his partner.

Or, in the immortal words of weatherman Phil Connors, is there something bleak ahead?

“I’ll give you a winter prediction,” Murray said as Connors in 'Groundhog Day.' “It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be gray, and it’s gonna last you the rest of your life.”

Win or lose, Murray will be cast in a starring role again at Pebble Beach.

Tiger Woods

Flaming britches – Tiger Woods

Is this the week the lid blows?

Is this the week Woods ignites a wave of hype and hoopla with a return to his winning ways?

If Woods wins the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, you will need a Richter Scale to measure the reaction.

With the pieces of Woods’ game beginning to come together again, a breakthrough feels imminent.

A return to Pebble Beach might be just what Woods needs to put it all together. This is where he fashioned the most dominant performance in the history of the game, his 15-shot rout at the 2000 U.S. Open. He hasn’t played the AT&T at Pebble Beach since 2002.

Spencer Levin

Valley Fever – Spencer Levin

Levin had to feel sick after coughing up a six-shot lead in the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but there’s a sure-fire cure.

Kyle Stanley showed Levin and everyone else the best medicine.

Stanley won the Phoenix Open a week after his collapse outside San Diego. With Levin in the field at Pebble Beach, he has a chance to extend an extraordinary storyline, to make it back-to-back rebounds from collapses for PGA Tour winners. It seems like too much to ask, but Levin has good vibes going at Pebble Beach. He tied for fourth there last year.

Ryan Moore

Blistering buttocks – Ryan Moore

At No. 65 in the world rankings, Moore might be OK right where he is to make the field into the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in two weeks, but he can’t afford to lose ground this week. A good showing at Pebble Beach should clinch the spot, while a missed cut leaves him vulnerable to being jumped in the rankings.

This week is the final chance for players to qualify for the first World Golf Championship event of the year. Sixty-four players make it to Accenture, but the top 64 in the world don’t all want to play. Phil Mickelson has already announced he is taking that week off to be with his family. That makes room for Moore at No. 65, if he can stay there.

Yani Tseng

Sriracha chili sauce – Yani Tseng

With victories in her first four starts last year, Tseng quickly established herself as the dominant new force in women’s golf.

Will she immediately reassert herself in the LPGA season opener at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at Royal Melbourne this week?

Tseng will be looking to win this title for a third consecutive year.

American flag

Marble Bar heat wave – American women

U.S.-born players will be looking to step up their performances in the LPGA season opener at Royal Melbourne.

Last year, just two American LPGA members won on the tour, Stacy Lewis and Brittany Lincicome. It was the worst American showing in the 62-year history of the LPGA.

Alvaro Quiros

Spicy salsa kick – Alvaro Quiros

Quiros is going for the Dubai hat trick this week.

Last year, he won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in February, then won the Dubai World Championship at year’s end. He’s going for his third title in Dubai in 12 months in a title defense at the Dubai Desert Classic. It won’t be an easy task. World No. 2 Rory McIlroy, No. 3 Lee Westwood and No. 4 Martin Kaymer are all in the field.

Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.

Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.

Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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LaCava: Woods wouldn't talk after H.O.R.S.E. match

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 2:27 pm

The competitive streak within Tiger Woods knows no bounds - even on the basketball court, according to caddie Joe LaCava.

LaCava has been on Woods' bag since 2011, and he recently shared a story on "Inside the Ropes" on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio about a clash between the two men over a seemingly friendly game of H.O.R.S.E. Actually, it turned into nine straight games (and nine straight wins) for LaCava, who exploited a weakness in Woods' on-court strategy while leaning on a mid-length jumper of his own:

"The thing with him was if I missed a shot, which I missed plenty of shots, but if I missed the shot he'd go back down to the 3 (point line) because he liked to make the 3," LaCava said. "But it's harder obviously to make a 3, and I'd go right back to the baseline 12-footer, and he couldn't make it."

It's a short list of people who have beaten Woods nine times in any athletic pursuit, let alone in a row. But for LaCava, the fallout from his afternoon of on-court dominance was less than subtle.

"He did not talk to me the rest of the day," LaCava explained. "I didn't even get the old text, 'Dinner is ready,' because I stay across at the beach house. I didn't even get that text that night. I had to get take-out. He didn't announce he wasn't (talking), he just did it. I'm telling you, nine games in a row. Like I said, he's so competitive, even at something like that."

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 3, Tiger Woods

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:45 pm

After returning to competition at the Hero World Challenge in December 2016, Woods started the new year with an ambitious slate of tournament starts as he eyed his first full season since 2013. But he made it only three rounds, looking rusty en route to a missed cut at Torrey Pines before withdrawing abruptly in Dubai.

The “spasms” that led to that withdrawal turned out to be something far more serious, as Woods underwent his fourth and most invasive back surgery in April, a lumbar fusion. It brought with it an extensive rehabilitation, and at the Presidents Cup in September Woods humored the prospect that he might never again play competitive golf.

At Liberty National he also faced some scrutiny for an off-course incident from months prior. In May he was arrested for suspicion of DUI, an incident that produced a startling roadside video of an intoxicated Woods struggling to follow instructions from the arresting officer after driving erratically.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

While he was not drinking at the time, Woods was found to have a mix of several prescription medications in his system, including multiple painkillers. He checked himself into a private drug treatment program in July to address his dependency issues, and in October he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving.

But the incident was barely a memory when Woods again made a return to competition in the Bahamas at the tournament he hosts. This time around he exceeded nearly every expectation, twice shooting 4-under 68 while tying for ninth among the 18-man field. Having re-tooled his swing following fusion surgery, Woods appeared relaxed, happy and healthy while briefly taking the lead during the tournament’s second round.

What lies ahead for Woods in 2018 remains uncertain, as the stop-and-start nature of this past season serves as a cautionary tale. But after a harrowing arrest and another serious surgery, he seems once again focused on his game, intent on chasing down a new crop of elite talent, some of whom are barely more than half his age.

Woods' initial comeback short-lived, leads to another back surgery

Article: Woods undergoes "successful" fourth back surgery

Article: Woods (back spasm) withdraws from Dubai

Article: Players disappointed Woods withdraws from Dubai

Really, again: Tiger undergoes fourth back surgery

Begay on Tiger: Future is 'extremely uncertain'

Woods arrested for DUI, enters diversion program after getting "professional help"

Article: Woods arrested for DUI in May

Article: Police say Woods had 5 drugs in system when arrested

Article: DUI affidavit states Tiger asleep in parked car

Dashcam video released of Tiger's DUI arrest

Begay, Rolfing: Tiger's arrest needs to be wakeup call

Photos: Tiger Woods' car during DUI arrest

Tiger Woods at his 2017 DUI court hearing.

Photos: Tiger Woods in court for DUI hearing

Article: Tiger gets 'professional help' for prescription meds

Tiger Woods at his 2017 DUI court hearing.

Article: Woods pleads in court guilty to reckless driving

Woods goes from unsure of his pro golf future to resuming full golf activities

Article: Doctor clears Woods for full golf activity six months after back surgery

Article: Tiger doesn't know what future holds

Article: Woods back to making full swings

Woods admits he might never return to competition

Making progress: Breaking down Tiger's driver swing

Woods returns to competition for first time since February at Hero World Challenge

Article: Hero comeback a success for healthy Woods

Article: Woods discusses his back: 'No issues at all, none'

Tiger Tracker: Woods finished T-9 in return to competition

Chamblee: 'I was wrong' about some of my Woods skepticism

Tiger, if you were hurting, would you tell us? 'Yeah, I'd tell you'

Woods out and about in 2017

Article: Video, images of Tiger's round with Trump

Article: Woods posts photo as 'Mac Daddy Santa'

Article: Tiger at U.S. Open sitting in Nadal's box

Article: Shirtless Tiger holds up a massive lobster

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:30 pm