An old Tiger era question gets new legs

By Randall MellJune 2, 2010, 7:50 pm

With Tiger Woods vulnerable, Ian Poulter sees the door to No. 1 open to more than Phil Mickelson.

“I can see anybody in the top 10 in the world, if they play great for a spell of three, four months, have a couple wins and a couple big finishes, yeah, certainly get to the points Tiger is at now, for sure,” Poulter said recently.

With Woods teeing it up at the Memorial this week, where he has a terrific history, we’ll see if that kid at The Players Championship was right. You remember. The kid in the crowd who told Woods: 'Say so long to No. 1. Kiss it goodbye.'

We'll get a better picture this week of just how vulnerable Woods is because he's been so good at Muirfield Village in the past. 

Will he struggle to make another cut and embolden his challengers? Or will he make a statement that dashes the hopes of his challengers and their bids to take the top ranking he's held for the last 260 consecutive weeks?

Here’s the thing: Over the 24-month rolling period that constitutes these rankings, Woods has been inactive for more than a year due to injuries and his self-imposed exile due to the sex scandal that followed his crash into his neighbor’s yard.

This is an old question about Woods' dominance that irritates today's players, but it gets fresh legs with Woods so vulnerable: While Woods’ run at No. 1 is without doubt a testament to his greatness as a player, is it also an indictment of the weakness of his competition in this era?

Think about it. Woods has been inactive for more than a year of this two-year rolling period. He’s played with a broken leg, blown-out knee, injured neck, with serious marital problems, surely a broken heart and a dislocated spirit (yes, of his own making) and still this generation of players can't take the top ranking from him.

History will celebrate Woods’ success as a player, but it isn’t likely to be kind to his competition, especially if it can't take advantage of his vulnerable state this summer.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

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.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

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 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.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking 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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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.