Top 10 shots taken at Tiger in 2011

By Randall MellNovember 30, 2011, 1:13 pm

It’s time to rank the Top 10 Tiger shots of 2011.

If you’re a devoted Tiger Woods fan, be forewarned, you won’t like them.

At the height of Woods’ powers, you never had to dig deep to remember the shots that made you shake your head.

You still don’t, even through this lean season, but that’s because we’re ranking a different kind of Tiger shot this year. We’re ranking the top 10 shots that were taken at Tiger, the verbal pot shots.

In a mostly lost season, Woods didn’t hit his targets so much as he was a target. He got pummeled pretty good again in ’11, on and off the course.

As Tiger makes his way back – and he showed strong signs in Australia this month that he’s getting closer – there is plenty of bulletin-board material to motivate him. Here are the 10 Tiger shots that landed hardest:

10. Fortune Magazine speculates in a summer story that Woods is running out of money.

“When news broke a few weeks ago that Tiger Woods had signed an endorsement deal to hawk a heat rub in Japan, it was hard not to think of ‘Lost in Translation’ or of the ‘Entourage’ episode when Vincent Chase goes to China to do an energy drink commercial because he's out of money . . . It's no secret that Woods, once king of the sports world, has suffered financially since his fall from grace. His endorsement list shrank and his marriage ended in a divorce settlement reportedly worth $100 million. But now he may actually be hurting for funds. At the very least, there are signs that he isn't generating enough to comfortably cover his costs.”

9. Lanny Wadkins tells ESPN that Jack Nicklaus beat tougher foes in the majors than Woods did.

“Everybody [Nicklaus] beat were Hall of Famers. The best tournaments you talk about with Tiger were a playoff with Rocco Mediate and Bob May. Lee Trevino beat Nicklaus in a U.S. Open 18-hole playoff. The quality of people he's beaten compared to who Jack beat, there's no comparison.”

8. Greg Norman says Woods is done winning majors.

In a Golf Magazine interview with David Feherty in September, Greg Norman says Woods won’t win another major championship.

“It's a combination of everything. Tiger, when he dominated, had a single-shot approach. It was only about the golf. Everything else was taken care of. I mean he was put up on this pedestal, and he enjoyed it, likely so, because he did what he did. But now there are so many other distractions, and people are looking for things that are wrong with Tiger now, so he's got to deal with that on a day-to-day basis, like every other mortal has to do, right? In our lives, in our business, we all have to be responsible for our actions. It's very hard for him to have that focus. And the more he shuts people off, the worse it gets.”

7. Rory McIlroy calls Tiger “ordinary” in a short story he authored for Sports Illustrated a month before the Masters.

“I wasn't playing against Tiger Woods when he had that aura. I was watching on TV … There was a presence about him. There still is to some extent, but when you’re on the golf course you simply block it out . . . I'm not sure we are going to see him dominate again the way he did. He never seemed like he would make a mistake. It's not that he's playing badly. He's simply playing badly by Tiger's standards. He's playing like an ordinary golfer.”

6. In a top-10 ranking of the cheapest celebrity tippers, Miami New Times tabs Woods No. 1.

“The reason he doesn't tip: The man worth more than $500 million says it's because he never carries cash. The Frisky reports Tiger dated ‘a gal in Las Vegas who had to tip for him whenever they went out.’ And according to List of the Day, Tiger once ‘pulled a mulligan on a $5 tip, re-pocketing the money meant for a waitress after realizing he had tipped her earlier in the evening. He was possibly distracted by the $10,000 hand of blackjack he was playing.’ Hey, Tiger, we have a tip for you: When it comes to leaving money for those who are serving you, just do it.”

5. Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee takes Woods to task after missed cut at the PGA Championship.

“His short game is atrocious to match a long game that is in complete disarray. It’s fragile. It’s like a wet grocery bag full of jugs of milk . . . I think he’s lying to himself. When he was with Hank Haney, he said, ‘I used to just dump it off at the top and cut across it.’ Well, now he dumps it in the water, he dumps it into bunkers, and he snap-hooks it into trees.”

4. ESPN’s Rick Reilly calls Woods a JAG in a column in July.

“You're a JAG right now – Just Another Guy. You're not golf's young stud anymore. Not young. Not a stud. Dustin Johnson takes you four out of five in a cage match now. It's been three years since you've won a major. Almost two since you've won ... anything. You're 35 years old with a knee that's had four surgeries, an Achilles that's a-killing you, and a golf ball that won't listen. You need to realize that when you come back, you'll no longer scare anybody. Unlike the old days, you can only win with your clubs now, not your scowl and not your jet and not your caddie, whoever that's going to be. Tell me, what do tour players Chris Couch, Marc Leishman and Chris Stroud have in common with you this year? They've all won about the same money and the exact same number of tournaments as you have. Which would be zero. Anybody scared of those guys? You're sliding down the world rankings like they're greased. You're 20th now. You're as upside down as NewsCorp stock.”

3. Fan at Frys.com Open makes a bizarre statement throwing a hot dog at Woods.

After a fan was arrested for disturbing the peace he told The Associated Press he was inspired by the movie “Drive.” He says it’s why he marched onto the seventh green to toss a hot dog at Woods: “As soon as the movie ended, I thought to myself, 'I have to do something courageous and epic. I have to throw a hot dog on the green in front of Tiger.’”

2. Steve Williams diminishes 12 years of service as Woods’ caddie.

After being fired by Woods, Williams helps Adam Scott win the WGC-Bridgestone in August, then takes a jab at Woods at the end of the CBS’ national telecast: “I've caddied for 33 years – 145 wins now – and that's the best win I've ever had.”

1. Williams fires racial slur at Woods in China in early November.

In easily the nastiest shot at Woods, Williams offers up the most mean-spirited dig of the year while accepting a not-so serious caddie award “honoring” Williams for his celebration of Scott’s Bridgestone victory. Asked to explain his remarks in the wake of that victory, Williams said he wanted to send a message to Woods: “My aim was to shove it right up that black ----.”


Catch live coverage of the Chevron World Challenge on Golf Channel and NBC: Thursday and Friday – 2:30PM ET on Golf Channel; Saturday and Sunday – 12:30PM ET on Golf Channel, 3PM ET on NBC.

Day finishes strong, leads Aussie Open by one

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 25, 2017, 6:12 am

Jason Day birdied three of his final five holes to take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand in Sydney:

Leaderboard: Day (-10), Lucas Herbert (-9), Jonas Blixt (-7), Matt Jones (-7), Cameron Smith (-6), Rhein Gibson (-5), Anthony Quayle (-5)

What it means: Day has a great shot at his first victory – in his final start – in 2017. It’s been a frustrating campaign for Day, who has dropped to 12th in the Official World Golf Ranking. A win this week, in his native Open, would be a huge boost as he embarks on the 2018 season.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: Day’s 2-under 69 wasn’t the lowest of the day, but it was the most important. Day parred his first 13 holes before birdies on Nos. 14 and 15. He bogeyed the 17th, but finished with a birdie at the par-5 18th for the outright lead.

Best of the rest: Blixt’s 66 put him in position to win. Meanwhile, Japanese amateur Takumi Kanaya shot the low round of the day, a 6-under 65, to reach 4 under for the tournament.

Biggest disappointment: No one really blew it on Saturday, but Jordan Spieth was unable to make a move. His 1-under 70 has him eight shots off the lead. Herbert managed an even-par 71 but he had a two-stroke lead until an errant tee shot at the par-3 11th. Speaking of which …

Shot of the day: Not every Shot of the Day is a great shot. Herbert made a long birdie putt on the eighth and was two clear of the field through 10 holes. But he hit his tee shot long at the 11th and was not able to find it. He had to re-tee, made double bogey and lost his advantage. He’s now chasing a major champion in the final round.

Spieth stalls on Moving Day at Australian Open

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 25, 2017, 4:30 am

Moving Day? Not so much for Jordan Spieth in Round 3 of the Emirates Australian Open.

Spieth, the defending champion and also a winner in 2014, continued to struggle with his putter, shooting 1-under 70 on Saturday at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney.

“I was leaving them short yesterday and today it was kind of misreading, over-reading. I missed a lot of putts on the high side – playing wind or more break,” he said. “I just really haven’t found a nice marriage between line and speed to get the ball rolling.”


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


The world No. 2 started the day eight off the pace and was unable to make a charge. He had three birdies and two bogeys, including a 4 at the par-5 finishing hole.

Spieth praised his ball-striking in the wind-swept conditions, but lamented his putting, which has hampered him throughout the week.

“Ball-striking’s been fantastic. Just gotta get the putts to go,” he said.

Spieth, who is scheduled to compete in next week’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, is still holding out hope for a third title in four years at this event. He fired a brilliant 63 in very windy conditions to prevail in ’14.

“Tomorrow is forecasted as even windier than today so you can still make up a lot of ground,” he said. “A few years ago I shot a final round that was a nice comeback and anything like that tomorrow can still even be enough to possibly get the job done.”

South Korean LPGA stars lead KLPGA team

By Randall MellNovember 24, 2017, 10:32 pm

South Korea’s LPGA team of all-stars took the early lead Friday on the Korean LPGA Tour in a team event featuring twice as much star power as this year’s Solheim Cup did.

Eight of the world’s top 20 players are teeing it up in the ING Life Champions Trophy/ Inbee Park Invitational in Gyeongju. There were only four players among the top 20 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings when the United States defeated Europe in Des Moines, Iowa.

Park led the LPGA team to a 3 ½-to-2 ½ lead on the first day.

Park, who has been recuperating from a back injury for most of the second half of this season, teamed with Jeongeun Lee5 to defeat Hye Jin Choi and Ji Hyun Kim, 5 and 4, in the lead-off four-ball match.

So Yeon Ryu and Park, former world No. 1s and LPGA Rolex Player of the Year Award winners, will be the marquee pairing on Saturday. They will lead off foursomes against Ji Young Kim and Min Sun Kim.

Nine of the 11 South Koreans who won LPGA events this year are competing. Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim are the only two who aren’t.

The fourball results:

LPGA’s Inbee Park/ Jeongeun Lee5 def. Hye Jin Choi/Ji Hyun Kim, 5 and 4.

LPGA’s Mirim Lee/Amy Yang def.  Ji Hyun Oh/Min Sun Kim, 3 and 1.

LPGA’s M.J. Hur/Mi Hyang Lee halved Ji Hyun Kim/Ji Young Kim.

KLPGA’s Ha Na Jang/Sun Woo Bae def. Sei Young Kim/Hyo Joo Kim, 5 and 4.

LPGA’s Na Yeon Choi/Jenny Shin halved Jin Young Ko/Da Yeon Lee

LPGA’s In Gee Chun/Eun Hee Ji halved Jeongeun Lee6/Char Young Kim.

NOTE: The KPGA uses numerals after a player’s name to distinguish players with the exact same name.

 

Cut Line: Lyle faces third bout with cancer

By Rex HoggardNovember 24, 2017, 5:40 pm

In this week’s holiday edition, Cut Line is thankful for the PGA Tour’s continued progress on many fronts and the anticipation that only a Tiger Woods return can generate.

Made Cut

The Fighter. That was the headline of a story Cut Line wrote about Jarrod Lyle following his second bout with cancer a few years ago, so it’s both sad and surreal to see the affable Australian now bracing for a third fight with leukemia.

Lyle is working as an analyst for Channel 7’s coverage of this week’s Emirates Australian Open prior to undergoing another stem cell transplant in December.

“I’ve got a big month coming,” Lyle said. “I’m back into hospital for some really heavy-duty treatment that’s really going to determine how things pan out for me.”

Twice before things have panned out for Lyle. Let’s hope karma has one more fight remaining.

Changing times. Last season the PGA Tour introduced a policy to add to the strength of fields, a measure that had long eluded officials and by most accounts was a success.

This season the circuit has chosen to tackle another long-standing thorn, ridiculously long pro-am rounds. While there seems little the Tour can do to speed up play during pro-am rounds, a new plan called a 9&9 format will at least liven things up for everyone involved.

Essentially, a tournament hosting a pro-am with four amateurs can request the new format, where one professional plays the first nine holes and is replaced by another pro for the second nine.

Professionals will have the option to request 18-hole pro-am rounds, giving players who limit practice rounds to just pro-am days a chance to prepare, but otherwise it allows Tour types to shorten what is an admittedly long day while the amateurs get a chance to meet and play with two pros.

The new measure does nothing about pace of play, but it does freshen up a format that at times can seem tired, and that’s progress.

Tweet of the week: @Love3d (Davis Love III‏) “Thanks to Dr. Flanagan (Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center) for the new hip and great care! Can’t wait to get back to (the PGA Tour).”

Love offered the particularly graphic tweet following hip replacement surgery on Tuesday, a procedure that he admitted he’d delayed because he was “chicken.”

The surgery went well and Love is on pace to return to the Tour sometime next spring. As for the possibility of over-sharing on social media, we’ll leave that to the crowd.


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Distance control. The Wall Street Journal provided the octagon for the opening blows of a clash that has been looming for a long time.

First, USGA executive director Mike Davis told The Journal that the answer to continued distance gains may be a restricted-flight golf ball with an a la carte rule that would allow different organizations, from the Tour all the way down to private clubs, deciding which ball to use.

“You can’t say you don’t care about distance, because guess what? These courses are expanding and are predicted to continue to expand,” Davis said. “The impact it has had has been horrible.”

A day later, Wally Uihlein, CEO of Acushnet, which includes the Titleist brand, fired back in a letter to The Journal, questioning among other things how distance gains are putting a financial burden on courses.

“The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate,” Uihlein wrote.

For anyone paying attention the last few years, this day was inevitable and the likely start of what will be a drawn out and heated process, but Cut Line’s just not sure anyone wins when it’s over.

Tiger, take II. Tiger Woods’ return to competition next week at the Hero World Challenge was always going to generate plenty of speculation, but that hyperbole reached entirely new levels this week as players began giving personal accounts of the new and improved 14-time major champion.

“I did talk to him, and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years,’” Day said as he prepared for the Australian Open. “If he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.”

Rickie Fowler added to the frenzy when he was asked this month if the rumors that Woods is driving the ball by him, by 20 to 30 yards by some reports, are true?

“Oh, yeah,” he told Golf.com. “Way by.”

Add to all this a recent line that surfaced in Las Vegas that Woods is now listed at 20-1 to win a major in 2018, and it seems now may be a good time for a restraint.

Golf is better with Woods, always has been and always will be, but it may be best to allow Tiger time to find out where his body and game are before we declare him back.


Missed Cut

Searching for answers. Twelve months ago, Hideki Matsuyama was virtually unstoppable and, regardless of what the Official World Golf Ranking said, arguably the best player on the planet.

Now a year removed from that lofty position, which featured the Japanese star finishing either first or second in six of his seven starts as the New Year came and went, Matsuyama has faded back to fifth in the world and on Sunday finished fifth, some 10 strokes behind winner Brooks Koepka, at the Dunlop Phoenix.

“That hurt,” Matsuyama told the Japan Times. “I don’t know whether it’s a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well. It seems there are many issues to address.”

Since his last victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Matsuyama has just two top-10 finishes on Tour and he ended his 2016-17 season with a particularly poor performance at the Presidents Cup.

While Matsuyama’s take seems extreme considering his season, there are certainly answers that need answering.