Woods faces further scrutiny at Honda Classic

By Randall MellFebruary 29, 2012, 7:34 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Thrust and parry.

Bob and weave.

Tiger Woods’ news conference Wednesday at the Honda Classic turned, at times, into a sparring match.

“You’re a beauty,” Woods told an inquisitor during one uncomfortable exchange.

Woods wasn’t being complimentary. If his ensuing glare were any more intense, Woods might have burned a hole in his target.

The tension level was up in the media center with Woods being asked about excerpts released a day earlier from Hank Haney’s new book, “The Big Miss,” the story of Haney’s time coaching Woods. Mark Steinberg, Woods’ manager, issued a strong rebuke of the excerpts on Tuesday, calling Haney’s insight “armchair psychology” and “self-promotion.”

Video: Tiger Woods' Honda Classic news conference

The intensity of the response from the Woods’ camp, naturally, brought follow-up questions Wednesday from a room packed full of reporters.

“I’ve already talked about it,” Woods said.

With reporters pressing with more follow-ups, Woods kept deflecting.

The book’s excerpts dealt with Haney’s contention that the pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’ record took an increasing toll on Woods over their time together, and how Haney believed Woods seriously considered becoming a Navy SEAL while Haney coached him.

The nature of Wednesday’s news conference made you wonder if Woods wished he were a Navy SEAL. It made you wonder how the intensity of the scrutiny of everything Woods does and says affects him. The scrutiny is unrelenting. If it’s not the book, or his knee, or his swing, or his putting, it’s something. It’s always something.

The book excerpts come hard on the heels of growing questions about missed putts that cost Woods a chance at the AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am and at the Accenture Match Play Championship in his last two starts.

How heavily does the cumulative nature of the scrutiny weigh on Woods? How much more heavily does it weigh two-and-a-half years removed from his last PGA Tour victory?

“It is part now, I guess, of who I am and what I've accomplished,” Woods said. “I think it would have been, probably, similar if Jack was in my generation.  They didn’t quite have the media scrutiny that they do now. It’s just a different deal, and I know that a lot of players don't get the same analysis with their games that I do. But it's been like that since I turned pro.”

Back at the height of his power, before the personal scandal, Woods thrived amid the chaos. In fact, his comfort within it seemed to work to his advantage. Those final-round pairings, with the giant galleries, the horde of reporters and photographers inside the ropes, worked like a two-stroke advantage for Woods up against opponents typically unaccustomed to the mayhem.

With Woods rebuilding his game, we’re all not quite sure if the chaos now works as a two-shot disadvantage at the first tee. Ultimately, it might add to Woods’ fuel, to his motivation to prevail.

“When you are sitting up at the top of the pedestal, everyone else is throwing rocks at you,” said Greg Norman, a former world No. 1. “Some are softballs and some are hardballs.  It's just how you react to them. I think it's a great place to be, and you're obviously where you try to get yourself to be, in the beginning.

“I think Tiger has done a great job of handling it, to tell you the truth. I'm only seeing what I read. His intensity is there. He wants to be back to the position he used to be. Will he get there? I don't know.”

The scrutiny on Woods is a real entity, a real factor in how careers turn out. History shows us that.

Bobby Jones retired at 28, weary of competition’s demands on him.

“I was writing in the room where he was waiting to know if he had won,” the great golf writer Bernard Darwin wrote after Jones’ final round in the 1930 British Open. “He was utterly exhausted and had to hold his glass in two hands lest the good liquor be spilt. All he could say was that he would never, never do it again. He could doubtless have won more and more championships, but at too high a price.”

And this was before TV and the Internet.

Byron Nelson bought a ranch and retired at 34. Mickey Wright retired at 34, too, and became something of a recluse.

It was noteworthy Tuesday night, when Nicklaus came into the Honda Classic media center and was asked about Tiger Woods’ putting. Nicklaus was asked if he ever lost his putting stroke. Nicklaus said he never did, and he chose a fascinating word to explain his success.

“I’m still as quiet over a putt today as I was when I was 25,” Nicklaus said.

Quiet? If there was a secret to Nicklaus’ great putting, maybe that was it, a quiet mind.

In this day and age, quiet is harder to come by. Woods knows that.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.