Woods fields softball questions

By Randall MellApril 30, 2012, 8:38 pm

The Tiger Woods fan presser Monday wasn’t exactly riveting fare.

You could call it a clinic on “The Art of the 2-Foot Putt.”

Or maybe just “The Big Miss II.”

As questions go, they were all 2-footers. It was about as much fun as watching Woods line up gimmes all day on the practice putting green. It must have been easier than shooting reporters in a barrel, uh, I mean fish in a barrel.

For as much as Woods talked Monday about his “better-than-most” putt at The Players Championship in 2001, he made sure to spare himself any tough, double-breaking questions from fans in the video he posted on his website. That’s not to say the fans didn’t come up with some compelling questions; we’ll never know, because Woods got to pick and choose from a collection we’ll never see.

My bet is there were some great questions in the mix, but I wouldn’t have included as “great” the ones Tiger did.

What have you been working on since the Masters?

“Great question,” Woods deadpanned. “At the Masters, I was kind of struggling with my ball striking a little bit, and Sean (Foley) and I fixed it. It had to do with my posture. My setup wasn’t quite right, as well as my takeaway.”

Watch Tiger Woods' video

OK, as Woods answers goes, he was practically baring his soul.

Do you still rotate between the 2-iron and the 5-wood in the bag?

“That is a great question,” Woods said again before going on to explain he uses the 2-iron when it’s dry and fast and he feels as if he can chase the shot with some run on it and uses a 5-wood when there are reachable par 5s and he needs some height on his shots.

Those two “great questions” were among 19 Woods answered off  papers he held in a 14-minute and 19-second video.

Which was your most memorable Players Championship and why? . . . How many practice rounds will you play before a tournament? . . . What ratio of long-game to short-game practice do you do before a tournament? . . . Do you think you have a good chance of winning Wells Fargo?

If Edward R. Murrow or Mike Wallace were still around, surely they would have been taking notes on the penetrating quality of the inquiries. If Bernard Darwin and Herbert Warren Wind were around, surely they would have feared the end of probing media interviews as we know them with social media moving them aside.

“The Big Miss II” could have described this social media experiment as well. It did feel like an experiment given Woods chose for the first time at a tournament site to do this kind of fan Q&A in place of a media conference. Given the awkward exchanges in his media session at the Honda Classic, and given his own swing coach’s plea for critics to back off Woods, it’s clear Woods would prefer fewer media encounters, though he deserves credit for regularly standing up to the camera when many of his brethren high-tail it after rounds. Woods may not say a lot, but he does stand up to face the questions.

This felt like the Big Miss because Woods did have a chance in a more relaxed, informal social-media setting to connect with fans in a meaningful manner. He could have had the chance to show social media can be more illuminating than traditional media. Instead, he whiffed on that 2-foot putt. Instead, we got more of the same, little meaning beyond trivial detail.

Yeah, I get as much as I can that Woods must guard his private life, that he must get exhausted and irritated having everything he says and does analyzed ad nauseam. I understand if Woods says anything of substance, has any strong or controversial opinion, it is headlines around the world. It’s fodder for endless blogs, discussion boards and talk-show debates.

There are probably fewer headaches when you’ve mastered the art of saying almost nothing, and Woods has mastered that like he’s mastered real 2-foot putts.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

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Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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