Another dramatic turn in the Tiger Woods camp

By Rex HoggardMay 9, 2010, 9:43 pm

The Players ChampionshipPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – It’s been a shooting pain for Tiger Woods of late, first from his rebuilt left knee to his Achilles tendon, then onto his heart, the byproduct of self-inflicted transgressions, and now, as we learned in a dramatic turn at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday, his neck is on the DL.

Dr. Tiger says he thinks the injury that forced him to withdraw 6 ½ holes into his final turn at The Players Championship might be a “bulging disc.” As diagnoses go that assessment seemed more symptom than ailment.

As Woods struggled with every demanding shot this week many figured his problems were the byproduct of his off-course troubles. Now it seems his pain comes of equal parts physical and mental.

From three starts come frightening trends. The one-time Teflon kid can’t seem to wash off controversy these days. In three post-Nov. 27 starts he’s finished fourth at Augusta National and fumed in a post-round interview, missed just his sixth cut as a professional by a “Green Mile” at Quail Hollow and looked like former president Richard Nixon bolting Sawgrass on Sunday.

Woods declined to speak with the media after his WD, instead filling a PGA Tour-generated transcript with one-liners of the wrong kind.

What happened?

“I withdrew,” he said.

Any idea what caused it?

“I don’t know. I don’t know. I know playing doesn’t help,” he said.

Did playing this week make it a lot worse?

“Well, I’m having a hard time with the pain. There’s tingling down my fingers,” he said.

You get the idea. It all adds up to one of the most confounding “alphabet soup for the confused golfer” cards one could ever imagine: fourth, MC, WD.

Moments after he withdrew Woods emerged from the sprawling TPC clubhouse and ducked into one of the Tour’s fitness trailers for therapy. Or at least that’s the best guess because when he emerged from the trailer 34 minutes later he was in no mood to talk to the assembled media horde.

Perhaps the most telling assessment of the situation came when Butch Harmon, Woods’ former swing coach and the current architect of archrival Phil Mickelson’s action, walked past.

“Neck?” he asked with a perplexed look on his face.

It was news to Harmon. It was news to everyone. But according to Woods’ one-liner transcript he’s been playing with the ailment since before the Masters.

To be fair, everything about Woods’ 6 ½ holes suggests something was wrong. He was 2 over through six holes and had just played his second shot at the seventh hole from the pine straw short of the green when he sent caddie Steve Williams to gather his golf ball and shook hands with playing partner Jason Bohn, a man that knows a thing or two about neck and back ailments.

Bohn, a winner for the second time on Tour last month in New Orleans, was nearly run out of the game when a procedure to repair a fragmented disc in his back in 2008 resulted in a sliced spinal cord. He spent the next 32 days flat on his back, hoping for the best.

“When he said it was his neck I was like ‘You’ve got to go. You have to take care of yourself,’” Bohn said. “I’m kind of glad he doesn’t take any chances. . . . I want him back out here as quick as possible.”

On Saturday Woods suggested he needed more reps to prepare for next month’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, the site of his 15-stroke Open walk-over in 2000. On Sunday he suggested he would be getting “a picture” (MRI) of the ailment in the coming days and that he might be headed for his fourth Tour hiatus in three years.

It is, essentially, another layer of mystery for a man who is suddenly incapable, or unwilling, to keep secrets.

After his 34-minute therapy session Woods emerged from the trailer, signature red Sunday shirt untucked and black Nike wrap-around glasses guarding him from prying eyes, and slumped into the first of two waiting SUVs.

Next stop, Isleworth. After that it’s anyone’s guess.

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.