Making Sense of it All

By Rex HoggardFebruary 18, 2010, 4:14 am

PGA Tour

MARANA, Ariz. – Entire forests have been felled making the point. More airtime has been wasted on its particulars than on Lindsey Vonn’s ailing shin. And the echoes have been nearly unanimous in regard to a central theme – Tiger Woods should make his public mea culpa sooner rather than later.

We now know the “when” (Friday, 11 a.m. ET) and the “where” (TPC Sawgrass clubhouse, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.), but are now flummoxed by the “why.”

While the devil remains in the details, it seems Woods’ public statements will be largely a private affair. According to an announcement released by Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg there will be a single “pool” camera that will feed the event to networks around the globe, but only a few “pool” reporters – picked by the Golf Writers Association of America – who will not be allowed to ask questions.

As make-goods go, this one already has a circus feel. Whether you adhere to the “he has no one to apologize to outside his immediate family” school of thought or consider his public mea culpa a key step in the reclamation project that has become his life doesn’t matter.

What matters is that the mainstream press wants answers almost as badly as Woods wants his privacy and a Ponte Vedra Beach dog-and-pony show is not going to change that.

The greater concern is why this week? A week when the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship had already been reduced to the NIT by the absence of Woods and Phil Mickelson, who is spending the week with his wife after a long summer battling breast cancer.

This couldn’t have waited until Monday, when the zealots who inhabit the “Bird’s Nest” at TPC Scottsdale could give a hoot about what happens inside some cramped north Florida conference room?

Rory McIlroy, bless his youthful heart, was asked his thoughts about Woods’ timing shortly after his first-round match at Dove Mountain and caught the elephant in the room between the eyes.

“He’s got to come out at some point,” McIlroy said. “I suppose he’d want to get something back at a sponsor that dropped him.”

On Dec. 13 Accenture ended its endorsement deal with Woods, saying at the time the world No. 1 was “no longer the right representative.”

To be fair, there is no way to know the rhyme or reason behind the timing of Woods’ Friday press conference, but to cut into the heart of Accenture’s signature golf event feels self-absorbed, at best, and vindictive, at worst.

Asked by the Associated Press on Wednesday if the event could’ve waited until Monday, Steinberg offered only a simple, “no.”

And what of the Tour’s culpability in this? According to commissioner Tim Finchem the Woods camp never asked for the Tour’s input, yet to hold the event at TPC Sawgrass, a mere 3-wood from Tour headquarters, is to offer at least tacit approval of the timing.

“We have tournaments every week,” Finchem reasoned.

True, but few tournaments have been as loyal as Accenture, which has been the title sponsor of the $8.5 million event – which Woods has won three times – since it began in 1999. Nor do other events mean as much to a Tour struggling through rough economic waters as Accenture, which has a title sponsor contract that expires at the end of the 2014 season.

Finchem, who was at Dove Mountain on Wednesday, said he would fly back to Florida for Woods’ press conference before returning to Arizona for the weekend. May we suggest a side trip to New York City to try and smooth things over with the Accenture brass?

As for what Woods may say on Friday, Finchem said he did not know. Best guess is he will apologize for his actions and perhaps map out a return strategy to the Tour.

We can be sure, however, of a few things he won’t say, like “next question” and “I’d like to apologize to Accenture.” Whatever Woods has learned in the months since he hit the Isleworth fire hydrant it would seem forgiveness would have been a central theme.

Once again the youthful sage McIlroy seemed to sum up the feeling of most players at the Match Play, “I’m just sick of hearing about it.”

Just imagine if the Northern Irishman manages to advance to Friday’s Sweet 16 it will be all anyone hears about. And that’s a shame.

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What's in the bag: API winner McIlroy

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 12:59 pm

Rory McIlroy closed in 64 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.

Driver: TaylorMade M3 (8.5 degrees), with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 70X shaft

Fairway woods: TaylorMade M3 (15 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80TX, (19 degrees) with Fujikura Rombax P95X shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4), P-730 RORS prototype (5-9), with Project X 7.0 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (48, 52, 56 degrees), Hi-Toe(60 degrees), with Project X Rifle 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto prototype

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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API purse payout: What Rory, Tiger, field made

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 12:08 pm

Rory McIlroy won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and collected one of the biggest non-major paychecks of the year. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Bay Hill.

1 Rory McIlroy -18 $1,602,000
2 Bryson DeChambeau -15 $961,200
3 Justin Rose -14 $605,200
4 Henrik Stenson -13 $427,200
T5 Tiger Woods -10 $356,000
T5 Ryan Moore -10 $320,400
T7 Marc Leishman -8 $249,992
T7 Kevin Chappell -8 $249,992
T7 Luke List -8 $249,992
T7 Sean O'Hair -8 $249,992
T7 Patrick Rodgers -8 $249,992
T7 Patrick Reed -8 $249,992
13 Chris Kirk -7 $186,900
T14 Kyle Stanley -6 $137,950
T14 Charles Howell III -6 $137,950
T14 Sam Horsfield -6 $137,950
T14 Bud Cauley -6 $137,950
T14 Grayson Murray -6 $137,950
T14 Byeong Hun An -6 $137,950
T14 Rickie Fowler -6 $137,950
T14 Charley Hoffman -6 $137,950
T22 Brian Gay -5 $89,000
T22 Harris English -5 $89,000
T22 Jason Day -5 $89,000
T22 Graeme McDowell -5 $89,000
T26 Tom Hoge -4 $59,319
T26 Martin Laird -4 $59,319
T26 Emiliano Grillo -4 $59,319
T26 Tommy Fleetwood -4 $59,319
T26 Francesco Molinari -4 $59,319
T26 Keegan Bradley -4 $59,319
T26 Zach Johnson -4 $59,319
T26 William McGirt -4 $59,319
T26 John Huh -4 $59,319
T26 Talor Gooch -4 $59,319
T36 Alex Noren -3 $41,919
T36 Kevin Na -3 $41,919
T36 Brandon Harkins -3 $41,919
T36 Brian Stuard -3 $41,919
T36 Austin Cook -3 $41,919
T41 Ian Poulter -2 $30,305
T41 C.T. Pan -2 $30,305
T41 Adam Scott -2 $30,305
T41 Aaron Wise -2 $30,305
T41 Kevin Streelman -2 $30,305
T41 J.B. Holmes -2 $30,305
T41 Jamie Lovemark -2 $30,305
T41 Ollie Schniederjans -2 $30,305
T49 Lucas Glover -1 $21,965
T49 Ernie Els -1 $21,965
T49 Hideki Matsuyama -1 $21,965
T49 Chesson Hadley -1 $21,965
T49 Sam Burns -1 $21,965
T54 Li HaoTong E $20,470
T54 Mackenzie Hughes E $20,470
T54 Brian Harman E $20,470
T54 Billy Horschel E $20,114
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After Further Review: Woods wisely keeping things in perspective

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 3:17 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On Tiger Woods' career comeback ...

Tiger Woods seems to be the only one keeping his comeback in the proper perspective. Asked after his tie for fifth at Bay Hill whether he could ever have envisioned his game being in this shape heading into Augusta, he replied: “If you would have given me this opportunity in December and January, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.” He’s healthy. He’s been in contention. He’s had two realistic chances to win. There’s no box unchecked as he heads to the Masters, and no one, especially not Woods, could have seen that coming a few months ago. – Ryan Lavner

On Tiger carrying momentum into API, Masters ...

Expect Jordan Spieth to leave Austin with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play trophy next week.

After all, Spieth is seemingly the only top-ranked player who has yet to lift some hardware in the early part of 2018. Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas have all gotten it done, as have Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and most recently Rory McIlroy.

Throw in the sudden resurgence of Tiger Woods, and with two more weeks until the Masters there seem to be more azalea-laden storylines than ever before.

A Spieth victory in Austin would certainly add fuel to that fire, but even if he comes up short the 2015 champ will certainly be a focus of attention in a few short weeks when the golf world descends upon Magnolia Lane with no shortage of players able to point to a recent victory as proof that they’re in prime position to don a green jacket. – Will Gray

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Davies not giving up on win, HOF after close call

By Randall MellMarch 19, 2018, 3:06 am

PHOENIX – Laura Davies knows the odds are long now, but she won’t let go of that dream of making the LPGA Hall of Fame.

At 54, she was emboldened by her weekend run at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. She tied for second, five shots behind Inbee Park.

“The more I get up there, I might have a chance of winning again,” Davies said. “I'm not saying I will ever win, but today was close. Maybe one day I can go closer.”

Davies is a World Golf Hall of Famer, but she has been sitting just outside the qualification standard needed to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame for a long time. She needs 27 points, but she has been stuck on 25 since her last victory in 2001. A regular tour title is worth one point, a major championship is worth two points.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Over her career, she has won 20 LPGA titles, four of them major championships. She was the tour’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996. She probably would have locked up Hall of Fame status if she hadn’t been so loyal to the Ladies European Tour, where she won 45 titles.

Though Davies didn’t win Sunday in Phoenix, there was more than consolation in her run into contention.

“Now people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.