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.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

Getty Images

Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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.

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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.