Things We Wont See or Hear

By Rex HoggardMarch 17, 2010, 11:33 pm

The line will be delivered in the dulcet tones of a southern aristocrat and announce an end to the beginning, “Fore please, Tiger Woods now driving.”

It is the quintessential Masters sendoff and will break a competitive silence that has left the once foregone conclusion of Jack Nicklaus’ Grand Slam take in question and the game preoccupied for all the wrong reasons.

Before then, there is a lot of ground to cover, and, as has been the central theme throughout this sordid saga, there are more questions than answers. Among them, how will the galleries, fellow players and media react to Woods’ return? Given his five-month, self-imposed competitive hiatus, what will be the state of his game? Has the air of invincibility that at one time seemed worth a shot a side been diminished?

There are a few certainties, however. Among the things we won’t see or hear at Augusta National:

-Tiger Woods paired with, well . . . anybody in the annual Par 3 Contest. This may be a new, improved Tiger, but that exhibition does little for a man who keeps time with major championships.

-A stay in the Crow’s Nest. The dorm atop the stately clubhouse would be as good a place as any to avoid the inevitable scrutiny, but the room, which sleeps five, may be a little sparse for the multi-millionaire.

-“Next question.” Either from Woods or whichever member runs his press conference. Expect him to talk, but those waiting for full disclosure should get used to disappointment. It’s simply not in his DNA.

-A line of potential playing partners for Rounds 1 and 2. Of course, there is no shortage of players who will do it, but not many who really want to. Golf Channel colleague Charlie Rymer suggested officials pair two former champions, say, long-time friend Mark O’Meara and Fred Couples, with Woods because whoever is on the first tee with him is every bit the ceremonial golfer that Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus will be.

-Extra Pinkertons for autograph sessions. Although it was out of character to the extreme to announce three weeks before the tournament that he will play the Masters, don’t expect a complete makeover. He could likely do more good with a Sharpie in his hand than a putter, but don’t count on it.

-Elin Woods sighting. The best news that came from Tuesday’s announcement is an indication that things on the home front have stabilized, but that doesn’t mean Elin will be front and center at Augusta National. If last month’s press event at TPC Sawgrass was any indication, the missus plans to stay out of the spotlight.

-Extra media credentials. Media gate passes for the year’s first major arrived via e-mail more than a week ago which means that shop is closed. Anything short of a resurrection of O.B. Keeler, the longtime former Atlanta sports writer and Bobby Jones confident, will be greeted with a polite, but firm, no.

-Second or third strikes. There are no mulligans on the first tee at Augusta National, nor will there be any for the galleries. Tolerance of inappropriate behavior is low during the best of years, but next month things will be Draconian by comparison.

-Q&As during the Champions Dinner. Forget who gets paired with Woods for the first two rounds, the guys that get seated next to him during the traditional feast are in for a long night. “So, Tiger. How ya been?”

There is also the question of what’s next? On Tuesday PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said he expects Woods to play a normal schedule the rest of the way, which would suggest his next start would be the Quail Hollow Championship in May.

We were talking with Quail Hollow tournament director Kym Houghman during last week’s WGC-CA Championship when Woods’ manager Mark Steinberg walked up and asked for a moment in private with Houghman. A circumstantial encounter to be sure, but interesting nonetheless.

Following Quail Hollow is the Players Championship, Memorial and U.S. Open, all events Woods would likely play under normal circumstances and events that would struggle to maintain the level of control the world No. 1 will enjoy at Augusta National.

All of which means Augusta National will only be a temporary reprieve for Woods. A place where only the golf will likely matter, where the words, “Fore please, Tiger Woods now driving” will not be met with a smattering of snickers. A place where he can finally return to what he does best.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.