Tiger Says A Lot Without Saying Much

By Rex HoggardJuly 13, 2010, 4:45 pm

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – It is a measure of our society that the third, or maybe fourth, most interesting question asked of Tiger Woods during his 30-minute to-and-fro with the Open Championship press was his decision to switch front-line putters for the first time in more than a decade.

Such is life for the world No. 1 in the post-Nov. 27 landscape, particularly when the turf is hard and fast and the air thick and cool. St. Andrews was the international press corps first crack at Woods since revelations of his serial infidelity turned his life, and the golf world, into a made-for-tabloid feeding frenzy.

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Tiger Woods' news conference Tuesday at St. Andrews was his first in front of the international media. (Getty Images)
On Monday former Open champion Tony Jacklin said, “Tiger won’t get such an easy ride here.” He was talking about the galleries that promise to ring the wispy Old Course this week, but he may as well have been referring to the U.K. press.

The St. Andrews media centre . . . eh, center, was packed 20 minutes before Woods arrived and had a similar feel to his first Q&A earlier this year at Augusta National, but with teeth. It was a rare vision of an embattled wolf being led to a mob of lambs.

For half an hour a life that has endured more humps and bumps than can be found on the adjacent Himalayas putting course was probed to a degree never before seen. At least not publically. Turns out, Woods could have saved a lot of money on therapy and just let the European press dissect his vices.

Among the volleys tossed by our cousins across the pond were questions regarding Woods’ sometimes explosive behavior on the golf course and whether his attempts to tone down has acts of anger have been successful.

“I’m trying to think I’m a better player and a better person,” Woods said.

He was also asked whether a victory this week, which would improve him to 3-for-3 as a professional in the shadow of the Auld Gray Toon, would help him along his “road to redemption?”

“I would like to win no matter what,” he said. “Winning here is one of the highlights of my career because it is the home of golf.”

In between the sordid action Woods acknowledged he was switching to a new Nike putter, the first time he’s traded “gamers” since the 1999 Byron Nelson Championship, in an attempt to adjust to what he called unusually slow greens at St. Andrews. It’s little surprise he also added a 2-iron to his bag this week, and talked about his comfort and familiarity with the Old Course.

Not that the U.K. press had any interest in golf clubs or golf.

In order, Woods was asked about his Dubai golf course project, which was put on hold when the global economy turned sour, and how his image reclamation project was going. “I don’t know,” said Woods to start a string of terse answers to rather pointed questions.

-On recent reports that he and his wife, Elin, had filed for divorce Woods offered a familiar response, “I’m not going to go into that.”

-Regarding his meeting with federal authorities earlier this month about the ongoing investigation of Canadian Dr. Anthony Galea, who has been charged with distributing HGH, Woods declined to comment. “It’s an open case,” he said.

-And whether he will ever seek out another swing coach following his split with Hank Haney, “I’m never going to rule it out.”

In essence, the Q&A may have been the worst storm Woods has faced at the storied Old Course in his last eight rounds, and it was neither unexpected nor unbearable.

If there has been any outwardly visible signs of progress Woods has made it is his willingness to suffer the slings and arrows of a suddenly less-than-kind media. He may not always handle pointed questions with the same deft touch he used to have on the game’s putting surfaces, but if body language is any indication he has at least resigned himself to a post-Nov. 27 existence.

Fittingly, it was neither the media grilling nor his surprising putter switch that was the most notable point Woods made. Of the 34 questions that were asked of Woods, at least three of his answers fixated on his relationship with his two children.

“I have two beautiful kids and I’m trying to be the best dad I can possibly be, and that’s the most important thing of all,” said Woods, who flew home following last week’s two-day J.P. McManus pro-am in Ireland to spend time with his children.

It was sentimentality, not SkyMiles, that prompted Woods to crisscross the Atlantic on the eve of arguably the most important championship of the year and, by his own admission, away from the practice tee. And whether he did it to help his public image or because he’s reached a private epiphany really doesn’t matter. In this case it is the effect, not the cause, that is important.

No, Woods really didn’t say much on Tuesday. But what he did offer was worth listening to.


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.

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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 GolfChannel.com 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.