You Might Have Missed the Cut If

By Rex HoggardMarch 5, 2010, 11:56 pm

Dueling HiDefs in a local Uno’s restaurant were simultaneously airing reports on Tiger Woods (ESPN) and John Daly (ESPN2) late Thursday, a reality that stretches the validity of the old maxim that any publicity is good publicity.

From Steve Williams’ curious televised two-step and Ian Poulter’s single-fingered salute to the “Bird’s Nest” to John Daly’s 10-digit prank, golf had a “Blue Collar Radio” feel to it this week.

Made Cut

A return. The white-haired lady who pushes me my grande Americano each morning doesn’t know a “U groove” from a “U turn,” but she couldn’t resists asking the $1 million question this week: “When is Tiger coming back?”

The answer, of course, is when he’s ready. But that doesn’t mean we can’t attempt to make two plus two equal four. Woods’ path back, after all, is littered with clues.

He is out of rehabilitation, tirelessly plowing through range pellets at Isleworth and, according to Charles Howell III, making it look as easy as ever. Per his “MO,” Woods prepares for the majors with swing coach Hank Haney at home, plays a Tour event to get in the desired “reps” and ultimately fine tunes back at home for a week before hitting the major trail.

Check the timing, he has about two weeks before his title defense at Bay Hill followed by a traditional off week (Shell Houston Open) and the Masters.

A Bay Hill return would be great for the game, but even better for Woods because it means he has successfully navigated the difficult path from therapy to real life, a place where actions, not words, count.

Of course, I’ve been wrong in the past.

Oh, Canada . . . and Mahan. At about the same time Hunter Mahan was putting the finishing touches on his second Tour title at TPC Scottsdale, “Team H” was torn between the desert and the ice.

Swing coach Sean Foley and physical trainer Craig Davies are Canadian like potent beer and socialized medicine, so Sunday was a big day on two fronts as Mahan prevailed in Scottsdale and the Canadian men’s hockey team outdueled the United States in golden overtime.

“It was close,” said Davies, who missed both Sunday bouts on a flight home to Orlando, Fla. “But impact-wises, the gold medal was huge. Canada could have set medal records and it wouldn’t have mattered if we would have lost the gold medal game in hockey.”

Foley, part swing coach, part philosopher, was slightly less patriotic when asked which victory was more meaningful?

“Hunter’s win was bigger,” Foley said. “That Canadian Olympic team should be winning at hockey.”

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Oh, Rickie. Baseball wonks call it pitching to contact, code for a pitcher who is confident in his own stuff as well as the abilities of his defense. On Sunday at TPC Scottsdale we watched one of the game’s brightest rising stars avoid “contact” like a three-10 split.

Whatever Rickie Fowler’s reasoning for laying up on the par-5 15th hole during the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and you have to give him credit for having a plan and staying with that blueprint, the episode turned a potentially defining moment into a chorus of double-takes.

Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee said it best, “He denied us the moment.” Fowler owes “us” nothing of course, but one can’t help but think he shortchanged all that talent.

Orient Express. The Tour added to its burgeoning Asian portfolio last week, announcing the addition of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic to the Fall Series.

The event will be played Oct. 28-31 in Malaysia, a week before the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, and will extend the circuit’s reach into a growing market. All of which is great stuff, grow the game, get on a plane, but the truth and the timing of all this will result in a field something south of the Isleworth member-member.

Tweet of the week. @ianjamespoulter “To address the 16th (hole at TPC Scottsdale), great hole, great atmosphere, but I was getting something off of my face. Will I play next year? He’ll (sic) yes loved it.”

Criticize Poulter all you want for his “inappropriate actions,” but it’s safe to say none of the thousands crowded around the zoo-like 16th were offended.

Missed Cut

John Daly. No, not for the litany of reasons that made this week’s unearthing of Long John’s 456-page personnel file a must-read. We’ve covered that ground.

JD lands in the “Cut Line” dog house because he took the golf writer who unearthed his sordid past to task, going so far as to call him a “jerk” and a “non-journalist” and posting the scribe’s cell phone number on his Twitter account and encouraging his fans to harass the writer.

Alcoholism we can forgive. Shameless self-promotion can be dismissed. But childishness doesn’t wash off.

Steve Williams. On the same week we learned Woods was out of rehab and back searching for answers in the Isleworth dirt, the world No. 1’s looper took what seems to be a few ill-advised hacks at his boss.

“Of course I’m mad at him, why would you not be?” Williams told New Zealand’s “60 Minutes.” “I’m close with his wife and he’s got two lovely children and he’s let them down. When a guy’s having a tough time, it’s not up to me to beat him with a stick right now. He’s getting enough grilling from everybody else.”

Williams is a good caddie. Maybe the best of his generation, but with his man on the ropes and more scrutiny to come the Kiwi seems to need a refresher course in the caddie credo: show up, shut up and keep up.

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.

Getty Images

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.