Game On

By Rich LernerJanuary 28, 2003, 5:00 pm
Vijay Singh is a truly great golfer, awesome to watch, big and supple and smooth and strong. I mean, this isnt something we discovered this weekend after he shot 63 Sunday in Phoenix. It was more of an early season reminder of what hes capable of.
 
And hes capable of prodigious feats with a golf ball.
 
He drives it phenomenally well ' long, high and straight. When hes driving it as he did, and making putts as well, then hes potentially a worthy challenger to Tiger Woods. Thats the absolute key. Vijay doesnt give up a ton to Tiger off the tee. On the greens its been a different story
 
Thats why hes spending 30 minutes before every round putting and an hour after. He knows that hes got to close that gap, and is intent on doing it the only way he knows how - by working on it.
 
Vijay is becoming an athletic specimen, too. He trains with Joey DioVisalvi. Twice a day. Morning and night. They work on core strength and flexibility. And Vijay is super committed
 
Vijay is ready to challenge himself for the next ten years, DioVisalvi told me
 
Said Vijay, soon to be 40, I feel really good physically.
 
So Vijay is training like a football player, banging out two-a-days. Taking care of business on Sunday, when its all about being strong for the stretch run. Finishing the race. Blowing by your opponents. Paul Tesori, his quiet, well-regarded caddy, revealed that Vijays primed for the majors, and he thinks that Vijay believes that he can win more than one. This year.
 
I brought this up to Vijay, and he smiled and said, Youre probing, arent you?
 
Athletes dont like to publicly state their more ambitious goals. Those are better left unsaid. But Vijay did acknowledge that hes going to be ready for the majors. And he plans on contending at every one. Thinking like Tiger, like the big, cagey cat.
 
This is shaping up to be very interesting campaign. Vijay won the Tour Championship to close 2002. Ernie won two to start in Hawaii. And now Vijay scores again in Phoenix.
 
Sure, there were 18 first-timers last year. And no doubt therell more this season. But its the big boys, the majors champions with all the tools, who are flexing their muscles early, setting the stage for a battle royal when the world champion comes back from minor knee surgery.
 
Speaking of tools, both Ernie and Vijay are playing the new Titleist Pro V1x. As a result, both guys are longer, if thats possible. Its reasonable to assume that Tiger and his team at Nike have spent a little time in the testing center recently. His return is probably a couple of weeks away, maybe at Torrey Pines for the Buick.
 
Game on. Soon.
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 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.

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.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.