Tiger and LeBron

By Rich LernerMarch 30, 2009, 4:00 pm
Sean OHair turned out to be only a bit character in another drama that was playing out Sunday evening. In a year youll struggle to remember that he was the guy Tiger WOods diminished with yet another bottom-of-the-ninth, walk-off homerun.
 
Beyond Bay Hill, a battle was being fought by NBC and CBS. By Tiger and LeBron. Both born on December 30, that day apparently when the moon, stars, tides and winds align, and the glorious gods determine who shall receive the gift of sublime greatness.
 
NBC had Tiger, and network sports boss Dick Ebersol was going to maximize its asset after under-delivering to sponsors with Y.E. Yang and Geoff Ogilvy, fine players both but hardly meter movers. Ebersol would gamble against darkness, let Tiger run to 7:30 p.m. ET and run over its competition, chiefly 60 Minutes.
 
With an assist from OHair, slow as dial-up internet access, 7:30 leaked to 8:00; though, had they rolled out the stadium lights and gone to 11 no one would have carped. Tiger was back, with all his bulging muscles and bad lies and big putts.
 
A small party gathered to watch at a friends house, the North Carolina/Oklahoma game getting only the quick click back during commercial breaks from the golf.
 
Tiger looks as ripped as ever, I think.
 
How olds this OHair?
 
I think hes 26.
 
Zach Johnson looks like Joaquin Phoenix.
 
Did you see that guy on Letterman?
 
Yeah, he looked like the Unabomber.
 
Does he make this?
 
Makes it dead center.
 
There were golfers and non-golfers, men and women and kids, and everyone was glued. Tiger was at last and again in Americas living room beating OHair and beating the sun to an inevitable conclusion. His movies all end the same way, dont they?
 
Tiger made the putt at a few minutes before 8 oclock. Hed delivered the audience to the doorstep of prime time.
 
High-fives were exchanged.
 
Un---f---ing---real!
 
He never, ever misses that putt.
 
He had to make a deal with the devil somewhere in his life.
 
At that point, a friend took a call telling him to switch over to 60 minutes.
 
CBS had LeBron on its stalwart franchise, a standard celebrity profile with one most memorable shot. Schmoozing reporter Steve Croft at his old high school gym, LeBron casually heaved a ball underhanded from beyond half court. Naturally, he made it, like Tiger sparking a thousand hallway conversations at a thousand offices Monday morning.
 
Did you see that shot by LeBron on 60 Minutes?
 
Yeah that was awesome.
 
Dudes unreal, isnt he?
 
Yeah, hes amazing.
 
How bout Tiger, did you see that?
 
Ridiculous, I mean he does it every single time!
 
LeBron and Tiger. Physical specimens, both freakishly strong by the standards of their sports. Financial monsters with sights set on a billion.
 
Give LeBron an edge as the more natural actor, more authentic on camera and better suited for a humorous stint on SNL.
 
Tiger, nine years older, is at this point far more accomplished, the unquestioned king of clutch.
 
LeBron can begin to close the achievement gap by playing deep into June, at about the same time Tigers defending his U.S. Open epic.
 
Tiger and LeBron. Who rules?
 
Its a debate the television networks and a country tired of talking economy would love to have.
 
Email your thoughts to Rich Lerner
 
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    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.