European Perspective - COPIED

By Tom AbbottMarch 8, 2011, 10:48 pm

European Tour

Going from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic to the Avantha Masters in New Delhi was certainly a change in pace for the European Tour. 

Dubai had the top three players in the world; Delhi had just two of the world’s top 100. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the Indians have large aspirations for the now Olympic sport.

Golf is the fastest growing game in this cricket-loving nation, and over the next five years the sponsors along with the Professional Golf Tour of India – the chairman of whom is the same person – wish to make the Avantha Masters one of the top events on the tour. Those are lofty heights, which will require a fat check book, some persuasive meetings with agents and a change of date.

Even with the luxury of a Global Express, Delhi-Tucson isn’t an appetizing trip, especially with only a two-day turn around, but you shouldn’t write them off. After all, who would have thought the Omega Dubai Desert Classic would be what it is today when the tour first visited in 1989?

The tour made its first stop in India three years ago, the Asian Tour makes regular visits, and the PGTI has over 20 tournaments on its own calendar. The strength of professional golf is growing so much that ISM, Chubby Chandler’s blooming management company, has just opened an office in the country to keep closer ties to a stable of local players.

On Sunday one of them, SSP Chowrasia, won on home soil for his second European Tour victory – a triumph which moved him just outside of the world’s top 250. He’ll no doubt have hopes of one day playing in this week’s WGC-Accenture Matchplay.

This year no Indian player is in the field, but it won’t be long before the Indian flag is flying high in Marana, Ariz.

Yani Tseng’s performance last week at the Honda LPGA Thailand must have sent a few chills down a few famous female golfers' spines. 

The record for 2011 stands at four played, four won. This week the tour moves to the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore, where it seems the only thing that could stop her would be a flaring-up of the tendonitis that’s blighted her career. But not even that stopped her at last year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open when she secretly played through intense pain for a wire-to-wire win.

Elsewhere in the women’s game, the Australians may have a new star for the future.

On Sunday, 22-year-old Kristie Smith earned her first victory on the Ladies European Tour at the Pegasus New Zealand Women’s Open. Smith, whose father Wayne was a touring professional, followed her dad into the paid ranks in 2008. She spent a few years on the LPGA Futures Tour, where family friend Ian Baker-Finch provided a home away from home and some expert advice which led to a win last year in the tour’s Daytona Beach event. Smith then switched to concentrate on the LET where she finished 25th on the Henderson Money List in 2010.

And finally, Solheim Cup player Nicole Castrale returned to the LPGA in Thailand last week having missed most of last year with a shoulder injury which resulted in surgery over the summer and a lengthy rehab. Castrale finished tied 57th, improving her score each of the first three rounds but struggling to a birdie-less 76 on Sunday.

Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.

Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.

Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Getty Images

LaCava: Woods wouldn't talk after H.O.R.S.E. match

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 2:27 pm

The competitive streak within Tiger Woods knows no bounds - even on the basketball court, according to caddie Joe LaCava.

LaCava has been on Woods' bag since 2011, and he recently shared a story on "Inside the Ropes" on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio about a clash between the two men over a seemingly friendly game of H.O.R.S.E. Actually, it turned into nine straight games (and nine straight wins) for LaCava, who exploited a weakness in Woods' on-court strategy while leaning on a mid-length jumper of his own:

"The thing with him was if I missed a shot, which I missed plenty of shots, but if I missed the shot he'd go back down to the 3 (point line) because he liked to make the 3," LaCava said. "But it's harder obviously to make a 3, and I'd go right back to the baseline 12-footer, and he couldn't make it."

It's a short list of people who have beaten Woods nine times in any athletic pursuit, let alone in a row. But for LaCava, the fallout from his afternoon of on-court dominance was less than subtle.

"He did not talk to me the rest of the day," LaCava explained. "I didn't even get the old text, 'Dinner is ready,' because I stay across at the beach house. I didn't even get that text that night. I had to get take-out. He didn't announce he wasn't (talking), he just did it. I'm telling you, nine games in a row. Like I said, he's so competitive, even at something like that."

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 3, Tiger Woods

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:45 pm

After returning to competition at the Hero World Challenge in December 2016, Woods started the new year with an ambitious slate of tournament starts as he eyed his first full season since 2013. But he made it only three rounds, looking rusty en route to a missed cut at Torrey Pines before withdrawing abruptly in Dubai.

The “spasms” that led to that withdrawal turned out to be something far more serious, as Woods underwent his fourth and most invasive back surgery in April, a lumbar fusion. It brought with it an extensive rehabilitation, and at the Presidents Cup in September Woods humored the prospect that he might never again play competitive golf.

At Liberty National he also faced some scrutiny for an off-course incident from months prior. In May he was arrested for suspicion of DUI, an incident that produced a startling roadside video of an intoxicated Woods struggling to follow instructions from the arresting officer after driving erratically.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

While he was not drinking at the time, Woods was found to have a mix of several prescription medications in his system, including multiple painkillers. He checked himself into a private drug treatment program in July to address his dependency issues, and in October he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving.

But the incident was barely a memory when Woods again made a return to competition in the Bahamas at the tournament he hosts. This time around he exceeded nearly every expectation, twice shooting 4-under 68 while tying for ninth among the 18-man field. Having re-tooled his swing following fusion surgery, Woods appeared relaxed, happy and healthy while briefly taking the lead during the tournament’s second round.

What lies ahead for Woods in 2018 remains uncertain, as the stop-and-start nature of this past season serves as a cautionary tale. But after a harrowing arrest and another serious surgery, he seems once again focused on his game, intent on chasing down a new crop of elite talent, some of whom are barely more than half his age.

Woods' initial comeback short-lived, leads to another back surgery

Article: Woods undergoes "successful" fourth back surgery

Article: Woods (back spasm) withdraws from Dubai

Article: Players disappointed Woods withdraws from Dubai

Really, again: Tiger undergoes fourth back surgery

Begay on Tiger: Future is 'extremely uncertain'

Woods arrested for DUI, enters diversion program after getting "professional help"

Article: Woods arrested for DUI in May

Article: Police say Woods had 5 drugs in system when arrested

Article: DUI affidavit states Tiger asleep in parked car

Dashcam video released of Tiger's DUI arrest

Begay, Rolfing: Tiger's arrest needs to be wakeup call

Photos: Tiger Woods' car during DUI arrest

Tiger Woods at his 2017 DUI court hearing.

Photos: Tiger Woods in court for DUI hearing

Article: Tiger gets 'professional help' for prescription meds

Tiger Woods at his 2017 DUI court hearing.

Article: Woods pleads in court guilty to reckless driving

Woods goes from unsure of his pro golf future to resuming full golf activities

Article: Doctor clears Woods for full golf activity six months after back surgery

Article: Tiger doesn't know what future holds

Article: Woods back to making full swings

Woods admits he might never return to competition

Making progress: Breaking down Tiger's driver swing

Woods returns to competition for first time since February at Hero World Challenge

Article: Hero comeback a success for healthy Woods

Article: Woods discusses his back: 'No issues at all, none'

Tiger Tracker: Woods finished T-9 in return to competition

Chamblee: 'I was wrong' about some of my Woods skepticism

Tiger, if you were hurting, would you tell us? 'Yeah, I'd tell you'

Woods out and about in 2017

Article: Video, images of Tiger's round with Trump

Article: Woods posts photo as 'Mac Daddy Santa'

Article: Tiger at U.S. Open sitting in Nadal's box

Article: Shirtless Tiger holds up a massive lobster

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:30 pm