Video takes Tiger's tale to new depths

By Will GrayJune 1, 2017, 1:57 am

Nearly three days after he was awakened on the side of the road by a Jupiter (Fla.) police officer, the second shoe dropped for Tiger Woods.

Once the mugshot of a bleary-eyed Woods made the rounds on social media Monday morning, this was the next logical step: that there would be dashcam video of his arrest to corroborate and support the details released in the initial police report. 

Video that would take statements and testimony and bring them to life, lending color and sound and visceral detail to the kind of snapshot in time that no one would ever look to volunteer to the world.

It was difficult to watch, and it dropped an already sad tale to entirely new depths.

Here was Woods, once a proud champion who put professional golf on his back for nearly two decades, barely able to stand without wobbling. Or follow various instructions, or display an understanding of where he physically was, or even utter a coherent sentence.

This was a man who, while registering 0.000 on a Breathalyzer test, was clearly impaired. He should not have been behind the wheel of his 2015 Mercedes, and his statement hours later admitted as much. This was a mistake.

But the fame and notoriety that took Woods to such unprecedented heights on the course also brings with it intensified scrutiny when the chips are down. And after this latest incident, Woods is down to the felt as he was during his sex scandal in 2009.

But when Woods collided with that infamous fire hydrant at Isleworth, there was no video. There was no tape released of police officers asking him to recite the alphabet, or putting him in handcuffs while barefoot and barely able to keep his eyes open.

That first incident played out in a vacuum, as Woods memorably offered no statement or explanation for weeks as the court of public opinion was tasked with filling the many gaps.

The video released Wednesday by the Jupiter Police Department – footage that was eligible for a public records request, as are other similar incidents involving celebrities and non-celebrities alike – was jarring. But it will inevitably be relished by Woods’ detractors, those who have delighted in his downfall and who didn’t receive their pound of flesh in motion picture form eight years ago.

Let’s be clear: this is not a moment worth relishing. This is a troubling glimpse, a terrifying snapshot of a man who had no business being behind the wheel of a car. But it’s also a man who should not be pilloried for making a mistake, even one that could have caused great harm to himself or others.

Too often with athletes it is difficult to separate the player from the person. Woods was not a golfer while he failed to execute a number of field sobriety tests. This was not a 14-time major champ, or a player plotting a comeback to the PGA Tour. It wasn’t even the guy who just days before penned an optimistic injury update.

This was Tiger Woods the man, an individual just as flawed as each person reading this, going through another regrettable and forgettable incident for all the world to see.

It’s a man that Woods himself took great strides to shield from public view over the years, even before that infamous day in November 2009. The list of people who can speak confidently to Woods’ inner workings is decidedly short.

But in light of this latest incident and capped by the release of his arrest video, those painstaking efforts have been largely nullified. Now when people search Woods’ name in the years to come, his major accolades and title-clinching putts will be interwoven with a clip of him unsuccessfully tying his shoe.

The entire situation can be boiled down to a single word: sad. It’s sad that Woods was in that car, regardless of reason or destination. It’s sad that he decided to sit behind the wheel when he was decidedly impaired.

It’s also sad that some will now hover over this latest video like vultures, picking away at it ad nauseam because, as Woods can personally attest, the internet never forgets.

We did not have to see the extended cut of Woods’ arrest, to sit shotgun for every voyeuristic detail, to know this was a low point. It was an egregious error, one for which he took responsibility and asked forgiveness.

But now that the video is out there, it’s a moment that we won’t soon forget – even if Woods eventually takes steps down a road of redemption. And that’s just sad.

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Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

He's making his first start in the event.

''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.