Winsday Hot List: Wentworth to Ft. Worth

By Win McMurryMay 23, 2012, 6:56 pm

A salute to all that is bigger and better this week on the Hot List, in honor of the PGA Tour’s final leg of the Texas Swing! And speaking of bigger and better, we’re crisscrossing the globe to Wentworth where the European Tour’s best tee it up in their “fifth major.” The top three players in the world hail from that continent, and equally as impressive, nine of the top 30 in the world are European. So bring on the glitz and glamour of European golf royalty…then we’ll get to Hogan’s Alley.

Wentworth – Loyalty to your home tour is one thing, but more Americans should make this trip. This is where the action is this week. Take it from the defending champion. “You don't have to travel far to play in a $6 million event at a great course at Colonial,' said Luke Donald during The Players. 'But I've always been a proponent of to get the most out of your game, it's important to travel and to experience new places. I think at least go try it once, and if you don't like it, fair enough. But it's a big event on our tour. It's considered our Players Championship of the European Tour. And I would have thought that would incite some interest in some of the big Americans that would be exempt for it.'

Luke Donald at the 2012 Players Championship

Luke Donald – George O'Grady, chief executive of the European Tour, revealed that Donald earned the European players' Player of the Year award, with 95 percent of the vote. With that hardware, he was also named the 41st player to receive honorary life membership. 'Probably the only person who didn't vote for him was himself,' O'Grady said. Gotta love his modesty.

Tiger Woods at the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Tiger’s Vacation Time – Springtime is heating up, and so is Tiger Woods’ schedule. This could be Tiger’s last two-week stretch off until October. Beginning with the Memorial, he is slated to play seven tournaments in the next 11 weeks, through the PGA Championship, and then it’s off to the FedEx Cup playoffs where four events are played over a five-week span. The next week is the Ryder Cup at Medinah.

Lee Westwood

Subway Sponges – It’s not quite a Cinderella story how Australian sandwich shop owner Michael Waite became caddie for one of the top players in the game. Waite, who is known as Sponge by his peers, took control of his own destiny and called Lee Westwood’s injured caddie, Billy Foster, to put in a good word with his boss. It wasn’t very long before Chubby Chandler called to see if he had visas for the U.K., Sweden and the U.S. Sponge made his last sandwich on Thursday, and then took off for the BMW PGA Championship where he’ll be on Westwood’s bag at least through the U.S. Open. Waite was on Michael Campbell’s bag in 2005, when he won the U.S. Open at Pinehurst. He has also caddied for Rodger Davis, Ian Baker-Finch, and Robert Allenby.

Cheyenne Woods

Excel Sports Management – According to the agency, Tiger Woods’ niece Cheyenne Woods has joined her uncle’s management team. Mark Steinberg has represented Woods since 1999, first at IMG before joining Excel last summer. His newest client was an All-American at Wake Forest University, where she set the lowest scoring average in school history and won the ACC Championship by seven shots. She graduated with a degree in communications and is said to seek sponsor exemptions this summer and go to LPGA Q-School later this year.

Dicky Pride at the 2012 HP Byron Nelson Championship

Dicky Pride – After his runner-up finish Sunday at the Byron Nelson, Pride has racked up $1,088,363 in seven starts. That’s something worth celebrating considering in his past 18 years on the PGA Tour the most he ever made in a single season was $483,923 in 23 tournaments.

Harris English

Harris English – Just outside of Dallas on Monday, the PGA Tour rookie shot a course-best – and International Finals America qualifying record – 60 to qualify for the British Open. Combined with a 63 at the par 70 Queens Course at Gleneagles Country Club, Harris was one of eight to win a spot at Royal Lytham and St. Annes. 'It was a very relaxing round. I just lost track on what I was doing,' said English, whose best PGA Tour finish is a tie for 16th in Mayakoba, Mexico, earlier in the year. 'It's pretty amazing.' Yeah, I’d say.

Win McMurry

Ft. Worth – On a trip for Gone with the Win a few weeks ago, I made my first acquaintance with this great cattle town. From Billy Bob’s to the Flying Saucer, Bob’s Steak and Chop to the rodeo, Tour players and fans trade in their dress shoes for cowboy boots and take a load off at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.

Jonas Blixt  

Jonas Blixt – The former Nationwide Tour player is on a roll and I had no idea until I received a text from golf instructor Jorge Parada of the Tour Academy at TPC Sawgrass, who works with Blixt and was shocked that I didn’t take him as my pick in Group 3 in the Fantasy Challenge for Colonial. His last three results? T-13, T-9, T-3. Sign me up. 

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