Backspin Wie Woods Making News


Editor's Note: In Backspin, the editorial staff takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf -- with a spin.
WEIR NO. 1: Mike Weir captured the Fry's Electronics Open Sunday, making a 6-foot par putt on the final hole to defeat Australian Mark Hensby by a stroke. The victory was Weir's eighth on the PGA TOUR, but his first since the Nissan Open in February 2004.
Backspin It's been a wonderful month for Weir. First he knocks off Tiger Woods in singles play at the Presidents Cup. Then he wins an official PGA TOUR event for the first time in well over three years. He's now up to 30th in the world ranking, with an eye on a return to the top 10.
SHORT TRIP HOME: Phil Mickelson returned to action in his former hometown of Scottsdale and missed the cut. Mickelson, who was using new Callaway irons this past week, made a triple bogey on his 16th hole of the second round en route to missing weekend play by a stroke.
Backspin Mickelson only competed because of his association with Grayhawk Golf Club. He certainly wasn't doing it for the money or the practice. This isn't the last we will see of the world's No. 2-ranked player, however. He will be playing -- and taking the whole family with him -- in Singapore and China. That would count as a hectic silly season for Lefty, which means it's not likely he will be playing in the 2008 season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championships.
LPGA TOUR: Thirty-six-hole leader Suzann Pettersen was declared the winner of the LPGA Tour's Hana-Bank Kolon Championship, when high winds and cold weather conspired to make the course greens unplayable. Pettersen became the first non-South Korean to capture this event in its 6-year history.
Backspin Fans vehemently protested the tour's decision to cancel the final round. This is the only LPGA event in the country (one that has produced a host of tour winners over the last few years) and fans had come from all corners to see some of the tour's best. There is no arguing, however, that Pettersen is the game's second best player. This was her fourth win of the year and her second in three weeks.
CHAMPIONS TOUR: John Cook, competing in just his second career event on the Champions Tour, won for the first time since the 2001 Reno-Tahoe Open on the PGA TOUR by capturing the AT&T Championship.
Backspin Cook beat good friend Mark O'Meara, Tom Kite, Loren Roberts and Fred Funk. As good as it was for Cook to taste victory again, this week might have been better for the tour. No offense to the Lonnie Nielsens of the world, but the senior set is in dire need of more finishes in which past, notable PGA TOUR winners are battling for the title -- and finishing first (like last week's Champions champion Bernhard Langer).
GRAND FINISH: Angel Cabrera won the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in a playoff over Padraig Harrington. The U.S. Open champion defeated the British Open champion thanks to a birdie-eagle finish in regulation and another birdie on the third extra hole.
Backspin Nice comeback for Cabrera, who began the final round triple bogey-bogey. Even nicer was the fact that he received $600,000 for winning a two-day, four-man tournament, played at a luxury resort in Bermuda. Tough life.
TIGER GATORADE: It was announced this past week that Tiger Woods and Gatorade have formed a power alliance. Gatorade said it will introduce 'Gatorade Tiger' in March, with more products to follow. Woods even picked out the flavors himself, with the drink available in a cherry blend, citrus blend and grape.
Backspin Woods didn't compete in the Grand Slam. What's 600 grand when people will pay you millions just to use their product and make a few commercials? Woods reportedly will receive in the neighborhood of $100 million over the next five years from the sports drink company. That helps Woods move closer to the billionaires-only neighborhood.
AGENT ZERO: Greg Nared resigned as Michelle Wie's agent after less than a year on the job. Nared also resigned as the vice president of golf at the William Morris Agency, who hired him to manage the 18-year-old.
Backspin Sources close to the situation told Insider Brian Hewitt that the main reason Nared quit was because of disagreements with her parents. What a total disaster this year has been for Wie. This is only like the 8th worst thing that has happened to her professionally in 2008.
INFLATION CONCERNS: Poor Brett Quigley. He had surgery on his right knee to repair torn cartilage after the Deutsche Bank Championship in September. At the time he was 109th on the PGA TOUR money list. He's now 126th, about $20,000 outside the cut number -- but physically unable to play in the final two events. Even TOUR officials are astounded at the amount of money it will take for players to get their cards for 2008.
Backspin It may take a quarter-of-a-million dollars to play fully exempt golf on TOUR in 2008. It's easy to see how players can become so complacent carving out a nice life for themselves that they don't do what's necessary to become a TOUR winner. Too bad for Quigley; he all-but willing to go out there on one good leg to try and make enough money to finish inside the top 125. The good news is that he will get a Medical Extension next year to try and make up whatever his ultimate deficit will be.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Steve Webster claimed his second European Tour win in Portugal; Ron Whittaker won on the Nationwide Tour; Playing on the PGA TOUR for the first time since 2004, Brandel Chamblee missed the cut by three strokes; The PGA TOUR is reportedly considering moving the 2008 TOUR Championship to two weeks after the Ryder Cup instead of one week before it; The former Nissan Open at Riviera Country Club has a new sponsor.
Backspin Has the European Tour already started its 2008 season?; Whittaker lost in a playoff the week before. He's now up to 11th on the money list and assured a spot on the 2008 PGA TOUR; At least Brandel's still got his day gig; Why don't they just play the events at the same time? Finchem loves opposite-field events; The Northern Trust Open -- catchy.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Fry's Electronics Open
  • Full Coverage - Hana Bank-KOLON Championship
  • Full Coverage - PGA Grand Slam of Golf
  • More Headlines