John Hawkins - February 22, 2012


Tiger Woods responded to Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano’s “beatable” comment by saying that Gonzalo was beatable as well. This is exactly what Stephen Ames and Rory Sabbatini did before they got beaten convincingly by Tiger Woods albeit at a different era in Tiger’s career. He would have advised Gonzalo not to make those comments simply because it is unwise to poke a stick at the Tiger in the cage.

Tiger gave one of the best news conference answers John had ever heard when he admitted that when he was younger, negative comments did motivate him but that is not as true as he has gotten older. He does not know if such comments help his intimidation factor but this is a sign of a different Tiger. But evidence of the old Tiger was shown when he said that he did not remember having breakfast with Gonzalo in Akron a few years ago after Gonzalo recalled that experience.

Looking at the first round matches, his favorite match is the K.J. Choi vs. Kyle Stanley matchup. He knows how the OWGR works, but he is still a bit surprised that Stanley is as low as he is. Stanley is currently one of  the best American players in the world in his opinion and he knows how competitive K.J. Choi can be and  thinks he will be. He also likes the Sergio-Jimenez match, the Watson-Crane match, and the Watney-Clarke match.

When asked about Keegan Bradley last week at Riviera, he did not think that Keegan needed to apologize for spitting. What Keegan needs to do – and additionally, what players like Webb Simpson need to do- is to play faster. This is a sport that many people are trying to sell to the masses and slow play is hurting those efforts. Simply put, a lot of players need to speed up on the golf course. This is part business and part game and players need to be aware when a camera is focused on them and if such behavior continues over time, the purses will not be as big and that will certainly get the attention of the players.