Rex Hoggard - March 27, 2012


He had an advance copy of “The Big Miss” and he likens the release of the excerpts to a movie producer putting the most controversial parts of a movie into the trailer. The excerpts do not seem to tell the whole story of the book and based on what he has read, the book is 95% about golf.

Bay Hill is not an easy golf course especially when the wind blows and it was remarkable to see Tiger Woods drive the ball as well as he did on his way to a five stroke win. He seemed very confident with his golf swing and his game and we could be in store for more exciting things.

Rory McIlroy is still his favorite in The Masters based on the way he has played recently and what he has been able to show in Majors and other events. Tiger Woods is certainly up there as well but his #1 favorite is McIlroy and #1a favorite is Tiger Woods. He also mentioned Fred Couples as a favorite because of the fact that the 1992 Masters Champion has played so well at Augusta National and he won last week on the Champions Tour.

Jason Dufner is heading up to Augusta this week to practice in preparation for The Masters with his swing coach. The plan is to play nine holes per day and really get to know the golf course. Talking to Golf Channel on NBC’s Gary Koch last week, Koch said that when he was on the PGA TOUR he could not imagine a player who was 41st on the Money List being able to even afford to take a week off to spend eight days in Augusta to prepare for The Masters but it is a sign of how much money is in golf today.

He thinks that players will not read “The Big Miss” because for the most part they are interested in what Hank Haney has to say although he could be wrong. If Tiger Woods wrote a book about how he trained and how he prepared himself to win tournaments, Rex thinks that a lot of players will read that book.

Davis Love III withdrew last week in Orlando and this week in Houston due a cracked rib he suffered at Bay Hill. Love III is not in the field for The Masters and Rex hopes that Love III will be healthy enough for the RBC Heritage which he has won five times.

History tends to show that if people suggest that the Augusta National do something, they will not do it. Many people have pushed for a special invitation for Ernie Els and because of that it is highly unlikely that he will receive one simply because the Augusta National prefers to make its own decisions and do not want to be pushed or forced into making a decision it does not want to make.

One of the highlights of Rex’s year was going to Arnold Palmer’s News Conference during tournament week at Bay Hill. It is always exciting to hear a legend speak and it was also surreal that he was unable to meet the Champion on the 18th green due to the blood pressure scare that forced Mr. Palmer to spend the night in the hospital. It was great to see Mr. Palmer as active and as happy as he was last week and he is very relieved to know that Mr. Palmer is feeling better and resting at home.

Rex feels that last week’s win was one of the most important of Tiger Woods’ career although Tiger himself will not publicly admit that despite the best efforts of various members of the media. Other people in Tiger’s camp including caddie Joe LaCava and swing coach Sean Foley were both talking about the importance of the win on Sunday night. Tiger’s body language and the way he high fived LaCava shows just how much the win meant to him.

He considers “The Big Miss” to be fascinating and when you consider that Hank Haney, who spent six years as Tiger’s coach, wrote the book he does not see how it could not be fascinating. When you stick to just the golf-related material, it is incredibly fascinating and not controversial. Although he is not that media-savvy, he suspects that Mark Steinberg is doing more to help the book than hurt it by releasing strongly worded statements against it.