Ballesteros urges Woods to be patient but return

By Associated PressFebruary 18, 2010, 2:22 am

MADRID – Seve Ballesteros wants Tiger Woods to be patient about returning to golf although the Spanish golfing great urged him not to abandon the sport.

“Golf right now is going through a little dip, no?” Ballesteros said on Wednesday. “I hope Tiger returns to play because if he goes, golf will lose a lot.”

Woods announced Wednesday that he would meet with reporters Friday to end nearly three months of silence to address a middle-of-the-night accident that sparked shocking revelations about his infidelity.

“He needs to be patient and to start slowly,” Ballesteros, a five-time major winner, said. “He’s still young. There’s no rush. He needs to come back when he thinks he’s ready.”

Ballesteros, who is recovering from a cancerous brain tumor, added he was disappointed with how several of Woods’ sponsors abandoned him following the revelations, including AT&T and Accenture.

Ballesteros looked healthy and was cracking jokes as he reminisced about his past achievements in front of a crowd of several hundred fans at an event organized by sports daily Marca.

Ballesteros underwent chemotherapy after needing four surgeries in late 2008 to remove a malignant tumor from his brain.

But he was counting on returning to play the British Open at St. Andrews this summer, although he said that would depend on how he feels both physically and mentally. Ballesteros won three British Open and two Masters titles.

“I want to play the British Open this year,” said Ballesteros, who pledged to at least go around Wednesday’s four-hole event in honor of past champions. “Those four holes at least.”

Ballesteros was also hoping to someday turn his life story into a movie.

“So many things have happened to me I think it can be done,” said the 52-year-old Ballesteros, who spent 72 days in hospital after the discovery of the tumor.

He also revealed how he turned down a chance to meet Pope John Paul II after his first Masters victory in 1980.

“I’m a die-hard Catholic but I preferred to see Cassius Clay (Ali),” said Ballesteros, who never met Muhammad Ali but received a video message from the former heavyweight champion of the world instead.

Ballesteros named his ideal partners for a round of golf as being former France football great Zinedine Zidane, current Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas and glamor model Cindy Crawford.

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Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 20, 2018, 7:08 pm

Tiger Woods is looking to close his season with a win at the Tour Championship. We're tracking him this week at East Lake Golf Club.

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Watch: Highlights from Tiger's first round at East Lake

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 20, 2018, 7:00 pm

Tiger Woods is back at the season-ending Tour Championship for the first time since 2013, and he provided the fans in Atlanta with some highlights on the first day of competition.

Still looking for his first win of the year after coming close on numerous occasions, Woods started the day off by splitting the fairway on the first hole with the driver, not even bothering to watch his ball land.

Despite the picture-perfect opening tee shot, Woods would go on to bogey the first hole, but he rebounded with back-to-back birdies on 5 and 6, making putts from 26 and 15 feet.

Tiger's best shot on the front nine came on the par-4 seventh hole after he found the pine straw behind a tree with his drive. The 14-time major champ punched one under the tree limbs and onto the green, then calmly two-putted for par from about 40 feet en route to a front-side 1-under 34.

Woods added two more birdies on the par-4 12th and 14th holes, rolling in putts of 3 feet and 7 feet after a couple of great looking approach shots.

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Garcia (66) peaking for Ryder Cup?

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 20, 2018, 6:17 pm

Sergio Garcia might be finding his form just in time to terrorize the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Garcia made seven birdies during an opening round of 5-under 66 to sit just two shots off the early lead at the European Tour’s Portugal Masters.

It was Garcia’s fifth consecutive round of par or better, a stretch that includes rounds of 66-65-67-70-66. That solid play at the Wyndham Championship wasn’t enough to extend his PGA Tour season – he didn’t qualify for the FedExCup playoffs – but the Spaniard is starting to round into form with the Ryder Cup on deck.

Full-field scores from the Portugal Masters

A few weeks ago he was a controversial selection by European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn. After missing the cut in all four majors, Garcia could have been left at home in favor of such players as Rafa Cabrera Bello, Matt Wallace (a three-time winner this season who, once again, is at the top of the leaderboard in Portugal), Matt Fitzpatrick or Thomas Pieters. But Bjorn tabbed Garcia, noting his Ryder Cup experience, his sterling foursomes record and his influence in the team room. If Phil Mickelson is the U.S. player under the most pressure to perform in Paris, all eyes will be on Garcia next week – especially since it could be one of his final opportunities to wear a European uniform, as he’ll be 40 for the 2020 matches.

Garcia’s 66 matched his lowest opening round of the year and puts him in position to secure just his second top-10 since March.

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Watch: 100mph storm destroys tent at St. Andrews

By Grill Room TeamSeptember 20, 2018, 4:25 pm

The Old Course at St. Andrews has endured all sorts of wacky weather over the years, but things ratcheted up a notch this week with the arrival of Storm Ali.

The first named storm of the season struck Wednesday, bringing 100 mph gusts, killing two people and leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power in parts of Ireland, Scotland and England.

According to the Courier no one was injured in the St. Andrews area, but a video posted from the home of golf shows just how powerful the storm was as wind absolutely destroyed one of the hospitality tents set up in advance of the Dunhill Links Championship:

While plenty of clean-up is sure to be needed, officials say the Dunhill Links, which also be conducted at Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, will go on as scheduled October 4-7.