Lessons from the West Coast Swing

By Associated PressFebruary 27, 2007, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)MARANA, Ariz. -- Two months into the eason, Tiger Woods has played only seven rounds on the PGA TOUR.
 
The West Coast Swing usually doesn't set any trends, and it is hard to find any this year. There were nine tournaments and nine winners, the third time in the last four years that has happened. Ages of the winners ranged from 25 (Aaron Baddeley) to 50 (Fred Funk). Woods won for the 12th straight season, while Paul Goydos won for the first time in 12 years.
 
From the shores of Hawaii to the high desert of Arizona, there were some topics worth one last visit before the PGA TOUR heads across the country on the Florida Swing.
 
Tiger Time:
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods extended his PGA TOUR winning streak to seven with his Buick Invit. win. (WireImage)
Woods' three tee times at the Accenture Match Play Championship began at 12:02 p.m., noon and noon. Live television coverage those three days also began at noon.
 
What a coincidence.
 
Television can't get enough of Woods, because he hasn't been around that much. The two tournaments were the fewest he has played on the West Coast Swing since his first full season in 1997, but the bigger question is whether this trend continues. He skipped Riviera for the second time in his career, and the Mercedes-Benz Championship for the second year in a row.
 
Pebble Beach has not been part of his schedule since 2002, although that might change with the 2010 U.S. Open approaching.
 
The best guess is that Woods will play 16 or 17 times on the PGA TOUR this year. That depends on when his first child is born (expected early July) and if he starts the FedExCup finale in New York or waits until the second 'playoff' event outside Boston.
 
Whether he should play more is an endless debate. At this point in his career, Jack Nicklaus was playing 18 times on the PGA TOUR and trying to peak for the majors.
 
Singh's Song:
Despite winning the season-opener at Kapalua, questions remain whether Vijay Singh's best days are behind him.
 
He has played seven out of eight weeks on the West Coast with only one other finish in the top 10 -- he closed with a 64 to tie for seventh. Singh nearly missed the cut in Honolulu and San Diego, and he was beaten in the second round of Match Play.
 
Singh is No. 9 in the world ranking, and barring a turnaround, could be out of the top 10 for the first time in 10 years.
 
Best Back-To-Back Stops in Golf:
One complaint often heard from players is that the PGA TOUR doesn't always go to the best course in town. Lips are zipped for two weeks in February.
 
Are there better back-to-back courses on any tour than Pebble Beach and Riviera? Also worthy of consideration is St. Andrews and Wentworth in September on the European Tour.
 
Life Without Tiger:
There were seven examples of that during the West Coast Swing, and it became a hot topic when Jack Vickers closed up shop at his International tournament outside Denver because he couldn't get Woods.
 
But the Nissan Open was the best example of what the PGA TOUR would look like had Woods chosen another line of work. Riviera had 11 of the top 13 players in the world ranking, minus Woods and Henrik Stenson.
 
The Sunday leaderboard featured Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Charles Howell III, Padraig Harrington, Jim Furyk and Sergio Garcia. Mickelson bogeyed the 18th hole to slip into a playoff, which Howell won on the third extra hole.
 
The overnight rating was 3.4, which was up from 2.6 the previous year when Woods withdrew on the weekend with the flu. The course and weather was magnificent. The story lines were plentiful.
 
There would been a bigger buzz and higher ratings had Woods been part of the mix. Without him, it was still good stuff.
 
Life With Lefty:
Say this for Phil Mickelson -- he makes it hard to ignore him.
 
One week he was practically flawless in winning Pebble Beach, the next week he bogeyed the 18th hole at Riviera and lost in a playoff. Mickelson wound up playing six consecutive weeks on the West Coast with mixed success, and plenty of speculation.
 
Similar to Woods, the real measure for him will be in the majors.
 
The first test is not for another six weeks at the Masters, where the winner gets a green jacket, a silver trophy of the Augusta National clubhouse, and a lifetime exemption.
 
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    Furyk: Not a 'good idea' to team Tiger, Phil at Ryder Cup

    By Ryan LavnerJune 25, 2018, 1:12 pm

    Those hoping for another Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson partnership at the Ryder Cup might be sorely disappointed.

    U.S. captain Jim Furyk all but slammed the door on the reboot Monday on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive.” Speaking at the CVS Health Charity Classic, Furyk laughed off the idea and said that it wouldn’t be a “good idea” for him to team them again.

    “It worked out so well the first time,” he said, chuckling, referring to the 2004 matches, where captain Hal Sutton paired the sport’s two biggest stars and watched them go 0-2 en route to a lopsided team defeat at home.

    Colin Montgomerie, who was also on the set and a member of that ’04 European squad, chimed in: “It was a great decision for Europe!”

    Woods and Mickelson’s relationship has improved in recent years, since they were part of the task force that morphed into the Ryder Cup committee. They even played a practice round together this year at the Masters. But Furyk seemed to suggest even that wouldn’t be enough to put them together again in Paris.

    “I hope they’re both watching, because they just fell off the couch laughing,” Furyk said. “I wouldn’t guess that would be a good idea as a captain, I’m just saying.”

    Both Mickelson and Woods are outside the top 8 automatic qualifiers. Mickelson is currently ranked 10th, while Woods is now 39th.

    Woods has already been named a vice captain for this year’s matches, though Furyk said that Woods had broached the topic of being a playing vice captain as early as January. Furyk added that he hasn’t discussed what Woods would need to show him over the course of the year to be considered for a captain’s pick.

    “He hasn’t played as big of a schedule as everybody else,” Furyk said, “but when he has played, he’s played pretty well. Definitely an eye-opener for everyone.”

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    Grandma hopes sick JT has some 's***-kicking antibiotics'

    By Grill Room TeamJune 25, 2018, 1:08 pm

    Justin Thomas tied for 56th at the Travelers Championship, still recovering from a brutal test at the U.S. Open and, apparently, battling an illness.

    Thomas is next competing at this week's French Open, along with the likes of Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia and a host of potential Ryder Cup foes.

    Count his grandmother as one who is pulling – really, really pulling – for his physical recovery.



    Grandmothers are the best. And as you can make out from the top of the text exchange, she finally figured out what was on JT’s pants in Round 1 at Shinnecock Hills.

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    What's in the bag: Travelers champion Watson

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 25, 2018, 12:22 pm

    Bubba Watson won the Travelers Championship for a third time in his career. Here's a look inside his bag:

    Driver: Ping G400 LST (7.6 degrees), with Grafalloy Bi-Matrix Prototype X shaft

    Fairway wood:  Ping G (13.2 degrees), with Fujikura Tour Spec 8.2 X shaft

    Irons: Ping iBlade (2), Ping S55 (4-PW), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

    Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (52 degrees, 55 degrees, 63 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

    Putter: Ping PLD Anser

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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    Travelers purse payout: Bubba, Cink close low, earn big

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 25, 2018, 12:06 pm

    Bubba Watson shot 63 on Sunday to win the Travelers Championship. He took home the trophy, but he wasn't the only player to earn a big payday. Here's how the purse was paid out at TPC River Highlands:

    1 Bubba Watson -17 $1,260,000
    T2 Stewart Cink -14 $462,000
    T2 Beau Hossler -14 $462,000
    T2 J.B. Holmes -14 $462,000
    T2 Paul Casey -14 $462,000
    T6 Kevin Tway -13 $234,500
    T6 Brian Harman -13 $234,500
    T6 Russell Henley -13 $234,500
    T9 Chase Seiffert -12 $189,000
    T9 Bryson DeChambeau -12 $189,000
    T9 Anirban Lahiri -12 $189,000
    T12 Rory McIlroy -11 $147,000
    T12 Ryan Blaum -11 $147,000
    T12 Jason Day -11 $147,000
    T15 Charley Hoffman -10 $115,500
    T15 Patrick Cantlay -10 $115,500
    T15 Danny Lee -10 $115,500
    T15 Kyle Stanley -10 $115,500
    T19 Brooks Koepka -9 $79,000
    T19 Fabian Gomez -9 $79,000
    T19 David Lingmerth -9 $79,000
    T19 Zach Johnson -9 $79,000
    T19 Emiliano Grillo -9 $79,000
    T19 Matt Jones -9 $79,000
    T19 Jamie Lovemark -9 $79,000
    T26 Sam Ryder -8 $49,700
    T26 Si Woo Kim -8 $49,700
    T26 Richy Werenski -8 $49,700
    T26 Blayne Barber -8 $49,700
    T26 Steve Marino -8 $49,700
    T26 Peter Malnati -8 $49,700
    T26 Patrick Rodgers -8 $49,700
    T33 Alex Cejka -7 $39,550
    T33 Tyler Duncan -7 $39,550
    T33 Kevin Streelman -7 $39,550
    T36 Seamus Power -6 $35,175
    T36 James Hahn -6 $35,175
    T38 Scott Stallings -5 $30,800
    T38 Russell Knox -5 $30,800
    T38 Brandon Harkins -5 $30,800
    T38 Lanto Griffin -5 $30,800
    T42 Adam Hadwin -4 $24,500
    T42 J.J. Henry -4 $24,500
    T42 Jordan Spieth -4 $24,500
    T42 Mackenzie Hughes -4 $24,500
    T42 Brett Stegmaier -4 $24,500
    T47 Billy Hurley III -3 $17,578
    T47 Vaughn Taylor -3 $17,578
    T47 Sam Saunders -3 $17,578
    T47 Kelly Kraft -3 $17,578
    T47 Keegan Bradley -3 $17,578
    T47 J.J. Spaun -3 $17,578
    T47 Wesley Bryan -3 $17,578
    T47 Denny McCarthy -3 $17,578
    T47 Scott Brown -3 $17,578
    T56 Ryan Armour -2 $15,680
    T56 Keith Mitchell -2 $15,680
    T56 Ken Duke -2 $15,680
    T56 Justin Thomas -2 $15,680
    T56 Hunter Mahan -2 $15,680
    T61 John Huh -1 $14,910
    T61 Martin Laird -1 $14,910
    T61 Steve Wheatcroft -1 $14,910
    T61 James Driscoll -1 $14,910
    T61 Tom Lovelady -1 $14,910
    T61 Nick Hardy -1 $14,910
    T67 Daniel Berger E $14,350
    T67 Trey Mullinax E $14,350
    T69 Cameron Tringale 1 $14,000
    T69 Kyle Thompson 1 $14,000
    T69 Ethan Tracy 1 $14,000
    T72 Dominic Bozzelli 2 $13,650
    T72 Martin Flores 2 $13,650
    74 Padraig Harrington 4 $13,440