Miller Tiger Wont Beat Nicklaus
Among his opinions in the book: Tiger Woods at his best was better than Jack Nicklaus, but Woods won't reach Nicklaus' benchmark of 18 professional majors.
'When he came on tour, I said he would win 12 majors and 50 tournaments, and all the players said I was a raving idiot,' Miller said Monday in New York. 'Now he's got eight majors and 40 wins, so 50 is going to be way conservative.
'But majors ... let's say he's got 10 more years. That's a major every year to tie Jack. And that's not factoring in a back injury. It's going to be hard for him break that.'
Woods, 28, has gone the last seven majors without winning. Nicklaus went through a dry spell of 12 majors at about the same stage in his career.
Miller believes the early dominance by Woods will hurt him. Along with four straight majors, Woods won seven out of 11 from the '99 Championship through the '02 U.S. Open.
'He had four majors sitting on his table,' Miller said. 'It's not good to bunch them up. I'm afraid those four major wins in a row gave him a real big dose of Johnny Miller and David Duval.'
Miller felt he was the greatest player in golf during a short span in the 1970s, when he won 15 times and two majors in three years, routinely firing at the flags and winning big. He was 12-2 with a 54-hole lead early in his career, and won 74 percent of time over his career with the lead going into the last round.
Duval won 11 of 34 tournaments during one stretch through 1999, cooled off significantly while battling injuries, then went into a tailspin after winning the British Open in 2001.
Among the reasons Miller thinks Woods will fall short of 18 majors:
-- 'He's an old 28,' Miller writes in his book. He says that child prodigies often age faster, and that Woods might be in his prime now.
-- Family life. 'Tiger has tremendous energy toward the game, but that was prior to now branching off into boating, fly fishing, snorkeling and falling in love,' Miller said. 'Now this 100 percent energy in the game is 80 to 90 percent.'
-- Health. Woods missed six weeks last year recovering from knee surgery. Miller says Woods is especially prone to injury because of his tremendous body speed.
-- How he reacts to the inevitable slump.
Miller says his edge was gone in 1975, when he began spending more time working on his ranch in Utah. He became more muscular, lost flexibility and lost his touch. The first thing to go was his driving. Miller went three years without winning and was never dominant again.
'Tiger may be too well-schooled to suffer a slump of that proportion,' Miller writes. 'In any case, it's bound to happen, and there's no telling for sure how he'll react to the frustration, the self-doubt and persistent questions from the media.'
Miller said Woods' best golf is behind him.
'People say he'll play his greatest from 28 to 38,' he said. 'I totally disagree.'
Miller now works as an analyst for NBC Sports, where he routinely irks players with his candor. He believes one of his contributions to golf broadcasting is his willingness to introduce the word 'choke.'
'When I hang up my microphone, that will probably be my legacy,' he said.
His blunt style was developed early. Miller said he played with a group of guys when he was growing up at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, and they held nothing back.
'It was like 12 Dennis Millers out there,' he said. 'I was trained to be very forthright. There were a lot of needles given, and we were all honest, whether it was a great shot or we were choking. There was very little middle ground, and that's close to where I am now.'
He touches on a variety of subjects in his book, from Annika Sorenstam's playing against men at Colonial (he thinks she could finish in the top 130 on the PGA Tour money list given a full season) to the PGA Tour being a closed shop (he thinks only the top 100 on the money list should keep their cards).
He also offers a few predictions over the next 20 years: the first 59 in a major championship, the Presidents Cup merging with the Ryder Cup, and a player better than Tiger Woods.
'But this player, though clearly the best, will not dominate the game the way Tiger has,' Miller writes. 'The competition will be too good.'
The book, which went on sale Monday, was written with Guy Yocom of Golf Digest magazine.
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Garcia among bubble boys keeping playoff hopes alive
Sergio Garcia gave himself a chance to keep his perfect FedExCup Playoffs record going with his rally Friday at the Wyndham Championship.
D.A. Points moved into position to make a historic leap into the postseason.
And Johnson Wagner dunked his last shot of the day from long range to keep his hopes of making the playoffs alive.
But the day didn’t end nearly as well for Tyrone Van Aswegen’s FedExCup hopes.
Van Aswegen didn’t do himself any favors trying to hold on to the 125th spot on the FedExCup points list. He missed the cut by a shot.
Only the top 125 advance to The Northern Trust and next week’s start to the playoffs.
Van Aswegen wasn’t alone among “bubble boys” missing the cut. No. 122 Jhonattan Vegas, No. 123 Seamus Power, No. 124 Martin Piller, No. 126 Chad Campbell and No. 127 Robert Garrigus all failed to make the weekend.
Garcia is among 13 players who have advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs every year since they began in 2007, but his run was in jeopardy of ending starting the week. He’s 131st on the FedExCup points list
With a 65 Friday following his opening round 66, Garcia is in more than a great position to advance. He’s in position to win the Wyndham. He is tied for fourth, five shots off the lead. The day ended with Garcia projected to move up to 118th on the FedExCup points list.
“I'm just going to try to keep building on the things that I did well these first two days,” Garcia said. “Whatever happens, happens. Like I said at the beginning of the week, if I have a great weekend, then it will be great. If I don't have a great weekend, it will still be great because
I'll get to rest.”
Points started the week 214th on the FedExCup points list. With back-to-back 64s, he trails only Brandt Snedeker going into the weekend. He’s projected to move to 81st in points. Nobody has ever started the Wyndham Championship that far back in points and qualified for the playoffs. Davis Love III was 186th when he won and advanced in 2015.
Wagner, 136th on the FedExCup points list, went to spectacular lengths Friday to keep his playoff hopes alive. He was outside the cut line until holing his 153-yard approach at the last.
Bill Haas, who is among those 13 players to have qualified for the playoffs every year, started the week 150th in points. He can keep his perfect playoff record going with a big weekend. He shot 68 Friday to make the cut. He’s tied for 52nd in the tournament.
Points two back after missing 16 of 17 cuts
What’s the better story come Sunday?
Brandt Snedeker turning his 59 in the opening round into a victory at the Wyndham Championship?
Or D.A. Points winning after missing 16 cuts in his last 17 starts?
They’re both scripts in the works at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.
Points, who has been struggling this season with a herniated disc that causes numbness in his fingers, has broken through his season-long funk to shoot back-to-back 64s. He starts the weekend in second place, two shots behind Snedeker.
“It's been difficult,” Points said of his slump. “It's been hard on my family. I was in this position a couple years ago, and I clawed my way back and won in Puerto Rico.
“I had that big downturn, and I clawed my way out of it just to find myself way back down in another deep hole again.”
Points, 41, is a three-time PGA Tour winner. He won his first title playing alongside Bill Murray at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2011 and two years later won the Shell Houston Open. He slipped into a three-year funk after that, before rebuilding his game and winning the Puerto Rico Open last year.
“Hopefully, this is my way of starting to claw back out,” Points said.
New 'Mr. 59' Snedeker needs Day 2 rally to keep Wyndham lead
Brandt Snedeker struggled coming off the emotional high that comes with shooting 59, but it didn’t stop him from rallying Friday to try to turn his historic round into a victory at the Wyndham Championship.
After a sluggish start to the second round, Snedeker caught fire on the back nine at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., to take the lead going into the weekend.
With a 3-under 67, Snedeker moved to 14 under overall, two shots ahead of D.A. Points (64).
“I knew it was going to be tough” Snedeker said. “It wasn't going to be the same way it was yesterday. Kind of battling the emotion of everybody pulling hard for you, wanting to see you do it again. So the front nine was disappointing.”
A day after becoming the ninth player in PGA Tour history to post a sub-60 tournament round, Snedeker opened with three bogeys and two birdies on the front nine. He said it was a struggle to begin anew.
“You hear people telling you every two seconds, `Mr. 59,’ or saying how cool it was to watch it,” Snedeker said. “Phone's still blowing up this morning, guys in the locker room are still talking to me about it. So, yes, totally on your mind. You can't ignore it. You can't try to forget about it. Hardest thing is trying to get back into a rhythm.”
Snedeker did with an eagle and two birdies on the back nine. Rolling in a 30-foot eagle putt at the 15th gave him back the lead he lost earlier in the round.
“To see that go in was huge,” Snedeker said.
Not every player to break 60 on the PGA Tour has gone on to win. In fact, Snedeker is looking to become just the fifth player to do so.
Garwood (64) leads Dick's Sporting Goods Open
ENDICOTT, N.Y. - Doug Garwood birdied the final three holes for an 8-under 64 and the first-round lead Friday in the Dick's Sporting Goods Open.
The 55-year-old Garwood had nine birdies and a bogey, playing his final nine holes - the front nine at En-Joie Golf Club - in 6-under 31.
''Drove it well, hit the irons well, pitched well, putted well, thought well,'' Garwood said. ''I got to a point I was just making birdies and I kind of lost track of how it was going,'' Garwood said. ''That's always a good thing.''
He won the 2016 SAS Championship for his lone PGA Tour Champions title.
"I haven't been playing great this year, but I've been working hard on my game and things I've been working on are paying off,'' Garwood said. ''My golf, I take it a shot at a time, don't think about too far in advance because you really can't control, you know, the 13th hole tomorrow. It's just about the tee shot on No. 1.''
Michael Bradley and Marco Dawson shot 65, Woody Austin and Clark Dennis followed at 66, and Bob Estes and Tom Gillis were at 67.
''It was a good day,'' Bradley said. ''I've traditionally not driven the ball well here and you've got to drive the ball good here to shoot a good score. I drove the ball well and made a few putts, so that was that.''
Kenny Perry, the 3M Championship winner two weeks ago in Minnesota, had a 68. Bernard Langer and Miguel Angel Jimenez each shot 70. Langer won the 2014 tournament. Jimenez is coming off a victory at St. Andrews in the British Senior Open.
Defending champion Scott McCarron had a 72. Kevin Sutherland also had a 72. He shot the only 59 in PGA Tour Champions history in the 2014 event. John Daly, the winner of the PGA Tour's 1992 B.C. Open at En-Joie, opened with a 73.