Whos the Next Great No 2
Among the early risers was Jason Day, the 19-year-old from Australia, which was symbolic in one respect. The youngest player on the PGA TOUR is the latest in line with aspirations of challenging Tiger Woods.
'I'm sure I can take him down,' he told Australian reporters in November.
He certainly has some strong credentials. Day made the cut in five out of the seven tour events he played last year, with his best result a tie for 11th in the Reno-Tahoe Open. He won a Nationwide Tour event, the youngest player to win on the junior circuit. He is said to be blessed with enormous talent, especially the short game, and that kind of skill seems scarce these days.
Whether he takes down Woods is impossible to predict because it hasn't happened.
In the 10 years since Woods rose to No. 1 in the world, the only newcomer to offer even a remote challenge is Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard took him to the wire at Medinah in the PGA Championship as a 19-year-old. Garcia has won six times on the PGA TOUR, nine times around the world and played on four Ryder Cup teams while still trying to win his first major.
Since then, Woods has won 50 times on the PGA TOUR, six times around the world and has 11 majors.
Charles Howell III didn't need Q-school to get his card and aspired to be No. 1, a worthy goal of any player. But his victory at Riviera last year was only his second in seven full seasons on tour.
Adam Scott was supposed to be the next Tiger, and his swing was a carbon copy when both worked with Butch Harmon. Scott has climbed as high as No. 3 in the world, but at age 27, he still only has five PGA TOUR victories and four top 10s in a major.
Justin Rose won his first Order of Merit on the European Tour last year and has given himself a couple of chances in the majors, but he has yet to win on the PGA TOUR. Ditto for Paul Casey, another Englishman with explosive skills.
Day is aware of Woods' career, perhaps not to the extent that he has posted a timeline on his bedroom wall as Woods once did with Jack Nicklaus. Even so, Day was quick to note that Woods never won a pro tournament at age 19.
'I'm just trying to mark myself up against him,' Day said. 'When I'm on the TOUR, somehow I've got to win two tournaments because that's what he won and I want to try and keep up with him.'
Day is setting the bar high, which has left some veterans puzzled.
'They just put added pressure on themselves,' Robert Allenby said Tuesday. 'It's fair to have confidence, but I'm not sure why you need to say anything. Just go do it.'
That seems to be the culture of youth.
Annika Sorenstam and Karrie Webb, the two greatest LPGA players of their generation, never talked about No. 1 until they got there. Both dreamed only of winning a tournament and were thrilled when it happened. Woods wanted to get his PGA Tour card so he didn't have to face Q-school, and he wound up getting into the Tour Championship by winning two of his first seven tournaments as a pro.
Then again, Woods didn't face such a tangible benchmark. His was the majors won by Nicklaus, who was 56 when Woods turned pro.
Woods' level of play has created unfair standards for those behind him as Garcia, Scott, Howell and every one else has learned, and perhaps what Day is about to discover.
Garcia turns 28 on Wednesday and has a career superior to anyone else in his 30s. But when Woods was that age, he already had won 39 times on TOUR, including eight majors.
Day has earned everything coming his way. His father died of cancer at age 12. As a kid, he had to shop at a used clothing store where for $5 he could stuff as much as he could into one bag.
No matter how he plays, the one thing Day will quickly learn is that Woods is not in neutral. That explains Mark Calcavecchia's answer last week when asked who was best equipped to challenge the world's No. 1 player.
'It's hard to say who's the next great No. 2 player in the world,' he said.
After the laughter subsided, Calcavecchia continued.
'That's the way it's going to be,' he said.
Calcavecchia wonders if there's a teenager somewhere in the world who has yet to be discovered. He remember being in Sun City, South Africa, one year and hearing about a tall, lanky 16-year-old that everyone was raving about as the next great player in the world. He took one look at Ernie Els and said, 'Yeah, right.'
'I'm sure there's some 16-, 17- or 18-year-old right now that's going to be the next one we know about,' Calcavecchia said.
Maybe it will be Day, a pleasant kid with mighty aspirations who is not afraid to share them.
He was asked during his conference call with Australian writers if he thought Woods was aware of him.
'I can't say for sure, but I think he is,' Day says. 'If I was him, I would be. I watch everyone. He watches a lot of golf. He has so much time. He played 16 events -- what does he do with his time? He'd be aware of me. He'd be saying, 'Here's another kid coming up.''
But only because Woods has seen them before.
Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Randall's Rant: Tiger vs. Phil feels like a ripoff
Usually, you have to buy something before you feel like you were ripped off.
The wonder in the marketing of Tiger vs. Phil and “The Match” is how it is making so many people feel as if they are getting ripped off before they’ve shelled out a single penny for the product.
Phil Mickelson gets credit for this miscue.
Apparently, the smartest guy in the room isn’t the smartest marketing guy.
He was a little bit like that telemarketer who teases you into thinking you’ve won a free weekend getaway, only to lead you into the discovery that there’s a shady catch, with fine print and a price tag.
There was something as slippery as snake oil in the original pitch.
In Mickelson’s eagerness to create some excitement, he hinted back during The Players in May about the possibility of a big-money, head-to-head match with Woods. A couple months later, he leaked more details, before it was ready to be fully announced.
So while there was an initial buzz over news of the Thanksgiving weekend matchup, the original pitch set up a real buzzkill when it was later announced that you were only going to get to see it live on pay-per-view.
The news landed with a thud but no price tag. We’re still waiting to see what it’s going to cost when these two meet at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, but anything that feels even slightly inflated now is going to further dampen the original enthusiasm Mickelson created.
Without Woods or Mickelson putting up their own money, this $9 million winner-take-all event was always going to feel more like a money grab than real competition.
When we were expecting to see it on network or cable TV, we didn’t care so much. Tiger and Phil’s hands would have felt as if they were reaching into corporate America’s pockets. Now, it feels as if they’re digging into ours.
Last week, there was more disappointing news, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting that tickets won’t be sold to the public, that the match at Shadow Creek will only be open to select sponsors and VIPs.
Now there’s a larger insult to the common fan, who can’t help but feel he isn’t worthy or important enough to gain admittance.
Sorry, but that’s how news of a closed gate landed on the heels of the pay-per-view news.
“The Match” was never going to be meaningful golf in any historical sense.
This matchup was never going to rekindle the magic Tiger vs. Phil brought in their epic Duel at Doral in ’05.
The $9 million was never going to buy the legitimacy a major championship or PGA Tour Sunday clash could bring.
It was never going to be more than an exhibition, with no lingering historical significance, but that was OK as quasi silly-season fare on TV on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23), the traditional weekend of the old Skins Game.
“The Match” still has a chance to be meaningful, but first and foremost as entertainment, not real competition. That’s what this was always going to be about, but now the bar is raised.
Pay per view does that.
“You get what you pay for” is an adage that doesn’t apply to free (or already-paid for) TV. It does to pay per view. Expectations go way up when you aren’t just channel surfing to a telecast. So the higher the price tag they end up putting on this showdown, the more entertaining this has to be.
If Phil brings his “A-Game” to his trash talking, and if Tiger can bring some clever repartee, this can still be fun. If the prerecorded segments wedged between shots are insightful, even meaningful in their ability to make us understand these players in ways we didn’t before, this will be worthwhile.
Ultimately, “The Match” is a success if it leaves folks who paid to see it feeling as if they weren’t as ripped off as the people who refused to pay for it. That’s the handicap a history of free golf on TV brings. Welcome to pay-per-view, Tiger and Phil.
Trail date set for drifter charged with killing Barquin Arozamena
AMES, Iowa – A judge has scheduled a January trial for a 22-year-old Iowa drifter charged with killing a top amateur golfer from Spain.
District Judge Bethany Currie ruled Monday that Collin Richards will stand trial Jan. 15 for first-degree murder in the death of Iowa State University student Celia Barquin Arozamena.
Richards entered a written not guilty plea Monday morning and waived his right to a speedy trial. The filing canceled an in-person arraignment hearing that had been scheduled for later Monday.
Investigators say Richards attacked Barquin on Sept. 17 while she was playing a round at a public course in Ames, near the university campus. Her body was found in a pond on the course riddled with stab wounds.
Richards faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.
LeBron's son tries golf, and he might be good at everything
LeBron James' son seems well on his way to a successful basketball career of his own. To wit:
But with just a little work, he could pass on trying to surpass his father and try to take on Tiger and Jack, instead.
Bronny posted this video to Instagram of him in sandals whacking balls off a mat atop a deck into a large body of water, which is the golfer's definition of living your best life.
If you listen closely, at the end of the clip, you can just barely hear someone scream out for a marine biologist.
Sponsored: Callaway's 'Golf Lives: Home Course'
In this original series, Callaway sets out to profile unique golf locations around the country based on their stories, communities and the characters that surround them. The golf cultures across the series are remarkably diverse, yet in all cases it's the course itself that unifies and ignites the passions of those who play.
“Golf Lives: Home Course” focuses on three distinct home courses across the country – one in D.C., one in Nebraska and one in Portland, Ore. All have very different golf cultures, but are connected by a deep love of the game.
Click here for a look at all three episodes in the series, as well as past Golf Lives films (check out the trailer below).
And here’s a breakdown of the three courses in focus:
Langston Golf Course (Washington, D.C.)
Opened in June 1939, Langston is steeped in a rich history. Known for its triumphant role in the desegregation of public golf, the course has been integral to the growth of the game’s popularity among African Americans. With its celebratory feel, Langston shows us golf is not unifies individuals, but generations.
Edgefield Golf Course (Portland, Ore.)
The air is fresh, the beers are cold and the vibes are electric at Edgefield. You'd be hard pressed to find a more laid back, approachable and enjoyable environment for a round. Overlooking stunning panoramic views of northeast Portland, two par-3 pub courses (12 holes and 20 holes) wind through vineyards, thickets of blackberry bushes and a vintage distillery bar. All are welcome at Edgefield, especially those who have never swung a club.
Wild Horse Golf Club (Gothenburg, Neb.)
In 1997, the locals and farmers living in the tight-knit town of Gothenburg decided to build a golf course. A bank loan, a couple of tractors, and a whole lotta sweat-equity later, their prairieland masterpiece is now considered one of the best in the country. Wild Horse is the soul of the community, providing unforgettable memories for all who play it.