The Comebacker Kelly Rory and Tiger

By Brian HewittJanuary 10, 2008, 5:00 pm
The ComebackerThis is the maiden voyage for The Comebacker which will be posted every Friday in this space. If you have been paying even a little bit of attention, you already know there is no shortage of issues this week.
Before we tackle them, just another reminder of what The Comebacker is. Each week I will re-print the most compelling e-mails I have received. I will then comment on them which makes me The Comebacker.
Without further ado:
David writes: Brian, Im writing you to express my support for Kelly Tilghmans recent comments regarding Tiger Woods. Anyone who knows her, or has heard her on the air, could easily realize that she is not the type of person to make malicious comments. I respect your judgment and objectivity on issues and felt it appropriate to convey my comments to you. I hope you will pass along my offer of support to her. Its unfortunate that she probably feels bad when she has no reason to.
THE COMEBACKER: Kelly has a reason to feel bad, mostly because words came out of her mouth that dont represent the person she is. I know this because I worked with her on a regular basis for a years worth of 'Sprint' shows at GOLF CHANNEL. Kelly has apologized to Tiger and he has accepted. The poet Alexander Pope said it best: To err is human. To forgive is divine. I respect Al Sharptons vigilance when it comes to taking racism to task. I just believe if he thinks making an example out of Kelly Tilghman is the right thing to do, he has picked the wrong target. The Kelly Tilghman I know doesnt have a racist bone in her body. Last point: GOLF CHANNEL is taking a lot of heat for suspending Kelly for two weeks. I think the action shows GOLF CHANNEL understands that hurtful comments, even when inadvertent, need to be accounted for at the end of the day. Meanwhile, the time has come to move on from this.
Hector writes: The media continues to overplay Rory against Tiger in order to stir the pot. The best response stems from Woody Austin. 'If Tiger hits his head with a club he is soooooooooooooooooo competitive while I am viewed as somewhat goofy.' Rory mentions he thinks Tiger is beatable and the media goes nuts. If Rory does not say anything, he becomes another doomed and afraid PGA TOUR player of Tiger. In short, Rory and Tiger is like discussing religion. Youre not going to win or lose!!!!!
THE COMEBACKER: If Tiger hits his head with a club, that club becomes a valuable commodity on E-Bay. And actually, it is golf that wins when discussing Rory and Tiger. Its called free publicity.
Roger writes: Brian, How are things? This is Roger Federer. While it hasnt started yet, Im sure that somewhere over the course of 2008, the debate between the careers of my good buddy Tiger and myself will begin. I just want to start off 2008 correctly by stating that once and for all, Tiger Woods is by far the superior athlete
THE COMEBACKER: Yeah, but can Tiger hit a high-kicking, American Twist, up the middle, to the backhand, second-serve winner at love-40 triple match point in the finals of the French Open at Roland Garros against Rafael Nadal?
Jim writes: 'Woods and Mickelson think they are larger than the game, and I, and most of my friends, are sick of hearing these wimps site exhaustion for not playing. At least be a man and give the real reason i.e. I dont care.'
THE COMEBACKER: Jim, youre going to have to trust me on this: Tiger cares. So does Phil.
Skip writes: 'At some point when the compulsive urge to be a moron overrides the present mindset of Im not talking, he (Sabbatini) will, in no particular order of importance:
Slam Tiger and his influence at Nike Golf.
Slam Nike Golf for their equipment, personnel, facilities, etc.
Blame Tiger for influencing decisions about the Ryder/Presidents Cup.
Hellhe is such an idiot.he may go after Arnie or Jack for some perceived slightwho knowsmaybe the clubhouse attendant at Bay Hill gave Tiger extra pickles with his cheeseburger last year. The guy (Sabbatini) needs to grow up, this whole..he stands up to Tiger thing .is a crock!!!! He is an immature, rude, self-serving jerk.'
THE COMEBACKER: Yikes, more Rory complaints. Theres a surprise. Skip, I like your bile, if not your style. Thats what The Comebacker column is all about. Meanwhile, my sources tell me only Palmer gets extra pickles with his cheeseburger at Bay Hill. And I beg to differ on at least one other of your points: For better or worse, Rory Sabbatini is unafraid to stand up to Tiger Woods.
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    Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

    Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

    Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

    Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

    12/1: Dustin Johnson

    16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

    20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

    25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

    30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

    40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

    50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

    60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

    80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

    100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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    Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

    If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

    Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

    Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.

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    There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

    There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

    Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

    John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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    Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

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    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

    Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

    Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.

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    “I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

    Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

    “I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

    But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

    “I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”