Tiger Golfs Einstein
The simple reason for his dominance is, of course, that he plays better, thinks better and works harder than any other player in the world. But there are more esoteric explanations, too.
Without further ado:
Kriss writes: Lets try another take on the Tiger machine. For years its been Tigers swing changes, Tigers inconceivable putting skills, short game, stingers, even the twirl-and-kick after a satisfactory shot. Well, heres my take: Tiger plays the numbers and angles. He has always said he likes math. Guess what: Hes always reading arcs and angles and curves and geometry. If we could see inside his brain, Ill bet wed see physics, architecture and telemetry. He doesnt just read breaks; he reads geometric planes. And thanks to his math skills, were getting really good at addition'62 and counting!
Well done. This is a take The Comebacker hasnt heard before. And he has heard a lot of takes on Tiger in the last 10 years. By the way, if The Comebacker could see inside Tigers brain, The Comebacker would look for Tigers ATM PIN number. For that would make The Comebacker a rich man.
Shannon writes: As I sit here in Baghdad so far from home and any golf courses, Tiger Woods brought a smile to every one of us that were glued to the television set. He could win the Grand Slam this year!....Thanks for taking care of those who are doing the nations business abroad and away from our families and friends.
It is us who thank you.
Emil writes: About Dubai.I wonder why I havent heard you or any of the other experts suggest that Els could have wedged to the 18th green in three and had a 15-foot-or-less putt to tie Woods..seems much smarter to me.
Maybe he was trying to make three and beat Tiger. Ever think about that?
Paul writes: I am constantly amused by the bravado exhibited by those not named Tiger Woods. I am talking about all those who have, very openly, aired their intent to challenge Tiger for the No. 1 spot..Scary to think how hard he (Woods) would push if there was a solidified No. 2 nipping at his heels. So, drop the bravado, get to work and let your game do the talking for you.
Letting your clubs do the talking is never a bad idea, unless you are playing bridge.
Gary writes: Would you like to work online from Home/Temporarily and get paid weekly? We are glad to offer you a job position at out company
Knock it off, pal. Ever heard of the SPAM police?
Irene writes: Why do commentators insist on saying off of instead of just off or from?
Because the commentators guilty of this grammatical faux-pas were absent from school the day the teacher taught the rest of us that one preposition is better than two. And remember, no ending a sentence with a preposition either. The erudite Bobby Jones said Nicklaus played a game with which I am not familiar not which I am not familiar with.
Keeps those E-mails coming. And remember, it doesnt necessarily have to be in response to articles posted on GolfChannel.com. The Comebacker reads all E-mails and considers all suitable subjects.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite
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
Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC
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.
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.
Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense
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.
“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.”
Harrington: Fiery Carnoustie evokes Hoylake in '06
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – One course came to mind when Padraig Harrington arrived on property and saw a firm, fast and yellow Carnoustie.
Hoylake in 2006.
That's when Tiger Woods avoided every bunker, bludgeoned the links with mid-irons and captured the last of his three Open titles.
So Harrington was asked: Given the similarity in firmness between Carnoustie and Hoylake, can Tiger stir the ghosts this week?
“I really don’t know,” Harrington said Monday. “He’s good enough to win this championship, no doubt about it. I don’t think he could play golf like the way he did in 2006. Nobody else could have tried to play the golf course the way he did, and nobody else could have played the way he did. I suspect he couldn’t play that way now, either. But I don’t know if that’s the strategy this week, to lay up that far back.”
With three days until the start of this championship, that’s the biggest question mark for Harrington, the 2007 winner here. He doesn’t know what his strategy will be – but his game plan will need to be “fluid.” Do you attack the course with driver and try to fly the fairway bunkers? Or do you attempt to lay back with an iron, even though it’s difficult to control the amount of run-out on the baked-out fairways and bring the bunkers into play?
“The fairways at Hoylake are quite flat, even though they were very fast,” Harrington said. “There’s a lot of undulations in the fairways here, so if you are trying to lay up, you can get hit the back of a slope and kick forward an extra 20 or 30 yards more than you think. So it’s not as easy to eliminate all the risk by laying up.”