Too Much or Too Little Tiger

By Brian HewittFebruary 27, 2009, 5:00 pm
The Comebacker is all about ' no surprise ' Tiger Woods. But were going to drill down here a little bit this week. Were going to pit the e-mailers who think were way over the top with our praise of Tiger against those who have decided The Comebacker is anti-Tiger.
Well sprinkle a little Phil in, too, for the Leftyphobes.
Without further ado:
Bill writes: Whom may I ask, is this man called Tiger?
The Comebacker
Pretty existential there, Bill. But, yes, you may ask. And I will tell you that he is a man with a pretty good past and a pretty good future.
Mike writes: Talk about Barack Obama all you want, but the REAL Messiah is returning.
The Comebacker
To a lot of people Tiger Woods is a religion and the golf course is his house of worship. Theres a story going around that when he announced he would play at the match play, business at driving ranges all over America skyrocketed.
Dorothy writes: To hear all the to-do, one would think its the second coming. Please people: this is only a golfer, albeit one who plays the game exceptionally well, not a savior or anything like that. I believe that position has already been taken. Get a grip. No wonder Tiger Woods is so insufferable.
The Comebacker
Lets see if Ive got this straight now: Tiger Woods IS a Messiah but he is NOT a savior.

Petuniaes writes: I can now return to watching again. I tried to watch during his (Tigers) absence, but it was soooo boring. My golf juices are flowing again.
The Comebacker
You missed a pretty good Ryder Cup.

Sam writes: At least watching golf was enjoyable for 253 days. Now I'll have to quit watching again. No more watching golf or the Golf Channel for me unless he breaks another leg. I'm sooooooooooo sick of hearing about Woods and Wie.
The Comebacker
Ouch, a back door shot at Michelle Wie And Im just going to remind you people once: The word so has just one o in it.
Connie writes: Is anyone playing this tournament besides Tiger Woods? If there are others playing, I, for one, would like to see them. At least that way I would know for sure he is not playing alone.
The Comebacker
What? The return, after eight months, of arguably the greatest player who ever lived didnt whet your appetite?
Betty writes: With 64 players in the tournament, why is all the news 99.9 percent Tiger? Should this be changed to Tiger's exhibition? The critics ask why high profile golfers do not play more events. Your program takes out all competition. Give all golfers equal billing. I do enjoy golf. Tiger seemingly is a nice person; however, did you ever feel as if you were being gagged or choked on one player?
The Comebacker
No, never.

Fitz writes: I don't know why you hate so much, (Yes I do) but if you think that you can beat him, then pick up your clubs and stop the hate.
The Comebacker So Im guessing that Fitz thinks I hate Tiger because I cant beat him at golf. Of course I cant beat him at golf. If I could, Id be a billionaire. But I dont hold that against Tiger. I hold it against the fates who decided I would never be the best player who ever lived.
Roy writes: I am as glad as anyone to see Tiger back in action against the best players in the world. But changing the site of this world class event is not working at all for me. A little boring watching another desert tournament, even if it is a whopping 7,800 yards and designed by Jack (Nicklaus). This event deserves a much more recognizable site. Here's a thought ...why not hold this in Europe where an Open or even a Ryder Cup was held?
The Comebacker
The answer is easy: American television. Thats where the big dollars come from and the bosses would never tolerate the time difference. Thats the reality and its not a harsh one. As far as the new course being boring: Give it a chance.
Bill writes: Thanks Brain, for letting us know there are other matches besides Tiger.
The Comebacker
People misspell The Comebackers first name like that all the time. I call it a Freudian typo.
Bob writes: Hello to everybody. I guess I am the one who has to say it: the sun does not rise and set on Tiger Woods.
The Comebacker
Others have said it. But many believe it does.

William writes: Why is he such an exception. The caddie bib is standard for all tour caddies, but Steve (Williams) did not wear his for the practice round and removes his walking up 18 every time Tiger plays. The sponsor pays dearly for those pictures with their name on display and Steve must think he is an exception. Hardly. Hes just a guy with an overstuffed ego.
The Comebacker:
Sponsors are not to be messed with in this economic climate. Neither are fans.

Mark writes: Tiger? Who's that guy? I didn't see him play in the FedEx Cup or the Ryder Cup last year are we sure this guy is worthy of such high expectations this week?
The Comebacker
Are we not sure?

Boris writes: I disagree with your contention that Phil (Mickelson) has been the only rival of Tiger. When was the last time Mickelson was No. 1 in the world? I thought that Vijay Singh was the last person to be No. 1 in the world before Tiger, and didn't he just win the second FedEx Cup?
The Comebacker
Reasonable points. Vijay is not a match for Phil in the talent department. Phil is not a match for Vijay in the work ethic department. Combine Phils and Vijays strengths and you might have a clone who could challenge Woods. Maybe some of this debate, by the way, is why Phil and Vijay dont particularly care for each other.
Peter writes: Phil Mickelson is the most fun to watch golfer on the PGA Tour, but I must agree with some of the readers that (Dave) Pelz and Butch (Harmon) are bad for Phil, especially Pelz, you can't make putting into a science, just look at the two greatest golfer in the game Tiger and Nicklaus, when under pressure it's their mind that takes over.
The Comebacker
Bit of a run-on sentence there, Pete. But youre spot on about the strength of the minds of Jack and Tiger.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
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Davies leads Inkster after Day 1 of Senior LPGA Champ.

By Associated PressOctober 16, 2018, 1:10 am

FRENCH LICK, Ind. - Laura Davies opened with a 4-under 68 despite finishing with two bogeys Monday, giving her a one-shot lead over Juli Inkster after Round 1 of the Senior LPGA Championship.

Davies, who earlier this year won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open, had a lost ball on the par-5 18th hole on The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort. She still salvaged a bogey in chilly, windy weather that had the 55-year-old from England bundled up in a blanket between shots.

Inkster, runner-up to Davies at the Senior Women's Open, made eagle on the closing hole for a 69.

Jane Crafter was at 70. Defending champion Trish Johnson opened with a 73.

Temperatures were in the high 40s, but the damp air and wind made it feel even colder.

Inkster made a bogey on the 17th hole by missing the green with a 9-iron.

''As old as I am, I still get made and I crushed that drive on 18,'' said Inkster, who followed with a 3-wood to 15 feet to set up her eagle.

The 54-hole event concludes Wednesday.

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Miller to retire from broadcast booth in 2019

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 15, 2018, 9:14 pm

After nearly 30 years in the broadcast booth, Johnny Miller is ready to hang up his microphone.

Following a Hall of Fame playing career that included a pair of major titles, Miller has become one of the most outspoken voices in the game as lead golf analyst for NBC Sports. But at age 71 he has decided to retire from broadcasting following the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

“The call of being there for my grandkids, to teach them how to fish. I felt it was a higher calling,” Miller told “The parents are trying to make a living, and grandparents can be there like my father was with my four boys. He was there every day for them. I'm a big believer that there is a time and a season for everything.”

Miller was named lead analyst for NBC in 1990, making his broadcast debut at what was then known as the Bob Hope Desert Classic. He still remained competitive, notably winning the 1994 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at age 46, but made an indelible mark on the next generation of Tour pros with his frank and candid assessment of the action from some of golf’s biggest events.

Miller’s broadcasting career has included 20 U.S. Opens, 14 Ryder Cups, nine Presidents Cups, three Open Championships and the 2016 Olympics. While he has teamed in the booth with Dan Hicks for the past 20 years, Miller’s previous on-air partners included Bryant Gumbel, Charlie Jones, Jim Lampley and Dick Enberg.

His farewell event will be in Phoenix Jan. 31-Feb. 3, at a tournament he won in back-to-back years in 1974-75.

“When it comes to serving golf fans with sharp insight on what is happening inside the ropes, Johnny Miller is the gold standard,” said NBC lead golf producer Tommy Roy. “It has been an honor working with him, and while it might not be Johnny’s personal style, it will be fun to send him off at one of the PGA Tour’s best parties at TPC Scottsdale.”

Miller was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1998 after a playing career that included wins at the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont and The Open in 1976 at Royal Birkdale. Before turning pro, he won the 1964 U.S. Junior Amateur and was low amateur at the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic, where he tied for eighth at age 19.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Miller now lives in Utah with his wife, Linda, and annually serves as tournament host of the PGA Tour’s Safeway Open in Napa, Calif.

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Randall's Rant: Tiger vs. Phil feels like a ripoff

By Randall MellOctober 15, 2018, 7:45 pm

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's 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.

Celia Barquin Arozamena Iowa State University athletics

Trial date set for drifter charged with killing Barquin Arozamena

By Associated PressOctober 15, 2018, 7:28 pm

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.