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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M. Jutanugarn eyeing first win with L.A. Open lead

By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:50 am

LOS ANGELES - Moriya Jutanugarn took the lead into the weekend at the Hugel-JTBC L.A. Open in her latest bid to join younger sister Ariya as an LPGA winner.

Moriya Jutanugarn shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 on Friday at Wilshire Country Club to get to 8-under 134 in the LPGA Tour's first event in Los Angeles since 2005. The 23-year-old from Thailand started fast with birdies on the par-5 second, par-4 third and par-3 fourth and added two more on the par-4 11th and par-5 13th.

Ariya Jutanugarn has seven LPGA victories.

Marina Alex was second after a 68.


Full-field scores from the Hugel-JTBC Open


So Yeon Ryu was 6 under after a 69, and fellow South Korean players Inbee Park(71) and Eun-Hee Ji (69). Park was the first-round leader at 66. Lexi Thompsonwas 3 under after a 71.

Top-ranked Shanshan Feng followed her opening 74 with a 67 to get to 1 under.

Ariya Jutanugarn (71) was even par, and Michelle Wie (70) was 1 over. Brooke Henderson, the Canadian star who won last week in Hawaii, had a 79 to miss the cut.

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Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''

Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

They had a one-shot lead over Grayson Murray (69) and Andrew Landry (67).

Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots behind. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.


Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, had a short stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.

Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and missed the cut.

It was the first time since 2010 that Garcia missed the cut in successive starts. That was the PGA Championship and, 10 weeks later, the Castello Masters in Spain. This time, he missed the cut in the Masters and Texas Open three weeks apart.

Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

The cut was at 1-over 145, and because 80 players made the cut, there will be a 54-hole cut on Saturday.

Getty Images

Garcia tosses driver, misses Valero cut

By Will GrayApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

It wasn't quite to the level of his watery meltdown earlier this month at the Masters, but Sergio Garcia still got frustrated during the second round of the Valero Texas Open - and his driver paid the price.

Garcia had a hand in redesigning the AT&T Oaks Course along with Greg Norman several years ago, but this marked his first return to TPC San Antonio since 2010. After an opening-round 74, Garcia arrived to the tee of the short par-4 fifth hole and decided to get aggressive with driver in hand.

When his shot sailed well left, a heated Garcia chucked the club deep into the bushes that lined the tee box:

It took considerable effort for Garcia to find and retrieve the club amid the branches, and once he did things only got worse. He appeared to shank a chip once he got up to his ball, leading to a bogey on one of the easiest holes on a demanding track.

Garcia closed out his round with four straight pars, and at 2 over he eventually missed the cut by a shot. It marks the first time he has missed consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour since 2003, when he sat out the weekend at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Fort Worth Invitational and Memorial Tournament in successive weeks.

Garcia entered the week ranked No. 10 in the world, and he was the only top-20 player among the 156-man field. He missed the cut at the Masters in defense of his title after carding an octuple-bogey 13 on the 15th hole during the opening round.

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Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''


Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf


Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.