Woods says divorce a sad time in his life

By Doug FergusonAugust 26, 2010, 2:08 am

PARAMUS, N.J. – For the first time all summer, Tiger Woods showed up at a PGA Tour event knowing that his day would not include phone calls from a lawyer or divorce documents to approve.

He is only married to his golf now.

“This is my job,” Woods said Wednesday. “This is what I do.”

Even so, Woods slowly shook his head when asked if he felt relief that his divorce became official two days ago.

“I don’t think that’s the word,” he said. “I think it’s just more sadness. Because I don’t think ever go into a marriage looking to get divorced. That’s the thing. That’s why it is sad.”

Woods still could not avoid talk about the end of his nearly six years of marriage to Elin Nordegren, brought on my numerous extramarital affairs that were exposed last Thanksgiving.

As he was teeing off in the rain during the pro-am, People magazine released an interview with his ex-wife in which she spoke openly about how her world fell apart and that she has “been through hell.”

Before he completed the first hole, his agent and spokesman were outside the rope, each talking on a cell phone.

Then, after Woods hit his approach to the green, a tabloid columnist walked out into the fairway with notepad and pen to ask him questions. She had never been to a golf tournament and was not aware that reporters are to stay by the ropes.

It took five questions on his game before Woods was asked about his divorce and his ex-wife’s interview, although Woods handled both questions with the same, measured tones, not revealing much.

“I wish her the best in everything,” he said. “You know, it’s a sad time in our lives. And we’re looking forward in our lives and how we can help our kids the best way we possibly can. And that’s the most important thing.”

They have two children, 3-year-old daughter Sam and 18-month-old son Charlie. The divorce allowed for “shared parenting,” and Woods completed a four-hour program on family stability the day before he left for the British Open.

The process of getting a divorce consumed most of his summer, not only on the golf course, but during his weeks at home when he was practicing and preparing for the majors. Ten majors now have passed without Woods winning, matching the longest drought of his career.

Asked to describe how the details of divorce affected his practice, Woods said, “It was a lot more difficult than I was letting on.”

“My actions certainly led us to this decision,” he said. “And I’ve certainly made a lot of errors in my life. That’s something I’m going to have to live with.”

As for the job? That’s not going so well, either.

Despite a tie for fourth in the Masters in his return from a five-month hiatus, and a tie for fourth at the U.S. Open, Woods has played so poorly that he comes to The Barclays at No. 112 in the FedEx Cup standings, with no guarantee he will make it to the next playoff event.

For starters, he has to make the cut at Ridgewood Country Club, a course he saw for the first time Wednesday. Then, he likely has to finish somewhere around the middle of the pack to move into the top 100 and qualify for next week’s playoff event outside Boston at the Deutsche Bank Championship, which benefits his foundation.

Woods asked coach Sean Foley to look at his swing during the PGA Championship two weeks ago, and he met with Foley twice in Orlando, Fla., last week. On several holes during the pro-am, Woods tucked a golf glove under his right armpit during a full swing, a technique aimed to keep his arms connected.

Whether he hires Foley as his next coach has not been decided. Woods is not sure he wants to revamp his swing again, knowing how much time it will take and how much time he has lost already.

“It’s an undertaking that I have to wrap my head around, because it’s going to take some time,” he said.

He drove the ball great at the AT&T National and British Open and couldn’t make a putt. He hit the ball all over Wisconsin during the PGA Championship and kept in the game by making putts. And then there were weeks like Firestone, where he did nothing right and shot the worse score of his career, an 18-over 298.

For the ninth time this year, Woods can lose his No. 1 ranking to Phil Mickelson. His solution for staying at the top and getting a tee time next week on the TPC Boston is the same. “Winning takes care of everything,” he said.

“I’m trying to get my game in order – work on some new things, working with Sean,” Woods said. “And I’m trying to put that together and hopefully play well for the rest of the year. As of right now, I need to play well to make it to next week. So that’s kind of the focus right now.”

Even now, though, the focus is not entirely on golf.

“As far as my game and practicing, that’s been secondary,” he said. “We’re trying to get our kids situation to our new living conditions and how that’s going to be. That’s where our focus is going to be right now.”

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Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 21, 2018, 7:00 pm

Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
(1) D. Johnson (2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0 (3) J. Rahm (4) J. Spieth
(32) K. Kisner (21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0 (28) K. Aphibarnrat (19) P. Reed
(38) A. Hadwin
(48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0 (43) C. Reavie (34) H. Li
(52) B. Wiesberger
(60) L. List: 0-1-0 (63) K. Bradley (49) C. Schwartzel
Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
(5) H. Matsuyama (6) R. McIlroy (7) S. Garcia (8) J. Day
(30) P. Cantlay
(18) B. Harman (20) X. Schauffele (25) L. Oosthuizen
(46) C. Smith (44) J. Vegas (41) D. Frittelli (42) J. Dufner
(53) Y. Miyazato (51) P. Uihlein (62) S. Sharma (56) J. Hahn
Group 9 Group 10 Group 11 Group 12
(9) T. Fleetwood (10) P. Casey (11) M. Leishman (12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0
(26) D. Berger (31) M. Fitzpatrick (23) B. Grace (22) C. Hoffman
(33) K. Chappell (45) K. Stanley (35) B. Watson (36) B. Steele
(58) I. Poulter (51) R. Henley (64) J. Suri (55) A. Levy: 0-1-0
Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
(13) A. Noren (14) P. Mickelson (15) P. Perez: 0-1-0 (16) M. Kuchar
(29) T. Finau (17) R. Cabrera Bello (24) G. Woodland: 0-1-0 (27) R. Fisher
(39) T. Pieters (40) S. Kodaira (37) W. Simpson: 0-1-0 (47) Y. Ikeda
(61) K. Na (59) C. Howell III (50) S.W. Kim: 0-1-0 (54) Z. Johnson
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Match-by-match: 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies, Day 1

By Will GrayMarch 21, 2018, 6:32 pm

Here is how things played out on Day 1 of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, as 64 players take on Austin Country Club with hopes of advancing out of pool play:

Group 15: (15) Pat Perez vs. (50) Si Woo Kim, halved: The first match of the day ended up in a draw, as the top seed rallied from a deficit to salvage half a point. Kim won three of the first six holes and held a 3-up lead with seven holes to go, but Perez fought back with four birdies over the next six holes to draw even.

Group 15: (24) Gary Woodland vs. (37) Webb Simpson, halved: This group remains entirely up for grabs since nothing was decided on the opening day. Woodland took a 3-up lead at the turn, but Simpson rallied by winning four of the next seven holes, including a birdie on No. 17 that brought him back to all square for the first time since the third hole.

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Watch: Thomas saves par from impossible position

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 21, 2018, 5:18 pm

Luke List was just hoping for an opening in his Day 1 match against Justin Thomas at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Thomas cracked the door on the par-4 ninth, but then quickly slammed it shut. Thomas, 3 up through eight holes, was in terrible shape after two shots at No. 9. But his third shot was a beauty, and a heartbreaker for List.

Thomas made the putt to halve the hole and make the turn 3 up.

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LPGA's new Q-Series to offer deferrals for amateurs

By Randall MellMarch 21, 2018, 4:36 pm

The LPGA’s new Q-Series, which takes the place of the final stage of Q-School beginning this year, will come with a revolutionary new twist for amateurs.

For the first time, the LPGA will offer deferrals that will allow amateurs to win tour membership in December but delay turning pro until the following June or July, tour commissioner Mike Whan told GolfChannel.com.

It’s a notable change, because the deferral will allow a collegiate player to earn tour membership at the end of this year but retain amateur status to finish out her collegiate spring season next year, before joining the tour.

“We haven’t done that in the past, because we didn’t want an onslaught, where every player in college is trying to join the tour,” Whan said.

The way it worked in the past, a collegian could advance through the final stage of Q-School, but if that player earned the right to a tour card and wanted to take up membership, she had to declare after the final round that she was turning pro. It meant the player would leave her college team in the middle of the school year. It was a particularly difficult decision for players who earned conditional LPGA status, and it played havoc with the makeup of some college teams.

Whan said the revamped Q-Series format won’t create the collegiate stampede that deferrals might have in the past.

“It will take a unique talent to show up at the first stage of Q-School and say, ‘I’ll see you at Q-Series,’” Whan said. “There won’t be a lot of amateurs who make it there.”

Under the new qualifying format, there will continue to be a first and second stage of Q-School, but it will be much harder to advance to the final stage, now known Q-Series.

Under the old format, about 80 players advanced from the second stage to the Q-School finals. Under the new format, only 15 to 25 players from the second stage will advance to the Q-Series, and only a portion of those are likely to be collegians.

Under the new format, a maximum of 108 players will meet at the Q-Series finals, where a minimum of 45 tour cards will be awarded after 144 holes of competition, played over two weeks on two different courses. The field will include players who finished 101st to 150th and ties on the final LPGA money list, and players who finished 11th to 30th and ties on the final Symetra Tour money list. The field will also include up to 10 players from among the top 75 of the Rolex Women’s World Rankings and the top five players on the Golfweek Women’s Collegiate Rankings.

“We feel if you make it to the Q-Series finals as a college player, you are probably among the best of the best, and we ought to give you the opportunity to finish the college year,” Whan said.

University of Washington coach Mary Lou Mulflur said she would prefer amateurs not be allowed to compete at Q-School, but she called this a workable compromise.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” Mulflur said. “It’s better than the way it’s been in the past. That was hard, because it broke up teams.”

Mulflur said she disliked the tough position the former policy put college players in at the final stage of Q-School, where they had to decide at event’s end whether to turn pro and accept tour membership.

“I can’t imagine being a kid in that position, and I’ve had a couple kids in that position,” Mulflur said. “It’s hard on everybody, the player, the family and the coaches. You hear about coaches standing there begging a kid not to turn pro, and that’s just not the way it should be, for the coach or the player.”

Mulflur agreed with Whan that the new Q-Series format should limit the number of collegians who have a chance to win tour cards.

“I believe it’s a good compromise, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out going forward,” Mulflur said. “Kudos to the commissioner for giving kids this option.”

University of Miami coach Patti Rizzo, a four-time LPGA winner, applauds the deferral option. Two years ago, Rizzo lost her best player, Danny Darquea, who turned pro in the spring. It hurt Miami’s team.

“That was probably our best chance in seven years to win the nationals,” Rizzo said.

Rizzo said her concerns seeing a player turn pro go beyond how it affects her team.

“What all these girls need to realize now is that a degree is more important than ever,” Rizzo said. “In my day, it was like, 'My chances are pretty good. I will get my card.’ But it’s so much more competitive now. And financially, it’s hard to make it. I think it’s so much harder than it ever was. So many girls aren’t making it, and they need a backup plan.”

Darquea is playing the Symetra Tour now, but Rizzo said she is also back in Miami taking classes to finish up her final semester and get her degree.

“It’s great she is doing that, but it would have been better if she could have stayed in college three more months and got her degree and then turned pro,” Rizzo said. “I think this deferral option is great, and I would think all the college coaches will think so, too.”

Whan said collegians who take deferrals will be counseled.

“We will sit down with them and their families and explain the risks,” Whan said. “If you take a deferral and start playing on July 15, you might find yourself back in Q-Series again later that year, because you may not have enough time.”