Nice Mix Greets Golf Fans This Year

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 5, 2002, 4:00 pm
As we look back at 2002 so far, its fun to see how the mix of superstars and the new kids on the block have fared. Two young Matts, Gogel and Kuchar, got off the mat to win. Some reliable oldies but goodies, Els, Price, and Olazabal, showed they still have prime time stuff. Then there are guys like Mickelson, Goosen, Singh, and Sergio, who on any given day look like they are ready to unseat Tiger. But then along comes the Masters to remind everyone who's still the boss.
Although no one is debating the worlds top player, the debate rages on about the prestige qoutient of The Players Championship. The question has now become, are we going to call it an almost major from now until the end of time? Or, are we gonna officially declare that anyone one who wins this daunting task against the best field of the year has bagged a major?
I'd cast my vote making it an official major because there's no set-in-stone rule for counting major championships anyway. John Ball won eight British Amateurs between 1888 and 1912 when that event was considered a major champioship.
But at what point did it lose its major status? Was it after Bobby Jones won the Grand Slam and retired? Or, can Steve Melnick claim he has two majors? But wait, does Melnyk even have one major? Do they still even count the U.S. Amateur as a major?
We heard for years that Jack Nicklaus had won 20 major championships, including his two U.S. Amateurs. But then along comes Tiger proclaiming his goal to win more majors than Nicklaus. And all of a sudden, everyone is talking about Nicklaus' 18 professional majors. Was Nicklaus being slighted? No, Tiger was!
Im surprised Charles Barkley hasnt complained that Nicklauss major count was shifted so that Woods would not be able to count his three U.S. Amateur titles.
I feel its more difficult to win Players Championships than any of the four recognized majors. It is the only field where every one of the 144 guys deserves to be there, and each has enough talent to win.
You dont agree? Where would you have seeded Craig Perks in the starting field this year? I guarantee he wouldnt have made your top 100. And yet, he hit three of the greatest pressure shots down the stretch Ive seen!
I realize the argument against it, that by adding a fifth major, we give current players a better chance to increase their totals, thereby enhancing status and ability to make the Hall of Fame.
And I know that four is a nice round number that fits well with the four seasons. But we do play fivesomes in our pro-ams, and there are six kids in the Brady Bunch and seven stranded castaways on Gilligans Island.
If change is what youre worried about, relax, they eventually added the Professor and Mary Ann to the theme song after a few years when they realized they had left someone out. That was cool.
Then again, if we started counting the Players Championship as a major, do we now go back and give Nicklaus three more, the amount of Players Championships he's won, and tack on just one more for Tiger?
I guess the debate will rage on. At least, that's my take. Whats yours?
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Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 20, 2018, 8:20 pm

Tiger Woods is looking to close his season with a win at the Tour Championship. We're tracking him this week at East Lake Golf Club.

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Watch: Highlights from Tiger's first round at East Lake

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 20, 2018, 7:00 pm

Tiger Woods is back at the season-ending Tour Championship for the first time since 2013, and he provided the fans in Atlanta with some highlights on the first day of competition.

Still looking for his first win of the year after coming close on numerous occasions, Woods started the day off by splitting the fairway on the first hole with the driver, not even bothering to watch his ball land.

Despite the picture-perfect opening tee shot, Woods would go on to bogey the first hole, but he rebounded with back-to-back birdies on 5 and 6, making putts from 26 and 15 feet.

Tiger's best shot on the front nine came on the par-4 seventh hole after he found the pine straw behind a tree with his drive. The 14-time major champ punched one under the tree limbs and onto the green, then calmly two-putted for par from about 40 feet en route to a front-side 1-under 34.

Woods added two more birdies on the par-4 12th and 14th holes, rolling in putts of 3 feet and 7 feet after a couple of great looking approach shots.

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Garcia (66) peaking for Ryder Cup?

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 20, 2018, 6:17 pm

Sergio Garcia might be finding his form just in time to terrorize the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Garcia made seven birdies during an opening round of 5-under 66 to sit just two shots off the early lead at the European Tour’s Portugal Masters.

It was Garcia’s fifth consecutive round of par or better, a stretch that includes rounds of 66-65-67-70-66. That solid play at the Wyndham Championship wasn’t enough to extend his PGA Tour season – he didn’t qualify for the FedExCup playoffs – but the Spaniard is starting to round into form with the Ryder Cup on deck.

Full-field scores from the Portugal Masters

A few weeks ago he was a controversial selection by European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn. After missing the cut in all four majors, Garcia could have been left at home in favor of such players as Rafa Cabrera Bello, Matt Wallace (a three-time winner this season who, once again, is at the top of the leaderboard in Portugal), Matt Fitzpatrick or Thomas Pieters. But Bjorn tabbed Garcia, noting his Ryder Cup experience, his sterling foursomes record and his influence in the team room. If Phil Mickelson is the U.S. player under the most pressure to perform in Paris, all eyes will be on Garcia next week – especially since it could be one of his final opportunities to wear a European uniform, as he’ll be 40 for the 2020 matches.

Garcia’s 66 matched his lowest opening round of the year and puts him in position to secure just his second top-10 since March.

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Watch: 100mph storm destroys tent at St. Andrews

By Grill Room TeamSeptember 20, 2018, 4:25 pm

The Old Course at St. Andrews has endured all sorts of wacky weather over the years, but things ratcheted up a notch this week with the arrival of Storm Ali.

The first named storm of the season struck Wednesday, bringing 100 mph gusts, killing two people and leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power in parts of Ireland, Scotland and England.

According to the Courier no one was injured in the St. Andrews area, but a video posted from the home of golf shows just how powerful the storm was as wind absolutely destroyed one of the hospitality tents set up in advance of the Dunhill Links Championship:

While plenty of clean-up is sure to be needed, officials say the Dunhill Links, which also be conducted at Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, will go on as scheduled October 4-7.