Press Pass Rating Tiger and the FedExCup

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 19, 2007, 4:00 pm
Press PassEach week, GOLF CHANNEL experts and analysts offer their thoughts and opinions on hot topics in the world of golf with the Press Pass.
Hot Topic
Tiger Woods won seven PGA TOUR events, including one major, and the inaugural FedExCup Playoffs. Where does this season rank on his all-time list?
Brian Hewitt Brian Hewitt - Columnist,
No. 2. Clearly. The only reason 2000 beats 2007 is because he won three major championships that year. I actually think Woods is a better player now than he was then. And when I asked him at the PGA this year, he agreed that hes a better player now than he was in 2000. He also said he expected to be better still in 2008. Scary.
Steve Sands Steve Sands - Reporter, GOLF CHANNEL:
It's not in Tiger's top-3. And that's saying something considering he earned seven wins. But it's about majors to Tiger. 1997 was better because that was his first major. And the years when he won multiple majors are better. When you've reached the height Tiger has reached, it is, and he's admitted this, all about the majors.
Mercer Baggs Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer,
Well, we all know that 2000 was his best year -- even though he may technically be a better player today. I'd also argue that 2005 and 2006 were better years, as he won multiple majors during both seasons. I'd rank it in the top 5, but no higher than fourth.
Ian Hutchinson Ian Hutchinson - Contrib. Writer,
Until he wins a single season Grand Slam, and that's a very distinct possibility with Tiger, everything falls short of his 2000 season. I'm not even sure if this season was better than last year when he won eight TOUR events, including a couple of majors, despite the loss of his dad. What this year and last does prove is that Tiger is getting scarier. Whatever happened to the theory that married life was going to distract him? Now, he's a husband and a father and looking more dangerous than ever.
Hot Topic
How would you grade the FedExCup now that its in the books, and what one major tweak would you make for 2008?
Id give it a B, mostly because it gave us Tiger vs. Phil with the same tee time three days out of four at the Deutsche Bank Championship. My major tweak would be subtract significant points for players who miss the cut in the Playoffs. And also subtract significant points for players who dont show up in an event with the exception of players who finished the season (prior to the Playoffs) in the top 10. They should get one bye without penalty. They earned it.
I would give the Playoffs and the FedExCup a C. The competition was excellent. But I think you should have to play all the Playoff events to be eligible for the FedExCup. To do that, I think they should shorten the Playoffs to three events; four is too much to ask - especially with the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship so close before the Playoffs and the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup so close behind.
I think a B is a fair grade. It easily could have been a failure had it not been for Tiger winning twice, Phil winning once (over Tiger), and Steve Stricker putting up a great fight. It also could have been a resounding success had it not been for a mountain of complaining and controversy. If I could change just one thing (among many) about the FedExCup, it would be the schedule. There should be two weeks between the PGA Championship and the start of the Playoffs. That's plenty of time to rest up and would leave no one with an excuse to skip out.
I would give it a C. What saved the FedExCup was some outstanding golf, like Tiger's performance to finish it off, the Mickelson-Woods showdown and Steve Stricker's longshot excellence. Having said that, I think people are still looking at all of the Playoff tournaments as individual events instead of being part of an overall package. That's the nature of golf. The first thing the PGA TOUR should do is stop calling them playoffs -- the majors are still what counts most. Another suggestion is to base a player's FedExCup winnings on how many tournaments he played. For example, Tiger would win 75 percent of what he could have won after missing The Barclays. Not that it means that much to Tiger, but it may encourage other players to participate in all four events.
Hot Topic
Is the Solheim Cup the premiere event in womens golf?
The Solheim Cup to me is a close third behind the No. 2 Kraft Nabisco Championship. No. 1, by far, is the U.S. Womens Open. And if you dont agree with me, ask Nancy Lopez what she thinks. By the way, its still making me a little crazy that theres not a meaningful Cup in womens golf that allows the Internationals to get in on the action. Lorena Ochoa, Karrie Webb and the Koreans deserve a chance.
No. The U.S. Women's Open is. Ask any woman which event she'd prefer to win. Winning a major changes your life, career and legacy. Being part of a Solheim Cup team is fantastic, but nothing in golf is bigger than winning a major championship.
I'm sure any of the 24 women on both sides would rather win a major than the Solheim Cup. But in terms of the viewer, I'd rank it right behind the U.S. Women's Open. I think that is the premiere women's event.
It could be as long as Dottie Pepper is involved and keeps throwing gas on the fire at the Solheim Cup. But seriously, I think the Solheim Cup is just one of several top-tier events. The LPGA Tour doesn't have the same emphasis on its majors as the PGA TOUR, but they are still important. What distinguishes the Solheim Cup is that it's a special thing every other year as opposed to the men's side where either the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup is played each year.
Hot Topic
Give the readers something or someone to follow during the Fall Series.
Keep an eye on the top 30 on the money list. Those, not already qualified, will get invites to Augusta National. Several players, secure in the top 125, already have told me that the top 30 is their goal in the Fall Series. Also, players love qualifying for the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Kapalua. Fall Series winners will be going to Maui for that one.
I think the thing to follow during the Fall Series is to see how good the players are on the grandest stage in golf who are not the 'so-called superstars.' The PGA TOUR is the deepest tour in the world and the golf/competition will be exciting.
Nick Flanagan. He won three times on the Nationwide Tour to earn a promotion to the PGA TOUR. He's had to sit in idle while the FedExCup Playoffs were taking place, but hopefully he will be able to pick up where he left off and make a name for himself with the big boys.
There is something intriguing about watching hungry guys scrap for their careers. Another interesting thing will be how many top-tier players show up just to keep their games in shape. Will Vijay play every one of the fall tournaments?
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    'Hungover' Pepperell improbably in mix after 67

    By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 4:20 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eddie Pepperell’s 11:40 a.m. tee time on Sunday at The Open was a tad early, and not just because the Englishman was heading out more than three hours before the leaders.

    Following a third-round 71 that dropped him eight strokes off the lead, Pepperell did what many golfers do after a less-than-stellar round – he drank.

    “Honestly, I was a little hungover. I won't lie. I had too much to drink last night,” said Pepperell, who said he went to bed on Friday at around 11:30 p.m. “I was so frustrated yesterday, that today was really, I wouldn't say a write-off, but I didn't feel I was in the golf tournament. Whether I shot 69 or 73 today, it wouldn't have been heartbreaking.”

    Pepperell was much closer to the former on Sunday, posting a round-of-the-day 67 to move to within one stroke of the lead held by multiple players as the leaders made the turn.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Pepperell had just a single bogey on a blustery day at Carnoustie and closed his round with birdies at Nos. 14 and 17. It was one of just four rounds in the 60s on a course that had become increasingly difficult with each gust.

    With six players tied for the lead at 6 under par, including defending champion Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, Pepperell planned to wait and see how the afternoon progressed.

    “The only hope I have is that it's Carnoustie, and the last three, four holes, even though they're downwind, still anything can happen with obviously pressure and all that sort of stuff out here,” he said. “So I'll have to hang around.”

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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 22, 2018, 4:00 pm

    Tiger Woods is stalking his 15th career major championship trophy. Follow the action with our tracker to see if he can get it done at Carnoustie.

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    Pros melting down on Twitter as they watch Tiger

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 3:42 pm

    Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.

    His fellow pros have been watching and tweeting like your average fans.

    We're compiling their missives below:

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    Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 22, 2018, 11:00 am

    NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

    Saturday, Day 3 (Times ET)

    7AM-3PM (Watch): Jordan Spieth fired 65 to move into a three-way share of the 54-hole lead, while Tiger Woods (66) played his way into contention. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler and Thorbjorn Olesen.

    4:30-7AM (Watch): Sunny skies and birdies were on the menu early in Round 3, as Justin Rose made his way around Carnoustie in 64 strokes. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Henrik Stenson and Bryson DeChambeau.

    Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

    8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

    1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.

    Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

    Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

    1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.