Black and White and Brown

By Mercer BaggsJuly 6, 2009, 4:00 pm

BE LIKE JIM?: Football legend and social activist Jim Brown took a hard swipe at Tiger Woods in the recent 'Real Sports' on HBO. Brown said Woods is a 'monster competitor' on the course, but has been 'terrible' as a social contributor off of it.
Backspin Brown's problem is that he is closed-minded. If people don't think and act like him, then they're in the wrong. But it's Brown who is wrong when he says that Tiger's only social contribution is 'teaching kids to play golf.' Tiger's foundation has helped thousands of kids outside the realm of his sport. Brown does, however, bring up a good question: Does Tiger do enough? Ultimately that's for Woods to determine, not Brown.


MY CLUBS TALK FOR ME: Tiger Woods won his own AT&T National for the first time, defeating a hard-charging Hunter Mahan by a stroke at Congressional. The victory was Woods' third of the season and the 68th of his PGA Tour career.
Backspin Woods might not take many stands off the course, but he stands above all else on it. For the third time this year, Woods has won his major tune-up. And for the third time this year, said victory has come at an event hosted by a legend (Palmer, Nicklaus and himself). Having extended this streak, he hopes to extinguish another as he failed to win either of the season's first two majors. British Opens at Turnberry are won by Hall-of-Fame-caliber players. Tiger probably falls in that category.


NOT SO FAST, MY KIM: Anthony Kim entered the final round of the AT&T National tied for the lead with Tiger Woods. He closed in 1-over 71, however, to finish in solo third place, four back of Woods.
Backspin Kim and his cocksure walk made birdie on the first hole to take a one-shot lead. Woods, of course, never blinked. He's seen it all before: confident kids, hopeful veterans, players looking to establish their legacy at his expense. Woods just plays his own game, while his opponents get taken out of theirs. Despite the loss, this was a good experience for Kim. We'll find out later if he learned anything from it.


GET OUT OF THE GROOVE: PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem announced that the Tour would adopt the U.S. Golf Association's groove change beginning Jan. 1, 2010.
Backspin There has to be a different set of rules for professionals and amateurs. Has to be. It's nonsensical. This decision ' to allow for smaller grooves that create less spin ' was made solely because the USGA felt the game is a bit too easy for the pros. Fine. Punish them, not us.


'HI, I'M RICH.' 'HI, I'M RICHER.': Sports Illustrated released its annual 'Fortunate 50,' a list of the 50 top-earning American athletes in salary, winnings, endorsements and appearance fees. Tiger Woods was No. 1 with $99,737,626, while Phil Mickelson was second (go figure) with $52,950,356.
Backspin Woods reportedly makes $92M in endorsements. 92 million! Mickelson, according to SI's numbers, makes $46.6M. Jim Furyk was the only other golfer to crack the list, with a total of $16,263,127, $11M of which came via endorsements. I have a hard time getting my wife to admit she's married to me, let alone have someone pay to be associated with me.


YI BEFORE WIE: Eunjung Yi claimed her first LPGA title, defeating Morgan Pressel on the first hole of sudden death at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic. The 21-year-old Yi led by as many as six in the final round, but was eventually caught by Pressel, who holed her approach for eagle at the par-5 17th.
Backspin Lost in the mix was Michelle Wie's closing 64. Unfortunately for her, it was her close on Friday that really cost her a shot at winning her first LPGA event. Wie had a chance to tie for the 36-hole lead, but made double bogey on the par-5 18th. Even on Sunday, with a chance to put some heat on the leaders, Wie hit a horrible approach shot at the last and had to settle for par. Until she learns to keep her focus for 18 holes ' or the LPGA let's players just pick their 15 best scores every round ' she will remain winless.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Kapalua LPGA Classic was canceled this year when the sponsor reneged on the final four years of its five-year deal. ... Bryce Molder, Paul Goydos and Brandt Snedeker earned spots in the British Open. ... Martin Kaymer defeated Lee Westwood in a playoff at the French Open.
Backspin The tour is exploring 'legal remedies.' At some point, the LPGA might want to think about teaming up with the PGA Tour, like the NBA and WNBA. It might be the only means of survival. ... After watching Lucas Glover win the U.S. Open, these three guys have to feel they have a shot at the claret jug. ... Westwood has only two European Tour wins over the last six years.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' AT&T National
  • Full Coverage ' Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic
  • Complete News Headlines
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    U.S. Amateur playoff: 24 players for 1 spot in match play

    By Associated PressAugust 15, 2018, 1:21 pm

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Cole Hammer and Daniel Hillier were tied at the top after two rounds of the U.S. Amateur, but the more compelling action on Tuesday was further down the leaderboard.

    Two dozen players were tied for 64th place after two rounds of stroke play at Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill. With the top 64 advancing to match play, that means all 24 will compete in a sudden-death playoff Wednesday morning for the last spot in the knockout rounds.

    U.S. Amateur: Articles, photos and videos

    They'll be divided into six foursomes and start the playoff at 7:30 a.m. on the par-3 17th at Pebble Beach, where Tom Watson chipped in during the 1982 U.S. Open and went on to win.

    The survivor of the playoff will face the 19-year-old Hillier in match play. The New Zealander shot a 2-under 70 at Spyglass Hill to share medalist honors with the 18-year-old Hammer at 6 under. Hammer, an incoming freshman at Texas who played in the 2015 U.S. Open at age 15, shot 68 at Spyglass Hill.

    Stewart Hagestad had the low round of the day, a 5-under 66 at Pebble Beach, to move into a tie for 10th after opening with a 76 at Spyglass Hill. The 27-year-old Hagestad won the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur and earned low amateur honors at the 2017 Masters.

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    Hammer in position (again) to co-medal at U.S. Am

    By Ryan LavnerAugust 14, 2018, 10:37 pm

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Cole Hammer is in position to go for a rare sweep in this summer’s biggest events.

    Two weeks ago, Hammer, an incoming freshman at Texas, was the co-medalist at the Western Amateur and went on to take the match-play portion, as well.

    Here at the U.S. Amateur, Hammer shot rounds of 69-68 and was once again in position to earn co-medalist honors. At 6-under 137, he was tied with 19-year-old Daniel Hillier of New Zealand.

    “It would mean a lot, especially after being medalist at the Western Am,” Hammer said afterward. “It’s pretty special.”

    No stroke-play medalist has prevailed in the 64-man match-play bracket since Ryan Moore in 2004. Before that, Tiger Woods (1996) was the most recent medalist champion.  

    U.S. Amateur: Articles, photos and videos

    On the strength of his Western Am title, Hammer, 18, has soared to No. 18 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He credited his work with swing coach Cameron McCormick and mental coach Bob Rotella.

    “Just really started controlling my iron shots really well,” said Hammer, who has worked with McCormick since 2015, when he qualified for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay as a 15-year-old.

    “Distance control with my wedges and all my iron shots, playing different shots, has become really a strength in my game. I’ve really turned the putter on this year, and I’m seeing the lines and matching the line with the speed really well. I think that’s been the key to my summer.”

    A two-time New Zealand Amateur champion, Hillier is ranked 27th in the world. He said that, entering the tournament, he would have been pleased just to make it to match play.

    “But to come out on top, it’s amazing,” Hillier said. “Cole is a really good golfer and has been playing well lately. So, yeah, I’m in good company.”

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    Tee times, TV schedule, stats for Wyndham Championship

    By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 14, 2018, 9:55 pm

    It's the last tournament of the PGA Tour's regular season as the top 125 in the FedExCup points list advance to next week's playoff event. Here's the key info for the Wyndham Championship. (Click here for tee times)

    How to watch:

    Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream:

    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream:

    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream:; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream:; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

    Purse: $6 million

    Course: Sedgefield Country Club (par 70, 7,127 yards)

    Defending champion: Henrik Stenson. Last year he defeated Ollie Schniederjans by one stroke to earn his sixth career PGA Tour win.

    Notables in the field

    Henrik Stenson at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    Henrik Stenson

    • Missed the cut last week at the PGA Championship

    • Six top-10 finishes this year, including T-5 at the Masters and T-6 at the U.S. Open

    Sergio Garcia

    • Eight missed cuts in last 10 PGA Tour starts

    • Currently 131 in FedExCup standings (33 points back of 125th)

    Webb Simpson

    • Five top-10 finishes in this event since 2010 (won in 2011)

    • 56 under par in last five years in this event (best of any player in that span)

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    Faldo: Woods told fellow Masters champ 'I'm done' in '17

    By Will GrayAugust 14, 2018, 7:42 pm

    Fresh off his runner-up finish at the PGA Championship, it's easy to get caught up in the recent success and ebullient optimism surrounding Tiger Woods. But it was not that long ago that Woods even hitting another competitive shot was very much in doubt.

    Six-time major champ Sir Nick Faldo shed light on those darker times during a recent appearance on the Dan Patrick Show when he relayed a story from the 2017 Masters champions' dinner. The annual meal is one of golf's most exclusive fraternities, as only the chairman of Augusta National Golf Club is allowed to dine with the men who have each donned a green jacket.

    Last spring Woods had not yet undergone spinal fusion surgery, and Faldo explained that Woods at one point turned to an unnamed Masters champ and grimly assessed his future playing chances.

    Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    "I know he whispered to another Masters champion, two Masters dinners ago, 'I'm done. I won't play golf again,'" Faldo said. "He said, 'I'm done. I'm done, my back is done.' He was in agony. He was in pain. His leg, the pain down his legs, there was nothing enjoyable. He couldn't move. If you watched footage of him, he couldn't even get in and out of the golf cart at the (2016) Ryder Cup when he was a vice captain."

    But Woods opted for fusion surgery a few weeks later, and after a lengthy rehab process he returned to competition in December. His 2018 campaign has been nothing short of remarkable, with a pair of runner-up finishes to go along with a T-6 result at The Open when he held the outright lead on the back nine on Sunday.

    After apparently even counting himself out, Woods is back up to 26th in the latest world rankings and appears in line to be added as a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup next month.

    "What he's been able to do is unbelievable," Faldo said. "To turn this aruond, to get this spine fusion, it's completely taken away the pain. To have this mobility is absolutely amazing. Great on him, and great for golf."