More disappointing season: Tiger or Phil?

By Jason SobelNovember 9, 2011, 12:28 pm

Tiger Woods is playing the Australian Open this week. Phil Mickelson is competing in the Singapore Open. Woods has played 10 times around the world in 2011 and has more injuries than top-10s. Mickelson won in Houston, but blew a chance to capture the British Open and finished outside the top 15 in the other three majors. So, who has had the more disappointing season?


Tiger Woods had a more disappointing 2011 season than Phil Mickelson, but you don’t need to know anything about these players or even the game of golf to make that assessment. Case in point:

Player A is considered one of the greatest players of all-time. At age 35, he failed to record a single victory, finished 128th on the money list and dropped from second to 58th on the Official World Golf Ranking.

Player B is considered one of the top 15-20 players of all-time. At age 41, he recorded one victory, finished 12th on the money list and dropped from fourth to 11th on the Official World Golf Ranking.

It doesn’t take a golf scholar to understand that one disappointing season was markedly more disappointing than the other. Player A is, of course, Woods, who failed to win a PGA Tour event for the second consecutive year – an eye-popping stat for a player with 71 career titles and for whom winning is the sole goal entering every start.

For Mickelson – who in the above scenario was obviously Player B – it was a disappointing season for him, but one which many other players would love to have “endured.” Woods’ campaign was undesirable even for the Tour’s rank-and-file. In fact, if one of those players had mirrored Tiger’s results, he’d be back in Q-School soon. Now that’s disappointing.


2011 will not go down as the year Phil Mickelson made his big move, but in this debate Tiger Woods must cop a no-contest plea. Sure there was injury and a new swing to digest on the fly, but in these debates the “why” really doesn’t impact the “what” in the final analysis.

For just the second time as a professional Woods failed to win in season, and other than his tie for fourth at the Masters his year was filled with more valleys than peaks.

Besides, for Lefty there was at least progress. He opened his season with a runner-up showing at Torrey Pines – his best finish at the seaside muni since 2001 – and won the Shell Houston Open. There was also his runner-up showing at the windblown British Open, his best finish there as well.

Meanwhile, Woods posted just a single top-10 finish, failed to advance to the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time and was 128th in earnings. There was another withdrawal at The Players Championship, another prolonged stay on the “DL,” and more questions about a retooled swing that still looked uncomfortable to the eye, if not the eye of the beholder.

At best Woods’ year was incomplete, at worst it was the most disappointing.


Tiger Woods would have taken Phil Mickelson’s year in a heartbeat.

There’s your answer.

Though Mickelson isn’t having one of his better seasons, Tiger’s year would be a substantial upgrade if he sported Mickelson’s 2011 record. Mickelson won the Shell Houston Open, finished second at the Farmers Insurance Open and tied for second at the British Open. Mickelson had seven top-10 finishes in PGA Tour events. Woods made just nine PGA Tour starts with two top-10s.

Mickelson made 21 PGA Tour starts. Woods would have taken that as an upgrade if only because it would have meant his knee was healthy enough to hold up to the rigors of a full season.

After showing so much promise tying for fourth at the Masters, Woods’ season went downhill fast. The knee injury he sustained playing Augusta National derailed the rest of his year. Woods enjoyed no other highlight after the Masters.

The enduring image of Woods this year is his limping away from The Players, his ailing knee still not well enough to finish what he started there. He missed almost three months recuperating.

Woods has a chance to be remembered as the best player who ever lived, but his year was all about what still ails him. While Mickelson’s disappointed he didn’t win more, he’ll surely take his year over what Woods endured.

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Miller to retire from broadcast booth in 2019

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 15, 2018, 9:14 pm

After nearly 30 years in the broadcast booth, Johnny Miller is ready to hang up his microphone.

Following a Hall of Fame playing career that included a pair of major titles, Miller has become one of the most outspoken voices in the game as lead golf analyst for NBC Sports. But at age 71 he has decided to retire from broadcasting following the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

“The call of being there for my grandkids, to teach them how to fish. I felt it was a higher calling,” Miller told “The parents are trying to make a living, and grandparents can be there like my father was with my four boys. He was there every day for them. I'm a big believer that there is a time and a season for everything.”

Miller was named lead analyst for NBC in 1990, making his broadcast debut at what was then known as the Bob Hope Desert Classic. He still remained competitive, notably winning the 1994 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at age 46, but made an indelible mark on the next generation of Tour pros with his frank and candid assessment of the action from some of golf’s biggest events.

Miller’s broadcasting career has included 20 U.S. Opens, 14 Ryder Cups, nine Presidents Cups, three Open Championships and the 2016 Olympics. While he has teamed in the booth with Dan Hicks for the past 20 years, Miller’s previous on-air partners included Bryant Gumbel, Charlie Jones, Jim Lampley and Dick Enberg.

His farewell event will be in Phoenix Jan. 31-Feb. 3, at a tournament he won in back-to-back years in 1974-75.

“When it comes to serving golf fans with sharp insight on what is happening inside the ropes, Johnny Miller is the gold standard,” said NBC lead golf producer Tommy Roy. “It has been an honor working with him, and while it might not be Johnny’s personal style, it will be fun to send him off at one of the PGA Tour’s best parties at TPC Scottsdale.”

Miller was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1998 after a playing career that included wins at the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont and The Open in 1976 at Royal Birkdale. Before turning pro, he won the 1964 U.S. Junior Amateur and was low amateur at the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic, where he tied for eighth at age 19.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Miller now lives in Utah with his wife, Linda, and annually serves as tournament host of the PGA Tour’s Safeway Open in Napa, Calif.

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Randall's Rant: Tiger vs. Phil feels like a ripoff

By Randall MellOctober 15, 2018, 7:45 pm

Usually, you have to buy something before you feel like you were ripped off.

The wonder in the marketing of Tiger vs. Phil and “The Match” is how it is making so many people feel as if they are getting ripped off before they’ve shelled out a single penny for the product.

Phil Mickelson gets credit for this miscue.

Apparently, the smartest guy in the room isn’t the smartest marketing guy.

He was a little bit like that telemarketer who teases you into thinking you’ve won a free weekend getaway, only to lead you into the discovery that there’s a shady catch, with fine print and a price tag.

There was something as slippery as snake oil in the original pitch.

In Mickelson’s eagerness to create some excitement, he hinted back during The Players in May about the possibility of a big-money, head-to-head match with Woods. A couple months later, he leaked more details, before it was ready to be fully announced.

So while there was an initial buzz over news of the Thanksgiving weekend matchup, the original pitch set up a real buzzkill when it was later announced that you were only going to get to see it live on pay-per-view.

The news landed with a thud but no price tag. We’re still waiting to see what it’s going to cost when these two meet at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, but anything that feels even slightly inflated now is going to further dampen the original enthusiasm Mickelson created.

Without Woods or Mickelson putting up their own money, this $9 million winner-take-all event was always going to feel more like a money grab than real competition.

When we were expecting to see it on network or cable TV, we didn’t care so much. Tiger's and Phil’s hands would have felt as if they were reaching into corporate America’s pockets. Now, it feels as if they’re digging into ours.

Last week, there was more disappointing news, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting that tickets won’t be sold to the public, that the match at Shadow Creek will only be open to select sponsors and VIPs.

Now there’s a larger insult to the common fan, who can’t help but feel he isn’t worthy or important enough to gain admittance.

Sorry, but that’s how news of a closed gate landed on the heels of the pay-per-view news.

“The Match” was never going to be meaningful golf in any historical sense.

This matchup was never going to rekindle the magic Tiger vs. Phil brought in their epic Duel at Doral in ’05.

The $9 million was never going to buy the legitimacy a major championship or PGA Tour Sunday clash could bring.

It was never going to be more than an exhibition, with no lingering historical significance, but that was OK as quasi silly-season fare on TV on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23), the traditional weekend of the old Skins Game.

“The Match” still has a chance to be meaningful, but first and foremost as entertainment, not real competition. That’s what this was always going to be about, but now the bar is raised.

Pay per view does that.

“You get what you pay for” is an adage that doesn’t apply to free (or already-paid for) TV. It does to pay per view. Expectations go way up when you aren’t just channel surfing to a telecast. So the higher the price tag they end up putting on this showdown, the more entertaining this has to be.

If Phil brings his “A-Game” to his trash talking, and if Tiger can bring some clever repartee, this can still be fun. If the prerecorded segments wedged between shots are insightful, even meaningful in their ability to make us understand these players in ways we didn’t before, this will be worthwhile.

Ultimately, “The Match” is a success if it leaves folks who paid to see it feeling as if they weren’t as ripped off as the people who refused to pay for it. That’s the handicap a history of free golf on TV brings. Welcome to pay-per-view, Tiger and Phil.

Celia Barquin Arozamena Iowa State University athletics

Trial date set for drifter charged with killing Barquin Arozamena

By Associated PressOctober 15, 2018, 7:28 pm

AMES, Iowa – A judge has scheduled a January trial for a 22-year-old Iowa drifter charged with killing a top amateur golfer from Spain.

District Judge Bethany Currie ruled Monday that Collin Richards will stand trial Jan. 15 for first-degree murder in the death of Iowa State University student Celia Barquin Arozamena.

Richards entered a written not guilty plea Monday morning and waived his right to a speedy trial. The filing canceled an in-person arraignment hearing that had been scheduled for later Monday.

Investigators say Richards attacked Barquin on Sept. 17 while she was playing a round at a public course in Ames, near the university campus. Her body was found in a pond on the course riddled with stab wounds.

Richards faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

LeBron's son tries golf, and he might be good at everything

By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 5:36 pm

LeBron James' son seems well on his way to a successful basketball career of his own. To wit:

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Finally got it down lol

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But with just a little work, he could pass on trying to surpass his father and try to take on Tiger and Jack, instead.

Bronny posted this video to Instagram of him in sandals whacking balls off a mat atop a deck into a large body of water, which is the golfer's definition of living your best life.

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How far, maybe 400 #happygilmore

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If you listen closely, at the end of the clip, you can just barely hear someone scream out for a marine biologist.