Say what? Quotes of the Year: Part I

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 22, 2012, 1:49 pm

“When you witness greatness close up like that, you want to talk about it. … Everybody has watched Tiger, but no one has ever talked about it who has watched him up close. Everyone has speculation of things, but they are really just guessing. I’m not guessing because I was there.” – Hank Haney, on his decision to write a book chronicling his time coaching Tiger Woods from 2004-10. “The Big Miss” was co-written by Golf Digest’s Jaime Diaz.

“I think it's unprofessional and very disappointing, especially because it's someone I worked with and trusted as a friend.” – Tiger Woods, on his distaste for Haney’s decision to write the book.

“I don't know whether he's going to continue to beat the guys. While he has been gone for, what, say 2 1/2 years, whether these guys who have all now learned how to play, all learned how to win, they're probably no longer afraid of Tiger.” – Jack Nicklaus, on Woods’ waning intimidation factor.

“If you’re good enough, you’re old enough.” – Rory McIlroy, remembering what his father has always said to him, after being asked if he thought all of his success has come at an early age.

“A lot of you guys have aged a lot.” Retief Goosen, joking to the media center crowd on his absence from the podium – and the top of the leaderboard – for quite some time. Goosen shared the 54-hole lead at the Transitions Championship but ultimately finished T-20, after a 4-over 75 in the final round.

“I felt at home in India because there's a lot of pigs in the street.” – John Daly, comparing playing in India to his Arkansas roots.

“It's the reality. I'm not good enough, and now I know it. I have tried for 13 years, thinking I can win. I don't know what happens to me. I'm not good enough for the majors. That's it. You can live without a major.” – Sergio Garcia, after his third-round collapse at the Masters took him out of contention at yet another major championship.

“I thought he acted like the south end of a northbound mule.” – Paul Azinger, on Woods throwing and kicking his club at the Masters.

“My dad always said, ‘Beware of the guy who comes out on the first tee, and he's got a terrible grip and a terrible golf swing. If he's in that tournament with you, there's a good chance he knows how to play with that type of golf swing,’ and Bubba's that type of person.” – Tom Watson, on Bubba Watson's golf game.

“They won't want to see us after today. I think our combined clubhead speed will be about Bubba Watson's speed.” – Nicklaus, on the gallery's opinion after watching Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Lee Trevino and himself play in an exhibition in Texas.

“We hear guys talking about needing swing coaches, sports psychologists, fitness instructors or changing managers. He needs an exorcist. I half expect winged bulls to fly out of his head when he is standing over a shot.” – Brandel Chamblee, talking about Kevin Na's pre-shot troubles.

“The real bottom line is for me, (Woods) just doesn't have the self-belief, the self-confidence that he obviously had, the Tiger of old, simple as that.” – Nick Faldo, chiming in on what he feels is part of Woods' struggles.

“Simply, he needs to fire Sean (Foley), call Butch (Harmon).” – Chamblee, again, offering his opinion on what he thinks Woods should be doing at this point in his career.

“I find it interesting since they're not in my head. They must have some kind of superpowers I don't know about.” – Woods, responding to Chamblee and Faldo's comments on the state of his game.

“I have known 95 of these people when they were living. I've written stories about 73 of them. I've had cocktails and drinks with 47 of them, and I played golf with 24 of them. So I want somebody else to try and go up against that record.” – Dan Jenkins, during his induction speech into the World Golf Hall of Fame, talking about his fellow members of the Hall.

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Down seven pounds, Thomas can gain No. 1

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 11:29 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – On March 7, Justin Thomas had his wisdom teeth removed, and just when he was recovering from that, he was slowed by a bout with the flu.

In total, he estimates he lost about seven pounds, and he admitted on Saturday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play that he wasn’t sure he’d be able to play the event.

“I had a pretty serious conversation with my dad on Monday if I was going to play,” Thomas said. “I never want to play in a tournament, first off, if it's going to hurt my health. If I was sick or really sick, me trying to play this week wasn't going to do me any good.”

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Thomas went on to explain he was “50/50” whether he’d play the World Golf Championship, but decided to make the start and it’s turned out well for the world’s second-ranked player.

After going undefeated in pool play, Thomas cruised past Si Woo Kim, 6 and 5, in the round of 16 and secured himself a spot in the semifinals with a 2-and-1 victory over Kyle Stanley in the quarterfinals. If Thomas wins his semifinal match against Bubba Watson on Sunday, he’s assured enough points to overtake Dustin Johnson atop the Official World Golf Ranking.

“I don't care when it happens; I just hope it happens and it happens for a while,” Thomas said when asked about the possibility of becoming world No. 1. “I don't know what to say because I've never experienced it. I don't know what's going to come with it. But I just hope it happens tomorrow.”

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Garnett's six-shot lead dwindles to two in Punta Cana

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 10:57 pm

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic - Brice Garnett took a six-stroke lead into the wind Saturday in the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship. He came out with a two-stroke advantage.

Garnett bogeyed three of the final six holes in the wind and rain for a 3-under 69 and a 16-under 200 total.

''Once we made the turn coming back, all those holes coming in toward the north, it was all we wanted and then some,'' Garnett said. ''I kind of took advantage of some holes going out, some holes downwind, some par 5s, and then we were just trying to leave it in the right spot those last four or five holes. Pars are pretty good scores on those holes.''

Canadian Corey Conners was second after a 67, and Tyler McCumber also had a 67 to get to 12 under. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo dropped out Friday, finishing last in the 132-man field in his PGA Tour debut. He shot 77-82 playing as an amateur on a sponsor exemption.

A stroke ahead after each of the first two rounds, Garnett opened with a bogey, birdied Nos. 2, 4 and 6, eagled the par-5 seventh, and made two more birdies on the par-3 ninth and par-5 12th. He bogeyed the par-4 13th, par-5 15th and par-3 17th.

Full-field scores from the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship

''I looked once and the lead was a little bigger than what it is now,'' Garnett said. ''The eagle was huge, kind of gave me that confidence that I can push it on out and stretch it a little bit more. That wind was tough and I'll take a two-shot lead into tomorrow.''

The 34-year-old Garnett is winless on the PGA Tour. He won twice last year on the Tour.

''You've got another 18 holes. So much can happen,'' Garnett said. ''Just going to try to keep the golf ball in front of me. I have that self-belief this week and that's what I had last year when I won, so I'll just keep my head down and just keep going.''

Conners had five birdies and a bogey on the front nine and added a birdie on No. 12.

''Really happy with the round,'' Conners said. ''I got off to a nice start, made a bunch of birdies on the front nine and kind of held it together on the back nine. It was playing really difficult. The wind was really blowing out there, made things challenging.''

McCumber, the son of 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber, has played his last 39 holes with a bogey.

''Second shots have been pretty solid,'' McCumber said. ''Putting pretty well, short game is pretty good. Just really being in the right areas and staying below the hole.''

Tom Lovelady was fourth at 11 under after a 68. Seamus Power (71), Denny McCarthy (71) and Seungsu Han (72) were 10 under.

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Poulter incorrectly told he's in Masters before loss to Kisner

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 10:33 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Ian Poulter was not happy, and it was only partially because of his blowout loss to Kevin Kisner in Saturday’s quarterfinals at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Following his morning victory in the round of 16 over Louis Oosthuizen, the Englishman was incorrectly informed that by making it to the Elite 8 at Austin Country Club he was assured enough Official World Golf Raking points to move into the top 50 and qualify for the Masters in two weeks.

“I should never listen to other people,” Poulter said following his 8-and-6 loss to Kevin Kisner in the quarterfinals. “When you finish a round of golf and the press and everybody is telling you you're in the Masters, and then you get a text message 10 minutes before you tee off to correct everybody, to say, ‘Oh, we've made a mistake, actually, no, that was wrong, you're not in. You need to go and win.’

“Not that that's an excuse in any form or factor, it's a little disappointing.”

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Poulter actually needed to advance to the semifinal round to move into the top 50. Instead, his last chance to qualify for the Masters is to win next week’s Houston Open, although he was unsure if he’d play the event.

“I don't know yet, I haven't decided,” said Poulter when asked if he’d play next week. “I'm tired. It's been a long week. It's been a draining week. I'll wait until Monday night and if I have the energy then I will.”

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Not DJ, not Poulter: Kisner most proud to take down Kuchar

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 9:34 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – On his way to this week’s Final Four at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Kevin Kisner has beaten world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and the European match play ninja Ian Poulter. But neither match could compare to his duel with Matt Kuchar early Saturday.

“I was more jacked to beat [Kuchar], really. Kuch is such a good player and our games are so similar,” said Kisner, who defeated Kuchar in the round of 16, 1 up. “We both made eight birdies this morning and I barely snuck out of there. I thought it was a lot of fun.”

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By comparison, his quarterfinal bout against Poulter wasn’t nearly as electric. Kisner won two of the first four holes when the Englishman made bogey (No. 3) and when he was conceded the fourth hole, hecruised to an 8-and-6 victory for the week’s most lopsided win.

“I don't know Ian that well, so I don't really have a history with him, other than watching him kill us in the Ryder Cup,” Kisner laughed.

Things won’t get any easier for Kisner on Sunday when he’ll play Alex Noren in the semifinals. The Swede has been dominant this week and is considered one of Europe’s top players heading into this year’s Ryder Cup.