Woods to answer questions via Twitter, Facebook

By Jason SobelApril 29, 2012, 3:01 pm

Boy, that Tiger Woods is a swell guy.

He obviously knows how overworked we in the golf media are on a week-in, week-out basis. He undoubtedly understands our difficulties in trying to ask and re-ask new, exciting interview questions in hopes of writing and rewriting new, exciting pieces about him.

(Your sarcasm detector should be beeping feverishly by now...)

And so what has Tiger done for all of the hardworking members of the press focused on his every move? He gave us the day off.

On Monday, Woods will eschew interview questions from the media in advance of his appearance at the Wells Fargo Championship, instead answering Twitter and Facebook queries from fans.

All kidding aside, this is a positive PR move for a guy who desperately needs one -- or a few dozen. It should help get fans more involved on an interpersonal level and will serve as a de facto community outreach program for an adoring public that has largely stood by him during times of personal and professional strife.

It would be an even better idea if Woods chooses to answer more than just softballs. Over the past few years, the media has been criticized for not asking him the “tough questions,” although every time I’ve countered that theory with a query of my own about what constitutes such an inquiry, the resulting response is usually a question that’s been asked many times over already.

Quite frankly, I’m not sure what question remain unanswered for a guy who annually leads the PGA Tour in most answers proffered without actually saying anything.

I suppose I’d like to hear him address why, exactly, he acted so petulantly at times during the recent Masters Tournament. I’d like to know whether he believes he should be fined or suspended. I’d even like to hear someone invoke his own words from two years earlier, when he explained, “I need to make my behavior more respectful of the game.”

Other than that, there aren’t many lingering issues for Woods to address right now. He certainly isn’t playing the best golf of his career, but he’s only a month removed from winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational by five strokes, so it’s difficult to pan him for poor performances.

Should fans choose to dredge up the past, they can ask whether he still embraces Buddhism and meditates every day, or whether he’s ever taken performance-enhancing drugs, or what really happened on the night of Thanksgiving in 2009, however there’s less a chance of him answering those questions than of an 18-handicap beating him straight up in match play.

The fact is, Woods and his PR team will be able to handpick which questions they’d like to answer and it’s difficult to imagine they will veer very far from the likes of, “How do you think Stanford will do without Andrew Luck next year?” and more statement-oriented proclamations, such as, “Dude, your new video game rocks!”

Of course, even if Woods decides to answer the so-called “tough questions,” he’ll respond in a way that only he can, by giving indirect, abbreviated responses to legitimate queries. That’s not a knock against him; in fact, his evasiveness is something for which many unrestrained athletes should be striving for.

I once wrote that Tiger handles all questions “as if there's a media coach with a direct line to his inner ear canal, producing answers that are informative without ever revealing too much.” He has a propensity to mow down provocative inquiries like a series of uphill two-foot putts.

It would be terrific to see and hear him answer the fans with a thoughtful, direct approach, but the reality is that we’re more likely to hear an amalgamation of his greatest hits album:

“It is what it is…”

“… more than anything, I’m working on my traj…”

“… I’m trying to peak four times a year…”

“… if you don’t have butterflies on the first tee, then you don’t care enough…”

“… the goal has never changed, I’m here for a W.”

It’s all part of the plan, either premeditated or instinctual. Woods simply won’t allow any information or opinion that he doesn’t want you to know. And since he’s so well versed in the art form of the interview and is rarely taken aback by a single question, he always remains in full control of those responses.

That is one reason why my best advice for anyone interviewing Tiger is to counter many of his answers with a quick follow-up. Asking either “Why?” or “How?” gets him thinking about his response rather than dialing up the automated version and usually produces the most human reaction.

Sadly, that likely won’t be an option for fans when Woods answers their questions on Monday. It’s an innovative move to deal directly with the public and forgo the media and I’m excited to witness the end result. Let’s just hope a few of those “tough questions” get mixed in amongst the softballs.

Getty Images

Watch: Na punctuates caddie tiff with hole-out

Microphones captured a fascinating and testy exchange between Kevin Na and his caddie, Kenny Harms, on Na's final hole, No. 9.

Na was in the right rough, 185 yards from the green, which was guarded by water. He vacillated between a hybrid and an iron, but with either club he would have to hit "a 40-yard cut," as Harms termed it.

"Over the green's dead," Harms warned.

"It's not gonna go over the green, Kenny," Na replied.

Na finally settled on an iron and said to Harms, "As long as you're OK with this club."

"I'm not," harms replied. "I'm not OK with either one of them."

"I'm going with this," Na ended the discussion.

He missed the green with his approach shot, but avoided the water. After taking a free drop away from some TV cables, he had 92 feet 3 inches to the cup and of course, holed the pitch shot for a birdie-3, a 62 and a one-shot lead at the end of the first round.

Getty Images

Na (62) leads Hoffman by one at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 24, 2018, 10:38 pm

Kevin Na leads the Fort Worth Invitational by one over Charley Hoffman following a first-round 8-under 62. Here's where things stand through 18 holes at Colonial.

Leaderboard: Na (-8), Hoffman (-7), Emiliano Grillo (-6), Jhonattan Vegas (-6), Andrew Putnam (-6), Beau Hossler (-6)

What it means: The veteran Na is in search of just his second PGA Tour victory in 367 events played. The 34-year-old's lone victory came at the 2011 Shriners to go along with nine runner-ups, the most recent of which was a tie for second at this year's Genesis Open. Na missed three straight cuts in April but has rallied back with a weekend stay at The Players and a T-6 at last week's Byron Nelson. Ranked 75th in the world, he is not currently qualified for the U.S. Open or the Open Championship. 

Round of the day: Na turned in a clean card Thursday with six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 first, his 10th hole of the day. He closed with a chip-in birdie at No. 9 following a friendly disagreement with his caddie (more on that below). 

Best of the rest: Hoffman was likewise bogey-free, drawing seven circles. The four-time Tour winner and typically steady performer has yet to register a top-10 finish this season.

Biggest disappointment: Not that a round of 1 under is tragically disappointing, but Jordan Spieth has a pretty solid history of going low at this event and contending for the title. He's seven back through Round 1.

Shot of the day: Satoshi Kodaira recorded the second albatross in tournament history when he holed a 3-iron from 234 yards at the first.

Honorable mention: Na got into a pretty good back-and-forth with his caddie about whether to lay up or try to clear the water from the right rough at No. 9. Na went for it, avoided hazard, and holed this chip for birdie. 

Quote of the day: "I told you." - Na, after his chip-in

Golf Channel's NCAA Golf Coverage Continues Mon-Wed., May 28-30 With the NCAA Men's Golf Championships

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 24, 2018, 10:24 pm

Two National Championships to be Decided Over a Three-Day Span – Individual (Mon., May 28) and Team (Wed., May 30)

 Eight of the Top-10 Ranked Programs in the Country Set to Compete; Reigning NCAA Men’s National Champions Oklahoma and Current Top-Ranked Oklahoma State Paired Together Starting Friday

 Buick and Stifel Co-Presenting Sponsors of Golf Channel’s Coverage of the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships

ORLANDO, Fla., May 24, 2018 – Coming on the heels of Wednesday’s dramatic championship match where Arizona defeated Alabama in a playoff to claim their third women’s golf team national championship, Golf Channel returns to Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. next week for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf National Championships. Taking place Monday-Wednesday, May 28-30, Golf Channel’s coverage will feature nearly 30 hours of live tournament and on-site wraparound news coverage, showcasing the top men’s college golf programs in the country.

NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage: Coverage begins on Monday, May 28 to crown the individual national champion and to track the teams attempting to qualify for the eight-team match play championship. Golf Channel’s coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29-30 will include all three rounds of the team match play, ultimately crowning a team national champion.

In addition, Golf Central will surround live tournament action with pre-and post-event news coverage produced on-site at Karsten Creek Golf Club, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and online via Golf Channel Digital. News and tournament coverage also will be live streamed on Golf Channel Digital. College Central, Golf Channel’s online home for college golf, will provide comprehensive editorial coverage throughout the championships.

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May   28

Individual   National Championship

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Tuesday, May   29

Quarterfinals,   Team Match Play

11   a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday,   May 29

Semifinals,   Team Match Play

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Wednesday, May   30

Team Match   Play National Championship

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Stifel and Buick Sign on as Co-Presenting Sponsors for Golf Channel’s NCAA Golf Championships Tournament Coverage: New for 2018, Stifel Financial Corp. and Buick have signed on as co-presenting sponsors for Golf Channel’s tournament coverage of the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. In addition, Stifel has extended its partnership with the Fred Haskins Commission, Golf Channel and Golfweek as presenting sponsor of the Fred Haskins Award, given annually to nation’s outstanding male collegiate golfer.Golf Channel will announce the Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel following the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, on a live edition of Golf Central, Wednesday, June 6 at 6 p.m. ET. The show will include profiles on the top candidates for the award and a live interview with the winner, who also will receive an exemption to compete in the 2018 Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR. The Haskins Award honors the nation’s most outstanding male Division I collegiate golfer as selected by his peers, coaches and the golf media.

Semifinal Teams in Match Play to Receive Invitations to Compete in East Lake Cup: The East Lake Cup, taking place in late October at historic East Lake Golf Club, will feature the top-performing teams from the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. Invitations for the field have been extended to Arizona, Alabama, Southern California and Stanford – semifinalists in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, and also will be extended to the semifinalists in the Men’s Championships. Modeled after the NCAA Golf Championships, the format for the East Lake Cup consists of an opening round of stroke play to crown an individual male and female champion and determine seeding for the following two days of match play competition. Golf Channel will air live coverage of the East Lake Cup Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31.

College Central – Golf Channel Digital Coverage: Golf Channel will provide comprehensive coverage via College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, and Ryan Lavner, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

Getty Images

Country singer Owen shoots 86 in Web.com debut

By Will GrayMay 24, 2018, 7:51 pm

Country music star Jake Owen struggled in his Web.com Tour debut, shooting a 14-over 86 in the opening round of the Nashville Golf Open.

Owen, who played as a 1 handicap earlier this year while teaming with Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, put three balls out of bounds over his first nine holes, including two en route to a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 18th hole. After making the turn in 46, Owen came home in 40 without making a single birdie.

Owen is playing as an amateur on an unrestricted sponsor exemption, the same type used by NBA superstar Steph Curry on the Web.com Tour last year and by former NFL quarterback Tony Romo this year on the PGA Tour. Curry missed the cut after rounds of 74-74 at the Ellie Mae Classic, while Romo shot 77-82 at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship.

Full-field scores from the Nashville Golf Open

Owen tallied nine pars, six bogeys, two doubles and a quad in his opener and was the only player from the morning wave who failed to break 80. The closest player to him in the standings was two-time major champ Angel Cabrera, who opened with a 79.

While Owen struggled against a field full of professionals, he took the setback in stride and even took to Twitter in the middle of his round to fire back at some of his online critics: