Bizarro world for Tiger

By John FeinsteinJuly 19, 2011, 7:26 pm

For the past 20 months, during Tiger Woods’ winter, spring, summer and fall of ongoing discontent, thousands of solutions have been offered by thousands of people who insist they can fix Tiger in about 15 minutes.

No doubt the Geico Gecko is somewhere on that list of potential fixers.

Everyone who has ever heard of Woods – much less met him – has the answer. The only surprise is that Woods hasn’t shown up on ‘Dr. Phil’ at some point. Of course, Dr. Phil doesn’t pay appearance fees.

Let’s go down the list of things that are not the reason why Woods sits in 104th place on the PGA Tour money list and 129th on the FedEx Cup points list.

– It is not his golf swing. You can slo-mo his swing, super slo-mo his swing, stop his swing altogether or break it down into 543 pieces, ala Sean Foley, and you aren’t going to fix the problem. Woods didn’t have the world’s best golf swing when he completely dominated the sport and he doesn’t need to have it now.

– It is not his Achilles or his knee. I’m sure they both hurt, don’t doubt that for a second. But the guy won the U.S. Open on a torn ACL and a broken leg. You think a little thing like a sore knee and an aching Achilles would have stopped that Woods from playing? Or winning? No way.

– It is not lack of play. Sure it would be nice if he played more often but this is a guy who didn’t play a competitive round between The Masters and the U.S. Open in 2008 – and won. Even after Hydrant-gate he came back to play the Masters after spending far more time in mystery-rehab than on the range or a golf course and finished T-4.

So what does Tiger need to become Tiger again? Hypnosis? A new Bhudda wristband? Butch Harmon? Oprah?

No. He needs Chubby Chandler.

Clearly the key to success in golf right now is to be represented by Andrew Chandler, the 58-year-old Brit who was an ordinary pro but has become an extraordinary agent. Chandler likes to tell people that he doesn’t aspire to represent the most players, just the best players. Well, as of this moment, Chandler’s players have won the first three major titles of 2011: Charl Schwartzel at the Masters; Rory McIlroy at the U.S. Open and now Darren Clarke – Chandler’s first client 21 years ago – at the British Open. That leaves Chandler one win away from the Chubby Slam if one of his guys wins the PGA Championship next month in Atlanta.

Oh, and if you’re keeping score at home, the man Clarke succeeded as the British Open champion was Louis Oosthuizen whose agent is Chandler. How defending PGA champion Martin Kaymer got away from Chubby no one knows.

The only problem for Tiger might be that Chubby already has a nickname. Tiger doesn’t call anybody by their actual name. His current agent is Steiny, his caddie is Stevie, his best friends on Tour through the years have been MO and Cookie. He was, no doubt, pleased for Clarkie this past Sunday and he’s still hoping to play for Triple D’s Ryder Cup team next year.

Chubby has been Chubby for years, dating back to his days as a player on the European Tour and, as people often point out, if you put him in a lineup and said, ‘which one do people call Chubby?’ 100 people out of 100 would pick him.

Tiger could call him Chubster, Chubber or Chubberoo. Chub might be tough because Clarkie appears to have staked that out already. But he could work a deal no doubt. Maybe he could make a trade with Clarkie: Steiny for Chub and a Nike commercial to be named later.

Of course there might be a few other issues to iron out. Chandler probably won’t want to give up his other clients at this point in his career and Tiger tends to need a full-time sitter. At most golf tournaments, both Steiny and PR guy Glenn Greenspan (Greenie) stick so close to their man that they have security.

Chandler isn’t a guy who likes an entourage. He doesn’t even like wearing a suit. Most agents look like their fallback job if agenting doesn’t work out is to model for GQ. Chandler looks more like he could model for Bowling Monthly most of the time. Actually he could fit in pretty well in most media rooms.

Steiny’s nickname on Tour is “Dr. No” because that’s the way his most famous client wants it. In the wake of Hydrant-gate, Steiny insisted he knew nothing about Tiger’s philandering and secret life. He was Sergeant Schultz (“I know NOTHING!”) to Tiger’s Colonel Hogan.

If Chandler had been Tiger’s agent he would have known what his client was up to. He might even have tried to convince Tiger that it was all a bad idea.

In which case one of two things probably would have happened: Tiger would have said, “Chubster, you’re fired.” Or, he might have listened and we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

Getty Images

Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

Getty Images

Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

Getty Images

Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."

Getty Images

Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

"That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

"Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

"He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."