Golf Channel Analyst Frank Nobilo is in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL this week for THE PLAYERS. There were some subtle changes made to a few greens after the 2011 PLAYERS and Frank said that while the changes were made to try to make the greens more fair, it does not mean that they will play easier. The PGA TOUR wants a good shot to be rewarded while still punishing a bad shot. Those five greens that were modified are now fair but they are still tough.
Rory McIlroy is the #1 player in the world right now but he is not the one dominant player because there are a number of players who could be the best player in the world in any given week. However, if Rory were to win this week the discussion about Rory as the game’s dominant player would definitely accelerate. The world’s best players have designed their schedules to ramp up around this time and will play most of their golf from now through October and it should be very exciting to see who will emerge.
Tiger Woods is no longer allowed the luxury of being able to spend time working on his golf swing without a great deal of scrutiny. Sean Foley has had a lot of success with a number of players but because the student is Tiger Woods, the work is being dissected, scrutinized, and criticized for him more than for any other student. Tiger’s swing has looked good this week but it will be interesting to see how he takes his swing from the practice range to the course.
Ten years ago when Craig Perks won THE PLAYERS, it was a huge moment for golf in New Zealand and for Perks as well who had moved to the United States for college and the Nationwide Tour. Perks’ win was the biggest moment since Bob Charles won the 1963 Open Championship but those memories also come with a touch of sadness. 2002 was Nobilo’s last year that he competed at THE PLAYERS and Nobilo also had to watch as his friend began to struggle with his game after that big win to the point that Perks eventually had to retire. Both he and Perks no longer play competitively so thinking of the 2002 PLAYERS brings back both positive and negative memories.