Faldo goes in-depth in a Tiger Woods Q&A

By Randall MellNovember 2, 2011, 5:09 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Next week Tiger Woods returns to Australia, site of his last victory.

It’s been almost two years since he won the Australian Masters (Nov. 15, 2009), but Woods will be looking to rekindle his best form in a bid to help the United States win the Presidents Cup in his trip Down Under. Woods will tee it up in next week’s Australian Open as a warm up with the Presidents Cup to follow the week after.

Six-time major championship winner and Golf Channel analyst Nick Faldo believes Woods will eventually win again, but he believes Woods’ run of dominance is over and doubts he will be able to break Jack Nicklaus’ record for major championship victories. He’s surprised Fred Couples made Woods a Presidents Cup captain’s pick and wouldn’t blame Keegan Bradley if he were angry about it. And Faldo believes swing coach Sean Foley has introduced some difficult changes for Woods to juggle amid all the other change in his life.

Faldo was at the Nick Faldo Institute shooting episodes of '7 Nights at the Academy' (airing Dec. 12-18 on Golf Channel) when GolfChannel.com caught up with him for a Tiger assessment before Woods tees it up in back-to-back weeks in Australia.

When Tiger Woods crashed into the fire hydrant and tree in his neighbor’s yard nearly two years ago, what, as a player, did he really lose that night?

I think the whole aura of Tiger has changed dramatically. He’s quite a sensitive guy, so to try to come out after global humiliation with the comments, let alone the criticism, it’s pretty difficult. Golf is a game where you stand there for an awful long time, and you can easily be wondering, `What are people thinking? I have the whole world looking at me, and now they’re looking at me differently.’ I think all those things would affect you.

I know from my experience, once I tried to get more involved in business, and I went through divorce as well, your quality of concentration goes. Your ability to totally engross yourself in practice for a day, that changes quite dramatically. From going out to the golf course, tipping out your balls, spending a great day practicing from 9 to 5, I doubt he’s had a day with anything like the freedom he had before. Maybe it’s starting to come back a little bit. And you’ve got a young family as well that you’re separated from, it’s very difficult, the emotion of that.

The bottom line is that since he won two years ago in Australia, I don’t know what is still the same in his life. Almost everything has changed, from the physical to the technical, the emotional side as well, everything seems different, so I think he’s still got a lot to contend with.

Do you think he will get it back?

Well, he won’t have the dominance back, I doubt, nothing like the dominance he had back from 2000, because he was a totally clear thinking man on a mission, a rampage. His own self-believe, his own self-confidence, would have been at 100 percent, and once that gets chipped away, he’s not the same on the golf course.

How’s that affect what we’re seeing from Tiger?

In the past, Tiger could make things happen. A great player has that ability. A great sportsman has the ability to make things happen, without it being detrimental, Somebody special, like a Michael Jordan, he can make things happen when you really need it.  Now when Tiger tries to make things happen, it goes the other way. If he forces it now, he doesn’t hit the shot. That will chip his self-belief. As time goes on, that gets dented more when you see poor shots.

I believe he will find a way to come back and win again because he’s extremely determined, but it won’t be anything like the foregone conclusion it was before. When Tiger had a 54-hole lead in the past, he had a ridiculous record of finishing it off. Now, like the rest of us, you put yourself through the ringer on Sunday afternoon finding out how to win again. Before, it was just, get to the lead and steam roll your way through. What’s changed is that in the past, Tiger would have to fend off one or two players, the obvious names like Phil [Mickelson] or Ernie [Els], but now it’s different. The best example we have is this year’s Masters, when there were eight to 10 guys within a shot. In the past, if Tiger got to a certain number, he probably would have won.

Because of Tiger’s aura, it was totally natural for other players in the past to wonder `What is Tiger up to?’ Consciously, or subconsciously, you’re giving energy to: `Where’s Tiger? Oh, there he is on the range, or, there he is on the leaderboard.’ Now guys are basically thinking, `I don’t need to worry about that because I know he’s got enough on his own plate getting himself back together again. I’ll worry about myself.’ I think that’s had quite an effect on all of these guys.

It’s a new era with new golfers. You’ve got Luke Donald at No. 1, guys bubbling under like Adam Scott and Jason Day. You’ve got Rory McIlroy and Keegan Bradley winning majors. I’m thinking we on the verge of a new Big Five or Big Six.

Now we have this shotgun run of whatever it’s been, [seven] first-time major championship winners. So we haven’t gotten our Big Six right now. We’ve probably got 20 good golfers, but I think it will be interesting if we get back to six dominant players who start winning more than one major. It will be interesting if that transpires over the next couple seasons.

You’ve been quoted having doubts Tiger will break Jack’s record now. What do you think?

Well, everybody wants you to say something, so they can say you were wrong, but that’s going to be really difficult for Tiger because he needs to win five more majors at 35. If this were just a golfing slump for two years . . . but it isn’t. He’s had a mental and emotional slump, and a physical one, too, because his body’s broken down, and a lot of that has to do with the pressures and the mind. It’s got to come out somewhere, so it came out in his (neck) first. And now how really good is the knee? You have got to have 100 percent trust that that knee is going to survive all circumstances. So, I don’t know if he’s going to have that. There’s got to be a little voice in the back of your mind, where you have to compromise here and there, where you think maybe I can’t quite try the shot I tried when I was at Augusta that caused the knee to flare up again.

The word 'can’t’ is new to the Tiger Woods’ vocabulary, isn’t it?

Tiger’s dealt with success from 2 years old. Everything was success, success, success for 30-plus years, and all of a sudden, bang, now he has to deal with failures, fears, what people think, all sorts of things. The bottom line is he’s determined and will probably find a way to win again, but it will be a struggle. He may walk away from his next win thinking it might be the biggest win of his career because `I found out how to win again.’

A lot’s been debated about U.S. captain Fred Couples choosing Tiger Woods for the Presidents Cup team. What did you think of the pick?

Very surprised at that. You’re taking a risk keeping Keegan Bradley out. You win a major, that’s disappointing when you’re a young rookie, and you’re that good, and you can’t make the team. I would be a little miffed at that one. You picked a guy, sure he’s Tiger Woods, but he’s injured. At the time of the pick, he had only played six competitive rounds through the summer, and nothing like himself. He’s played a few more rounds, but he’s still just finding it.

The Presidents Cup is a team event. We definitely know it’s a little more pressure. You don’t want to let your partner down, you don’t want to let your team down, but this may be a time when Tiger really needs that to respond. [About his Ryder and President Cup records], when you’re a lead man, you’re a scalp, everybody wants you. You’re a feather for somebody’s cap, so they go at you, but he’s hit some bad shots in the Ryder Cup. If he stands up on the tee in Australia and hits a couple drives in the trees and bushes on that course, that will give a lot of confidence to the International team, so he’s under a lot of pressure. He might really want that to get his golfing juices going again.

A lot’s being debated about Tiger’s swing changes under Sean Foley. What do you make of their work together so far?

Again, it’s a lot of changes for Tiger. I was a little surprised with some of the moves. I’ve talked to Sean a couple times, and he’s said you’ve got to work through a couple positions to get to the next position, but it’s taking a fair amount of time. Some of the positions I personally don’t like.

I don’t think Tiger’s as good a bunker player as he used to be, but I don’t know whether that has anything to do with Sean. I know Sean’s changed a lot of his stuff, putting, chipping. Tiger was the best putter in the world, had the best short game in the world. To tinker and change those, I would have thought that was quite dangerous, but I don’t know exactly how much they’ve changed that, so it’s kind of assuming. And another thing is that Tiger’s beefed up. A couple of his swings look quite labored, they don’t have quite that flow and speed. It’s still a lot of conscious thought to the swing. It’s not quite flowing the way it used to be.

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Golf Channel Ramps Up Six Weeks of Comprehensive College Golf Coverage Culminating With The NCAA Women's and Men's Golf Championships, May 18-30

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 24, 2018, 9:00 pm

Golf Channel to Announce NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships Regional Selections on Wednesday, April 25 and Wednesday, May 2

 Golf Channel to Expand Coverage of NCAA Women’s and Men’s Regional Championships  

Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys, a Four-Part Docu-Series Executive Produced by Rickie Fowler, Premieres on Golf Channel Monday, May 7

 More than 100 News and Tournament Hours Planned for Women’s and Men’s Championships, Back-to-Back Weeks at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

 

ORLANDO, Fla., April 24, 2018 – With conference championships underway, golf fans will be able to follow their favorite college golf programs and alma maters as they attempt to qualify and compete in the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships in May at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., as Golf Channel expands its comprehensive on-air and digital collegiate golf coverage the next six weeks.

“Through our new long-term partnership, the NCAA and Golf Channel are successfully raising the profile of college golf by shining a spotlight on the game’s future stars and the passion these programs have in competing for national championships,” said Molly Solomon, Golf Channel executive vice president of content and executive producer. “With our expanded coverage of the regional championships and partnering with OSU alum Rickie Fowler for Driven, our viewers will be treated to the most college golf coverage in network history leading into the NCAA Golf National Championships.”

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS SELECTION ANNOUNCEMENTS: On Wednesday, April 25 at 5:30 p.m. ET (women) and continuing Wednesday, May 2 at 5:30 p.m. ET (men), Golf Channel will announce the teams and individuals selected by the NCAA to participate in the women’s and men’s regional championships, the first step on the road to the NCAA Golf Championships. Live streaming coverage of selection shows will be available through the Golf Channel Mobile App or GolfChannel.com, and Golf Channel will aggregate social content for the shows using the hashtag #NCAAGolf. 

  • Women’s Golf Championships Regional Selections, Wednesday, April 25, 5:30 p.m. ET: Golf Central will announce (live) the 72 teams and24 individuals selected to compete in the four NCAA Women’s Regional Championships, May 7-9 (18 teams and six individuals per regional). 24 teams and 12 individuals will advance from regional sites to the national championships.
  • Men’s Golf Championships Regional Selections, Wednesday, May 2, 5:30 p.m. ET: Golf Central will announce the 81 teams and 45 individuals selected to compete in the six NCAA Men’s Regional Championships, May 14-16 (13 teams and 10 individuals at three regionals and 14 teams and five individuals at three regionals). 30 teams and six individuals will advance from regional sites to the national championships.

GOLF CHANNEL TO EXPAND REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS COVERAGE: New for 2018, Golf Channel will feature expanded coverage of the final day of the NCAA women’s and men’s regional championships, Wednesday May 9 and Wednesday, May 16, respectively. Beginning within Morning Drive, Golf Channel’s daily lifestyle news show, and continuing hourly throughout the day via live Golf Central news updates from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. ET that will be published to Golf Channel Digital and Golf Channel’s social media handles. Coverage will conclude with live news segments, featuring highlights and interviews, announcing the teams and individuals who qualified for the women’s and men’s national championships.

RICKIE FOWLER AND NBC SPORTS COLLABORATE ON FOUR-PART DOCU-SERIES DRIVEN: OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS: NBC Sports Group is teaming up with PGA TOUR superstar Rickie Fowler to give viewers a dramatic behind-the-scenes look into Fowler’s alma mater in a four-part documentary series – Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys. Driven, executive produced by Fowler, will premiere Monday, May 7 at 10 p.m. ET and continue Monday, May 14 (10 p.m. ET) and Monday, May 21 (8 p.m. ET). The finale will air on NBC on Saturday, June 16, recapping their season that culminates with a run at a potential 11th national championship, taking place on their home turf.

NCAA GOLF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS COVERAGE: Contested in back-to-back weeks, May 18-30 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., Golf Channel will dedicate its full suite of production resources to the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships, featuring nearly 30 combined hours of live tournament coverage. In addition, Golf Central will feature nearly 30 hours of combined pre-and post-event live news coverage produced on location, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and Golf Channel Digital.                                             

Golf Channel NCAA Women’s Golf Championships Coverage

Monday, May   21       

Individual National   Championship  

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Tuesday, May   22          

Quarterfinals, Team   Match Play  

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET   (Live)

Tuesday, May   22                 

Semifinals, Team Match   Play 

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Wednesday, May   23            

Team National   Championship  

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

 

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage

Monday, May   28      

Individual National   Championship  

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Tuesday, May   29          

Quarterfinals, Team   Match Play  

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET   (Live)

Tuesday, May   29                 

Semifinals, Team Match   Play 

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Wednesday, May   30            

Team National   Championship  

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

 

COLLEGE CENTRAL – GOLF CHANNEL DIGITAL COVERAGE: Golf Channel is providing comprehensive coverage leading up to and during the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships as part of College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, Ryan Lavner and Steve Burkowski, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS NEWS COVERAGE: Golf Channel will cover the conference championships with scores and analysis across its on-air news platforms - Morning Drive and Golf Central – and online within College Central.

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With help from partner, Burns could secure Tour status

By Ryan LavnerApril 24, 2018, 8:33 pm

AVONDALE, La. – This week Sam Burns has yet another chance to secure special temporary membership for the rest of the PGA Tour season, but his partner may determine whether he’s ultimately successful.

In an interesting twist, Burns is burning one of his seven available sponsor exemptions this week at the Zurich Classic. He is 80 non-member points shy of securing special temporary membership, which would allow him to receive unlimited sponsor exemptions for the rest of the season.

Burns needs at least a two-way tie for fourth to earn the necessary points, but it won’t all depend on how he plays this week. The Zurich is a two-man game, with two rounds apiece of fourballs and alternate shot.

Burns' partner this week is William McGirt. Their games couldn’t be more different – Burns ranks eighth on Tour in driving distance, at 309 yards per pop, while McGirt is 143rd (290) – but they hope to compliment each other over four days at TPC Louisiana.


Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Articles, photos and videos


“I got a good pair of spurs sharpened up last week while I was in San Antonio,” joked McGirt, who is looking for his first top-10 since the fall. “I told him I was going to ride him hard this week. It’ll be fun.”

Burns will have at least two (and maybe three) more opportunities to earn status, with starts lined up next week at the Wells Fargo Championship and also at the Memorial. He doesn’t face quite as much pressure because he won earlier this month on the Web.com Tour and currently sits fourth on the money list, essentially locking up his PGA Tour card for next season.

“It’s obviously nice to have that win,” he said, “but at the same time you have to be careful and make sure you play enough out there to where you’re secure for sure. You don’t want to get at the end of the year and then have two or three events left and you have to make a certain amount of money to get your card.

“So I’m just going step by step, tournament by tournament, and trying to figure out what’s the best route.”   

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Spieth-Palmer draw Rahm-Bryan early at Zurich

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 24, 2018, 7:49 pm

AVONDALE, La. – The PGA Tour’s only team event gets underway Thursday at the Zurich Classic. Here are some featured groups to watch at TPC Louisiana.

Justin Thomas-Bud Cauley/Daniel Berger-Gary Woodland: 8:39 a.m. ET Thursday off 10 tee, 2:08 p.m. Friday off 1: 

The Bama boys, Thomas and Cauley, team up for the second consecutive year, after tying for fifth a year ago on the strength of a final-round 61. Berger teamed with Thomas Pieters a year ago but missed the cut, so he’ll try his luck with Woodland, who also shares a management team at Excel Sports.

Jordan Spieth-Ryan Palmer/Jon Rahm-Wesley Bryan: 8:52 a.m. Thursday off 10, 2:19 p.m. Friday off 1: 

Spieth and Palmer finished fourth a year ago, five shots back of the leaders. Spieth is making his first start since his epic Sunday run at the Masters. Rahm and Bryan have opposite strengths – Rahm is one of the game’s preeminent drivers, while Bryan, statistically, is one of the worst – but the Spaniard is coming off a European Tour victory at home. Another wrinkle here: Even though no world-ranking points are on offer this week, Rahm is set to supplant Spieth as the third-ranked player in the world.

Jason Day-Ryan Ruffels/Brooks Koepka-Marc Turnesa: 1:31 p.m. Thursday off 1, 9:42 a.m. Friday off 10: 

Two stars with questionable sidekicks. Ruffels is an up-and-coming Australian who has been playing primarily in Latin America. (He also shares a manager with Day.) Turnesa, meanwhile, got the call late last week from Koepka, who is finally ready to return from a 15-week layoff because of a wrist injury. They both play out of Medalist in South Florida, but Turnesa, 40, has turned his attention to real estate instead of professional golf.

Patrick Reed-Patrick Cantlay/Jonas Blixt-Cameron Smith: 1:44 p.m. Thursday off 1, 9:53 a.m. Friday off 10: 

Reed makes his first start as Masters champion after taking off the past two weeks. This duo tied for 14th last year, undone by a Saturday 75 in foursomes play. Blixt and Smith are the defending champions, after shooting 27 under par last year and holding off Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown in a playoff. Blixt doesn’t have a top-10 on Tour since then, while Smith tied for fifth at the Match Play and the Masters.

Justin Rose-Henrik Stenson/Bubba Watson-Matt Kuchar: 1:57 p.m. Thursday off 1, 10:04 a.m. Friday off 10:

Rose and Stenson, who have proved to be a formidable pairing in the Ryder Cup, were a stunning missed cut last year, after shooting 6 under par for two rounds. Watson teamed up with J.B. Holmes to finish fifth last year, while Kuchar is making his first start in this event since 2009.

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Zurich Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 24, 2018, 7:09 pm

The PGA Tour tries team competition for the second year in a row at the Zurich Classic. Here are the key stats and information for play at TPC LouisianaClick here for full-field tee times.

How to watch:

Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2:30-6:30PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2:30-6:30PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.


Purse: $7,200,000 ($1,036,800 to each winner)

Course: TPC Louisiana (par 72; 7,425 yards)

Defending champions: Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt (-27) in a playoff over Scott Brown and Kevin Kisner


News and notes

• All four reigning major champions - Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed - are in the field this week. This is the first time all four reigning major winners have played this event since 1984 (Ben Crenshaw, Larry Nelson, Tom Watson, Hall Sutton).

 Both members of winning team this week will earn an official PGA Tour victory, two-year Tour exemptions, and exemptions into the Players and PGA Championships.

• That said, no Official World Golf Ranking points are awarded from this event and winners will not earn exemptions into the 2019 Masters.


Notable teams in the field 

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson

 Rose won this event in 2014, when it was individual stroke play. From 2012-16, he was a combined 60 under at TPC Louisiana in stroke play, seven shots better than any other player.

 Rose has dramatically improved his performance on the greens from last season, moving from 123rd in strokes gained-putting to 10th.

 Stenson's last three starts look like this: solo 4th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, T-6 at the Houston Open, and T-5 at the Masters.

Jon Rahm and Wesley Bryan

 Rahm is coming off a victory at the Spanish Open, his second worldwide win in 2018 and fifth since Jan. 2017.

 Rahm outdrives Bryan by an average of 30 yards off the tee, 305.1 to 276.3.

 Rahm is second on Tour in the strokes gained-off the tee, while Bryan is 210th, last among qualifying players.

Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay

 Reed is just the fifth reigning Masters champ to play the Zurich since 2000, joining Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson (twice), and Bubba Watson.

 Reed has gone T-2, T-7, T-9, WIN in his last four starts.

 Cantlay broke through for his maiden PGA Tour win earlier this season at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.