A Fathers Voice - COPIED

By Randall MellJune 17, 2009, 4:00 pm
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2009 U.S. OpenFARMINGDALE, N.Y. ' The fundamentals of golf begin with the grip.
 
Thats why its fitting the U.S. Open traditionally ends on Fathers Day.
 
The hold a father has on his sons game can be more integral to a professional golfers success than the way the players hands meet the club.
 
You can ask three of the greatest players who ever lived.
 
Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer were in the fundamentally sound hold of three strong fathers who carefully shaped the paths their lives took.
 
Tiger and Earl Woods
Tiger Woods gives his father a hug after winning the 1999 Players Championship. (Getty Images)
Earl Woods, Charlie Nicklaus and Deke Palmer were giant figures in their sons lives.
 
Though they have all left this world, their voices still resonate in their sons heads.
 
After a practice round Tuesday at the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, Woods was asked how often his fathers words come back to him.
 
Probably every time I play, he said.
 
Woods said his pops words were especially strong as he rebuilt his left knee and his game following reconstructive knee surgery after he won the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines last summer.
 
I always think about Dad, and especially when I take the time off and I come back and I start playing again, Woods said. All my practice sessions, Ill go back to my old fundamentals I learned from Dad. Some of the thoughts Ive had over the years all go back to his original teachings. So pretty much every time I play, I always think about Dad.
 
Palmer won four green jackets, claimed two claret jugs from the British Open and a U.S. Open trophy, but the prize he pursued hardest couldnt be displayed on his mantel.
 
Palmer played for his fathers approval.
 
I really burned inside to earn a simple compliment from my father, he wrote in A Golfers Life, his autobiography. That compliment never came, which probably explains why I tried all the harder to please him.
 
Palmer cried when he felt he finally won the great prize, when his father wrapped an arm around him after he won the U.S. Amateur in 1954.
 
He was the man I most admired in the world, Palmer wrote. He was the man whose hard rules and painful lessons had made me everything Id become, everything I stood for and was.
 
Nicklaus counted his fathers approval as vital, too. He said even as an adult, he rarely made a decision without consulting his father, who owned several pharmacies in the Columbus, Ohio area. Nicklaus started playing golf with his father when he was 9.
 
He had been so much more than a father; my guide, my companion, my mentor, my supporter, my defender, but always most of all, my closest and surest friend, Nicklaus wrote in his book, Jack Nicklaus, My Story.
 
Deborah Graham, a sports psychologist who works with golfers and specializes in family matters, says parents leave their voices in their childrens heads.
 
In fact, she believes we integrate their voices in the way we learn to talk to ourselves.
 
For the fortunate, its empowering language: I can do this, I will do this.
 
For some, its a curse: Why cant I do this, Im such an idiot.
 
When Graham works with tour pros, she hears the echoes from childhood. Mothers, of course, can have even greater impacts than fathers.
 
A lot of the confidence in ourselves, the way we motivate ourselves, weve learned based on how our parents related to us, she said. We learn to look at ourselves, relate to ourselves and even talk to ourselves the way our parents talked to us. What a parent says to a child during impressionable moments, thats imprinted. That stays with us.
 
Earl Woods gave his son many gifts, but the greatest may be the voice he left in Tigers head.
 
Earl left a tough, confident, determined and yet loving voice.
 
When Woods played at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot three years ago, his first tournament appearance after his father died of prostate cancer, he was asked what his fathers special quality was as a coach.
 
Love, Woods said. Thats basically it. The love we shared for one another and the respect we shared was something thats pretty special. To have my dad in my life and have him be that supportive and nurturing, its pretty cool.
 
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    McCarthy wins Web.com Tour Championship by 4

    By Associated PressSeptember 24, 2018, 2:14 am

    ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Denny McCarthy won the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship on Sunday to earn fully exempt PGA Tour status and a spot in the Players Championship.

    McCarthy closed with a 6-under 65 for a four-stroke victory over Lucas Glover at Atlantic Beach Country Club. The 25-year-old former Virginia player earned $180,000 to top the 25 PGA Tour card-earners with $255,793 in the four-event Web.com Tour Finals.

    ''It's been quite a journey this year,'' McCarthy said. ''The PGA Tour was tough to start out the year. I stuck through it and got my game. I raised my level and have been playing some really good golf. Just feels incredible to finish off these Finals. So much work behind the scenes that nobody really sees.''

    McCarthy finished at 23-under 261.


    Full-field scores from the Web.com Tour Championship


    Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, closed with a 69. He made $108,000 to finish seventh with $125,212 in the series for the top 75 players from the Web.com regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, and non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200.

    Jim Knous earned the 25th and final card from the four-event money list with $41,931, edging Justin Lower by $500. Knous made a 5-foot par save on the final hole for a 71 that left him tied for 57th. Lower missed an 8-footer for birdie, settling for a 69 and a tie for 21st.

    ''It was a brutal day emotionally,'' Knous said. ''I wasn't quite sure how much my performance would affect the overall outcome. It kind of just depended on what everybody else did. That's pretty terrifying. So I really just kind of did my best to stay calm and inside I was really freaking out and just super psyched that at the end of the day finished right there on No. 25.''

    The top-25 finishers on the Web.com regular-season money list competed against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. Sungjae Im topped the list to earn the No. 1 priority spot of the 50 total cards.

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    LaCava pushed Woods to work on bunker game

    By Rex HoggardSeptember 24, 2018, 1:52 am

    ATLANTA – Last week as Tiger Woods prepared to play the season finale at East Lake he sent a text message to his caddie Joey LaCava that simply asked, what do I need to do to get better?

    Although when it comes to Woods his proficiency is always relative, but LaCava didn’t pull any punches, and as the duo completed the final round on Sunday at the Tour Championship with a bunker shot to 7 feet at the last the two traded knowing smiles.

    “We had a talk last week about his bunker game and I said, ‘I’m glad you kept that bunker game stuff in mind,’” LaCava said. “I told him he was an average bunker player and he worked at it last week. There were only two bunker shots he didn’t get up-and-down, I don’t count the last one on 18. He recognized that after two days. He was like, ‘What do you know, I’m 100 percent from the bunkers and I’m in the lead after two days.”


    Final FedExCup standings

    Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

    Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    For the week, Woods got up-and-down from East Lake’s bunkers seven out of nine times and cruised to a two-stroke victory for his first PGA Tour title since 2013. That’s a dramatic improvement over his season average of 49 percent (100th on Tour).

    “His bunker game was very average coming into this week,” LaCava said. “I said you’ve got to work on your bunker game. If you had a decent bunker game like the Tiger of old you would have won [the BMW Championship].”

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    For Woods, is this only the beginning?

    By Damon HackSeptember 24, 2018, 1:42 am

    If this is Tiger Woods nine months into a comeback, wait until he actually shakes the rust off.

    This was supposed to be the year he kicked the tires, to see how his body held up after all those knives digging into his back.

    To see if a short game could truly be rescued from chunks and skulls.

    To see if a 42-year-old living legend could outfox the kids.

    On the final breath of the PGA Tour season, it was Tiger Woods who took ours away.

    Playing alongside Rory McIlroy on Sunday at the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club – and one group behind the current World No. 1 and eventual FedEx Cup champion Justin Rose – Woods bludgeoned the field and kneecapped Father Time. 

    It was Dean Smith and the Four Corners offense.  Emmitt Smith moving the chains. Nolan Ryan mowing them down.

    And all of a sudden you wonder if Phil Mickelson wishes he’d made alternate Thanksgiving plans.

    Even if everybody saw a win coming, it was something else to actually see it happen, to see the man in the red shirt reach another gear just one more time.

    Win No. 80 reminded us, as Roger Maltbie once said of Woods when he came back from knee surgery in 2009: “A lot of people can play the fiddle. Only one guy is Itzhak Perlman.”

    It wasn’t long ago that Tiger Woods seemed headed toward a disheartening final chapter as a broken man with a broken body.


    Final FedExCup standings

    Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

    Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    He would host a couple of tournaments, do some great charity work, shout instructions into a walkie talkie at the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, and call it a career.

    There would be no Nicklaus 1986 Masters moment, no Hogan Mystique at Merion.

    He would leave competitive golf as perhaps both the greatest to ever play the game and its greatest cautionary tale.

    Willie Mays with the New York Mets. Muhammad Ali taking punishment from Larry Holmes.

    But then Brad Faxon and Rickie Fowler started whispering at the end of 2017 that Tiger was healthy and hitting the ball hard. 

    There was that hold-your-breath opening tee shot at the Hero World Challenge, a bullet that flew the left bunker and bounded into the fairway.

    Rollercoaster rides at Tampa and Bay Hill, backward steps at Augusta and Shinnecock, forward leaps at The Open and the PGA.

    He switched putters and driver shafts (and shirts, oh my!) and seemed at times tantalizingly close and maddeningly far.

    That he even decided to try to put his body and game back together was one of the all-time Hail Marys in golf.

    Why go through all of that rehab again?

    Why go through the scrutiny of having your current game measured against your untouchable prime?

    Because you’re Tiger Woods, is why, because you’ve had way more wonderful days on the golf course than poor ones, despite five winless years on the PGA Tour.

    Suddenly, Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA Tour wins is in jeopardy and Jack Nicklaus, holder of a record of 18 major championships, is at the very least paying attention.

    Woods has put the golf world on notice.

    It won’t be long until everyone starts thinking about the 2019 major schedule (and you’d better believe that Tiger already is).

    The Masters, where he has four green jackets and seven other Top 5 finishes. The PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, where he won in 2002 by 3. The United States Open at Pebble Beach, where he won in 2000 by 15.

    The Open at Royal Portrush, where his savvy and guile will be a strong 15th club.

    But that’s a talk for a later date.

    Tiger is clearly still getting his sea legs back.

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    Nonfactor McIlroy mum after lackluster 74

    By Mercer BaggsSeptember 24, 2018, 1:04 am

    ATLANTA – Rory McIlroy didn’t have anything to say to the media after the final round of the Tour Championship, and that’s understandable.

    McIlroy began the final round at East Lake three shots behind Tiger Woods. He finished six back.

    McIlroy closed in 4-over 74 to tie for seventh place.

    In their matchup, Woods birdied the first hole to go four in front, and when McIlroy bogeyed the par-4 fourth, he was five in arrears. McIlroy went on to make three more bogeys, one double bogey and just two birdies.


    Final FedExCup standings

    Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

    Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    McIlroy was never a factor on Sunday and ultimately finished tied for 13th in the FedExCup standings.

    The two rivals, Woods and McIlroy, shared plenty of conversations while walking down the fairways. On the 18th hole, Woods said McIlroy told him the scene was like the 1980 U.S. Open when people were shouting, “Jack’s back!”

    “I said, ‘Yeah, I just don’t have the tight pants and the hair,’” Woods joked. “But it was all good.”

    It’s now off to Paris for the upcoming Ryder Cup, where Woods and McIlroy will again be foes. It will be McIlroy’s fifth consecutive appearance in the biennial matches, while Woods is making his first since 2012.