Cut Line: The book on Tiger

By Rex HoggardJanuary 20, 2012, 6:15 pm

Hope springs eternal at the Humana Challenge, but at what cost? While Charl Schwartzel makes a historic, and cost effective, pitch for this year’s Champions Dinner at Augusta National, the collateral cost of Hank Haney’s new book seems to be the trust of his former boss. Who says the golf season doesn’t really start until Torrey Pines?

Made Cut

Desert do-over. Wasn’t long ago that Anthony Kim was getting worked over for his decision to skip the Bob Hope Classic, his hometown event that he bypassed in 2010 to play in Abu Dhabi.

So in the name of equal time it’s worth pointing out that Kim, who attended high school in the Coachella Valley and was given a sponsor exemption into the event in 2007, is among a drastically improved field this week.

“I'm happy to be here now; I will try to play as good as I can for the people that come out to watch, and the people that have supported me throughout the years, even in high school,” said Kim, who has been staying with his parents in the Palm Springs area preparing for his 2012 debut and training at The Madison Club.

With Kim it seems criticism comes easy, but credit is hard to come by.

Celebrity chef. Of all the endearing images that we associate with the Masters, a reigning champion working a grill under the venerable oak tree late Tuesday afternoon has never been a consideration, but if Charl Schwartzel has his way that may change.

Schwartzel has asked to do the cooking for this year’s Champions Dinner and has created a menu that will include a South African braai with barbecued filets, lamb chops, sausages and slabs of cooked cheese.

The South African’s manager Chubby Chandler told Cut Line last week that Schwartzel’s barbecue is unmatched, but the powers at Augusta National are still mulling the request.

Just to be safe, Cut Line would like to preorder the bone-in filet, cooked medium with a side of pimento cheese.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

BroStache. According to Johnson Wagner’s manager, the Sony Open champion didn’t shave in November and allowed the 1970-era mustache to remain out of laziness and superstition more so than a stylish statement.

“Kind of made a deal with myself in December that if I was to get into the Masters, then I was going to keep the mustache for at least this year,” Wagner said on Sunday in Hawaii.

Count Wagner’s win, and his return trip to Augusta National, as a good-things-happening-to-good-people deal, but he may have overstepped the boundaries of decency with the facial hair.

Irreconcilable differences. Breakups are never easy, particularly when a party to the split puts pen to paper and a publisher on retainer, but Cut Line was surprised Tiger Woods reacted so strongly on Thursday when asked about Hank Haney’s forthcoming book, “The Big Miss.”

“I think it's unprofessional and very disappointing,” Woods told, “especially because it's someone I worked with and trusted as a friend. . . . There have been other one-sided books about me, and I think people understand that this book is about money. I'm not going to waste my time reading it.”

For whatever reason Haney, unlike most other members of Team Tiger, wasn’t asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement, and he has made it clear that the “Miss” will not be a tell-all tome.

From Woods’ point of view “Miss” seems to be a breach of trust, but in a 2010 interview with Golf Digest Haney said of his relationship with Woods, “It didn't get dysfunctional; it always was dysfunctional.”

Maybe Woods should feel disappointed, but he shouldn’t be surprised.

Missed Cut

Paradise lost. Stop us if you’ve heard this one: Rory Sabbatini gets sideways with a Tour frat brother, exchanges a few four-letter friendlies for all the patrons to hear and spends more time talking about his behavior than his game.

Sound familiar?

According to various reports, Sabbatini and Vijay Singh had a verbal clash during the third round of the Sony Open after Singh swore at Sabbatini’s caddie, Mick Doran, for moving while he was preparing to putt on the first hole.

By all accounts, Sabbo – who had a similar row with Sean O’Hair last year in New Orleans and has spent more time in the Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., doghouse than anyone else, by most accounts – was simply standing up for his caddie, but when you continually find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time maybe it’s time to own it – the problem may be you.

Tweet of the week: @RobLowe “Hearing my fave, No. 18 Peyton Manning will not return to #NFL. Wow.” The actor also added that “my people are saying Manning will retire today (Jan. 18).”

In a related item, Justin Timberlake tweeted that his sources are telling him that Bubba Watson is also retiring and may enter the GOP race for the White House. #NewMediaDangers

Hope and consequences. In 1965, Bob Hope loaned his name and iconic profile to the PGA Tour’s Palm Springs stop, and for five decades the comedian has been as much a part of the event as blue-haired volunteers and cloudless skies.

That all changed this year with the advent of the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. Many have credited the former president’s involvement for improving this year’s field, although one less amateur partner and competitive round, not to mention the long-awaited exit from the Silver Rock course, probably had something to do with that as well.

It’s the loss of Hope’s name from the marquee that stings the most. Call it the “Bob Hope Classic presented by Humana for world peace and yip prevention” for all we care, just don’t forsake tradition in the name of economic expediency.

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Watch: Pieters snaps club ... around his neck

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 1:19 pm

After opening in 3-over 75, Thomas Pieters was in no mood for more poor play on Friday.

Unfortunately for Pieters, he bogeyed two of his first three holes in the second round of the BMW PGA Championship and then didn't like his second shot at the par-5 fourth.

Someone - or some thing - had to pay, and an innocent iron bore the brunt of Pieters' anger.

Pieters made par on the hole, but at 5 over for the tournament, he was five shots off the cut line.

It's not the first time a club has faced Pieters' wrath. 

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Woods would 'love' to see Tour allow shorts

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:59 pm

Players on the European Tour are allowed to wear shorts during practices and pro-ams.

The PGA of America permitted players to show some leg while prepping for last year’s PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods would like to see the PGA Tour follow suit.

"I would love it," he said Thursday in a Facebook Live with Bridgestone Golf. "We play in some of the hottest climates on the planet. We usually travel with the sun, and a lot of our events are played in the summer, and then on top of that when we have the winter months here a lot of the guys go down to South Africa and Australia where it's summer down there.

"It would be nice to wear shorts. Even with my little chicken legs, I still would like to wear shorts."

Caddies are currently allowed to wear shorts on Tour, during events.

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Feasting again: McIlroy shoots 65 to lead BMW PGA

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:04 pm

Updated at 9:42 a.m. ET

Rory McIlroy made seven birdies and no bogeys on Friday for a 7-under 65 and the second-round lead at the BMW PGA Championship.

After opening in 67, McIlroy was among the early groups out on Day 2 at Wentworth Club. He made three birdies and no bogeys on the par-35 front nine on Friday, and then went on a run after the turn.

McIlroy made four consecutive birdies, beginning at the par-5 12th. That got him to 12 under, overall, and gave him a clear advantage over the field. With two closing par-5s, a very low number was in sight. But, as he did on Day 1, McIlroy finished par-par.

"I've made four pars there [on 17 and 18] when I really should be making at least two birdies, but I played the other par-5s well," McIlroy said. "It all balances itself out."

Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship

McIlroy has made 14 birdies and two bogeys through two rounds. At 12 under, he has a three-stroke lead over Sam Horsfield.

"The work has paid off, to some degree," McIlroy said of his practice with swing coach Michael Bannon. "I still feel like I'm hitting some loose shots out there. But, for the most part, it's been really good. If I can keep these swing thoughts and keep going in the right direction, hopefully this is the type of golf I'll be able to produce."

This event has been feast or famine for McIlroy. He won here in 2014, but has three missed cuts in his other three starts. This week, however, he’ll be around for the weekend and is in position for his first European Tour victory since the 2016 Irish Open and his second worldwide victory of the year (Arnold Palmer Invitational).

"I have the confidence that I'm playing well and I can go out and try to just replicate what I did the day before," McIlroy said about his weekend approach with the lead. "On the first tee box tomorrow I'll be thinking about what I did today. Trying to just keep the same thoughts, make the same swings. I went a couple better today than I did yesterday. I'm not sure I'll keep that progression going but something similiar tomorrow would be nice."

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Goat visor propels Na to Colonial lead

By Will GrayMay 25, 2018, 1:29 am

Jason Dufner officially has some company in the headwear free agency wing of the PGA Tour.

Like Dufner, Kevin Na is now open to wear whatever he wants on his head at tournaments, as his visor sponsorship with Titleist ended earlier this month. He finished T-6 at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his second tournament as a free agent, and this week at the Fort Worth Invitational he's once again wearing a simple white visor with a picture of a goat.

"I bought it at The Players Championship for $22 with the 30 percent discount that they give the Tour players," Na told reporters. "It's very nice."

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Perhaps a change in headwear was just what Na needed to jumpstart his game. Last week's result in Dallas was his first top-35 finish in his last six events dating back to February, and he built upon that momentum with an 8-under 62 to take a one-shot lead over Charley Hoffman after the first round at Colonial Country Club.

While many sports fans know the "GOAT" acronym to stand for "Greatest Of All Time," it's a definition that the veteran Na only learned about earlier this year.

"I do social media, but they kept calling Tiger the GOAT. I go, 'Man, why do they keep calling Tiger the GOAT? That's just mean,'" Na said. "Then I realized it meant greatest of all time. Thinking of getting it signed by Jack (Nicklaus) next week (at the Memorial)."