Woods wastes little time getting back to work

By Rich LernerFebruary 15, 2011, 6:01 am

Tiger Woods wasted little time putting the final-round 75 in Dubai behind him.

His plane landed in Orlando at 5 a.m. ET on Monday. Three hours later he was on the practice range at Isleworth with Sean Foley.

“He’s not the best ever for no reason,” said Foley as he prepared to board a plane for Los Angeles and the Northern Trust Open.

Foley pointed out that he’s “seeing things in spurts, and you have to have spurts” before 'consistent excellence.'

But, he added, “when the wind started to blow, Tiger lost his feel for the low shot. So today we worked on a guaranteed shot, which is the low-bullet fade.”

Foley acknowledged that Tiger hasn’t had a lot of tournament reps, playing just two tournaments this year.

“You can sit on the range all day and look great but it’s one thing to do it on the range,” Foley said. “It’s another to do it in a practice round and another on the back nine on Sunday.”

Would Foley like Tiger to play more events?

“It’s not up to me,” he replied. “The record shows that his [schedule] hasn’t been a bad way to do it. His kids come first and that’s where he’s at.”

Foley did agree that with all the focus on swing changes, Tiger’s short game has suffered. But he’s convinced that can be remedied with a good week of work.

And to those who’ve wondered if making swing changes at 35 is somehow tougher than at 25, Foley offers a new age defense.

“If you study neuroplasticity,” he explained, “there’s not a whole lot of evidence to support the old adage that people can’t learn new things as they age. People can change when they’re 80.

“And we’re not talking about a huge change. It’s a conceptual change. When you hit 35 percent of your fairways it can’t be a whole lot of fun to play. We’re trying to get it where he can drive it better. The distance is coming back. And the accuracy will get better.

“We’re piecing the puzzle together nicely. It’s all been very positive. I’m happy with his understanding of what he needs to do.”

Foley’s happy. But the public and the press are impatient. They expect victories.

“When he feels more comfortable,” said Foley. “I imagine we’ll see that at some point this year.

“When you’re dealing with learning and motor patterns, there’s really no schedule. But he’s impressive to watch, there’s no doubt about that. When what I see in practice starts happening on the golf course, it’ll be fantastic.

“But it’ll happen when it’s supposed to happen.”

For his part, Foley doesn’t let on to feeling pressure to get Tiger to the winner’s circle.

He’s enjoying the ride.

“One hundred percent,” he says, popping off one of his favorite phrases. “Tiger’s a good guy. He treats me like all my other guys. He’s just a man, like you and me.”

Getty Images

Rose (64) peaking just ahead of the U.S. Open

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 8:40 pm

A former U.S. Open champion appears to be finding his form just three weeks ahead of the year's second major.

Justin Rose ascended to the top of the leaderboard Friday at the Fort Worth Invitational, with rounds of 66-64 pushing him to 10 under par for the week.

Through 36 at Colonial, Rose has marked 12 birdies against just two bogeys.

"Yeah, I did a lot of good things today," Rose said. "I think, you know, the end of my round got a little scrappy, but until the last three holes it was pretty flawless. I think I hit every fairway pretty much and obviously every green to that point. ...

"Yeah, the way I played through, I guess through my first 15 holes today, was about as good as I've played in a long time."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Rose won in back-to-back weeks last fall, stunning Dustin Johnson at the WGC-HSBC Championship and riding that victory right into another at the Turkish Airlines Open.

Now the 2013 U.S. Open winner at Merion feels himself once again rounding into form ahead of this year's Open at Shinnecock. A final-round 66 at The Players gave Rose something to focus on in his recent practice sessions with swing coach Sean Foley, as the two work to shore up the timing of Rose's transition into the downswing.

As for his decision to tee it up at Colonial for the first time since 2010, "It was more the run of form really," Rose explained. "I feel like if I didn't play here it was going to be a little spotty going into the U.S. Open. I felt like I wanted to play enough golf where I would have a good read on my game going into Shinnecock.

"So rather than the venue it was more the timing, but it's obviously it's just such a bonus to be on a great layout like this."

For whatever reason, Rose does tend to play his best golf at iconic venues, having won PGA Tour events at Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional.

Getty Images

Koepka (63): Two wrist dislocations in two months

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 8:19 pm

Brook Koepka's journey back from a wrist injury that kept him out four months hasn't been totally smooth sailing, even if his play has suggested otherwise.

Koepka on Friday fired a 7-under 63 to move up the leaderboard into a tie for third, three shots behind leader Justin Rose through the end of the morning wave at the Fort Worth Invitational.

After a slow start Thursday saw him play his first 13 holes 3 over, Koepka is 10 under with 11 birdies in his last 23 holes at Colonial.

"It doesn't matter to me. I could care less. I'm still going to try as hard as I can," Koepka said. "I don't care how many over or how many under I am. Still going to fight through it."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Just like he's been fighting his wrist the last two months or so. Koepka reinjured his wrist the Wednesday of The Players when he was practicing on the range and had to halt mid-swing after a golf cart drove in front of him. He nonetheless managed to finish T-11.

And that's not the only issue he's had with that wrist during his return.

"We had a bone pop out of place. I didn't tell anybody, but, yeah, they popped it back in," Koepka admitted Friday. "Luckily enough we kind of popped it back into place right away so it wasn't stiff and I didn't have too, too many problems.

"Yeah. I mean, I've dislocated my wrist twice in the last two months. You know, different spots, but, I mean, it's fun. I'll be all right."

Getty Images

Twitter spat turns into fundraising opportunity

By Rex HoggardMay 25, 2018, 6:30 pm

Country music star Jake Owen, along with Brandt Snedeker, has turned a spat on Twitter into a fundraising campaign that will support Snedeker’s foundation.

On Thursday, Owen was criticized during the opening round of the Web.com Tour’s Nashville Golf Open, which benefits the Snedeker Foundation, for his poor play after opening with an 86.

In response, Snedeker and country singer Chris Young pledged $5,000 for every birdie that Owen makes on Friday in a campaign called NGO Birdies for Kids

Although Owen, who is playing the event on a sponsor exemption, doesn’t tee off for Round 2 in Nashville until 2 p.m. (CT), the campaign has already generated interest, with NBC Sports/Golf Channel analyst Peter Jacobsen along with Web.com Tour player Zac Blair both pledging $100 for every birdie Owen makes.

Getty Images

Noren so impressed by Rory: 'I'm about to quit golf'

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 5:33 pm

Alex Noren won the BMW PGA Championship last year, one of his nine career European Tour victories.

He opened his title defense at Wentworth Club in 68-69 and is tied for fourth through two rounds. Unfortunately, he's five back of leader Rory McIlroy. And after playing the first two days alongside McIlroy, Noren, currently ranked 19th in the world, doesn't seem to like his chances of back-to-back wins.

McIlroy opened in 67 and then shot a bogey-free 65 in second round, which included pars on the pair of par-5 finishing holes. Noren walked away left in awe.

"That's the best round I've ever seen," Noren said. "I'm about to quit golf, I think."

Check out the full interview below: