#AskLav: Is Tiger-Sergio feud good for golf?

By Ryan LavnerMay 16, 2013, 2:17 pm

For one of the most prolific winners in sports history, Tiger Woods sure seems like he’s suffering a lot of losses lately.

So much for the slogan that “winning takes care of everything.”

Seriously: How much more blowback can this guy endure?

Dropgate. Bailing on Quail Hollow. The Met Gala pictures. The Sergio squabble. Dropgate, Act II.

He was called a bad guy by one of his peers, a liar by some salacious headline writers, a cheat by rules aficionados, and everything in between. Ridiculous. Unfair. 

And against all odds, Tiger Woods has now become a sympathetic figure. Perhaps only after a major victory – hello, Merion – will the focus return to his brilliant golf.

Here, the very Tiger-heavy #AskLav mailbag:

Wow, the rare #AskLav two-parter. Let's break this down.

1.) Great for the game. Tiger vs. Sergio may never be a true rivalry on the course TW has a huge advantage in every comparable category but the general disdain is compelling theater. Rarely does golf find its way into the lead spot on almost every nightly sports show, especially with the NBA and NHL playoffs currently underway. So what if the tiff was petty and petulant?

2.) Tiger hasn't played the Nelson since 2005 and likely won't again. Players have groused about TPC Four Seasons, necessitating an emergency redesign in '08, and the event's spot on the schedule simply doesn't work for Woods. Typically, he plays Quail Hollow and The Players, takes two weeks off, and then makes the Memorial his final tune-up before the U.S. Open. Adding another event in that span is too much.

Yes, at least until they put an official in the booth to watch the coverage. To me, that's a better alternative than having a rules aficionado in a La-Z-Boy determine the outcome of a tournament.

Woods turns 40 on Dec. 30, 2015. That means he has the rest of this season and all of 2014 and '15 to win 12 more times on Tour. OK, so in the next 2 years, let's say Woods plays a total of 50 events. (And that number is probably too generous.) If he wins four more events this season keep in mind he's won eight or more times in a season only three times (1999, 2000, 2006) then he'd still need to win four times in both 2013 and '14. A tall task, even if he does remain healthy.

AK underwent surgery last June to repair a ruptured Achilles, and the typical timetable for a return is 12 months. His manager at IMG told #AskLav 'we are assessing on a monthly basis.' In other words, no time soon.

Good question, especially with Vijay now Champions Tour-eligible and Jeff Maggert, the runner-up at The Players, less than a year away. The only way the OWGR top 25 someday join the over-50 set would be for the majors the money on the big tour is still too appealing and even then it seems unlikely they'd make the jump until they were in their mid-50s. Better fitness keeps these old warriors competitive longer.

There's no way to quantify that, of course. Tiger was immensely popular pre- and post-scandal. It was no surprise that his marketability took a hit in the wake of his scandal, but his reemergence on the small screen proves that he's trending upward not just on the course, but off it too.

Not to take the easy way out, but you have seen Tiger's record at Memorial, no? Two victories in his last three appearances, five wins overall, two third-place finishes and 11 top 25s in 13 career starts. It's possible maybe even likely that Woods will have five wins on the year when he arrives at Merion next month.

Fans will applaud Tiger for anything how tight he ties his laces, how beautifully he throws blades of grass into the air to judge the wind, how athletically he stretches before a tee shot. So it was little surprise that the fans cheered simply because he took a 5-wood out of his bag. That his rabbit-eared playing competitor could hear the roar 50 yards away speaks to the enthusiasm Woods generates among the masses, if nothing else.

Sir Nick hasn't played a major since 2010. He hasn't made the cut in a major since 2005. He has a 75.7 scoring average in his last five major starts. He'll turn 56 during Open week, and the CBS Sports analyst even conceded that he would need to 'get myself to pretend that I'm a golfer.' So, no.

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What's in the Bag: Tour Championship winner Woods

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 24, 2018, 12:48 pm

Tiger Woods won his 80th career title on Sunday at the Tour Championship. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: TaylorMade M3 (9.5 degrees)

Fairway Woods: TaylorMade M3 (13 degrees), M1 2017 (19 degrees)

Irons: TaylorMade TW Phase 1 prototype (3-PW)

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (56, 60 degrees)

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS

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McCarthy tops Bae in Web.com Tour Finals 25

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 24, 2018, 11:51 am

The Web.com Tour handed out 25 PGA Tour cards for the 2018-19 season based on how players fared in the Finals series. Here are the final standings after Sunday's Web.com Tour Championship.

1. Denny McCarthy: $255,793

2. Sangmoon Bae: $218,156

3. Robert Streb: $187,460

4. Peter Malnati: $157,296

5. Cameron Davis: $126,675

6. Adam Schenk: $125,798

7. Lucas Glover: $125,212

8. Matt Jones: $112,000

9. Hunter Mahan: $107,505

10. Roger Sloan: $84,307

11. Shawn Stefani: $80,579

12. Seth Reeves: $80,360

13. Max Homa: $78,200

14. Roberto Diaz: $70,326

15. Stephan Jaeger: $69,923

16. Curtis Luck: $64,920

17. Nicholas Lindheim: $59,169

18. Dylan Frittelli: $48,600

19. Wes Roach: $48,100

20. Sepp Straka: $47,844

21. Cameron Tringale: $47,760

22. Ben Silverman: $47,700

23. Michael Thompson: $45,466

24. Fabian Gomez: $43,657

25. Jim Knous: $41,931

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DJ moves back to No. 1; Woods to 13th in OWGR

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 24, 2018, 11:05 am

Justin Rose did just enough to claim the FedExCup title Sunday at the Tour Championship, but Dustin Johnson's late surge was enough to vault him back into the top spot in the World Ranking.

Johnson shot a final-round 67 to finish in third place, while Rose stumbled with a 3-over 73 for a share of fourth. DJ lipped out a birdie putt on 18 that would have given him a shot at the FedExCup crown, and that allowed Rose to clinch the $10 million prize with a two-putt birdie.

Tiger Woods continued his incredible surge up the World Ranking with his 80th career win at the Tour Championship. Woods moved up from 21st to 13th after a two-shot victory over Billy Horschel. It marked Woods' seventh top-10 finish of the year.

Horschel made the other big move of the week jumping up from 48th to 35th with his second place finish. Outside of a WD in Boston, the 2014 FedExCup champion had another great run in the playoffs finishing T-3 at the Northern Trust, T-3 at the BMW and second at East Lake.

Here's the top 10 after the PGA Tour season finale.

1. Dustin Johnson

2. Justin Rose

3. Brooks Koepka

4. Justin Thomas

5. Francesco Molinari

6. Rory McIlroy

7. Bryson DeChambeau

8. Jon Rahm

9. Rickie Fowler

10. Jordan Spieth

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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.