US President Donald Trump to play golf with Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson

Donald Trump’s list of illustrious golf partners just keeps getting bigger.

Mere weeks after playing a round with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the US President is to take to the course in Jupiter, Florida, with Tiger Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

“Will be speaking to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey this morning about bringing peace to the mess that I inherited in the Middle East,” tweeted Trump.

“After Turkey call I will be heading over to Trump National Golf Club, Jupiter, to play golf (quickly) with Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson.

“Then back to Mar-a-Lago for talks on bringing even more jobs and companies back to the USA!””

Trump has already played golf with Woods, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy and women’s world No. 3 Lexi Thompson during his time at the White House.

The 71-year-old lavished praise on Matsuyama, who branded it “an honor” to be given the opportunity to take to the course with the US President.

“[Matsuyama] is the greatest player in the history of Japan,” Trump told reporters during his maiden diplomatic visit to Asia earlier in November. “Possibly their greatest celebrity … He’s a truly great player, a great athlete.”

During the trip, Trump took time to praise the skill of South Korea’s female golfers.

To applause in Seoul, Trump acknowledged that “Korean golfers are some of the best on Earth,” before referencing their success at the 2017 US Open.

“The women’s US Open was held this year at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and it just happened to be won by a great Korean golfer, Park Sung-hyun, and eight of the top 10 players were from Korea,” Trump said.

“And the top four golfers — one, two, three, four — the top four were from Korea. Congratulations.”

READ: What’s it like playing golf with the US President?

CNN Living Golf host Shane O’Donoghue spent time with the future US President back in 2014 at Trump’s golf course in Scotland.

According to O’Donoghue, Trump “doesn’t possess the prettiest swing,” but is “deadly accurate” from the tee.

Courtesy of CNN

Mickelson credits Tiger for helping him reach his ‘level of success’

Tiger Woods’ impact on the game of golf is undeniable. According to one of Woods’ biggest rivals, however, his impact on the games’ players was equally indelible.

On Tuesday, Mickelson was candid about the influence Woods had on his game, fitness, and overall success.

“I feel as though had Tiger not come around, I don’t feel I would have pushed myself to achieve what I ended up achieving,” Mickelson said, according to Golf.com’s Kevin Cunningham. “He forced everybody to get the best out of themselves. He forced everybody to work a little bit harder.”

Tiger’s dedication to fitness and his commitment to staying in the best shape possible led Mickelson to change his own approach on the physical side of the game, leading Lefty to a career littered with trophies.

“I don’t think I would have had the same level of success had he not come around.”

Thursday’s opening-round action of the PGA Championship from Quail Hollow in Charlotte, N.C., will mark the 100th major tournament of Mickelson’s storied career.

courtesy of Flip Livingstone (The Score)

Tiger Woods found asleep at the wheel, didn’t know where he was when arrested for DUI

Fourteen-time major-winner Tiger Woods was found asleep in the driver’s seat and didn’t know where he was when he was arrested for DUI early Monday morning, according to the police report released Tuesday.

The report of Woods’s Memorial Day DUI arrest was released by the Jupiter Police Department Tuesday, and it details an alarmingly dangerous string of events for Woods, who last played professional golf in February.

According to the report, Officer Palladino saw Woods’s black Mercedes stopped in the right lane with the vehicle running, brake lights on and right blinker flashing at 4:22 a.m. The officer reported that Woods was alone in the car, had his seat belt on and was found asleep at the wheel.

“Woods had extremely slow and slurred speech,” according to the report, which listed Woods’s attitude as “sluggish, sleepy, unable to walk alone.”

Woods, 41, blew a 0.000 in two breathalyzer tests. He said in his statement Monday night that alcohol was not a factor, instead that it was “an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications.” According to the report, Woods said he was taking Solarex, Vicodin, Torix and Vioxx (but that Vioxx hadn’t been taken this year).

Woods told the officer he was “coming from LA California from golfing” and that he “did not know where he was. Woods had changed his story of where he was going and where he was coming from. Woods asked how far from his house he was.”

During his field sobriety test, Woods was not able to maintain a starting position, according to the report, and missed his heel to his toe each time while trying to walk a straight line. He stepped off line several times and needed to use his arms to balance himself. After police repeated the instructions, Woods again failed to maintain a starting position. Woods also struggled to maintain a starting position when conducting a one-leg stand and when placing his finger to his nose. During Woods’s one-leg stand test, he didn’t raise his leg off the ground farther than six inches. He placed his foot onto the ground several times for balance.

The officer asked Woods if he understood the Romberg test (reciting the alphabet backwards). He responded, “Yes, recite the National Anthem backwards,” according to the report. Woods eventually completed the task.

According to the report, Woods did take a urine test, but results of that have not yet been made available. Woods will be arraigned on July 5.

Woods last played pro golf on Feb 2., when he shot 77 to open the Dubai Desert Classic. He withdrew the next day citing back spasms. On April 20 he announced he had undergone his fourth back surgery.

courtesy of Josh Berhow (golf.com)

Who has more natural talent: John Daly or Tiger Woods? Daly gives his opinion

Tiger Woods and John Daly joke during the Battle at the Bridges back in 2005 in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

Fresh off his first win in 13 years at the Insperity Invitational, John Daly answered questions about how his talents compare to Tiger Woods’s on the Dan Patrick Show Monday.

“We’re really close on that,” Daly said, after considering the question for a moment. “But I think his feel around the greens when he was winning all those tournaments was a lot better than anybody’s. You could almost say it was better than Nicklaus … Tiger was always one to two, three, four steps ahead of me in this game. His focus and mentality is probably one of the strongest I’ve ever seen in a golfer.”

Daly compared his own approach to the game to Fuzzy Zoeller’s, Arnold Palmer’s and Lee Trevino’s, saying that he’s “loose and fancy free,” and “not a range rat.” Check out the full clip below.

courtesy of (golfwire)

Agent: Tiger still undecided on Masters, report that suggests otherwise is “comical”

After withdrawing from the Dubai Desert Classic, Tiger Woods’ status for the Masters is still up in the air.

We’re less than three weeks away from the Masters, and it’s still unclear if Tiger Woods will play or not.

This “will he or won’t he?” isn’t new regarding Woods and the season’s first major. He missed the 2014 and ’16 Masters with reports coming in all along the way about his health and practice regimen. This year appears to be no different.

On Friday, Golf Digest released a report with sources claiming Woods hasn’t been able to play or practice since back spasms forced his withdrawal from the Dubai Desert Classic. Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent, offered the following rebuttal to the Golf Channel where he specifically mentions the author, Brian Wacker.

“I have no idea who Mr. Wacker’s really close sources are,” Steinberg said. “I can tell you this, nobody spoke to him; so how he could know something that Tiger and I don’t know is comical. I talked to Tiger four hours ago on the phone. We’re not in a situation to even talk about playing in the Masters now. He’s gotten treatments and is progressing and hoping he can do it. There’s not been a decision one way or the other. I couldn’t give you a fair assessment, but to say it’s doubtful is an absolutely inaccurate statement.”

The most interesting takeaway: Even though the opening round of the Masters is 19 days away, Woods isn’t in “a situation to even talk about playing in the Masters.”

Steinberg was also asked about Woods’ practice routine, and he said, “I don’t want to talk about specifics yet. When we’re ready to get into that, we’ll disclose it. He’s working hard at getting better, he’s working hard at progressing.”

Woods will be in New York City on Monday to sign copies of his new book. If you’re in the area, you can go straight to the source and ask him about his Masters plans yourself.

courtesy of Coleman McDowell (golf.com)

Colin Montgomerie: I wouldn’t trade my career for Tiger’s

Monty—the one and only Colin Montgomerie, the Hall of Fame golfer from Scotland—is the greatest active talker in the game today. A plus-five. Possibly better than Lee Trevino in his prime. Monty is 53 and playing the Champions tour fulltime and doing some work as an analyst for Sky Sports. In that capacity, he’ll return to Augusta in April. If he ever wanted to make golf-on-TV his main gig, he would immediately become the most insightful and incisive broadcaster in the game. But in the meantime, he enjoys playing too much. He has won three senior majors, and last year he won an event called the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship, with a first-place prize of $375,000.

As he tours America, playing the senior tour out of his BMW 750 Li, he pontificates daily, with playing partners, with pro-am participants, with his longtime caddie, Alistair McLean, with the young woman behind the front desk at the Hampton Inn or the Ritz-Carlton or wherever he may find himself. His themes change from day to day and hour to hour. His subject one day might be what he discovered at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson. The plains of West Texas. Brexit. Anything and everything.

On Wednesday, the same day that Tiger Woods canceled his pre-tournament press conference at the Genesis Open at Riviera, Montgomerie’s subject, at least for the better part of an hour, was Tiger Woods. Twenty years ago, Monty played with Woods in the third round of the 1997 Masters.

Through 36 holes Woods was leading at eight under and Montgomerie was second, three back. After Woods shot a Saturday 65 to stretch his lead to nine shots, Montgomerie, asked by a reporter if Woods could be caught, famously said, “There is no chance. We’re all human beings here. There’s no chance humanly possible.”

You don’t really interview Colin Montgomerie. You simply let him talk, which is what he does here. Ladies and gentlemen, in all his suigeneris glory, here is Colin Montgomerie:

“You have players out here, everywhere in golf, they are trying. Trying this, trying that. Tiger Woods, in his heyday, was different. He knew the putt was going to go in. His caddie knew it. We knew it. Our caddies knew it. The whole crowd knew it. The belief was massive. There was never a time you thought, Oh, he’s had it here. No.

“Everyone vilified me for the comments I made that Saturday night at Augusta. What I was saying is that we’ve just seen something very special here, that Saturday 65, to establish a nine-shot lead. The press was hesitant to believe that it was over, because [Greg] Norman had lost a six-shot lead the year before. Because now here’s this young lad, without Norman’s experience, he’s nine ahead, but you can lose from there. The press is thinking, It can happen again. Norman did it, and he’s a better player than Woods. And I was saying, ‘No, you don’t understand it—this guy’s different. Not only is he not going to lose, he’s going to win by more than nine.’ And he won by 12.

“It was something I had not witnessed. It was something nobody had witnessed. Golfers usually back into their first major. They don’t win by 12, in their first major as a pro. After shooting 40 on the front nine on the first day! I was trying to be as honest as I could with the press. I was saying that we are seeing something very special. And over the next 15 years that was proven to be correct. The talent, the focus, the vision.

“His caddie, Mike Cowan, was in amazement too. I said to Fluff on Saturday, `This is something else, isn’t it?’ And he agreed. That was on the front nine. On Saturday on the front nine I knew he was going to win.

“The length was only part of it. Tiger hit a driver and a 9-iron over the green on No. 2. I was short with a driver and a 4-wood.

“The pin was in the back left. Par-5. You go big on the 2nd, you have nothing. He had nothing. I said to Alistair, `He’s had it here, Al, hasn’t he?’ Because you can make 6 from back there in a hurry. The chip shot he played there! It was sublime. The press was focused on his length. I was focused on how he scored, how he got around the golf course, how he played chess around the golf course. How he got around it was different from how anybody else did. I had never imagined a second-shot 9-iron into the 2nd green. I was trying to leave myself an uphill chip shot for my third. Not flying a 9-iron to the flag!

“So I was trying to be honest with the press on that Saturday night. And they didn’t really quite take me up on it. But if I said to those reporters today, `Do you believe me now?’ They would all say, `You were right.’

“I do hope Tiger can come back. Everybody benefited from his run. I saw it in my life. How the game went from Palmer to Nicklaus to Trevino. Then Seve and Norman. But then it was taken to a whole different level by Tiger. And the marketing of the game has been hurt by Tiger being sidelined. Yes, we have a good set right now. Don’t get me wrong. The Jason Days, the Jordan Spieths, the Rory McIlroys, the Justin Roses, the Henrik Stensons, the Rickie Fowlers. They are good at what they do. But Tiger? Different, different. People talk about being A-list, about moving the needle. Well, he moved the needle. It would be good if Tiger could come back and contend. Just contend. Never mind win. Just to contend would be great.

“The economy was staring to hurt just at the time Tiger was losing his dominance, in 2008, ‘09, ‘10. The economy was slackening off and Tiger was slackening off and golf went through a bit of an odd time. It’s pulled out of that, but it needs that to continue.

“Before Tiger, I never thought about golf and injuries. I didn’t think about Arnold Palmer ever having an injury. I’ve never missed a round of golf for injury in my life. Everybody said it couldn’t last, the way Tiger went at it. The way he went into the rough and recoiled after the shot. If you spoke to any orthopedic doctor, they would tell you, `This is madness, what he is doing here. Madness! This can’t continue.’ And it didn’t. He broke down. He was an absolute stallion, on the edge. You see some football players in our game who pull up with a hamstring injury because they are right on the edge of fitness. With Tiger, the fitness thing got to a level where it was a wee bit too much.

“It hurt him, and it’s hurt a number of people. McIlroy is out for two months. Jason Day has had injuries. A good friend of mine on the European tour, David Howell, picked up Vijay Singh’s weighted club on the range and six months later he played golf again. He broke a rib or some such thing.

“All sports—save darts and maybe snooker—have a foundation, and it is the legs. The thought is, Let’s get our legs as strong as they can possibly be. You can’t get your legs strong enough. To me, we leave the upper body alone. A golfer has to turn his upper body. You have to be supple. You have to have feel in the upper body.

“Tiger became the best athlete in the world as a golfer. That had never been done. That sounds great. You certainly can’t knock his 14 majors. But as a sustainable entity, as a lasting entity, everybody said it was going to go, and it did.

“At that ’97 Masters, he was 6-1, maybe 170. Perfect. With that flexibility? That ability to turn? Thank you very much! What was wrong with that? He won the Masters by 12!

“I’ve spent a lot of time with Butch Harmon over the years. We do Sky Sports together at the majors. And I’ll say, `That’s the best I ever saw, Tiger in 2000, 2001, when he won his four majors in a row. And Butch says, `He tried to change things to get better.’ But he was at the top of the tree! Yes, you feel like you have to get better to stay there. But you have to be careful how you do it. It’s easy to be critical, but what he had was so fantastic. Look at the swing he had at the L.A. Open when he was 16 years old [in 1992]! Fantastic! But he was trying to stay ahead of the game in every way. He felt fitness was the key to this game. And people copied. Nick Faldo copied. Faldo got big through the chest. Suddenly, he couldn’t turn. No speed. The guy I think, in a God-given way, fell out of the cradle ready for golf was Dustin Johnson. His arms are three inches longer than they should be, which is great. But he’s so flexible. Flexibility is our key. Lack of flexibility is what stops you from playing. It stopped Faldo. It stopped Seve. It stopped Norman.

“What might Woods have done had the game never moved off the balata ball and the wooden wood? Many golf fans would say he would have won less. I believe he would have won far more. He has the 14 majors. Without the equipment changes, I believe he’d have well into his 20s now. Because now everybody has clubs where they can do what he could do.

“Two others lost out hugely to technology. Greg Norman was one. He was the best driver of the ball with the wooden club ever. He lost out when drivers went to metal and suddenly we could do what he did. He lost his asset. And the other was Seve. When Ping developed its L-wedge, with box grooves, we could suddenly do what Seve could do with a 52° club. He lost his asset too. Tiger had all that, in spades. And then we were given equipment that allowed us to do what he could do.

“I never won a major. Tiger won 14. But would I trade my career for Tiger’s? No. I started out this game a pretty good golfer and finished in the Hall of Fame. I feel I have overachieved. So how could I say I wish it were better? People will say, `Well, he didn’t win a major.’ And, yes, I would have liked to shut them up by winning one. But that’s my only regret, really. Great that I have won senior majors, which has quieted the odd person.

“I’ve made mistakes. We all make mistakes. But I’ve had a long career. I don’t think Tiger will be out here at 53. He might say, `I don’t need the money.’ But it’s not just money. It’s self-esteem. Self-esteem is huge in life. You walk a wee bit taller, having done something well. I like this life. I like meeting new people. I like the travel. I love the life. Whether it’s for everybody, I can’t say.

“If Tiger loved the life, I can’t say. For Tiger, I think there was a certain record in the back of his mind: 18, 18, 18. Or 19. Got to get to 19 majors. Whether he enjoyed the tour life, I don’t know. But that number was there—19. To be seen as the best ever. And really, he’s well beyond 19. There are the 14 majors, plus the 15 World Golf Championship events. In those, he’s beating 60 of the best players in the world! So to me, his number is 29. And then compare his 79 Tour wins to Sam Snead’s 82. Number 100 in Sam Snead’s day was a club pro who could beat Snead for a day, but never over four days. Today, No. 100 can win any week.

“Nineteen has been such a focus for him. If Tiger had his children with him fulltime, a wife, a settled home, he could have gotten to 18, to 19. I know from my own life how hard it is to play golf when your life at home is not settled. After that Thanksgiving night changed everything, he no longer had a private life. A private life by the term itself is a private life. You have a public life and a private life. And when the private life becomes public, it’s dangerous. It hurt. It hurt him. It hurt the game of golf.

“I know how difficult it is, when you’re not living with your children. I speak for myself, and I’m sure I speak for others. It’s hard to come out here and focus. Every par becomes a bogey. Every bogey becomes a double. You just about manage to get from a green to the next tee if you make a birdie. You make a bogey, and it all floods back. And you’re not focused on what you’re doing. You’re not focused at all. I feel for him that way. I do. I feel for any man in that situation. Whether it’s self-inflicted or not.

“I’m sure Tiger wants to be a committed father. His father was a committed father. And when you’re not under the same roof as your children, it’s damn near impossible. You make the most of it, but it’s not easy. I remember at the back of 18 green on Saturday at the ’97 Masters, Earl and Tiger. Tiger had just shot 65 by hitting a sand wedge into 18. There was a definite feeling of, We can do this.

“With my father, it was different. My father wasn’t as involved in my golf. Earl was about the focus golf took, the focus on winning, on getting to 19. My father was happy if I just made the cut. He still is! He’d say, `Oh, well done. You’ve beaten a lot of your peers.’ But when you win, you’re 10 feet tall. Your self-esteem is through the roof. That’s how it was for Woods after he won that Masters by 12. Being given an opportunity is one thing. But taking it is another. And he took the opportunity with two hands and he ran with it. Ran with it! Ran with it for 15 years.

“Now, Tiger’s sneezes, we all catch a cold. Every shot he hits is analyzed and over analyzed. And it must be difficult for him, because he knows that in his prime, he could beat these guys with one arm. To miss a cut by four or five shots must be painful for him.

“Going into the third round of the Open, at St. Andrews in 2005, I was paired with Tiger. The press said, `You’ve got a difficult pairing, you’re going out with Tiger.’ And I said, `Yeah, I’m not going to beat him driving the ball. He’s a better driver than I am. I can’t beat him with my iron play. I can’t chip and putt as well as he can.’ `Then what chance have you got?’ ‘The only chance I’ve got is that I can score lower.’ And I did. I shot 70, and he shot 71. And I did it playing my game. But he won that Open. Won it by four.

“The only win possibly greater than his ‘97 Masters was the U.S. Open in 2000 [at Pebble Beach], when he won by 15. But I put ’97 ahead of it. At age 21, by 12, in his first major as a pro, at Augusta? The world was like, What just happened here?”

Courtesy of Michael Bamberger (Golf.com)

Tiger Woods withdraws from Genesis Open and Honda Classic due to back spasms

Tiger Woods’s return to the PGA Tour has been put on hold once again.

Woods returned to the PGA Tour after an 18-month layoff at Torrey Pines, where he missed the cut for the first time in his career, and then withdrew from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic after an opening-round 77, citing back spasms.

On Friday morning, Woods posted an update on his website announcing that he would not be playing in next week’s Genesis Open in California or the Honda Classic in Florida, two events he had committed to play in earlier in the year.

“My doctors have advised me not to play the next two weeks, to continue my treatment and to let my back calm down,” Woods posted on his website. “This is not what I was hoping for or expecting. I am extremely disappointed to miss the Genesis Open, a tournament that benefits my foundation, and The Honda Classic, my hometown event. I would like to thank Genesis for their support, and I know we will have an outstanding week.”

On his SiriusXM PGA Tour radio show, Hank Haney, Woods’ former coach, offered his analysis of the news and thoughts on when we may see Woods again.

“?Clearly he’s not right. Clearly he’s still got issues and clearly the issues are bigger than they all just led on with just a little spasm and everything was fine and we’re all good,” Haney said. “He’s not all good. And he’s not fine. And his game is not fine. I clearly misread the Hero World Challenge situation where I thought, you know, he was looking great and his attitude was great and his body looked great. Now what does this do to this comeback? After Honda you have the World Golf Championship in Mexico. He’s not in that. Then you got Valspar, but the week after that is the Arnold Palmer. You can’t think you’re going to come back and play back-to-back, I wouldn’t think with these issues he’s had. Maybe he would, who knows. He signed up for four out of five. Then he’s got a World Golf Championship Match Play, he’s not in that. I don’t see him showing up to play that week in Puerto Rico, and that would be right after the Arnold Palmer. So, I mean, once again he’d have to be going back-to-back. I don’t see him playing Shell Houston Open. He’s never played there before, doesn’t know the course. He’s going to go there the week before the Masters? Who knows. Maybe he would, you never know. This is a different kind of comeback here and maybe it’s going to be a different schedule for Tiger. Or maybe he’s shut down again.

Maybe he’s shut down for a long time.  I’m not going to say forever because, hey, the guy could come back next year and be 42 years old and still have time, or the year after and be 43 years old and still have time.  But any way you slice it this is another setback for Tiger.”

Courtesy of golf.com

Dubai Round 2 suspended due to severe wind, sandstorms

 

photo twitter@EuropeanTour

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Shortly after Tiger Woods withdrew Friday, the Dubai Desert Classic was hit by strong winds that brought down some trees and forced the second round to be suspended.

Martin Kaymer and Rafael Cabrera-Bello, tied at 4 under after both shooting 69s, had the lowest scores after two full rounds. But George Coetzee was at 9 under after eight holes at the Emirates Golf Club and overnight leader Sergio Garcia was at 8 under.

Woods withdrew before starting his second round with back spasms.

Kaymer criticized the decision to suspend play.

“Hard to understand the difference between the morning play and now, therefore even more surprised about the decision @EuropeanTour,” the German wrote on Twitter.

Coetzee, however, supported the decision.

“We saw this one tree go down. You get a warning it’s about to collapse and start squeaking. I was walking under the trees hearing the squeaking and thinking, this could be me,” the South African said. “It’s a little bit dangerous out there with the trees collapsing and stuff. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.”

The best Tiger Woods-Super Bowl prop bets

It’s Super Bowl week, and that means one thing. Prop bets.

Sure, you can wager your hard earned money on what color the Gatorade poured on the winning coach will be or how long Luke Bryan’s national anthem will be. But we’re golfers – we need to bet on something we’re experts at. We listed some of the golf-related bets on the market below. Our favorite? Tiger’s fourth-round birdies versus total field goals made by both teams. For reference, there were two, one and two field goals, respectively, in the last three Super Bowls. Tiger’s last fourth-round birdie? August 2015. And it’s even money!

– Woods’ 72-hole score in Dubai (+27.5) vs. Tom Brady gross passing yards

– Woods’ fourth-round birdies (Even) vs. total field goals made by both teams

– Woods’ fourth-round bogeys (-1.5) vs. Matt Ryan touchdown passes

– Woods’ first-round score (-24.5) vs. gross yardage of Atlanta punter Matt Bosher’s first punt

– Hideki Matsuyama’s fourth-round score in Phoenix (-19.5) vs. yardage of longest touchdown scored by either team

– Justin Thomas’ fourth-round score in Phoenix (+21.5) vs. Julian Edelman receiving yards

– Phil Mickelson’s fourth-round score in Phoenix (+44.5) vs. Patriots’ total rushing yards

– Henrik Stenson’s fourth-round score in Dubai (-18.5) vs. Devonta Freeman rushing yards

Courtesy of Extra Spin Wire Service

Phil Mickelson on how Tiger Woods has changed

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods go way back as one of the most beloved and fiery golf rivalries of all time. But as veterans of the game, they’ve come to respect and like each other both as competitors and teammates. And according to Mickelson, that was no more apparent than at the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.

Speaking to Sports Illustrated’s Alan Shipnuck for a GOLF.com podcast, Mickelson practically gushed about Woods’ transformation off the course, especially in the Ryder Cup team room.

“He’s really fun to be around now,” Mickelson said. “He’s very thoughtful and detail oriented, but more than that, he’s been very approachable and helpful with a lot of the guys.

“I think for a number of years, he felt – and I don’t know this – but I think he felt as if he were to open up in these team events, he would be breaking down that aura that he’s built and the intimidation he’s built and could affect his career in some of these tournaments by that one week, and so has always been kind of held back or reluctant.”

According to Mickelson, Woods’ ideas during the Ryder Cup were instrumental in the game plan that helped deliver the Cup to the Americans after eight years of European domination. One example Mickelson mentioned was moving the tees back on par-5s when shorter hitters were playing, so they could take advantage with their strong wedge play. And, for the bigger hitters, moving the tees up so they could attack the green in two.

“I don’t know what it is but the last three or four years he’s been much more approachable and engaging with the guys and really fun to be around,” Mickelson said. “Guys grew up, on the team, idolizing him and watching him, and to have him support you and talk to you and be with you has been really fulfilling.”

It’s not just the personable Woods that Mickelson admires. Asked whether or not Mickelson thinks Woods will win again, he didn’t hesitate.

“Oh yeah,” Mickelson said. “He’s too good not to, unless physically something holds him back. He’d just out-ball-strike guys and he would win tournaments that way even not putting that great. He would win tournaments out putting everybody even if he didn’t strike it that great, because he was such a great putter and (had a) great short game. But when he did them both together, he just spanked everybody and won by 15 like the 2000 US Open.

“He doesn’t have to be the best he’s ever been at to win tournaments because his talent level is so high and I think it’s much easier to do it again than it is to do it for the first time.”

Tiger Woods Will Not Win This Week, But He’s On Track to Emerge a Winner Anyway

tiger-woods-third-round-hero-ritter-960.Now it gets interesting.

Actually, scratch that — Tiger Woods’s return this week at the Hero World Challenge was already fascinating. What credible golf fan hasn’t at least glanced at the headlines flowing out of the Bahamas? No, we have already sailed past the point of novelty. Now it gets serious. On a breezy, overcast Saturday afternoon, Woods rang up seven birdies against three bogeys and one double for a 2-under-par 70. His final score could’ve been better if not for some scratchy play over the closing holes that knocked him out of contention to win.

But Woods has already exceeded most reasonable expectations for his return after a 15-month layoff. That layoff, it should be reminded, followed two back surgeries, missed cuts at the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA, several alarmingly high scores — including an 85 at the Memorial — and a litany of flubbed shots and on-course gaffes that made you wonder if the 14-time major champion would ever again play golf competently, let alone competitively.

It’s all still a little dizzying, but here is where Woods stands: 8 under par, 10th place, 11 shots behind the leader, Hideki Matsuyama. Woods is not going to win this golf tournament, but he’s on track to emerge a winner anyway.

“Probably the biggest surprise for me as a player who has taken time off in the past has been finding the flow early in my rounds. For three straight days I’ve gotten off to great starts,” Woods said afterward during an appearance in the NBC broadcast booth. “Overall, I’m so happy to be back out here and competing against these guys. It’s been a tough road to get to this point. I’ve missed it.”

While galleries in the Bahamas have been predictably thin, there is an undeniable buzz surrounding Woods’s return, especially on social media. Even President-elect Donald Trump fired a supportive tweet at Woods Saturday morning.

Woods teed off alongside Rickie Fowler at 12:26 ET in an all-gray ensemble that matched the sky, and he started sublimely, stuffing iron shots on 1 and 2, and feathering a pitch shot on 3 to kick-in range for a third straight birdie. After dropping a six-foot par-saver on 4, he fanned his tee shot on the par-3 5th into a front bunker, but jarred the ensuing sand shot for his most spectacular highlight of the day.

Woods blew a five-footer on 6 for his first bogey in 24 holes but bounced back with another birdie and turned in 32. Yet another birdie putt on 11 pushed him to 11 under, and into the top five.

But then Woods lost the feel with his driver, missing four straight fairways while making bogeys on 13 and 14. He canned one more long birdie putt on 17, but drove into a waste area on 18 and hooked his approach into a pond — the second time he splashed one on the 18th in three rounds — before closing with a double bogey.

It’s still very early in this comeback, but we can begin to take stock. Here are a few things these 54 holes are not:

They are not part of a major championship, or even a mid-level Tour event. Albany has been completely devoid of big crowds. It is not a particularly arduous golf course. This week hardly resembles the pressure caldron that awaits Woods back on the mainland in 2017.

But here are few things these 54 holes most certainly are: They are part of a PGA Tour-sanctioned event, one comprised of 18 of the world’s greatest golfers. (After Woods at 898, Zach Johnson entered with the second-worst World Ranking, at 38) They count towards World Ranking points, and a $1 million check will be handed to Sunday’s winner. Each golfer in the field would very much like to win one million dollars. And Woods, to this point, is beating seven of them, including the reigning PGA Championship winner (Jimmy Walker) a two-time Masters champion (Bubba Watson) and America’s Ryder Cup hero (Patrick Reed).

While it isn’t Augusta, the pressure and attention have been squarely on Woods this week. All things considered he has responded well.

“One thing I’ve been good at over the years is eliminating the noise,” Woods said. “Coming back for this one in particular, there was a lot. I had to stay focused on what I had to do. I had to get these guys happy, and host an event. But my mind was able to switch over to competitor-mode again, and that felt great.”

Three rounds into his latest comeback, Woods has also answered several questions that were unknown Thursday morning: Can he play a tournament round without re-injury? He has now played three. Did he craft a swing that allows him to compete? He’s made 19 birdies. Has he squelched the short-game jitters that plagued him in 2015? For now, it seems so.

“I wouldn’t be here doing this if I didn’t feel like I can play at the highest level,” Woods said. “I have too much pride, and if I can’t prepare to play at this level anymore, then I won’t do it. But I know that I can.”

From here, Woods will face more questions, including one of the most significant of all:

How will he perform on a Sunday?

That one will be waiting for him on the first tee.

by Jeff Ritter (golf.com)

Love: ‘Tiger Was Just Amazing’ as Ryder Cup Vice Captain

CHASKA, MN - SEPTEMBER 30:  Vice-captain Tiger Woods and captain Davis Love III of the United States talk during morning foursome matches of the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club on September 30, 2016 in Chaska, Minnesota.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

CHASKA, MN – SEPTEMBER 30: Vice-captain Tiger Woods and captain Davis Love III of the United States talk during morning foursome matches of the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club on September 30, 2016 in Chaska, Minnesota. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Davis Love III delivered high praise of Tiger Woods ahead of the RSM Classic Wednesday, showering the 14-time major winner with compliments for his role as a vice captain at the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.

“Tiger was just amazing,” Love said during Wednesday’s press conference. “He had a great system. It really helped us on Sunday. We had already talked about Sunday pairings so many times that when the crunch time came, we knew what we were doing.”

Woods was announced as one of Love’s vice captains at the 2015 RSM Classic, and was brought on as the team’s ‘tactician.’ But Woods’ communication with the team seems to have been what made the differenc; Love credits Woods with inspiring Patrick Reed to victory over Rory McIlroy in one of the event’s most epic matches, as well as checking in with team members months ahead of the competition for long chats.

“We were a team,” Woods said following the Americans’ first Ryder Cup win in eight years. “Whether I was playing or not I was a part of a team. Our team won… My role was to help the team however possible, and I hope I’ve done that.”

courtesy of Golf Wire

 

Rory McIlroy Surprised That Tiger Woods Was Named Ryder Cup Vice Captain

Tiger Woods was announced as a Ryder Cup vice captain on Wednesday in a surprising move by Team USA captain Davis Love III.

The first and most obvious question: Does that mean we’ve seen Tiger’s last appearance as a player in the event? Is he accepting – even embracing – his transition to elder statesman of the Tour? Golf fans weren’t the only ones to raise an eyebrow at the news. When Rory McIlroy found out about the announcement after his first round at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, he was “visibly surprised,” according to a Belfast Telegraph report.

“I don’t know what to think about that, I really don’t,” McIlroy said. “It’s great that he wants to help the U.S. team in any way that he can, and if that’s not in a playing capacity, then as a vice captain. Just sort of makes me think what really his health is like and how he feels like he’s going to come back from that.”

This was lost in the flag-waving at Wednesday’s press conference with Love III saying how badly Woods wanted to be a player and a captain in 2016. But Woods turns 40 in December, has had multiple back surgeries and does not know when he will back to swinging a golf club – he had a follow-up back procedure a few weeks ago – much less when he’ll be able to compete in tournaments again. Even if Woods wants to qualify and make the team on merit, how realistic is that goal? Is Tiger worth more in the team room than on the course?

Photo: Getty Images Rory McIlroy of Europe (L) and Tiger Woods of the USA greet each other on the 18th green after Europe defeated the USA 14.5 to 13.5 to retain the Ryder Cup during the Singles Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 30, 2012 in

Rory McIlroy of Europe (L) and Tiger Woods of the USA greet each other on the 18th green after Europe defeated the USA 14.5 to 13.5 to retain the Ryder Cup during the Singles Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 30, 2012 in

“I think Jordan (Spieth) and Tiger have become quite close and if you look at the likes of Justin Thomas or Daniel Berger, some of the guys that are similar age to me or a little bit younger that grew up idolizing Tiger, to have someone like him to be a part of the team will be great for them,” McIlroy said.

Fellow European Ryder Cup stalwart Ian Poulter agrees. Woods’ main asset is his years of competing in the drama-packed event. But Woods’ experience is not going to magically tip the scales toward the United States.

“He’s bringing a lot of experience, and guys would respect what he’s done in the game of golf,” Poulter told the Telegraph. “Tiger’s Tiger. He creates a buzz whether he’s playing or not playing, so just his presence there would be a good thing for the team.”

And we know the United States squad needs all the help it can get. After losing eight of the last 10 events, they formed a widely-mocked Ryder Cup Task Force in order to grab momentum back from the Europeans. Even if Woods doesn’t compete, having a 14-time major champ in your team room isn’t a bad thing.

“I’d rather see him on the course at Hazeltine but if not, at least he’ll be there and it will be a good addition for them,” McIlroy said.

courtesy of Coleman McDowell (golf.com)

Lydia Ko Is the Greatest Young Golfer in the History of the Game

LPGA-Chart_960

With five wins on the year, including her first career major, Lydia Ko is the favorite to capture her second consecutive CME Globe as the top LPGA golfer of the year. At just 18 years old, Ko is now the single most accomplished young golfer — male or female — in history.

Since winning her first title at age 15 years, 4 months, the Korean-born New Zealander has won 10 times on the LPGA Tour, twice on the Ladies European Tour, and once on the Korean LPGA Tour. That total of 13 major tour victories laps the field of her closest 18-and-under male or female contenders. Her consistency at such a young age has been downright remarkable: through her first 65 career starts, Ko has missed a grand total of one cut.

Ko has also set the mark for youngest to reach world No. 1 (17 years, 9 months) and youngest to win a major championship (18 years, 4-months). She’s also poised to eclipse $5 million in career earnings on the LPGA Tour at this weekend’s CME Group Tour Championship and could enter the top 50 all-time in career LPGA earnings. With her next birthday still more than four months away, Ko’s list of 18-and-under accolades is likely to keep right on growing.

Women golfers have historically been more successful at a younger age than men, so it’s not surprising that Ko’s accomplishments dwarf those of the four young phenoms to hit the major men’s tours in the last two decades. Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy, and Jordan Spieth never won a single PGA Tour or European Tour event before their 19th birthday. Ko has 13 titles to date.

  • At 18, Tiger Woods was wrapping-up a decorated high school career, winning the 1994 U.S. Amateur, and beginning his NCAA career at Stanford. He entered seven PGA Tour events prior to his 19th birthday, but didn’t make the cut in any of them and didn’t record his first PGA Tour top-10 until age 20 years, 8 months. He won his first pro tournament two months later.
  • Sergio Garcia had a strong amateur career by age 18 — with victories at the British Amateur and on the lower-tier European Challenge Tour — but he didn’t turn pro until 19. His first victory came on the European Tour at age 19 years, 6-months.
  • Rory McIlroy was the only member of this group to go pro at 18, but he too failed to make much of a splash, capturing two top-10s by 18 years, 5-months, but only making 12 of 26 cuts prior to his 19th birthday. It took Rory until age 19 years, 8-months, to win his first European Tour title.
  • Jordan Spieth was just 16 years old when he made his first PGA Tour cut in his first career start and he made five of eight cuts prior to turning 19. But other than a starring role as a freshman on the University of Texas’s national championship team, Spieth didn’t accomplish much prior to his 19th birthday. Comparing Ko’s early success to some of her peers in women’s golf still shows her dramatically ahead of the pack.
  • Ko broke Morgan Pressel’s record for youngest to win a major (Pressel was 18 years, 10 months). But that major title was Pressel’s only victory on the LPGA Tour at 18 or younger.
  • As a 17-year-old amateur, Paula Creamer finished second at the LPGA Classic, and after securing her Tour card for 2005, Creamer added two Tour victories, with the first coming at age 18 years, 9 months.
  • Both Jessica Korda (2012) and Minjee Lee (2015) won their first LPGA title at 18 years, 11 months.

Not even phenom Lexi Thompson achieved half of what Ko has done at such a young age. While Thompson won her first Tour title in 2011 at 16 years, 7 months, and added another on the Ladies European Tour later that season, she didn’t notch another win for nearly two more years before claiming two titles in the closing stretch of the 2013 season. Before Ko, those four wins at age 18 or younger was the best performance by anyone in men’s or women’s professional golf. For further context, even after Tiger Woods started racking up titles in bunches after turning pro, it took him until August 1999 (23 years, 8 months) to win his 13th title. Ko has already equalled that mark, five years earlier than Woods.

Right now, the only other 18 or under golfer who owns an LPGA win is Brooke Henderson. She bested the field by 8 strokes at the Portland Classic this past summer, and despite missing out on the end of the LPGA Tour season due to wonky rules, she will have eight months left to notch a few more titles before turning 19 next September. Henderson would have ranked 11th on the LPGA Tour in scoring average — if she had played enough events — so it’s definitely realistic to expect her to match the 18 and under exploits of Creamer (2 wins) or Thompson (3). But matching Ko’s record is simply beyond reach.

courtesy of Jake Nichols (golf.com)

 

 

 

Tiger Woods’ 1st U.S. Course, Bluejack National, Opens for Play

tiger-horizontalDozens of eager Texas golfers got their introductory playing test of Tiger Woods’ first U.S. design Thursday at the official member opening.

While the designer himself was unable to attend due to recent back surgery, those that played Bluejack National expressed satisfaction with the gentle rolling Southeast Texas layout dotted with dozens of mature trees, located 45 minutes from downtown Houston.

“For this day to finally come is very exciting,” said Bryon Bell, President of Tiger Woods Design. “It’s really important for this course to finally be open, and the real payoff is to hear the members talking positively about it.”

Nearly 100 members were on the grounds at Bluejack, which had a seven-hole loop open for the initial play, with the full course expected be ready by early 2016.

Former PGA Champion Dave Stockton and his son Dave Jr. gave a clinic on the large driving range, while members and guests took several turns on the layout that Woods worked on with former Tom Fazio associate Beau Welling.

“Sometimes architects give lip service to a playable, walkable course, but that’s what we did here,” Welling said. “We want people to enjoy the game and walk the course and that is what is happening. People said golf takes too long, but if it’s fun, people will do it for a long time.”

The first player to challenge the course was former President George W. Bush, who played with his good friend and land developer Michael Abbott in a special Monday preview round. Bush took advantage of the friendly conditions, covering the 7-hole loop in 40 minutes.

Early Thursday morning, Bell called Woods at his home in Jupiter, Fla., to tell him members were getting a chance to play his first American course and promising to take plenty of photos for an expected Woods return here in 2016.

“This course will define a new Tiger Woods,” Abbott said. “When people see this course and what has been created, they will not only think of the golfer with 80 victories, but a skillful architect as well.”

Abbott first walked on the land, site of the old Blaketree National course, in June 2013 and said he was gratified to see members enjoy the new golfing creation.

“We couldn’t be more proud,” Bluejack President Casey Paulson said. “To see it come from a piece of paper to a completed course is a great day.”

Bluejack-National-As-Built-Rendering-Oct_-19-2015

courtesy of Art Stricklin (golf.com)

Tiger Woods on Bed Rest After Follow-Up Back Procedure

tiger-woods-net-worth-700Another month, another back issue for Tiger Woods.

The 14-time major winner announced on his website that he underwent a follow-up back procedure to “relieve discomfort” following his second microdiscectomy in September that corrected a pinched nerve.

“It’s one of those things that had to be done,” Woods said. “I have an outstanding team of doctors, and I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

One of his former swing coaches isn’t so sure.

When reached by GOLF.com, Hank Haney, Woods’ coach for six years questioned if anyone has ever played on the PGA Tour after three back opetations.

“If Tiger is done it wouldn’t be the worst way to go out because the narrative will be that injuries robbed him the opportunity to catch Jack Nicklaus’s record,” Haney said. “I’m sure Tiger will say he is going to do everything he can to come back, and I’m sure he will try, but anyway you look at it, the odds aren’t great now of ever seeing him return to a level even close to where he once was.”

Will we see Tiger in 2016? Haney is skeptical following this second procedure in two months.

“Maybe if he gives himself a year or so to get better he can make some kind of a comeback,” Haney said.

The procedure, performed on Wednesday by Dr. Charles Rich in Utah, has forced Woods to be on bed rest. That will cause him to miss a final design visit to Bluejack National, his first course design in the U.S. that’s set to open in 2016.

“I’m extremely disappointed not going to Bluejack, but I’m very excited about our grand opening in the spring,” Woods said. “It’s a fantastic course, and we’re very proud of our first U.S. design.”

The next time we’ll see Woods is at the Hero World Challenge on Dec. 2-6, where he is host. Last year’s event was the beginning of forgettable 2014-15 season and the first sight of Woods’ chip yips that would plague him throughout the year. He will not play in this year’s event.

The next time we’ll see him actually competing in a tournament? The 39-year-old gave no timetable for a return.

”My family and the fans’ concern and support have helped a lot,” Woods said. “I’ll be back, and I’ll be ready to compete.”

courtesy of Coleman McDowell (golf.com)

 

 

Tiger Prepares for Long Recovery; Hasn’t Given Up Chasing Nicklaus

tiger4Tiger Woods has not started rehabilitation for a second back surgery he had a month ago, and he said Tuesday he would face another ”tedious and long” process that suggests it might be awhile before he competes again.

He also said he hasn’t given up on passing Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors.

”Rehab will be soon, and it will be tedious and long,” Woods said at the Bridgestone America’s Golf Cup, an exhibition he was supposed to play with Matt Kuchar until the second surgery. ”The last one, it took me awhile to get back. Some players on tour have done the same procedure and to be back pain-free it took them over a year.”
Woods hasn’t won since the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational for his 79th career win on the PGA Tour, just three short of the record held by Sam Snead.

For most of his career, the record with which he was compared was Nicklaus and his 18 professional majors. Woods won his 14th major at the 2008 U.S. Open, and had reconstructive surgery on his left knee a week later.

Woods turn 40 in December. Nicklaus won only three of his 18 majors after he turned 40.  Woods, who dropped to No. 334 in the world ranking this week, has not given up on catching Nicklaus. He just figures he will have to play like Vijay Singh, who won 22 times (but only one major) in his 40s.

”It’s important for me to have more than 18 majors when all is said and done,” Woods said. ”It took Jack his whole career to achieve it and mine is not done yet. I believe that I have a very good record for 20 years on the tour. The main thing is to get fit and to reach my 40s with good health to be as successful as Vijay, who won most of his tournaments at that age.

”It’s something that I hope I will be able to do,” he said. ”I want to play at an elite level with the new kids for a long, long time.”

What might help this time around is that Woods said he won’t be changing his swing. After returning too early in 2014 from back surgery, he took off the final three months to get stronger and left his swing coach, hiring Chris Como as a consultant.

Woods last played at the Wyndham Champion on Aug. 23, where he tied for 10th for his best finish at a PGA Tour event in nearly two years. In a surprise announcement Sept. 18, he said he had a second back surgery after doctors during a routine check discovered a fragmented disc pinching a nerve. Woods had his first surgery just before the 2014 Masters and missed nearly three months. He said later he came back too early.

Woods doesn’t think he’s that far off from 2013, when he won five times and was PGA Tour player of the year.

”But to achieve it, I need to be healthy again,” he said. ”This year I tried to play after the back surgery and it wasn’t fun because all of the pain. Also after my last surgery, I was changing my swing and to be able to do that successfully you have to practice a lot, and I could not practice because I was doing the rehab.

”It was a very complicated situation because of that.”

There was no timetable on when he would start rehabilitation or when he would return. Woods typically doesn’t start a new year until the Farmers Insurance Open, which starts the last week of January. That appeared doubtful.

The Masters, which he missed in 2014 for the first time, is April 7-10.  ”I need to return with my explosiveness, and to do that, I need to practice for longer periods of time,” he said. ”It’s going to take several months of hard work”.

courtesy of AP News  (golf.com)

 

Hank Haney Backs Tiger, Phil as Future Ryder Cup Captains

tiger_philBrandel Chamblee Says Tiger, Phil Are ‘Undeserving’ of Ryder Captain
Golf analyst Brandel Chamblee knocked the notion of granting Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson Ryder Cup captaincy, calling them ‘undeserving’ of the role.

Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee might think Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson don’t deserve to be Ryder Cup captains, but Woods’ former coach Hank Haney could not disagree more.

During his SiriusXM radio show on Friday, Haney joined 2016 Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III in support of Woods and Mickelson as future leaders in the event.

“Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are just such iconic figures in U.S. golf and golf, period,” Haney said. “If they wanted to be the captain of the Ryder Cup, at any time, I wouldn’t even hesitate for two seconds, and they would be the captain.”

Haney did say the two future Hall of Famers should take separate turns as assistant captains rather than serving together, but that, of course, depends on their success as players in the coming years. Both aging stars struggled in 2015, and Woods announced in September that he will not return to the PGA Tour until 2016 as he recovers from another surgery on his ailing back.

Haney, however, still has plenty of confidence in his former client.

“I think Tiger can still win a golf tournament for sure,” he said. “I don’t know how you don’t pick him [for a Ryder Cup team].”

courtesy of golf.com

Tiger Woods Still Cannot Swing Golf Club After Back Surgery

tiger-woods-british-open-espn_t780Tiger Woods still cannot swing a golf club after his second microdisectomy surgery last month, but he’s not fully backing out of his fall commitments.

In a post on TigerWoods.com, it was announced that Woods will travel to Mexico City for the America’s Golf Cup, an exhibition to promote golf in Latin America but will not compete in the 72-hole best ball tournament or the afternoon teaching clinic. Matt Kuchar, who was scheduled to team with Woods in the event, will “do the heavy lifting, as Tiger cannot swing a golf club yet.”

For all the sponsors, no fear! Woods will still host a breakfast before the tournament begins.

Woods had back surgery on Sept. 16 and is hopeful to return to competitive golf early in 2016.

Friend Says Tiger Woods Knows ‘Sun Is Setting’ On Career

tiger4Following his second back surgery in the last two years, Tiger Woods seems to have tempered expectations for what remains of his career—at least according to Notah Begay III, Woods’ close friend and former college teammate at Stanford.

Begay said that Woods post-surgery is “giving it a little extra time to heal up before he starts rehabilitation. He’s just spending a lot of time at home and going to soccer games and watching Sam and Charlie play their fall soccer. It’s hard. It’s a challenge to be on the couch, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

Speaking on an NBC Sports conference call, Begay touched on Woods’ expectations for 2016, which, if an accurate reflection of Woods’ thinking, represent maybe the first time the 14-time major winner has come close to publicly acknowledging that he’s reached the twilight of his career.

“I think he has a clear understanding with where he’s at in regard to his career that the sun is setting,” Begay said. “He’s very fair about where he’s at with his career and his body, and he’s certainly not going to go down without a fight, without trying to do everything he can to get back to a world-class level.”

Woods announced Sep. 18 that he had undergone a second microdiscectomy surgery a few days earlier and that he hopes to return to competition in early 2016. With the Ryder Cup on the horizon and Woods far from peak form, Team USA captain Davis Love III said Monday that Woods, if unable to qualify, would make a great assistant captain.

courtesy of Brendan Mohler (golf.com)