Tour Notebook: Crocked Tiger still in the headlinesNovember, 2015
The four Ws: Woods, Williams, Waldorf and Wood
Tiger goes back under the knife
Less than a fortnight ago Tiger Woods said he faced a ‘long and tedious’ recovery after undergoing a procedure on his back on September 19.
That recovery now looks to be even longer after he revealed that he has now had a second operation in less than two months. It is his third in less than a year and a half and he was back playing inside four months.
He had hoped to be back in early 2016 but that might now be pushed back. Not that his website was giving away very much.
“Tiger is doing well, and we expect him to make a full recovery,” said his doctor.
Woods himself added: “It’s one of those things that had to be done. I have an outstanding team of doctors, and I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
He turns 40 on December 30 this year.
Williams sticks the knife into Woods
While Tiger puts his feet up he might fancy a bit of light reading in the form of his one-time caddy Steve Williams’ new book ‘Out of the Rough’.
In an excerpt from the book, which was posted on the New Zealand website www.stuff.co.nz the Kiwi insisted that he was unaware of any of Woods’ affairs, something he repeatedly asked Woods’ management to make clear, and that when the news did come out he received an email and then didn’t hear anything for another four months.
When Woods did return to the course the pair had a face-to-face meeting to clear the meeting and Williams insisted that his on-course behaviour had to improve.
“One thing that really pissed me off was how he would flippantly toss a club in the general direction of the bag, expecting me to go over and pick it up. I felt uneasy about bending down to pick up his discarded club – it was like I was his slave. The other thing that disgusted me was his habit of spitting at the hole if he missed a putt. Tiger listened to what I had to say, the air was cleared and we got on with it – his goal was to be the best player in history and my goal was to keep working as best I could to help make that happen.”
A few months later they split up after 11 years together.
Gleneagles gets Solheim nod
There are two oddities about the Solheim Cup; it has never been played on any of the UK’s world-class links and it has never been staged in England.
And that run will continue after Gleneagles was named as the host for the 2019 matches.
Ten countries – Denmark, England, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and Wales were part of the original process – before Scotland got the better of Bro Hof Slott in Sweden.
This will be the third time that the matches have been to Scotland, at Dalmahoy (1992) and Loch Lomond (2000) Europe won both times.
Scotland will host the Open Championship in 2016 and 2018, the Senior Open Championship in 2016 and the Women’s British Open in 2017 in addition to the Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open on an annual basis. Plenty of food for thought for England.
Month to remember for Wood
October (and the first day of November) was a particularly profitable month for Chris Wood who is in the form of his life.
The Englishman has trousered over £500,000 since the Dunhill Links and, in his past 14 rounds, has only once shot in the 70s.
As things stand, which means nothing but remains an impressive start to the campaign, the Bristolian would make Darren Clarke’s team for Hazletine next year..
Dunhill Links T4 71-71-65-65
British Masters T9 69-69-69-67
Portugal Masters 68-69-65-68
Turkish Airlines Open 66-66-71-68
Waldorf threatens second 59
Duffy Waldorf came within a whisker of shooting just the second 59 on the Champions Tour after missing a 10-foot putt at the last.
The American was 11-under after a hat-trick of birdies from the 14th but could ‘only’ par the last two, his final putt coming up short and right.
“It was a trickier putt than I wanted,” Waldorf said. “I didn’t hit the putt hard enough. I had been reaching the hole all day, so I didn’t think that would be a problem.”
The 18th is a par 5 and, statistically, the easiest hole at Newport Beach Country Club but Waldorf admitted that nerves got the better of him on the tee and he was blocked out with his approach. Incredibly he had 13 threes on the card.
“I wasn’t keeping track until I saw the board on 17. Coming into 18, I knew what I had in front of me.
I tugged it a little. Yeah, it was nerves, but I felt like if I just hit one solid, I would be in pretty good shape. It didn’t really work out that well. I mean, I thought I might just get a look at the hole.”
Kevin Sutherland is the only player to shoot 59 on the Champions Tour, he shot 13 under at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.
There was a happy ending for Waldorf as he closed with a 66, with another 10 birdies, for a two-shot win.
"I felt uneasy about bending down to pick up his discarded club – it was like I was his slave" – Steve Williams Common sense over rules changes
It is not often that rule changes are singularly praised but that was the case this week when common sense seemed to be the common thread.
Hopefully you are now aware that the anchoring ban comes into effect on January 1 2016, here’s a quick round-up of the three other significant changes that the R&a and USGA have brought in.
– Withdrawal of Rule on Ball Moving After Address (Rule 18-2b)
If your ball moved after being addressed then you would have been automatically penalized by one shot. So, in windy conditions, there is a lot of backing off putts with players terrified of shots being added. Now, it has to be certain that the player has caused the ball to move to infringe any rules. There will still be confusion but it’s getting better.
– Limited Exception to Disqualification Penalty for Submission of Incorrect Score Card (Rule 6-6d)
This is, apparently, not the ’Tiger Woods Rule’. If a player is unaware before he/she has signed their card that penalty shots should have been added then they won’t be DQd. Instead the shots will be added and they will carry on – and then add two more strokes for signing an incorrect card.
Should, though, you sign for a score that was lower than the one you actually shot you will be kicked out.
– Modification of Penalty for Single Impermissible use of Artificial Devices or Equipment (Rule 14-3)
If you use a device, such a rangefinder, when you shouldn’t have done then you will get another chance. Previously you would have been out on your ear – DA Points was once disqualified for using a foam ball under his arm while taking a practice swing – now he would be penalized a couple of shots or lose the hole.
Do it again and he will be DQd.
Evans retains his card (thanks to Koepka)
For the second straight week an English Tour pro had an American to thank.
Ben Evans had a weekend to remember in Hong Kong, shooting back-to-back 65s to tie for 11th, but it was only good enough for 111th on the Money List – the top 110 keep their cards.
But Brooks Koepka decided not to defend in Turkey and won’t play in Shanghai so won’t meet the required 13 starts, and so has given up his membership of the European Tour.
Which elevated Evans into 110th and in prized possession of a card for next year.
Spieth all over Dallas
Q: How many balls does it take to build a mosaic of Jordan Spieth?
Twenty five people put together a 1,700 square-foot layout, using teed up balls, in downtown Dallas. The idea was brought together by one of the two-time Major winner’s sponsors, AT&T.