Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Great interview with Hank Haney on Tiger

In this Golf Digest interview, Hank Haney provides a lot of very interesting insight into Tiger Woods and his past, present, and future.

Here a few excerpts:

What do you recall about the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, which Tiger won with a broken leg?

What I remember most was the doctor [Thomas Rosenberg] coming to Tiger's house before that U.S. Open and showing him the MRI images on a laptop computer, showing him the two stress fractures, and Tiger not paying very much attention. I asked Dr. Rosenberg [who later performed the surgery to repair Tiger's torn ACL] what the treatment regimen was. He said it meant three weeks on crutches, then inactive for three weeks, then Tiger could start rehab. I remember looking at the calendar and saying, "So he's basically done for the year, right?" At that point Tiger came alive. He said, "I'm playing in the U.S. Open, and I'm going to win." He bent over and started putting on his shoes. "Come on, Hank, we're going to practice." I looked at Dr. Rosenberg and said, "I guess we're going to go practice."

How knowledgeable is Tiger about the golf swing?

The most knowledgeable I've ever been around. I've taught 200 pros from tours around the world, and nobody came close to knowing what Tiger knows.

In 2000, before you began working with Tiger, we surveyed people in golf on how many professional majors they thought he would win. Your guess was 30. How many do you see him winning now, best-case scenario?

I'd say 25. He's got plenty of time left in his career. If he wins at the rate he's been winning, for the next 10 years, he'll get to 25. It's possible, because we haven't seen the best of Tiger. He has so much experience, so much knowledge of the courses they play majors on. I see no reason at all he can't keep getting better.

When we interviewed Butch in 2001, he said he once threatened a teacher "with bodily harm" when the guy approached Tiger about working with him. Did another teacher ever try to steal Tiger away?

Not that I was aware of, no. I tried to do the best job I could do and not worry about that stuff.

AP Photo / Charlie Riedel

Friday, June 18, 2010

14th hole at Pebble a Nightmare

The par-5 14th hole has been destroying player's rounds so far during the first two days.

Scores made on the hole:

Zach Johnson - 9
Ian Poulter - snowman
Paul Casey - snowman
Ricky Barnes - 7
Y.E. Yang - quite possibly still playing the hole
(Yang finished with a back nine of 49)

Thursday, June 17, 2010



Well, I officially had to hit the mute button while watching ESPN's coverage of the U.S. Open due to Chris Berman being an absolutely atrocious golf announcer. It really is amazing that ESPN allows Berman to completely ruin the coverage year after year.

I had a similar opinion during last year's Open about Berman, and this will probably turn into an annual post as long as they allow that clown to keep working the tournament.

Other than that, the coverage has been great.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

United States vs. England for U.S. Open?


World Rankings

1 Tiger Woods USA
2 Phil Mickelson USA
3 Lee Westwood England
4 Steve Stricker USA
5 Jim Furyk USA
6 Luke Donald England
7 Ernie Els South Africa
8 Ian Poulter England
9 Paul Casey England
10 Rory McIlroy Northern Ireland

As you can see, there are four players in the top ten in the world from both the United States and England, all with very legitimate shots at winning the championship.

Who will be the one to add their name to this list of past champions?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Betting Odds at Pebble

Tiger Woods 7/1
Phil Mickelson 7/1
Lee Westwood 10/1
Rory McIlroy 28/1
Padraig Harrington 28/1
Jim Furyk 28/1
Ernie Els 30/1
Steve Stricker 33/1
Luke Donald 33/1
Retief Goosen 33/1
Dustin Johnson 33/1

Somehow Tiger is still the co-favorite to win, although the swing above from Monday's practice round is not a good sign.

AP Photo / Eric Risberg

Sunday, June 13, 2010

U.S. Open Pairings

As usual, there are some interesting pairings set up for the U.S. Open. I thought they might pair the top three in the world like they did at Torrey Pines in 2008 but they didn't. It would have been huge to have Tiger and Phil in the same group but that would probably have put all eyes on that pairing alone and taken away from the event.

Notable pairings:

Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Lee Westwood

Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington, Y.E. Yang

Retief Goosen, Jim Furyk, Angel Cabrera

Ryo Ishikawa, Rory McIlroy, Tom Watson

Sergio Garcia, Steve Stricker, Paul Casey

Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy, Robert Allenby

All pairings and tee times

Thursday, June 10, 2010

U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Winners

Jack Nicklaus (1972)

Tom Watson (1982)

Tom Kite (1992)

Tiger Woods (2000)

???????????? (2010)

A big name player has won the Open at Pebble four out of four times and I suspect this year will be no different. If I had to place a bet, my money would be on Mickelson for 2010.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Golf in Hawaii

After looking at these pictures, there's not much that needs to be said about Hawaii golf. Check out Hawaii golf courses and book your times at Hawaii tee times and you're set to go.

Obviously, Hawaii has some of the best weather in the world to go along with unbelievable scenery. Combine this with over 100 golf courses to choose from and you have yourself a prime golf trip destination.

Hawaii's Big Island:
Known as the "Golf Capital of Hawaii" the big island features an array of courses with lush fairways set between black volcanic rock rough.

Home to over 40 courses, Oahu has a few of the oldest courses on the island dating back to 1898 as well as more modern resort courses. You will find par-3 courses here as well as Championship layouts.

Maui has two distinct areas that feature a majority of its courses, West Maui and South Maui. West Maui has two 36 hole resorts at Kaanapali and Kapalua while South Maui also has two resorts, Wailea (54 holes) and Makena (36 holes).

There are three main resorts at Kauai, Princeville on the North Shore (45 holes), Kauai Lagoons (36 holes), and Poipu Golf resort (18 holes) along the southern coast.

Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman each designed a course on Lanai that have been frequently voted among the best in the world as golf travel destinations. Nicklaus created "The Challenge at Manele" which is along the southern coast while Norman designed "The Experience at Koele."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

U.S. Open Qualifying

It seems to me if there was only one tournament a professional golfer would want to play, the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach would have to be at the top of the short list.

It's definitely shocking to hear that Jason Day, Boo Weekly, Fredrik Jacobson, Brett Wetterich, and Nathan Green decided to pass on attempting to qualify.

"I'm really not that interested in playing it," Green said. "I'd rather sit home on the couch and watch soccer than beat my head against a brick wall for four days."

That is pretty pathetic. He must be complaining because the conditions are so difficult at the Open. Sorry Nathan, you can't play easy courses and shoot 15 under every week.

It seems weird that we almost saw the QB of the Dallas Cowboys playing in the Open and these guys didn't even try.

On another note, it also seems ridiculous that Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, and Rocco Mediate are not playing. They should be given exemptions.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

John Wooden (1910 - 2010)

John Wooden was the legendary UCLA basketball coach who won 10 national championships.

He was also a golfer and is one of four people on record who made a hole in one and double eagle in the same round. That is an unbelievable feat, and by all accounts of the type of person he was, he deserved it.

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Fowler on fire at Memorial

Round One: Fowler shoots 65 including going 6-under over a five hole stretch. He birdied holes 4-6, eagled 7, and birdied 8.

Round Two: Four birdies and an eagle with no bogeys for a 66.

He currently leads at 13-under and tied the tournament record for lowest 36 hole score.

"Just being in contention the few times I have over the last eight months or so since I turned pro, this is by far the best that I've felt," said Fowler. "Game feels good. Putter's working a bit. So we're having some fun."

Photo - AP / Terry Gilliam

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Number one ranking on the line again

For the third straight tournament, Mickelson can potentially overtake the top spot in the world rankings from Woods, something he's never held.

As the two will be vying for the top spot in the world, more important will be preparing for the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in two weeks.

Woods won the last Open held at Pebble in 2000 by a record 15 shots.

“It would be nice to get four rounds in and be in contention and hopefully win this thing,” Woods said. “That’s kind of where I’d like to be. I’d like to see where my game is going into the Open, and I should get a full tournament in, which I haven’t had since the Masters.”

Mickelson will be looking to win his first U.S. Open, the tournament he has finished runner up in a record five times.

“It would be cool,” Mickelson said about the ranking. “I don’t want to discount it. Right now, my goal is to play well here and get ready for the Open next week.”

Photos - AP / Tony Dejak

Tiger and Phil dominate Memorial skins game

In typical fashion, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, the top two ranked players in the world, played the best and won the most skins Wednesday at the pre-tournament charity event.

The event was broken up into two groups of five players and they each played the back nine. Mickelson played alongside tournament host Jack Nicklaus, as well as Ernie Els, Kenny Perry, and Sean O'Hair.

Mickelson dominated his group by shooting a six under par 30 and winning all nine skins. He blasted his driver all day, was sharp with his irons, made some nice putts, and even holed a bunker shot at the 16th for a win.

"It's been a fun day," Mickelson said. "To be able to play nine holes with Jack Nicklaus is a great feeling. I think it's cool, watching him on the last putt, grinding the way he has in the past, after he has made so many putts on the final hole. It's just fun watching him."

As for Woods, he didn't dominate quite as much as Mickelson, but won six out of the nine skins in his group which included Rory Mcllroy, Steve Stricker, Zach Johnson, and Jim Furyk. He started the day four under par through four holes with a birdie at the 10th, eagle at the 11th, par at the 12th, and birdie at the 13th.

Zach Johnson won the other three skins and the rest of the players had goose eggs.

The real tournament gets underway Thursday with defending champion Woods looking for his first win of 2010.

Woods photo - AP / Tony Dejak
Mickelson photo - AP / Jay Laprete