Tiger’s fa­vorite put­ter a fa­vorite tar­get for his son

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in Nassau, Ba­hamas

Like any fa­ther, Tiger Woods has a list of what his two chil­dren can and can­not touch in the house — even when it comes to his golf clubs. Two in par­tic­u­lar. One of them is the black Scotty Cameron Teryl­lium New­port put­ter that Woods used in his record-set­ting vic­tory at the 1997 Mas­ters.

Two years later, he broke in a sil­ver Scotty Cameron New­port 2 put­ter that he used in his other 13 ma­jors be­fore switch­ing to a Nike put­ter.

Now the New­port 2 is back in Tiger’s bag for the Hero World Chal­lenge. It had been re­sid­ing in the putting stu­dio at his Florida home, and the chal­lenge has been keep­ing seven-year-old Char­lie away from it.

“Char­lie knows there are two put­ters he can’t touch,” Woods said. “They sit next to each other. Touch any put­ter, do any­thing you want with any other put­ter. But those two put­ters are off lim­its. Only for daddy.”

That doesn’t keep the kid from try­ing.

“Of course ... it’s only nat­u­ral,” Woods said. “He al­ways wants to mess with me in some way.”

He’s hu­man. I wish other peo­ple would seem a lit­tle bit that way.” Jim Furyk, on Tiger Woods

Mas­ters watch

Marc Leish­man faces a big week at the Aus­tralian PGA Cham­pi­onship if he wants to as­sure a re­turn to the Mas­ters next year.

Golf is wrap­ping up another long year around the globe, and the fi­nal world rank­ings loom. The top 50 are in­vited to the Mas­ters, and Leish­man is sit­ting at No 54.

The Aus­tralian PGA is his last event of the year.

Based on this week’s rank­ings, 12 play­ers from the top 50 are not ex­empt for Au­gusta Na­tional.

Most of them are safe, start­ing with Alex Noren of Swe­den (No 9) and Tyrrell Hat­ton of Eng­land (No 23), who will be play­ing the Mas­ters for the first time.

The fi­nal world rank­ing mostly helps in­ter­na­tional play­ers who are not play­ing a full PGA Tour sched­ule. Louis Oosthuizen (No 26) and Bill Haas (No 40) are the only play­ers on that list who played a full PGA Tour sched­ule this year.

On the bubble at No 50 is Thomas Pi­eters, who is done for the year.

Be­hind him at No 52 is Thongchai Jaidee, who is sched­uled to play the Hong Kong Open next week. Scott Hend is No 60 and play­ing the next two weeks.

That won’t be the end of their Mas­ters chances as Au­gusta takes the top 50 from the rank­ings pub­lished a full week be­fore the start of the year’s first ma­jor.

No rest for Big Easy

Ernie Els fin­ished his 30th event of the year at the RSM Clas­sic, and the Big Easy is not quite done yet.

Els still has a Skins Game in Colom­bia with Camilo Vil­le­gas be­fore head­ing home for the South African Open.

“I’m try­ing to find some­thing,” Els said.

For a 47-year-old with 57 vic­to­ries world­wide, four ma­jors and a spot in the Hall of Fame, there would seem to be no rea­son to grind.

It’s an ex­am­ple that even for a guy who has en­dured equal doses of ag­gra­va­tion and glory, sheer love of the game and com­pe­ti­tion keep push­ing him.

“I have enough of ev­ery­thing. I can go do some other stuff, but I still feel I can play de­cent golf. And I love it,” Els said.

Els, who pre­dicts Tiger Woods will re­turn to cham­pi­onship form, said it is im­por­tant to set small goals at this stage in his ca­reer, and his is sim­ple. His 19 th vic­tory on the PGA Tour was the Bri­tish Open in 2012 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. He wants to notch a 20 th ti­tle.

“And,” he said with a smile, “maybe have another go at a ma­jor here and there.”

Bubba’s les­son

Bubba Wat­son took a lot out of the Ry­der Cup with­out even hit­ting a shot.

Over­looked as a pick, he was an as­sis­tant cap­tain at Hazel­tine, and he said he learned how to be­come a bet­ter player.

Wat­son has played on three Ry­der Cup teams and two Pres­i­dents Cup squads. He has had only four part­ners — Jeff Over­ton, Webb Simp­son, Matt Kuchar and JB Holmes. For two straight years (2011 Pres­i­dents Cup and 2012 Ry­der Cup) he played only with Simp­son.

What he learned at Hazel­tine was that he should have spent more time lead­ing up to the matches get­ting to learn other play­ers, their games and their brand of golf balls. In­stead, he felt he was too one-di­men­sional for a cap­tain.

“When you give the cap­tain one per­son, like Webb Simp­son or JB Holmes, when you do things like that, it lim­its what you can do,” Wat­son said.

“Those are the things I learned see­ing it from the other side, and those are things that I didn’t think about be­cause all you’re think­ing about is your­self. We’re so used to think­ing about our­selves and not the other stuff.

“So I learned a lot about me as a per­son and I learned about how I could do bet­ter.

“If I do make another team event or if I’m vice-cap­tain again or if I was ever cap­tain, I’ve learned a lot from see­ing it from the other side.”

Get­ting ac­quainted

As host of the Hero World Chal­lenge, Tiger Woods or­ga­nized a lit­tle meet-and-greet.

He didn’t know two play­ers in the 18-man field — Rus­sell Knox of Scot­land and Emil­iano Grillo of Ar­gentina — who are both among the top 25 in the world.

Knox ac­tu­ally made a pass­ing com­ment to Woods when they bumped into each other in the re­stroom at the Quicken Loans Na­tional one year.

Woods didn’t re­mem­ber that.

“My short ca­reer will never be over un­til I play with Tiger Woods,” Knox said at the HSBC Cham­pi­ons last month. “That would be the cherry on top of the cake.”

Woods can’t be faulted. Not only has he been out of golf for 15 months, new play­ers are ar­riv­ing faster than ever.

“The turnover rate is so much now and so young that some­times I’ve never heard of about a third of the field be­fore,” Woods said.


The fi­nal stage of LPGA Tour qual­i­fy­ing starts Wed­nes­day in Day­tona Beach, Florida. Among those in the field is Aditi Ashok of In­dia, who has won her last two events on the Ladies Euro­pean Tour. Her cad­die this week is Terry Mc­Na­mara, the long­time cad­die for Annika Soren­stam ... The Philip­pine Mas­ters will join the Euro­pean Tour and Asian Tour sched­ules in 2018 in a three-year deal ... Bubba Wat­son has been test­ing new equip­ment dur­ing the past month, in­clud­ing Ping irons. He also has been test­ing a hy­brid ... Je­unghun Wang has won the Sir Henry Cot­ton Rookie of the Year award on the Euro­pean Tour. He is the sec­ond straight South Korean player to win the award. The pre­vi­ous two years, the award went to Amer­i­cans (Brooks Koepka and Peter Uih­lein).

Site: Male­lane, South Africa. Course: Leop­ard Creek CC. Yardage: 6,951. Par: 72.

Tele­vi­sion: Golf Chan­nel (Thursday-Friday, 3:30-5:30 am, 7:30-10:30 am; Satur­day-Sun­day, 5-9:30 am).

De­fend­ing cham­pion: Charl Schwartzel.

Last week: Den­mark won the World Cup of Golf be­hind Thorbjorn Ole­sen and Soren Kjeld­sen.

Notes: Schwartzel has won three of the last four years by four shots in 2013 and 2015 and by a tour­na­ment-record 12 shots in 2012. Bran­den Grace won in 2014 by seven shots ... Marc Cayeux, who nearly lost his life in an au­to­mo­bile ac­ci­dent in 2010, is in the field ... Among those play­ing on spon­sor in­vi­ta­tions are Heath Slocum and Al­varo Quiros ... Adam Scott won the first of his 27 vic­to­ries world­wide in the 2001 Al­fred Dun­hill Cham­pi­onship by one shot over Justin Rose. Both were 21 at the time.

Next week: UBS Hong Kong Open

On­line: www.eu­ro­pean­tour.com and www.sun­shine­tour.com

Stat of the week

In the 15 months since Tiger Woods last played, only two play­ers older than him have won on the PGA Tour — Greg Chalmers (43) and Rod Pam­pling (47).

Woods will cel­e­brate his 41st birth­day on Dec 30. Other tours

MEN Asian Tour: Pana­sonic Open In­dia, Delhi GC, Delhi, In­dia. De­fend­ing cham­pion: Chiragh Ku­mar. On­line: www.asian­tour.com WOMEN Ladies Euro­pean Tour: The Queens, Miyoshi CC, Aichi, Ja­pan. De­fend­ing cham­pion: Ja­pan LPGA. www.ladieseu­ro­pean­tour.com


Tiger Woods talks with Zach John­son as they prac­tice ahead of the Hero World Chal­lenge on Tues­day in Nassau, Ba­hamas.

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