It has been a long goodbye for Tiger Woods, who has been leaving the greater Los Angeles area since 1996. "From Orlando, Florida," the starter at the Greater Milwaukee Open said then, "making his professional debut, Tiger Woods." No matter that Woods hadn't stepped foot in Florida in two years, or that he had yet to own a home there.
Now he's uprooting his tournament, the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge, and relocating it next year to the Orlando area, to Isleworth, the gated community in which he used to live, where his history is, well, not so memorable as it is at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, north of Los Angeles.
Woods, who has won there five times, did not make it six on Sunday, surrendering a three-stroke lead, then losing to Zach Johnson in a playoff, but he did make it exciting, as he usually does, win or lose. That's a good thing.
So is this: Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, and, apparently by extension, Golf Channel itself, are not going to temper criticism of Woods just to appease his delicate sensitivities for opinion with which he disagrees.
Recall the Chamblee-Woods feud that began when the analyst in his golf.com column gave Tiger an F grade for his 2013 season, basing it on Woods being "a little cavalier with the rules." The ensuing kerfuffle included Woods declaring the ball now in Golf Channel's court.
Chamblee, meanwhile, is still employed and still opining on Woods. When Tiger followed a round of 62 on Friday with a 72 on Saturday, Chamblee said, "Thursday and Friday he is one of the best, but on the weekend you scratch your head. Yesterday he had the read and the speed on the greens. He was clinical when the rest of the field was doubtful. Today [Saturday] was a different Tiger Woods. The golf course was certainly playing harder today, but he is not the same guy on Saturday and Sunday that he is on Thursday and Friday."
For its part, Golf Channel included the quote in an email, a welcome development that suggests it hasn't muffled him. Geoff Ogilvy in a recent Golf World column wrote,"To my mind, Brandel is one of the best things on Golf Channel...I don't want him to be less insightful, whether I agree with his positions or not...I don't want him scared of any repercussions. That only diminishes his contribution to ongoing debate within the game. It scares me to think we as players might be able to change how he goes about his job."
Former LPGA player Helen Alfredsson was removed from the OSN Sports telecast of the Ladies European Tour's Omega Dubai Ladies Masters for an "inappropriate" remark pertaining to a helicopter crash that killed nine people in Glasgow, Scotland, last week, the National reported.
Alfredsson, winner of seven LPGA events, including the Nabisco Dinah Shore in 1993, made an off-handed attempt at humor when a helicopter flew overheard, saying she "hoped they are better pilots than they are in Scotland," the Daily Mail reported.
She issued an apology through the LET that said, "Regretfully, I made an inappropriate and distasteful comment on air today and apologize unreservedly for any offense that was caused by this mistake. I did not intend to hurt anybody and I am devastated if I have hurt anyone. I feel very embarrassed because this was not intended in any shape or form."
Alfredsson was replaced in the booth by Carin Koch, a fellow Swede, who had played in the tournament, but missed the cut.
Earlier, Steve Elkington, now a Champions Tour player, was taken to task for a similarly misguided attempt at humor via Twitter regarding the helicopter crash. "Golf is governed by so many rules," Tom English wrote in the Scotsman. "What about the rules pertaining to a guy who thinks it's funny to ridicule a disaster and not having the basic human decency to say sorry afterwards? What is the penalty for an offence like that?"
Elkington later claimed that he was unaware there were injuries, when he posted his Tweet.
But the real gem -- at least, to us -- was the newscaster showing off his golf swing on a simulator. Check it out:
Mr. Burgundy seemed pleased with the results, even though the one shot that's shown dribbles over a cliff and into the water on Pebble Beach's famed seventh hole. No word on whether or not he pronounces "golf" as "yolf." Based on how he says "jogging," there's a good chance Burgundy believes the "g" is soft.
Lexi Thompson has no problem generating and storing power with her big backswing.By Ron Kaspriske I always get a chuckle when I hear the golf-and-fitness term "separating the torsos." It makes me think of a...
Nelson Mandela on Gary Player
The South African icon's Golf Digest column from July 2000, and how it came to be.
Tiger Woods on meeting Nelson Mandela: "An experience that I will never, ever forget."
As the world mourns the death of Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa who spent 27 years in prison and helped usher the country out of its apartheid era, we think back to the British Open this summer, when Tiger Woods spoke so eloquently of the first time he met Mandela:
The first time I ever met President Mandela was in '98. I went down there to play Sun City, and he invited us to his home. And my father and I went to have lunch with him. It still gives me chills to this day, thinking about it. A gentleman asked us to go into this side room over here and, "President Mandela will join you in a little bit." And we walked in the room and my dad and I were just kind of looking around. And I said, "Dad, do you feel that?" And he says, "Yeah, it feels different in this room." And it was just like a different energy in the room.
We just looked at each other and just shrugged our shoulders and whatever. And maybe, I'm guessing probably 30 seconds later, I heard some movement behind me and it was President Mandela folding up the paper. And it was pretty amazing. The energy that he has, that he exudes, is unlike any person I've ever met. And it was an honor to meet him at his home. And that's an experience that I will never, ever forget.
And it was at the British Open in 2012, when Ernie Els collected defied expectations to win his second Claret Jug, thanked Mandela in his victory speech:
Q. It's quite something to launch immediately into a tribute to Nelson Mandela after you win The Open. Most golfers thank their caddie.
ERNIE ELS: They're important.
Q. Can I ask what sort of compelled you to do that, and had you been thinking about it for a while? And more importantly, will you take the jug to him and will the pair of you share a drink out of that jug?
ERNIE ELS: I'd love to. My man in front here from Super Sports South Africa, we've been doing some little bytes for the Olympics. And a lot of the Olympic theme this year has got President Mandela in it. So he's been very much in my thoughts.
And believe it or not, this morning I was lying watching cricket and I was just kind of daydreaming, and that thought came through me in a split second. If I win, I told myself, I'd better thank President Mandela because I grew up in the era of the apartheid era, and then changing into the democratic era, and President Mandela was right there. And right after the change, I was the first one to win a major. And so there's a lot of significance there in my life, from the change from that and then President Mandela becoming president and me winning a golf tournament. And then him getting on the telephone with me talking to me when I was in Pittsburgh, Oakmont. So in a way we intertwined together in a crazy way. And I just felt he's been so important for us being where we are today as a nation and as sports people.
ERNIE ELS: Yeah, absolutely. And especially when you've met him personally. It's an unbelievable feeling, and he's a great man.
Q. Will you have a drink with him out of that?
ERNIE ELS: I don't know. I'd love to. As I said, I've got a schedule to run, and hopefully I can shoot back maybe for a day or two after the Olympics. I don't know if he's coming over. I'll go wherever he is. I'd love to see him again.
Protesters of South Africa's apartheid policy gave me grief for a couple of years. I didn't believe in apartheid and I surely wasn't responsible for it, but I was a ripe target. They threw crushed ice in my eyes. Hit me with telephone books at the top of my backswing. Threw balls on the green while I was putting. Burned awful statements into the greens where we were playing. I got death threats at my hotel every day. At the 1969 PGA Championship, a guy screamed just as I stroked a 10-inch putt, and I missed and lost by one. At Merion, during the 1971 U.S. Open, we kept guns in the house where I was staying. I struggled through it, and you know something? It's easier to fight than to run away.
It was a tough two years. But Nelson Mandela, who spent over 20 years in prison, had it a whole lot worse.
Condolences to all on the passing of our beloved Father of the South African Nation, Nelson Mandela. Madiba we loved you. Rest in Peace.
Let's take a trip back to the 2008 ESPY Awards when it was a simpler, better time for both. Woods was still only famous for his actions on the course and Ferrell hadn't filmed the disastrous Land of the Lost. Anyway, Justin Timberlake (another golf connection!) announced Woods, still basking in the glow of his legendary win at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, as the winner of the year's Best Athlete Award. Not surprisingly, Woods wasn't there to accept. Surprisingly, at least to the audience, Ferrell was:
What made the moment even better was Ferrell pretending to accept the award as Woods. "People are always asking me, 'Tiger, how do you do it?' And my answer is, 'Shut up.' I ask the questions around here. I'm Tiger Woods."
"All I did was sever my ACL and break a bone in my leg and you know, I still won the U.S. Open. And that's when even I started to believe it's undeniable, I am the greatest," said Ferrell, who then went on to thank a list of funny, fake Woods sponsors.
Jim Nantz accepted the Metropolitan Golf Association's Distinguished Service Award at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y., with great stories and kind of an unusual request: He asked that late CBS partner Ken Venturi's name be added to the award along with his. Venturi, who worked beside Nantz for 17 years and who raised millions for charity in the Met area, died this May on Nantz's birthday. "I feel shortchanged that Kenny's not here. I know he would have been here tonight."
Nantz was honored for decades of assistance to the MGA and its First Tee chapter, and his founding of the Nantz National Alzheimer Center in Houston in honor of his father, Jim Nantz Jr., who died from the disease in 2008.
Nantz spent most of a charming acceptance speech thanking his mentors -- Houston coach Dave Williams, former President George Bush ("41") and, at the top of the list, Venturi.
He recalled how Venturi had come to Westchester 50 years ago down on his luck and about to quit golf and head back to San Francisco to sell cars for Eddie Lowery. He gave himself one last chance, accepting a sponsor's exemption. He finished 5th and began a comeback that culminated a few months later with the U.S. Open Championship.
Nantz remembered "as many as 70 dinners a year" he had with Venturi when his partner would inevitably ask the waitress for a Diet Dr. Pepper. 'We don't have Diet Dr. Pepper,' every waitress would reply, and Kenny would go, 'Oh, Okay, give me a Crown Royal.'
Nantz told the story of how "41," recruited him to be "an intermediary" when he invited Bill Clinton to play with him in Maine at Cape Arundel near the family compound. "We need an intermediary to keep the conversation from diverting to politics." A year later Bush invited Clinton and called Nantz again, this time suggesting that maybe Nantz could recruit a fourth.
"I think I've got just the guy," Nantz told Bush. "Tom Brady."
"Tom Brady the football player?" asked Bush. "Do you think Tom Brady would come up and play with us?
"I think your odds are good," replied Nantz.
The four played sixes -- three matches of rotating two-man teams. After one tie and one loss, Nantz welcomed Brady as his last partner with an opportunity to get even on the day.
"You've got a chance to do something no one has ever done," Nantz told Brady: Beat two former Presidents of the United States. "It was like a mask came over his face," said Nantz, and Brady was back on the football field, one minute left, two points down, the ball on his own 20.
Titleist/Scotty Cameron Futura X now counterbalanced
By Mike StachuraScotty Cameron long has based his designs on what he's learned in his famed putting studio. Now, he may have hit upon a reason why heavier, longer putters not anchored to the body (like...
Gear On Tour: Northwestern Mutual World Challenge
What players are using at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, CA