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Posted on: November 17, 2011 2:36 am
 

Weather brings break for U.S. viewers

ORLANDO, Fla. -- With bad weather in the forecast for Melbourne, tee times for Day Two of the Presidents Cup matches were moved up and broadcast times on the Golf Channel were adjusted accordingly for Thursday night's airing in the States.

On the East Coast, live coverage will run from 5:30 p.m. to midnight. Here are the second-day pairings for the best-ball format.

Bubba Watson-Webb Simpson v. Ernie Els-Ryo Ishikawa

Tiger Woods-Dustin Johnson v. Jason Day-Aaron Baddeley

Phil Mickelson-Jim Furyk v. Adam Scott-K.T. Kim.

Bill Haas-Nick Watney v. Geoff Ogilvy-K.J. Choi

Steve Stricker-Matt Kucher v. Y.E. Yang-Robert Allenby

Hunter Mahan-David Toms v. Retief Goosen-Charl Schwartzel.
Category: Golf
Posted on: November 17, 2011 2:36 am
 

Weather brings break for U.S. viewers

ORLANDO, Fla. -- With bad weather in the forecast for Melbourne, tee times for Day Two of the Presidents Cup matches were moved up and broadcast times on the Golf Channel were adjusted accordingly for Thursday night's airing in the States.

On the East Coast, live coverage will run from 5:30 p.m. to midnight. Here are the second-day pairings for the best-ball format.

Bubba Watson-Webb Simpson v. Ernie Els-Ryo Ishikawa

Tiger Woods-Dustin Johnson v. Jason Day-Aaron Baddeley

Phil Mickelson-Jim Furyk v. Adam Scott-K.T. Kim.

Bill Haas-Nick Watney v. Geoff Ogilvy-K.J. Choi

Steve Stricker-Matt Kucher v. Y.E. Yang-Robert Allenby

Hunter Mahan-David Toms v. Retief Goosen-Charl Schwartzel.
Category: Golf
Posted on: November 17, 2011 2:35 am
 

Weather brings break for U.S. viewers

ORLANDO, Fla. -- With bad weather in the forecast for Melbourne, tee times for Day Two of the Presidents Cup matches were moved up and broadcast times on the Golf Channel were adjusted accordingly for Thursday night's airing in the States.

On the East Coast, live coverage will run from 5:30 p.m. to midnight. Here are the second-day pairings for the best-ball format.

Bubba Watson-Webb Simpson v. Ernie Els-Ryo Ishikawa

Tiger Woods-Dustin Johnson v. Jason Day-Aaron Baddeley

Phil Mickelson-Jim Furyk v. Adam Scott-K.T. Kim.

Bill Haas-Nick Watney v. Geoff Ogilvy-K.J. Choi

Steve Stricker-Matt Kucher v. Y.E. Yang-Robert Allenby

Hunter Mahan-David Toms v. Retief Goosen-Charl Schwartzel.
Category: Golf
Posted on: November 17, 2011 12:59 am
Edited on: November 17, 2011 2:22 am
 

Woods, Stricker dream team sent to bed early

ORLANDO, Fla. – Before the matches started, as a means of underscoring the comparative lateness of the hour here in the States, it was noted that if Tiger Woods’ foursomes opener at the Presidents Cup went all 18 holes, it would end sometime around 2 a.m., ET.

Not to worry.

Adam Scott and K.J. Choi sent American fans to bed far earlier than anticipated.

With the worst beating of his career in international play, the former world No. 1 and partner Steve Stricker were buried in 12 holes, suffering a 7-and-6 loss in alternate shot on Thursday at Royal Melbourne.

It matched the worst beating in the history of the Presidents Cup and marked the lone loss on day one by the American side, which jumped to a 4-2 lead.

Even the analysts on the Golf Channel called their play “terrible,” and that was being generous.

Stricker and Woods were 4-0 as a team at the last Presidents Cup matches in 2009, but given the particulars of the present, that likely wasn’t going to happen again this year. Woods hasn’t won in over two years and Stricker hadn’t played in two months because of bulging disc in his neck.

“Unfortunately, they got off to a quick start and we couldn’t keep up,” Woods said.

The Dream Team was pounded across the board. Stricker and Woods were 3 over for 12 holes, didn't win a hole and couldn’t muster a single birdie. Meanwhile, Scott and Choi were solid, and ended the match when the South Korean rolled in a 10-footer. The International team was 3 under over the same stretch.

“The other guys obviously didn’t play their best,” Scott said, charitably.

There were no vestiges of the recent verbal tiff between Woods and Scott’s caddie, Steve Williams, who worked for 13 years for Woods before being fired over the summer. The pairing, the final foursomes match off the tee during the opening day, drew a huge strong, perhaps half the crowd estimated at 25,000 for the day.

If they came to watch an ugly upset, they got one.

Not to put words in his mouth, but somethere, based on his publicly known proclivity for bluntness, Williams is probably calling this one an "arse-whipping."

“It seemed like we were always just a little bit off,” Stricker said.

Since the event began in 1994, the only other time a match went 12 holes was when South Africa’s David Frost beat American Kenny Perry by the same score in 1996.

Have they lost the magic? After a solid start as partners at the Ryder Cup last year, Stricker and Woods lost their last match, 6-and-5, which represented Woods' worst Ryder defeat ever.

Not surprisingly, Woods will be paired with Dustin Johnson in Friday's best-ball format, against Aussies Jason Day and Aaron Baddeley.

Posted on: November 16, 2011 3:57 pm
 

Woods bails on U.S. events, with PGA Tour consent


ORLANDO, Fla. -- Wonder how this development will be received by several of the second-tier tournaments on the PGA Tour, not to mention a rather noteworthy event at Torrey Pines?

In case you missed the news of the day that didn't emanate from the Presidents Cup matches, Tiger Woods has signed a deal to play in January on the European Tour, presumably for a fat appearance fee.

But first, in order for Woods to play in the Abu Dhabi event January, he had to be granted a competing-events release by his home tour, the one in the States. Which is where it gets a bit sticky.

By PGA Tour rules, for a player to be eligible for a competing-events release, he must play in the required 15 events annually. Because of injury or personal choice, Woods hasn’t played in 15 events since 2009.

Yet the tour green-lighted him for the Abu Dhabi event, anyway, just as it did earlier this year for a competing European Tour event in Dubai, even though he did not play in the minimum number of Stateside events in 2010.

"We have the flexibility within the tournament regulations to reduce the 15-tournament requirement in the event of an injury or illness for purposes of receiving a conflicting event release," said Andy Pazder, the PGA Tour's second in command, in an email.

This is no small favor.

In order to play, Woods will skip playing in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey, a locale where he's had more success than at any other venue, with seven career victories, including the 2008 U.S. Open.

For the second year in a row, Woods didn’t come close to competing in 15 events, only entering nine this season. In fact, after missing three months in the middle of the season, he didn’t muster much of a good-faith effort in the second half of the year to get remotely close.

Recall that when he was on the cusp of missing the FedEx Cup series, he skipped a chance to play in the Greensboro event, which might have earned him enough points to get him in the playoffs, as it has for other players needing a last-minute boost. Then when the FedEx series ended, Woods skipped entering Fall Series events at Sea Island, Las Vegas and Disney World, when he was clearly healthy enough to play.

He also could have played in the PGA Tour's semi-official CIMB and HSBC Champions event in China, which followed the Fall Series, but he signed up for a series of exhibitions in Asia and Australia, instead. All of those events pony up huge sums to be associated with the PGA Tour and would have loved to have Woods in the field.

What kind of message is the tour sending to its own tournaments by letting a guy slide on ground rules two years in a row, so that he can collect a paycheck overseas at an event that draws eyeballs away from its own product?

The Golf Channel reports that Peter Ripa, the new tournament director at the Farmers Insurance event at Torrey Pines, learned that Woods was playing in Abu Dhabi when he read about it Wednesday morning.

Nice way to start the workday, much less a new job, huh? A guy who was once his main drawing card will be playing on the opposite end of the world, with the PGA Tour's blessing.

Category: Golf
Posted on: November 16, 2011 10:30 am
Edited on: November 16, 2011 10:45 am
 

Cup pairings not exactly Presidential in timbre

ORLANDO, Fla. – Wake up, America.

Boy, are we missing the overnight news cycle.

While many in the States were sleeping, the pairings for the first day of play at the Presidents Cup were issued, and event organizers are hardly taking the high road when it comes to controversial matchmaking, or gleaning every ounce of juice they might generate.

Not quite two weeks after caddie Steve Williams used a racial term to describe part of former boss Tiger Woods’ anatomy, Woods and Williams’ new boss, Adam Scott, were placed in the final opening-day foursome off the tee as matches begin Thursday in Australia.

That’s hardly all that happened overnight, either, but foisted things first.

After organizers at last week’s Aussie Open declined to pair Scott and Woods, the two captains at the PrezCup wasted no time in putting the pair together, sending them out last on the first day of matches. Reaction was swift.

*The PGA Tour, which runs the event, took no disciplinary action against Williams for uttering the perceived racial slur, but isn’t above using any tension with Woods to hype the event? Nice. Hypocrisy take a 1-up lead.

*Secondly, Woods was a highly controversial selection to the U.S. team to begin with – two-time winner Keegan Bradley, the only Yank to win a major this year, was passed over -- and the tour is clearly milking Woods for all he’s worth.

*If you had forgotten that this is an exhibition, consider yourself reminded. The Aussie Open didn’t pair Woods and Scott because it would have been disruptive to the tournament proper.

*But the Presidents Cup is a soap opera, not a real tournament, and not above pandering to draw eyeballs in a time zone 16 hours away from the U.S. eastern time zone. In fact, this thing looks more like pro wrestling that professional golf. Maybe the Rock ought to be tapped as a future assistant captain, not Michael Jordan.

*Despite some misdirection from U.S. captain Fred Couples --or maybe he was just a mite confused, as usual -- Woods was indeed paired with Steve Stricker in the opening matches. The duo has been hugely successful in 2009 and 2010 as dance partners and Woods was 5-0 at the Presidents Cup two years ago in San Francisco. Yeah, we're sure you're as shocked as we are.

At 2 a.m. ET, the tour announced that the 2015 Presidents Cup would be staged at an undetermined in golf-crazed South Korea, which represents a savvy move. The Ryder Cup, the granddaddy of all international matches, isn’t held outside the U.K. or the United States, and the decision to stage the PrezCup in Asia for the first time is shrewd for a variety of reasons.

The European Tour has a better grip on Asian markets already, co-sanctioning several events with other tours, and this will insinuate the PGA Tour into more homes and markets. Not to mention that this year’s International team at Royal Melbourne has three Koreans on the roster.

In an unrelated note, yet one that will generate plenty of chatter going forward, it was announced Wednesday that Woods will skip playing the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines in January in order to play for pay at the European Tour event the same week in Abu Dhabi.

Woods has won seven tournaments at Torrey and only once has finished outside the top 10 – last year. The blowback will be at least two-fold: Woods will get ripped for blowing off his most successful venue for a payday, and speculation will heighten about where he will play on the West Coast instead, be it at Pebble Beach, Riviera or wherever.

Woods frequently played the Dubai event in the EuroTour's Desert Swing, but his contract expired this year, and he was fined for spitting on a green in the final round. Interestingly, the Abu Dhabi event is run by IMG, Woods' former managament agency.

Though he hasn't won anywhere in over two years, Woods reportedly commands a $2 million appearance fee, the top figure in the game.

Based on what just happened at the Presidents Cup, what are the odds that Woods will be "drawn" with Rory McIlroy over the first two days?

Warm up those eyebrows, people, because there's plenty of wattage in the sarcasm meter these days.

Here are the opening pairings for tonight's foursomes (alternate shot) matches:

BUBBA WATSON / WEBB SIMPSON
ERNIE ELS / RYO ISHIKAWA

BILL HAAS / NICK WATNEY
GEOFF OGILVY / CHARL SCHWARTZEL
 
DUSTIN JOHNSON / MATT KUCHAR
AARON BADDELEY / JASON DAY
 
PHIL MICKELSON / JIM FURYK
RETIEF GOOSEN / ROBERT ALLENBY
 
HUNTER MAHAN / DAVID TOMS
KYUNG-TAE KIM / Y.E. YANG
 
TIGER WOODS / STEVE STRICKER
ADAM SCOTT / K.J. CHOI

 


 

Posted on: November 15, 2011 9:46 am
 

Rested Stricker back in stars and stripes

Steve Stricker is present and accounted for at the Presidents Cup.

Now, as for the actual accounting of his matches, we'll wait and see.

Stricker, 44, hasn’t played in seven weeks because of a bulging disc in his neck that prompted a withdrawal from the FedEx Cup event in Chicago in September, and a cortisone shot that followed, but said Tuesday at Royal Melbourne that rust will not be an issue.

Not to bury the guy with more pressure, but Stricker is quite likely crucial to the hopes of the Americans, who seek to avoid a repeat blowout like the last time the Yanks ventured to Royal Melbourne in 1998.

At world No. 5, Stricker is the top-ranked player on the U.S. team, and he had two victories this season. Paired with Tiger Woods at the last couple of international-team competitions, they were formidable pair in 2009 at the Presidents Cup matches in San Francisco, where Stricker made miles of putts to help Woods finish with a career-best 5-0 mark for the week.

With Woods’ game clearly in transition, and Stricker coming off a long layoff, the Dream Team looks anything but impervious. In fact, Stricker said it’s no sure thing they will be paired, though it seems unlikely that U.S. captain Fred Couples wouldn’t at least send them off in the Thursday’s opening matches as a tandem.

“No, you know what, it's not set in stone,” Stricker said Tuesday in Melbourne. “We'll start talking about it, I'm sure, today and tomorrow. I'm sure we'll go out at some point. I'm not sure which format or what yet. Yeah, there are a lot of possibilities.”

But the most important news is that Stricker says he feels healthy. He reported a loss of strength in his left arm from the nerve issue when he withdrew from the BMC Championship, and was still hurting in the early staged of the Tour Championship in Atlanta a week later. He had a cortisone shot on Monday of Tour Championship week.

“You know, after I got through the Tour Championship feeling pretty good after the cortisone shot, and I felt like I had that six-week period to kind of rest and do some rehabilitation on it and stuff like that, then I thought it would be all right,” he said. “So it's really a non-issue. It really feels a lot better.

“It's a good test these next few weeks. I go back to States, I have one week off, and I play a couple more events. I'll see how it goes in this next three- to four-week period.” 

Stricker's status was uncertain for weeks, to the point that Keegan Bradley was designated as his stand-in, in the event that Stricker needed surgery or additional rehab work for the neck issue. 

 


 

Category: Golf
Posted on: November 15, 2011 9:13 am
 

Live golf fans, fill Presidents Cup with coffee

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Normally, we'd not steer eyeballs to another network, but sometimes, when the game ventures to far-off locales in time zones located 16 hours away, the fan interests trump all.

This is one of those times.

With the Presidents Cup being played this week in Melbourne, which is 16 hours ahead of the American East Coast on the clock, here's a look at the live broadcast times on the Golf Channel for the week.

All times listed are Eastern and the format for the day is noted in parenthesis. The four days of play actually begins Wednesday night in the United States.

Wednesday (alternate-shot foursomes): 9 p.m. -- 2 a.m.

Thursday (best-ball fourball): 7:30 p.m. -- 2 a.m.

Friday (alternate-shot foursomes): 4 p.m. -- 2 a.m.

Saturday (singles): 6:30 p.m. -- 12:30 a.m.

With these bleary-eyed times, we might wanna fill our Presidents Cup with coffee. For those in no hurry, check local listings for Golf Channel replay times, and for specifics on the day-old, tape-delayed offerings on NBC Sports.

Category: Golf
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com