No, I’m not excited about this week’s WGC Mexico City replacement in Bradenton, Florida. Maybe the course will grown on me, but with Tiger Woods in a hospital room this will be a tough one to get up for. Plus, all-things-considered, it was a super West Coast Swing that wrapped too soon for a month of swamp golf.
And a tournament called the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship At The Concession (WGCWCATC).
That said, this week’s venue does have a nice story behind it and some of the players have even heard the story of the 1969 Ryder Cup. Now, ask me again on Sunday after 498 tellings of The Concession story. I might feel like Captain Sam Snead did about one of the great acts of golf sportsmanship.
This is a nice recap of that Ryder Cup, including a reminder that it was Jack Nicklaus’ first ever Cup appearance:
As for the course, look to the trusted digital outlets for the best “content” on The Concession. They may not be credential worthy to some golf organizations but someone has to pass on the WAGs slideshows and sponcon to cover the game!
The Fried Egg’s Garrett Morrison and Andy Johnson discuss the layout and slopes with their usual stunning drone shots:
NLU’s “Crash Course” on the Nicklaus-Jacklin design:
Blunt warning here: this is all very hard to read on many levels. Emotionally and physically, if you can read this without cringing or losing your appetite, your soul may need nurturing or you’re an orthopedic surgeon.
So here are the ?s and some answers about Tiger and his injuries. First of all, Tiger and his handlers are notoriously secretive so we will likely not get full information. That is always a patient’s prerogative, and with HIPAA, treating MDs cannot reveal details. 1/n
Tiger had a “rod” placed into his tibia for tibia fracture(s) – this is what we usually call in orthopaedics an IM nail = intramedullary nail. It runs down the middle of the tibia (or other long bones) and stabilizes the fracture while it is healing. 2/n
His fracture was said to be comminuted. Comminuted is a fracture classification, as opposed to simple. Simple fracture = breaks into 2 parts only; comminuted fracture = breaks into more than 2 parts – could be parts, could be 100 3/n
Can Tiger play golf again when he recovers? Assuming his leg heals fully, the answer is yes. Infection is a concern, and development of arthritis at the ankle is a longer-term concern but if the wind is fair, he will play golf again. 12/n
GinaKolataof the New York Times talks to doctors about Woods injuries that are consistent with car accident victims hitting the brakes. This is a tough read in part because contrary to rosy assessments that the worst is past him or there is reason for a “sigh of relief,” Tiger has a brutal road ahead in the coming days and long term.
Kolata looks to compare Woods’ injuries with that of NFL quarterback Alex Smith and even Ben Hogan. The primary perspective from Dr. R. Malcolm Smith, the chief of orthopedic trauma at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Mass.
When the front end of the car is smashed, immense force is transmitted to the driver’s right leg and foot. “This happens every day with car crashes in this country,” Dr. Smith said.
Such lower-leg fractures on occasion bring “massive disability” and other grave consequences, said Dr. Smith. “A very rough estimate is that there is a 70 percent chance of it healing completely,” he added.
He goes on to explain the issues facing Woods should swelling not subside in his leg and he needs a skin graft to close the wound.
And the issue of playing golf is addressed.
As a result, he said, it may take five to 14 months for Woods’s lower leg bones to grow together, assuming they do so at all.
The biggest hurdle will be his foot and ankle injuries, Dr. Firoozabadi and others said. Regaining range of motion and strength can take three months to a year. Depending on the extent of those injuries, even after rehabilitation Woods may barely be able to walk.
For the squeamish, University of Rochester’s Dr. Michael Maloney is a level one trauma surgeon and offered a more sensitive explanation on Matt Adams’ Fairways of Life. He translated the doctor’s statement, noting this was a “limb threatening” injury.
It’s a very good explanation that starts three minutes into the show:
The LA Times story was reported on by Hayley Smith, Richard Winton, Faith E. Pinho, Sam Farmer and Christina Schoellkopf who report on how Tiger Woods was seriously injured and details concerns with the road where Woods was injured.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Woods was traveling at a “relatively greater speed than normal” descending down a hill, noting that the area “has a high frequency of accidents.” The sheriff said that there were no skid marks and no signs of braking and that the golfer’s vehicle hit the center divider, a curb and a tree in the rollover crash.
Villanueva said Tuesday there was no evidence Woods was impaired at the scene.
Woods was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center by ambulance, where he was in serious condition and being treated for his injuries, the Fire Department said. His injuries included a shattered ankle and two leg fractures, one of which was compound, according to a source familiar with his treatment.
That terrible news was confirmed around 10 pm Pacific Time by his doctor and company, TGR (embed above).
As part of a statement on Woods' official Twitter account, Dr. Anish Mahajan of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center updated the famed golfer's condition, saying in part that he had multiple "open fractures" to his lower right leg, had a rod placed in his tibia, and screws and pins inserted in his foot and ankle during an emergency surgery.
"Comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones were stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia," said Mahajan, the chief medical officer and interim CEO at Harbor-UCLA. "Additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilized with a combination of screws and pins. Trauma to the muscle and soft-tissue of the leg required surgical release of the covering of the muscles to relieve pressure due to swelling."
The officer first on the scene spoke of the experience:
Discovery, owners of Golf Digest and GolfTV, released this statement:
The PGA TOUR Statementon Tiger Woods from Commissioner Jay Monahan:
We have been made aware of Tiger Woods' car accident today. We are awaiting further information when he comes out of surgery. On behalf of the PGA TOUR and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers.
Barbara and I just heard about Tiger’s accident, and like everyone else, we are deeply concerned. We want to offer him our heartfelt support and prayers at this difficult time. Please join us in wishing Tiger a successful surgery and all the best for a full recovery.
“Tiger Woods is part of the Augusta National family, and the news of his accident is upsetting to all of us. We pray for him, for his full recovery and for his family during this difficult time.” – Chairman Fred Ridley
"All of us at the PGA of America extend our best wishes to Tiger Woods for a full recovery from the injuries he sustained in today’s accident. We are concerned for Tiger and will keep him and his family in our prayers." — Jim Richerson, President, PGA of America pic.twitter.com/rcJpoPtzLK
Even after learning of Tiger Woods’ serious car accident in Rolling Hills Estates, the PGA Tour went ahead with a pre-planned call featuring Justin Thomas.
Given how close he is to Tiger, it was admirable of Thomas to muster the mood to talk all things WGC and speak so movingly about his concern for Woods’ children.
Nine questions in he was finally asked about what should have been on the only topic in the minds of most press operations. And to see what was asked before and after shows why it might have been best not to have this session at all and just let Justin share his concern on social media.
But we have the Workday WGC at The Concession And Not In Mexico City to promote, promote, promote!
Q. How concerned are you that--if you were playing well when you had that success, how concerned are you with how you're playing at the moment?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I don't know if "concerned" is the right word. I obviously always want and wish to be playing better, but yeah, not exactly where I want to be with my game right now. But just like this game, you always work to try to get out of it when you're not doing your best. So just got to keep working on it and hope good things start happening.
Q. Justin, not the greatest question, but have you heard about Tiger and do you have any reaction to it?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I'm sick to my stomach. You know, it hurts to see one of your--now one of my closest friends get in an accident. Man, I just hope he's all right. Just worry for his kids, you know. I'm sure they're struggling.
Q. On a lighter note, you played the golf course today. One of the reasons that they call this course The Concussion was the greens. How are the greens and especially how are they as you chip up to them?
Oy. Vey. Gevalt.
The point missing here both on the PGA Tour and press side is just off the charts.
But again, tip of the cap to Justin Thomas for being a good sport in a trying circumstance.
This year’s Max Homa-won Genesis Invitational scored nice ratings upticks on CBS (2.24 vs 2.03 final round) despite last year’s leaderboard featuring Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy, reports ShowBuzzDaily.com.
I saw a lot of players at last week’s Genesis Invitational but somehow managed to miss a few of the crazier tee shots. Notably, one by Charl Schwartzel driving over the first hole barranca and Matthew Wolff almost driving the third green.
Let’s look at these two holes and the data collected by Shotlink (thank you team and volunteers). Starting with the 1st hole (Shotlink scatter chart embedded above).
The “par-5” played into the wind at times, including some huge gusts before play was stopped Saturday, and still saw players drive well through the fairway in the barranca or past it. If you know Riviera, this thought has been joked about and tried by a long hitter here and there. The day has now arrived where players are forcing the issue and don’t care if they end up in the barranca. In Schwartzel’s case he cleared it 368 yards away on a carry of 320 according to Shotlink.
Also, a 4.279 average for a par-5 is especially low given that the wind was into the players faces a couple of days.
The second image is of the 3rd hole playing under par for the week with all drives finishing well past the fairway bunker. I’m sure the data analysts of the world will run the numbers and tell players: drive past the bunker, it’s to your benefit. Smart!
Seriously, it’s incredible to see no drive within forty yards of a fairway bunker that once had meaning not that long ago.
I thought I’d seen it all when they erected a blue wall behind the 18th at Mission Hills and players used it as a backboard in the 2020 ANA Inspiration.
Dubbed the “Great Wall of Dinah” by Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols, the feature diminished a major should have been removed after two rounds. But as the tournament prepares to turn 50 they’ve gone back in the “records” to find that there is no better way to celebrate this milestone by returning the 18th to full island status, minus the wall. It’s retro! The kids love retro!
For Immediate Release with interruptions:
ANA INSPIRATION THE FIRST MAJOR OF 2021 CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY
Defending champion Mirim Lee and 2020 Women’s British Amateur Champion Aline Krauter to play 2021 ANA Inspiration
February 22, 2021
Note the headline inclusion of Krauter, a late addition to the field and defection from the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
The 50th edition of the ANA Inspiration will take place April 1 - 4 at Mission Hills Country Club, Rancho Mirage, California, marking a return to its usual position on the calendar as the first Major of the year.
This historic Major, which has 38 different champions over its 49-year history, will once again gather the world’s best women with the field headed by defending champion, Mirim Lee, who claimed her first Major title last year over the famous Dinah Shore Tournament Course.
The South Korean won a dramatic three-way play-off last September, sealing victory at the first play-off hole. Lee eagled her 72nd hole on the Sunday to draw level with Nelly Korda and Brooke Henderson, remarkably having not held the lead at any point during the tournament. Now a four-time LPGA winner, Lee calmly holed a five-foot putt for birdie to snatch victory from Korda and Henderson - both of whom had held the lead over the course of the final day.
As with last year’s tournament, this special 50th Anniversary edition will be going ahead without spectators due to Covid-19 related restrictions following close collaboration with partners ANA, the LPGA, the City of Rancho Mirage, Mission Hills Country Club and in consultation with the Riverside County Health Department, following the State of California Public Health Department guidelines.
With no onsite hospitality possible this year, tournament organisers have taken this unique opportunity, coinciding with 50th Anniversary celebrations, to play the famous 18th island green surrounded by the famous Poppie’s Pond in its purest state.
It’s a special, one-time limited opportunity!
As far as the records show, the world’s best golfers will be approaching the 18th green just as the competitors would have encountered it in its inaugural edition in 1972, clear of any hospitality units or branding.
Or people, also just like 1972. Oh I kid…
Lee is looking forward to revisiting the scene of her victory just six month ago, said; “I can’t wait to return to Rancho Mirage as the defending champion. Usually you have to wait 12 months to get to defend a title so it’s pretty unusual we will be back there so soon. For me personally, I think it will be wonderful to be back there as soon as possible and have the chance to relive all the happy memories and feelings of winning there last year. I am very sad that all the amazing fans still won’t be able to return this year, but it is a very understandable and sensible decision to make when we are in a global pandemic. We are all very grateful to ANA, the LPGA, IMG, Mission Hills and Rancho Mirage and all the partners for working so hard for us to make it possible for us to play the year’s first Major as scheduled.”
Germany’s Aline Krauter, a Junior at Stanford University, has also seized the chance to play in the season-opening Major, commenting, “It is such a fantastic opportunity for me to gain experience playing amongst the world’s best in the season’s first major. I could not think of a more historic venue to play my first major championship at. I am honored to have been given this amazing opportunity to test my game at the next level.”
And she’s not sounding too sad about bailing on Augusta.
Fans will be able to watch the ANA Inspiration around the world, including on Golf Channel and Sky Sports, and follow along for enhanced content on social @ANAinspiration and the tournament website ANAinspiration.com
It’s still remarkable that this major isn’t network worthy while the Augusta National Women’s Amateur is.
While Tiger Woods gave a less-than-rosy assessment of his immediate ability to play, he turned around and mustered the strength to spend the day shooting something with comedian David Spade. Presumably this is something for GolfTV. But given that few can confirm the channel’s existence and since Woods avoided media during this weekend visit to Riviera, we can only hope the workload is limited and he didn’t set back his recovery in the name of barely-seen “content”.
THE USGA AND THE R&A MODERNIZE AMATEUR STATUS RULES
LIBERTY CORNER, N.J., USA and ST ANDREWS, Scotland (Feb. 22, 2021) – The USGA and The R&A have announced proposals for significant changes to the Rules of Amateur Status that govern the game worldwide.
These proposals result from a modernization initiative that has identified a clear need to bring the Rules up to date to reflect today’s global amateur game and ensure that the Rules are easier to understand and apply.
The proposed Rules, along with explanations to key changes, have been posted on usga.org and randa.org and the organizations are now inviting feedback from golfers and stakeholders. Comments will be accepted through Friday, March 26, with the new Rules scheduled to be adopted on January 1, 2022.
A comprehensive review of the Rules of Amateur Status began in late 2017, focusing on three main goals: to ensure the Rules are in the best interests of the game, reflect the modern game, and are easily understood and applied.
This review reaffirmed amateur golf’s important position in the game and the value in maintaining amateur status Rules to safeguard all the ways golf is played and enjoyed.
The result is a set of Rules that redefine the distinction between amateur and professional golf and provide a condition of eligibility – amateur status – for amateurs who compete in golf competitions.
As part of the modernization effort, it is proposed that the new Rules will identify only three acts that will result in a golfer losing their amateur status:
Accepting a prize in excess of the prize limit.
Accepting payment for giving instruction.
Accepting employment as a golf club professional or membership of an association of professional golfers.
To achieve this simplified approach, the following key changes are proposed:
Eliminating the distinction between cash prizes and other prizes.
Using the prize limit as the only way an amateur can lose amateur status through their play (meaning that entering or playing a competition as a professional would not, of itself, result in the loss of amateur status).
Removing restrictions from the Rules surrounding competitions such as long-drive events, putting competitions and skills competitions that are not played as part of a tee-to-hole competition; and
Eliminating all sponsorship restrictions.
“Golf is unique in its broad appeal to both recreational and competitive golfers,” said Craig Winter, USGA Senior Director, Rules of Golf and Amateur Status. “We understand and value how important amateur status is, not only to those who compete at the highest level of the amateur game, but for the millions of golfers at every age and skill level who enjoy competitive events at their home courses. These updates should help simplify these Rules and ensure the health of the amateur game.”
Grant Moir, Director of Rules at The R&A, said, “The Rules of Amateur Status play an important role in protecting the integrity of our self-regulating sport but the code must continue to evolve. This is particularly so in relation to the modern elite amateur game, where many of the players need financial support to compete and develop to their full potential, and the proposed new Rules will give much greater scope for this.”
The proposed new Rules are accompanied by an overview document and explanations that detail the rationale for why changes are being proposed and, in some instances, why they have stayed the same.
On the City of Champions spectrum, Max is a distant third. Heck, Collin Morikawa should be in there too after winning a major last August.
But who cares? Local boy makes good. Local boy saves writers from having to write a Sam Burns story. That alone is a World Golf Hall of Fame stuff. And then Homa goes and gives great quotes!
The cheery ending, coupled with Tony Finau posting 64 ahead of Homa and leading to a 10th hole playoff, almost help make up for the lack of fans. Naturally the rain dance this event normally provides for the region was played under spectacularly sunny skies and a (most days) playable golf course.
Homa’s win is particularly sweet given the Genesis Invitational’s grand history, longevity and relatively small number of local winners. He joins southern Californians Corey Pavin (1994, 1995) and John Merrick (2013) as recent winners with ties to the region.
The winner has been coming to the event since he was two, was there for the bizarre 2005 playoff, cited this event as one of his inspirations to purse pro golf, and, best of all, Homa worshipped host Tiger Woods growing up. Woods subsequently handed him the Genesis trophy. Woods has never won the tournament he hosts.
Homa explained where an LA Open win ranks on his tournament bucket list.
“1-A, 1-B, 1-C,” he said. “I don't know if I could ever do anything cooler in golf than this. Just for me, for my caddie Joe, we were raised 25miles north of here. I mean, Tiger Woods is handing us a trophy, that's a pretty crazy thought. We grew up idolizing him, idolizing Riviera Country Club, idolizing the golf tournament. To get it done, it's almost shocking, but it just feels--it feels like it just can't be topped just for me.”
Homa missed a short but tricky downhiller at the 18th to prevent a playoff. Instead, he posted a bogey-free 66 and headed to the 10th hole with Finau. The famous short par-4 was playing just 282 yards and was getting the first playoff hole nod over the 18th hole due to the lack of fans on site.
Hitting second, the 30-year-old slightly pulled his tee shot and was up against one of the Bottlebrush let to defend the hole because the USGA and R&A chose to take the last decade off.
“Ten's a crazy hole. Talor Gooch and I were talking about it on 11 today during the regulation round. A lot of people don't like it, I love it. I think golf could use a little chaos at times.”
“You kind of aim at these trees and kind of see what happens,” he continued. “I hit a good tee ball, I pulled it probably five yards left of where Tony was, which is kind of where you wanted to hit it. Yeah, what are you going to be mad about when you make a good swing when you're nervous. Obviously had a weird looking shot but I had a shot, which is cool.”
After a few practice tries, Homa hooded his 50-degree wedge to get some “tumble spin” into the kikuyu fringe. He got up and down. Finau missed his first putt under 10 feet in his last 30 or so tries and they were off to the 14th. There Homa hit a beautiful tee shot and Finau could not get up and down for par.
A new member of the City of Champions has been born and at the place that gave birth to his golf career.
“This morning, my wife gave me a piece of advice,” he said. “There were a few bullet points, [but] one of them was `forgive quickly.’ She called me after, told me to do that, and it was kind of perfect because I had played a pretty perfect round of golf, very flawless. So what was there to be too mad about? I was about to be in a playoff at the place I first fell in love with golf.”
Statistically Max Homa had a 99.57% chance of converting the 3-footer for birdie on the 72nd hole of the Genesis Invitational, but then there is no room for statistics in the chambers of the human heart.
In 11 events this season on the PGA Tour Homa, who is as L.A. as palm trees and Dodger dogs, had been predictably automatic, like most Tour types, from that distance. But not all 3-footers are created equal and the slider for birdie and victory at the event that means more to him than any other might as well have been 30 feet.
Homa, who grew up 30 minutes north of Riviera, admitted he was “shaking like a leaf” over the game-winner on the iconic 18th hole and the only saving grace was that the empty pandemic gallery wasn’t there for a collective gasp.
A few more fun items including Homa’s emotional post-round interview with CBS:
Tiger Woods looked better in person than the cameras made him appear in a 12 minute booth stint. The Genesis Invitational host briefly touched on his foundation’s 25th anniversary before questions from Jim Nantz about the state of the back.
"I'm feeling fine, a little stiff," Woods said. "I've got one more MRI scheduled, and then I can start doing more activities. I'm still in the gym doing rehab activities before gravitating towards more."
Woods would not commit to playing a tournament before the Masters, and when asked specifically about the year's first major championship, he said, "God, I hope so. But I've got to get there first. I don't have much wiggle room left. I've got only one back."
Harig, however, noted this:
The recovery from the procedure, which was believed to be one level up on the spine from where his previous ones occurred, was expected to take two and a half to three months. He was said to be hitting balls a few weeks later, but Woods' words indicated he has not done the heavy practicing necessary for a return.
The forecast called for winds in the 10-15 mph range at 10 a.m. with the worst of the conditions not expected to arrive until 4 p.m., which would have been about an hour after play was scheduled to finish. Forecasts aren’t perfect, though, and as the field mulled around the iconic clubhouse searching for shelter, they weren’t looking for someone to blame so much as they just wanted to get back to work.
“It was just very extreme,” said Wyndham Clark, who was on the 16th hole when play was halted for the day for darkness. “We weren't to the really hard holes. I mean, seeing some of the pin placements and how they played after we went back out and how tough they were, it was definitely unfair I think earlier, for sure.”
Heading into Sunday’s 6:50 am restart and final round Sam Burns holds a two-stroke lead over Matthew Fitzpatrick and a three-stroke margin over Wyndham Clark, Dustin Johnson and Max Homa.
The silliness above is on the governing bodies for not doing anything. Riviera for allowing the green to evolve as it has, and on someone else for not at least getting a tee extension ordered up.
Players now regularly say they aim for the trees left and hope. Is this how golf treats its elders? Oh right, yes it is.
Jordan Spieth’s description is just more forthright than most. But to think a whole ingeniously masterminded no longer gets to present the best players the intended options on a grand stage like the Genesis Invitational, is a stain on the game.
Yeah, so the idea was to hit a 3-wood over the left bunker into those trees. I mean, for real. You can get stymied and not have a shot and if that's the case you just have to kind of punch it forward. And then--but that angle's the best angle to be chipping into the green from. It was blowing pretty hard so I knew I needed to kind of hook it in order to get it over that bunker. So I went a little left of where I wanted, ended up in one of those spots that was not ideal because the palm tree happened to be right in the line I wanted to go. Ended up choosing to go to the left side of it and actually kind of almost cut it out of the rough from about 60yards. That shot was the shot of the day for me. That could have easily been a 5 and it turned out to be a 3.
Kim made an ace on the par-3 16th hole at Riviera from 168 yards with a 7-iron which earned him a 2021 Genesis G80 during a rollercoaster 2-under 69 that left him in a tie for 19th place.
The 35-year-old Korean is in the field courtesy of winning the 2020 Genesis Championship on the Korean Tour last October – a result that also yielded a Genesis GV80 to go with the invitation to make his PGA TOUR debut.
The four-time Korean Tour winner also picked up a Genesis GV70 for leading the order of merit on the Korean Tour in 2020, making it three vehicles added to his garage in just over four months.
“I gave the first two cars to my parents but I’m not sure yet what I’ll do with this latest one,” Kim said through a translator after the round.
Nothing grows the game like hearing Rudy Giuliani tell stories about golf with the late Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Wie until, of course, it veers where you’d expect with this delusional member of elite clubs like Sebonack.
But as revolting as this is, the clip is worth watching just for the look on Steve Bannon’s face as America’s Mayor descends into creepy old coot territory.
I had to hear it so you do too:
Rudy Giuliani tells an absolutely disgusting story about golfing with Rush Limbaugh
(He refers to Rush as "Roger" because he has pudding for brains but in context it was definitely about Rush) pic.twitter.com/fh4zO3DUVi
I saw enough of Jordan Spieth playing round one of the Genesis Invitational to safely say his mojo is back. Whether it translates to the form of years past remains to be seen, but after an opening 68 in tricky conditions, he is primed for a third straight week contending in a PGA Tour event.
After the round he reflected on the improved state of his game, dutifully answering questions about his resurgent form.
Q. Can you just characterize what the battle has been like since your last win, trying to find these things? Obviously they're starting to come back to you, but just the level of patience that it's taken for you and how much of an inner battle that maybe is.
JORDAN SPIETH: Sure. It's kind of the first time in my life where I've had a significant dip in success. It had kind of been a nice uptick every single year. So just kind of learning how to deal with that and doing it--and having to do it in such a public way was very difficult, can sometimes present even more challenges. But at the same time, the idea is to get to the bottom of it, turn it around, make progress each day and recognize that's the past and I can use it as having some scar tissue and use it to my advantage going forward. But ultimately I'm just in the same search that everybody else is that steps on the first tee, which is feeling really in control of the golf ball and shooting low scores. Everybody's search for that is a different path and I'm living mine right now.
Q. I assume you feel a sense of momentum that's generated over the last little bit; is that true? And are you a believer in momentum and has that been something you've been chasing, just let me get it going?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, yeah, I feel some moments where I kind of hit the shot and I have that kind of step of confidence that I just, it's kind of been missing. I'm gaining I think I can use the word momentum into just gaining confidence, gaining confidence in what I'm working on. And that kind of belief has me going to bed at night wanting to go to work tomorrow and wanting to go out there and trust what I'm doing. Whether we pull it off or not, just to make progress. It gets me really excited about playing golf and for me that makes me happy. I mean, it's nice to be going to bed wanting to do what you love to do and you get to go do it. Can't take that for granted and I'm glad to be on this side of it right now. And I do feel that there's positive momentum right now, but if I get complacent, that's the worst thing that could happen. It's just about pushing through. Now's the time where I work harder than ever and continue to trust what I'm doing.
**Spieth’s group has been added to Friday’s Featured Group coverage…
Tiger Woods is hosting but not playing following end-of-2020 back surgery. We might see him Sunday to hand out the stunning trophy and three-year exemption that goes to the $9.3 million Genesis Invitational winner.
Without fans due to the pandemic the parrots and sea breezes will have to provide the ambient noise. But a stellar field with 8 of the world top 10 should put on a stellar show this week. Riviera is immaculate, amazingly firm for this time of year, and drying out as I type thanks to crisp Santa Ana winds.
Brooks Koepka had this to say about the course:
BROOKS KOEPKA: It's as fast and firm as I've ever seen this place. It will be interesting to see what happens. I think scores will be a little bit higher just because you see a couple balls on the greens releasing a little bit more than they have in maybe previous years. I'll tell you what, the greens are flying, so it will be interesting to see, especially if the wind picks up, what they'll do with it; if they slow the greens down a little bit, maybe not cut them, just roll them. It will be interesting to see how the week plays out.
Yes it will!
As for prognosticating, three players with local or Riviera ties who are coming in on form and worth a longshot look: Max Homa, Cameron Tringale and Doug Ghim. The first two are southern Californians, the latter was runner-up in the 2017 U.S. Amateur at Riviera coming off a T5 in the American Express and a T21 last week at Pebble Beach.
Rex Hoggardupdates us onHank Haney’s lawsuit against the PGA Tour for interfering in his ability to make a living. It sounds like the sides are talking.
Silence. There is a predictable ebb and flow to legal action when it comes to the Tour, and if this week’s filings were any indication, Hank Haney might be on the winning end of the recent silence.
Haney sued the Tour in 2019 after he was fired by Sirius XM Radio for racist comments regarding the LPGA. After being initially suspended by Sirius XM Radio, Haney was fired because, according to his lawsuit, the Tour had “long attempted to disrupt and interfere in Haney’s business” following the release of his book, “The Big Miss,” in 2012 that chronicled his years as Tiger Woods’ swing coach.
On Wednesday, the U.S. District Court of the Florida Southern District ruled that the docket for Haney’s case was “restricted/sealed until further notice” as the two sides continue mediation and discovery.
The Tour’s policy is to not comment on ongoing litigation, but if previous lawsuits are any indication (see Singh, Vijay) sealing the file is not a good sign for the circuit.