Weekly 18: A large win for Jason Day, and Tiger Woods, during last, can play

Jan 29, 2018

Jason Day indispensable an additional day to finally win again; Rory McIlroy could have used a few some-more holes; and a delayed play emanate reared a nauseous conduct during a vital moment.

I’ll get to all of that in this book of a Weekly 18, yet Tigermania is using furious once again, as Tiger Woods did usually adequate to keep us intrigued and vehement about what a destiny holds.

The W18 starts with what we schooled about Tiger, what we didn’t learn and what we still don’t know.

1. First things first: It doesn’t take an consultant to know that a many critical partial about Woods’ successful lapse to a full-field eventuality is what it portends for a future. His opening during Torrey Pines wasn’t about this week itself. It’s like golf is formulation a celebration and usually set a date and sent out a invitations. There will be copiousness of prohibited takes in a arise of his initial full-field contest in a year, yet it’s unfit to disagree that a healthy, encouraged Tiger isn’t good for a game. I’ve been crowing about this for a while now: If he’s able of contending for tournaments again (and on initial glimpse, that answer is sincerely obvious) and so many of a game’s superb immature players continue personification a approach they have, golf could be hurtling toward a cross-generational golden age. I’m certain contrarians can find a problem with this, yet it seems like a best of both worlds.

2. Here’s another one that’s tough to disagree against: With his T-23 result, Woods defied expectations this week. we likely in final week’s W18 that he’d finish T-14, yet that frequency means we “expected” it. Even a many wild Tiger fans should know this was an pure feat for a actor who hadn’t done a cut in 888 days and has usually one other tourney with 4 rounds of par-or-better in a past 5 years. This should be personal as somewhere between one hulk jump and baby steps, yet it positively puts him on a right trail for a prolonged journey.

3. Now we can get to a discuss — or during slightest one of ’em. Whenever there’s sermon as to possibly Woods is “back,” we remember seeking him what he deliberate “back” during one of his prior comebacks a few years ago. Tiger usually arrange of smiled and shrugged, as if to contend he’d rather usually play and let everybody else disagree about it. The law is, there’s no scold answer since it’s all in a interpretation. we positively don’t have an answer, either, yet we do consider he forsaken a thought this week toward relocating in that direction. Before a opening round, Tiger stopped brief of his common pre-tournament statement: “I’m here to win.” Which was ideally sensible, deliberation his layoff. By Sunday afternoon, when interviewed on a broadcast, he was already in aged Tiger mode: “I unequivocally wanted to glow something around 65. we suspicion that competence be a playoff number.” I’m not observant that means he’s “back.” Just that his comments from Wednesday to Sunday advise a change in mindset.

4. Oh, and that quote? Tiger pronounced it scarcely 3 hours before a final organisation finished. As it turns out, 65 would have gotten him into a playoff. His prophecy diversion is in midseason form.

5. The biggest doubt with Woods’ diversion relocating brazen is, yet a doubt, a driver. He found usually 17 fairways this week — 3 fewer than he’d strike during any other 72-hole PGA Tour eventuality in his career. On a 1-10 scale of worry, though, I’d rate this about a 3.2. It would be a lot some-more discouraging if he couldn’t dial in his widen control (which was decent yet not great) or started yipping chips again (which he didn’t). Here’s presumption that over a subsequent few weeks, Woods will tinker with both his pitch off a tee and a motorist itself, anticipating a some-more gentle multiple that boundary those errors.

6. We schooled copiousness about Tiger this week. Here’s what we didn’t learn: We don’t know possibly he’s “ready” to win again; we have no thought if he’ll move his A-game to a majors; we have usually deceptive clues about his imminent schedule; and we’re not even certain if his surgically remade behind can withstand an whole deteriorate of practicing and playing. All of those will be answered in due time. Point is, anyone prepared to make outrageous proclamations about his imminent formula is usually guessing.

7. Here’s something we did learn: Despite carrying no wins in 5 years and no majors in a decade, Woods is still golf’s biggest needle-mover and a many applicable asset. Love him or adore to hatred him, fans organisation to a gallery ropes and TV screens when he’s in competition. They used to do that to see a game’s many widespread force in his prime. Now they do it since he’s a good different — and we’ll never know when or if he’s prepared to again clear some of that magic.

8. Woods was station over a 9-foot birdie putt on a 13th hole Sunday, when usually as he began his putting stroke, a fan yelled, “Get in a hole!” Why? Well, for a same reason anyone ever yells anything — to be heard. we did a low dive into a psyches of these “fans” a few years ago, interviewing scarcely dual dozen people who had screamed nonsensical things during veteran golfers during tournaments. we found out a few things, zero of that should come as a surprise. First, they’re roughly exclusively organisation ages 18 to 30. Second, they were scarcely unanimous in carrying a small glass courage. Third, they yelled after texting friends examination on TV during home to listen for their voice. You substantially could have guessed all of that. What we competence not comprehend — and what a man who screamed during Tiger is usually starting to grasp — is that many of them regretted causing a theatre and pronounced they wouldn’t do it again.

9. Last thing on Tiger: we positively desired this quote from him after a third-round 70 during that he strike a spin all over a place and saved himself with a shining short-game performance. “The usually thing we had was my brief diversion and my heart,” he pronounced afterward, “and that got me by it today.”

10. Three years ago, Day non-stop with a unsatisfactory 1-over 73 during Torrey, afterwards went on to win a golf tournament. Must be a intelligent strategy. This week, he again non-stop with a 73 and again won in a playoff. It’s a initial feat for Day in 20 months, as he’s dealt with some personal situations that presumably influenced his on-course performance. He should be commended for unresolved in during an additional prolonged Sunday afternoon, afterwards bouncing behind Monday morning in a check of a playoff with Alex Noren, stiffing a third-shot crowd on a sixth hole to all yet bind a title.

11. Feel-good story of a week (non-Tiger division) goes to Ryan Palmer. Three years ago, we sat with him days after his father had died in a automobile accident, and he explained because he indispensable to keep personification for has dad. Last year, his wife, Jennifer, underwent diagnosis for theatre 2 breast cancer. As a result, he done usually 20 starts and entered this deteriorate wanting to keep his PGA Tour personification privileges in his initial 6 events. Things are looking up. Jennifer is healthy, and he indispensable usually dual of those 6 starts to keep his card. Palmer was separated on a initial playoff hole Sunday, yet a grin on his face following told a story of a man who can still be happy yet removing a win.

12. we get it. The contest was on a line for J.B. Holmes as he stood over his second shot on a final hole, and a breeze was gusting, and he was perplexing to make a decision. Quite simply, though, a preference took approach too long. It took Holmes some-more than 4 mins to strike his layup, that is gross on a Thursday morning yet officious unpropitious to a diversion on a Sunday afternoon in a final group, when it shines a spotlight on usually how plodding veteran golf can be in a biggest moments.

13. The misfortune part? Holmes radically iced one of his personification partners. After watchful and watching, Noren finally stood over his ball, swung and flew a green. That’s not fair.

14. All of that said, I’m not an disciple of shot clocks or some-more fervently enforced slow-play penalties, generally during a final holes of a tournament. For a diversion infused with purity, it usually feels too artificial. Think about it: Your favorite actor is tied for a lead on a final hole. He stands over his ball. A large breeze breeze comes through. He stairs away. Then, suddenly, a horn sounds, observant that he took too long, will be penalized and has mislaid a tournament. Sounds brutal, right? Besides, if you’re going to military a final few groups on Sunday, you’ve got to military all of them for all 4 rounds. There needs to be a some-more organic heal for delayed play than some of a ideas that are out there.

15. Haotong Li is a stud. The 22-year-old didn’t usually stiff-arm McIlroy down a widen on Sunday in Dubai, yet he also changed into a world’s tip 50 and warranted his second European Tour title. He’s also unequivocally fun to watch. Li plays with some glow and passion, that could interpret into his apropos a tellurian star once his diversion reaches full potential. If this week was any indication, he competence not be too distant off.

16. Of course, McIlroy owns some-more than a few timber qualities himself. For those scoring during home, he’s now returned from that 3½-month layoff to finish third and second in his initial dual starts. You can roughly see him building some-more certainty any round. If he continues during this pace, those thirds and seconds shortly will interpret into wins.

17. Imagine this: You’re a immature person, tops in a universe in your margin and prepared to start a pursuit that could shortly infer to be intensely remunerative — solely afterwards you’re offering an amazing-yet-unpaid event that’s too good to spin down. OK, so maybe it’s not a ideal analogy to other situations, yet this was a one confronting Joaquin Niemann before he won this week’s Latin America Amateur Championship. With it, of course, comes an grant into this year’s Masters, and so a 19-year-old No. 1-ranked pledge from Chile will check branch pro for 3 some-more months, until he gains that useful knowledge during a year’s initial major.

18. Nothing opposite Phoenix, zero opposite Pebble — dual unequivocally fun weeks entrance adult on a PGA Tour. But it’s going to be lit, as a kids say, during Riviera in a few weeks. Defending champion Dustin Johnson is in a field, as are McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Oh, and that other guy. The contest host. Some dude named Tiger.

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