In less than 24 hours, the U.S. Open kicks off at Bethpage Black. What can we expect? Here are just a few of the anticipated highlights:
20-year-old Rory McIlroy will make his first start in the U.S. Open. The Northern Ireland native is fresh off his professional debut at The Masters where he achieved the third-highest average driving distance of all the players to make the cut.
As we mentioned in an earlier post, Phil Mickelson will play in the tournament after receiving encouraging news regarding his wife’s breast cancer diagnosis. Mickelson met with the media to discuss his return before heading out for practice rounds with Jim Furyk, Justin Leonard and Darron Stiles.
Andrew Svoboda also will play. He replaces Robert Karlsson, who withdrew after suffering an eye injuring during the first week of the St. Jude Classic.
Two words: Tiger Woods. He’s been practicing the course for several days now, which may have its advantage. The last time the U.S. Open was held at Bethpage Black – back in 2002 – Woods won.
So who will be the victor this year – will it be Woods, Mickelson, or maybe rookie McIlroy? Nobody knows for sure, but we’ll be glued to our sets all weekend to find out!
All I can say is “WOW! … what a great finish”. It should be clear to all Tiger is back … and back in a big way. In case you missed The Memorial, coming into the final holes on Sunday there was a 4-way tie on top of leaderboard, until Tiger went Birdie-Birdie on 17 & 18. Then suddenly, there was no doubt who was going to win! We all know how good he is with those NIKE Victory Red Blade Irons and how deadly he is with those putts to nail the coffin shut. But It is amazing how low he can go when he gets off the tee, and in fact Tiger hit 14 of 14 fairways on Sunday and only missed 5 fairways all week!
Tiger needs to keep that NIKE Dymo Driver in the bag for The Open come June 18th when he will be tackling that monster at BethPage Black. At the Memorial, Tiger was 2nd in driving accuracy and 12th in driving distance, and given BethPage Black will be playing a lengthy 7,426 and will impose severe penalties for not hitting the fairways, he will need both accuracy and distance.
FYI… NewsDay.com and several other medial outlets are reporting Tiger played a practice round today (Monday, June 8th) at BethPage Black, teeing off around 9:30AM and finished up around 1PM.
I will have the pleasure of being at The Open on Friday and will report in.
Jack congratulating Tiger ....
Can’t hit the links as much as you’d like? Don’t sweat it.
Yahoo! Fantasy Sports has just launched “Golf ‘09″ – your FREE ticket to weekly and segment prizes!
It’s so easy, too – you don’t have to be a pro to play. Just pick a foursome of PGA Tour players for each tournament, then earn fantasy points based on your golfers’ scores per round.
All right, so there’s a little more to it than that, but you can check out the official rules here.
THIS WEEK (May 7-10)
Tournament: The Players Championship
Course: TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Purse: $9.5 million
Defending champion: Sergio Garcia
Who will win? It could be YOU!
There’s only a few days left for Tiger Woods to commit to the Quail Hollow Championship, the Charlotte PGA Tour event running from April 30 to May 3.
But, if history is to repeat itself, the golf great will likely wait until the last minute to make his decision.
(Always the grandstander, that guy – we don’t know how his wife puts up with it. We kid, of course – but come on, guy; we’re holding our breath here!)
Because of his surgery, Tiger wasn’t able to compete last year, but if you recall, he hit the Hollow links in 2007 and emerged victorious.
He has even stiffer competition this time around though, seeing as how Phil Mickelson, Trevor Immelman and seven other top-ranked golfers, including Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington and Vijay Singh, have already thrown their hats into the ring.
You hear that, Tiger? These guys are lined up for a shot at the spotlight. You’re not gonna let them take you down without a fight, right?
T-minus 2 days and counting…
Bogey Niblick, on our Golf Etail deal team, was planning on writing a post this week, but I just HAD to recap Phil Mickelson’s dramatic performance at the PGA CA Championship at Doral last week.
The PGA CA Championship came down to a spirited duel between Lefty and the youthful Nick Watney on the 18th hole. But there was drama before the Mickelson-Watney duel. As we know, all eyes were on Tiger Woods with his first return to match play golf. Though we like to think of Tiger as an invicible golf-cyborg, he finished in 9th place at Doral. For a man who sat out for 8 months, sweating through knee surgery and physical rehabilitation, 9th place is quite respectable. None-the-less, all eyes should have been on the ever-lasting Phil Mickelson.
On the evening prior to the final round at Doral, Phil Mickelson was taken to the hospital suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration. Despite grappling with painful symptoms the night before, Mickelson survived seven lead changes througout 11 holes with the energetic Nick Watney to eventually champion him scoring a 3-under 69 and a one-shot victory. It was almost like witnessing the PGA version of the steady tortoise vs. the rambunctious hare. Talk about PGA Tour drama at the “Blue Monster!”
The World Ranking of Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson has now jumped up to 2nd place in the world ranking; just inches from Tiger Woods. Depending on how Tiger Woods plays at Bay Hil, Phil Mickelson may have a golden opportunity to become 1st in the world ranking when he plays again.
In the early days of spring, the PGA Tour has not disappointed! We’ll be watching with baited breath to see what the PGA Tour Soap Drama brings our way next week!
If anyone thinks Phil Mickelson can overtake Tiger Woods, we would love to read your thoughts in the comments section.
The PGA Tour has regained its sparkling star, but will his brilliance dull during his first stroke play since over 8 months ago?
Tiger Woods returned to the PGA Tour toward the end of February to compete at the Accenture Match Play. Though he lost in the second round to South Africa’s Tim Clark, it was the first time Woods had competed after an eight-month hiatus following ACL surgery in his left knee. In a recent news conference, Tiger was confident about his knee, stating that, “from a physical standpoint, it was better than I thought it would be.”
Tiger is now confronting his next challenge of the PGA Tour at the WGC-CA Championship at Doral Resort and Spa today. So What Are His Chances this week at the Doral’s “Blue Monster?”
Yesterday, amidst furrowed brows of speculation, Tiger Woods declared that he was officially returning to action. Tiger is going to be playing in next week’s Match Play in Marana, Arizona, his first competition since he had knee surgery.
Check out what the top golf minds think about his chances of winning:
GOLFWEEK ON TIGER’S RETURN
Will his return be glorious or will he be unable to match his prior brilliance? We’ll let you place your bets on that front. As for me, I’m heading to the driving range. It’s the middle of winter in New York, but that’s never stopped me before…
Greetings ladies and gentlemen!
Last week was a very exciting time for us and the golf industry. More than 41,000 industry professionals from the US and 74 countries abroad attended the 56th PGA Merchandise Show last week from Jan. 29th – 31st. Participants were there to discover cutting-edge new products, absorb the latest trends, conduct golfer-to-golfer business and hone strategies for a tough economy in 2009. Not to mention, I’m sure they would all like to drive like Tiger Woods or Annika Sorenstam.
Needless to say, we at Golf Etail were there en force to happily share and interact with the innovative new 2009 world of golf! Check out the images below of one of our featured brands, Callaway, showcasing some dynamic new products at their PGA Show booth.
Clear your schedule for the end of February 2009. With the upcoming birth of Tiger’s 2nd child and the rebirth of Tiger’s reconstructed left knee, the world of golf is going to be buzzing with excitement.
Will Tiger bring the same juggernaut amount of talent and intensity that has led him to become one of the best golfers of all time?
According to James Achenbach at golfweek.com, there are two prevailing points of view about his return:
1.) In the words of Ezekiel 25:17, Tiger will return with “great vengeance and furious anger” to smite his opponents.
2.) Tiger will concentrate more time with his wife and cubs in the homestead leading to a soft return.
In our opinion, Tiger will prey on his opponents in 2009 for a successful season. Tiger’s play and demeanor have reaffirmed his dire passion for golf over and over again. In his own words, he declared, “Well, I don’t want to be the same. I want to be better. I want to become better than I was, and this leg will help me in that process.”
With a surgically reconstructed knee, we’re even more convinced that the man who has won about 25% of all professional tournaments is a walking 18-hole cyborg.
What do you think? Will Tiger have a successful return or will he falter in 2009? Give us some spirited responses in the comments section.
Ever the sportsman, top-ranked Tiger Woods says he voted for fellow golfer Padraig Harrington for PGA Tour Player of the Year, according to GOLF.com.
“It was nice to see Paddy play as well as he has,” Woods was quoted as saying in the article. “It was just a matter of – as I said, a matter of time. The confidence you get from winning one, and then two just proves it to you that one wasn’t a fluke, and it gives you all that confidence in the world. And look how he did it; he shot 32 on the back nine on both of them.”
Woods’ vote, notes reporter Michael Walker Jr., is particularly significant because the World No. 1 has voted for himself in the past.
On a semi-related note, we had no idea that Utah’s Healthsouth Medical Center – where Woods had arthroscopic surgery performed – served humble pie to its patients.