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Tiger Woods cleared by doctor to return to golf

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A day after Tiger Woods posted video of himself hitting driver, and six months after the golfer’s fourth back surgery, Woods’ fans are getting some very good news.

Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, told ESPN’s Bob Harig Monday he’s been cleared to resume full golf activities.

“He got a nice report and is allowed to proceed,” Steinberg said. “He can do as much as he needs to do. Tiger is going to take this very, very slowly. This is good, but he plans to do it the right way.”

According to Woods’ agent, the golfer isn’t experiencing any pain as he ramps up his practice routine. Stenberg, however, was predictably mum on when the 14-time major champion could return to golf.

“We have not even talked about it,” Steinberg said. “We will see what each day brings, what each week brings.”

As recently as the Presidents Cup three weeks ago, Woods was limited to short wedge shots, so the pace of his progression from that point, and apparent lack of pain, are both excellent signs.

However, as Steinberg said, reading the tea leaves is premature at this point, although assuming Woods would like to be back in action by the Masters is a safe bet.

The 41-year-old hasn’t teed it up since withdrawing prior to the second round of the Dubai Desert Classic in February.

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41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. mlecuni

    Oct 19, 2017 at 4:01 am

    Hate him or Love him
    In the end, let his golf’s legacy talk for him

    • etc.

      Oct 19, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      His legacy? Elin swinging a 9-iron!

      • RMF

        Oct 19, 2017 at 4:21 pm

        More 14 majors, becoming the highest paid sporting personality, transcending his sport, inspiring a new generation of golfers, modernizing the game

        I could go on and on and on….

  2. Tom54

    Oct 18, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    The real issue is whether Tiger will return and be a ceremonial golfer. I just can’t see him playing if he doesn’t think he can be a factor out on tour anymore. It would be nice if he could play without pain (and excuses) for a year or two then he can assess his future on tour. Takes a lot of hard work to maintain a game at that level. I for one hope he can give it a whirl anyway.

  3. Jack Nash

    Oct 18, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Let The Chipping Yips begin!

  4. johnnied

    Oct 18, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    The spinal fusion means less rotation, meaning slower swing speed. To keep up with the big boys he’ll want to make that up which’ll put additional stress to the area right above where the fusion occurred, and then he’ll need another fusion. He needs to be more accurate, not longer.

    I predict that Tiger will get back in the game but only for a short time until his back goes out again. Ask anybody who’s had that operation.

  5. William Pierce

    Oct 18, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    This song is a real toe tapper! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrudlJ9x4WA

  6. Bob Jones

    Oct 18, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Geez. This is like the umpteenth return of Freddy Krueger. Enough already! What is professional golf lacking now that having TW playing would fix? Somebody please explain that to me. And exactly how will a diminished TW getting run over like a speeding truck by strong players almost half his age going to be “good for the game of golf?”

    • RMF

      Oct 19, 2017 at 8:42 am

      Well the basic premise of Tiger being good for the game is that he is the most recognizable figure in the world of golf, he is the player who took the game to popularity levels never seen before.

      He also is one of the hardest working athlete in the world. Now whether at 41 with surgeries he would be able to compete with DJ, Thomas, Spieth, Rors, Rahm etc is another thing. Oh and the fusion surgery he had is pretty much the same surgery a chap called Davis Love III had… he was unable to compete after surgery… wait he won the Wyndham at the age of 51…

      If you do not like him that’s fine, I have yet to see one commentator/golfer/friend/associate or sentient being say he needing to return to save the game of golf because as you alluded it doesn’t need saved, but he is certainly good for the game and it would be ignorant to think otherwise.

      • etc.

        Oct 19, 2017 at 3:02 pm

        Good for the game? You mean like Kaepernick or Magic Johnson?

        • RMF

          Oct 19, 2017 at 4:26 pm

          Why is Kaepernick bad for the game? he is right to protest against what he feels is unfair system… Isn’t America meant to be a country of free speech?

          or is it the land where Money is speech taking a knee is disrespectful

  7. MB

    Oct 18, 2017 at 3:17 am

    Hurts to just watch him plant on that left leg and you can still see he’s not sure if he should as he squeezes his cheeks when he pulls his club back

    • Eldrick T

      Oct 18, 2017 at 3:40 am

      Not cheeks, but gluteus. Get it right. But I don’t have much gluteus to squeeze, is why I look like I squeeze my cheeks to get my knees closer

  8. larry

    Oct 17, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    looser please don’t come back

    • RMF

      Oct 18, 2017 at 5:05 am

      You go first, Tiger is the GOAT and will return… If you don’t like it don’t read articles written about him and comment on them

    • chinchbugs

      Oct 18, 2017 at 7:22 am

      Please explain to those of us less educated what a looser is. Thanks!

    • candidresponses

      Oct 18, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      And I was so sure someone of your intellectual stature would know the difference between a “loser” and “looser.” How sad that an internet troll such as Larry here wouldn’t know the difference.

  9. M. Vegas

    Oct 17, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Let the appearance fee action start…
    Do I hear $8 million?

  10. Pete

    Oct 17, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    I am not a Tiger fan but I do hope that he is able to comeback and be competitive. It will be good for the game of golf.

    • Eldrick T

      Oct 18, 2017 at 3:41 am

      I just want to get out there and see if I can pick up any more ladies, to see if I still got it. I’m not that ugly

  11. nyguy

    Oct 17, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    yawn…

  12. Andrew

    Oct 17, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Steinberg needs his meal tickets and toilet paper dollars, Tiger. Hurry back. The tribe needs you.

  13. Mike C

    Oct 17, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Here is why I think Tiger will play very well when he comes back and gets enough tournaments under his belt. The area where his fusion took place S1 to L5 there is almost zero rotation. So it should have no real effect on his ability to make a golf swing. This surgery should and apparently has left him pain free. We haven’t seen a Tiger Woods without debilitating nerve pain since he went down on his knees during the 2013 Fedex cup playoffs. The last time Tiger was truly healthy was 4 years ago and he was player of the year and #1 in the official world golf rankings. He doesn’t have to win 5+ times a year and regain his #1 ranking for this comeback to be deemed successful. He only has to to be 80% the player he was just 4 years ago. That seems very possible. Good luck Tiger.

    • golfreality

      Oct 17, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      80% and hell be playing web.com events

    • etc.

      Oct 17, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      Spinal fusion from S1 to L5 means he will have problems mounting and pumping the jam. He will have to take it on his back, otherwise he will jeopardize his spine and golf swing.
      Elin’s schadenfreude? LOL

  14. cgasucks

    Oct 17, 2017 at 8:49 am

    I really hope that he comes back and stays there. I don’t expect him to win every 3rd tournament like the old days but I do like to see him be on the first page of the leaderboard most of the time.

  15. Steve Sands

    Oct 16, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    Please take your time Tiger. We all want to see you back, and preferably making a healthy run.

  16. ACTUAL FACTS

    Oct 16, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    I sincerely hope that Tiger makes a healthy lasting comeback to the game of golf.

    • golfreality

      Oct 17, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      i hope the cheating egotistical drug addict never makes a cut again y pull for this guy i dont get it.

      • etc.

        Oct 17, 2017 at 6:01 pm

        He’s Black History.

      • Boobsy McKiss

        Oct 18, 2017 at 1:42 am

        Another perfect human being speaks his mind. Sickening how people on the internet refuse to forgive anyone for their past transgressions. There seems to be no forgiving anymore, only disdain, wretched hate, and constant vilifying until the person is beat down so much they go into hiding. Your comment speaks volumes to the sad state of society these days.

        • Forsbrand

          Oct 18, 2017 at 6:24 am

          Couldn’t be more to the point!!! Quite disgusting how through decades of supposed progression we still have individuals expressing such dinosaur comments. I’m always amazed would people still have the same views if in a room with these same people they have to troll on the internet.

          I’ve said this so many times, we have some young members on here please keep it clean and stick to golf!!!

        • Lance

          Oct 18, 2017 at 12:01 pm

          ^^^White trash liberal women weeping for their fantasy man. VVV

      • RMF

        Oct 19, 2017 at 8:50 am

        @golfreality I think you will find loads of exceptionally talented people battle with demons, whether they be athletes, musicians, mathematicians, actors. Just go and write a list of extremely successful people and you will find it littered with drunks, addicts etc you will also find it littered with people who have committed suicide come from broken homes, people with mental illnesses.

        People generally want to see them succeed as it shows you problems and challenges are there to be overcome and personal/mental/physical issues should not be a boundary if you have the drive to fight through them

        But I will assume you only listen to the clean living singers, only watch tv shows with actors who fit into your perfect world view

        If you don’t you are a hypocrite and should probably keep your mouth shut!

        • etc.

          Oct 19, 2017 at 2:59 pm

          …. but is he worthy of respect by young golfers, given his sordid past life? Forgiveness must be earned, not expected by a multi-millionaire trying to squeeze the last million$$$$ out of the golf industry…. Nike too.

          • RMF

            Oct 19, 2017 at 4:35 pm

            Of course he is worthy of respect and if you look at how the younger tour players flock to him you’ll understand he has their respect.

            As for forgiveness this is something that can only be given.

            Alexander Pope – To err is human; to forgive, divine

            Asa Don Brown – A life lived without forgiveness is a life lived in the past

            Martin Luther King Jr – We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies

        • Busty McBoob

          Oct 20, 2017 at 2:16 am

          Spot on chap. Spot on indeed.

          If the internet had been around in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, the ‘bad’ things athletes do these days would mostly pale in comparison. But, people like to harp on these guys because they’re rich and insanely successful. And because a lot of people have a jealous rage that burns inside of them. So much so, they have to focus on other people’s lives rather than bettering their own.

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Redkacheek’s DFS Rundown: 2018 CJ Cup

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Wow, what a crazy start to this season! Not only has the cheat sheet and slack chat plays over at the Fantasy Golf Bag been on complete fire, but the new golf betting model has now hit on two outrights and one FRL in back-to-back weeks! We get a much better field this week so definitely plan to keep this heater going here at the CJ Cup this week. Brooks Koepka will be teeing it up for the first time since being named the 2018 POY, along with guys such as Justin Thomas, Jason Day, Paul Casey, Billy Horschel, and our new favorite Sungjae Im. As you can see, this will be a fairly exciting event for a setup as similar as last week’s tournament.

Let’s go ahead and take a look at this course and see if we can pinpoint some key stats to take us to another Big GPP win or at least a couple good choices for an outright win.

The CJ Cup will be played at the Club at Nine Bridges, a 7,196 yard par-72 golf course in South Korea. Although this may appear like a similar course to TPC Kuala Lumpur last week, this one will play quite significantly tougher. As you can see below, in 2017 there were more bogeys than birdies for the week which doesn’t happen much outside of majors. Justin Thomas won last year’s event after shooting 63 in the first round but failed to break 70 the following three days. JT finished at nine under, which tied Marc Leishman, who coincidentally won this last weekend (2019 Fall Swing narrative). So why so tough if it appears so short? Let’s take a look.

So first off, let’s get this out of the way first. These greens are brutal. No joke; these greens were the single most difficult greens to putt on all of last year. Everything from one-putt percentage to 3-putt avoidance, these ranked the No. 1 most difficult on Tour all year. But here’s the problem: We all know putting is the single most variable stat, so using SG:P will tend to lead to a very disappointing pool of players. For example, coming into last year the players ranked Top 10 in SG:P finished 11-33-47-40-28-64-36-26-71-36, respectively. There is a still a stat that helped fine-tune player pools last year that I will recommend this year: my first key stat to consider this week is 3-putt avoidance.

The next section here I will just briefly touch on the driving accuracy and GIR percentage for this course. It is very average for the PGA Tour…that is really all you need to know. Driving accuracy ranked 48th and GIR percentage ranked 38th in 2017. This course is not difficult tee-to-green, plain and simple. I will certainly add the usual SG:T2G this week along with GIR percentage, but this course will favor most guys this week.

So besides putting, why are these scores so poor considering the appearance of an easy course? Well besides putting on these greens, scrambling here is brutal. Scrambling also ranked No. 1 most difficult here last year but again, this is a stat that is extremely tough to see useful trends. I will, however, encourage you to use SG:ARG to help narrow down your player pool more efficiently.

Remember that this segment of the Fall Swing will not yield strokes-gained data, so we must only utilize the traditional stats the PGA Tour keeps. On top of all the micro-scoring stats mentioned above, let’s take a closer look at this course from a macro level. This will be fairly straightforward when building your model. The par 4s here are extremely difficult, so add SG:P4 Scoring to your research (par 3 scoring is also very difficult but sample sizes are usually too small to include each week). Par 5 scoring was difficult as well but there is a better stat we can use than the P4 scoring mentioned above. The final stat we will be using is simply bogey avoidance. This will do a fantastic job of incorporating T2G, scrambling and putting into our model/research.

Overall this course is really an amazing layout but will pose a difficult task for the players. Just like last week, I encourage you to ease into the season by playing light and also primarily playing GPPs.

With all that out of the way, let’s get into my core plays for this week…

Justin Thomas (DK $11,600)

Justin Thomas finally makes the core writeup. After a mediocre finish last week (5th place), he comes to Nine Bridges as the defending champion. Ironically, he beat out Marc Leishman, last week’s winner, in a playoff last year and I think he is going to be the guy to pay up for over $10k. JT won both CIMB Classic and The CJ Cup last year, and I would be very surprised if he doesn’t leave this leg of the Fall Swing (Asia) without a win. There’s a lot going for him outside of his recent form and course history (if that wasn’t enough), he ranks first in both SG:T2G and SG:APP, second in par 4 scoring, eighth in bogey avoidance and finally, surprisingly, 11th in 3-putt avoidance. If you are building only a few lineups this week, I think JT should be in around two-thirds of them.

Byeong-Hun An (DK $8,700)

Mr. Ben An makes the list again! Byeong-Hun An received a lot of praise from both Jacob and myself on the FGB Podcast last week and he did not disappoint with a 13th place finish, and really a strong chance to win going into the weekend. As part of a common theme you will see here, Ben An is the kind of consistent ball-striker to rely on each and every week. On the PGA Tour in the last 50 rounds, he ranks third along with a strong ranking in bogey avoidance (third) and GIR percentage (also third). He did play this event last year, finishing 11th at 4-under par, and if it weren’t for a final round 73 he had a realistic chance for the win! The price on Ben An is getting a little steep but I think we can still get some value out of it this week.

Kyle Stanley (DK $8,200)

Kyle Stanley should be considered a core play almost every week he is under $9K on DraftKings. One of the most elite ball strikers on Tour, ranking ninth in SG:T2G, 11th in SG:APP, sixth in GIR percentage and 14th in par 4 scoring, he sets up for another solid top 20. Last week Kyle finished 13th in Kuala Lumpur and now comes to Nine Bridges where he ended the tournament in 19th place last year. Kyle tends to be very “mediocre” so upside for a top 3 always seems to come sparingly during the season, but you still cannot ignore his skills at this price.

Charles Howell III (DK $7,700)

Charles Howell III is a lock for me this week. Coming off a strong showing last week (T5) but also an 11th-place finish at this event last year, he grades out as one of the strongest values this week at only $7,700. CH3 hadn’t played on the PGA Tour for over a month before appearing at Kuala Lumpur, causing him to fly well under the radar on his way to a solid top five finish. Always known as a superb ball-striker, Howell actually rates out 16th in bogey avoidance and 10th in 3-putt avoidance, both key stats for this golf course. Additionally, CH3 ranks inside the top 20 of both par 4 scoring and GIR percentage. In a no-cut event on a difficult ARG golf course, count on CH3 to gain enough placement points to pay off this solid price tag.

Ian Poulter (DK $7,600)

Ian Poulter may be extremely sneaky this week. We haven’t seen him since the Ryder Cup and most people that play DFS have severe recency bias. Poulter is a grinder, and considering the winning score should only be around 12-under par with lots of opportunities for bogeys, he should keep the wheels on all four days and have a chance on Sunday. One of the most surprising stats for me in my research on Poulter is that he ranks first in 3-putt avoidance, along with some impressive tee-to-green stats where he ranks inside the top 25 of all of my key stats mentioned above. Why is the 3-putt avoidance stat so important? As I noted in the course preview, these were the single most difficult greens to putt on last year with the worst 3-putt percentage. Outside of the key stats, it does seem like this course fits his eye as he finished 15th here last year. Ian Poulter will be another core play but I think he may come in quite under owned from where he probably should.

Joel Dahmen (DK $6,900)

Chalk Dahmen week is upon us and I am going to bite. Dahmen has been a DFS darling this year and last week was no different. Dahmen ended up finishing 26th which was largely due to a poor final round 71, which dropped him 11 spots. Even with that poor finish he was able to pay off his sub-$7K price tag, which is where we find him again this week. Dahmen ranks top 10 in this field in several key stats, including: SG:T2G, SG:APP, and bogey avoidance. If you need some salary savings but unsure about anyone under $7K, Dahmen should be your first look this week.

Also consider

Brooks Koepka
Jason Day
Marc Leishman
Paul Casey
Ryan Moore
Sungjae Im
Kevin Tway

Good luck this week everyone!

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GolfWRX Morning 9: Top pros’ cash flows | Farewell, Johnny | USGA green-reading book Decision details

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1 Johnny Miller to retire
The speculated stepping away of Johnny Miller will come to pass, and a man with a similar brand will sit in his chair.
  • ESPN’s Bob Harig…”Longtime golf analyst Johnny Miller is set to retire from his lead analyst role at NBC Sports and be replaced by Paul Azinger, a source told ESPN.com.”
  • “Golfweek first reported the news and Golf Digest confirmed that Miller is stepping down following the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February.”
  • “It just seemed like a nice round number,’‘ Miller told Golf Digest on Monday. “I’ve been on to 50 years with no break. I had my 24th grandchild yesterday. All my friends were retiring and it got to the point where I was like, ‘Hey, how come I’m not retiring?’ It’s been a great run. I’ve done everything I can do announcing wise.”
2. Limits for green-reading materials set
The review period is over the USGA and R&A’s new interpretation of Rule 4.3 as it pertains to green-reading materials is finalized.
Starting Jan. 1, 2019, the governing bodies have agreed to limit the size and scale of putting green maps. However, one of the most contentious elements of the original proposal, which would have allowed only depictions of slope greater than four percent, isn’t included in the final decision.
Per the official USGA release, yardage books may not include
  • Any image of a putting green must be limited to a scale of 3/8 inch to 5 yards (1:480) or smaller (the “scale limit”).
  • Any book or other paper containing a map or image of a putting green must not be larger than 4 ¼ inches x 7 inches (the “size limit”), although a “hole location sheet” that displays nine or more holes on a single sheet of paper may be larger, provided that any image of a single putting green meets the scale limit.
  • No magnification of putting-green information is allowed other than a player’s normal wearing of prescription glasses or lenses.
  • Hand-drawn or written information about a putting green is only allowed if contained in a book or paper meeting the size limit and written by the player and/or his or her caddie.
3. Money in, money out
Jessica Marksbury at Golf.com rounded up answers to one of the most intriguing questions regarding pro golf: Beyond prize money, how much are these guys taking in…and paying out? Marksbury spoke with a top agent on the condition of anonymity.
A taste…
His Hat – $250,000-$500,000
  • “The front of the hat is your No. 1 real estate. On the high end, this deal generally includes other inventory-bag, equipment-as well. If you’re a Top 30 player, you’re definitely making seven figures on this. For a Top 10 guy, you’re looking north of $3 million and getting close to eight figures for the most marketable players in the world. For this deal, a player will be obligated to, on average, commit to giving a company three to four appearance/promotional days per year.”
4. Feinstein wonders whether Tour scores are too low
He writes…“Mark Leishman won the CIMB Classic in Malaysia on Sunday by shooting a seven-under-par 65 for a four-day total of 26-under-par 262. Leishman played superbly, running away to a five-stroke victory. But it is worth noting that he was one of nine players who shot 20 under par or better. In fact, a score of 10 under par was “good” for only a tie for 39th place.”
  • “This sort of scoring is not atypical on the PGA Tour. The average winning score in 46 individual stroke-play events during the 2017-’18 season was 16.56 under par. Twelve of those events were won with at least 20 under par and 41 were won with a double-digit total. The three-way playoff at the Safeway Open Napa to start the 2018-’19 season was at a mere 14 under. Additionally, the cut line on Fridays is often somewhere under par. Last January at the CareerBuilder Challenge, the 54-hole cut came at eight under par. In other words, if you averaged 69.7 for three rounds on the desert courses, you were home on Sunday.”
  • “Yes, these guys are good. But are they really that good? Or, has the tour, in its zeal to prove week in and week out how good they are, gone too far with sometimes laughably easy course setups?”
#LiveUnderPar, John.

 

5. A new Ping putter…that’s also a ball retriever…
Ping’s new Sigma2 putter line includes the usual assortments of blades and mallets…one of which is also a ball retriever. Really.
Behold the Sigma2 Fetch (above).
6. Hall of Fame or mausoleum?
Eamon Lynch poses the question in an excellent piece looking at the “misguided” World Golf Hall of Fame.
  • “When the World Golf Hall of Fame announced its “Class of ’19,” the inclusion of Peggy Kirk Bell illustrated much of what’s wrong with that noble but misbegotten institution.”
  • “It’s not that she isn’t worthy of induction. Quite the opposite: She deserved it years ago. Bell lived 95 years, but the Hall waited until two years after her passing to bestow its grace.
  • “Thus can an intended honor seem like a clumsy insult. She deserved better.”
  • “One can debate the merits of those awarded lockers in the Hall before Bell, including administrators, two U.S. presidents, an agent, a few writers and a TV producer. It’s tougher to reconcile her not making it ahead of the 10 men inducted over the last dozen years despite being long dead.”
  • “Is it a Hall of Fame or a mausoleum?...Tom Weiskopf is 75 years old. Is he too going to be given a crypt in St. Augustine rather than his due as an inductee?”
7. Golf ball bandit busted
Golf Digest’s Alex Myers…”Joseph Kolenda, 58, turned himself into police after a search warrant executed at his home in August turned up more than 2,500 golf balls, according to Fairfield Citizen Online. Kolenda is currently out on $10,000 bail, which, ironically, is about the value of the golf balls he’s stolen since 2017.”
  • ‘A police report says Kolenda stole 20,800 golf balls from the Patterson Club in Fairfield. And no, he didn’t just horde them in his home. Kolenda sold the golf balls to a nearby driving range for 73 cents a pop.”
  • “Kolenda, who is expected to appear in court on Oct. 23, was caught when a Patterson Club member saw golf balls with the club’s logo on them at the driving range. And after a detective investigated by buying a bucket of balls at the range – sounds like a fun assignment – it was easy to obtain where the range had purchased the balls.’
  • “Kolenda was also charged with stealing golf balls in two other Connecticut areas (Stamford and Brookfield) as far back as 2001. So yeah, we weren’t kidding about the whole serial golf thief thing.”
8. Trial date set for suspected Barquin-Arozamena killer
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…”The trial for the man charged with killing amateur golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena last month in Iowa has been scheduled for Jan. 15, District Judge Bethany Currie ruled on Monday.”
“Collin Richards, a 22-year-old drifter who investigators say attacked the reigning European Ladies Amateur champ while she played a round at Coldwater Links Golf Course in Ames, Iowa, on Sept. 17, entered a written plea of not guilty on Monday morning and waived his right to a speedy trial. He is charged with first-degree murder.”
9. Woods-Mickelson a ripoff?
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell isn’t exactly looking ahead to the Thanksgiving showdown with any great expectations…
  • “Usually, you have to buy something before you feel like you were ripped off…The wonder in the marketing of Tiger vs. Phil and “The Match” is how it is making so many people feel as if they are getting ripped off before they’ve shelled out a single penny for the product.”
  • “Phil Mickelson gets credit for this miscue…Apparently, the smartest guy in the room isn’t the smartest marketing guy.”
  • “He was a little bit like that telemarketer who teases you into thinking you’ve won a free weekend getaway, only to lead you into the discovery that there’s a shady catch, with fine print and a price tag…There was something as slippery as snake oil in the original pitch.”
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Johnny Miller to bring broadcasting career to an end

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After almost 30 years in the commentary booth, Johnny Miller has decided that it’s time to bring the curtain down on a colorful broadcasting career. The 71-year-old, who is NBC’s leading golf analyst, will step down at the end of February at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, a venue where he won twice as a player.

Miller never shied away from controversy as NBC’s leading golf analyst, and while some enjoyed his straight-shooting style, others believed he was too blunt with his criticism at times. In 2010, Miller began a feud with Ian Poulter after questioning the quality of the Englishman’s ball striking, while after Rickie Fowler’s victory at the 2017 Honda Classic, Miller suggested that the American needed to “learn how to finish out Sunday like a true champion.”

Miller was also one of the only announcers unafraid of bringing up the subject of pressure, and specifically “choking”. In a sport where announcers often tend to air on the side of caution, Miller was unapologetic about his honesty as a broadcaster. Unlike many controversial sports analysts, however, Miller enjoyed a stellar playing career that saw him capture 25 PGA Tour titles, two major championships and a place in the World Golf Hall of Fame, and many people believe that he had earned the right to share his honest opinion, even if it meant rubbing the odd player the wrong way.

Speaking to Golf Digest on Monday, Miller talked about his impending retirement:

 “I’ve been on for 50 years with no break. I had my 24th grandchild yesterday. All my friends were retiring, and it got to the point where I was like, ‘Hey, how come I’m not retiring?’ It’s been a great run. I’ve done everything I can do announcing wise.”

Although not yet confirmed, Paul Azinger is reported to be the man to replace Miller as NBC’s leading golf analyst. Azinger worked with ESPN as a golf analyst for ten years before moving to FOX Sports to cover the U.S. Open.

Is Superbowl Sunday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open the last we’ll ever see of Johnny Miller in the commentary booth? Well, maybe not, as the multiple major champion stated that despite his retirement he “might poke his head in” from time to time. We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s certainly going to take some time to adjust to not hearing Miller’s voice regularly in the commentary booth anymore.

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