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19th Hole

Tiger Woods driver swing video, on-site reports as he prepares for Hero World Challenge

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Tiger Woods, as you surely have heard, teed it up with President Donald Trump, Dustin Johnson, and Brad Faxon at Trump National in Jupiter, Florida, on Friday.

The unheralded fourth member of the group, Brad Faxon, had this to say (exclusive to Golfweek) regarding Woods’ play.

“Tiger looked great to me. He was happy and, more than anything, he’s finally pain-free. The issues he had with the back the last couple of comebacks seem to be gone. He looked effortless, he looked free, he had some power.”

“I was impressed with how far he hit the ball. Probably on the 10 holes that they were both hitting driver, Tiger hit it past Dustin half the time and Dustin hit it past Tiger half the time. He looked great. I think more than anything, he looked at ease. He was not concerned about swinging hard and going at it with driver. The ball flight, the sound off the club, all of it was right there.”

“Tiger looked like he had all the touch shots down. On the very first hole he hit a pitch shot over a bunker that looked great. Hit some tough little pitch shots, tough chip shots and hit some close. Some to gimme’ distance.”

Outdriving Dustin Johnson? If you say so, Mr. Faxon. Two days later, Woods was on site at sun-drenched paradise that is Albany in the Bahamas, where he’ll tee it up in the Hero World Challenge next week.

While the quality of this video from Golf Channel’s Tiger Tracker is sort of “animal spotted in the wilderness,” the driver swing shown is comfortable with the slightest hint of sauce. Definitely a fuller follow through than we saw from TW at Albany last year. TT also reported Woods’ driver swing is “not there yet” but “irons look good.”

TGR Live Events tweeted a better video of Woods’ driver swing (as you’d expect, given the slightly better access).

ESPN’s Bob Harig looks to be on site in Albany (rough gig). He reported Woods played a brisk (sub 2.5 hour!) 18 holes Sunday and finished with a lengthy session on the putting green, tweeting this photo.

Look, there’s no point making bold predictions about Tiger Woods’ future in the game. Somewhere between “he’s going to win more major championships” and “he’ll never win again” is the most probable future for the phenom, should his health permit.

However, we can say a few things about what we’ve seen from the Presidents Cup until now. Woods is serious about his comeback, seems genuinely pain-free and able to do a healthy amount of practice.

Also, even Brandel Chamblee has to agree that Woods’ action looks serviceable and free enough to compete on the PGA Tour. If we add to this reports about his distance off the tee, Woods looks to have the tee-to-green game to play respectable golf.

Pitching, chipping, and bunker play may be another story. And of course, there’s the canard of Woods fractured mental state…Fortunately, we’ll know more in a less than a week (and mercifully the season of speculation will be over).

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Jack Nash

    Nov 27, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    itll be good to see Joe again.

  2. Judge Smeills

    Nov 27, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Nah he likes grouper

  3. TeeBone

    Nov 27, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    This just in…Tiger Woods had tuna fish for lunch.

    • Ryan Michael

      Nov 28, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      Tiger has earned the coverage he gets through being one of the top two GOAT. This isn’t hard to figure out he is the needle no need for the tuna fish sandwich remark.

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19th Hole

Rick Shiels shoots +41 in 3-round pro-am tourney. GolfWRX members discuss.

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There’s no way to sugarcoat this: Rick Shiels’ golf game did not travel with him to coastal Spain. Sorry, Rick, (who is by all accounts a great guy). The YouTube personality, instructor, and club reviewer extraordinaire teed it up in the three-round Costa Daurada International Pro-Am at Lumine Mediterránea Beach & Golf Club in Spain.

Shiels carded rounds of 88, 88, 79 to finish at 41 over par, last in the field of 17 golfers and seven strokes worse than any other pro.

Not surprisingly, GolfWRX members are discussing the popular YouTuber’s performance and asking some tough questions.

Londoner writes

“This is not intended as a bashing thread. We have all had rounds where it felt like our first. But I thought pros had some level of consistency cracked. Ric hit 41 over for 3 rounds in a pro am…
The winner was +2. How does a pro unravel like that?”

Cornwall1888 suggests

“He’s simply not very good, that’s why he makes money from YouTube and sponsors, not playing golf. He’s probably a 2 or 3 handicap who had a terrible week.”

Stumpnav continues the thought that Shiels may simply not be a good tournament player

“I think Rick spends most of his time at the range using his launch monitor and not enough on the course. He knows how to play swing but not how to play golf. Doesn’t diminish his instructional ability or the enjoyment of his channel.”

Hawkeye77 doesn’t think the scores necessarily reflect his abilities as a player

“On vacation with his family, little or no play or practice in winter, not all that surprising. I’ll bet anyone he played with had a great time.”

Plenty, like Merkury10, defended Shiels and offered potential explanations

“All pros can have a stinker like that. We just aren’t watching them on Sunday. They either missed the cut or played the early tee time not televised. I agree with what was said earlier. I suspect he spends the majority of his time in the hitting bay and not out trying to shoot low scores. Rory 5 putted this weekend, and he’s no Rory.”

03trdblack has a theory about where Shiels is deficient

“Serviceable swing but his chipping and putting are pretty bad. He’s a driving range pro that lives on the GCQuad instead of on the practice green.”

There’s much, much more to the discussion and plenty of hot takes on both sides…and plenty of folks who loved or hated the new Driver vs. Driver panelist before he fired three miserable rounds. In other words, you’ll want to check out this thread.

And it’s neither here nor there, but still worth disclosing, Shiels contributed to this site in the past. You can see his archive here.

 

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19th Hole

Jordan Spieth is a disgusting, pathetic thief, according to Billy Hurley III

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Allow your boiling blood to cool, golf fans. While Billy Hurley III did in fact call Jordan Spieth disgusting and pathetic (among other things), it was all in good fun. And believe me, you’ll have no regrets about clicking through to this article.

Spieth and Hurley are both running for chairman of the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council which, not surprisingly, advises Commissioner Jay Monahan on policy decisions.

Davis Love III is the current PAC chair, and the election to determine his successor ends February 13. In a calculated 11th-hour attack ad, BH3 tore into his opponent in this brilliant satirical video.

Spieth, for his part, enjoyed the Golden Man’s spot.

This is hilarious stuff. Really, really well done. Hurley has long been a favorite at GolfWRX for his brand agnosticism, and he gave us a hell of an interview back in 2015.

Well played, Mr. Hurley. You’ve got GolfWRX’s vote.

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19th Hole

Lee McCoy blasts Colombian golf fans, claims they harassed him for his hat, shoes, other “free stuff” during tourney

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Lee McCoy, wasn’t exactly pleased with fan behavior at the Web.com Tour’s Club Colombia Championship in Bogota, where the tied for 20th.

Now, we can’t vouch for the decorum outside the ropes at Country Club de Bogota. One’s tempted to remember some of the clueless spectator antics at the Olympics in Brazil last year. That said, there’s the PGA Tour Latinoamerica and both Web.com and PGA Tour events in South America where we assume fans are acting appropriately, so painting with a broad brush in any color doesn’t make sense.

We’ll stick to the facts, then: No Laying Up’s Tron Carter tweeted the following pair of emojis Sunday night. He appeared to be responding to a since deleted tweet, which we can assume was the one screenshotted in his following tweet.

In a seeming rebuttal to McCoy’s claims about fan behavior, and as a suggestion for how professional golfers ought to interact with spectators, the co-founder of ProTraj Holdings tweeted a shot of tournament winner, Ben Taylor signing autographs.

McCoy deleted his Twitter shortly thereafter.

We attempted to reach Lee via his management, TLA Worldwide, but did not receive a response. McCoy did, however, offer the statement below to Golf Digest.

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