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19th Hole

Analyst and close friend says Tiger ‘might surprise everybody’ this fall

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There has been plenty of negative speculation regarding Tiger Woods ability to play competitive golf in the future. It was viewed as a troubling sign that Woods wasn’t able to attend to Presidents Cup due to “physical limitations” and instead had to conference with American team captain Davis Love III over the phone.

Then, it was rumored that he “didn’t look right” while caddying for his son Charlie at a tournament.

However, there seems to be a glimmer of hope for Tiger fans as his good friend Notah Begay III just speculated that Woods may “surprise everybody” while on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.

When asked the next time we will see the 15-time major champion play. Begay said:

“I’m fairly certain it’s going to be at the PNC [Championship] with Charlie. Charlie’s starting to play a few more events – he played in one of my junior golf tour events last weekend, which was great to see him shoot his career-low round 68 with Tiger on the bag so that was kind of cool to be able to see that.”

More importantly, Begay said that Tiger is still looking for ways to improve the condition of his leg.

“Tiger’s just steadily trying to find ways to get a little bit more stability in his leg,” he said. “It was really presenting some major challenges at St. Andrews. I had a chance to talk with him during the round out there and it’s just constant discomfort so it’s hard to focus on golf, which is hard enough, much less having to deal with the literal pain of your leg aching throughout the day.

“I know that as soon as he feels like he can be competitive because I think he got a good taste of what it’s going to take this past year, we’ll see him. We might see him one time this fall, he might surprise everybody.”

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Bhickey

    Oct 6, 2022 at 11:24 pm

    Tiger is the chosen one to change golf history by joining the LIV and also being able to play the majors.

  2. Gene

    Oct 6, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    Notah kneels for the big cat..

  3. AO

    Oct 6, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    Firewater Begay running his mouth again. He is useless.

  4. LO

    Oct 6, 2022 at 6:46 am

    Noah “Firewater” Begay is a joke. He is one of the biggest Woods sycophants out there. Woods is done.

  5. MICHAEL

    Oct 5, 2022 at 11:07 pm

    I wish him well. But SOMEDAY, golf will have to move on from Tiger. Problem is, there isn’t anyone ‘on deck’.

  6. Gene Stevens

    Oct 5, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    Notah,leave the oral favors to the porn sluts.We are tired of your slobbering..

  7. Hooded 1-Iron

    Oct 5, 2022 at 3:29 pm

    Cue the “Tiger hype” stories. Get ready for all of the “might” “could” “should” “maybe” stories.

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

  8. jolter

    Oct 5, 2022 at 9:27 am

    Whatever Begay reports on Tiger, take with a grain of salt. There were reports earlier in the year how well he looked but we all saw the end result. Until he is seen not only playing but walking a full tournament, take any report as a nothing burger.

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19th Hole

‘What’s going on?’ – Justin Thomas left frustrated with two officials over ruling at Hero

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During Thursday’s first round of the Hero World Challenge, Justin Thomas called for a rules official and subsequently, a second opinion, on the par-5 9th at Albany Golf Club.

The players were playing lift-clean-and-place, and Thomas’ ball came to rest about 5o yards short of the green in an area where it was difficult to identify if the ball was sitting in the fairway or the rough. The ball had gathered some mud, so if the rules official had decided that his ball was in fact in the rough, he would have to hit a pretty difficult shot given the condition on his golf ball.

“Basically, what’s going on?” Thomas asked the official.

The official told Thomas that the change of color in the grass was indicative of the change of fairway to rough, and therefore he would have to hit his ball as it lied. Thomas argued that the grass was cut to the same length in both spots, therefore the color didn’t matter.

“But you see, what I’m saying, this is also beat down from the carts, but look at how much longer this is than this,” he said before walking over to the thicker grass. “Like see, this is the same height [where his ball was and the apparent fairway.] I totally see it’s down grain and it’s a totally different color, but … the change of the length of grass is just what kind of confused me.”

After relief was denied by the official, “JT” called for a second opinion. While waiting for another official to show up, Thomas was heard saying to his caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay, ““It’s the same exact length, this is not rough.”

When the second rules official came over, he said: “I can see the cutline right here,” and pointed to the different shades of grass that the other official mentioned.

Thomas accepted the decision.

Interestingly, announcer Paul Azinger shared his opinion that the second rules official almost never will disagree with the first rules official’s ruling.

“That second opinion almost never works,” Azinger said to Dan Hicks during the broadcast.

“Really?” Hicks asked.

“Never,” Azinger said. “Very rarely will an official go against another official.”

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19th Hole

Data shows how much more difficult greens become as the day progresses

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For many a golf bettor, betting on the first round leader of any tournament revolves around the early starters.

Even a cursory look at this week’s Australian Open shows the morning wave averaging 1.73 shots better than the afternoon players, resulting in 18 early starters finishing in the top-10 by the end of the day, including current leader David Micheluzzi.

However, over on the South African Open, the roles are reversed, with current leader Thirston Lawrence taking up one of 15 places on the front page of leaderboard for the late starters, who shot around half-a-shot less than the morning groups.

Naturally, there are many factors – wind, temperature, dew, grass-types and, potentially, overall quality of the groupings, but these are variables that can change from day to day.

Step in Lou Stagner, data lead of Arccos Golf and all-round numbers guru.

Stagner does not deal in emotion or factors that cannot be measured. It’s facts, figures and that’s your lot!

He will tell you that from the fairway, 80-yards from the pin, professionals simply don’t get as close as many believe:

On Wednesday, the man who once built a Lego model of Augusta #12, tweeted a table showing the variance in putts made by PGA Tour members under morning and afternoon conditions.

Taking stats over 17 years, the table shows an advantage to the early starters, not by much, but enough to consider.

There are plenty of places to take the stats, with a few respondents asking for a table on grass types through the day – Bent v Bermuda v POA – and that will probably turn up on Stanger’s twitter feed soon.

Of course, on a Sunday, later starters have the pressure of trying to win a tournament, which is why we tend to see flashy rounds from those a few off the pace on Payday, but it is enough to consider when trying to get that illusive three-figure first (or second) round leader.

Either way, two-time major champion, and regular tweeter Justin Thomas, decided this was his chance to get in an early excuse when he’s off late in the day.

Make of what you will. Perhaps the stats will one day include how many of these are for par saves against birdie putts, or is that too much?

Either way, Stagner continues to bombard us with stats that delight and entertain, and that can be no bad thing. Unless you are a buddy of Lou’s…

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19th Hole

Cam Smith fumes at ‘pretty s****y’ opening round at Australian Open

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After an incredible week at the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship, Cameron Smith is off to a rough start at the Australian Open. The Champion Golfer of the Year struggled to hit fairways all day long and finished his round at +1 which is eight shots back of first-round leader David Micheluzzi (-7).

Smith, who received a massive ovation from the crowd, was extremely displeased, calling his play “pretty shitty” as he went from his post-round press conference to the practice range. The 29-year-old also said it was “as bad as I’ve played in a long time”.

“I don’t think it was a mixed bag, I think it was all rubbish to be honest,”

“Maybe some delayed tiredness, maybe. I did feel a little bit foggy out there at times, but it’s not really an excuse, it’s my job to do all that stuff.”

Despite the uninspiring round, the world number three still feels as if he can get back into the event and contend.

“It’s not like I don’t know how to play golf, it was just a bit of a bad day.”

“I’ve just got a few things to clean up, I think. Like I said last week [at the Australian PGA Championship], I felt as though the golf got better every day.”

The Aussie is incredible at recovery shots and finding his way out of trouble. But if he wants to be the first player to win the Australian PGA and Australian Open in the same season since 2011, he needs to start putting the ball in the fairway.

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