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Tiger Woods gives intriguing update on his current level of play despite Hero withdrawal

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It was all going so well for fans of Tiger Woods.

Last seen waving ‘goodbye’ to St. Andrews at the 150th Open Championship in July, there were signs that all was coming good once again.

The 46-year-old was a confirmed starter at his own Hero World Challenge this week, before a made-for-tv Match VII would have seen him pair up with current world number one Rory McIlroy against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth.

The three-week run was then to end with the legend pairing up once again with son Charlie at the PNC Championship, another ‘fun’ event at which both excelled when running-up to the Daly’s last year.

Just a week ago, it was suggested that, despite that almost life-threatening car crash, Tiger was on his way to walking the full length of the Albany course this week, with journalist Dan Rapaport quoting Tiger as saying: “Can’t take a cart. This isn’t fantasy golf.”

And then it all went askew.

Tiger announced on Monday that he would have to withdraw from his own tournament, citing plantar fasciitis in his right foot as the reason for his non-attendance.

Although likely to appear in the remaining two events on his 2022 schedule, it’s of massive interest to discover how Tiger was  playing before the breaking news of his latest injury?

In an interview with Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis, the five-time Masters champion revealed the answer to be ‘pretty well, thank you!’

“I was playing at home quite a bit, playing 18 holes shooting 65s and 64s, and walked one nine holes and shot 5-under, I was playing well,”

However, as many have feared, the pressure and toil of a four-day competition might be too much:

“But it’s the added load, the back-to-back days, in a tournament situation of four days in a row. My planner just didn’t like it. The only thing I can do for it is to rest it. Obviously scrape it, ice it, stretch it, it just takes time.”

Golfers often talk of ‘the process’ – the repeated routines, constant practise, increasing the workload to gain full fitness, rhythm or technique – and, even though Tiger might be unlikely to compete at the very highest level again, he is determined to complete the rehabilitation as best as his body will allow.

“Oh yeah. The scores I was shooting were good,” he told Lewis. “I was doing beach walks. I was leg pressing a lot. I was doing a lot of different things that I hadn’t been able to do all year.”

Tiger isn’t naïve, though, and recognises some limitations, particularly the missed-cut at St. Andrews, something that hit him deep.

“I had a couple of setbacks, procedurally. That took time, and getting ready for a major championship that didn’t quite work out the way I wanted it to. It’s part of the process.”

Fans of one of, if not the greatest golfer of all-time should not have to wait long to see him in action on the course, but these constant instances are a concern.

We can only hope at some point he completes the process.

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Tour pro calls Anthony Kim a ‘f*****g idiot’ following Instagram comeback post

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In what’s become a staple of his social media game over the past few seasons, DP World Tour player Eddie Pepperell took to X to call a few LIV golfers “f*****g idiots.”

The Englishman was referring to Talor Gooch’s comments regarding a Rory McIlroy potential Masters victory having an asterisk due to certain LIV players not being in the field.

“If Rory McIlroy completes his Grand Slam without some of the best players in the world, there’s just going to be an asterisk,” Gooch said to Australian Golf Digest.

In terms of Pepperell’s “haters” comment, he was referring to Anthony Kim’s Instagram post, where at the end AK says, “Hello Haters. I’m Back”.

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Rory McIlroy gave a very surprising answer when asked about the potential of a future LIV Golf move

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On Wednesday, Rory McIlroy appeared to tease a potential move to LIV Golf while speaking to the media.

Last week, Rory’s former agent Chubby Chandler told Bunkered that he wouldn’t be surprised to see McIlroy go to LIV for somewhere in the $950 million neighborhood.

“If you were being cynical, you might say he’s going to sign for about £750 million [around $950 million] in a month’s time with LIV because he’s paving the way that LIV’s okay now, whereas it wasn’t,” Chandler had said. “Who knows? He doesn’t need £750 million but it’s odd what he’s done and I’m sure it’s a possibility. If he does it or not, I don’t know, but if [Jon] Rahm can do it, most guys can do it.”

When asked what he thought of Chandler’s comments, the Northern Irishman played along.

“I think he’s writing a book, so there is that. I spoke to Chubby, I might have seen him in the Middle East at the start of the year.

“Never know. He might know a few things. Who knows?”

It’s likely that Rory was having a bit of fun with the media allowing the rumor to continue to swirl, but LIV fans on X certainly took the comments as a clear sign that a move to LIV could one day be on the cards for McIlroy.

The 34-year-old will tee it up on Thursday at PGA National for the Cognizant Classic at the Palm Beaches.

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Rickie Fowler’s offers straightforward solution to creating more of a demand for golf fans

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While speaking with the media in his pre-tournament press conference for the Cognizant Classic, Rickie Fowler speculated that there may currently be too much golf on television, with the product needing to improve.

“We’ve got to figure out a better way to entertain our fans and it come across better on TV”.

The former PLAYERS champion wondered aloud whether fans need a longer off-season for golf to get excited for it to start back up again the following season.

“If the season is kind of where it’s at with the January to August, is there ways to do different things in the fall,” Fowler said.

“We kind of have to create the want for golf. Right now, you can basically watch golf every week of the year for the most part. There’s not really an off-season.

“I feel like with other sports, people can’t wait for football preseason to start up, and that’s just preseason. The games don’t really matter a whole lot.

“Something along those lines to create a little bit more of a demand for golf because depending on how you want to talk about it, is the product potentially diluted with how much golf is available?”

When asked if he thinks there needs to be format changes, Fowler said he still thinks the events should be 72 holes with a cut.

“I think within reason [there could be format changes], but at the same time, it’s also a very traditional sport with traditional tournaments, 72 holes, cut going into the weekend.”

Rickie said he trusts that the Strategic Sports Group (SSG) will figure out a way to improve the product for fans going forward.

“I feel like ultimately we’re in the entertainment business, and we’ve got to figure out a better way to entertain our fans and it come across better on TV.

“How we do that, I don’t exactly know, but like I said, I feel like with the people that are involved, I definitely trust the guys.

“I feel like the guys – especially since they’re not just golf guys, I think they have enormous respect for the game of golf, but also they come from a lot of different avenues in sports and business, and I feel like they can help us kind of give direction on where we can or need to go.”

Fowler will tee it up in the Cognizant Classic on Thursday at PGA National.

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