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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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19th Hole

Report: PGA Tour winner latest player to sign with LIV Golf

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Another PGA Tour winner is headed to LIV Golf.

According to The Telegraph, Colombian Sebastian Munoz has agreed to a deal with the rival circuit. Munoz adds to the growing list of Spanish speaking players on LIV including Joaquin Niemann, Sergio Garcia, Abraham Ancer, Mito Pereira and Eugenio Chacarra.

Munoz has previously won the Sanderson Farms Championship and has six additional top-5 finishes on the PGA Tour.

At the time of his signing, the 30-year-old was ranked 90th in the Official World Golf Rankings. Munoz is set to make his LIV Golf debut at Mayakoba on February 24-26.

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Bubba Watson says that he will beg Jay Monahan to play in this PGA Tour event

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Bubba Watson, who joined LIV Golf last year, is still hoping he can play in a PGA Tour event.

The two-time major champion plans to “beg” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan to allow Watson and his son to play in next year’s PNC Championship, which is an event that consists of a father/son or father/daughter tandem with one professional on each team.

“My son, like I said, he doesn’t play golf, but now his whole goal was – I’ll put this out there, his whole goal was to play in the PNC, which is the parent-junior, and now I’m not allowed to play in it. As soon as I see Jay Monahan – if Jay Monahan is watching this, I’ll see you at Augusta and I’ll try to beg you to let us play the PNC again.”

Watson and the other LIV golfers who were previously exempt or top-50 in the world will still get a chance to compete in this year Masters Tournament, to which Bubba is grateful.

“I was very thankful that we get to go back to the Masters. Then LIV announced their schedule, so I won’t be able to go to the women’s tournament or the Drive, Chip & Putt with the kids because we’ll be in Orlando. But it’s one year, I’m going to definitely be in the ears of people at LIV and try to see if I can get back there because I want to support what the Masters means to the game of golf, what the membership of Augusta means to the game of golf, and I would love to be there for the Women’s Amateur and the kids on Sunday.”

The 44-year-old (along with all LIV players) is currently suspended from the PGA Tour but will make his first start since the PGA Championship in May of 2022 at this week’s Saudi International at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club after missing time with a torn meniscus.

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Patrick Reed issues statement following rules controversy in Dubai

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On his way to finishing runner-up at last week’s Dubai Desert Classic, Patrick Reed found himself caught up in two incidents of note.

The first, widely nicknamed ‘Tee Gate’ saw a pre-event spat between Reed and the world number one and tournament favourite Rory McIlroy, resulting in the former Masters winner lobbing a LIV-branded tee in his opponent’s direction. Little were they aware that it would take a birdie at each of the final two holes for McIlroy to overcome the most talked-about player in golf.

The second newsworthy episode involved Reed losing his ball up a tree on the 17th fairway, an escapade that resulted in a social media frenzy asking whether the ball found was, in fact, the correct ball and how several marshals identified it.

The DP World Tour’s statement at the time cleared Reed, stating that, “Using binoculars [the DP World Tour Chief Referee] joined the player in the area and asked him to identify his distinctive ball markings,” and “was satisfied that a ball with those markings was lodged in the tree.”

Video footage and players’ comments subsequently pointed to the ball flying into a different tee, but in Reed’s defence, he was likely to have been advised to the exact tree to look into, rather than guess himself.

He signed for a bogey five on the hole, a score that could have been one shot worse if having to reload on the tee box.

Reed himself sees the event much like most did the tee-peg incident – as something and nothing – and posted a statement to that effect on Twitter today:

With that all over, this week Reed returns to the Asian Tour for the Saudi International, where he meets up with much of his LIV counterparts in an event dominated by two-time champion Dustin Johnson.

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