with Bryan Angus

Thanks for joining me today. I look forward to your comments . They are always welcome here on FairwaysPlus. Bryan Angus bryanangus4@gmail.com

Saturday, December 3, 2016

" Every course is a par 68 to Tiger"

PGA Tour Hero World Challenge leaderboard http://www.pgatour.com/competition/2017/hero-world-challenge/leaderboard.html

The practice green and the driving range are two of the many sacred places for golf pros from the media. In 2000 at Glen Abbey I was waiting patiently for Freddie Couples with my microphone beside the practice green at Glen Abbey for about an hour along with several others, and we were all eventually blown off by a grumpy Freddie, who did offer this gem about Tiger, over his shoulder as he wandered off to the clubhouse..

"This course and every other is a par 68 to Tiger" referring to the par 5's that he reaches with regularity in 2, making  2 putt birdies a common occurrence.

Tiger went on to make the famous shot from the fairway bunker on the 18th and 72nd hole to beat Kiwi Grant Waite ( now a part time senior tour pro and fulltime teacher) to set up a birdie 4 to win his last appearance at our Canadian Open.

He played well again on at his Hero World Challenge on Friday, out in 33, but was better on the back nine and he birdied 4 of the 5 par 5's resulting in a -7 65 to move halfway up the scoreboard at his 18 man invitational, where he played as a single after Justin Rose ironically withdrew with back problems.

Looking slimmer and very fit he told the assembled press he no longer lifts weights or trains like he once does and has cut back on his running because “I’ve had four knee surgeries, three backs. My body’s been through it."

At work last night my boss Corey Burnett pumped his fist and said " Hey Tiger's back man, he shot 65 today"

Well it doesn't behoove me to disagree with the boss, but Tiger can still shoot 65 in  his sleep and has done so daily in practice rounds, so doing it playing as a single in this glorified exhibition event doesn't mean he's back anymore than it means he's done if he shoots 75 today..

I will need a much larger sample size to decide how he is progressing when he gets more tournaments, more reps after Christmas.

As for the leaders, Dustin Johnson shot his second straight 66 to tie for the lead at -12 with Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama who shot a 67.
They are two shots clear of Louis Oosthuizen (67) and Matt Kuchar (67)
Matsuyama is another of the world wide stars that have emerged in Tiger's absence. He has won three of his last four outings and was 2nd in the other. Kind of Tiger like !!
So he's not back, and he's not done.. let's just say Friday was a good day... we'll see what the weekend and the months ahead bring.
Bryan Angus

Friday, December 2, 2016

Tiger's return a big deal in the golf world...

PGA Tour Hero Challenge leaderboard  http://www.pgatour.com/competition/2017/hero-world-challenge/leaderboard.html

PGA Tour schedule http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/schedule.html

Alright, alright, this Hero Challenge only has 18 invited players, playing in what was called the silly season. The majors, the Olympics, the Ryder Cup have all been decided, the individual prizes awarded, Christmas is just 23 days away, but all eyes, and not just in the golfing world are on New Providence in the beautiful Bahamas because Tiger Woods, now nearly 41 has returned to competitive golf.

He hadn't competed in 466 days after being laid low with chronic back problems since 2013. That year he was No. 1 in the world, won 5 tournaments before his back problems began to flare up. He struggled on but finally after he played the Wyndham Championship in late August 2015, he had to stop, subsequently going through two back surgeries.

He started brightly, -4 approaching the turn, but a pair of double bogeys over the final three holes led to a 40 on the back nine at Albany Golf Club and a +1 73, nine shots behind J.B. Holmes, who opened with an -8 64 and had a one-shot lead over Hideki Matsuyama, with U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson at 66.

He hit just 6/13 fairways and 11 of 18 greens. "I haven’t played in a while. Unfortunately, I made some mistakes. I can clean that up. We’ve got three more days. Wind is supposed to pump on the weekend, and I’ll be playing a little bit better"

The winner of 79 PGA Tour events and 14 majors is now ranked 879th, however this little invitational event to raise money for his Tiger Woods Foundation with a purse of $3.5m, paltry by today's standards, has the world's media, including wall to wall coverage on the Golf Channel covering every shot he makes, reporting every comment, analyzing every swing.

For me his return is not as painful as some other greats, like Mohammed Ali who was a flabby shadow of his magnificent glory years when his finances dictated he had to return to fight and lose to the likes of Leon Spinks.

Tiger doesn't need the money, and is fitter than most of the field, and in fact although he is not the Tiger of old, he may still get it all together for a week or more and win again.

However it doesn't really matter, because if he shoots 64 or 84 it still makes the headlines.

Tiger's return is still a big deal for the golf world.

Bryan Angus

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Denmark wins ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf

Australasian Tour ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf final leaderboard

In hindsight it was the fourball -12 score of 60 on Friday that made all the difference as Soren Kjeldsen and Thorbjorn Olesen from Denmark went on from there with 70,66 -20 total to win this ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf handily, in fact by 4 shots over China, France and the USA.

It was Denmark's first World Cup victory. Thomas Bjorn and Olesen finished third at Royal Melbourne in 2013

David Hearn and Adam Hadwin got better as the week went on and with scores of 75 68 69 66 finished a creditable T11 at -10.

Bryan Angus

Friday, November 25, 2016

Hearn and Hadwin improve at World Cup of Golf in Melbourne

ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf leaderboard http://www.pgatour.com/competition/2017/isps-handa-world-cup-of-golf/leaderboard.html

After a disappointing opening foursome score of +3 75 which featured 3 birdies on the front nine, but was marred by a triple bogey 7 on the par 4 3rd, David Hearn and Adam Hadwin improved by seven shots in today's fourball, with a bogey free -4 68.

At the halfway point in this ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf they are T23 along with Scotland and South Korea, at -1 in windy, cool conditions on this Kingston Heath GC.

The leaders after a tremendous 60 today are Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen and Soren Kjeldsen at -12 fuelled by 2 eagles and 2 birdies in a front nine of 29.

They are 3 shots ahead of Li and Wu from China (70,65 -9) and 4 ahead of Spaniards John Rahm and Rafa Cabrera Bello (69,67 -8)

Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker are representing USA, they are T4 -7, 70,67.

There are 28 nations of two playing foursomes and fourballs over 4 days. The first World Cup of Golf took place in Montreal in 1953 as the Canada Cup and International Golf Championship and it was the brainchild of an American called John Jay Hopkins and the trophy is named after him. It was his idea to spread goodwill and competition through the game of golf around the world.

Bryan Angus

Monday, November 21, 2016

Brooke Henderson wraps a tremendous 2016 season

Brooke Henderson finished 72 72 69 69 T24 at the season ending CME Group Tour Championship on Sunday and was in contention all year for all of the tour's trophy's.

Her wildly successful year included two wins including a major, an incredible 15 top-10 finishes, along with $1,724,409 in prize money, 3rd on the LPGA official money list and she represented Canada at the Olympics in Rio.

Alena Sharp wrapped up her best year on tour 69 76 72 68 T36.

Congratulations to Brooke and Alena who travelled together all this fall through the Asian swing, and indeed to all the women from Canada who in their own rights, established themselves as solid LPGA pros.

Bryan Angus

Jutanugarn beats Ko to win Race to CME Globe title

LPGA Tour CME Group Tour Championship final leaderboard http://www.lpga.com/tournaments/cme-group-tour-championship/results

The long and winding road that is the LPGA Tour is finally over, and the prizes have been awarded.

A recent excellent documentary by the Golf Channel explored the domination of this tour by South Korean girls, and the reasons behind their stunning rise to excellence led by their hero Si Ri Pak, however despite all their success it was a young women from Thailand, Ariya Jutanugarn who won the biggest prizes.

Those are the LPGA Tour’s player of the year award, the money title and the season-long Race to CME Globe points competition that comes with a $1 million bonus.

She won five tournaments including three consecutive starts in May and with all that she finally managed to beat Lydia Ko for all three of those trophies.

Charley Hull from England won the actual tournament shooting 66 66 on the weekend to finish at -19, two shots ahead of So Yeon Ryu (67)

The final trophy came down to the last putt as In Gee Chun made a 10-footer for birdie on the final hole to win the scoring title to edge Lydia Ko.

She is the first player since Nancy Lopez in 1978 to win both the Vare Trophy and rookie of the year in the same season.

Brooke Henderson finished 72 72 69 69 T24 and her wildly successful year included two wins including a major, an incredible 15 top-10 finishes, along with $1,724,409 in prize money, 3rd on the LPGA official money list and she represented Canada at both the Pan Am Games and the Olympics.

Alena Sharp wrapped up her best year on tour 69 76 72 68 T36.

Bryan Angus

MacKenzie Hughes wins RSM Classic in a playoff

PGA Tour RSM Classic leaderboard http://www.pgatour.com/competition/2017/the-rsm-classic/leaderboard.html

"I made the putt of my life right there"

Those were the words from MacKenzie Hughes moments ago after he made a clutch 20 foot par saving putt from off the green on the 3rd playoff hole to go wire to wire and win the RSM Classic, his first PGA Tour win at chilly Sea Island in Georgia this morning.

Camilo Villegas, Blayne Barber and Henrik Norlander all missed their par putts on the par 3 17th hole, Billy Horschel was eliminated on the first playoff hole in the gathering darkness on Sunday evening. Play was eventually called after the 2nd playoff hole.

Apparently he is the first rookie to lead all the way since Tim Herron at the 1996 Honda Classic. Remember MacKenzie got his week off to a great start with a 61 on Thursday and closed with a 69 and finished at -17.

He married Jenna his girlfriend from Kent State a few weeks ago and the US$1.08 million and a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour is one heck of a wedding present.

He will be taking her to his first event of 2017 at Kapalua in January, then later to the Masters at Augusta and then later still back to his home in Charlotte NC for the PGA Championship.

Congratulations MacKenzie, what a fall season it's been for you and your family!

Bryan Angus