pixel 1
header
Saturday, July 11, 2020

Golf

Tiger Woods has oblique injury, withdraws from first round of FedEx playoffs

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has enjoyed a great season in which he finally broke through and won another major, but his health is once again creating issues for him.

Woods withdrew from The Northern Trust — the first round of the FedExCup Playoffs — on Friday. The official reason listed is a “mild oblique strain that led to pain and stiffness,” which could help explain why he struggled so much at the tournament on Thursday.

Woods shot a 4-over 75 at Liberty National on Thursday. While he did not appear to show any signs of discomfort, he hinted that he was not feeling his best while speaking with reporters after the round.

“It just feels frustrating to shoot anything high no matter how I feel,” Woods said. “We had the perfect greens and had to go out there and shoot something under-par and get it going. Had to be 4-, 5-, 6-under par today. I went the other way with it.”

Tiger entered The Northern Trust 28th in the FedExCup Standings, and he is secure for the BMW Championship next week even after withdrawing. It remains to be seen if his health will cooperate enough, however.

Woods has had numerous back surgeries and dealt with several injuries in recent years, and there was some speculation that he was in pain at The Open Championship last month. He admitted more than two years ago that he will never be back to 100 percent health, so playing through injuries is something he has grown accustomed to at age 43.

Rory McIlroy: Legalized sports betting could increase hecklers in golf

Rory McIlroy

Sports betting is expected to be legalized across more US states in the coming years, and that presents a multitude of issues that professional sports organizations will have to keep an eye on. Rory McIlroy is anticipating at least one significant one for the PGA Tour.

During a recent episode of The Golf Channel’s “Rory & Carson Podcast,” McIlroy spoke about the issue Ian Poulter had at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in Memphis last month when a fan Poulter described as an “idiot” openly rooted for his approach shot on the 18th hole to find its way into a bunker. McIlroy said that is an unfortunate part of the sport, and he thinks it could become more prevalent with the legalization of sports gambling.

“I think that’s going to be one of the big things about golf and legalizing sports betting in this country. What is going to happen is you will see more of this (heckling) stuff occurring because there are going to be those who have bet against you, and the guy you are playing with,” McIlroy said, as transcribed by Tony Leen of the Irish Examiner. “Whether it’s the fantasy (golf game) or just sports betting, they’re going to want to try and alter the result because they will potentially either make or lose money from it.”

McIlroy may have a point, but that has been going on at sporting events for a very, very long time. Sports betting has been legal in Nevada for many years, and there is no shortage of bookies, online gambling sites, or other avenues for fans to place bets. Could it make the problem worse? Sure, but that’s not a new concept.

Golf has become increasingly popular among younger fans (think college age) in recent years, and that has led to more unruly behavior during tournaments. Poulter also gets heckled more than the average golfer because he has always been very outspoken and loves playing the role of heel at the Ryder Cup. While McIlroy’s prediction about sports gambling may prove to be accurate, there are plenty of other factors that lead to fans behaving inappropriately. Poulter’s flamboyant personality is one of them, and he brought a lot of that on himself.

Shane Lowry, dad Brendan share awesome moment after Open victory

Shane Lowry put the finishing touches on a magical week at The Open Championship on Sunday, and no one was more excited about the victory than his old man.

Lowry’s father, Brendan, was probably the most animated person at the 18th green as Shane closed out his final round at Royal Portrush. The two shared an awesome moment as Lowry walked off the green.

What made the win so special is that the Open was held in Northern Ireland this year. Lowry and his family are from neighboring Ireland, but he had plenty of support from the 200,000-plus fans who attended the event throughout the week and weekend.

Brendan Lowry is actually famous in his own right, as he was a popular Gaelic football player in the 1980s. Watching him and Shane celebrate together was one of the best moments of the 2019 Open Championship.

Watch: Henrik Stenson snaps club over leg after horrible shank

Henrik Stenson was one of a number of golfers who struggled in the tough conditions during the final round of The Open Championship on Sunday, and his emotions got the best of him late in the day.

Stenson’s second shot at the par-4 17th hole was a shank in every sense of the word. After positioning himself perfectly off the tee, he hit the ball off the end of his club and straight into a collection of fans. He then snapped his iron over his leg in frustration.

Stenson, who won The Open back in 2016, rarely shows that much emotion. He’s actually the second player we have seen snap a club over his leg during a major championship this year.

Tiger Woods injury watch starts early at British Open

Tiger Woods has battled back from a number of significant injuries over the past several years to regain his spot as one of the top golfers in the world, and the concern that he might be hurt again began immediately at The Open Championship on Thursday.

Woods appeared to grimace on his first tee shot at Portrush. The shot was pulled and ended up in the tall fescue, so it’s possible he was just unhappy with the swing. Still, Golf Channel broadcaster Nick Faldo and others saw it as a cause for concern.

For what it’s worth, Tiger ended up making an excellent par after his second shot ended up in a bunker.

Tiger has chosen not to play much since he won the Masters back in April, and that has led to speculation that he could be hurting and trying to allow himself as much recovery time as possible. When you consider what he said about his injuries a while back, it’s possible experiencing some pain from time to time is simply the norm for him at this point.

David Duval cards a 13 on disastrous hole at British Open

The Open Championship has always been one of the most difficult tournaments in golf, and David Duval showed us a prime example on Thursday of the way it can break a player’s spirits.

Duval, who won the Open back in 2001, had one of the most disastrous first rounds of a major tournament in recent memory. He got off to a great start and was 2-under through the first four holes, but it was all downhill from there. Duval made a quadruple-bogey on the 5th hole and a double on the 6th, and that wasn’t even close to the worst of it.

Duval hit three tee shots on the par-5 7th, thinking there was a chance that his first two were lost. He initially ended up with a 15 on the hole, but it was later changed to a 13. Duval apparently thought he had been playing his third provisional for a few shots before realizing it was actually his second. When the mess was sorted out, he ended up with a 13.

Duval, 47, lost his PGA Tour card in 2011. He was allowed entry into the 2019 Open because he won the major back in 2001, but he might wish he declined the invite after the way things unfolded on Thursday.

Gary Woodland and wife Gabby expecting twins two years after tragedy

Gary Woodland wife Gabby

Gary Woodland’s win at the US Open on Father’s Day Sunday comes with very special meaning.

The 35-year-old golfer and his wife Gabby were expecting twins two years ago — a boy and a girl. They lost the girl in a miscarriage, and the boy, Jaxson, was born 10 weeks premature.

Jaxson has continued to grow since then and is doing well. He’ll soon be joined by siblings.

The Woodlands are expecting twins again as Gabby is due in August.

Winning the US Open marked Woodland’s first career major. He has been coming on strong lately, as he finished tied for sixth at the PGA Championship last year and tied for eighth at the PGA Championship this year and now has his first major. It’s a big one, especially coming after the family tragedy.