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Tiger turns 41 with comeback plans for 2017

Miami (AFP) – Tiger Woods celebrated his 41st birthday on Friday, the 14-time major winner having already made a comeback from a 466-day back surgery layoff with hopes of recapturing success.

Woods was inconsistent over 72 holes at the Hero World Challenge, an 18-man Bahamas event in early December to benefit his charity foundation, and fan interest remains high even though he has only showed glimpses of the form that made him a must-see attraction for years.

While saying he still has designs on the record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, Woods would be bucking the odds to catch his boyhood idol.

Old Tom Morris won three British Opens at 41 or older in the 1860s and remains the lone three-time major winner beyond his 41st birthday.

Nicklaus became the oldest Masters winner by taking his last green jacket in 1986, while Julius Boros is the oldest major winner, taking the 1968 PGA Championship at age 48. Boros, Harry Vardon and Woods’s pal Mark O’Meara each won two majors after turning 41.

British Opens have produced three champions in the past six years who were 41 or older with Swede Henrik Stenson at 40 when he took the Claret Jug in 2016.

Woods has said he will play at Riviera in February at another event hosted by his foundation, although he did not rule out another appearance earlier in 2017 or give any hint about other tuneup plans for the Masters in April.

Woods last won a major title at the 2008 US Open and last won any title at the 2013 WGC event in Akron, Ohio as he tries to win three more career PGA titles to match the record 82 won by Sam Snead.

In addition to finding his form, Woods will face in 2017 a new generation of players such as top-ranked Australian Jason Day, two-time major champion Jordan Spieth, rising Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, a four-time major winner needing only a Masters green jacket to complete a career Grand Slam.

Woods tweeted Friday “Hoping StanfordFball gives me a win for my birthday” before his college’s American football side, the Stanford Cardinal, kicked off against North Carolina in the Sun Bowl.

Woods got his birthday wish as Stanford edged the Tar Heels 25-23 at El Paso, Texas.

View this article – 

Tiger turns 41 with comeback plans for 2017

Woods gets ‘at least one win’ next year, says Begay

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) – Tiger Woods celebrated his 41st birthday on Friday and long-time friend and fellow professional Notah Begay III predicts he will have more to celebrate in a triumphant return to the PGA Tour in 2017.

Though Woods has competed only once over the past 16 months due to chronic back problems that required multiple surgeries, Begay was encouraged by that solitary tournament appearance earlier this month in the Bahamas. Woods made his long anticipated return at the Hero World Challenge which he hosts and despite delivering mixed form he ended the week with a tournament-high aggregate of 24 birdies. “I don’t think anybody in the inner circle, including Tiger, could have been happier,” Begay told Reuters about Woods’ performance in the elite, limited-field event. “There was a lot of curiosity around what was going to happen, what his swing was going to look like … how his mind was going to adjust to the tournament environment because it’s just so different, you can’t recreate that focus in practice. “For him to go out and make more birdies than anybody else in the field after being on the shelf for 15 months was quite remarkable. He’s seeing some definite returns on the time that he’s put in with regard to his recovery.” Woods has already committed to playing in the PGA Tour’s Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club from Feb. 16-19 and is also expected to tee it up three weeks earlier in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

PEAKING BY SPRING Begay, a 44-year-old Native American who won four times on the PGA Tour, has forecast that Woods will hit top form by the opening major of the year, the April 6-9 Masters.

“I expect him to win, and I expect him to have at least one win next year based upon what I’ve seen,” said Begay, who played with Woods on the Stanford University golf team. “It’s just a matter of getting some more tournament rounds. I’m not going to say it’s going to happen early in the year but I think you should expect to see Tiger peak during the spring time.” For all the birdies accumulated by Woods over the four rounds of the Hero World Challenge, the roller-coaster nature of his form was illustrated by the fact that he also led the field with six double-bogeys. Former PGA Tour winner Brandel Chamblee, who like Begay works as a Golf Channel analyst, was impressed by Woods’ wedge game from outside 70 yards but said that his chipping and driving needed fixing. “There wasn’t anything that took place in the Bahamas that wasn’t fixable,” said Begay. “I don’t think Tiger was comfortable with his three-wood … but that’s fixable.” Begay said he thought it was too early to tell about Woods’ accuracy off the tee.

“He hit something like 52 drivers in the Bahamas and you’ve got to see at least a few hundred before you start figuring out what the patterns and trends are.”

Woods bladed a few bunker shots over greens during the Hero World Challenge but Begay saw no indication of the chipping yips that afflicted the former world number one in early 2015. “The majority of chips that I saw around the green that might cause some problems he executed very well, his bunker game was solid, his little feel shots around the green were good,” said Begay. “I’m not going to say there was perfect execution across the board but, for the most part, the shots you would want to have and the outcomes you would expect from a world-class player were all right there.”

(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in St. Augustine, Florida; Editing by Larry Fine)

Source:  

Woods gets ‘at least one win’ next year, says Begay

Golf-Woods gets ‘at least one win’ next year, says Begay

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

Dec 30 (Reuters) – Tiger Woods celebrated his 41st birthday on Friday and long-time friend and fellow professional Notah Begay III predicts he will have more to celebrate in a triumphant return to the PGA Tour in 2017.

Though Woods has competed only once over the past 16 months due to chronic back problems that required multiple surgeries, Begay was encouraged by that solitary tournament appearance earlier this month in the Bahamas.

Woods made his long anticipated return at the Hero World Challenge which he hosts and despite delivering mixed form he ended the week with a tournament-high aggregate of 24 birdies.

“I don’t think anybody in the inner circle, including Tiger, could have been happier,” Begay told Reuters about Woods’ performance in the elite, limited-field event.

“There was a lot of curiosity around what was going to happen, what his swing was going to look like  how his mind was going to adjust to the tournament environment because it’s just so different, you can’t recreate that focus in practice.

“For him to go out and make more birdies than anybody else in the field after being on the shelf for 15 months was quite remarkable. He’s seeing some definite returns on the time that he’s put in with regard to his recovery.”

Woods has already committed to playing in the PGA Tour’s Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club from Feb. 16-19 and is also expected to tee it up three weeks earlier in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

PEAKING BY SPRING

Begay, a 44-year-old Native American who won four times on the PGA Tour, has forecast that Woods will hit top form by the opening major of the year, the April 6-9 Masters.

“I expect him to win, and I expect him to have at least one win next year based upon what I’ve seen,” said Begay, who played with Woods on the Stanford University golf team.

“It’s just a matter of getting some more tournament rounds. I’m not going to say it’s going to happen early in the year but I think you should expect to see Tiger peak during the spring time.”

For all the birdies accumulated by Woods over the four rounds of the Hero World Challenge, the roller-coaster nature of his form was illustrated by the fact that he also led the field with six double-bogeys.

Former PGA Tour winner Brandel Chamblee, who like Begay works as a Golf Channel analyst, was impressed by Woods’ wedge game from outside 70 yards but said that his chipping and driving needed fixing.

“There wasn’t anything that took place in the Bahamas that wasn’t fixable,” said Begay. “I don’t think Tiger was comfortable with his three-wood  but that’s fixable.”

Begay said he thought it was too early to tell about Woods’ accuracy off the tee.

“He hit something like 52 drivers in the Bahamas and you’ve got to see at least a few hundred before you start figuring out what the patterns and trends are.”

Woods bladed a few bunker shots over greens during the Hero World Challenge but Begay saw no indication of the chipping yips that afflicted the former world number one in early 2015.

“The majority of chips that I saw around the green that might cause some problems he executed very well, his bunker game was solid, his little feel shots around the green were good,” said Begay.

“I’m not going to say there was perfect execution across the board but, for the most part, the shots you would want to have and the outcomes you would expect from a world-class player were all right there.” (Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in St. Augustine, Florida; Editing by Larry Fine)

Originally from: 

Golf-Woods gets ‘at least one win’ next year, says Begay

Woods worth $740 million, Jordan a billionaire says Forbes

(Reuters) – Golfers Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and former NBA player Michael Jordan are among the 20 wealthiest American celebrities, Forbes reported on Wednesday.

Woods, 40, is the youngest person on the Forbes top-20 list, with a net worth estimated at $740 million.

The 14-times major champion, who trails only Jack Nicklaus (18 majors) on the all-time list, recently launched a competitive comeback after being sidelined for more than 15 months while recovering from back surgery.

Woods who went through a costly divorce in 2010 and lost several sponsors after revelations of multiple infidelity, is seventh on the list, while Mickelson is 18th, with an estimated worth of $375 million.

Jordan, 53, who retired in 2003 with the mantle of arguably the greatest basketballer, is worth $1.2 billion according to the magazine, good for fourth on the list, which is topped by filmmaker George Lucas ($4.6 billion).

Forbes says eligibility for the list was limited to United States citizens who are rich because of their fame, rather than famous because they are rich.

According to Forbes, President-elect Donald Trump belongs in the latter category.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

Source:

Woods worth $740 million, Jordan a billionaire says Forbes

Sport-Woods worth $740 million, Jordan a billionaire says Forbes

Dec 28 (Reuters) – Golfers Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and former NBA player Michael Jordan are among the 20 wealthiest American celebrities, Forbes reported on Wednesday.

Woods, 40, is the youngest person on the Forbes top-20 list, with a net worth estimated at $740 million.

The 14-times major champion, who trails only Jack Nicklaus (18 majors) on the all-time list, recently launched a competitive comeback after being sidelined for more than 15 months while recovering from back surgery.

Woods who went through a costly divorce in 2010 and lost several sponsors after revelations of multiple infidelity, is seventh on the list, while Mickelson is 18th, with an estimated worth of $375 million.

Jordan, 53, who retired in 2003 with the mantle of arguably the greatest basketballer, is worth $1.2 billion according to the magazine, good for fourth on the list, which is topped by filmmaker George Lucas ($4.6 billion).

Forbes says eligibility for the list was limited to United States citizens who are rich because of their fame, rather than famous because they are rich.

According to Forbes, President-elect Donald Trump belongs in the latter category.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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Sport-Woods worth $740 million, Jordan a billionaire says Forbes

McIlroy must strive harder to be the greatest – Nicklaus

(Reuters) – World number two Rory McIlroy has the talent but he must work harder to dominate golf, 18-times major title winner Jack Nicklaus has said.

McIlroy is only behind Australian Jason Day in the world rankings and has won four majors in his career so far, the last of which came in 2014.

“Rory is one of those young men who has got a tremendous amount of talent,” American Nicklaus told the BBC.

“He has won and played on his talent to this point. If he wishes to dominate and go forward then he’s got to improve. He has to work hard.”

“I mean, whatever Rory does, he has established himself as one of the great players that has ever played the game.

“Whether he wants to be the greatest player to have played the game, that’s his determination and it’s his decision whether he wants to make that effort to try to do that.”

Norther Irishman McIlroy, 27, has won US PGA Championships, a US Open and the Open but the Masters still eludes him.

“I think he will win the Masters. He certainly has the type of game that would do well at Augusta and he has done well before — he just hasn’t finished it,” Nicklaus said.

“The media are going to focus on this because he hasn’t won it. He’ll win it,” the 76-year-old added.

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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McIlroy must strive harder to be the greatest – Nicklaus

Golf-McIlroy must strive harder to be the greatest – Nicklaus

Dec 28 (Reuters) – World number two Rory McIlroy has the talent but he must work harder to dominate golf, 18-times major title winner Jack Nicklaus has said.

McIlroy is only behind Australian Jason Day in the world rankings and has won four majors in his career so far, the last of which came in 2014.

“Rory is one of those young men who has got a tremendous amount of talent,” American Nicklaus told the BBC.

“He has won and played on his talent to this point. If he wishes to dominate and go forward then he’s got to improve. He has to work hard.”

“I mean, whatever Rory does, he has established himself as one of the great players that has ever played the game.

“Whether he wants to be the greatest player to have played the game, that’s his determination and it’s his decision whether he wants to make that effort to try to do that.”

Norther Irishman McIlroy, 27, has won US PGA Championships, a US Open and the Open but the Masters still eludes him.

“I think he will win the Masters. He certainly has the type of game that would do well at Augusta and he has done well before — he just hasn’t finished it,” Nicklaus said.

“The media are going to focus on this because he hasn’t won it. He’ll win it,” the 76-year-old added. (Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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Golf-McIlroy must strive harder to be the greatest – Nicklaus

McIlroy out to keep up proud Dubai Classic record

DUBAI (Reuters) – World number two Rory McIlroy will be looking to maintain a proud record when he competes in the $2.65 million Dubai Desert Classic in February.

The four-times major champion won the event in 2009 and 2015 and has finished in the top 10 in each of his seven previous visits to the Emirates Golf Club.

“I have great memories of this tournament,” McIlroy said in a news release on Monday. “I made the cut here for the first time in a European Tour event as a 17-year-old amateur in 2007 and it was here I secured my first professional win two years later.

“I will always cherish those important moments in the early part of my career. That first win was a real stepping-stone for me, helping my confidence and leading to the successes that followed,” said the Northern Irishman.

British Open champion and world number four Henrik Stenson and U.S. Masters winner Danny Willett, who lifted the Dubai Classic trophy last year, are also in the field for the Feb. 2-5 tournament.

The Dubai Classic is the last in the tour’s three-event Middle East swing that also includes the Abu Dhabi Championship from Jan. 19-22 and the Qatar Masters from Jan. 26-29.

(Writing by Tony Jimenez; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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McIlroy out to keep up proud Dubai Classic record

Golf-McIlroy out to keep up proud Dubai Classic record

DUBAI, Dec 26 (Reuters) – World number two Rory McIlroy will be looking to maintain a proud record when he competes in the $2.65 million Dubai Desert Classic in February.

The four-times major champion won the event in 2009 and 2015 and has finished in the top 10 in each of his seven previous visits to the Emirates Golf Club.

“I have great memories of this tournament,” McIlroy said in a news release on Monday. “I made the cut here for the first time in a European Tour event as a 17-year-old amateur in 2007 and it was here I secured my first professional win two years later.

“I will always cherish those important moments in the early part of my career. That first win was a real stepping-stone for me, helping my confidence and leading to the successes that followed,” said the Northern Irishman.

British Open champion and world number four Henrik Stenson and U.S. Masters winner Danny Willett, who lifted the Dubai Classic trophy last year, are also in the field for the Feb. 2-5 tournament.

The Dubai Classic is the last in the tour’s three-event Middle East swing that also includes the Abu Dhabi Championship from Jan. 19-22 and the Qatar Masters from Jan. 26-29. (Writing by Tony Jimenez; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

See original article here – 

Golf-McIlroy out to keep up proud Dubai Classic record

Golf’s Tiger Woods hits the links with Donald Trump

Miami (AFP) – Tiger Woods, who played golf three years ago with Barack Obama, played 18 holes on Friday with Donald Trump at the real estate mogul’s Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach, Florida.

Woods, who will celebrate his 41st birthday on December 30, returned to competition this month after a 15-month injury layoff.

He joined the president-elect in a foursome, a spokeswoman for Trump’s transition team said, with Trump departing via motorcade after the round for his Mar-a-Lago estate.

He planned to go from there to the West Palm Beach Hilton, and had meetings with “high-level staffers” planned later in the day, press secretary Stephanie Grisham said.

Trump’s transition team didn’t offer any immediate details on the round, or what the president-elect and former world number one Woods talked about.

In February 2013, 14-time major champion Woods played with Obama at a private golf resort in Florida.

Obama and Woods teamed up to defeat US trade representative Ron Kirk and Houston Astros owner Jim Crane.

That golf outing was criticized after it came to light that it ended up costing US taxpayers nearly $3.6 million, according to a US Government Accountability report published this year.

The Trump Organization owns golf courses around the world, including historic Turnberry in Scotland, which has hosted the Open Championship four times.

However, Trump’s controversial comments on issues such as immigration during the US presidential campaign strained his relationships with some in the golf world.

The PGA of America stripped its 2015 Grand Slam of Golf from Trump National Los Angeles after Trump’s comments on Mexican immigrants, and the event was later discontinued.

Activist Martha Burk is among those who have called for the US Golf Association to move the 2017 US Women’s Open from Trump National in New Jersey, a demand the USGA has rejected.

The US PGA Tour moved its longstanding tournament at Trump National Doral in the Miami area to Mexico City for the 2016-17 season, although tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in June that the move of the World Golf Championships event was not a “political exercise”.

However, Finchem acknowledged that having the Trump brand on the host course of the event made it harder to find a sponsor to replace outgoing Cadillac, since Trump would share the limelight with any other corporate backer.

Although Trump blasted Obama during the campaign for playing too much golf, Golf Digest magazine recently listed the president-elect as among the best golfers in Washington with a 2.8 handicap.

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Golf’s Tiger Woods hits the links with Donald Trump

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