David Feherty has a simple explanation for the problem with Tiger Woods’s game: It’s his marriage, stupid. Speaking at the South Dakota Make-a-Wish Foundation golf tournament in Sioux Falls, Feherty told Terry Vandrovec of The Argus Leader newspaper that he expects Woods to return to form once he gets his personal life settled.
There's nothing wrong with his swing, there's nothing wrong with anything except the head full of slamming doors that you have when you go through a divorce -- especially when there's children involved. It affects everybody. I think he'll recover from it faster than most people because he's so mentally strong, but golf is a game that's played with long periods of time between shots -- it's not a reaction sport. That's a lot of time for your mind to wander and anytime you get children involved it's a rough time in your life.
People ask me all the time, 'You think Tiger will be back?' Yeah. I think so. I've never seen anything quite like him. I know he's human now. For a while there I even doubted that. But he'll be back.
Feherty also shared some insights about how golf can attract more fans and TV viewers.
I'm hoping over the next few years -- there's a new TV contract that will be negotiated shortly -- that we will see more interaction, we learn a bit more about who these players are, that they're encouraged to show a little more emotion. There's been a long period of time now where players have been encouraged to kind of do the opposite. 'This is a civil sport, it's a gentlemen's game.' Nobody loses their temper, nobody throws clubs anymore. Frankly, that's not good TV. People like to see people losing their minds, being real people.
I'm out there and I'm walking for five hours sometimes with the players and I have great conversations with them. There's stuff that could be on (the air). We could make that decision. You wouldn't put stuff on that's going to burn anybody, but just allow the viewer to know these players a little bit more.
Arnie in grandson’s army
Who says the PGA Tour’s new West Virginia stop at the Greenbrier lacks star power? On Thursday, the tournament landed the game’s biggest star, Arnold Palmer. The Charleston (WV) Daily Mail reports that the King returned to the site of his first Tour win in 1955 to watch his grandson Sam Saunders.
The well-spoken Palmer saw plenty of areas he could have helped his grandson, but couldn't coach from the gallery.
"I whisper to myself what he should be doing, but he isn't hearing me," said Palmer, who earned his first professional victory at The Greenbrier in 1955. "He can hit it and he can play. It's just the question of getting in the right lane. Little things, like the little, quick, start away. Things that are absurd.
"If I was a month younger, I would like to caddy for him. If I could carry his bag, I would."
Saunders, playing on his final sponsor's exemption of the year, shot a 3-over 73.
Tuesdays with Darren
Darren Clarke has always been one of my favorite players to follow during practice rounds because he so obviously enjoys himself on the course and it’s clear that his group has something extra on the line.
After playing with Rory McIlroy at the 3 Irish Open on Thursday and posting a 66 to best McIlroy by a stroke, Clarke joked that while his fellow Northern Irishman might have passed him in the rankings, Clarke can still get the better of McIlroy some days, especially in a practice round.
Q. When did you last play with Rory, and do you take extra pleasure from beating him?
DARREN CLARKE: We played together on Tuesday.
Q. In a tournament.
DARREN CLARKE: You didn't say in a tournament, Mr. Garrod, did you. I don't know when is the last time we played together in a tournament. But we do play quite a bit, and you know, I'm usually very good Tuesday and Wednesday golfer, and he's usually better Thursday to Sunday. So I play him for a few quid on Tuesdays and things. He's got enough money, he can afford to give the old man a few quid but last time we played together I'm not quite sure.
Some things we saw while wondering if ESPN spiked any stories about Tiger Woods in Las Vegas nightclubs...
The Duramed Futures Tour reached a confidential settlement with golfer Sarah Brown after wrongly disqualifying her from a tournament last week. Confidential? Really? The Duramed Futures Tour is taking itself way too seriously. Where is Wikileaks when you need them? (Via Lehigh Valley Live)
The Greenbrier’s jacket-required policy at the casino is a problem for super-casual American Tour pros, but Sergio Garcia brought one. I don't know who will win the Ryder Cup, but it’s a lock that the Euros will be better dressed. (Via Golfweek)
Quote of the Day: Mark Calcavecchia on difficult pin placements at the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee Country Club near Seattle.
Q. Were there any pin placements in particular?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: 9, 8, 5, 3, 1, you know, 17, 16, 15, 11, 12, 13 -- I'm telling ya there were at least 13 tough ones, it was unreal.