Category: Mark O'Meara

March 28, 2013

Mark O'Meara breaks Augusta rules to text Tiger from Amen Corner

Posted at 3:15 PM by Mike Walker

Omeara_300Even Masters champions get a little nervous about breaking out their cell phones at Augusta National.

Mark O'Meara, the 1998 champion, was playing a tune-up round at Augusta National on Sunday, and when he got to the 12th tee, he risked violating the club's no-cell-phone policy to check to see how his old fishing buddy Tiger Woods was getting on at Bay Hill.

Q. You said you texted Tiger after he won Bay Hill?

MARK O'MEARA: I was on the 12th green at Augusta National on Monday. You got to be very careful, as we all know, at Augusta. I don't want Mr. Payne to be upset at me. I was back on the back of the green and pulled out my phone to see that he had won by 2. I fired him a text. I said, awesome, great No. 8 and No. 1. That's all I said.

And after risking the ire of club chairman Billy Payne, it turned out that O'Meara didn't even get a text back from his old pal.

Q. Any reply?

MARK O'MEARA: Unfortunately I have to have a little discussion with my friend because I didn't get a reply. So I'm not really real pleased with my buddy right now. I felt like sending a text, hey, no love, what's the deal? He's an interesting guy from the standpoint I was getting off the elevator in Mississippi on Saturday after first round, I shot 70 and I was two, three shots off the lead. I played with Langer and Fred the first day. I clipped the two guys. I get a text on my phone saying, hey, nice playing, dude. Wow. This is really nice. Dude, are you turning over a new leaf, my man. We kid back and forth. We stay in touch, but not like it once was.

Photo: Mark O'Meara at the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach, Calif., in March (Getty Images).

August 28, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Watch Bubba Watson mess with Golf Channel

Posted at 10:25 AM by Mark Dee

Leave it to Bubba Watson to pantomime what many critics think about the Golf Channel's daytime filler coverage.

Special thanks to Yahoo!'s Jonathan Wall, who tracked down this video of TGC's Alex Miceli (guest starring the Masters champ) from last week at the Barclays.

Watson, like most reasonable people, appeared unmoved by the newfound knowledge that Charlie Hoffman plays 2007 model-year Pro-V1s, and ... let's go to the tape:

Clearly, Watson was eager to get back to the infomercials of Montel Williams endorsing Tommie Copper Compression Sleeves, and Mark O'Meara selling Medicus Drivers. You know, the good stuff.

(Also of note here are the related videos provided by YouTube at the end of the clip. "Bentley the Bulldog Puppy is Fussy pt. 2," "Smoky the Kitten & Mr. Squirrel," and Synchronized Fountain Swimming. Golf fans, this is what the Internet thinks of you.)

February 10, 2010

O'Meara calls Woods situation 'disappointing'

Posted at 6:21 PM by Mike Walker

Mark O'Meara said Monday that he hasn't spoke to Tiger Woods since before Woods's Thanksgiving night car accident and his subsequent admission of infidelities, and O'Meara called the situation "disappointing."

"I realize what happened is not a good scenario," O'Meara said. "That's disappointing, what's happened, and as his friend I would tell him that personally. But that doesn't take away from the fact that I wouldn't try to help my friend any way I could."

O'Meara has won the Masters and the British Open, but in recent years he's been known as much for his close friendship with Woods as his prowess on the golf course. Despite the 19-year age difference between them, Woods appeared to bond with O'Meara more than any other player on Tour. They did guy stuff together like fly-fishing trips to Ireland, Ping Pong matches and card games. However, when speaking at the Champions Tour event Toshiba Classic at Newport Beach Country Club in California, O'Meara said that he and Woods had not spoken since the 2009 British Open at Turnberry. He said he has attempted to contact Woods a few times since the accident.

"I haven't been very public with this whole issue on what's happened," O'Meara said. "I can't completely talk about something that I don't know, really, a lot about what's going on. I felt I had to let things play out."

Asked about Woods's public silence since the accident, O'Meara said that Woods's decision to keep quiet is consistent with his personality and his desire for privacy.

"I guess he has all these advisors," O'Meara said. "I’m not his advisor. I would have handled it differently, myself, personally, but that’s who I am. Whether he’s handled it right or wrong, only time can decide that. Tiger is being Tiger. You guys have spent a lot of time with him and seen how he is. I don’t know how else to answer that."

March 28, 2009

Can Mark O'Meara handle his nerves Sunday at the Cap Cana Championship?

Posted at 7:34 PM by Damon Hack

Mark O'Meara always could golf his ball along the ocean. In his prime, he won five PGA Tour titles at Pebble Beach. Now, playing in the breezes off the Caribbean Sea, he's in position to notch his first-ever Champions Tour title at the Cap Cana Championship.

On Saturday, he shot a no-fuss 65 (eight birdies, one bogey, sweet little draws all day). On Sunday, he will share the final group with Keith Fergus (68) and Eduardo Romero (68). Romero edged O'Meara by a shot at Newport Beach earlier in the season.  I'll be watching to see how O'Meara handles his nerves being so close to victory again. Romero has four victories since the start of the 2008 season. Fergus won a Champions Tour title in 2007 and won three times on the PGA Tour. They say it's hard to follow up one low round with another low round, but O'Meara may need it Sunday. He said it himself. He's going to have to play well to win.

I'll also be watching to see if Greg Norman can finish out in some style. His play has been uninspired at Punta Espada (73-72) and he doesn't trust his putting stroke right now. (He says he's having trouble reading the greens). With one more competitive round before he tees it up on the PGA Tour next week in Houston, Norman needs to see some putts fall. Plus, his return to the Masters is right around the corner.

November 14, 2008

Tiger could return in late February, O’Meara says

Posted at 10:35 AM by Mike Walker

Tiger Woods's return to competitive golf appears likely to happen early in 2009, according to Mark O'Meara, a former Masters champ and certified Friend of Tiger.

After a quiet summer spent recovering from knee surgery, Woods has made a flurry of promotional appearances and media interviews this fall. While he hesitated to give a return date, Woods has maintained his goal is to return for the Masters in April. In his public appearances, Woods appeared to be his usual athletic self and said he doesn't have any pain in his knee. He is able to chip and putt, but his knee cannot handle the rotation and force of full swings until January, Woods said.

O'Meara, who is one of Woods's closest friends on Tour, had lunch with Tiger recently and told reporters in Dubai that Woods would be unable to return to defend his Dubai Desert Classic title in late January, according to Australia's The National newspaper. However, O'Meara said Woods is likely to return in late February or early March during the PGA Tour's Florida swing.

"Tiger is doing really well and he is pleased with the way the operation went," said O'Meara, who was visiting the UAE in his role as an ambassador for Golf in Dubai for yesterday's official launch of next month's Ladies Masters.

"I'm afraid the Classic [on Jan 29] is coming round a little early for him to be able to defend his title. That's a real pity. He is going to aim for a return in late February or early March.

"He is not going to start hitting balls until the end of December so it would be pushing it for him to come here in January. I imagine he will make his comeback in one of the Florida tournaments. His plan is to play a couple of events before the US Masters [in April].

O'Meara added that he'd known for some time that Woods's knee injury was serious, but he didn't tell anyone out of loyalty to his friend.

"I've known for more than two years how serious his knee injury was," said O'Meara, 51. "It was really bad but it was not for me to tell anybody. I had to keep it hush, hush."

More on Woods: Tiger Tracker | Enemies and rivals | Life in pictures | 2008 season

July 18, 2008

Open cut relief for some, cruel for others

Posted at 3:24 PM by Eamon Lynch

SOUTHPORT, England — Friday is the cruelest day in major championship golf. Tonight half the field earned a passport to the weekend and a shot at winning the British Open. Everyone else will be handing over their passport as they check in for the flight home.

The low 70 players and ties will play the weekend at Royal Birkdale. That puts 83 players inside the cut line at 9-over-par.

Among those breathing a sigh of relief is Ernie Els, who made bogey on his last hole earlier today to fall to 9-over. The easy-going South African slammed his putter angrily into his bag as he walked off the green, then slammed the door of the scorer's hut after signing for a round of 69. Also surviving at that 9-over mark are Davis Love III and England's hope, Lee Westwood.

Phil Mickelson secured his place for the weekend with a second-round 69 that left him at 7-over. Masters champion Trevor Immelman and Colin Montgomerie are also assured to a weekend tee time at 8-over.

For others there will be no reprieve. Stewart Cink and Tom Watson (both 10-over) are finished. Joining them on the boulevard of missed birdie putts are Vijay Singh, Geoff Ogilvy,  Mark O'Meara and Charles Howell III, all at 11-over. Former U.S. Open winner Angel Cabrera and Rory Sabbatini missed by a mile at 14-over.

Also missing the weekend action is former champion Paul Lawrie, Miguel Angel Jiminez, Aaron Baddeley, and a handful of young American prospects: Brandt Snedeker, Hunter Mahan, and J.B. Holmes.

In a category all of his own, dead last in the field, is John Daly. The former champion-turned-train wreck finished 29-over par after rounds of 80-89. He didn't make a single birdie all week. And there isn't even a Hooters in Birkdale for him to spend the weekend in.

Tiger's BFF heads home, media distraught

Posted at 12:35 PM by Eamon Lynch

SOUTHPORT, England — A sense of despair settled on the media center at Royal Birkdale today when Mark O'Meara, whose status as a former Open champion was overshadowed by his role as Tiger Woods' Best Friend Forever, missed the cut.

O'Meara's second-round 77 means the 1998 winner is looking at an early flight home, while the press is looking at lots of empty space now that their only source of Tiger-related information is gone. It is believed that some of the tabloid press in Britain might now actually be forced to simply make up stories about the absent world No. 1.

"I'm not a real happy camper right now," O'Meara said, politely echoing the sentiment in the press room.

Some disgruntled hacks suggested that O'Meara deliberately played his last nine holes in six-over-par on the orders of Woods, who is said to have been infuriated by O'Meara's revelation that he is watching the Open coverage at home in Orlando. O'Meara denied the allegation.

"I just started making bogeys," he said.

O'Meara: Tiger is watching Open from afar

Posted at 6:11 AM by Mike Walker

SOUTHPORT, England - Mark O’Meara’s role at this year’s British Open isn’t just as a former champion. The 1998 winner at Royal Birkdale is also Tiger Woods’s proxy, the go-to guy for information on his close buddy.

After an opening round 74, O’Meara was asked a perfunctory question about the weather (Subject No. 2 this week) before the talk turned to Woods (Subject No. 1, even in absentia). O’Meara said he got a text from Woods telling him to “go out and kick some butt,” but O’Meara said he was having a hard enough time “trying not to get my butt kicked.”

According to O'Meara. Woods is watching the Open from his Orlando home as he recovers from knee surgery.

“Oh yeah, he loves golf,” O’Meara said. “He wanted to be here so bad. I remember winning the Open in ’98 and flying back with him on his plane. He wanted to see the Claret Jug. He wanted to get his hands on it because he was one shot out of the playoff. Now he’s done it three times."

O’Meara said that his social life during Open week isn’t much different with Woods not here, for reasons that will sound familiar to most guys in their 30s and 40s. “Once Tiger got married, we don’t really hang out as much — I mean, we don’t stay together as much,” O’Meara said. “Before he was married we did that all the time, and it was great. Over the last four or five years that hasn’t been the case. I kind of miss him.”

July 16, 2008

Tiger's BFF asked about Tiger at Tiger-less Open

Posted at 9:30 AM by Eamon Lynch

SOUTHPORT, England — Mark O'Meara won the Open a decade ago at Royal Birkdale, but you wouldn't know it based on his press conference this week.  The approach of the assembled scribes was fairly simple: If Mohammed isn't coming to the mountain, his Best Friend Forever will do instead.

To be fair, O'Meara started it. Asked about the Dubai logo on his shirt, he talked about having played in the Mideast nation over the past decade and his role as an ambassador for the region. Then he pulled his finger out of the dam: "I remember going there 10 years ago... Tiger was intrigued."

After that, the deluge.

What effect does Tiger's absence have on the Open?
Will he be missed at the Ryder Cup?
Do you get upset at all the focus on Tiger not being here?
How will Tiger's absence affect players conditioned to look for his name on the leaderboard?
Were you surprised that Tiger said his knee hadn't felt great for 10 years?
Do you think Tiger was exaggerating about how long his knee was ailing?
Can you Tell us about your practice round with Tiger in 1998?
Is Tiger a better skier than you?
Does Tiger wear boxers or briefs?

Okay, so I made up that last one. But perhaps O'Meara should have been asked if he will earn a fee this week as an official spokesperson for Tiger, Inc. In the unlikely event that O'Meara wins again at Royal Birkdale,  he should anticipate this as the opening question at the post-victory press conference: Do you think your win will motivate Tiger to get back on Tour sooner?

And in case you're wondering, Tiger is not a better skier than O'Meara.

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