Woods, Mickelson returns come not a moment too soon
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will make their 2008 season debuts this week. Considering the recent on- and off-course developments in golf, it's not a moment too soon.
It's been a rough couple of weeks in the world of golf. While some of the game's top players weren't competing in the season-opening events, a maelstrom of controversy first swarmed around Golf Channel announcer Kelly Tilghman's "lynch [Tiger Woods] in a back alley" comment and later when Golfweek magazine placed an image of a noose on its cover to promote a package of editorial content on the situation.
Here's the last thing we'll say about this incident for now: The Weekly 18 has heard from golf fans and nonfans, far and wide, regarding these controversies. We've heard from those who thought Tilghman's poor choice of words was offensive but the mag cover was not. We've heard from others who felt the exact opposite. We've heard from African-Americans who don't see what all the fuss is about. We've heard from Caucasians who are disgusted by such actions.
The most important thing for all of us to remember is that there are no right or wrong answers here. We can have our own opinion and you can have yours, but unlike the confines of a scorecard, there is room for more than a final tally after the dust clears. If these incidents provoked further discussion about civil rights issues in our country, then at least one positive has developed as a result.
(One final point on this situation: The past few weeks, we've heard a lot about the dearth of diversity on the PGA Tour. To which we can only say huh? The first two events were won by a Swede who was raised in India and lives in Orlando and a South Korean who lives in Houston. Other top players come from such places as Fiji, South Africa, Australia, England, Argentina and all other corners of the world, with different religious and cultural backgrounds. So although people can criticize the game for a lack of African-Americans -- a valid analysis -- let's not mistake that for a lack of diversity.)
With that, we move on to talking about -- don't be shocked now -- golf. That's right, the actual game itself, not the controversies surrounding it.
|Year||Tiger Woods||Result||Phil Mickelson||Result|
|2007||Buick Invitational||Win||Bob Hope Classic||T-45|
|2006||Buick Invitational||Win||Bob Hope Classic||T-5|
|2005||Mercedes-Benz Championship||T-3||Buick Invitational||T-56|
|2004||Mercedes-Benz Championship||T-4||Bob Hope Classic||Win|
|2003||Buick Invitational||Win||FBR Open||T-9|
|2002||Mercedes-Benz Championship||T-10||Bob Hope Classic||Win|
|2001||Mercedes-Benz Championship||T-8||Mercedes-Benz Championship||T-28|
|2000||Mercedes-Benz Championship||Win||Bob Hope Classic||T-16|
|1999||Mercedes-Benz Championship||T-5||Mercedes-Benz Championship||T-22|
|1998||Mercedes-Benz Championship||T-2||Mercedes-Benz Championship||Win|
|1997||Mercedes-Benz Championship||Win||Mercedes-Benz Championship||T-11|
|1996||Greater Milwaukee Open||T-60||Mercedes-Benz Championship||28th|
- Up-and-comer alert! A three-time All-America at Coastal Carolina and member of the victorious U.S. Walker Cup squad, Johnson is one of the top American players to reach the tour in the past few years. He may need a little seasoning, but in time he'll be a solid pro.
A: I think I birdied, well, I birdied 1, then I birdied 2.
Q: But what did you do?
A: Oh, really I don't even know. I don't remember all the holes.
Q: Forget it.
A: I'm sorry. On the weather in Palm Springs, Calif.: "It's a little too dry out here for me. I'm waking up in the morning time early in the morning and nose bleeding and stuff, I'm a little chafed, you know, I mean I got a rash and it's just a little dry for me. I like it a little more humidity." That was followed up by this exchange: Q: Your nose bleeds in the morning?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Only here?
A: Well, I mean, yes, I mean it's just dry. I'm not used to this dryness.
Q: It doesn't bleed back home?
A: No, not unless somebody hits me.
- "Ladies and gentlemen, on the tee, the 2006 champion, from Colleyville, Texas, please welcome Chad Campbell."
- After being handily elected to fill the vacant seat on town council Monday night, Ken Perry took his declaration of office last night -- marking the beginning of his almost three-year term as a councillor. Perry garnered 1,813 votes in the municipal byelection, defeating opponent Todd Hamilton, who received 792 votes.
- Nullarbor Links is an 18-hole golf course spanning 1,365 [kilometers] and crossing two states of the Australian outback. Beginning at Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, holes -- complete with tee, rugged outback fairway and a green -- will be placed at various towns and one working sheep station along the Eyre Highway to Ceduna in South Australia. Eight holes have already been constructed, with the other 10 to be completed by mid-2009.
Jason Sobel is ESPN.com's golf editor. He can be reached at Jason.Sobel@espn3.com.
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