Tags: tiger | woods | masters

Golf Talk: Tiger Eyes Masters for Comeback

Thursday, 30 Oct 2008 11:22 AM

By Anthony Pioppi

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  • Tiger Eyes Masters for Comeback

  • Sergio Garcia Dedicates PGA Victory to Seve

  • Helen Alfredsson Wins Again

  • Ted Tryba Misses Mark As Announcer


    Tiger Eyes Masters for Comeback

    Tiger Woods has often said that he's not sure when he will return to playing professional golf as he rehabilitates his surgically repaired knee. His coach, Hank Haney, hinted otherwise, as reported in The Scotsman.

    "I'm sure his target is to be ready for the Masters. But to do that properly, he'll have to play a couple of times before he gets to Augusta," Haney said.

    "He can't just show up not having played for so long. I know he pulled it off at the US Open, but 10 months is a long time. He needs to have played some serious golf, maybe two events, before April. That sounds like a reasonable goal."

    Somewhere, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem is jumping up and down. But wait, the news gets even better for him, tournament sponsors, and the television networks.

    "I can see him playing a bit more than normal in the short term. His leg will be stronger than it has ever been. While his ligament will be at 85 percent, the rest of the muscles around it will be in better shape than ever," Haney said.

    "So he will be capable of more than I have ever seen before. I really can't see this whole thing as anything but a positive. Remember, he won the US Open on one leg."

    Sergio Garcia Dedicates PGA Victory to Seve

    Sergio Garcia had not won on the European PGA Tour since 2005, but he ended the drought recently at the course where his father is head golf professional and immediately dedicated the victory to fellow Spaniard and golfing legend Seve Ballesteros who is hospitalized after three surgeries for brain cancer.

    "I couldn't help but think of Seve. I'm sending all my love to him and his family and hope he recovers soon. I hope this victory helps him get a little better," Garcia said after the tournament.

    Garcia was the host of the inaugural Castellon Masters held at Club de Campo del Mediterraneo. Garcia shot a 4-under 67 in the final round, finishing three shots ahead of Swede Peter Hedblom. The victory moved him into third place in the World Golf Ranking, his highest position ever.

    Garcia lead by four shots after the third round, but Hedblom opened the final 18 with four consecutive birdies. Garcia, however, held his ground.

    "I didn't play amazing, and Peter had such a great start. On the back nine, I felt I had it under control and had a lot of chances and putts but didn't make that many," Garcia said.

    "Just getting the tournament here was special for me and my family, but to play the way I did and win — it was awesome."

    Helen Alfredsson Wins Again

    Swedish veteran Helen Alfredsson made a statement earlier this year that she was back by finishing second at the US Open. She followed that up by winning the Evian Masters, and then added her second LPGA Tour victory capturing the Grand China Air recently, shooting a 7-under 65 to beat Taiwan's Yani Tseng by three strokes.

    Alfredsson, 43, overtook Karen Stupples who had a five-stroke lead entering the final round of the first LPGA Tournament in China. Alfredsson finished at 12-under, 204.

    Yani Tseng, who won the LPGA Championship earlier this season as a 19-year-old, finished with a 68. Karen Stupples of England was five back after a 75. Annika Sorenstam had a 72 to finish 10 shots out of first.

    Alfredsson notched six birdies in the first 10 holes of the final round, the last of that burst giving her the lead alone at 11-under. She was able to get to 13-under, then made bogey at the 18th after a poor chip and waited for the final three groups to finish.

    "I was 4-up, and I didn't have huge pressure on me for the chip shot. But it was not a great shot. But it's great to be on 18 and have a four-shot lead," Alfredsson said.

    Alfredsson commented after the round that she enjoys besting much younger players.

    "They don't want to get beat by us because we are so old, and we still want to beat them because they are so young."

    Ted Tryba Misses Mark As Announcer

    The 15th hole at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., provided plenty of entertaining golf during the recent Frys.com Open as players were tempted to take a shot at reaching with their tee shots the short par-4, which has a large bunker in front and a two-level green.

    The hole also provided an opportunity for Golf Channel talking head Ted Tryba to prove why former tour players don't always make good announcers.

    "You've got to love those drivable par-4s, especially when there's no water or hazards around," he said.

    Right Ted — why would you want hazards that might inject strategy into the hole and force players to think rather than just swing away?

    By the way, there's a name for drivable par-4s with no water or hazards: driving range.

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