124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

Why Tiger Woods needs to start talking more to Fred Couples


David Cannon

February 13, 2017

I Think …

That Tiger Woods can’t keep going on like this, scheduling four tournaments in five weeks that includes 16-hour flights across the globe, saying in Dubai he’s there to win when it’s obvious he’s not, saying he’s not in pain when it’s obvious that he is. If Woods is to compete at all with his back issue—and not keep withdrawing from tournaments—then he’s got to take a step back and manage his situation more like Fred Couples has since 1994. That is with prolonged rest scheduled around tournament weeks. Couples spent 40 minutes with Woods after the Hero Challenge, and Woods was already tightening up. “I feel his pain,” Couples said at the Allianz Championship. “I don’t think people realize that to play golf you don’t have to be perfect, but you can not play with a bad back. It’s almost impossible.”


Sam Greenwood

I Saw …

Where Lydia Ko didn’t take long in designating Gary Gilchrist as her new swing coach. She did this a month after leaving David Leadbetter and Sean Hogan as the No. 1-ranked player in women’s golf. What’s interesting is that she is going to work with an instructor who once worked under Leadbetter and has straightened out Ko’s No. 1 challenger, Ariya Jutanugarn, while also working with Shanshan Feng and Paula Creamer among other LPGA pros. “The girls she knows are really having fun with me,” Gilchrist told me. As for Ko’s father—who Leadbetter said was behind his dismissal and the firing of caddie, Jason Hamilton,—Gilchrist said there shouldn’t be a problem. “I found the father the funniest guy I’ve ever met,” Gilchrist went on to say of Gil Hong Ko. “He’s more the opposite of other Korean dads.”



I Heard …

About the arrangements being made by tournament management to make travel easier from next week’s Honda Classic, and just as importantly the Seminole Pro-Member the day after, to the WGC-Mexico Championship in Mexico City. This won’t be like commuting from Palm Beach Gardens to Doral in Miami the way it was before resort owner turned Presidential candidate Donald Trump started talking about building a wall. So instead of courtesy cars, Pro Links Sports has leased two 767s used by NFL teams to transport players, families, caddies and officials from Palm Beach International, one the Monday morning following the Honda, one the Monday afternoon following the event at Seminole—which includes a world-class field of Rory McIlroy (expected to play before his formal PGA Tour return in Mexico), Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Jim Furyk, Adam Scott, Martin Kaymer, Matt Kuchar, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas.