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Tiger Evaluating Caddie & Tournament Options
Tiger Woods says he's checking into a new caddie as well as where he might be playing next.
In the latest post on his website, www.tigerwoods.com, Woods thanked his long-time friend, Bryon Bell, for serving as the fill-in for his long-time caddie, Steve Williams, who was let go and now works for Adam Scott.
"I did want thank my good friend Bryon Bell for caddying for me in both events," Woods wrote about Bell's work in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship. "He did a great job. He knows my game, and he knows me. Unfortunately, I was pretty rusty and didn't have enough reps to contend in either tournament."
As for that rustiness, which led to him missing the weekend cut in the PGA at Atlanta Athletic Club two weeks ago, Woods said it was all a matter of believing in his new swing. "At the PGA Championship, when I trusted my game and swing, it was there. When I didn't, I fell back into my old patterns. I just need more reps.
"I'm used to seeing the ball curve a lot, but now I'm hitting the ball much straighter, and it's hard to trust that. Most of the tee shots I missed at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA were straight balls into the left trees, bunkers or rough. I couldn't cut the ball. I'm just not comfortable yet aiming straight, and it's a whole new sight line for me."
As for where he'll be playing next, Woods has committed to play in a fundraising event at Turning Stone Resort's Atunyote Golf Club hosted by his longtime friend, Notah Begay III. "On August 31, I'll play in the Notah Begay III Foundation Challenge in Verona, N.Y.," Woods wrote.
"Notah is like a brother to me and has done so much for the Native American community, trying to help with child obesity. People have no idea how much time and energy he has put into this cause. It's a pretty big deal for him. The last time I played in the event was in 2009, so I'm really looking forward to helping him out."
After that, his only firm tournament commitments are in Asia and Australia. "Hopefully I'll get picked for the Presidents Cup team," he said, in reference to the biennial competition that pits an American squad against a team of international (non-European) professionals. The event will be held November 14-20 at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia.
"I've had some conversations with U.S. captain Fred Couples, and we'll see how it goes. Of course, I want to be on the team. It's always fun to play for your country, and we did pretty well two years ago in San Francisco. I'm just going to keep practicing and try to get better. It's Freddie's call, and he can make any choice he wants."
Woods was a bit more cryptic about entering a tournament before going overseas in early fall. "I might add another PGA Tour event to my schedule," he said. "Right now, I'm looking at my options."
In comments earlier this year, Couples indicated that Woods would essentially be a shoo-in as a captain's pick for the U.S. Presidents Cup team. But Couples, who won his first Champions Tour major over the weekend in the Senior Players Championship at Westchester Country Club in New York, has backed off that promise, saying last week, "For him to play, I think he needs to play a little bit. He just can't show up the week before in Australia."
Because of inactivity due to rehabilitating his injured left knee and Achilles heel, Woods' world ranking has suffered as well as a lack of points accumulated during the season-long FedEx Cup Playoffs. The first of that four-tournament, $35 million series starts this week at The Barclays in New Jersey.
Needing to get within the top 125 on the points list, Woods finished 127th and did not qualify for the playoffs. Woods could have tried to get into the top 125 but chose to sit out last week's Wyndham Championship in North Carolina, the final event where points could be earned.
Couples must make his captain's selections September 26, before Woods could play in any U.S. event, such as the PGA Tour's Fall Series, which includes the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open in Las Vegas that spans late September and early October, the Frys.com Open October 6-9, the McGladrey Classic at Sea Island Golf Club October 13-16, and the Children's Miracle Network Classic at Disney World October 20-23.
Woods has never played in a Fall Series event as defined in the current PGA Tour schedule, but his first win as a pro came in 1996 in the Las Vegas Invitational and he's won twice - including his second Tour win in '96 - at Disney World.