(AP) Woods thinks role of TV needs further review
By DOUG FERGUSON
AP Golf Writer
Tiger Woods was asked twice about his position on television viewers able to call in possible rules infractions. He never answered that question directly.
That’s not to suggest he had nothing to say about the role of TV.
Woods, who met with PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem before his news conference Wednesday at the Tour Championship, said there needs to be a time limit on calling in potential infractions. He also stated the obvious _ that he’s on TV a lot more than anyone else.
“I think with HDTV, I think that’s been a huge transition,” Woods said. “I think that there are certainly a lot more viewer call-ins, and I think what people don’t realize is that our rules staff gets quite a few calls every week. A lot of them never see the light of day, but they’re handled with the players.
“It’s a new age in which there is a lot of cameras that are around _ well, around my group and then some of the top players,” he said. “I think the commissioner was right. We’re going to have to have more discussions about it in the future. I think that’s actually happening right now.”
Finchem had said Tuesday that one of the issues is determining when it would be reasonable to accept outside information, and he raised the notion of a time limit. Finchem said the tour will “probably be taking another harder look” after the season, though he might have been talking about the impact of television more than the viewer calling in.
“You’ve got to start with disqualification and then work our way back from there,” Woods said. “What’s going to happen over a course of time? Is every player going to be mandated to have a camera follow them around everywhere they go _ all 156 players for every shot? Or is there a certain time limit when we’re going to have to do it? The digital age, is it going to change?
“These are all questions and answers that need to be resolved in the near future.”
There are discussions about television across golf, though not necessarily a fan’s ability to report what he sees.
Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of rules and competition, spoke in vague terms about this Tuesday when he said the USGA and R&A are looking at issues they should tackle and that “certainly, HDTV has been on the forefront for the last several years.”
STENSON DRIVER: Henrik Stenson has a new driver for the Tour Championship.
That’s not all by choice.
Stenson lost his temper on the final hole of the BMW Championship and snapped the head off his driver. He has upgraded to a new model that he had been working with since July but never felt he had enough time to put it into play.
Now is a good time, which might explain why he got rid of the old driver the way he did. Or maybe not.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Stenson said as his dry humor began to emerge. “That was the main focus. Get something with a little bit less spin. Let’s finish the old one off right here and now in front of everybody on 18. Perfect.”
MICKELSON GAME: Phil Mickelson had planned to bring Jordan Spieth into his money game last week at the BMW Championship. Mickelson wants younger players involved to get them ready for matches that really matter, like the Presidents Cup in two weeks.
Mickelson didn’t get to Chicago until that Wednesday night because of personal reasons, so they played Wednesday at East Lake.
Spieth did great. Or at least, he had a great partner.
Word is that Spieth and Steve Stricker won the match and every press against Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, with Stricker doing most of the damage. Butch Harmon, who walked most of the day with them, had Stricker down for seven birdies and an eagle. Asked if that was the case, Stricker smiled and said, “I didn’t keep track.”
Mickelson and Bradley were a tough team at the Ryder Cup. Could a partnership of the 46-year-old Stricker and 20-year-old Spieth make its debut at Muirfield Village?
HAVE JACKET, WILL TRAVEL: Masters champion Adam Scott talked earlier this year about the joy of waking up in The Bahamas and having a green jacket in his closet.
It doesn’t stay there.
Scott says he packs golf’s most famous jacket for just about every trip, including the Tour Championship.
“It’s here with me,” Scott said with a smile. “It comes pretty much everywhere. I wear it in my hotel room all the time just by myself.”
He was kidding about the last part _ maybe.
Scott said sometimes he packs the green jacket in his luggage, “but I don’t mind carrying it around.”
LAST CHANCE: Steve Stricker (No. 6 seed) could finish second at the Tour Championship and still win the FedEx Cup if Tiger Woods is 16th or worse and the next four seeds finish out of the top 10. That would mean Stricker could capture the $10 million prize without ever winning a tournament this year.
It almost happened in 2010 with Paul Casey.
In the six previous FedEx Cups, only twice has a player won the cup without winning the Tour Championship _ Woods in 2009 (Phil Mickelson won the tournament) and Vijay Singh in 2008, when the points system was so messed up that Singh only had to complete four rounds at East Lake that week.
Stricker, meanwhile, is among 13 players at East Lake who are still searching for their first win. And three of those players _ Graham DeLaet, Robert Castro and Brendon de Jonge _ have never won on tour in their careers.