Truth & Rumors: Tiger likes chances against young Jack

The Golf Channel’s interview with Tiger Woods on Wednesday went over some well-charted territory, but TGC’s Steve Sands attempted to pepper Woods with some unusual questions, including this exchange:

Question: 18 holes to play at Augusta. You right now or Jack in his prime? You’re tied after 54 holes
Tiger: Me. Did I say that too fast? [smiling]
Question: Why?
Tiger: I like my chances.
Sands also got another interesting response when he asked Woods, “Who’s the best player in the world?” Without missing a beat, Woods said, “Lee Westwood.” However, Sands had less luck getting Woods to talk about his personal life. He asked Woods if he would ever get married again. Woods’s response: “I don’t know.” Rory to PGA Tour: It’s not you, it’s your playoffsIf you want to know what Rory McIlroy thinks, just follow his very active Twitter account. However, sometimes 140 characters isn’t enough for a nuanced statement, so it’s worthwhile to check out McIlroy’s press conference Wednesday at the Chevron World Challenge, where he explained his decision to give up his PGA Tour card to play primarily on the European Tour next year.
The reason is that McIlroy doesn’t like where the FedEx Cup playoffs fall in the schedule.
“At this time last year I was all for it, and I love playing over here, and I think that's the thing that people are forgetting, I'm still going to play ten events over here next year," McIlroy said. “I love playing over here. It's just the time of the year that the playoffs are on over here, it just -- I just didn't -- how can I put this? It's not as if I wanted to be playing golf over in Europe, I just did not want to be playing golf at all.
"The main part of our season is from April until the end of August when we have all the majors and all the big tournaments, and then I mean, for me personally I'd like to have a two- or three-week break after that, and it doesn't really let you have that,” McIlroy said. “So that was one of the reasons. And that was basically it.”
McIlroy said that if the Tour Championship ended in October or November then he might have remained on the PGA Tour since it would make it easier to play the 15 required events.
Because he gave up membership on the PGA Tour, McIlroy is limited to 10 PGA Tour events in 2011, something PGA Tour player and Players Advisory Council member Jim Furyk said isn’t fair.
“I love the PGA Tour and I'll protect us through and through, but I don't understand why if you are a member and you decline membership you're treated differently if you're someone that's declined membership for your career,” Furyk said. “Colin Montgomerie, who's never joined as a member, he can still play in 13 events. Why is Westwood or Rory, who took membership up, docked and now decided he's not going to take it, why is he docked any more than Montgomerie?
“I'd rather give Rory the benefit of the doubt,” Furyk said. “He at least came over and played and supported our Tour. We should help him, not hurt him. Nothing against Colin, but he's never joined, so I don't understand why he's given a better benefit of the doubt than Rory is.” Greg Norman thrills fans at Day 1 of Aussie Open but falters at endGreg Norman celebrated his 2008 marriage to Chris Evert by almost winning the British Open at Royal Birkdale. Would he do the same at the Australian Open this week after his recent marriage to Kirsten Kutner? The answer is probably not, although the Shark showed flashes of his old brilliance, according to Martin Blake of The Sydney Morning Herald.
Norman was headed for a good day in the best scoring conditions, but then allowed it to slip on the back nine with three consecutive three-putts. His bete noir was at the eighth hole, his 17th, a par-five. A newspaper photographer disturbed him in the backswing and he went sideways into deep grass. The photographer had stumbled and accidentally set off his motor drive, and was apologetic, but this scarcely helped Norman. He had already driven into a pond down the right; he double-bogeyed a hole that offered up a potential birdie.
Still, by the time he reached his last hole, the par-three ninth, the crowd was healthy and still supportive. Tournament director Tony Roosenburg was at the green, waiting and hoping, for organizers need Norman around this weekend. Norman signed for a two-over par 74 with a dreadful 34 putts, and headed off for lunch in the clubhouse with his new in-laws; he has some work to do today.
Stray Shots: Things we saw while picking up easy paychecks at all those silly-season blogging events...
Tiger Woods didn’t make the cut for Barbara Walters's “Most Fascinating People of the 2010” list. “We try to keep it positive,” she explained. (Via The Orlando Sentinel)
Lee Westwood says the No. 1 ranking doesn’t give him an extra pressure, just more interview requests. (Via Reuters)
Is Twitter making golfers less boring? (Via The Guardian) Follow Mike Walker on Twitter

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