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PGA Tour Confidential: Poulter rallies to win WGC-HSBC Champions in China

Tiger Woods
Hong Wu / AP
Tiger Woods is currently the No. 2 player in the official world ranking.

TIGER'S REPS
Godich: Before he left Asia, Tiger Woods said he had a long road to get back to No. 1 in the world. He also said he has played a heavy schedule this year (24 events by the end of the year). I've long advocated more competition to accelerate the process for Tiger. What do you think? Would more competition benefit Tiger?

Dusek: The more Tiger plays, the better he'll play on a day-to-day basis. Does that mean 24 events in 2013 will guarantee him a major? No. But he added tournaments to his rota in early 2012 and won Bay Hill and the Memorial. That was no coincidence.

Herre: Yes, more "reps" would help Tiger. But, frankly, that's not likely to happen. He has always been one to strategically pick his spots, often times with business interests being the deciding factor. The Woods brand may be somewhat diminished, but he remains the biggest force in the game.

Walker: Tiger played more events this year, and you could really see him improve when he was playing for two or three consecutive weeks. Until he owns this new swing, more is more for Tiger.

Garrity: Absolutely. Tiger's dealt with most of his swing issues, and I don't see what's gained by hitting thousands of balls in his backyard. He needs to put himself in contention in more tournaments to restore his confidence under pressure. That weekend swagger was sadly lacking this season.

Hanger: I'm not so sure. He is getting older, and I think run-of-the-mill Tour stops may have lost their luster. I think he might do just as well to save his strength and keep a laser focus on the four big ones every season.

Van Sickle: Tiger's recurring themes of "it's a process" and "more reps" have gotten old. He's had plenty of time to rebuild his game and his psyche. I think it might help him to rack up some wins and play some smaller Tour stops that he hasn't visited in a while, but I don't see him needing a heavier schedule. We'd all love it, but it's not going to happen. He'll probably drop back to 15 to 18.

Bamberger: He really needed a year where he got back in the groove of playing tournament golf, so it wasn't a novelty. I don't think we'll ever see him play this much again. For one thing, the less he plays, the more he'll get paid to play at tournaments that offer appearance fees. But mainly he wants to really get up for the four majors. If he plays too much, it all starts to feel like the same thing. That's not Tiger golf.

Ritter: Tiger was No. 23 in the world on Jan. 1. Today he's No. 2. It might be smart to keep the packed schedule going for as long as his body can hold up.

Herre: At this point in time, Tiger being No. 2 to Rory is perfect positioning for an ad campaign.

Bamberger: I think Rory batting second to Tiger would make Nike even happier.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Did Tiger benefit from his packed schedule this season?

AMATEUR HOUR
Godich: Guan Tianlang went wire-to-wire to win the Asia Pacific Amateur on Sunday and picked up an invitation to the 2013 Masters. This might not be such big news if Guan wasn't a 14-year-old eighth-grader. All of 125 pounds, Guan admits he's going to have to get a lot stronger (and longer) to tackle Augusta National. How will the youngster fare at Augusta? Will he break 80? Anybody think he comes close to making the cut?

Bamberger: Par for him is 80. He can shoot 160.

Herre: He will be crushed but will get a lot of pre-tournament publicity.

Dusek: Make the cut? No. Break 80? Probably not. He'll be an interesting Monday or Tuesday story.

Godich: We'll revisit these predictions in the spring ... but I'm afraid you're right. And you might be kind.

Hanger: I think breaking 80 is do-able if his short game is sharp, but the cut is not.

Van Sickle: Having never seen the kid hit a shot, I have no opinion on how he'll do. All I know is that he's probably an overnight rock star who's going to have big endorsement money waiting for him when he turns pro. In the Masters at 14? That's absolutely amazing. I wonder if that's what the Masters folks had in mind when they teed up the Asian Amateur?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: How will the 14-year-old fare at Augusta National next April?

 

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