PGA Tour Confidential: Sony Open

Charles Howell III, 2009 Sony Open, final round
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Tiger Woods spoke in Washington on Sunday while his peers were in Hawaii.

Dusek: When is Adam Scott going to get angry enough, or frustrated enough, to say to himself, "I'm not going to lose this tournament to these guys!" His talent is off the charts, but he seems to lack a killer instinct. Leaving that birdie putt short on 17 and making a tentative effort from the fringe on 18 were inexcusable errors. I wonder if losing doesn't bother him enough.

Van Sickle: Scott did shoot 64 in the final round. I forget, why were we criticizing him again?

Shipnuck: Sure, he shot 64, but he needs another top-10 finish like he needs another date. He's at that point in his career where victories are the only results that matter. Tough standard, but he would probably agree.

Bamberger: As usual, Tiger Woods made more headlines this weekend for not playing than anyone who teed it up in Hawaii. We should talk about his remarks in Washington on Sunday at the Obama celebration. He was brief but impressive: a golfer, speaking from the Lincoln Memorial, days before a historic presidential inauguration, introducing a Navy choir. Tiger didn't talk about politics; he talked about the military. He already has his Boston event and his Washington event, and I understand that he'd like to have a hand in a third event, possibly in northern California, and involve a military charity.

Van Sickle: Maybe Tiger can take over Torrey Pines for his California event after Buick drops its sponsorships and/or ceases operations.

Lipsey: How in the name of TARP do Buick's PGA Tour events get played this year? If the CEO gets shamed into driving back to D.C. and dropping Tiger from the payroll, shouldn't he get shamed into killing the golf-sponsorship budget?

Gorant: It's called contractual obligation. Short of declaring bankruptcy, they have no way out of the deal. They were lucky Tiger let them off the hook.

Van Sickle: The tour can prop up the Buick events. More amazing is this week's Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. After announcing that it was dropping the once-popular PT Cruiser, Chrysler is now down to making only three cars — a minivan, a 300C and I forget the third. They may not be in business much longer. I don't think the Hope will be on the Tour schedule in 2010. The 50th may well be the final, unfortunately.

Friedman: That'll teach 'em for ditching George Lopez.

Van Sickle: Alan, any cause for optimism for Retief Goosen, who won the Africa Open? Or is the fact that he wasn't playing in Abu Dhabi, where they actually had some players, a mitigating factor?

Shipnuck: Last fall he won some small-time event in Malaysia, his first win in nearly two years. He seems to be trying to bolster his confidence against B-teamers, which isn't a bad strategy, I guess.

Van Sickle: How about our Hawaiian Open champion, Mr. Iowa, Zach Johnson?

Gorant: Zach stomped on any journalistic goodwill Lerner had built by rattling off a Nascar-like list of sponsors to thank. I get what he's doing, recession and all, but if this is going to become a trend in golf interviews, we got trouble.

Van Sickle: Looks like this conversation has run out of steam. One final note on Johnson's win. I hereby decree two demerits for every Website and newspaper that uses "Zach Attack" in a headline, and that will be alot of them, because AP was guilty of the crime. (The Golf Channel's Kraig Kann used the phrase less than two minutes into the recap show.)

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