Category Archives: PGA

It’s Tiger Tiger Woods Y’all!

Photo: Tiger Woods, GolfDigest.com
Photo: Tiger Woods, GolfDigest.com

This past weekend, golf made news again and this time not just on the Golf Channel. Broadcasters were talking about golf on Sportscenter, CNN, Fox, Morning TV, and writers everywhere were typing away, tweeting, and meeting deadlines in the printed press. Why you might ask? Well, it’s Tiger Tiger Woods y’all.

Tiger’s return was a shot in the arm at the end of a tremendous year for golf and had TV execs salivating at the possibilities for more. His return to competition caused a seismic shift in TV ratings all week long. Thursday’s first round of the Hero World Challenge, drew a .86 rating (about 786,000 viewers), which was up 190% from last year’s event. Keep in mind, this was a Thursday, and a golf tournament, and in December. According to NBC/Golf Channel, Thursday’s round was the most-watched fourth-quarter (Oct-Dec) round in Golf Channel history. Rounds 2, 3, and 4 didn’t disappoint either, with ratings up 200% on Friday, 162% / 92% (Golf Channel/NBC) on Saturday, and 126% / 54% (Golf Channel/NBC) on Sunday, respectively.

Photo: Tiger Woods (Tournament Host-Left); Hideki Matsuyama (Tournament Champion-Right), @PGATour/Twitter
Photo: Tiger Woods (Tournament Host-Left); Hideki Matsuyama (Tournament Champion-Right), @PGATour/Twitter

And don’t think TV execs were the only ones who noticed. Vegas, where everything happens and stays (unless it’s on an iPhone or Instagram), loved Tiger’s return as well. In fact, post tournament betting odds have already hit the streets. With a good start at the Hero World Challenge, some are already predicting what Tiger Woods’ 2017 could look like. Tiger’s over/under for numbers of tournaments, cuts made, withdrawals, and even his odds to win a major in 2017 (21/2) are all there waiting for those who wish to take a chance and put some big bucks down. Particularly interesting are the odds of Tiger ever winning a major again (10/11), which tells me even Vegas is holding out hope for the return of the Tiger of old.

References:

Link: Golf Odds: Lost in the Woods no more

Link: The Hero World Challenge TV ratings prove Tiger Woods is still golf’s biggest draw (And it’s not even close)

BIO: Keith Cook has been a writer and contributing editor at thelocalgolfer.com since 2013. Follow Keith @KeithCookWriter on Facebook or @_KeithCook on Twitter.

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A working pro plays the PGA: Part 1

Bart PotterRich Berberian Jr., an adopted son of Grey Goatee Nation, tees off at 12:45 p.m. (Eastern time) in the first round of the PGA Championship Thursday in a group with veteran tour pro Rocco Mediate and Shaun Micheel, the 2003 PGA champion.

Rich Berberian Jr. is the very definition of a working golf professional.

Which is why he was on his way to work early in the morning June 30, driving from central New York state to make his 1 p.m. shift at Windham Country Club in Derry, N.H., where he’s an assistant pro. Never mind that his tournament-clinching birdie putt at the PGA Professional Championship at Turning Stone Resort had fallen in the hole barely 15 hours before.

“Back to reality,” he said.

And there lies the central conundrum in a guy like Berberian’s life: demonstrably talented player well positioned to practice his craft at the highest level of the game; and full-time assistant pro with all that it entails – manning the pro shop desk, organizing and running club tournaments, teaching golf … in short, giving time to a job like any working stiff.

But now, after his national championship at the PGA pros event, he has opportunities, first and most notably a berth in the PGA Championship at Baltusrol this weekend. It’s his second major — he played in the U.S. Open at Chambers bay last year.

The $75,000 winner’s check from Turning Stone helped Berberian and fiancé Morgan Lagerberg buy a new condo in Hooksett, N.H.

The tournament victory also means he can play in six other PGA Tour events next year. How will that work? And what will happen if he plays well at the PGA Championship and yet more doors open?

Berberian suggests it’s a nice problem to have. His bosses and co-workers, he said, have been great about giving the two-time New England PGA champion (2014, 2015) the time to prepare for and play in tournaments.

“It’s hard to be able to compete with everybody when you’re working 60 hours a week,” he said that late June morning, the hum of traffic on Highway 97 behind his voice. “But it’s part of the life that I chose, and I love it, no doubt about it.”

Tomorrow: A look back at the shots that nearly wrenched him out of contention at the PGA pros tournament and the shots that brought him all the way back to victory; and a look ahead to his first PGA Championship.

Bart Potter-Grey Goatee logo 1Bart Potter is the head of the Grey Goatee Nation.

This Week’s Winners in Professional Golf!

Congratulations to this Week’s Winners in Professional Golf! 

PGA Tour-LogoPGA Tour: American James Hahn *playoff, Wells Fargo Championship (Charlotte, North Carolina), $1,314,000 first place prize money, -9 under par.

Photo: James Hahn, PGATour.com
Photo: James Hahn, PGATour.com

Next Event: THE PLAYERS Championship, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida (May 12-15)

LPGA.comLPGA Tour: Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn, Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic (Prattville, Alabama), $195,000 first place prize money, -14 under par.

Photo: Ariya Jutanugarn, LPGA.com
Photo: Ariya Jutanugarn, LPGA.com

Next Event: *Break in Schedule* Kingsmill Championship, Williamsburg, Virginia (May 19-22)

EuropeanTourEuropean Tour: South Korean Jeunghun Wang *playoff, Trophee Hassan II (Rabat, Morocco), €250,000 first place prize money, -5 under par.

Photo: Jeunghun Wang, EuropeanTour.com
Photo: Jeunghun Wang, EuropeanTour.com

Next Event: AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, Beau Champs, Mauritius (May 12-15)

PGA Tour Champions-LogoChampions Tour: Sweden’s Jesper Parnevik, Insperity Invitational (The Woodlands, Texas), $315,000 first place prize money, -12 under par.

Photo: Jesper Parnevik, PGATour.com/Champions
Photo: Jesper Parnevik, PGATour.com/Champions

Next Event: *Break in Schedule* Regions Tradition, Birmingham, Alabama (May 19-22)

Featured Image: James Hahn, 2016 Wells Fargo Champion, PGATour.com

BIO: Keith Cook has been a writer/contributing editor at localgolfer.com since 2013. Follow Keith and Local Golfer on Twitter: @_KeithCook and @LocalGolfer.