Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The New Conquistador?

Well that was a hell of a prediction TJ...

For those who may have missed it, Tiger Woods did not in fact make the top 10 this week at Torrey Pines. But he was soooooo close...


Woods struggled to find the fairway in his first round, and failed to take advantage of finding the fairway in the second, shooting a +4 76-72 to miss the cut by 4.

Before you jump all over me, all 3 players in this primetime grouping (including Dustin Johnson and Jason Day) missed the cut.

Woods actually did a good job of avoiding the big number, only making one double-bogey. His problem was his lack of birdies, just 5 in 36 holes.

Tiger heads to Asia this week for the for the Dubai Desert Classic, an event he has won twice. We will see if he can get his season going there.

I sure hope he does.

One guy who got his season and his young career going this weekend was Spaniard Jon Rahm. Just 22-years-old out of Arizona State, the second-year pro separated himself from the field on the back 9 at Torrey Pines South, going -6 in his last 8. That included 2 birdies and 2 eagles, including this bomb that all but sealed the deal on 18.

Rahm shot a final round -7 65 to win the loaded tournament by 3 shots over the likes of former champion Brandt Snedeker, OSU-grad Charles Howell III, Justin Rose, and idol and former Sun Devil Phil Mickelson.

Many people are already calling Rahm the next big name in golf after one win. Only time will tell, but I think we need to be a little patient with a 22-year-old kid that just won his first tourney.

Rahm tees it up this week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he finished T-5th as an amateur two years ago. I'll have that preview, along with a Dubai Desert Classic preview, coming up soon.

That's all for now. Please Tiger, keep it in the short grass.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


What did I tell you? Only the biggest and most current stories here on Tee Times with TJ, and I can't think of a bigger story than the biggest name in the sport.

As was announced weeks ago, Tiger Woods will be making his much anticipated official return to the TOUR, and he isn't just dipping his toe in the water. No, this would be classified as a full-blown golf cannon ball. TW will be playing four tournaments in the next five weeks after not playing an official event in 17 months.

Woods will open his season Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, a course he has won at eight times as a professional, including the site of his last major win, that historic U.S. Open he won in a playoff over Rocco Mediate with a torn up knee.

Tiger will tee it up with two of the top three players in the world for his first two rounds back. 

And they have even more in common now than they did before. 

Jason Day and Dustin Johnson are both key faces for the Taylormade equipment family, but after today's announcement that Woods would be joining the team, they may have to take a backseat.

Woods announced he would be agreeing to an eventual 13-clubTaylormade bag. The one club that will go untouched is the famous Scotty Cameron Putter Woods used to win 13 of his 14 majors. He put the flat stick back into his bag at the Hero World Challenge.

Woods will deploy a Taylormade M2 Driver and 3-Wood, while using an M1 for his 5-Wood. And while Woods said that he and Taylormade will be working closely to make custom irons and wedges, he is sticking with his old Nike irons and wedges for the time being.

Woods Prediction
So what can we expect from Tiger in his first tournament back?

I think it's quite simple.

Torrey Pines is historically tough off the tee. The rough is long and thick, and hasn't been cut much due to record rainfall numbers. If Woods wants to have any success, he needs to find the fairway consistently off the tee. Nobody in the field will be scoring well from the rough, especially not a man playing his first official tournament in almost a year and a half.

If Tiger can keep the ball in the fairway, he can putt well enough to keep himself in it. The good holes shouldn't be an issue for TW, as he led the HWC field in birdies made. Birdies will be at a premium at Torrey, and I don't think the winner will be in double-digits.

If Tiger can avoid the blow-up hole, I think he will make the cut and could potentially sneak into the top-10. Either way, it's just great having golf's most exciting player back in action.

A Look Back (Continued)

That was fun wasn't it?

So much fun, in fact, that we are going to finish off this look back right now.

Hero World Challenge
December 1-4
Image result for matsuyama hero world challengeWinner: Hideki Matsuyama

The big story this week was the return of Tiger Woods to professional golf. Though not recognized as an official PGA Tour event, the field in the Hero is world class, making it a great way for the former world #1 to see where his game stood.

Woods played well early, staying on the first page of the leader board for most of the first three days before fading late, settling for a 15th place finish in the 17 man field, even though he led the tournament in birdies.

The extra eyes on Woods turned attention away from the rising Japanese star, who won his fourth tournament in five starts. A final round 73 still gave him a two shot victory over Sweden's Henrik Stenson.

Image result for justin thomas tournament of championsSBS Tournament of Champions
January 5-8
Winner: Justin Thomas

There's that name again. Justin Thomas put on quite the show in Maui, and it wasn't all that close. Thomas faltered a bit early in the back nine on Sunday, but pulled away late en route to a final round 69, giving him a three shot win over the red-hot Hideki Matsuyama.

Thomas fired four straight rounds in the 60s, and although he couldn't match his buddy Jordan Spieth's tourney record of -30, he still played solid, and would continue that fantastic play in the next event.

Image result for justin thomas sony openSony Open in Hawaii
January 12-15
Winner: Justin Thomas

Again? Geez, go ahead young fella. JT completed the Hawaii sweep, first time since Ernie Els did it back in 2003, and did so in record-setting fashion.

He didn't wait long to get started, Thomas opened the tournament with the magic number 59, a score only a select few have ever reached(Adam Hadwin would do it the next week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.)

JT didn't stop there. A five-under 65 on Sunday gave him a total score of -27(253), which is the new 72-hole scoring record. In doing so, Thomas won the tournament by an astonishing SEVEN shots.

There it is. You're all caught up on the big story lines thus far in the PGA Tour season. From this point forward, it will be all about the present. Keep hitting it in the fairway!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Look Back

Nothing like a little professional golf in the cold weather months.

Since the PGA Tour went to a wrap-around schedule, viewers are able to see the world's best play almost year-round. So for those who missed anything, here's a look at a few of the key headlines thus far.

Ryder Cup
September 29-October 3
Winner: United States of America (17-11)

The United States defended home soil, thanks in large part to the heroic play of Patrick Reed, winning the bi-annual Ryder Cup over the European squad for the first time since 2008. Reed went toe-to-toe with European star Rory McIlroy, and it ended as one of the greatest Ryder Cup matches of all-time.

Reed eventually won 1-up, and that opening victory sparked the American side, and their fan base, to a historic victory in one of golf's most anticipated events.

Safeway Open
October 13-16
Winner: Brendan Steele(-18)

The headline pre-tourney was the potential return of Tiger Woods. He eventually withdrew, and Brendan Steele stole the show, firing a final round 65, erasing a four-shot deficit. It was Steele's first win since his rookie season.

CIMB Classic (Malaysia)
October 20-23
Winner: Justin Thomas(-23)

Get used to seeing this name showing up. JT defended his title in Malaysia, starting the final round four back, and finishing it with a three shot win, shooting a bogey-free 8-under 64.

World Golf Championships (WGC) HSBC Champions
October 27-30
Winner: Hideki Matsuyama(-23)

Matsuyama never gave the field a chance, opening the final round with a three shot lead, and finishing with a final round 6-under 66, extended his winning margin to seven shots. The Japanese product defeated one of the more difficult fields of the season en route to his 10th career victory.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Let's Tee it Up

Hey everyone!

Thanks for tagging along with me. Tee Times with TJ is here to provide an outlet for golf news, previews, predictions, reviews, pictures, and anything else golf related to anyone who is interested.

Even though this is for a college class, I plan on keeping this going throughout my professional career. Golf is one of my biggest passions, and hopefully I can relay that through this blog. Enjoy, and as always, keep it in the fairway.