Tiger Woods Finally Speaks On PGA Tour – LIV Merger, Rickie Fowler Is All The Way Back, Talor Gooch And His Ryder Cup Hopes, Bernhard Langer Is A Literal Machine

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As everyone in the golf world predicted, Rocket Mortgage Classic week delivered all the drama both on and off the golf course. It’s never a bad week when Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler are both making headlines.

We had Woods share his first public comments about anything to do with the proposed PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and LIV Golf merger. Fowler snapped his winless streak in Detroit after gutting it out to get into a three-man playoff. Talor Gooch simply continued his winning ways on LIV and may have a case for a U.S. Ryder Cup spot. Plus, the machine that is Bernhard Langer, torched field with his record-setting senior U.S. Open title.

It’s always the under-the-radar weeks that deliver the goods.

Tiger Woods Breaks His Silence On The PGA Tour – LIV Golf Merger, Sort Of

Many have been waiting for Tiger Woods to address the news of the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) planned merger. Personally, I don’t think anything Woods were to say would sway any of the plans already in motion, but those craving Woods to get in the mud so to speak got their wish over the weekend, sort of.

READ: PGA TOUR LOYALISTS COULD BE ‘REWARDED’ WITH EQUITY SHARE IN NEW FOR-PROFIT VENTURE ACCORDING TO BOARD MEMBER PETER MALNATI

Woods has yet to address the framework of the agreement, which was leaked last week in a six-page document, but he did take the time to jump on Twitter to deny something found in public documents shared by the 15th Judicial Court in Palm Beach over the weekend.

The documents alleged that Woods was supposed to make scripted comments in a player’s meeting against LIV ahead of the 2022 Travelers Championship. The document alleged specific talking points for PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan as well to explain that LIV was a “threat to your livelihood.”

This public document carrying these allegations appears to be the tipping point for Woods as he addressed the situation on Twitter saying he did not attend the players meeting at the 2022 Travelers. Woods was not in the field for the tournament.

While it isn’t a lot, it is something. Woods is remaining silent, at least for now, on the proposed merger and what the future of professional golf may look like, but is very clearly paying attention to anything involving his name, including leaked documents going viral on Twitter.

Woods is currently rehabbing yet another injury and will turn 48 in December. His influence on the game of golf will certainly always be there, but as for the state of professional golf in the near future, he may not have any better answers to the dozens of questions surrounding the game than anyone else.

Rickie Fowler Is A Winner Again, Is So Back

There was evidence that Rickie Fowler was ‘back’ as soon as the calendar flipped to 2023. Heading into this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic he already had seven Top 10’s including a very close call at the U.S. Open to his name this year.

Getting over the hump and actually finding the winner’s circle would silence any critics still remaining that the 34-year-old had found his game again, and he was able to check that box on Sunday after going 1,610 days without hoisting a trophy.

The one word to describe his win in Detroit has to be ‘sweet.’

Fowler stood on the 72nd tee needing a birdie to get into a playoff with Colin Morikawa and Adam Hadwin. After finding the first-cut of rough with his tee ball it was quite literally do-or-die time for the man in orange, and he delivered by knocking his approach to three-feet and punching his ticket into extra holes.

The air was let out of the place on the first playoff hole as he blocked his teeshot on the 18th miles right, but thanks to a free-drop from casual water, Fowler was able to draw a great lie and hit his approach to within 12 feet. At that point, it felt inevitable that there was only going to be one playoff hole needed because Fowler was about to get the monkey off his back.

And that he did, which was followed by one of the all-time great celebrations as he stood on the green looking into the sky. You could almost see the relief leave his body at the moment as it took him a few seconds to even crack a smile.

Rickie Fowler was ranked 103rd in the world at the end of 2022 after falling all the way to 128th in the world in 2021. Now, after years of hard work, swing changes, starting a family, and simply grinding he’s all the way back to being the No. 23 player in the world and a PGA Tour winner yet again.

Rickie Fowler is, indeed, back.

Talor Gooch Just Can’t Stop Winning

Talor Gooch rattled off his third win in his last five starts on LIV and has officially earned the attention of U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson in the process.

Whether or not Johnson gives Gooch three seconds of attention or actual consideration to be a part of this year’s Ryder Cup team remains to be seen, but the noise is impossible to ignore at this point.

Sure, LIV fields are not PGA Tour fields and Gooch hasn’t shown any form in his two major appearances this year, but winning is winning.

Two things are hurting Gooch’s legitimate chances at receiving a captain’s pick for Rome, however.

READ: NICK FALDO DOESN’T SEE LIV GOLF SURVIVING AFTER PGA TOUR – PIF MERGER: ‘NOBODY’S REALLY INTERESTED’

Gooch has zero experience representing the U.S. in either the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup and has a slew of names well ahead of him that Johnson will undoubtedly consider before selecting a LIV player not named Brooks Koepka or Dustin Johnson.

More wins between now and this fall when the Ryder Cup is contested in Italy will certainly help his cause, but as things stand right now it seems like a safe bet that Gooch is on the outside looking in when it comes to seeing the team room for the American side later this year.

Bernhard Langer Makes History In Wisconsin

It was U.S. Open week on the senior circuit and to the surprise of absolutely nobody Bernhard Langer was able to get the job done. In typical Langer fashion, he broke not one, but two incredible records with his two-shot win in Wisconsin.

Langer became the oldest champion of the event at 65 years, 10 months, and five days old beating the record he himself previously accomplished. The more impressive record-breaker is that his win marked his 46th on PGA Tour Championship snapping his tie with Hale Irwin for most wins on the senior trail.

The German checking both of those boxes in what will likely be the hardest test the senior players face all year long isn’t a shock, but incredibly impressive nonetheless.

Langer now has 122 (!!!) professional wins to his name which included two green jackets from Masters wins in 1985 and 1993.

Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris

Written by Mark Harris

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  1. “LIV fields are not PGA Tour fields” is perhaps the dumbest line you’ve written all year. Other than Morikawa, it was a bunch of no-name, non-major winners in Detroit. Happy to see Rickie win again, but get real.

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