Rickie Fowler sports spikes at Bay Hill paying homage to Arnold Palmer

A look at the high-tops that Fowler will wear this week at Bay Hill. (Courtesy of Puma)

The first Arnold Palmer Invitational since The King’s death was sure to be rich with tributes to the seven-time major winner.

But it’s hard to envision a cooler homage than Rickie Fowler’s new footwear.

His sponsor, Puma, constructed two pairs of handmade shoes to honor Palmer.

The sides are adorned with photo collages of Palmer. The Velcro strap features a laser-engraving of his signature and the iconic umbrella logo.

A quote from Fowler on Palmer’s influence is found behind the tongue of the right shoe and reads: “Legends never die. You will live on forever Arnie. I will never forget the bear hug in front of the clubhouse at Augusta, watching you hit your final tee shot there, and to spending time with you in the locker room at Bay Hill. Thank you for being you and giving me the opportunity to do what I get to do everyday! I love you as did everyone! RIP The King.”

According to a news release, two pairs of the Puma Golf Hi-Top were made. Fowler will wear one pair as he plays. He’ll autograph the other so it can be auctioned off to support Palmer’s charity, Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation. The ebay bid was up to $10,300 as of Friday morning.

“To have the shoes, something different, it’s kind of a collage of Arnie through his years of golf,” Fowler told USA Today. “So it’s pretty cool. I told some people I’m not sure if I’m going to take them off. I had to put them on last night to lace them up properly and make sure they were good to go for this morning. It’s going to be a special week and I’m glad I was able to put a couple things together and as well as my sponsors stepping up as well.”

Stricker: I don’t think Tiger’s doing that well right now physically

Steve Stricker of the United States talks with Tiger Woods of the United States during a practice round prior to the start of the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on August 6, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Everyone seems to have an opinion on the present and future of Tiger Woods.

Few are likely to be as informed on the subject as Steve Stricker, who has partnered with Woods in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. Stricker has even heard from Woods since the 14-time major winner has been sidelined with back spasms, which puts Stricker in exclusive company.

The problem is, what he’s hearing isn’t good.

“He’s working hard at it, but I don’t think he’s doing that well right now physically,” Sticker said, according to Golf Channel.

Woods missed 15 months after multiple back surgeries, before returning at the Hero World Challenge in December. He had an ambitious plan to start 2017 by playing four events in five weeks, but he totaled only three rounds. He missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open, withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic after one round and skipped both the Genesis Open and Honda Classic.

Stricker said Woods’ 77 at Dubai was clear evidence of his ailments.

“Just the way he was walking didn’t quite look right,” Stricker said. “He was walking really gingerly. It didn’t really look physically like he was ready to play.”

It remains unclear when Woods will be ready for his return.

He announced last Thursday in a statement he will miss this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, while adding even he isn’t sure how long he will be out of action.

“Unfortunately, due to ongoing rest and rehabilitation on my back, I won’t be able to play in this year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational,” Wood said. “I’m especially disappointed because I wanted to be at Bay Hill to help Arnold. … Presently, I have no timetable for my return to golf, but my treatments are continuing and going well.”

Jack Nicklaus ‘puzzled’ by Tiger Woods’ recent struggles, injuries

This June 3, 2012, file photo shows Jack Nicklaus, left, and Tiger Woods talking after Woods won the Memorial golf tournament at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.  Nicklaus says he was "painting a picture" when he suggested after a practice round with Tiger Woods at the 1996 Masters that Woods had the game to win at least 10 green jackets. He referred to Woods as a "puzzle" on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Honda Classic. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
This June 3, 2012, file photo shows Jack Nicklaus, left, and Tiger Woods talking after Woods won the Memorial golf tournament at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Nicklaus referred to Woods as a “puzzle” on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Honda Classic. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

Jack Nicklaus seems like the perfect person to diagnose Tiger Woods’ golf problems.

The Golden Bear is the only one ahead of Woods on the all-time majors wins list. But that hasn’t given Nicklaus a better feel for Woods’ struggles than anyone else.

“I’m a bit puzzled by it,” Nicklaus told NBC at the Honda Classic on Sunday. “I’ve seen Tiger a little bit in the last several months, but he looked great. Physically, he looks fantastic. Mentally, he’s talking. He sounded great.

“Then he goes and plays and he either physically can’t make it — maybe mentally and physically they work together. I don’t really know. I’m not sure if anyone knows. It’s sad to me because he’s such a great talent. He’s a good kid. He’s got so much ability. I’m sad to see it happen to him. I hope he gets it corrected.”

Woods once appeared destined to break — and possibly shatter — Nicklaus’ career mark of 18 majors.

Woods was 32 when he captured major No. 14, claiming the 2008 U.S. Open after a 19-hole playoff thriller with Rocco Mediate. Nicklaus got his 14th at age 35, a two-stroke victory at the 1975 PGA Championship.

But Woods hasn’t added to his major collection since.

He went from August 2015 to January without playing due to back issues, then promptly missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open. Back spasms forced him to withdraw after one round at the Dubai Desert Classic and kept him out of the Genesis Open, the Honda Classic and even a scheduled press conference.

“That is the biggest puzzle to me that I know,” Nicklaus said. “I just don’t know where he is and where his mind is.”

Photos: Honda Classic spectator bloodied by errant shot from golfer C.T. Pan

A spectator was hit on the head with a golf ball by C.T. Pan, left, on the 18th hole during the Honda Classic golf tournament in Palm Beach Gardens on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. According to the Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue team, the man was given minor first aid treatment. Pan gave the man a signed golf ball after the incident. (Michael Ares / The Palm Beach Post) *NOTE: The man didn't wish to give out his name. The golfer's full name is Pan Cheng-tsung, he is from Taiwan.
A spectator was hit on the head with a golf ball by C.T. Pan, left, on the 18th hole during the Honda Classic golf tournament in Palm Beach Gardens on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. According to the Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue team, the man was given minor first aid treatment. Pan gave the man a signed golf ball after the incident. (Michael Ares / The Palm Beach Post)

PGA Tour rookie C.T. Pan hit a wild second shot on No. 18 that hooked left of the green and struck a spectator in the head.

There was blood on the spectator’s head and shirt and he received some minor treatment from Palm Beach Gardens Fire Department officers on site. The man, who did not want to give his name to a Palm Beach Post photographer, received a golf ball with Pan’s phone number on it as an apology.

“Hit a spectator on 18 today and watched him fall,” Pan wrote on his Twitter feed. “Worst feeling I have ever had. Hopefully he is fine.”

After The Post originally reported Pan gave the fan a signed ball, Pan tweeted: “It wasn’t a signed ball. I put my number on the ball in case needs anything I can help.”

A tweeter called Pan a derogatory name, to which he replied: “FYI, I already ordered some shirts for him before you (called me a name).”

Clearly Pan was rattled after the accident, but he kept his focus to birdie the hole with a 28-foot putt. His opening scores of 66 and 68 have the former University of Washington golfer near the top of the leaderboard heading into the weekend. He has two wins on the Canadian PGA Tour and in 2013 was No. 1 in the world amateur rankings.

[FULL HONDA CLASSIC COVERAGE]

[Gallery: Latest images from the 2017 Honda Classic]

[Rory McIlroy: Golf with Trump wasn’t ‘endorsement nor a political statement’]

A fan at the Honda Classic was hit in the head by another errant shot back in 2014. That fan, Edwin Curtis of Palm Beach Gardens, was left with a large welt on the left side of his head courtesy of a George McNeill shot, also on the 18th hole.

Below are more photos from the incident.

PGA pro Pat Perez rips Tiger Woods: He ‘knows he can’t beat anybody’

PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - FEBRUARY 19: Pat Perez plays his shot from the second tee during the final round at the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club on February 19, 2017 in Pacific Palisades, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Pat Perez plays his shot from the second tee during the final round at the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club on February 19, 2017 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

PGA Tour winner Pat Perez is paid to give his candid thoughts.

He earned his money this week while holding nothing back on the present and future of Tiger Woods on the “Out of Bounds” show Perez co-hosts with ESPN’s Michael Collins on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio.

“(Tiger) knows he can’t beat anybody,” Perez said. “He knows it. The guy shot 77 [in the first round in Dubai]. That guy can’t shoot 77. What does he do the next day? ‘Ah, my back’s gone.’ He knows he can’t beat anybody.”

Woods, who had two back surgeries and a follow-up procedure between April 2014 and October 2015, laid out an ambitious start to his year. He planned to make four starts in five weeks, but he will only have played three of those possible 16 rounds.

The rough start in Dubai referenced by Perez led to an early withdrawal by Woods, who cited back spasms as the reason. He said the ailment made doctors advise him to skip both the Genesis Open and The Honda Classic, which is currently taking place at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens.

Perez said he thinks there is more to it.

“He’s not going to come out and play, and play poorly,” Perez said.

Woods has not updated his future plans and schedule.

Perez thinks whether Woods plays the Masters could signal what — if anything — the future holds.

“If he doesn’t play Augusta, it’s over!” Perez said. “Personally, I don’t think you’ll see him again this year.”

Perez, whose comments have understandably caused a stir, has since tried to clarify his take.

“My whole point that he can’t beat anyone is that he only shows up to tournaments when he thinks he can win,” Perez told Golf Digest. “So he must be hurt still if he’s playing poorly and pulling out of tournaments. It probably sounded harsh the way it came out, but what I meant by that is he is probably still hurt.”

Perez said he has exchanged text messages with Woods, who wasn’t pleased but said he is entitled to his opinion.

Rory McIlroy one of Tiger Woods’ ‘biggest fans’

Tiger Woods of the United States and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland shake hands on the 18th green during the final round of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 12, 2015 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods of the United States and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland shake hands on the 18th green during the final round of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 12, 2015 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

When Rory McIlroy talks — or, in this case, types — something interesting often comes out of it.

And since the world’s No. 2 golfer is sidelined by stress fractures in his ribs, he has ample time to dish out several interesting somethings.

He recently participated in a five-day email interview with golf.com’s Michael Bamberger, discussing everything from his fiancee Erica Stoll to Tiger Woods and Tom Brady. Suffice it to say, he’s a fan of all three.

Stoll elicited the most insightful response of the session. McIlroy brought her up when asked which person has made the greatest impact to his off-course life.

“The only way I can describe it is if golf were to disappear tomorrow, I don’t think I’d miss it as much as I would have a few years ago,” McIlroy said. “I felt I needed golf to be complete as a person … I don’t feel like that anymore.”

As for Woods, McIlroy said he was and is “one of his biggest fans.

“I remember [him winning the 1999 Masters] like it was yesterday,” he said. “I think if you ask any fan of golf or tour player around my age, they will give you the exact same answer.”

McIlroy said he didn’t get to know Woods well until 2012, when he inked an endorsement deal with Nike. He credited Woods for handling the public portion of his celebrity “very well for the most part” and noted today’s world makes that a constant challenge.

“Privacy is a very uncommon commodity for most people these days,” McIlroy remarked. “I can see why Tiger longs for it so much.”

While McIlroy is a bigger fan of “football football” than “American football” — the word soccer is “very hard for me to use” — he did correctly predict the Patriots would prevail in Super Bowl LI. But the manner in which it played out, with New England erasing a 25-point deficit in the second half, prompted McIlroy to call it “the most incredible comeback I think I’ve ever witnessed in sports.”

On the health front, McIlory said he is “progressing well” and focused on “building it back up slowly.”

Honda Classic 2017: 6 wacky facts you didn’t know

(Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
(Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

You probably already know that the Honda Classic takes place at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens.

No doubt you also know that Palm Beach County’s biggest tournament hasn’t always taken place there. It began as Jackie Gleason’s Inverrary Classic in Lauderhill in 1972, moved to Coral Springs from 1984-91, was held in Weston from 1992-95, and came back to two different courses in Coral Springs until 2002… all before finally coming to Palm Beach Gardens, starting at the Country Club at Mirasol and then heading to PGA National in 2007.

But, again, you knew that.

You’re also well aware that Tiger Woods won’t be playing at the Honda for the third straight year due to injury. And you’re obviously well acquainted with the fact that, despite having a lovely home on Jupiter Island, Tiger has never won the Honda.

But did you know that 40 others have won the title, including just four who have multiple wins: Jack Nicklaus (1977 and ’78), Johnny Miller (1980 and ’83), Mark Calcavecchia (1987 and ’98) and Padraig Harrington (2005 and ’15)?

Along those lines, here are six other lesser known facts about the Honda Classic.


The Palm Beach Post
The Palm Beach Post

1. Straight cash, homey

The winner of the debut Jackie Gleason Inverrary Classic back in ’72 was Tom Weiskopf, a 16-time winner on the PGA Tour. Weiskopf took home $52,000 for his win, which at the time was more than double the winner’s purse at the Masters (just 25 large).

Per the Honda Classic website, the total purse for this year’s tourney is $6.4 million, with the winner claiming $1.152 million. That’s a total increase of more than 2,115 percent over 45 years.


AMC, the maker of the Gremlin, was the title sponsor of the Honda Classic back in 1982.
AMC, the maker of the Gremlin, was the title sponsor of the Honda Classic back in 1982.

2. Car-rying on the tradition

Before Honda became the title sponsor of the tournament in 1982, other companies held that honor.

The year before, it was American Motors Corporation (AMC) that supported the tournament. AMC is famous – or infamous, as the case may be – for producing, among many other cars, the Gremlin, the AMC Pacer and, more recently, the Jeep Cherokee.


Mark Calcavecchia waves to the cheering gallery as he strolls up the 18th at the 1998 Honda Classic. (Scott Wiseman / The Palm Beach Post)
Mark Calcavecchia waves to the cheering gallery as he strolls up the 18th at the 1998 Honda Classic. (Scott Wiseman / The Palm Beach Post)

3. From caddy to champion

Back in 1987, with the tournament at the TPC at Eagle Trace, 26-year-old Mark Calcavecchia, now of Palm Beach Gardens, won his first Honda Classic title, his second of 13 career PGA Tour victories.

Amazingly, Calcavecchia had worked the Honda as a caddy only the year before.

And as was mentioned before, Calc went on to win the Honda again in 1998.


4. Holing out on 18

Looking for the single best shot in Honda Classic history? I’m here for you.

On Sunday of the 1992 tournament in Weston, Corey Pavin trailed Fred Couples for the lead by two strokes on the 18th hole. Then, from 136 yards out, Pavin hit this shot with an 8-iron:

Pavin holed out for an eagle to force a sudden-death playoff, which he won with a birdie on the second extra hole.

“I heard a ‘clunk’ and I held my breath,” Pavin told the Associated Press of his eagle on 18, “because sometimes they come out.”

“This one,” the AP said dramatically, “did not.” 


Ellen Phillips, holds onto her beer as she watches Tiger Woods tee shot from eleven during the second round of the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida on February 28, 2014. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Ellen Phillips, holds onto her beer as she watches Tiger Woods tee shot from eleven during the second round of the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida on February 28, 2014. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

5. The official vodka of the Honda Classic?

Any huge sporting event like the Honda Classic will have a multitude of sponsors involved. Honda, perhaps obviously, is the title sponsor, but there are many, many more.

The Honda is all about fun, so it only serves to reason that this year’s tourney has not only an official beer (Michelob Ultra) and wine (Treasury Wine), but an official rum (Gosling’s) and vodka (Tito’s Handmade Vodka), as well.

There’s an official credit card (PGA Tour MasterCard), an official sunscreen (Image Skincare) and even an official provider of first aid (Jupiter Medical Center).

Long story short, if you’re planning on buying a ton of beer, wine and booze with your credit card, getting sick and needing some medical attention, the Honda Classic has you covered.


Hall of Fame golfer Jack Nicklaus and wife, Barbara, who chairs the Nicklaus Children s Health Care Foundation, announced a $60 million pledge to Miami Children s Health System earlier this month.
Hall of Fame golfer Jack Nicklaus and wife, Barbara, who chairs the Nicklaus Children s Health Care Foundation, announced a $60 million pledge to Miami Children s Health System earlier this month.

6. Golden Bear helping local children

Since 2007, the Honda Classic has helped raise money for the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, a charity run by Barbara Nicklaus, the wife of golfing great and PBC local Jack Nicklaus.

The organization’s goal is to “provide families access to world-class pediatric healthcare” and earlier this month pledged $60 million to the Miami Children’s Health System. With the donation, Miami Children’s Hospital and its outpatient centers will bear the “Nicklaus Children’s Hospital” name beginning in March.

Yes, it’s loads of fun for golf fans, but the tournament is also doing loads of good in the community.

Honda Classic 2017: Tentative full player field at PGA National

Third round of the 2016 Honda Classic Friday February 27, 2016, at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)
Third round of the 2016 Honda Classic Friday February 27, 2016, at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

Below is the official list of PGA TOUR professionals and international players who are scheduled to compete in the 2017 Honda Classic.

Please note this list represents early commitments and that the field is subject to change.

Steven Alker, New Zealand
Robert Allenby, Melbourne, Australia
Byeong Hun An, South Korea
Ryan Armour, United States
Blayne Barber, Auburn, AL
Ricky Barnes, Phoenix, AZ
Daniel Berger, Jupiter, FL
Zac Blair, Saint George, UT
Ryan Blaum, Jacksonville Beach, FL
Jason Bohn, Acworth, GA
Steven Bowditch, Australia
Dominic Bozzelli, Pittsford, NY
Ryan Brehm, Mount Pleasant, MI
Scott Brown, Aiken, SC
Chad Campbell, Andrews, TX
Brian Campbell, Irvine, CA
Miguel Angel Carballo, Argentina
Paul Casey, Surrey, England
Alex Cejka, Germany
Greg Chalmers, Sydney, AUS
Stewart Cink, Duluth, GA
Chad Collins, Cloverdale, IN
Ben Crane, Portland, OR
Jon Curran, Jupiter, FL
Bryson DeChambeau, Clovis, CA
Graham DeLaet, Weyburn, SK, Canada
Luke Donald, High Wycombe, England
Brett Drewitt, Inverell, AUS
Jason Dufner, Auburn, AL
Ken Duke, Stuart, FL
Matt Every, Jacksonville Beach, FL
Derek Fathauer, Jupiter, FL
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Spain
Martin Flores, United States
Rickie Fowler, United States
Brad Fritsch, Canada
Sergio Garcia, Castellon, Spain
Robert Garrigus, United States
Brian Gay, United States
Lucas Glover, Sea Island, GA
Fabian Gomez, Chaco, Argentina
Andres Gonzales, United States
Retief Goosen, Polokwane, South Africa
Cody Gribble, Dallas, TX
Emiliano Grillo, Argentina
Brandon Hagy, United States
Brian Harman, St. Simons Island, GA
Padraig Harrington, Dublin, Ireland
Tyrrell Hatton, England
David Hearn, Brantford, ON, Canada
Russell Henley, Kiawah Island, SC
Jim Herman, Palm City, FL
Morgan Hoffmann, Wyckoff, NJ
Charles Howell III, Windermere, FL
Mark Hubbard, Denver, CO
Mackenzie Hughes, Charlotte, NC
John Huh, Dallas, TX
Billy Hurley III, United States
Hiroshi Iwata, Sendai, Japan
Freddie Jacobson, Gothenburg, Sweden
Zach Johnson, Cedar Rapids, IA
Sung Kang, Coppell, TX
Martin Kaymer, Mettmann, GER
Whee Kim, Seoul, South Korea
Si Woo Kim, Seoul, South Korea
Michael Kim, Houston, TX
Kevin Kisner, Aiken, SC
Patton Kizzire, Sea Island, GA
Soren Kjeldsen, Denmark
Colt Knost, Dallas, TX
Russell Knox, Jacksonville Beach, FL
Brooks Koepka, West Palm Beach, FL
Jason Kokrak, Warren, OH
Kelly Kraft, United States
Rick Lamb, South Bend, IN
Danny Lee, New Zealand
Spencer Levin, Elk Grove, CA
Nicholas Lindheim, Satellite Beach, FL
David Lingmerth, Tranas, Sweden
Luke List, Seal Beach, CA
Andrew Loupe, Baton Rouge, LA
Jamie Lovemark, San Diego, CA
Will MacKenzie, Jupiter, FL
Peter Malnati, Knoxville, TN
Steve Marino, Tequesta, FL
Graeme McDowell, Portrush, Northern Ireland
William McGirt, Spartanburg, SC
Francesco Molinari, Turin, Italy
Trey Mullinax, Birmingham, AL
Sebastian Munoz, Bogota, COL
Grayson Murray, Raleigh, NC
Seung-Yul Noh, Irving, TX
Sean O’Hair, Chads Ford, PA
Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa
Jeff Overton, Evansville, IN
Ryan Palmer, Colleyville, TX
Cheng Tsung Pan, Taiwan
Cameron Percy, Australia
John Peterson, United States
Carl Pettersson, Raleigh, NC
D.A. Points, United States
J.T. Poston, St. Simons Island, GA
Ian Poulter, Woburn, England
Seamus Power, Waterford, IRL
Jonathan Randolph, United States
Chez Reavie, United States
Kyle Reifers, Charlotte, NC
Tag Ridings, United States
Justin Rose, England
Rory Sabbatini, Durban, South Africa
Xander Schauffele, San Diego, CA
Ollie Schniederjans, Alpharetta, GA
Adam Scott, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
John Senden, Brisbane, Australia
Vijay Singh, Fiji Islands
Cameron Smith, Australia
J.J. Spaun, Los Angeles, CA
Kyle Stanley, Gig Harbor, WA
Brendan Steele, Idyllwild, CA
Brett Stegmaier, Vero Beach, FL
Robert Streb, Shawnee, KS
Brian Stuard, United States
Daniel Summerhays, Farmington, UT
Hudson Swafford, Sea Island, GA
Vaughn Taylor, United States
Justin Thomas, Goshen, KY
Michael Thompson, Sea Island, GA
Cameron Tringale, Laguna Niguel, CA
Kevin Tway, United States
Tyrone Van Aswegen, Johannesburg, South Africa
Harold Varner III, Gastonia, NC
Jhonattan Vegas, Venezuela
Camilo Villegas, Medellin, Columbia
Johnson Wagner, Charlotte, NC
Richy Werenski, Bluffton, SC
Tim Wilkinson, New Zealand
Danny Willett, Sheffield, England
Mark Wilson, Chicago, IL
Gary Woodland, Topeka, KS
Bobby Wyatt, Sea Island, GA

Honda Classic 2017: Full schedule of events at PGA National

honda-classic-logo-blackBelow is a complete schedule of the activities and special events the week of The Honda Classic.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16
7 – 10 p.m.: Kick off Party

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20
12:30 – 5 p.m.: The Honda Classic Pro-Am (Champion Course)

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21
All day: PGA TOUR Professionals Practice Rounds (Champion Course)
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Executive Women’s Day
4 p.m.: Junior Clinic with PGA TOUR Professionals Emiliano Grillo and Bryson Dechambeau

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22
All Day: The Honda Classic Cares Pro-Am presented by Tire Kingdom (Champion Course)

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23 
7 a.m.: The Honda Classic – First Round Begins – Pairings & Tee Times
6 – 10 p.m.: Kenny G Community Concert courtesy of American Honda, opening with Taylor Norris (Michelob ULTRA Terrace)

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24
7 a.m.: The Honda Classic – Second Round Begins – Pairings & Tee Times
6 – 10 p.m.: After Play Concert Featuring Fusion (Michelob ULTRA Terrace)
7:30 p.m.: Tire Kingdom Fireworks Spectacular

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25
8 a.m.: Honda Classic Saturday Pro-Am (PGA National Resort & Spa – Palmer Course)
9 a.m.: The Honda Classic – Third Round Begins – Pairings & Tee Times
12 – 8 p.m.: Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Kids Zone – Honda Pavilion
6 – 10 p.m.: Goslings After Play Concert featuring Entourage (Michelob ULTRA Terrace)
7:30 p.m.: Tire Kingdom Fireworks Spectacular

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26
9 a.m.: The Honda Classic – Final Round – Pairings & Tee Times
6 p.m.: Awards Ceremony – 18th Green

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27
8 a.m.: The First Tee of the Palm Beaches Invitational
1 p.m.: Gosling’s Dark ‘n Stormy Invitational

Tiger Woods, still recovering, generating interest for recent tournaments

Tiger Woods plays on the 13th hole during the 1st round of the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Tiger Woods plays on the 13th hole during the 1st round of the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

There are few constants in life, but death, taxes and the wide-ranging interest in Tiger Woods are all on the short list.

Never mind that the 41-year-old hasn’t won a tournament since 2013. Or that he’s 674th in the world rankings, nestled between Erik van Rooyen and D.A. Points.

When Woods tees off, he’s still an attention magnet. He proved as much once again during his short time at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

“Obviously there is huge interest in his comeback from injury and so on, the fact he was in the field proved to be a massive draw in terms of ticket sales and hospitality sales,” Peter Dawson, chairman of the Dubai-based Falcon Golf told GolfChannel.com. “People still want to see Tiger Woods.”

But attending fans and viewers didn’t get to see much of Woods. He withdrew from the event after just 18 holes because of back spasms. He did not score a single birdie and shot a 77 during his lone round at the tournament.

Perhaps that shouldn’t have been surprising. Woods has been plagued by nerve damage and surgeries the past three years, and it’s hard to think a 17-hour flight was good for his oft-ailing back.

Still, the 14-time major champion has a ceiling few, if any, can reach. And Tiger has had some recent success, leading the field in birdies at the Hero World Challenge in December despite stumbling through a rocky final round.

Woods is scheduled to compete in next week’s Genesis Open and in the Honda Classic beginning Feb. 23. Provided this flare-up doesn’t derail those plans, he will once again take the course with the eyes of the golf world upon him.

When he plays, people watch. For all the twists and turns his career his taken, that part of the story hasn’t changed.