Golfer Tiger Woods Tuesday addressed a racially-tinged remark made by his former caddy, telling reporters Steve Williams apologized and is not a racist.
"It was a wrong thing to say, something that we both acknowledge," Woods said, speaking at the Lakes Golf Club in Sydney, site of this week's Australian Open, according to his website.
Woods and Williams met earlier in the day, and shook hands after Williams apologized, the website reported.FULL STORY
Three things you need to know today.
Jupiter mission: NASA plans to launch its Mission Juno satellite on Friday to begin a five-year, 400-million-mile journey to Jupiter that the space agency hopes will help reveal how our solar system was formed.
Liftoff is scheduled for 11:34 a.m. ET.
Mission Juno will offer unprecedented insight into the formation of our solar system by investigating what lies underneath Jupiter's atmosphere, astronomers said at Kennedy Space Center. Jupiter is known for its violent storms and gaseous atmosphere.
Extreme weather – The heat wave is taking a deadly toll across the nation, particularly on athletes, as two football players and a coach died during summer football practices this week. The heat wave, now in its second month, is responsible for record-setting electricity use in Texas and dozens of deaths across the U.S. heartland.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Emily is bringing heavy rains to Haiti on Thursday, heading directly over Port-au-Prince, where many quake victims live under precarious conditions. Nearly 12,000 U.N. peacekeepers are on emergency standby.
And Typhoon Kabayan, forecast to be a category 4 storm, could hit or pass Okinawa, Japan, late Thursday. The typhoon has boosted monsoon rains over the northern Philippines.
Turkey recall – Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. announced an immediate recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey meat because it may be contaminated with salmonella bacteria. Cargill's plant in Springdale, Arkansas, processed the fresh and frozen ground turkey products between February 20 and August 2, the company said. At least one person has died and 76 have been sickened in 26 states.
Who will stay, and who will go? SI.com's Cliff Corcoran writes that some of the New York Yankees’ top prospects could find themselves out of pinstripes when the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline arrives. Among those who might be traded: catcher Jesus Montero.
"The best hitting prospect in the game prior to Bryce Harper's arrival, Montero projects as a monster bat," Cocorcan writes. "But he has yet to convince anyone he'll remain a catcher, which makes him a poor fit for a Yankees team that has Mark Teixeira signed to play first base through 2016 and may ultimately need to turn the increasingly fragile Alex Rodriguez, signed through 2017, into a designated hitter."
But the Yanks won't be the only team that may start swapping. The San Francisco Giants could give up top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler as they look to build their offense and rest on the pitching laurels of Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain. Among others who may be traded: catcher Yasmani Grandal (Cincinnati Reds), pitcher Robbie Erlin (Texas Rangers) and pitcher Dellin Betances (Yankees).
Must-watch game tonight:
Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins (8:10 p.m. ET) – The Tigers will look for their 10th consecutive victory over the Twins at Target Field.
By the numbers
12: Number of years caddie Steve Williams worked for Tiger Woods before their split was announced Wednesday.
15,404: Number of fans who turned out to greet U.S. women's national soccer team stars Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and others at Wednesday's match between South Florida's magicJack and the Western New York Flash.
12: Number of games in the Texas Rangers' latest winning streak, which ended Wednesday night in a 9-8 loss against the Los Angeles Angels.
Tiger Woods' knee and Achilles tendon injuries will keep him from participating in next week's U.S. Open tournament in Maryland, a post on the golf star's website said Tuesday.
"I am extremely disappointed that I won't be playing in the U.S. Open, but it's time for me to listen to my doctors and focus on the future," Woods said on his site. "I was hopeful that I could play, but if I did, I risk further damage to my left leg. My knee and Achilles tendon are not fully healed.
"I hope to be ready for AT&T National, the next two majors and the rest of the year."
Woods, 35, sprained his left knee and strained his left Achilles tendon while hitting a shot during the third round of the Masters in Augusta, Georgia, in April. Though he finished the tournament, tying for fourth, he sat out the Wells Fargo Championship and withdrew from the Players Championship in May after re-injuring his leg during the first round.
No longer considered the world's top golfer, spokesperson or role model, Tiger Woods is hoping a turnaround 2011 season can resurrect his career.
He teed the new season off yesterday with a respectable 3-under 69 in the first round of the Farmer’s Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Playing the North Course, Woods turned in a bogey-free round, along with 18 holes without an incident from the gallery. The world’s former No. 1 trails rookie leader Sunghook Kang by five strokes but is in prime position to compete this weekend and build on a feel-good start.
“I'm happy with the way I played, absolutely," Woods said after the round. "I could have been a lot better if I took care of the par 5s a little bit more, but obviously, I didn't do that."
Cuban film features zombie revolution – Fifty years after Fidel Castro's revolution, a new revolution is brewing. Cuba's first-ever zombie flick, “Juan of the Dead” brings the living dead to the streets of Havana. The plot features communist leaders claiming the living dead are part of a CIA-backed plot aimed at toppling the government. “Juan of the Dead," is Cuba's first zombie movie and is a mix of camp gore and wry satire. CNN’s Shasta Darlington walks with the undead and talks to the movie’s creators.
Almost one year since his infamous Thanksgiving night accident and 14 years since his iconic first Nike ad, Tiger Woods is saying "hello" to the world again.
Following the downfall of his marriage, No. 1 world ranking and public image in a 12-month whirlwind, Woods is beginning to emerge from his self-induced exile and attempting to reconnect with his fans.
Although Woods has played in golf tournaments and held some awkward press conferences over the past few months, he has yet to appear comfortable being himself with the cameras watching.
But with his personal life self-reportedly in order, Woods says he wants to reconnect with fans and thank them for sticking with him through tough times.
In the past week, Woods has made several moves to show he's ready to return. He wrote an op-ed piece in Newsweek titled "How I've Redefined Victory" and explained his rededication to his family.
He went on ESPN's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" and proclaimed his life was more "blessed and balanced" than before. And he even opened a Twitter account to hear from his fans and attempt a few swings at humor.
It's yet to be seen if Woods can be the golfer and public figure he once was, but if there's one consistent message in his recent public outputs, it's that he's determined to be a better dad.
"I can never truly repair the damage I've done, especially to my family," Woods wrote in his Newsweek essay. "But I can keep trying. ... I'm not the same man I was a year ago. And that's a good thing."
Here's the action to watch tonight (all times Eastern):
Oklahoma City Thunder at Boston Celtics (7 p.m., ESPN)
The Thunder look to avenge their November 7 loss to the Celtics when they travel to Boston to take on the rested Celtics, who are 5-0 at home this season.
Golfer Tiger Woods says he's "infinitely" happier now than he was just before his private and professional life exploded into scandal a year ago.
"I'm so much better now because of this past year," he said during a frank, 26-minute telephone interview Thursday morning on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike" show. "It's been very difficult for a lot of people, especially those closest to me, but I'm better for it."
On Thanksgiving night last year, Woods crashed his car outside his Florida home, an event that led to revelations of numerous extramarital affairs and liaisons and ultimately to divorce from his wife, supermodel Elin Nordegren. Woods took several months off from golf while undergoing psychological therapy.
"The worst part of it was those closest to me, the ones I loved and cared about so much, were the ones most hurt by my behavior," Woods said. "(But) I feel so much better, and everything is in so much better perspective now."
The captain’s picks are in – and, for once, Tiger Woods isn’t the biggest story.
United States Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin announced yesterday his final four selections for the 2010 team, causing a bit of an uproar in the gallery, but not amongst the experts at Golf.com. Tiger Woods was obvious. Stewart Cink and Zach Johnson were experienced favorites. And Rickie Fowler was, well, a bit unexpected.
"It came down to a feeling," Pavin explained yesterday in a press conference at the New York Stock Exchange. "I have a good gut feeling about Rickie."
The four chosen ones will join the eight automatic bids at Celtic Manor, Wales when the U.S. takes on the European side on Oct. 1-3. The quartet has combined for just one win this season – Johnson’s first-place finish at the Crowne Plaza Invitational – and will likely be what the Americans’ success hinges on. Fowler, 21, is a PGA Tour rookie and ranked 32nd in the world. If the Ryder Cup itself wasn’t enough, he’ll have some extra motivation in showing people why Pavin picked him over Anthony Kim (16th) and others.
With the tournament still weeks away, let’s narrow our focus to the immediate future. Here’s what is going on today in the sporting world (all times Eastern):
Roger Federer (2) vs. Robin Soderling (5), U.S. Open quarterfinals (7 p.m., ESPN)
Federer looks to avenge his French Open quarterfinals loss to Soderling earlier this year, when the Swede upset Federer’s streak of 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals.
Web Pulse is feeling old. Macaulay Culkin turned 30 on Thursday, and even crueler, his skin looks a lot more baby-soft than ours (despite this weird beard). Oookaaay, so it's not really weird to have facial hair, but Macaulay was supposed to remain forever the character he played in the "Home Alone" movies. Everybody, palms to cheeks! Do the scream. You know you want to.
Let's all observe this high holiday by going to Netflix.com and watching "Home Alone" while we apply an expensive jar of wrinkle cream to our faces and cover the lights in tissue paper. Good thing there's news today that a new iPhone Netflix app allows you to stream television episodes and movies. Go ahead, download that sucker and pull up Macaulay doing the palms-to-cheeks-scream. You know you want to.
While your gorgeous mug is buried in your iPhone, why not check out the latest sports headlines ... Hey, it's Tiger. (Remember that voice mail from last year?)
Tiger Woods has apparently gotten his game back after enduring what was believed to be one of the stinkiest stints in his professional career. He was in contention for the lead at Barclays tournament in New Jersey on Thursday, just a few days after his divorce from Elin Nordegren was formalized. Nordegren gave her first interview to People magazine this week, saying she had been "through hell" with her ex-husband after allegations surfaced of his extramarital trysts.
Nordegren is doing better than ever, thank you very much, no matter how much this lookalike on the green got attention today. Let's all take a cue from her and just accept that time marches on and we'll be just fine. Just fine. Really.
Tiger Woods was the Tiger of old Thursday - shooting a 65 and is tied for the lead at the Barclays in New Jersey after his first round.
His performance comes a few days after the formal announcement was made that he and Elin Nordegren are legally splitsville. His performance at Barclays is being noted by Golf.com who also pointed out a Nordegren lookalike on the green.
Tiger had been playing the worst season of his professional career until Thursday.
Nordegren's first, and perhaps last, interview was published in People Wednesday in which she said she'd "been through hell" with the golfer over his alleged extra-marital trysts. It was last November that this poor SUV and subsequently Tiger's reputation took quite a beating.
Elin's peace - Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren have divorced and she's given her first interview. "I have been through the stages of disbelief and shock, to anger and ultimately grief over the loss of the family I so badly wanted for my children," she told People in a series of talks at her home in Florida where the sex scandal began last year. Nordegren, People reports, is studying to get a psychology degree. She told the mag: "I also feel stronger than I ever have. I have confidence in my beliefs, my decisions and myself." Well, you go, Elin. You're having a much better season than Tiger.
The golfer wished Elin "the best in everything" and said he's to blame for their divorce.
WikiLeaks - Let's review what's happened over the past several weeks involving the story of a whistleblower website, its controversial editor Julian Assange and every person and entity WikiLeaks has ticked off or inspired. In July, WikiLeaks released more than 70,000 classified documents about the Afghanistan war and a U.S. soldier remains suspected of the leak. The posting of the so-called "Afghan diaries" angered military leaders but was also praised in some circles. In the days following, Assange threatened to released 15,000 more war documents. Most recently, a Swedish prosecutor filed rape and molestation charges against Assange, then immediately withdrew the rape charge but continues to pursue the molestation allegations. Assange has cried dirty tricks over the case.
On Wednesday, WikiLeaks published what it purports to be a CIA paper on terrorism.
Is the publishing of the CIA paper a big deal? The CIA says it's not.
As the PGA Championship gets under way this week in Haven, Wisconsin, the latest brouhaha over Tiger Woods (no, he hasn't misplaced his cell phone) pits Golf Channel contributor Jim Gray against U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin.
Gray reported this week that Pavin told him he'd use a captain's pick on Woods if he failed to make the U.S. PGA team on points. (Now, why would Woods fail to make ... the ... oh, never mind).
Pavin took to his Twitter account Wednesday to counter Gray's account of events. "For the record, @golfchannel and Jim Gray has misquoted me re: picking Tiger. I never said such a thing and will not say a thing until 09/07," he tweeted.
Arrest in stabbings case made: A man was taken into custody Wednesday night at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in connection with the stabbings of 20 people, police said Thursday. Five of the victims died. The attacks began in May and occurred in Michigan, Virginia and Ohio. Police were conducting a multistate search for a suspect and had recently released a composite sketch.
Former 'Idol' behavior: Singer Fantasia Barrino is out of the hospital and resting Thursday after overdosing on "aspirin and a sleep aid", her manager Brian Dickens said. The incident happened when Barrino become overwhelmed while reading a court complaint from a woman who alleged that the singer carried on a year-long affair with her husband. Release of the 911 call has prompted broad speculation on the internet that Barrino's pill-popping was a suicide attempt. North Carolina is one of only a few states that allow a spouse to sue a third party who interferes with a marriage for alienation of affection.
End it like Beckham? David Beckham's glittering international career has been brought to an end after England coach Fabio Capello announced his fate in a pre-match television interview. Capello said the 35-year-old Beckham was now "a little bit old" - ending the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star's hopes of adding to his 115 caps. Who knows? Maybe this will allow Beckham to delve deeper into acting.
Crush for subsidized housing: Officials in East Point, Georgia, got a snapshot of the housing woes Americans face when 30,000 people showed up Wednesday to apply for Section 8 housing. The city took measures Thursday to avoid the disorder that erupted when thousands of people - many of them camped out for days - clamored for housing vouchers in the summer heat. The crush is widely seen as a side effect of the diminished U.S. job market.
The pair (along with greats John Randle, Dick LeBeau, Rickey Jackson, Russ Grimm and Floyd Little) were inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday.
"This is finally it," Rice said. "There are no more routes to run, no more touchdowns to score, no more records to set. That young boy from Mississippi has finally stopped running. Let me stand here and catch my breath."
In other sports, New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez, days removed from crushing his 600th homer, was forced to the bench after his newest teammate, Lance Berkman, drilled him with a ground ball in batting practice; Alabama earned the No. 1 preseason ranking in college football; American sprinter Tyson Gay upset world record-holder Usain Bolt in the 100 meters in Stockholm on Friday; LeBron James decided to ride a bike in Akron, Ohio, just miles from where Tiger Woods played the worst tournament of his pro career on Sunday.
Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees (2:05 p.m., YES) On Saturday, the Yankees pulled out a win over Boston even without Rodriguez, who sat out nursing his bruised shin.
Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals (7:10 p.m., ESPN) - The Cards and Reds have alternated atop the NL Central 17 times this season, and after their three-game series, which starts tonight at the Great American Ballpark, we may see an 18th switch.
Team USA training in New York, Aug. 10-15 - All is on the line for the 15 finalists who hope to make the FIBA World Championship roster. Coach Mike Krzyzewski and head of USA Basketball, Jerry Colangelo, will make the last round of cuts after this week following the team's training at Madison Square Garden and double-header exhibition games against France and Puerto Rico on Aug. 15.
BY THE NUMBERS
23-59 - The Knicks' record in 2007-08, Isiah Thomas' final season as coach. The organization announced on Friday that Thomas would return as a consultant and recruiting specialist.
113 - Races Juan Pablo Montoya lost before winning at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, his first Cup win since 2007.
17 - Strikeouts for Blue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow, who was inches away from throwing a no-hitter against the Rays on Sunday. Though he gave up one hit in the ninth, Morrow tossed his first complete game and shutout as Toronto won 1-0 to sweep the Rays.
Tiger Woods shot a 7 over par 77 on Sunday in the final round of the World Golf Championships - Bridgestone Invitational to complete his worst tournament as a professional at 18 over par.
"I don't see how it can be fun shooting 18 over especially since my handicap is supposed to be zero," Woods said after the round in which he carded six bogeys and two double bogeys. It was his worst round of the four day tournament and tied his worst final round as a pro.
"It's nice that the tournament's over and we can focus on next week," the world's No. 1 golfer - at least for the moment - said. Phil Mickelson can take over the No. 1 spot in the world golf rankings if he finishes fourth or better on Sunday afternoon at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.
Woods and the rest of the tour head next week to Kohler, Wisconsin, and the PGA Championship, the last of the four major tournaments for 2010.
Tiger Woods is stinking up the course at the World Golf Championships – Bridgestone Invitational this weekend.
Woods shot a 75 on Saturday, failing to break par for the third straight day and leaving him 11 over par, his worst 54-hole score since he turned pro, according to PGATour.com.
As of early Saturday afternoon, he was 78th out of 80 players remaining in the tournament. South Africa's Retief Goosen was leading at 7 under par.
"I drove it terrible, hit my irons terrible, didn't putt well and it added up to a lot," Woods said later, according to the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper.
To make the agony worse, this debacle is taking place at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, where Woods has won seven of the last 11 Bridgestone/NEC Invitationals, according to PGATour.com.
The biggest sports surprise of the past week came from a 27-year-old South African who grew up on a dairy farm. Louis Oosthuizen entered the 139th British Open ranked No. 54 in the world, but he managed to blow away the competition at St. Andrews with a four-day total of 16-under-par 272.
In one of the most impressive, Tiger-Woods-like routs on the course, Oosthuizen captured the claret jug by seven shots over England's Lee Westwood. But as Golf.com's Damon Hack explains, Oosthuizen wasn't always that smooth on the golf course. His hot temper and history of mistakes kept him from fulfilling the potential that fellow star golfers knew he had.
But in this year's Open, he quashed all doubts, leaving Woods to struggle for a 3-under, 23rd-place finish and Phil Mickelson to end up 48th.
Oosthuizen's victory Sunday night was just a warmup for what's ahead this week.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. St. Louis Cardinals (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Matt Holliday's RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning Sunday propelled the Cardinals to a 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. With the win, the Cards completed their first four-game sweep of the Dodgers since July 1987. It put them a half-game ahead of the Reds in the NL Central – and that was without Albert Pujols, who took the day off.
And while the Cards are riding a four-game win streak, the Phillies will be just hours removed from their losing their third straight road series. Philly fell to the Chicago Cubs 11-6 Sunday night as ace Roy Halladay beaned All-Star Marion Byrd twice and gave up two homers, to Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto.
St. Louis right-hander Blake Hawksworth (3-5, 4.73 ERA) will face off against Kyle Kendrick (5-3, 4.44) and look to snap the Cards' four-game home losing streak to Philadelphia and claim six straight for the first time since September 2008.
Tour de France, Stage 15 (Versus)
A flat tire and multiple crashes kept 38-year-old Lance Armstrong from contending for his eighth Tour de France victory, but according to Radio Shack team manager John Bruyneel, the seven-time champ has changed his goals anyway. Instead of another Tour title, said Bruyneel, Armstrong – who sits 36th overall after Stage 14 – is simply seeking a stage victory, which could come today. Tour leader Andy Schleck holds a 31-second advantage over defending champ Alberto Contador heading into a 187.5-kilometer mountain trail.
BY THE NUMBERS
1: Cut in eight majors that Louis Oosthmuizen made before winning the 139th British Open.
8th: Inside-the-park home run at Progressive Field since 1994, which was hit by Jhonny Peralta in the Cleveland Indians' 7-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
$45 million to $50 million: The guaranteed money that top draft pick Sam Bradford is expected to get from the St. Louis Rams in the most lucrative contract in NFL history.
There are several intriguing questions as the year's second major starts Pebble Beach on Thursday, but no questions are more central to this championship than the ones hanging over the game's top two players.
Phil Mickelson has never won a U.S. Open but has finished second five times. Is he fated to end his career without the trophy, as Sam Snead did? Does Mickelson lack some secret combination of fortitude and self-restraint? And will he ever take over Tiger's No. 1 ranking?
More vexing still: Where is the Tiger Woods who dominated the game like none other in 2000? Every so often, as he did with a stinger 2-iron during Wednesday’s practice round, he resurfaces, reminding us of that magical year when he won the U.S. Open at Pebble by 15 shots, but what a difference a decade makes.