Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Getting Set for Scotland


Interestingly enough, this will be my first of three trips to Scotland when I actually flew from the United States. Once, I was a student in London traveling up with my uncle to take on St. Andrews at its finest. The second time I was a caddie at the Old Course, and my dad visited on his first abroad trip since Vietnam.

This will be a tad different. Jet lag will surely run its course. The free wine on the plane might not feel so spectacular when you get off that plane in Edinburgh at 8 AM and plan on hitting the links.

Also, the planning has been different this go-around. For the last two weeks, I've been really focusing my practice and range time on Scotland golf. Instead of going to the range and hitting big lob wedges, I've been trying to tone down the swing to fit when the wind blows. Sure, that might seem like a bit of overkill, but doing little things like this will allow my game to travel better, and hopefully keep me from having any metal fatigue problems while across the pond.

My dad is doing something similar to what I'm doing, just with fitness. Pops just turned 60 in January, and as we've planned to play 36 holes in one day twice, he understood that fitness would be vital to his enjoyment. Mr. Bacon gets up fairly early in the morning (Read: just as crickets are falling asleep) and walks, but he has upped his distance to help himself prepare for the long walks along the links. Now he is knocking out five miles a day and is also adding a night walk in to help get himself physically prepared for the trip.

Sure, a golf trip to Scotland is intended to be a man's 5th Avenue, but we can't kid ourselves on the goal ... have a ton of fun, and play good golf. I'm hoping to do both, and I'm sure that a Tennets here and there will only aid in the smiles and high fives.

Just Another Day as Jets Quarterback


A few months ago, Mark Sanchez was hanging out Los Angeles, enjoying the large amounts of So Cal females tossing their inhibitions to the wind for the star Southern California quarterback.

Now, his life hasn't improved much. He just signed a contract with $28 million guaranteed and the possibility of $60 million and is getting to hang out with Tiger Woods.

This was Sanchez and Woods at the EA Sports party last week. Do they live a better life than us? I'm not totally sure. Help me out.

Apparently, Sean Kingston was at this party as well, but I have zero idea who that is.

Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

Monday, June 29, 2009

Who Wants Free Tickets to the AT&T National This Week?


Ahhh, free. It really is a word without a definition these days. Just last week, a girl friend of mine was telling me a Starbucks story where she drove up to the window, and the lady told her she was the sixth car in a row that had bought the coffee for the car behind, sort of like a "pay it forward" type deal. "So, did you buy the guy behind you coffee," I asked. "Yes, of course," she answered. "So it wasn't really free," I mused. I got a cranky look from the girl.

Well, this is free. A free contest for some AT&T National tickets this week, to go see Tiger Woods and the boys play at Congressional. No strings attached.

Yellowpages.com has handed me two tickets to the event to give away, and by gosh, I'm going to give them away. Here is the details ...

During the AT&T National, YELLOWPAGES.COM mobile concierges will be in the AT&T Digital Clubhouse and around the entrance to the D.C. Congressional (course map) to help tournament-goers find anything they need locally – top-rated burger joints in D.C., a cab service for the end of the night or golf stores to get that new club that Tiger uses. YELLOWPAGES.COM is used by over 20M consumers a month, and we’re extending the experience to make sure consumers have a convenient way to discover and explore while on the go.

The tickets are good for entrance on either Saturday 7/4 or Sunday 7/5, and include pairings guides and free parking.


So, two tickets, one weekend day, and you get to see Tiger slapping it around the golf course. Since I know I'll get millions hundreds of responses, I decided to have a little contest. Since the 4th of July is upcoming, I wanted to hear a good golf-related story with the holiday. It can be a funny golf scramble story, it can involve some sort of firework display gone wrong at your course or it can even be deeper than that, involving something with a veteran or person serving our country. If you're in the military and want to go, just let me know and you will be automatically bumped to the top of the list.

These are free tickets, and we just want some good responses. Forward around the link to some friends and all responses should be e-mailed to me at shanebacon at gmail dot com.

Thanks to AT&T and Yellowpages.com.

(Also, small disclaimer ... obviously you need to be somewhat in the area to win. If you're not, sorry, but I'm not sending the tickets to dudes in Seattle, Washington so you can put them on your wall.)

Gearing Up for Scotland Trip, 3.0


I have lived a fairly interesting golf life, if you don't mind me saying so myself. In the United States, I've never played a top-100 golf course, with the closest coming either with Troon North (which is top-100 of courses you can play) or the Ocean Course at Olympic Club (not the one that has hosted U.S. Opens).

Across the pond, however, I've had a ton of experience with world famous golf courses, playing St. Andrews a handful of times, Carnoustie, Turnberry, Prestwick and even Kingsbarns and most of the other courses around St. Andrews.

Next week, my dad and I will again setting in to that long flight for another chance at dominating the Scottish terrain.

Our plans are simple -- play as much golf in five days as possible. We land in Edinburgh and plan to drive up to Cruden Bay and Royal Aberdeen. After playing both courses, we will venture down to St. Andrews to give the Old Course another shot, along with my first test of the Castle Course and possibly another go at Carnoustie (I played really well up until 17 and 18, where I made Jean Van de Velde look like Jack Nicklaus).

We are staying strictly east coast this time, and are still trying (cross those fingers) to get a guest spot on Muirfield.

Anyway, just wanted to update you on the travels. I will be Twittering on the trip and plan to stick some photos and such here for all to see. The last time I played the Old Course I shot even-par 72, so my goal is to better that by a couple of shots, and hopefully (hopefully) break 70.

I've got my Gustbuster umbrella (a must if you're going to Scotland), my Footjoy rain gear, a new set of irons and some Vokey wedges heading my way, so hopefully the equipment part is good to go.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Kenny Perry Won the Travelers Championship, Woohoo


If you were going to ask yourself, "Did TPC River Highlands play tough this week at the Travelers Championship," I have a stat that might help answer that question.

Kenny Powers Perry made a total of five 5's all week. In four rounds of golf, Perry made five scores that were one shot about a four. That is incredible.

Perry smoked the field, winning his second tournament of the year and putting himself atop the FedEx Cup standings (Was I the only one that just thought to themselves, "The FedEx Cup is still around?").

I Tweeted earlier that if Perry wins, he is probably the second best American golfer on tour, and I'm standing by that statement.

More to come on Monday. Hope your weekend was a lot of fun.

Jim Rogash, Getty Images

Friday, June 26, 2009

And The Dick's Sporting Goods Winner Is ...

.....

........

..........

None other than, Mr. Christian Dix. Woohoo!

Here is his tale of club-tossing ...

I was playing with my dad and brother at the country club my dad had just joined in Pinehurst, NC. My dad plays to about a 4, me to a 6, but my brother really sucks. Our one rule for playing with us is that he has to play fast (because it can get old waiting for him to hit one of his 130 shots a round). Anyway, it was a humid day and my brother was, as usual, complaining about the cursed genetics that gave all the men in my family overly clammy hands (don't knock us, Clooney suffers from this as well). We are on the 6th tee, a par 4 that borders the road in. My brother asked to borrow my father's driver, took a few practice swings, and on his shot attempt ended up losing the club on his follow through and throwing it over the chain link fence and into the street. Well, before my dad or I could muster a word, an oversized SUV ran it over, breaking the driver in two. Needless to say, my brother shot the best round of his life that day - too bad he only played 5 holes...

Nice work. Sounds like a good time.

Also, my buddy Andrew, who I think is basically missing at this point, reminded me that in all the club-throwing excitement, I forgot to mention our recent adventure in Marshall, TX. Basically, I hit a bad tee shot, but we were just having some fun and I tossed my driver as a joke. The non-funny part? It got stuck in a tree, and when my other friend Rusty tossed his club up in the tree, it broke! Still pictures of the event are below ... Enjoy ...





Hope you enjoyed them. Everyone have a great weekend. I'm playing in a golf scramble tomorrow, so I might Twitter some pictures if I find them necessary.

Ian Poulter Seems Like a Cool Guy


People bitch about Twitter all the time, but it's mostly the folks that don't really get it. A few rules I live by on my Twitter (or at least try to) are as follows.

1.) Don't tell people what you're eating for dinner or if your dog is sick. Nobody gives a shit. Trust me on this.


2.) If you're a celebrity, you can write whatever the hell you want because even if you say, "Oops, just tooted," 11,000 followers will @reply you "Oh my god, me too!"

3.) Stick to what you do best. If you're funny, be funny. If you're smart, be smart. If you're neither, delete your account.

Ian Poulter basically dominates all Twitter rules. The guy gives us insight to what his life is like, and appears to be just another normal guy with an incredible golf game. His latest Tweet made me appreciate him even more.

hi folks been crazy busy sorry no tweets, IJP is going to wimbeldon 2morrow with my best man, watching murray, having a good few beers

I'm not really into sharing personal stories that aren't golf related, but I have to share this one. Back in '04, I was in London studying abroad and me and two of my buddies decided to go to the Queens Club, the grass tournament that precedes Wimbledon. We get there, and buy our tickets and go to the concession stand to buy a beer and the things are like 5 pounds a piece, and we're some of the most broke people that didn't live on the street you will ever meet.

I buy one, my buddies defer, and as we're walking by some worker, I joke, "Damn, wish we could just bring a cooler in." It turns out, you can, as long as the beer was Stella (the sponsor at the time). You have never seen three men run faster in their lives. We go to a corner store, buy a few 4-packs of Stella (and got a free Stella polo to boot) and went back to watch tennis. I'm not sure if Wimbledon is like this, but it should be. We had more fun that day than any other day abroad.

Why am I telling you this? I don't know, but I do know that if this was the case at Bethpage Black last week, some Long Islander would have passed out in a bunker.

A Couple of Things You Might Have Missed


First, Happy Friday! The NBA Draft is officially over, which means there is basically ZERO things happened the rest of the summer except Wimbledon, the British Open and (I'm using my blah face) baseball.

That is a good thing for golf. It means more people will care of the coming weeks about our favorite game, and less about crossovers and touchdowns.

Here are a couple of stories from yesterday you might have missed while you were in the war room ...

-- Kenny Perry ties his personal best score on the PGA Tour with a 61. Yeah, it was low, but Perry missed four makeable putts on his way in to give himself a shot at 59. Oh well, he's still leading the Travelers Championship. [FanHouse]

-- Cheyenne Woods, Tiger Woods' niece, shot a 3-over 75 in her LPGA debut. Also, and I'm saying this in the least-creepy way possible, she's kinda cute. [FanHouse]


More to come, but I hope your Friday is rocking thus far.

Michael Cohen, Getty Images

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Confidence.


The above word is an interesting thing. Some people never get it, but once you have it, you can lose it at any moment. The thing is, people with confidence seem to ride momentum for longer stretches than people that question themselves.

Guys like Tiger Woods just ooze confdience. It's ingrained in their skulls and they don't know how to play without it. You hear Tiger talk after rounds and he says things like, "I hit the ball really well today..." even if he shot 74. He is confident in himself. He is confident in his game. He knows his next great week is just around the corner.

Confidence can come from random places. Jason Gore gained it from three solid rounds at the U.S. Open in 2005, only to shoot an 84 the last round and fall completely out of contention. It didn't matter for Gore, who went on to win twice on the Nationwide Tour to gain a battlefield exemption into the PGA Tour and win later that year at the 84 Lumber Classic.

Now, it looks like Ricky Barnes might be surfing that wave. After a second place finish last week on Long Island, Barnes shot a 5-under 65, his best opening round of the year by two shots, and is looking more like the guy that won the U.S. Amateur and less like the guy that carded his first top-10 on the PGA Tour just a week ago.

It is funny what one week will do with your golf game. Phil Mickelson broke through at the 2004 Masters, going on to finish in the top-10 seven of his next nine majors and two wins. Tiger Woods won four straight. If Barnes can continue the confidence, he might just be looking at a win in the near future and the stress of keeping his card will dissipate as quick as his confidence was gained.

You Know, Sergio, You Can Just Take the Visor Off


This is Sergio Garcia, signing some random fans visor last week at the U.S. Open. I actually typed into Getty Images "golf outfits" in hopes that Rory Sabbatini was in some chicken suit or something today at the Travelers, but I'm pretty pleased with this photo as well.

Honestly, how uncomfortable does this look? It's like Sergio is checking her for neck spasms. I have never given an autograph (obviously), but if I did, this is the approach I'd take.

"Oh ma'am, you'd like your shirt signed?"

/rips shirt towards self

"Here ya, go."

/lady in shock

"Anything else?"

/runs away

Chris McGrath, Getty Images

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dick's Sporting Goods Wants to Give you $20 For Free (No, Seriously)


You know all those gimmicks about free stuff? "Hey, this is free, but you have to fill out your name, social security number, blood type and jeans size."

This isn't like that. Dick's Sporting Goods, which has been hitting it hard on the golf front of late, is offering up at $20 gift certificate to Dogs, and I'm extending it to you loyal readers.

A couple of things you need to know before you get into the meat of this "contest" -- First, Dick's is now offering 50 percent off golf club regripping, so if your grips look like the spine of a silver-back monkey (Note: I have no idea what that means), go online to Dicks and get your clubs retooled.

Alright, so to pick who gets the free gift certificate, I decided to do this. Tell me the funniest "club tossing" story you have. Now, I need you to understand, I'm looking more for "the club slipped out of my hand because my grips suck" story than "I helicoptered my wedge further than I can hit my driver" story, but I'm down for any and all.

Here are a couple of mine ...

-- At the course I grew up on as a kid (Marshall Lakeside Country Club), one of the par-3s is short but over water. I was a kiddo and it was only 125 yards, but I had to hit driver because, I don't know, I had the early genetics of Mike Weir. Anyway, I went after it and the club went out of my hand and directly into the drink. I tried to get it out but that baby was steel and wasn't going to float. My dad never believed that I did this, thinking I went Romeo on that bad boy and then tossed away the evidence. I still don't think he believes that, to be honest.

-- Second story ... playing golf with two buddies during a high school practice round at a course in Longview, Texas. It was raining pretty hard at this point (luckily, nobody was screaming at us for using our umbrellas), and one of our buddies tended to lose his temper if his game went south. On one of the par-5s with out of bounds down the right side, this kid went the big slider directly over the white steaks, and let go of his club through his back swing in disgust. What he didn't account for was the wet conditions, and the club ended up sliding out of his hands, directly back at me and the other buddy, slamming into my friend's chest at full speed. My buddy that got hit didn't even blink, teed it up and ended up making par on the hole.

I know one of you readers can do better than those. Let me have it in my e-mail (shanebacon at gmail dot com), and you'll win $20 from the fine people at Dick's Sporting Goods.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

When You've Probably Had Too Much to Drink on the Golf Course


Everyone that drinks has done it. You go to the golf course with some buddies, you start drinking on the first tee and before you know, you'd had more beers than pars. Hell, some of us have more beers than blades of grass. Add this dude to the latter.

After drinking at least 10 beers at a golf course on state Highway 167 and being left behind by the relatives who brought him there, a South Milwaukee man decided to drive himself the nearly 40 miles back to his home - in a golf cart.

He did not even take the time to throw the empty beer cans out of the cart before hitting the road in the commandeered cart, according to a Washington County Sheriff's Department incident report released Monday.

The man, 47, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of second-offense operating a vehicle while intoxicated after a sheriff's deputy stopped the golf cart the suspect was driving southbound on state Highway 175, the report says.


See, this is the problem with combining alcohol with the links. Golf makes you go crazy enough as it is, and when you combine something that drops your morals, who knows what might happen.

Well, I do know what happens ... you attempt to drive 40 miles in a rented golf cart with empty beer cans and, eventually, a ticket. I don't know a lot in this world, but I do know this -- if you want to get pulled over by an officer, drive down a highway in a golf cart. That, or try sledding down an Interstate. Trust me, it isn't a good idea and hurts like a bitch.

h/t Deadspin

The Weirdest Picture From the US Open


I'm not really big on caption contests, but this picture might deserve a little bit of a contest. This is Rory Sabbatini and Ryuji Imada doing some sort of headlock-hug-man love maneuver that I'm not totally sure I'm a fan of.

I did this one to someone. I spent four nights in jail because of it. Watch out, gentlemen.

Ross Kinnaird, Getty Images

I'm Backkkkkk!


I know some of you are probably groaning into your RSS Feeds right about now, but I'm back from all the U.S. Open craziness. It was an insane week from all standpoints, but we at FanHouse really knocked it out and enjoyed the traffic for it.

First, Lucas Glover. Wow. A couple of things about Glover. First, the guy isn't some unknown that just won the U.S. Open a la Ben Curtis. Glover had won on the tour before (Even if it was back when I was still in college) and has has been on the cusp of making the Ryder Cup team twice. Also, he's only missed three of 15 cuts this year that included a t-3 at the Buick Invitational. So, that being said, Glover winning was a surprise to most, but it shouldn't make you upset. He's a damn good player and will only get better from this boost of confidence.

Second, Phil Mickelson. Wow x 2. I wrote about this in my Winners and Losers column that ran Tuesday morning, but if anyone should be leaving with their head held high, it's Mickelson. You guys know I tend to dog Lefty around these parts, but at the end of the day I want the best for everyone (well, except for the Starbucks lady that didn't give me my damn muffin!), and that is no different for Phil. His week was exquisite, and the eagle putt he made in the final round actually had me yell from my couch, alone (the last time I did that ... during "He's Just Not That Into You" /kidding).

Also, one last thing. Ricky Barnes, you played really well and you're going to win on tour and you made $500 grand so maybe take me out to lunch at some point this week in Scottsdale. I was one of the few still rooting for you on Sunday, so you owe me, plus Roaring Fork's happy hour runs everyday during the summer. Oh, and Mr. Tiger Woods. Guys, getting on him is ridiculous. He played all week with his C+ game and still was in contention until a bogey on 15. Could you imagine if any other player in the world brought their C+ game to Bethpage? Oh wait, Padraig Harrington did, and missed the cut by a billion. Got it.

A couple of things you might have missed while I was in and out ...

-- I interviewed Anthony Anderson, the actor, who is the host of "Golf in America." The show looks fantastic, and debuts Tuesday night at 7:00 PM (my time, not sure Eastern), so check it out on The Golf Channel. He was actually very cool to chat with, and we talked about our games and stuff a lot but I didn't include it because you guys would probably yell at me.

-- My buddy Ryan Wilson made a great point about Bethpage Black's future of hosting another U.S. Open. If the USGA goes back, something will have to be done about the 18th. Playing the final hole at a U.S. Open at 354-yards is ridiculous, and really unfair to most of the guys hoping for a little bit of help. Put the 18th at Bethpage against the 18th at Southern Hills. Nearly apples and oranges.

-- I wanted to ask this but was pretty busy -- is there a single human in the world that heard "John Daly gets in bus accident" and couldn't picture empty beer cans on the RV floor? I know he's turned over a new leaf, but that was my first impression and I hate myself for it.

-- Also, Glover was the first, first-time winner of a major since the 2008 Masters. I have no idea why you care, but blog stats are awesome.

Sam Greenwood, Getty Images

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lucas Glover Claims US Open to Remember

I know you're probably disappointed with who eventually won that marathon U.S. Open. Most wanted Phil Mickelson. Some wanted Tiger Woods. The others were rooting for David Duval.

Bottom line -- at the end of the day the guy that played the best golf took the crown, making a birdie on 16 and pars on 17 and 18.

The great Awful Announcing pulled some video of the final round, you can find right here.

Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

U.S. Open Live Chat, Monday Morning

Hey folks. Tomorrow morning, at 9 AM ET, I will be hosting a live chat for the final round of the U.S. Open at FanHouse. Here is the link, so come by and chat about all that transpires on Monday. It should be a hoot.

The One Good Thing About This Marathon US Open

The only bright side of this marathon U.S. Open is the fact that we get more Dan Jenkins in our life.

He just Twittered this, which made me chuckle.

If David Duval wins this thing, it'll be the biggest comeback from a slump since Mickey Rourke got nominated for an Oscar.

What a perfect comparison. Duval might be the Mickey Rourke of Bethpage Black. Who would have thunkit?

U of A! U of A!


You can say whatever you want about Ricky Barnes (he's too cocky ... he can't win this thing ... etc) but the one thing you can't call him is not a Wildcat (wait, what?!?!).

Barnes is leading the U.S. Open after three rounds, and no matter the missed putt on 18, he still shot even par at Bethpage Black with all that pressure.

If anything, Barnes play just shows, once again, that there are so many good golfers on this planet. Barnes has spent time on the Nationwide Tour and has made only six of 12 cuts this season. He has made two cuts ever in major championships, so to say he is an unlikely leader is an understatement, but the guy has his game in gear and we will see if he can continue this in the final round.

Oh, and if he wins this major championship, it would be the second Arizona Wildcat to win a major championship this decade. No other school can say that about two different people. U of A, U of A!!!

DON EMMERT, AFP/Getty Images

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Has Anyone Seen Boo Weekley?


I could have sworn Boo Weekley was in the field at this week's U.S. Open, but for the life of me I can't find the guy. Has anyone seen him? If so, just let me know or send along a picture.

I wonder why he wouldn't show up to Bethpage?

A Few Things On Ricky Barnes Leading


Through 36 holes at Bethpage Black, Ricky Barnes is leading the U.S. Open. Not only is he leading, but he set the all-time scoring record at the U.S. Open, a tournament that has been around for a couple of years.

A fellow Arizona Wildcat, and a guy I've been in contact with a few times over the years, I have to admit that he's hard not to like. One time back in college, Barnes was leading a tournament in Tucson but decided to tee off early in the final round so he could get to a class and take a test with the rest of his peers. At the U.S. Open in 2006, Barnes shot opening rounds of 71-71 as an amateur before a 79 in the third round took him out of contention. Hell, on the Southwest flight to Las Vegas for the Vegas Bowl, Barnes sat across from me and a buddy, drinking a beer and getting fired up to watch the Wildcats eventually take down BYU.

I'd love to see him win, but that isn't it. This doesn't feel like a U.S. Open. It feels like a Buick Open. Guys are pulling off shots that makes USGA organizers of yore roll in their torturous graves. The weather has basically made this U.S. Open play too easy, and it doesn't seem like there is any way Bethpage can defend itself.

I wish something could be done to give this thing a little bit of toughness. If not, we could see a 12 or 13-under champion, and it might just be Barnes.

UPDATE: I found a story I wrote on Ricky Barnes in college. I thought I'd share. My hair = awesome.

Andrew Redington, Getty Images

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ian Poulter Has a Free Sunday US Open Ticket

I'd act fast, but Ian Poulter is giving away a Sunday ticket to the U.S. Open.

What Does A Golfer Do After Shooting Even Par At The US Open?


Ian Poulter, who fired a solid round of even-par at Bethpage Black on Friday, is going to see the most popular movie in the country.

Folks here's my lunch after a good mornings work. Gona throw this down my neck and off to the cinema. Hangover I here it's hilarious. I will let you know.

I will save my critical analysis of the movie for a later date.

Ross Kinnaird, Getty Images

Tiger Woods Speaks on First Round


This will be a shocker -- after his first round 74 at the U.S. Open, Tiger Woods was interviewed and said he didn't think he hit the ball that bad. Wh

"I was even par with four to go, it's not like I was hitting it all over the place. I hit a lot of good shots I just didn't finish the round like I needed to."

I'll tell you this about watching Tiger for two days -- he is missing it both ways, and that is always a bad sign for Woods. Normally when he's on his game, he misses it right and right only (the block that gets stuck behind him). Tiger's first round had drives go both ways and that is uh-oh time for El Tigre.

It was sloppy, and the 74 was basically what he deserved.

Ian Poulter, who some picked to win this thing, finished up with an even-par round of 70, and Phil Mickelson is currently under par at Bethpage early in his round. Keep sticking around and follow my Twitter for up-to-the-ehh, few minute updates.

TIMOTHY A. CLARY, AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Open Live Stream, Round One and Two

If you aren't watching Tiger Woods right now, you just aren't utilizing the Internet.

USGA and USOpen.com has Tiger Woods, Angel Cabrera and Padraig Harrington online right now with their live stream, where Woods is currently 1-over through 11 holes.

Graeme McDowell is leading the tournament, and is the only person in the field under par. Who in the world would have guessed McDowell would play well this week? Umm, possible, this guy?!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Video Recap of Early Round Play at Bethpage

Here is what you've missed so far at Bethpage, all with video!

A Quick U.S. Open Update


If you're in the Long Island area, you probably know this, but the weather at Bethpage Black this Thursday morning is nasty.

Tiger Woods, who made pars on his first four holes, just made about as sloppy a double-bogey as you'll ever see the number one player in the world make.

Now, with two well-played golf shots on the 6th, Tiger has a solid birdie look in wet, rainy conditions, which he cashed. Now, Woods is just 1-over for the day.

I will be updating throughout the day on my Twitter page, so if you have a minute, swing by and check it out.

How bad are the conditions right now? On the par-4, 6th hole, that plays 409 yards, Angel Cabrera had 190 yards left into the green.

UPDATE -- The USGA suspended play before Tiger could finish the 7th hole. No word yet on how long play will be suspended.

Nick Laham, Getty Images

U.S. Open Live Stream

If you're up early (especially for a guy on the west coast), you can catch Tiger Woods' first round live on the USGA live stream. Here is the link. I'll be up watching the darn thing even though I will be on four hours of sleep. U.S. Open week ... LOVE IT!

Enjoy this video in the meantime.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Scott Van Pelt Interview

I talked with ESPN's Scott Van Pelt on Tuesday, and posted the interview on Wednesday at FanHouse. It's pretty interesting stuff, especially when Scott talks about Tiger and how much of a regular guy he is, especially with the crude stuff. If you have a minute, check it out and let me know what you thought. [FanHouse]

The Bloggers US Open Picks


The golf blogging community is a fairly tight-knit group. We have some great websites all around the web that produce original content that makes you laugh, smile and even think (wait, bloggers making us think?!?!!!).

I asked some of the best on the net who they thought might win this week, in a segment we will begin for each of the big tournaments. Here is what we thought of the Players. Here is who we like at Bethpage Black.


Ryan Ballengee, of Waggle Room -- If Tiger hits two-thirds of the fairways at Bethpage, he will win going away. If he sprays it around like he did in winning last year, I think we're talking about a Patoslam. So, Angel Cabrera is my backup - one cool customer.

Scott Stone, of Bushwood Country Club --
I am still awaiting my props,
for putting Poulter at the tops....

However, my Bethpage pick,
is none other than Philly Mick...

One-Eyed Golfer -- Steve Stricker is playing well enough and I do not think he will fold down the stretch. Keeps it in play and has a solid putting stroke for those nasty 4-5 footers. I see both Tiger and Phil 5-6 back again going into the last day - too many strokes at an Open. Curious how many pro's will shoot higher than Ben Roethlisberger's 11-over 81.

Aussie Golfer -- There's just no one else in the field with good enough form over the last month to challenge Tiger at Bethpage. Geoff Ogilvy is beginning to show some signs of his good form early in the year and could be a chance! But then again, maybe I'm just biased.

Neil, at Armchair Golf Blog -- Eldrick "Tiger" Woods.

Why?

It's written into ARMCHAIR GOLF bylaws.

Jason Woodmansee, of I Don't Have a Blog Just This Second, But You Can Find Me On Twitter -- Tiger Woods.

I can't do it. I can't talk myself into picking someone other than Tiger. Sergio is going to have Long Island's finest yelling at him all week. People will cheer for Phil, but let's be honest - coming up big in the US Open isn't exactly his thing. I think Tiger's toughest competition will be Some Random Guy - a Beem/Micheel/Hamilton/Curtis/Campbell type who gets hot, doesn't know any better, and forgets to get nervous. I know if I had any cojones, I would actually come up with a guess on who will be this year's Some Random Guy - but, well, as I said, I just can't pick against Tiger.

Stephanie Wei, of Wei Under Par -- I'm going with Geoff Ogilvy (PUMA isn't paying me to say this, I swear), who started the year strong with two wins early in '09. Lately, he hasnt done anything that spectacular other than the 63 he fired in round three at the Memorial. But I recall a snowman on his scoredcard the final day. Oh well. I mean, somehow he managed to finish T10. You could say Ogilvy hasn't exactly been a bastion for consistency recently. Then again, he hasn't MC'ed and his stats are pretty darn good. He's just an all-around solid player. Not to mention, he's a fairly long hitter, which I think I've heard every other minute is an advantage at Bethpage. More importantly, he hits it really high - a must for the many elevated greens - and if the greens firm up, it'll help hold the ball. What else am I forgetting? Oh yeah! He won the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot and finished T9 last year. I think he likes Mike Davis' set-up philosophy. If anyone can hold-off Tiger, it'll be Ogilvy.

Jay Busbee, Devil Ball Golf -- There really are just two options, right? Tiger or the field? All right, then, I'll go with the field just to be wacky and different. Specifically, I'm taking Padraig Harrington. You don't just stumble into three majors, and while he's been goofing with his swing too much for my liking of late, I think he's got what it takes, both in game and in mindset, to win at Bethpage. Go Paddy!

Me, of Dogs That Chase Cars and FanHouse -- Because I'm loony like that, I went with Henrik Stenson. The guy is good and has won some big tournaments and isn't Tiger or Geoff or Phil. I also just popped 11 pills. I'm surprised I didn't pick Ben Roethlisberger.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dan Jenkins On Twitter


The golf writer that we all strive to be is Twittering the U.S. Open, his 200th major, and it is pretty solid stuff.

The deepest, toughest rough at an Open? Oakland Hills in 1951. After that I’d go with Olympic in 1955—deep, wet and gnarly.

In 2002, Golf Digest made some “Be Nice to Monty” buttons when fans were ripping Colin Montgomerie. By the way, is Monty still alive?

This will be my 200th major. That’s four years of my life. Some people waste theirs. But all I ever wanted to be was a sportswriter.


Me too, Mr. Jenkins. Me too.
Quick Announcement: It's U.S. Open week, which means that for the most part, I'll be swamped over at FanHouse. I'll be posting periodically over here if I find something that the readers might enjoy, but if you want me in your life over the next four days, your best bet is to swing by Golf FanHouse. Don't be shy, it won't sting.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hey! A picture of me on another website, and I have my pants on!!! What a bonus. [Armchair Golf Blog]

Tiger Doin' Work?


This isn't really a website that breaks news, but after taking a minute to look at this picture, I think Tiger Woods and Spike Lee are teaming up to do a documentary.

Sure, there is absolutely zero proof that any of this is for real, but Tiger is the only athlete I could think of that might make "Doin' Work II" less interesting than the first one.

STAN HONDA, AFP

Tiger Woods 2010 Now Includes Scott Van Pelt

I have to admit, if there was an ESPN personality to be stuck in a room with for a day, Scott Van Pelt would be my choice. Not only is he great at his job, but he seems pretty cool and down to earth.

In Tiger Woods 2010, SVP is "the voice," and these commercials ring that in to be true. Basically, Tiger just carries around a cardboard cutout of Van Pelt, and he says random stuff.

"I said the rough, not the parking lot!"



h/t Awful Announcing

Michelle Wie's Colorful Week


Michelle Wie is enjoying a pretty good year. She finished t-23 at the LPGA Championship, marking her fifth top-25 in 2009. That didn't come without some ups and downs.

Wie's scorecard, as you can see above, included the following:

-- 48 pars
-- 11 birdies
-- 8 bogeys
-- 3 double-bogeys
-- 1 eagle
-- 1 hole-in-one

Just another day at the park for 'ol Michelle.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

How Freakin' Cute Is the Woods Family?


I mean, it isn't breaking news or anything, but it is Saturday night and nothing really defines a Saturday like some smiles.

Tiger Woods and family is pretty darn cute.

Have a good night and a good Saturday. I'll be all over FanHouse manana so if you're bored and feel like calling me an idiot, swing over.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sir Nick Faldo? Someone Buy Me a Shot


Sadly, the headline isn't a joke. Nick Faldo, purveyor of annoyance and "remember what I did 53 years ago" will be knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday, meaning that the saying "anything is possible" might also be knighted.

"I was delighted to hear the news that I will be receiving a knighthood and am more than a little bit humbled to have been afforded this great honor," Faldo said. "It has come as a real surprise, and the reaction from my children, family and friends has made this a very special moment for me."

Faldo, only the second professional golfer to receive a knighthood following Sir Henry Cotton in 1988, won his first professional title in 1977 and added 46 more wins worldwide - including three Masters and three British Opens.


I really don't have much to add here except that knighting might as well change their name to the Baseball NFL Hall of Fame because just about anyone can get in at this point. Next up to be knighted? Amy Winehouse. No, seriously.

When A Hole-In-One Is Really an Eagle 2

video

I really try not to point out errors because I know I make a ton on my own, but I also don't work for The Golf Channel and I really, really struggle to stand Kelly Tilghman. It seems that if there is an error to be made, she does it.

In the introduction to the coverage of Friday's St. Jude Championship, Tilghman showed the shot of the day, by Camilo Villegas.

She calls it a "hole-in-one on the 8th from 172." Well, that was kinda close. It was an eagle two, on the par-4 17th hole. He hasn't played the 8th today. He will eventually. Maybe she's a part of the Fantastic Four and can read minds. Maybe I better watch out!

Not only does it say at the top of the graphic "second shot," but the scorecard after shows the double-circled eagle on 17. Maybe I'm just being grumpy, which is crazy since it is Friday, but I thought I'd pass it along.

ULCER-INDUCING UPDATE: As golf was finishing up on The Golf Channel, the recap included the Camilo shot again. Tilghman actually got it right this time, saying that was his hole-out on the 17th, but then went on to stumble through some sort of commentary that included something to the effect of, "That eagle coupled with the hole-in-one on 8 ..." before realizing how wrong she was, and trying to save herself with something like, "I mean, the hole-out on his eighth hole." Does she even watch the tournament? I'm just wondering because I feel like that is something you'd want to do if commentating golf was your job. It would be like if I laid brick for a living. I'd actually want to know what a brick was. That would probably be step number two, right behind make sure you had hands.

Are These Really Tiger's Shoes?


Tiger Woods is pretty vanilla, all things considered. He was a Lakers fan his whole life but now lives in Orlando and won't even tell the media who he wants to win. The most controversial thing he's done in years was speak in Washington D.C., honoring Barack Obama and I think he once said the f-word on the golf course.

At the Magic game on Thursday, these are, according to Getty Images, the shoes Woods wore.

Are those rocks? Diamonds? And ad for the new "Transformers" movie?

I honestly have no clue. Most of what Tiger does is scripted, so I'm sure there was some reason to be wearing such interesting kicks. If you have any insight, please, enlighten me.

Ronald Martinez, Getty Images

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Phil Mickelson is officially back. After the emotional turn that he admitted brought tears to his eyes, Lefty was all business on Thursday, posting a 2-under 68 that is only two shots back of the current leaders. Not bad, since I've heard it's tough to swing with a lump in your throat, an elephant in the room and a monkey on your back. [FanHouse]

One Of My Favorite Golf Pictures Ever


Our President is an athlete, there is no denying that. He hoops it up with college teams, plans to be a part of the Presidents Cup (which, I'm not a huge fan of) and even tees it up occasionally when he wants to clear that complicated head of his.

What he does do is things like this, in the above picture. If you ask any of my friends (or enemies, probably), you'd soon find out that the imaginary practice swing is one of my favorite things to do. I'm also checking my takeaway and swinging around if there is something reflecting at me, and I find it is one of the true signs of a serious golf nut.

This picture, taken from the Steve Rushin column in this month's Golf Digest, is absolutely what it should be. A golfer, no matter his position in life, swinging away.

Well played, Mr. Obama.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Golf In New York City


I've only been a part of the fast-paced New York City for a short period of time after my stint as a caddie in St. Andrews. The girl I was dating at the time had an internship in NYC, so after Scotland I flew over to try and take down the Big Apple only to realize all too quickly that there would be one thing in my life I'd be without -- golf.

Golf.com put together a really cool ten picture gallery of different people in the city doing whatever they can to keep their game in shape. The picture above, of a man named Ryan Knopp was my favorite, but there are some other incredible pictures in the gallery including a putting green on the balcony of one building and a lady teeing it up at Chelsea Pier in her high heels.

I guess when you live in a city with certain forms of transporting, you have to make due. These troopers in this gallery sure do.

Credit: Landon Nordeman

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What Irons Do You Play?


I was just interesting in what type of irons people were playing. I have recently gotten very, very comfortable with my new Titleist AP2 irons, hitting them better and better and actually dialing in the yardages a tad better than when I was flying every green at the U.S. Open qualifier.

Before that, I had some Titleist blades that I nearly hit the grooves off of, and I feel irons are the one part of the golf bag that people stick with for years if they're working.

What do you play? Any favorites? Do you switch a lot or stick to your favorites?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Win VIP Tickets To AT&T National


I've never been VIP to anything in my entire life, but I heard it's super cool and you should do it once or twice. AT&T is offering VIP Tickets to the AT&T National this year, and all you have to do is text a number or check out the Facebook page.

Ways to Enter

AT&T Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/ATT) – Upon entering for a chance to win on the AT&T Facebook page and inviting three friends to join their “Favorite Foursome,” fans will receive a special AT&T National sweepstakes graphic posted to their Facebook wall. Users can extend the invitation and send personal messages to encourage friends’ participation for a chance to win. (click the “Promotions” tab)

Text-to-Win – All wireless users across carriers can text TRIP to 21234 to be automatically entered for a chance to win.

AT&T Fan Zone (http://fanzone.att.net) – In between checking out upcoming golf events and entering to receive special golf text alerts on AT&T Fan Zone, users can click on the designated AT&T National sweepstakes banner, which will re-direct fans to register via the AT&T Facebook sweepstakes page.


I mean, if all it takes is a text message, you might as well do it. VIP to a Tiger Woods tournament? Sold and sold.

A Recap of Tiger Woods' Final Round at the Memorial

Hey, it is talking people and moving pictures! I still can't really swallow that final shot on the 18th. Shaun Micheel would be so happy.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tiger Woods Wins Memorial, Makes Everyone Forget About That Pesky Slump

I spent all my gushing over at FanHouse about Tiger, so I thought I'd pass the link along to you fine readers. Tiger Woods is incredible, and I'm not really sure how else to describe it. Not only is this his second win of the season, but the guy hasn't finished out of the top-10 in a stroke play event ALL YEAR! Was that shot on 18 very good? [FanHouse]

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Quick Twitter Reminder


I'm not really big into self promotion, well except for all the times I do it, but I wanted to remind everyone that I'm on Twitter and if you aren't following me, boy is your funny bone missing out. Follow me @shanebacon or just click here. Also, if you aren't a big fan of Twitter, here is a picture of a dog drinking a Taco Bell soda. Crazy dog, that isn't for you!!

Memorial Live Stream

If you guys are bored at work, or are just funemployed!, check out the live stream of the Memorial, currently on PGATour.com. It's nice. I'm not going to do any work!! Hooooray!

John Daly Is Anti-Round Twittering


I feel like I type the word "Twitter" at least 35 times a day now. Do you have a Twitter? What's your Twitter page? Did you read Michelle Wie's Tweet? Is Twitter coming to the Twitter later for Twitter?

I have to say, that little genius website has become downright addicting, and as I've become influenced by it, so have a lot of professional golfers. With the LPGA announcing that they're pushing for in-round Tweets, one PGA Tour golfer spoke up today ... on his Twitter.

PGA_JohnDaly -- VOTE NO from me on twittering during play!! I didn't see your play because I was Twittering--did you make three or four?

It's a fair point. If you were over there pounding away at your cell phone while your playing competitor was hacking it in the trees, how are you supposed to know exactly what he scored? It's one of those questions that seems legit to ask, yet nobody is bringing it up.

You heard it here first -- when John Daly makes the idea look ridiculous, it probably has some flaws.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ryan over at Waggle Room caught up with USGA setup man Mike Davis to talk all about Bethpage Black and what we should expect from the added length. He hit up some other topics, including the V-groove controversy. Check it out. [Waggle Room]

This Can't Be Serious

You know on movies, when people can't figure out what to do for dinner or vacation so they just throw a dart at a wall with a whole bunch of things on it and that is how they decided? Oh, you don't. Okay, well, ummm .... if you had, and the game was toss darts at random golfers names, then we'd have ourselves an understanding.

Why? Because a man was arrested in Mexico for drug trafficking named Sergio Garcia Trevino. Seriously.

I don't have a lot of jokes to make about this because I heard making jokes about people that kill other people isn't the smartest move, but I thought I'd share that little nugget of information.

If he has a buddy named Stewart Cink Weekley, I'm getting the hell outta dodge.

Tiger In A Slump? Come on ...


The moment Tiger Woods fails to win a golf tournament, people run for the hills. "What is wrong with Tiger?!" "Is he ever going to be the same?!" "What will golf become?!?!!"

Obviously calling his stretch this season a slump is pretty far-fetched. Woods hasn't finished out of the top-10 in a single stroke play event, winning at Bay Hill and nearly taking The Players with a golf swing that resembled a prisoner cutting weeds down next to the highway.

My good buddy Ryan Wilson dived into this topic, pulling out some great stats and facts about Woods and how we shouldn't smash down on the panic button so fast. His game will turn for the better eventually, and when that happens we can all high-five our buddies and go back to real problems, like why the economy is killing our young people and why Starbursts felt the need to change from their original flavors.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Michelle Wie Is Funny


As you know, Michelle Wie is going back to the site of her 2008 disqualification because she forgot to sigh sign her scorecard. Wie could be a little embarrassed by this if she wanted. Or she could make a joke on her Twitter page that made me like her about 11,000 times more.

so i was thinking...whoever is here this week in springfield should make posters that say "SIGN YOUR SCORECARD!" and wave em to me after 18.

Awesome. Well played, Michelle.

Michael Cohen, Getty Images

That Was Nice of Golfweek


I'm not exactly sure which coach this is in the middle of the picture Golfweek decided to use for their cover last week, but seriously, could this be less flattering?

I could think of about 47 websites that would have some sort of comment about these pictures that probably wouldn't be suitable for ninth grade, and I almost don't blame them. This is horrible.

Might I suggest, a photo where people are just smiling? Usually those work swell.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Phil Mickelson Will Return Sooner Than We All Thought


It was less than two weeks from when Phil Mickelson and wife Amy announced to the world that breast cancer would keep Phil away from golf, but Lefty has already announced he is coming back, sooner than most probably thought.

Phil is planning on returning next week at the St. Jude Championship, just in time to get prepared for the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black. Some might have thought he'd take a little longer to return, but catching the breast cancer early on has proved very positive for the Mickelson family.

President Obama Continues to Put Sports First


Stop reading my website if you want, but I like Barack Obama. I like the guy more because of the person he seems to be than the policies he is implementing. Can we all agree that Jesus Christ himself couldn't come down right now and fix our country in five months? I think that is fair.

With that said, I am starting to get a little perturbed with all this "I'm a huge sports guy, look at me go," stuff that Barack has been doing.

It was reported on Monday that Barack has been named honorary chairman at the Presidents Cup (get it, because he's the president! ROTFLMAO!!!), and will be attending the event October 8-11.

The only head of state who did not attend was President George W. Bush in 2005 because of Hurricane Katrina.

Former President Gerald Ford was honorary chairman when the matches began in 1994, and former President George H.W. Bush accepted the role in 1996.

Since then, every active head of state or government in the host country has served as honorary chairman - U.S. presidents Bill Clinton (2000) and George W. Bush (2005); Prime Minister John Howard of Australia in 1998; South Africa President Thabo Mbeki in 2003; and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada in 2007.


I'm not going to be a hypocrite here because I know that if I was president I'd love to do all the cool sports shit I was invited to, but seriously, our country is about as stable as Tim Clark over a putt to win a golf tournament, so we can all agree that maybe it isn't the best time to be shooting hoops with every basketball team and smiling your way through a golf event that doesn't even really matter? I mean, if this was the Ryder Cup, that'd be one thing, but it isn't and I think maybe we could skip this event and focus on not having car companies that drain money like they're Paris Hilton reblinging redazzling her Bentley.

Alright, my rant is over. Back to jokes about big putter grips. Hooray!

Now That Is a Putter Grip


What? You go standard with your grips? Just go get the ones off the shelf? Enjoy having the grip too small for your hands so it's a tad uncomfortable as you're trying to with that $30 nassau? Matt Bettencourt laughs in your face.

Why? Because Bettencourt uses real putting grips. Ones made from the trunks of trees or steel beams in high-rises. If he can't find enough thickness from those places, he sometimes will use Mark McGwire's forearms to grip his putter. That is how Bettencourt roles. He needs no sympathy from you, Regular Grip D-Bag, because he finds pleasure in width. Girth has a middle name and it's Bettencourt. If his wrists break during a putting stroke, it's because Zeus himself came down and struck him with a lightening bolt. That's all that could do it, folks. Zeus or bust.

Hunter Martin, Getty Images
My Monday Pin Placement over at FanHouse focuses on Steve Stricker and his experience this weekend. Honestly, he could have got super down on himself with all those missed putts but he hung strong and it proved to be the ingredient for success. Next up, more cliches! [FanHouse]