Monday, May 31, 2010

Ben Crane Enjoyed the Kentucky Derby

I'm assuming either Ben Crane lost a bet to a show horse or is really scared of getting some sun on his ears. The above photo was taken while moseying around the Colonial links this past weekend and even though Crane was able to knock in a shot on the 17th hole on Saturday for eagle, he still had to be photographed wearing that silly thing.

Seriously Ben, we know you're a good guy and all, but lose the saucer. Australian outbackers everywhere are frustrated with your fashion choice.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dana White, UFC President, Dogs Golf in Sporting Analogy

Call me fruity, feminine or wimpy all you want, but I can't stand UFC. I think it is arguably one of the lamest "sports" to come around in the past 20 years, and would much rather sit around and watch Lindsay Lohan try to solve a Rubik's Cube for six hours than two men fighting with Affliction shirts on.

That would put me on the side of "non-UFC fan," and as UFC president Dana White said so eloquently to "Vegas Seven" magazine, I need to just get over it.

White was asked about people like myself and decided that the best possible analogy would be one dogging my favorite sport, golf. Here goes.

"If you don’t like it, and you’re not into it, fuck it—don’t watch it," he says. "I don’t like golf. You know what I do? I don’t fucking watch it! What’s golf? A bunch of rich dicks walking around in stupid clothes and hitting a fucking ball. If we stopped that shit, we could build housing for people who can’t afford it on that land. And you have a problem with UFC? Come on, man. Everyone’s gonna have their opinions. I’m not gonna change that."

Hum. See, here is something that normally works. When you're complaining about something, you bring in another topic that you clearly know nothing about to prove your point, and come off looking just as ignorant as the people you're screaming about.

White said golf is "a bunch of rich dicks" that wear "stupid clothes"? What, did the guy watch "Happy Gilmore" on repeat before this interview?

Also, nice call on the "if we burned down all the golf courses we'd have more room for houses for poor people" point, because if I've heard poor people complaining about not having enough land to put up their mansion once, I've heard it a million times.

Listen Dana, I'm not going to watch UFC because it doesn't fit my style, but I'm not sitting here calling everyone that does it steroid monkeys that would be best served guarding prisons and not beating each other up for money. I have buddies that like UFC and that is fine, I'm sure that if I got into it I'd think it was cool as well. Just don't sell yourself short by calling out another sport like golf, that has been around for centuries and continues to be one of the most popular pastimes in our world. Maybe people aren't bleeding after 18 holes, but I'm sure as the sun rising in Arizona that you'd have a hard time hitting the ball if you tried, just like I'd have a hard time landing a punch of Rampage Jackson.

Thursday, May 27, 2010 Leads Site With Ugliest Photo of Tim Clark Possibly Ever

As you probably know, is one of my favorite sites, because it gives me all the information I use when actually looking things up (read: hardly ever), and is for the most part, a solid source of golf updates.

That said, I have no idea what the photo people were thinking when they posted this turtle picture of Tim Clark from early in the first round of the Colonial. He is basically looking over a putt with his tongue out, and needless to say, a guy that isn't breaking any hotness scales in the first place sticking his tongue out isn't going to be bringing the readers in by the millions.

You might be thinking, "Well, maybe that was the only available picture this early in the first round of the Colonial," which I'd answer, that above picture is from the Players Championship, and I don't need no Clark tongue in my life.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

If You're Interested in How Sergio Garcia's 2010 Has Gone So Far ...

This face just about says it all. It's a picture from the Madrid Masters, a tournament that has been around for three years. Sergio has never won there (I'll wait for you to get back up from your chair), but it is in his home country so I'm assuming he gets a million bucks he feels obligated to be respectful of his fellow countrymen.

How is the Garcia roller-coaster this week? Well, so far this season he has only one top-10, none coming in any of the stroke play events. He hasn't finished in the top-37 in a single stroke play event in 2010 on the PGA Tour, and said this about his Ryder Cup chances.

If it was right now I would probably talk to Monty and tell him what I am feeling.

"I would only accept to go if I felt that I was the best choice. It's the team that counts and if I thought that any other player could do a better job than me I would certainly decline.

"At present I don't think that I am the best choice, but we still have a few months to go and hopefully things will change. I hope he does not need to pick me!"

Hey, we give Sergio a ton of hell around these parts, but you can't fault the guy for being honest. Would he really decline an invite to the Ryder Cup, where he is arguably the most successful? Probably not, but it sounds good, and with his game right now, I couldn't be surprised if Monty left him on the bench.

25 ... a 25

I wrote this story up over at Yahoo! (so check it), but I just wanted to post the scorecard over here, because it is so awesome. Hey Jamie Kureluk, you are the man for today. Nobody else will take that from you.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why the Tiger Woods-Ryder Cup News Is Absolutely Absurd

As you may have heard on Tuesday, Corey Pavin, the captain of the United States Ryder Cup team, made a few comments about Tiger Woods. Basically, Pavin said Tiger isn't a shoo-in to be on the team (which he isn't right now, according to points), and will have to show something to make it either in points or as one of the four captain's picks.

Normally I am all for talk like this. It gives the golfer in question a chance to have some fire ignited under him, and allows the coach a chance an out in case the golfer went down or started playing crummy.

It's hogwash here, however. There is absolutely no way Tiger isn't going to be on this 2010 U.S. team. If he isn't, I'm fairly certain I'll boycott the matches.

Let's go over a few of the reasons why people are agreeing with Pavin.

The first argument is that Tiger doesn't have a spectacular Ryder Cup record. While that is true, not a lot of people in that stretch when the Americans were getting pounded year in and year out have a solid record. Everyone during that time sucked, but Tiger is still the guy that steps on the tee as the number one most intimidating guy in the game. Let's not forget that Tiger won six USGA match play events, and has been on the winning side of the Accenture Match Play three times since 2003. He is arguably one of the best match play golfers ever, and just because it hasn't translated in an event that comes around every two years doesn't mean he won't catch fire one week and lose zero matches.

Second, people (including Pavin) are saying he owes it to the team and the game to play well before the matches. Fair enough, but are we really all dumb enough to think Tiger will continue to play poorly? This is guy that gets motivated from stupid quotes about his weak equipment and from losers like Rory Sabbatini. If people are doubting his game when he actually plays a few events in a row, it just motivates him more. He will be playing fine by the Ryder Cup, or he will be out because of injury. Simple as that.

Lastly, do you really want to travel to Wales without Tiger on the airplane? He is the rock of the team, no matter his play coming in. He's the guy that, year in and year out, has played the best golf of anyone on tour, without a single person coming relatively close. He wins more times than the top golfers do combined. This is like saying the Yankees aren't planning on playing Alex Rodriquez in the playoffs because he struggled at the start of the season. Trust me, the Yanks want A-Rod, and the Yanks want Tiger (see what I did there).

Do me a favor if you still aren't convinced; go look at the list of Americans that would take Tiger's place. Ben Crane? Matt Kuchar? J.B. Holmes? Get serious. Tiger will be on the team. It isn't even worth discussing (so I apologize for taking up some of your time).

This New TaylorMade Rossa Ghost Putter is Sweet

Not a lot of equipment gets me super excited, but this TaylorMade Rossa Ghost Putter is pretty sweet.

Golf guru and short game expert Dave Stockton designed it, and it basically is supposed to give you a better feel for the line you picked because of the white and black contrast.

Think of it like a good M.C. Escher paiting, only for your short game.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Celebrating Life, Erica Blasberg Edition

(First, I'd like to formally apologize for being MIA all week. I drove out on Tuesday to California for the Erica Blasberg funeral on Wednesday afternoon, and then took a couple of days off to hang out with some good friends that I don't see that much.)

On Wednesday at 11 in the morning, a celebration began for the life of Erica Blasberg. As you've read around these parts the last few days, Blasberg was a friend of mine, and a great gal. As one of my best friends, Josh Greenberg, attended the ceremony with me and after all the speeches were done and we had finally sat down in my Trailblazer, he looked over and said, "You know, she really was a unique girl. There aren't any girls like her."

It was true. Starting at 11, the ceremony had 12 speakers that included former Arizona golf coach Greg Allen (now with Vanderbilt, and they're playing well at nationals so root hard for one of the cooler guys ever), LPGA player Irene Cho, both parents and, well, me. Erica's parents and Chase Callahan, her former agent and a man that deserves a Hollywood star for his efforts the last week handling all that came with this tragedy, asked me to be one of the speakers, an honor I will remember for a very long time.

The entire ceremony was both painstakingly sad and incredibly beautiful. The stories that flowed in on Erica throughout the two hours made everyone laugh, smile and cry. The words "goofy" and "fun-loving" seemed to be tossed around as much as "the" and "as." Her smile was talked about. Her taste in music was a focus.

Ray Kim talked about her love for seeing friends trip, just so she could dog them. Her brother talked about watching Erica make a hole-in-one in one of the LPGA events he attended and said it was one of the proudest moments of his entire life. Former LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens let us know that her and Erica were rookies the same year, and told a funny story about how Erica didn't know that rookie orientation was mandatory.

While everyone in the room was stunned at what had happened to our friend, the choice in speakers was as perfect as her golf swing.

Since a lot of you couldn't be there, I thought I'd share a portion of my speech with you. While it wasn't the easiest to get through, I tried to give people an idea of just how fun she really was. Here it is, and this time, with less choking up.

One of my favorite moments ever with Erica was carrying her bag in our first tournament together, at the Phoenix event in 2009. She came into it struggling with her game, and asked me to loop for her as a change of pace. I told her it might make for a good story, she agreed and told me to write it up no matter the details.

On a late Friday afternoon, as our Arizona Wildcats were getting bounced from the Sweet 16 by Louisville (Erica kept asking during the round if we had any shot at winning, and I attempted to make our Wildcats seem mighty), Erica hit it in a bunker. She popped it out to a foot, tapped it in for par and came over as I was raking the bunker.

Her eyes widened and that glorious smile crept across her face as I exited the hazard, and Erica gave me a punch on my shoulder. “You are really good at raking bunkers!” she exclaimed to me, obviously more shocked by this “talent” of mine than anything else that had happened during the week.

“I get a lot of practice, Erica. That’s what happens for us that hit the ball like mortals.”

For the next two holes she was bouncing around, happy as can be that that her friend, the caddie, could execute a menial task on the golf course. Obviously Erica hadn’t been in a lot of bunkers in her life. I think being a crummy bunker raker is actually a good thing.

As the days and weeks continue to tally, it is important to remember the person that we knew and loved, and the girl that could make us all laugh like we were watching a comedian on a hot streak.

Rest in peace, EB.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Adam Scott Wins, Struggles With Boots

I had no idea about this, but I guess when you win the Texas Open, you get a pair of boots, because, well, *hardyhar* the tournament is in Texas! And every Texans wears boots! They also suggested giving the winner a horse and tumbleweed, but tumbleweeds are so damn hard to fit in your carry-on.

So, this is Adam Scott struggling to put on his cowboy boots. I guess you could call that face his "2009 face." Boom.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

One of my Favorite Pictures Ever

i figured if there was going to be something headlining this page, it might as well be this. Erica was an incredibly cute individual, who had a smile that knocked most on the ground. This photo really does her justice, and I couldn't think of a better tribute to her than posting something that makes everyone else smile when they see it.

We miss you, EB. It's weird without you around.

Friday, May 14, 2010

You've Got to be F-ing Kidding Me

As I expressed earlier on Friday, Jerry Rice basically stole a spot from a golfer that, you know, might actually have a shot at not finishing dead last. Rice, who used to be a pretty good football player, shot an opening round 92, and followed that up with an 82 (which is still the third worst score of the week), but is now disqualifying himself.

Why? Because his goddamn caddie used a range finder at one point. A RANGE FINDER!!!! dkjfdkfjdkfjadkgkjg

Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice has been disqualified from the Nationwide Tour event Friday because his caddie used a scope to check yardages.

Rice called the error a rookie mistake and apologized to BMW Charity Pro-Am officials. That means Rice won't take part in Saturday's third round, the last one before the field is cut for Sunday's finale.

A rookie mistake? A ROOKIE mistake?! Not knowing about a player's through-line is a rookie mistake. Or having your caddied tend the flag when you're putting from the fringe? That's rookie. Using something that has always been illegal ever since golf was invented, and will continue to be illegal on the Nationwide and PGA Tour isn't a rookie mistake. It is absolutely ignorant, disrespectful and flat out idiotic.

That would be like the Dallas Cowboys asking me to catch a few balls in a game against the New York Giants, and right when I got the ball, I stabbed the cornerback in the leg with an ice pick. "Oh wait, you can't do that?! Ice pick stabbing is illegal? My bad, just didn't know the rules!"

At least Rice said he'd never play in another Nationwide Tour event again. If he does, maybe he could see if they'd let him use a cart, or maybe just count his front nine score. What? He's a rookie!

Jerry Rice (and the Nationwide Tour) Need to Get Serious

It was cute at first. The big, bad NFL wide receiver trying to make it out on the pro circuit. The idea had legs.

But that's all it was. Cute. It had no chance of working, and I said that from the get-go. Jerry Rice played in his second Nationwide Tour event on Thursday, and shot a 92, the highest score ever recorded at that event. That is 20-over par. Twenty. 2-0.

His round included a 10, an 8 and two 7s, one birdie and only eight pars. It was embarrassing, but more so for the tournament than for Rice. Why are they giving a spot to this guy over a respectable golfer actually trying to make a living? Give the spot away once, shame on Jerry. Give it away twice, shame on the Nationwide Tour.

Listen, I know hundreds of guys I've come across over the years that are still trying to grind out a paycheck in this stupid game. These are guys that have played college golf, qualified for U.S. Opens, won mini tour events, and beat PGA Tour players in random rounds of golf. These are legit players. All they've wanted is a chance. They've wanted that one break where they went out and did what they were supposed to do on the right level.

I talked to Kenny Perry on Tuesday, and what most don't understand is back in his mini tour days, Perry nearly quit the game, because he'd failed so many times. He was taking money from people and losing it, and investors only do that so many times. This is a man that has now won 14 PGA Tour titles, nearly snatched a PGA Championship and Masters, and has been on the Ryder Cup ... and he nearly never did any of that because the breaks weren't coming.

Rice needs to give this a rest, and the Nationwide needs to realize that enough is enough. He isn't good enough to do it, he never will be good enough to do it, and like when Michelle Wie kept trying to make it on the PGA Tour, someone finally has to realize that these are different games.

Rice might be able to post a 72 with his buddies, but this is real golf on real golf courses with real players. These are guys that get upset when they shoot 69 because they know it means they're five shots back. These are the types of golfers that don't miss four footers, and havent made a triple-bogey in years.

Enjoy the game all you want, Jerry, but do it on your own dime. Stop stealing spots from a kid that might actually make it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Play Slow, Miss 11 Tournaments

(Ed. Note: I figured it was time to get back to writing about stupid golf stuff, so here goes. I'll try to be as negative and annoying as ever.)

Yuko Mitsuka. That is the name that will forever be attached to harsh punishments. See, Yuko is a Japanese golfer, who some might say is the east's Ben Crane. She plays the game very slow (Ed. Note: Every pro golfer is the slowest player you've ever played with. Mark my words. It's like you're playing with the golfing version of Leon Lett.), and she got penalized last week for playing too slow at the World Ladies Championship.

Getting put on the clock, and actually landing a penalty is the most rattling thing to a golfer this side of "You suck ... ya jackass," so you could see her getting frustrated. How frustrated? She suspended herself 11 tournaments. Seriously.

“This is the biggest fine in Japanese LPGA history and reflects the seriousness of what took place,” the tour’s Hideaki Otani told Reuters on Wednesday. “The player offered to withdraw from those tournaments and the tour accepted that as the right punishment.”

“It will have a serious impact on her to miss these tournaments,” JLPGA chief Hisako Higuchi said after imposing the fine. “Let this be a lesson to other golfers.”

Well, I guess take that for sentiment. She fines herself for all this stuff emphatically and the heads of the golf world over there make it seem like she could have used more of a punishment.

I get mad at myself on the golf course minutely and would never think to just up and quit the game for nearly three months because I felt that was a deserving punishment. Could you imagine if you asked this girl for a gimmie putt in a match? She might sumo your ass.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Talking Erica on the Today Show

After talking with Erica's good friend and agent Chase Callahan, we both decided it would be best to appear on some of the television stations trying to get information on the situation and just praise who she was a person.

Below is video of me talking with NBC's The Today Show. We also did a spot on the Early Show that I'll link up as soon as we get the code.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Friend Left Us Too Quick

Anyone that has ever read this blog knows that Erica Blasberg and I were friends. She was one of my favorite girls around, and we always had a special bond when it came to golf/school/life.

Finding out the news on Monday that Erica passed was tough for all included, and I wrote something up about it to just kinda open my heart valve.

She was a wonderful person, and I really did enjoy her company more than she probably knew.

For the last two years we have been promising each other a round of golf together. One month I was supposed to go up there, one month she was coming down here, and it just never worked out. While I will forever wish we could have teed it up together, I think seeing her play was good enough for me.

We will miss you, EB.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Whybark Debate

Yesterday afternoon I wrote up a story for Yahoo! that you have probably heard all about at this point. A college kid let another college kid win a playoff so he could advance to nationals, intentionally hitting his tee ball out of bounds on the first playoff hole so the other guy would make it.

To give you a better buffer on what happened. A kid named Grant Whybark played for the University of St. Francis, and his team had won the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship to advance to the NAIA Championship. If your team wins that tournament, everyone advances. But Grant wasn't done, because the sophomore had also tied for the individual trophy. He was going up against Olivet Nazarene's Seth Doran, a senior. If Whybark won the playoff, Doran wouldn't have advanced. If he lost it, both advance.

Whybark then hit his tee shot 40 yards out of bounds on purpose so Doran would have a chance to make it one more tournament. I wrote yesterday about how the act was something we never see in sports, a person putting his competitiveness away for a moment in place of humanitarianism. He basically felt like the other kid deserved to advance, and took matters into his own hands.

When I wrote the story I felt like it might get some traction, but I never thought it would blow up the way it did. People are very heated one way or the other. It was so big, that "Mike and Mike in the Morning" actually quoted me from the article (the debate starts at the 10:17 mark of this link, but you have to be an Insider) , vehemently disagreeing with my take because they felt it was a slap in the face to Doran.

What I feel is being missed here is that it wasn't disrespectful. Mike and Mike, and whoever else is on that side of the argument, think that by doing this, it was somehow putting Doran down. That wasn't Whybark's motives. He was doing this simply to give a guy he thought deserved a shot at nationals a chance to go. People argue that he could have been more subtle, but are they even golfers? What if Whybark holes out on accident, or hits it two feet? Is he supposed to just keep putting around until Doran holes out? Is that more respectful?

What Whybark did should be praised. He was a friend first, opponent second, and made a gesture most of us would never think to do. With all the crazy shit that goes on in this world daily (and I'm looking at you, LT), why would anyone get mad at this guy?

Is the 17th at TPC Overrated ?

It is the image you'll see all week during the Players Championship (or PLAYERS if you're the PGA). It is the hole everyone can't wait to play when forking over the hundreds of dollars to have their shot at TPC Sawgrass. It is crazy, intimidating, lonely and unique ... but is it overrated?

That is the question I was asked this week and the question that I always think about during Players week. What is so great about the 17th?

The obvious things are this. It is an island green, surrounded by water, and has zero bailout points. It is cool, because you don't get a lot of island greens in this world, and to sit on the tee thinking, "If I don't hit a good shot, I have to hit this shot again" is a mental battle rarely seen on the PGA Tour. Players are programmed to think of bailout points, and here there are zero.

It is pretty, and gives an incredible stadium feel rarely seen in golf.

It is the second to last hole of the day, and sits, luminous, as you play the par-5 16th.

But here are some other facts.

The hole is 132-yards long. That is a wedge for most touring pros. A wedge to a "larger than you'd expect" green is cake for these guys.

The back of the green is a little too bouncy. Think Sean O'Hair here. His shot hits the back of the green and bounces into the water. That doesn't seem very fair.

It shouldn't decide this big of an event.

While the hole is fun to watch, I'm convinced it is overrated, and that with no wind, guys are going to hit this green at a very, very high percentage.

That being said, I'd love to try my hand at it, just to feel the pressure that comes with standing over a tee shot with absolutely no opportunity for a mishit.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Scramble, Part Deux

Stephanie Wei and I put together our second little ditty named "The Scramble," where we chat golf, golf and more golf. Check it out, let us know what you think, and try and not yell at us for using Tiger's name in vain.

The Scramble With Wei and Bacon: Episode 2 from Stephanie Wei on Vimeo.

Adam Scott Finally Admits He Isn't Very Good at Golf ...

... when he was 16 years old. That is, after a question came his way about Matteo Manassero, the 16-year-old that made the cut at the Masters this past year and finished T-36.

Adam Scott was questioned about the state of his game when he was barely legal to drive a car, and he said the following, which made me like the Australia even more.

“I wouldn’t have broken 90 at Augusta when I was 16,” he said of Manessero, who turned 17 right after the Masters. “I’m not just saying that as a throwaway line. I mean that. I wasn’t anywhere near that level at his age.”

To be fair to Scott, and to praise Manassero, I don't think anybody was. When Tiger first played in the Masters as an amateur, he tied for 41st, an incredible feat in and of itself, but still not as good as what Manessero did. And, why should we forget, this kid finished 13th at the British Open last year!

“Every generation learns from the one before,” Scott said. “Tiger won early and Sergio learned from that, and he did it early. I was doing it at a fairly early age. Now you have Rory and Ryo. They’ve learned from guys like Tiger. Look at Ryo. He’s 18 and he’s been doing this for three years. He’s already played a Presidents Cup. That’s hard to get your head around.”

I think Scott is right on with all of what he's saying. From what we have seen, a special type of golfer comes around every few decades and does something most near his level can't even comprehend. While we are still waiting for a young golfer to win a big tournament, two teenagers are accomplishing feats that are nearly unheard of.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Anthony Kim Will Not Be Your 2010 Players Champion

Talk about a bad time to be put on the injured reserve. Anthony Kim, who is playing arguably the best golf of his career the last two months, had to pull out of this week's Players Championship because of a thumb injury that has plagued him sine 2009 (btw, that is the most newspaper-y sentence I've typed in four years).

Since early March, Kim has finished in the top-7 four of the last five times, including a win at Houston, a third place finish at the Masters and a seventh last week at the Quail Hollow Championship.

He leads the tour in scoring average (69.26), and is doing a lot better job this year around the greens. No matter, when the thumb hurts, the thumb hurts.

"This injury has been well documented over the past month, and I've been doing everything I can to play through it, but it became more of an issue last week and needs to be looked at," Kim said. "I'm extremely disappointed to have to miss THE PLAYERS Championship, but will consult with my doctors this week and follow their recommendations for treatment."

No word yet on what to expect going forward with Kim and the thumb, but it would sure be a shame if he had to miss out on an upcoming major with the way he's been striking the ball this season. I'm sure he is licking his chops with Pebble and St. Andrews around the corner.

Japan Wins Again

If there is one country I'd love to live in for a few years, it's Japan. From their beautiful women to positive outlook on life, the Shinkansen, Orion beer and sushi go-rounds, everything Japan is okay with me.

Oh, and at least once a week they give us something on YouTube that probably isn't supposed to be funny, but is. This week, it was Ryo Ishikawa's McDonalds commercial, which is below.

Basically, Ryo is preparing for a golf shot, and it somehow ties into some sort of Egg Sandwich thingy. Why don't I want to Google the translation? Because sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

h/t the always wonderful Golf Girl

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Win at Sawgrass Means Phil Mickelson Could Be Number One

Wrap your head around this for two seconds, if you don't mind; in Phil Mickelson's illustrious career, that's included four major championships and 34 other PGA Tour titles, the man has never been number one in the world. Never.

During that same stretch, names like Vijay Singh and David Duval have stood atop the rankings, but never Lefty, whose biggest curse has been being born during the Tiger Woods era. That could all change this week if Mickelson could replicate the 2007 Players Championship, which he won by three shots.

If Phil wins and Tiger fails to finish in the top-5 (he hasn't since 2001), Mickelson would be ranked atop the golf world for the first time in his life.

How important is this, really? Not that much, other than to be able to say you are the number one golfer in the world. A month ago this would have been absolutely preposterous, as Mickelson was struggling with his swing more than Tiger is now, but a win at Augusta and a second place finish at Quail Hollow has him sneaking up on Mr. Woods.

Tiger Woods 'Tiger Slam' Irons on eBay Activate Bullshit Meter

Call me a skeptic, but someone getting their hands on a set of Tiger Woods irons he used during his Tiger Slam and being allowed to sell them on eBay seems as likely as Gary McCord and I being asked to play a leisurely 18 holes at Augusta National on Tuesday.

As the story goes, somebody got their hands on a set of the Titleist irons Woods used during his 2000 run and is trying to get ride of them on eBay for the asking price of $250,000. Here are the details.

* Clubs in orginal [sic] shape and grips are original grips used the last time the clubs were used by Tiger.

* Used by Tiger in his "Tiger Slam".

* Given directly to seller by Tiger.

* Certificate of Authenticity.

Maybe I'm just negative, but a certificate of authenticity these days is as reliable as a wallet condom. Maybe they are Tiger's clubs, maybe they aren't, but whatever the case, if you are dropping a quarter of a million dollars on a set of used irons, you, my friend, have some issues.

The 947th Golf Writer to Talk About the Changing of the Guard

I think it is important we all see this weekend for what it was, no more, no less. Two young, great, incredibly impressive golfers won events in spectacular fashion. They did it with emotion and flair, the likes we haven't seen since Tiger Woods stalked Augusta National in 1997.

While Ryo Ishikawa was putting together a record score continents away, Rory McIlroy was sleeping, awaiting his final round after just making the cut at the Quail Hollow Championship on the number. He didn't have any reason to foresee a victory, he just wanted to go out and make some birdies and hope for the best.

But his front nine started to unfold, and the shots kept ending up where he wanted them, and before we all knew it, McIlroy's 62 was the answer to Ishikawa's 58. It was a match made in birdie heaven.

That said, one win for the both isn't going to make this whole game change. There is nothing better than when guys we want to win actually do win, and McIlroy did it with a slobbering Phil Mickelson chasing after him, but it is still just a victory for the young McIlroy, and another Japan Tour title for Ishikawa, who did it on a golf course shorter than the one you probably play at.

A changing of the guard involves a few things, but mostly it means that we are out with the old, in with the new. As we all know from golf, this never happens. If you don't believe me, think back a really long time ago, to the 2009 British Open. A guy named Tom Watson nearly won the damn thing, as Tiger Woods was already back in Florida, two days shy of golf at Turnberry. Then, Woods stumbled as an older legend thrived. This week? Just the opposite. Tiger missed the cut as McIlroy (And Rickie Fowler) played magnificent golf.

Is it exciting for the sport? Hell yeah, who isn't pumped to see guys like these play well, and get trophies. The game is going to need some names to take the reigns when Tiger eventually flames out, five or 10 or 20 years down the road. Is it calls for some sort of ceremony welcoming in the young guns? No, not at all. They've been here the whole time, and wins will keep coming for both.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Ryo Ishikawa Goes Insane, Closes With 58 to Win Japan Tour Title

Sunday mornings are usually pretty calm in the Bacon household. I'll wake up, snag some breakfast and wait for whatever sport to kick off before the golf comes on. They aren't usually started with the mouth-dropping news that some 18 year old kid shot a 58 to win his seventh Japan Tour title.

Yep, that kid (as The Golf Girl grins and grins) is Ryo Ishikawa, and his 12-under 58 was the lowest score ever recorded on a major tour. I guess that's pretty ho-hum in the life of Ryo.

"I always dreamed of getting a score like this but didn't think I would do it so fast," Ishikawa said. "It hasn't really sunk in yet, but I'm sure it will after a few days."

"I got off to a good start for the first time in four rounds, so I told myself not to give up for the title until the end," Ishikawa said. "To my surprise, I found myself making this many birdies. I was in a calm mental state for all 58 strokes."

Wait, an 18 year old said "I was in a calm mental state for all 58 strokes"? I'm sure there is a bit of a translation difference in his exact point, but wow, you wonder why he is so darn good so early. When I was 18 and posted a good score, I normally had to take a nap after just because I was so fired up/confused/excited. He posts the lowest score anyone ever has in a big event and followed it up with "a calm mental state."

Also, Ishikawa had a 15-footer for birdie on the 18th for 57, but missed it. I'm assuming this is one of those moments you were probably glad you didn't gamble against him.

"Okay Ryo, give me five shots a side, and we will play for all the money in my account." That 70 you posted with your buddies on Saturday probably doesn't look so good now, does it?