Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yes, That Is John Daly In the Front

And no, he didn't withdraw from this photo. It's a miracle!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

PGA Tour Players Reveal Favorite Music Artists, And It's As White As You'd Expect

When I think PGA Tour players, one of my first thoughts is, "What are they listening to?!?" I was always bummed when iTunes used to do those celebrity playlists that Craig Stadler was never given the opportunity to let me the fan know what was on his iPod. Why isn't this in the media guide?

But good news all, because the Press Tent has the answer for your burning question, mainly if your burning question is, "What is Bill Haas' favorite artist?"

The wrap has videos accompanying it, but I'll just give you a few of the answers below:

Tigers Woods -- Hootie and the Blowfish
Padraig Harrington and Rickie Fowler -- Eminem
Bill Haas -- Mark Cohn
Hunter Mahan -- The Clash
Luke Donald -- Coldplay

Ahh! What in the world is that list?! Mark Cohn? YOUR FAVORITE? Please, someone name me one Cohn song besides "Walking in Memphis." Go ... I'm waiting.

The good thing about this story is it does have one of my favorite lines ever written in the history of journalism -- "As you probably guessed from the “Oh, Oh, Oh” music video where he raided David Lee Roth’s closet, Mahan likes to rock." THAT GOLF BOY VIDEO IS MADE TO ROCK!

Also, Rickie? Aren't you supposed to love Jesus? Bubba would not be proud of that Eminem selection, even though I'm pretty sure they played "Kim" last week at my First Baptist service.

So, yeah, check out the list. It's hilarious. Thank you, Press Tent. Thank you a million times over.

(Definitely the second hardest I laughed after the "rock" sentence is the rap selections for Eminem and and Jay-Z. I wish I had been there for this chat:

Golf Writer #1 -- "Hey man, what's a good Eminem song?"
Golf Writer #2 -- "I think he wrote one of for that movie he was in about Detroit?"
Golf Writer #1 -- "Yep, you're right ... /wikipedias ... HE WON AN OSCAR FOR IT!")

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Few Q-School Players to Watch at Final Stage

The most brutal, grueling golf event of the year kicks off on Wednesday. No, not the U.S. Open or the British Open. Miles past the U.S. Amateur or a Ryder Cup. It's the final stage of PGA Tour Q-School, where dreams go to die, and six rounds take you from obscure or forgotten player to the big show. Here are a few players to watch that will tee it up at PGA West this week. 

Rich Beem -- Hey, remember him?! He was the Beemer! He won a major! He beat Tiger Woods! He had a book written about him that he didn't really like! I do love the Beem though and would love to see him back out on the Tour.

Benoit Beisser -- The first time I ever played in a mini tour event, I was paired with Beisser. He had his mom in the cart, and told me and my dad to call him "Benoit" (pronounced Ben-Wa). He was 6-under through 17 holes, and I was the only player in the group that had a made a bogey, but Benoit hit his drive on 18 about 50 yards left of the fairways and made a double-bogey. It made me feel better. I always appreciated that.

Charlie Beljan -- In the past two seasons on the Gateway Tour, Beljan has made a combined $123,054.59. Who said mini tour guys don't make cash?!

Alex Coe -- A friend of mine, Coe has a little advantage here over the rest of the field; he plays PGA West every day.

Chris DeForest -- Good news for Chris! No trees at PGA West, meaning he won't be in DeForest that much *carhorn*!

David Duval -- Can someone do me a favor and figure out how many Q-Schools Duval has played in. Is it more than Masters played? It wouldn't surprise me if it was.

Jason Gore -- A sentimental pick in Gore, mostly because I loved his little run back in 2005.

Jarrod Lyle -- The good news for Lyle is he has some good memories from desert golf courses in 2011.

Sam Saunders -- The good news for Saunders? Arnold Palmer's restaurant in Palm Springs is about 11 minutes from the first tee at PGA West, and has a great wine selection.

Nicholas Thompson -- Best idea of the day? Have Lexi caddie. Boom.

Ty Tryon -- The best part about having success as a kid? Nobody will ever forget your name.

Boo Weekley -- What the hell happened to this guy?

Ryan Yip -- I really hope he gets paired with Frank Shanks at some point this week.

Australian Rules Golf? Allenby and Ogilvy Nearly Come to Blows

Color me surprised, but it seems the Presidents Cup does matter to a lot of the players, especially Robert Allenby. The only man to go winless earlier this month in Australia at the team event didn't take kindly to the play of Geoff Ogilvy, and after losing in a playoff on Sunday at the Australian PGA Championship, told his fellow countryman what he thought.

Reports out of Coolum is the two got into a verbal argument Sunday night with Allenby challenging the former U.S. Open champion to fisticuffs. 

Here is the what the Sydney Morning Herald had to say about it ...

Some accounts of what happened between the two US-based players had Allenby approaching Ogilvy and offering to settle it physically. What is clear is that on Sunday night, after Allenby had lost a play-off to Greg Chalmers, he and Ogilvy crossed paths and strong words were spoken.

''Look, it wasn't TV Ringside or anything,'' said Paul Galli, Ogilvy's manager. ''I wasn't there, but from what I've been told, it's a storm in a teacup. There were a few words spoken. They will be fine. I've got no doubt they can come together at the [Australian] Masters in a few weeks, have a beer and move on.''

It's actually something that has gone back a couple of weeks. After the Presidents Cup ended, Allenby was quoted in the News Limited newspapers as saying, "(Geoff) hit me in the trees three times off the tee, and I had to chip out three times." Ogilvy went to Twitter when Allenby got in the lead this week and had this to say.

After that tweet, when Greg Chalmers won the playoff, he simply tweeted, "Well done Greg Chalmers."

Man, what is it about people in that region and starting trouble these days? First Steve Williams and now Allenby? Hey, leave my mustached friend alone, Robert! From your track record this month, I'd advice you not to get in a fight. You probably wouldn't win.

Related Golf Posts:
-- Rory McIlroy's ex-girlfriend is hot, also funny
-- Tiger Woods will get $3 million appearance fee at Abu Dhabi 
-- Did Ryo Ishikawa cheat at the Presidents Cup?

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rory McIlroy's Ex-Girlfriend is Funny

Imagine being Holly Sweeney. A young girl who had spent most of her youth holding hands with Rory McIlroy, Sweeney was still in a relationship with the young phenom when he ran away with this year's U.S. Open. McIlroy mentioned after his win that she was part of the reason he was able to take down Congressional just months after collapsing at Augusta, only to part ways weeks later and fall in the arms of major-weary Caroline Wozniacki.

Sweeney has had a little fun with the breakup, and it showed when she hosted a "golf pros, tennis hoes" dinner party as part of a show in Ireland called "Celebrity Come Dine With Me."

Apparently McIlroy got wind of the party and sent multiple texts begging her not to go through with it, but she did, and honestly, that's pretty funny.

The only thing funnier is if Lance Armstrong's ex-wife had thrown a "bicycle bros and scratchy voice singers" party months after the cyclist went to Sheryl Crow's corner.

(Also, just for the record, Sweeney might be on my short list of "girls that are sneaky hot but seem like they could easily be the type of woman to show up at your house at 3 AM and break down your door because you fell asleep and forgot to text her goodnight." Just sayin'.)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ten Golfy Things I'm Thankful For

First, Happy Thanksgiving to all. Today is one of the best holidays of the year, because it involves food, football, and family. Enjoy it, eat up and don't worry about calorie count. Here are some golf things I'm thankful for!

That We Are Officially Past Talking about the Tiger Woods Scandal -- Well, after this sentence. I like that nearly all the talk about Tiger is strictly focused on his golf game (or lack thereof), and nothing really comes up about his personal life. He's a golfer! We're talking about golf! It's magical!

For This -- Because it shows that no matter how much money certain golfers get, they're all still huge nerds.

For the Lexus Champions for Charity Event -- I like charities, and I like golfing, and I especially like playing Pebble Beach, and for the second straight year, I was invited to hit up Monterey for their great event. Thanks to the Lexus people because it really is one of the best weeks of my year.

For People That Still Use 2-Irons -- I'm sorry, but I'm officially off the hybrid craze. I can't hit them, don't really like them, and just love the feel of a good, solid 2-iron. When others have them in their bags, it makes me just want to hug them.

For the Hot Dog Throwing Guy -- The only thing that would be dumber than throwing a hot dog at someone is if you decided to throw a balloon. We appreciate you for your stupidity.

That People Really Might Stop Inviting John Daly to Golf Tournaments -- It isn't that I have beef with Daly, it's just that I think someone needs to stop giving this guy a hand in everything if he isn't going to finish a dang tournament. It will probably be better for him in the long run as well.

For Sophie Gustafson -- This took real courage, and was probably my favorite thing to post all year.

For Someone at ESPN the Magazine Googling 'Belen Mozo' One Day -- Yes, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

That I Still Get to Golf With My Dad and Uncle -- No matter the round or course, anytime I get to play with my uncle or dad, it's the best round of the month.

For You, Dear Readers -- This little blog is fun for me, and I sure hope it's fun for you, but I thank each and every one of you for coming back time and time again to check out my rantings and ramblings. It isn't the smartest read on the web, and definitely not the most professional, but I have fun with it, and I really like hearing your feedback. Thank you. Come back. Tip your waitress (or mom).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tiger Woods Still a Big Draw I Guess, Will Get $3 Million for Abu Dhabi Appearance

My dad and I were talking this morning about the University of Arizona's recent hiring of Rich Rodriguez. A former Wildcat myself, I've been open about how excited I am about the hire, and really think he could do wonders in Tucson. My dad? Not so thrilled. He said he didn't really like the guy and thought it was crazy that he left West Virginia, his alma mater, to go coach at Michigan. I simply told my dad that there were about a million reasons why he'd leave for the Wolverines, and that's true. People, at the end of the day, chase dollars (well, except for bloggers, but you guys know that ... hey, can I borrow $5?).

So it shouldn't surprise you that Tiger Woods decided to pick the Abu Dhabi tournament over Torrey Pines. At the end of the day, which one is going to help his bottom line?

The thing is, nobody really knew how much it might help, but reports are out, and Woods is getting $3 million just to show up. Insane? Maybe. Telling? Definitely.

We can sit here and want Rory McIlroy or Rickie Fowler to be the new face of golf, but the truth is, it's Tiger and then nobody even close. Why did Fred Couples pick Tiger for the Presidents Cup? Well, because he's one of the best match player golfers of all time, is one of the most successful golfers of all time, and is a close friend to Couples. Why did the Presidents Cup want Tiger? Because he brings the viewers.

So be thankful that we still have Tiger. The guy continues to put golf on the map even when everything else is going on, and if nothing else, he moves the needle.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Video: Tiger Woods Talks to CNBC About Presidents Cup, Sponsors, Kinda Nothing

I still like Tiger Woods. He brings golf in the spotlight, and played some pretty good golf over the weekend at the Presidents Cup.

But his interviews are still very, very vanilla. Here he is on CNBC talking about, well, nothing really. Watch, because it's Tiger.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Presidents Cup; Where Momentum Happens

Years back, some PGA Tour players started rumbling about these team events. They wanted to get paid. They hated going for a week somewhere without a fee attached to it. These are millionaires, dammit, and if they're showing up to golf, someone needs to be rubbing their feet.

The rumblings quickly ceased. Fans didn't like that these guys were asking for something to play in one of the best, and most appreciated, golf events of the season. People love competition between countries, and the Ryder, Presidents and Solheim Cup give us that fill. Fans love it.

And now, there is no rumbling. Guys like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson say how much fun they have and how much they love it, as they should, and this week especially was helpful to both those guys. Tiger, Phil, Hunter, Bubba, Webb, Ryo, K.T., and Jim are just some of the guys that will use this Presidents Cup as a trampoline into the 2012 season, and if they take anything from Royal Melbourne it's confidences.

Furyk didn't lose a point. Tiger found his swing. Phil figured out how to make big putts again. Hunter exercised the Ryder Cup demons. Bubba and Webb proved that rookies is just a word. Ryo and K.T. showed that they're as good as advertised.

It really is a confidences builder. You're on a team, something different than the rest of the golf year, and you get a chance to go out and have fun with teammates. You get to cheer others on. You get to play for your country and money isn't the final goal. You don't win status on tour or a big trophy for your house, you just are trying to gain points, win holes, strategize against your opponent.

If a few of those guys listed above have a great 2012, it shouldn't surprise anyone. These are the types of things that get people going, and as far as Presidents Cups go, it was as fun to watch as any I can remember.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ryo Ishikawa Pulled a Camilo at Presidents Cup


No, he didn't start busting out of his shirt, but Ryo Ishikawa did knock down a divot as his ball was rolling back towards him.

I filmed the above video off him breaking the rule right after he did it, and nothing has happened yet, but I'm sure something will. Remember, Camilo Villegas was disqualified earlier this season for that exact same infraction.

The exact rule is 23-1, and it reads like this:

"When a ball is in motion, a loose impediment that might influence the movement of the ball must not be removed. Note: If the ball lies in a hazard, the player must not touch or move any loose impediment lying in or touching the same hazard - see Rule 13-4c. Penalty for Breach of Rule: Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Two strokes."

In match play, it's just a loss of hole instead of a DQ, but it would be a big swing in a match heading the Internationals' way.

And that was squashed quick ... via the PGA Tour Twitter feed - "FYI: In match play, opponents must make a rules claim prior to beginning the next hole. Moot point after ball goes into play on next hole."

Some Great Images From the Presidents Cup

Getty Images has been killing it this week at the Presidents Cup. Here are some of the best images, with some captions to make them even more fun!

I'm assuming this is the moment Adam Scott realized Bradley Cooper had been named Sexiest Man of the Year and not him. 


Greg Norman deciding maybe photographer is a better gig than Presidents Cup captain. 

I mean, no caption, just creepy. Did Tiger finally hire someone to take out Stevie? 

Amy Mickelson and Webb Simpson's wife showing everyone that being married to a PGA Tour star is a pretty good gig. 

K.T. Kim!

Jason Day's vertical is stuff of legends. 



Probably my favorite picture the entire week. 

Yeah, you like that! 

Video: Hunter Mahan Had a Pretty Good Day

Despite all that Golf Boys stuff and the fact that Hunter Mahan kind of reminds me of that jock in school that knew he was good but probably never finished an entire novel, I like him. Always have. He has swagger on the course, hits the ball incredibly well and has lived up to the hype, relatively speaking. It was a bummer when he flubbed that chip a year ago at the Ryder Cup because I was really hoping he'd be the hero.

And it might have taken a year, but Mahan was the hero on Saturday at the Presidents Cup.

First, his hole-out in the morning sessions with David Toms.

And finally, the best reaction to any putt I've seen in years. Man that was awesome.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Phil Mickelson's Incredible Presidents Cup Run

Forget for a second that Phil Mickelson has played in every Presidents Cup. Or that he is the leading point getter on any team in the history of the event.

For one second, think about this; in the last 17 matches Phil has been a part of, he's lost once. Yep, that's true, Mickelson has been a menace.

It's funny because when you think about these team events, Mickelson's name hardly ever comes up. He's a good player that seems like he'd be fun to play with. He was one of the guys that thought players deserved money a few years back when that was a big story. He is one of the Big Two in the moneymaking categories that draws golf fans to stories but doesn't really make them boom (like Tiger does).

But Mickelson has quietly gone about his business. As Steve Elling points out, Lefty has gone on this run without a relative superstar. His partners in the last 17 matches have been Chris DiMarco, Woody Austin, Hunter Mahan, Anthony Kim, Sean O'Hair, Justin Leonard and Jim Furyk. Of that list, only two have won majors (Leonard and Furyk) and both are just one-time major champions. But Lefty has carried them. His go-for-broke mentality seems to work in these types of events, because if it doesn't work, you just go to the next hole and hope this one will be different.

On Saturday, Mickelson gets another shot to play with Furyk, who are 2-0-0 this week as a team. They're veterans of these types of events, and admitted earlier this week that they've only played together once before because captains always like pairing them with some younger players to make them feel more comfortable. This time, they get each other, and it's working out fittingly.

Crazy that while Tiger continues to struggle, Mickelson plods along nicely, and gets little to no fanfare. Not a problem though. He's probably used to that.

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Video: Hunter Mahan Can Get Heated After All

The thing about the likes of Hunter Mahan, Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson is it always seems like they're the chilled out ones on the golf course. Yeah, they might get pumped up after certain shots, but for the most part they go about their business on the golf course.

That is, unless you're yelling something in their backswing. Mahan was on the 18th hole 17th, 1-down and in need of something magical. He's standing over his second shot, about to take the club back and someone yells. He didn't appreciate it.

Watch ...

Hey, can't blame the guy, I'd probably get mad too. Sadly, getting heated didn't help. Mahan and David Toms lost their match to Charl Schwartzel and Retief Goosen.

h/t Devil Ball

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Video: Aaron Baddeley's Chunked Tee Shot from Thursday

I figured I'd toss this up in case anyone wanted to see it. Aaron Baddeley and Jason Day were 1-up in their match on Thursday at the Presidents Cup with the 18th hole to play. The Internationals needed the full point. And then Badds took a swing. Here's the video. I'm sorry you have to watch it.


Phil Mickelson is a Trusting Man

Yes, that's right ... the above picture of Tiger Woods and a pretty blonde might be mistaken for old photos of Woods and Elin, but it isn't, it's from Thursday at the Presidents Cup, and the lady is none other than Amy Mickelson. It's crazy what sunglasses can cover up?!

Matches kick off in just a few minutes ... who you got on Friday?

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R.I.P., Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker as a Team

Well, consider one of the most dominant teams in recent team play history dead. Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker, who went 5-0-0 the last time the Presidents Cup was played and won two matches at the Ryder Cup is most likely done for 2011.

Why? Because the last two times the duo has been out, they've redefined the term "steamrolled." The last team match at the 2010 Ryder Cup, Tiger and Steve lost 6 & 5, but somehow managed to get beat even worse on Thursday at Royal Melbourne.

How bad? Just the worst team defeat in the history of the event. Yikes.

It isn't really fair to sit here and yell at the two, even though they failed to make a birdie in the alternate shot format and made three bogeys in the loss. Stricker isn't healthy, he's rusty, and it's obvious after the first day that if he wins just a single point for the Americans it will be a huge boost. We saw this at the Solheim Cup with Cristie Kerr and are seeing it now with Stricker; no matter how great a player is, if they aren't healthy, they aren't that much of a help to the team.

Expect Stricker to play his four-ball on Friday, mandatory since all players compete, and then expect him to sit all of Saturday.

Tiger, on the other hand, gets a chance to tee it up with Dustin Johnson. I'm not really saying it's going to be a huge change, but it might help to be out with a guy that has been playing golf and did make a clutch putt on the 18th hole for an important halve on Thursday.

Tiger and Dustin will be bombing it, having some fun with it, and hopefully get Woods back on track. I was wondering which Australian Open Tiger we'd get at the Presidents Cup. For the first two days, he looked like his old self, and then on Saturday the next Tiger. So far, we're getting the guy that shot 75 for no real reason.

I'd like to see old Tiger again on Friday.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tiger Woods and Steve Williams Are Men After All

That's the handshake. Please be the end of this. Golf begins (And it's great stuff!).

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Five Things That Should Excite You About the Presidents Cup

The Presidents Cup kicks off on Thursday, or Wednesday night if you're here in the States, and while it might always be considered the half-sister of the Ryder Cup, this year's event just feels different. Here are five things that should get you excited about the United States versus the International team, four days running.

5.) Steve Williams and Tiger Woods, The Handshake (That We Will Get To See on TV) -- Yes, they've got palm on palm before (Tiger actually has with a lot of people *heyyo*), but this will the first time that they've done it since the last time they did it since the last time they worked together. Isn't that exciting?! This storyline will be dead by the time all four players hit their opening tee shots, but hey, it's something.

4.) Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk Paired Together -- Well, I couldn't think of anything else for number four, so I checked my archives from three Presidents Cups ago and found this one. Still seems relevant.

3.) All Those Darn Australians -- Yes, there are five Aussies in this year's field, and on their home turf, should set out to really make an impression. The good news is, a couple of them might be playing the best golf of anyone Down Under, and it'll be interesting to see how the handle the pressures this week.

2.) Geoff Ogilvy's Mustache -- Just look at that thing! Incredible stuff.

1.) Royal Melbourne -- All joking aside, this golf course is insane and will be on full display during primetime in the States. I got an offer when I was caddying at St. Andrews to go play there for free, and guess what, I didn't take the guy up on it. Like you needed another reason to think I was a complete moron.

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Tiger Woods to Skip Torrey Pines in 2012 For More Seven Figure-y Event

There aren't many golf courses that have allowed Tiger Woods to raise their trophy more than Torrey Pines. The public golf course just outside of San Diego, Calif. has been a part of six Farmers Insurance Opens wins to Woods' credit and one of the better U.S. Opens in my lifetime, so it seems like a no-brainer for Tiger to visit his home state's event each year to try to add to that total.

Unless ... someone is willing to fork up Tiger's copious appearance fee. That's what will happen next season when Tiger will bypass Torrey for Abu Dhabi.

It really shouldn't surprise anyone. Tiger is a very loyal man to certain things, with the thing near the top of the list being money. If someone is willing to shell out seven figures for him to show up and golf, he's probably going to do it, PGA Tour be damned. Some might disagree with it, but just put yourself in Tiger's shoes for a minute and tell me you wouldn't be booking a flight (or in his case, fueling your jet) for the long haul to Abu Dhabi.

Also, this shouldn't really concern the PGA Tour. Golfers will continue to do this randomly throughout the year, but they'll still play in many PGA Tour events, so no overreacting. The beautiful thing about being a professional golfer is you really aren't committed to anything except yourself, and as long as you can be where you need to be, things should be fine.

Now, anyone know if the Abu Dhabi people need a blogger to play? My appearance fee is also seven figures, but five of those are after the decimal.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Presidents Cup TV Times/Listings

I figured I'd toss these up in case anyone was confused at what time this thing kicks off on Wednesday.

Here goes all the LIVE golf networks will be showing ...

Wednesday -- Golf Channel, 9 PM ET - 2 AM ET
Thursday -- Golf Channel, 7:30 PM ET - 1:30 AM ET Update: Weather has pushed Thursday's times up ... 5:30 PM ET - 12:30 AM ET
Friday -- Golf Channel, 3 PM ET - 2:00 AM ET
Saturday -- Golf Channel, 6:30 PM ET - 12:30 AM ET

No More Stricker-Woods?

It seems a little silly that Fred Couples would consider breaking up the red-hot team of Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods from 2009, but really, has the Silver'd Fox really done anything normal since he's become captain?

Word out of Australia is Stricker-Woods could be a done deal, and Tiger might be getting to know Dustin Johnson a lot better as his partner o'choice.

Do I hate the idea? Actually, I do. Tiger made some good points at his Tuesday press conference about how comfort with your partner is such a necessity in these events. Woods commented, "Hopefully, we’ll get put out there together. I know that we feel very comfortable with one another and we were talking about it today."

It does seem a tad crazy, but remember, Stricker is far from 100 percent right now and might just not get a lot of time out there in the team events. If that's the case, Couples might be looking for just about anyone to pair Woods with if he feels he's going to play him in most of the matches (and let's face it, Fred is playing Tiger in all the events. He loves the guy.)

So, yeah, RIP to Stricker-Woods? I sure hope not.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day

It's always worth taking a moment out of our day to thank anyone who has ever served in the military, but today is definitely the time to do so. Veteran's Day is a great time to say thanks for everything that some of us don't do but others have done so graciously to keep life as we know it regular.

Happy Veteran's Day to anyone who has ever served in the military or still does today. I have plenty of close friends that have given an incredible amount of their lives to this country, and it makes me proud to know them and keep in contact with them.

And obviously a big thanks to my Dad, who really defines what being an American really is, and is a Vet himself. It makes me proud to have him as a Pop, and today is his day, like it is tens of thousands of other Americans out there.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, and hopefully, you can tee it up for at least nine holes today without anyone bothering you!

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What a Tiger Woods Win Would Mean

It's human nature to get overly excited about prospects. You meet a cool girl and are instantly thinking about the future. You interview for a new job and know it's the next move in your life. You see your favorite football team made a good trade and think it's finally your team's time to shine.

So forgive me for expecting the unexpected at the Australian Open. Yes, "the unexpected" has become Tiger Woods winning a golf tournament. I was worried it might never happen again. I wasn't alone.

But after 36 windy holes, Tiger is atop the leaderboard at the President's Cup warm-up. He's played two great rounds of 68-67, and has done everything he used to do through two rounds short of holing a sneaky birdie putt on his final hole on Friday to add to his lead.

Yes, Tiger has done this to us before over the last two seasons. He played great at this year's Masters through 62 holes. He was leading the Chevron event in December of last year. We thought he might make a late charge at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

But something about this feels different. He seems to have momentum. He's hitting good golf shots. He looks happy. He's newly motivated to make his old caddie the latest victim in the ongoing drama "Don't F*** With the Tiger."

If he wins, it really would turn the golf world on its side. The NFL would take a backseat. Penn State too. It would instantly make the Presidents Cup must-see TV for any sports fan that cares about comebacks, and really, isn't this the comeback we've all been waiting for?

I hope he keeps it up. It's nice to see him playing well and happy. For everything we've said negatively about Woods since his life fell apart, we never stopped cheering for Tiger Woods the golfer. He's the single most exciting guy in the game, and even if that's for worse more than it is for better, golf fans still selfishly want to squeeze as much out of his era as we can.

Tiger needs a win, and we need to see it. If nothing else, it sure would make those 2012 PGA Tour previews all the more appealing to read.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Adam Scott Makes Double-Eagle, Steve Williams Blames Tiger

You have to feel sorry for Adam Scott. Well, as sorry as you can feel for a guy with model-features, millions of dollars and an incredible golf swing that even makes men a little flushed. But the guy has endured a lot of this Steve Williams junk the last few months, and has just kept on swinging.

Like he did on Thursday at the Australian Open. And one of those swings resulted in a double-eagle.

Watch ...

Yep, that's pretty great. The dude is playing some inspiring golf right now, and might just be the hottest player when the Presidents Cup kicks off next week.

John Daly Does Not Pull Off Hero Shot With Last Ball, DQ'd A La Tin Cup

We all know John Daly is pretty nutty. The guy is a roller coaster ride the likes golf hasn't seen since Tommy Bolt, and on Thursday in Australia, had a very Daly moment.

Video is below, but basically Daly hit all the balls he had in his bag in the pond, in a row, and had to walk off the golf course because he didn't have any balls left.

The problem is, Daly has done this type of thing about 601 times in his career, and this time, people aren't happy. Tournament director Trevor Herden said, "I would say this would be the time we see John Daly," and Brian Thorburn, CEO of PGA of Australia, said of Daly's chances of getting an invite to the Australian PGA Championship, "John is not welcome in Coolum."

Here is video of him hitting his last ball in the water. If the letters "WD" aren't somewhere on this guy's tombstone, I'm going to be shocked.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tiger Woods' History of Retort

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More times than not, I bash Tiger Woods. It's more subconsciously than anything, because I truly do enjoy him playing golf and competing, but I think as a punching bag these days, Tiger is an easy target. He's (still) the most popular face in golf, and brings the most attention (when is the last time the Australian Open made Sportscenter, and not the tennis tournament?), and with that brings the most controversy.

So when Steve Williams decided to make Tiger and himself the ugliest breakup in his career (and honestly, isn't that what it is? Elin walked calmly into the night. Butch Harmon wasn't happy but accepted it. Hank Haney said adios. Williams still seems like the crazy ex-girlfriend that is sleeping with everyone for the quick fix but wakes up each morning miserable with the world.), there were a ton of options for Tiger. He could have tossed Williams under the bus for his racist comments, and despite everything commenters have said over the last few days, we need to all understand that calling someone "black" is a race issue. First, it's derogatory, and was meant as a dig. There are plenty of ways to describe people, and when you use the color of their skin as a weapon, you're acting with racist intentions, even if you didn't mean to be. Does that make Williams a racist, like I initially said? No, it doesn't, but it does bring up the issue.

So on Tuesday in Australia, when Tiger took the podium, you knew he'd be asked about it. And he was. And he answered much like Tiger has in the past about any of this stuff. With dignity.

Yes, Tiger might not always take the high road with certain issues, but when people go after him, he always seems to brush it off or let the clubs do the talking. He did that with Stephen Ames. He did it with Vijay's caddie at the Presidents Cup, and he's doing that now.

Williams was the bad guy, and somehow, Tiger decided not to let him be for that long. He told the media that "Steve is certainly not a racist," and went on to say that while the comments did hurt him, life moves on. It was about as good a public relations maneuver as we've seen from Team Tiger since Escalade met bark.

This is something I do like about Tiger. He doesn't get into these pissing matches with people publicly. He stands up for people he likes (or used to like) and normally compliments them. He did it anytime someone said something about him after all his transgressions, and he's doing it now with Williams.

Woods might hate the guy now for all we know, but he'd never let his poker face show it. That's admirable, in a way.

More Golf News:
-- Martin Kaymer's insane back nine in China.
-- Michael Jordan pulls out of co-captain at Presidents Cup.
-- Should the LPGA's most dominant player tee it up with the boys?

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Martin Kaymer Went Ham in China

You aren't exactly touching on new ground when you say Martin Kaymer has had a forgettable 2011. A win in early January had him going in the right direction, but that was about all she wrote for his year. A missed cut at Augusta, and then another at the major he was defending, Kaymer didn't really look like the man that moved all the way to number one in the world.

But one great round can change all that. On Sunday, Kaymer was five shots back of Frederik Jacobson at the HSBC Champions with 12 holes to go, and it looked over for the young German. But a holed bunker shot on the 7th landed him his first birdie of the day. And he made another on the 8th. And four in a row from No. 10-13. A par on the par-5 14th looked like a momentum killer, but Kaymer just went on to make three more birdies over his last four holes, and ended up winning the damn thing by three shots.

It was really incredible stuff from Kaymer, as you can see from his scorecard above, and got him his first ever World Golf Championship win. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Steve Williams Now Adds 'Racist Moron' To Resume

Some things will never make sense to me. The shirts Phil Mickelson wears. Shanks. And the way Steve Williams has acted ever since Tiger Woods decided to go another way with his loop.

Maybe it wasn't the most graceful move by Tiger in a long line of bad decisions the last couple of years, but it was his decision, and caddies get fired all the time. It's a revolving door job, and you can't exactly say things had been going smoothly for the two the last three seasons.

So when Williams blew up after Adam Scott's win at Firestone, it seemed a little strange. As strange as when he said he felt like he'd wasted the last two years of his life with Tiger? No, but nearly.

And now we have this. Williams, at a dinner earlier this week in China, was asked to rehash the day he said all those things after Scott won at Firestone, and this is what he said.

"My aim was to shove it right up that black ---hole.”

What in the hell? Really? Racist? That's the card you're going to play?

There are few things you can do to lose my respect faster than to call someone out for things like the color of their skin or sexual orientation. Who in the hell cares about that stuff? Williams worked with Tiger and made a substantial amount of money for "that black ---hole," so maybe he needs to chill out on all that and move on.

Seriously. Hasn't it been four months? If this was a Facebook relationship, this would be the point that Williams started posting comments on pictures of Tiger from other people's accounts, just to be mean. He's acting like a child, and saying stupid stuff like this makes him look like an inferior person. We knew him as the camera smashing guy. We knew him as the racer. And we knew him as the victim once Tiger decided to switch gears. But all that will be trumped by this, a stupid comment that will follow him around the rest of his career.

I hope he gets canned by Scott. I really do. If I was Adam, I'd fire the guy. No use in those types of hateful words in my house, and I hope that someone teaches him a lesson.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

New adidas Golf Shirts Are Pretty Sweet

The above photos, laid out perfectly by yours truly on my fantastic carpeted living room, is the new line of adidas golf shirts, called Fashion Performance, and I gotta say, I love the look.

Colors are crazy enough to stand out on the course, but not too crazy that you look like Ian Poulter's illegitimate half-cousin, and with pants season upon us, will add some needed flair to your plain khakis.

Also, I love the adidas symbol on the shirts. Look at the close-up below. That's the tag on all the shirts. Big fan. Love the look. Down with the colors. Your thoughts?

Presidents Cup Captain's Pick Keegan Bradley Leads in China

It's nice to know that Keegan Bradley's golf game can travel. Maybe a month or two ago, this would have even helped the youngster land a spot on Fred Couples' team in Australia.

Sadly, those squads are filled out, Keegan isn't on it, but he's still trying to play his best golf possible. On Thursday at the HSBC Champions (an event Tiger Woods has never won), Bradley played brilliantly, shooting a 7-under 65 that never saw the PGA Championship winner put a square on the scorecard.

A few interesting things to take from Bradley's opening round.

First, a win here shows the kid isn't a flash in the pan. I'd love to see it because I feel it's important to back up your first major win with a victory of any kind. Zach Johnson did it a month after his Masters win in 2007 with a victory at the AT&T Classic. David Toms did it at Kingsmill less than two months after his PGA Championship victory in 2001. And unlike the Rich Beems and Shaun Micheels of the major championship world, both Johnson and Toms are real players that will never go away.

Also, I just love that he's playing good golf right now. Sure, he might be saying the right things about the Presidents Cup snub, but you know deep down that he's pissed. I would be. So would you. Bradley can smile to the cameras, but both he and I know he deserved that spot over Tiger. Playing well right now might be just as much proof to Bradley himself than it is to Couples.

Finally, if Bradley wins this thing, he might just be the PGA Tour Player of the Year, which means that Luke Donald would get completely screwed out of that award after the PGA Tour decided to include this tournament last minute. It wouldn't be fair to Donald at all, but at least Keegan would get something for his 2011 troubles (you know, besides the $3 million and five-year PGA Tour exemption).

I'm glad to see Bradley playing well again. I hope he wins. That is all.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Presidents Cup Now Safe From Adding Kwame Brown as Captain's Pick

Yes, the news is true, Michael Jordan will not be at this year's Presidents Cup, due to ongoing labor disputes with the NBA.

That's the news, so I have to simply ask this; isn't it hilarious that Jordan decided not to be part of this team the ONE year the NBA ISN'T playing? Wouldn't it make more sense for him to ditch out when no teams are doing anything, and no contact with players is allowed, instead of doing so when there isn't any basketball?

PTI's Michael Wilbon said a few weeks back that he already had Christmas plans to do something that didn't involve the NBA because he was sure there wouldn't be any games during that time, and isn't this exactly the same approach for MJ? Make plans that don't include basketball when there isn't any basketball?!?!

Anyway, it's a sad day, and cigar sales in Australia are sure to take a hit, but that doesn't stop us from posting the strangest bro-hug in sports history from the 2010 Ryder Cup; Jordan and Thomas Bjorn! Who would have thunk it?!

(Also, worth noting, I was confused by his addition nearly a year ago. One year is a cute idea, every year seems overkill.)

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Being a Pro Golfer Can Be Different

Like when you have to go to China and do things like this. And while it might seem strange to some of us, it's probably really cool to be able to engulf yourself in a completely different culture and get opportunities like Francesco Molinari, Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Keegan Bradley had before the HSBC Champions kicks off.

Sadly, the above photo will never beat this one from 2010 of Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. That is what they call a classic.

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A Day Out at Ping Golf

On Monday, I was given the chance to head out to Ping Golf Headquarters out here in Phoenix to check out the entire facility.

Initial thought? Awesome. Thought after 24 hours of sleeping on the trip? Double awesome. The place gets it, and it's producing some incredible equipment that proves that. Walking through the factory and learning about the history of the place was just as great as getting a chance to hit all the new equipment and find out some of the great things they're working on (one I can't talk about will literally shock the golf world when it hits and I'm really excited for the feedback when it happens).

I got a good chance to tour the whole place, and have some photos of both the tour and some of me testing out the equipment. I never thought going to a factory would be better than playing at a Scottsdale golf course, but hey, even I'm wrong from time to time. Hit the jump to see my trip in photo form.