Monday, February 28, 2011

Things More Likely To Happen Than Elin Nordegren Being on "Dancing With The Stars"

Here is a list of things more likely to happen than the rumors that Elin Nordegren might be on "Dancing With The Stars" next season.

-- Phil Mickelson lands on the cover of "Mens Fitness."
-- Mila Kunis friend requests me on Facebook.
-- I make a hole-in-one.
-- I finish a conversation on my AT&T-induced Blackberry without it dropping the call at least once.
-- A movie about MySpace is nominated for Best Picture in 2012.
-- I get a text from a friend saying "You have to watch Jay Leno last night ... he was hilarious!"
-- Glenn Beck and Jon Stewart are photographed having coffee together.
-- Bubba Watson spells "you're welcome" correctly.
-- This site wins an award for anything.
-- Stewart Cink lands an endorsement deal with Axe Hair Gel.
-- Charlie Sheen gets invited to the Vatican.
-- Tiger Woods wins a golf tournament.

Yep, that should do it.

Outside the Lines

This summer, I was interviewed by ESPN for an Outside the Lines piece on Erica Blasberg. Here is the video that aired on Sunday.

(Btw ... just watched this ... I do not like what they did to Irene in this, and it's bullshit. Just for my personal experience, Irene did more for Erica than anyone in her life ever has, so yeah, that was lame. I don't like it. A bad job of journalism by OTL.)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Accenture Finals Pick: Luke Donald

I know it's last minute, but I wanted to get it out there before this thing kicked off. On Saturday, on my own dime, I picked Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar to advance out of the quarterfinals, which both won with the impressive Watson comeback, but didn't have time to make semifinal picks (I would have gone Donald, Watson, so I would have been 1-1).

Anyway, I like Luke here in the finals. He's playing well, he hasn't had to deal with the number one talk all day and night, and he is flying under the radar, if that's at all possible for a guy that has played the fewest matches ever to reach the finals.

So, yes, Donald. Boom. It's the only time in my life I'd pick a guy wearing a visor.

Getty Images

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Do We Like That Thing Around Martin Kaymer's Neck?

I've heard that thing wrapped around Martin Kaymer's neck called a few things in the last hour; a scarf, a snood, a shemagh and an ascot. I don't know what any of those mean, but I do know that it has grown on me in the last hour.

So, your thoughts? Yes? No? Okay? Ehh? Hottie?

Why The Asterisk?

Anyone got an idea? Is there normally an amateur in the field?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Jason Day Is Quickly Becoming My Favorite Golfer

There are too many eggshells in golf. Rory McIlroy makes a point about a power shift and people freak out. Tiger Woods drops a f-bomb and the world explodes. John Daly is, well, John Daly.

But the way Jason Day is going about his work at the Accenture Match Play is exactly what the golf world could use more of; a little gamesmanship that isn't just chuckles and high fives. Phil Mickelson smiling at Rickie Fowler after another putt drops is fine, but don't we want a little villainous qualities in some of our players? Wasn't that why Ian Poulter was so great in the '08 Ryder Cup? Because we wanted to hate the guy so much?

Day toyed with Paul Casey on Thursday, and it was fantastic, highlighted by a short putt Day made Casey putt out, that caused some stares from the Englishman.

"He looked really angry at me, too. It was only about a foot and a half. So he missed a -- obviously I three-putted that hole. He had a four foot, four or five foot putt and he missed it low side. And it's not that I -- he was going to miss. I knew he was going to hole it. But it's not about that hole, it's about the future holes coming on. So if I can make him a little angry, if I can, you know, get him out of his game plan and force him to make silly decisions out there, you know, that's obviously part of the mind games that you play. Obviously match play is a different format to stroke play. At the end of the day, you're all mates and stuff. But when you're playing against the guy across from you, you want to try to beat him as quick as possible," Day said.

This comes a day after Day admitted to walking slowly in front of his first round opponent, Kyung-Tae Kim, to kinda get him out of his rhythm. You can hate the tactics, but I love them. Make the other guys think a little more than they're used to, and play some games with them.

It's worked for Day so far, and with J.B. Holmes up next, I'm sure Day has worked out something to get under his skin. May I suggest playing really, reeeeally slow?

Getty Images

The Reports of Golf's Death Were Greatly Exaggerated

Hem and haw all you want about the format this week at the Accenture Match Play (I for one wish there was more of it), but this tournament is great, and how it has shaken out this week might even better.

Tiger? Don't need him. Phil? He's old news. Jim? Steve? Ernie? Lee? No, no, no and nope. This tournament is about something completely different. This looks to be the annual coming out party for the youth, and 2011 is no different.

A year ago, Ryo Ishikawa was the young stud making waves in this event, finishing in the top-10 for the first time in his short PGA Tour career. He showed up with a personalized headcover, face on his own golf ball, and a slew of media members from another country. It was impressive, and as a teenager, he showed us what golf could become.

Now we have another wave. American Rickie Fowler absolutely thumped a friend of his in Phil Mickelson on Thursday, a passing of the torch of shorts for American golf. Mickelson actually commented after the round completed that he feels American golf is in good hands with guys like Rickie, and I'd have to agree. He is flamboyant in a quiet way (I know, weird to think), and lets his game (and clothes) do the talking.

And how can we forget about the 17-year-old Italian? Probably the best story so far this week, Matteo Manassero has played like a veteran, securing both match wins over Steve Stricker and Charl Schwartzel with birdies on the 17th hole. He doesn't look 17, and neither does his game, and I just feel his stock is something we should all be investing in.

But don't forget about guys like Nick Watney. He's taken out Anthony Kim and Lee Westwood so far this week, not exactly a couple of slums in this tournament. He is still yet to turn 30, and just seems to hit every iron shot close.

But the list continues. Bubba Watson is still around. So is J.B. Holmes. Geoff Ogilvy and Jason Day look sharp. It's just a host of players that should get people excited about the next three days. I know I am.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Three Third Round Accenture Bets I Love

On Tuesday I brought you five bets I loved in the first round of the Accenture Match Play. I went 4-1 on the five, and if you would have bet each match to win $100, you'd be up $410 right now (thanks, Bjorn!). The second round was better, with me going 5-0. Now I give you my favorites from the third day in Marana.

2011 Accenture record -- 9-1

Graeme McDowell (-175) over Y.E. Yang -- Both are playing extremely solid golf, but McDowell looks like he's on a mission, and I feel like he might now have a chip on his shoulder after all his Euro buddies got ousted on Thursday. McDowell looks like he's going to make it to the finals, right? Gotta ride that broom.

Matt Kuchar (+100) over Rickie Fowler -- Ryo Ishikawa taught us last year not to ride the hot youngster for too long, and I feel like Fowler is that guy this year. Kuchar is just haaanging around, and he's obviously been Mr. Consistent over the last year and a half. Sure Fowler can handle a fellow gunslinger like Mickelson. How will he do with a guy that hits every fairway and every green?

Geoff Ogilvy (-140) over Bubba Watson -- Alright Lefty, that's enough. Whisper Rock versus Estancia, and I feel like Whisper Rock is the winner every time.

Alright, what do you like, what do you hate, and are you riding my streak so far?

Pink Might Be The New Sunday Red

On Thursday in Marana, two players sported a different shade of pink, and they combined to win their two matches 9-up.

Those were Rickie Fowler and Luke Donald. But, it raises the question, who wore it better? Give me your thoughts in the comments.

I Mean, Come On Golf Channel

On Thursday, a lot of golf fans were PUMPED for the start of the second round of the Accenture Match Play. Sure, Tiger Woods and Ian Poulter were bounced, along with Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker, but the Thursday match-ups were really interesting.

We had Phil Mickelson going out at 10:40 AM local time against Rickie Fowler. Bubba Watson was teeing it up against two-time winner this season, Mark Wilson. Rory McIlroy was wiping the floor with Ben Crane. The round was going to be great!

But when you flip over to The Golf Channel, no live golf was happening. Nope, golf didn't start until 2 PM ET, just around the time the opening match of the day made it to the 12th hole. 12! What in the hell?!

Instead, The Golf Channel showed a re-run of their morning show, The Morning Drive, and then some lead-in show called Golf Central Pregame, where they sit and TALK ABOUT THE MATCHES THEY AREN'T SHOWING!

Listen Golf Channel, I know you guys have a ton of flaws, and I also know you guys do some good occasionally, but come on, what's the deal? Is it the announcers? Scared they'll be on air too long? That's fine, give us the first hour without them. I'd actually enjoy that.

You have a unique opportunity here to be good at what you do. This isn't it. It's rather embarrassing, really.

Good news though -- at least they didn't upset anyone on Wednesday.

Well Played, Ian Poulter

As you know, Ian Poulter was bounced in the first round on Wednesday at the Accenture Match Play. That sucks for Ian. What doesn't is his amusing tweets of the past 24 hours. Here are some of the highlights.

The first is a joke at The Golf Channel's THIN coverage of Lee Westwood on Wednesday. Teeing off around the same time as Tiger Woods, The Golf Channel showed about three shots of the guy all day, and he was in a tight match for most of the day.

The second is just brilliant. A Tiger-Poulter match that has nothing to do with the Accenture? The Golf Channel just had to clean up the slobber from their collective chins.

So, well played Mr. Poulter. At least you can enjoy the humor in losing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Five Second Round Accenture Bets I Love

On Tuesday I brought you five bets I loved in the first round of the Accenture Match Play. I went 4-1 on the five, and if you would have bet each match to win $100, you'd be up $410 right now (thanks, Bjorn!).

Here are the five bets I love for the second round.

2011 Accenture record -- 4-1

Nick Watney (-120) over Lee Westwood -- Sure, the top golfer in the world beat Henrik Stenson, but he made five bogeys in 16 holes doing it, not exactly the greatest of first round showings. Maybe it one of those dirty wins that every champion has in this event, but I think Watney is continuing to gain confidence, and like him here to upset.

Geoff Ogilvy (-220) over Thomas Bjorn -- It's a lot to lay, but you can't expect Bjorn to upset two huge names in a row in two days. Also, Ogilvy just had a pretty easy trip against Padraig Harrington, and seems to love this match play format. Lay the odds and pick up your money.

Bubba Watson (-135) over Mark Wilson -- Hey, they finally got Mark "Mike" Wilson's name correctly, just in time for him to finally go away. I'm betting against this guy until he loses. He didn't necessarily play great golf at the end on Wednesday against Dustin Johnson, it just seemed he hung around. Fatigue finally has to catch up with this guy, and I see it happening here with Bubba. Would you want to go up against the two longest hitters on the PGA Tour two days in a row?

Hunter Mahan (-125) over Robert Karlsson -- I just feel that Mahan is a confidence-type, and his confidence is really high right now. I like him going deep in this event, and

Matteo Manassero (+125) over Charl Schwartzel -- It just seems the 17-year-old is playing some great golf right now, and I didn't love how Charl played at the end against Ryo on Wednesday. It seems he got more lucky than anything.

Okay, give me your favorite on Thursday.

Ian Poulter Is Done Modeling in Marana

Ian Poulter won the Accenture Match Play in 2010, the biggest win of his year by far, and arguably the biggest win of his career. He seems like the exact type to love this event; gritty, a little bit of a jerk and a solid ball-striker that can get around desert golf course without too many thorns in his trousers.

But that was then, and this is owe. Poulter got beat by Stewart Cink in extra holes on Wednesday, departing exactly four days before he did last year. The above photo was from this week, with what appears to be Poulter modeling his outfits in Arizona. I have no idea what is really going on, but I'm assuming he won't be around to model anymore.

It's a shame, too, because I picked the guy to win the whole thing! Thanks a lot, Poults.

Getty Images

Bubba Watson and Bill Haas Ate Breakfast Together ... Before They Tried To Beat the Other

Now listen, I'm all for good sportsmanship. I try to pick up guys off the ground during basketball, even if they aren't on my team. I will give putts to friends early in matches even if we are playing for a decent amount of money. But breakfast with your opponent of the day? Come on guys, not even Jesus would do that!

Bill Haas and Bubba Watson apparently had breakfast together Wednesday morning before going out and trying to beat the other's brains out, which to me is just a little bit ... ehh. I mean, shake hands, be friends, do whatever ... but eating and chatting and being friendly? What do you do when Haas has a two-footer on the 17th hole to extend the match? All of a sudden turn into jerk mode?

So, yes, they ate breakfast. It was chummy. Watson prolly got the scramble. Not my favorite story from my man Bubba.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Alexis Thompson Beat a Whole Bunch of Dudes

There are a few female golfers that will force you to stop walking and stare at them as they hit range balls. Michelle Wie swinging a driver is one of them. Natalie Gulbis, for other reasons, is another. And then there is Alexis Thompson, swinging a long iron. I caddied for a friend at an event in Arkansas, and as a celebrity was being interviewed on one side of the range, I was standing in the middle, watching Thompson pulverize iron after iron deep down the range.

She has the game to be a big star, and that was shown again this week, when the 16-year-old beat a bunch of guys in a mini tour event in Florida. Thompson shot a 68, good enough to get her in a playoff against a gentleman named Brett Bergeron, who went ahead and three-putted the first playoff hole to lose to Thompson.

Total number of dudes beat? 76. Ouch.

Listen, I know these girls are good, or whatever the slogan is, but there is a demoralizing characteristic in every man when he gets smoked by a chick. That's just how we work. I remember in college, deciding, because I'm obviously not smart, to play tennis against a girl that was on the USC tennis team. It ended about as well as you'd expect. Hey, at least she was cute.

Getty Images

Five First Round Accenture Bets I Love

If you're a golfer, you most likely gamble (I'm even looking at you, Froelich), and so I'd assume that if you saw a salty bet during match play week, you might jump on it. Here are five I love for the first round, and I will continue to give good ones for the week as the matches go on.

Enjoy, bet 'em, and don't get mad at me when you lose all your money. (Also, here is the bracket in case someone needed it.)

Nick Watney (-145) over Anthony Kim -- Kim played well at the Farmers Insurance, but that was three weeks ago, and since then, he's had a missed cut and a WD. Also, as we've seen this year, Watney can reel off more birdies than anyone in the field.

Charl Schwartzel (-180) over Ryo Ishikawa -- Another favorite, yes, but Ishikawa sure doesn't look like he will replicate his good play in the desert from 2010. He opened with 79 last week at Riviera before calmly withdrawing.

Young-Eun Yang (+155) over Alvaro Quiros -- In the last week, Quiros has A.) toughed out a win against one of the best European Tour fields of the year B.) Celebrated C.) Then flew to Arizona for this crazy tournament. People that win tend to hit walls, so call this one an early hunch. Do I think Quiros could win the match? Sure, and if he does, maybe he has a great week, but he could also get smoked by Yang, and I like that number.

Thomas Bjorn (+210) over Tiger Woods -- Do me a favor for a second - cover up the name "Tiger Woods" and replace it with any other golfer that hasn't won in over a year, and tell me if they'd be getting these kind of odds? Of course not, and who is to say the GOOD Tiger shows up in Marana.

Dustin Johnson (-155) over Mark Wilson -- This will be Wilson's sixth straight week on tour, and after his win in Phoenix, he hasn't broken 70. Gotta love the long-hitting Johnson here.

Okay, give me some of your picks!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Jake Minard, I Hate You!

I'm sure that when you check this page, and see a story about someone I know making an ace, you get annoyed. I don't blame you. It's a joke I've beat to death years ago, but that won't stop me from continuing this tradition until I myself have an ace under my belt.

I play golf at least once a week, and have been for the past 15 or so years. I spent time on mini tours. I played high school golf. I'm not perfect with math, but after doing some rough addition, I've concluded I've played somewhere near 4.87 million rounds of golf in the last decade. And no ace to show for it! Damn you golf! Damn you to hell!

But, alas, my friend Jake Minard goes and one-ups me on Sunday. I, happily enough, wasn't around that jerk when he did it. He was playing with some friends of mine (names withheld because of potential lawsuits), and that sucker hit it exactly on times at the Adobe Course at the Biltmore. It was 140 yards, Minard hit a 8-iron, and they said they didn't know it was in until they got up to the green.

Of course they didn't know it was in. Why would they? It's way more fun to just walk up to a green and see your ball in the hole. I'm surprised they didn't have it on camera so they could send me the footage.

So, to repeat ... in the last two months, I've been in two groups with friends that made aces, and had another buddy smoke one. What are the chances three friends card an uno in three months? Like 400 to 1 (again, not great at math)?

A Quick Guide to the Accenture Match Play (And Tucson in General)

I did something like this for the Waste Management, and since I spent four years of my life enjoying the beautiful Tucson air, I figured one would be appropriate for this week as well. So, without further ado, I present you, a guide to Tucson, and the Match Play ...

Where Should You Eat?

Well, the tournament is north of Tucson, but if you're looking for solid spots, you'll have to venture away from Marana.

Lil Abner's Steakhouse -- Probably the closest place to the golf course of any on the list, and the one with the most character, this steakhouse offers outdoor seating, a live band (that'll make even the lamest click their heels) and a menu that'll leave you satisfied (and stuffed). I ate my graduation dinner at this place, and still to this day get the request from my dad to drive the hour or so down from Phoenix to try it out once again. Plenty of room for big groups if you're into that sort of thing.

Cafe Poca Cosa -- It's mexican food like you've never had before, the freshest un-tex mex this side of Nogales. Swing by, have a margarita, and enjoy the menu that changes twice daily. Order the Plata Poca Cosa, which is picked by the chef and different for every guest.

East Coast Subs -- Unlike the first two, this is the type of place you can show up wearing sweatpants and a Wildcats hat, plop down in front of some of the TVs and enjoy the atmosphere all the way from Philly. Get the Jimmy McKenna, toss some hot peppers on that, and wipe your fingers on your shirt when done.

Where Should You Golf?

Tubac Golf Resort -- A hefty drive down south to Green Valley, a trip to Tubac is worth it for anyone that enjoys a fun golf course and has seen the movie "Tin Cup."

Forty Niner Golf Course -- A cheaper alternative to some of the high end golf in Tucson, Forty Niner gives you some great views of the Catalinas on a golf course that is both fun and testing. This is the golf course my friends and I would hit up in college because it was affordable and enjoyable.

Vistoso -- The best in Tucson, hands down. Don't believe the hype to some of those other courses, Vistoso is where it's at. Do it. Do it now.

Where Should You Go Out?

This is all contingent on where you're staying and what you want to do, but here are some options.

Dirtbags -- If you've ever been to Tucson, you know about this place, but the crowd will be young and vibrant. Enjoy it if you want, but understand that there will be more people with Greek symbols on their shirt than Lacoste alligators.

Championship Dining -- A nicer alternative to Dirtbags, this place has great televisions and fairly solid bar food. I wouldn't say it's my number one place to eat in the town, but the drinks are fun and the viewing will be extraordinary. If you want to really enjoy your night, order a trashcan.

Hotel Congress -- An older crowd with more character, Hotel Congress is downtown Tucson and most likely will have some act on either Friday or Saturday.

Alright, enjoy your trip to Tucson. As always, contact me if you have any questions about the trip or the city and have some fun.

Getty Images

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Three-Putting Will Now Be Called 'Pulling a Coles'

So, that's not how you're supposed to do that? Robert Coles is a 38-year-old journeyman professional golfer who has never won a PGA Tour or European Tour event. Since he turned pro in 1994, he has been able to sneak away with three Challenge Tour wins (Nationwide Tour across the pond), but nothing more than that.

Then came Sunday at the Avantha Masters. It was his chance! He was going to finally do this! Career, meet being made.

All Coles needed was a birdie on the short closing par-5 to do so, and after a big drive, it seemed like destiny would take over. His second shot couldn't find the putting surface, and that is when the lug nuts started to unscrew. Coles bladed his chip shot past the hole about 20 feet, but it was still a makable birdie putt for the win. That, however, would be the last time the words "win" were associated with Coles' Sunday in New Delhi. The birdie putt ran by the hole eight feet, he couldn't sneak that one in for a playoff, and four shots from around the green later, Coles would remain winless.

The only real thing to say about all that? Golf is mean. Mean mean mean mean mean. This guy has been waiting his entire life for a chance like this, and after a great swing with his driver, it appeared four would be the highest he walked away with. But then the golf gods took over, he made six, and the flight home was probably agonizing.

Anyone looking for a tennis doubles partner?

Getty Images

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thongchai Jaidee Goes Crazy, Makes Bogey

We've all seem tantrums on the golf course, but it doesn't seem to happen much in professional golf. These are supposed to be the calm ones, and despite the occasionally putter break over the head, or the bunker beat-up by Sergio Garcia, pros are normally the calm ones.

Not the case in the below video (via Aussie Golfer) of Thongchai Jaidee, who was playing in the Avantha Masters. Apparently, Jaidee hit a tee shot that landed behind a telephone pole of sorts. After Jaidee monitored his situation, he calmly asked for a free drop, but was denied. Infuriated, Jaidee started hitting golf shots off the pole in protest, and one nearly clonked him in the face.

After all this, as Jaidee approached the green, someone told him that the local rules say if you hit the pole off the tee, you must go back and re-tee, no penalty. He walked back, hit his tee shot, carded a bogey, and then reeled off four birdies in a row. Calmly.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why the Hate For Bethpage Black?

The latest murmuring from the PGA Tour is that the Barclays, an event that is part of the always exciting, and never criticized FedEx Cup playoffs (It's playoffs! In Golf!), could land Bethpage Black as their host golf course as early as 2012. The problem is, some PGA Tour officials and such aren't so keen to the idea of always stopping at Bethpage, which makes little sense to me.

The two U.S. Opens hosted at the public course in New York went swimmingly, with Tiger Woods battling Sergio Garcia, among others, in 2002, and Lucas Glover outlasting Phil Mickelson and David Duval in the other, which was one of the most exciting Opens in recent memory.

But the PGA Tour seems to look at the Black like Camilo Villegas must look at a quarter pounder with cheese, highlighted by this quote from Mike Davis of the USGA.

Mike Davis, the senior director of rules and competition for the USGA, said he was not aware of a deal for The Barclays to go to Bethpage Black. But he said it would be at least a decade before the U.S. Open returned to the public course.

"I've only heard rumors about it," Davis said about a deal with Barclays and the Black. "I do know the Bethpage people have been looking at other events they could do. It's fair to say that at least what we have named to date (for the U.S. Open), and what we will name in the very near future, won't be Bethpage."

Umm, again, why? It's a fun golf course that is public, and brings in some colorful fans that seem to enjoy watching the top pros compete for a major championship. If the tour could be at Bethpage every year, how is this bad?

I guess I'll never be in charge of the USGA or PGA Tour, but it seems Bethpage Black is exactly what you'd want in a golf course and a fan base. It's different, it's edgy, and it's incredible.

But, by all means, if we can get a few more country clubs in the mix, that would surely be better.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy's Agent Dogs the Players Championship

Listen, I've never been a HUGE fan of the Players Championship. I remember when David Duval won it back when he was the best golfer in the world, and I remember when Tiger Woods made that really long putt on the 17th that was pretty cool, but for the most part, the tournament is overhyped, and the list of winners isn't that dazzling (sorry Stephen Ames and Craig Perks).

So, basically, I agree with Andrew "Chubby" Chandler, the manager for Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood. Only the second most famous "Chubs" in the game of golf ("hooked my ball down by the rough, and an alligator jumped up, and bite my handddd off"), the man speaks the truth by calling it a missable golf tournament.

Here he is speaking to CNN.

The Other Side of Golf Success Stories

You hear a lot about PGA Tour golfers that made it to the big show on their last breath. Kenny Perry is one of them. Charley Hoffman is another. These were guys that made it happen with one last attempt before going onto something else, and now look at them, happy as can be with their millions and sponsors and smiles. But what about the other side?

This week I met up with a friend of mine that I haven't seen in a few years. He's a brilliant player, the type that can make 68 look almost too easy, and a golfer I never thought would give up his attempt at golf for a living, but he has. He told he me hasn't picked up a club but once in the last two months, and that he's been interviewing with other jobs in hopes of finding something steady. Mini tour paychecks can only pay so many bills, ya know?

But I asked my buddy, who played golf at Utah and qualified for a Nationwide Tour event as a college kid, about the other "can't miss" guys we used to kick it around with on mini tours. "How is this guy doing?" "What about that guy?"

None of them are playing anymore. One, an Ohio State graduate who never missed a fairway in the many practice rounds I spent with him, is doing what a lot of golfers do when the bug finally stops bitting - he's dilly-dallying in the insurance business, attempting to make a buck for his wife and kid.

The other, a kid from Arkansas that might weigh 150 pounds soaking wet, but shot 68 EVERY SINGLE TIME I played with him, is a yoga instructor, and wants to move his practice back to his home state in hopes that the rednecks will bite on the idea of stretching for exercise.

It's insane what life throws at you. The idea of being a pro golfer is so wonderful, it's so close, that you never think the dream will die. You spend your junior days traveling the circuits with other kids that are lucky enough to compete on things like the AJGA and IJGT. If you're lucky, you get to keep competing in college, and in amateur events at exclusive golf courses that love young studs heading their way.

Then you leave college, and you turn pro, and you grind it out with all different aged guys. You see veterans of certain mini tours that have played for 20 years without making it. You tee it up with 18-year-old kids from Asia that have flown over here for experience, in hopes of making Ryo Ishikawa look like just another kid. The dream is there, and it's fresh, and it's fun.

But a lot of people soon realize that it isn't that easy, and it sure isn't that much fun (especially when you're missing cuts). Life becomes real, and you have things like rent, and credit card bills, and cell phone payments to think about. Now, the university isn't footing your dinner habits, and nobody cares about the 70 you just shot, because the leader is is seven shots south of you and not looking back.

There lies the truth of golf, as evil as it is. Names like Ty Tryon and Casey Wittenberg, people I would have bet my first Scotty Cameron putter on would make it, might never win a PGA Tour event. Hell, they might never make another cut, as crazy as that sounds.

It's life, and golf is just another job at the end of the day. Some win, some lose, and some go to selling insurance, still waking up in the middle of the night with that dream of standing on the 18th green at Augusta National with a putt to beat some legend that your subconscious felt like toying with that night.

The dream doesn't die, but the love can fade. Golf is the evilest of mistresses at times, and hearing stories like this reminds me of that.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

PGA Tour To Allow Cell Phones ... Again ... For the Third Time?

The PGA Tour announced on Tuesday that cell phones will now be allowed at all PGA Tour events, which makes a difference to about 2 percent of the population that wasn't already bringing them in to golf tournaments without any trouble over the last year.

Honestly, this wasn't already legal? At the Waste Management, I saw more people on their phones than I did cheering for birdies (but, still, more passed out people than both of those first groups, combined). I actually had a guy approach me at the Waste Management who was, dare we say, crawling towards a free pass to the drunk tank, who asked me to use my phone for an emergency call, only to chat for five minutes with his lost girlfriend.

I saw people chatting while cops and security walked by, saying as much as they would have if you were sneezing in front of them.

So, yeah, cell phones are now okay at PGA Tour events, even though you already were bringing them in to begin with. Rejoice! Rejoice!

(Side note: If you have AT&T, just don't bother taking it to any PGA Tour event. You won't get service anyway, so you might as well try texting your friends through your car keys.)

And Here Are a Bunch of Other Golfers Spitting

Just so we can all understand how little a deal this Tiger Woods spitting thing is (he did get fined, so I guess someone cared), here are photos of other professional golfers spitting, and these are just the ones I found.

Jason Dufner just a week ago at the Waste Management Open (Via White Seated via Devil Ball).

Jason Dufner's Spit Take from whileseated on Vimeo.

Dudley Hart at the BMW Championship in 2008

Huey Lewis at the Bob Hope in 2008

Sergio Garcia with the infamous "spit in the cup" (which I do think is disgusting because others have to snag their ball out of his spit)

Monday, February 14, 2011

What Better Way to Celebrate Valentines Day Than With Player-Caddie Pictures?

True love comes and goes, but the relationship you have with a caddie? That's forever. You trust this person, you go through ups and downs with this person, and you have to spend a TON of time with this person. It's truly one of the most unique relationships in all of sports, so on a day like Valentines Day, why not bring you some of the best pictures of caddies and players hugging from years past. All of these photos are courtesy of the great Getty Images, and see how many moments you can name in the comments.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Many (Many, Many) Faces of Bill Murray

You've read my thoughts on the amateur sides of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am (more with the television coverage than anything), but Bill Murray winning on Sunday sure seemed fitting. If nothing else, it gave every old, white man a chance to quote "Caddyshack" a million times over, and trust me, they did it. So, here are some photos of Murray at Pebble, courtesy of the great Getty Images. They're good. You'll enjoy them.