Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tiger Woods is a Good Businessman, Horrible Tweeter

We all know Tiger Woods loves the dollar bills. Before EscaladeGate, Tiger was endorsed by nearly as many things as popular Nascar drivers. But when the sponsors dropped, Mr. Woods needed to find different ways to fund his fun. That's why he came out with an iTunes app that will analysis your golf swing. I wrote my thoughts on paying $10 for an app that basically tries to make you swing like Tiger Woods and not yourself, but lookie there, TIGER USES THE APP TO PREPARE!!

That's what his latest tweet said. Tiger, foregoing the usual video taping with coach Sean Foley and looking at it during the course of 18 holes, is just yanking out his iPhone and trying to emulate himself!! BRILLIANT!

I'm going to come out with an app soon called "Ask Shane Bacon a Question" and what it will do is ask me a question. And then I can use it. To ask myself stuff. It seems almost too good to be true! I have so many questions already lined up to ask myself! Do you think $40 is too much for that app?

Good Idea of the Day: Rob House, Flee to Most Famous Place in Town

It might surprise you after looking at my mischievous profile picture to the right (I'm sneaky!), but I've never robbed a house before. Nope, never did it. Sadly, it has never crossed my mind to go into someone's home with a shotgun and steal things.

But here is something I do know ... if I decided one day to bust into a home at night and try to collect whatever belongings that poor sap had, the last thing I'd do was flee to the most famous, and most guarded, place in town. You don't go robbing people in Paris and then head to the Louvre to hide out. This isn't the Da Vinci Code.

Sadly, two men in Augusta, Georgia didn't get that memo, and after robbing a house with a shotgun, the gentlemen headed to Augusta National Golf Club to flee the cops. Spoiler Alert: They got caught!

Turner said a deputy spotted men fleeing in the area and chased them toward the Augusta National, where two of the suspects climbed a fence and entered the course. Security staff at the golf course joined the chase but the suspects were not apprehended.

Deputies say they later arrested Justice Ellison, 26, of the 1900 block of Central Avenue, at his home, charging him with burglary, armed robbery and possession of a firearm.

I've heard stories of people being shot at for entering the Augusta National grounds, and doing so the week before their shining moment of the year probably isn't going to bode well. Anyway, the guys got caught, and if you want to take a look at that mugshot, I'm assuming robbing homes won't be something they plan on doing anytime soon. Ouch.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ryo Ishikawa is Kind, Will Donate All 2011 Earnings to Japan Victims

We've known for years that teenage phenom Ryo Ishikawa was incredible at golf, but nobody really knew his level of charity. That was until Wednesday, when Ishikawa announced he will be donating all of his 2011 earnings to the victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami that devastated his home country of Japan.

Ishikawa said he did this because of all the reasons you'd expect, but also said the motivation of playing well for other people will help him focus in events and hopefully play better, a reason that makes almost too much sense to me.

Everyone needs to understand something for a second -- this kid is 19. 19! Do you remember how much you cared about ANYTHING when you were 19? It was high school, college, and which fraternity was going to let you in their house. Ishikawa has been winning tournaments since he was a fetus, but to do something like this is downright incredible.

He doesn't have to do this. He could donate $100,000 and people would call him a saint. Others have donated generously and we have rightfully patted them on the back. But to give all of your earnings for an entire season, especially when you seem to be finding your game? That's stud-like.

Well played, Ryo. I hope you win the darn Masters.

(Also, since we are talking about charity, here is a link if you feel frisky enough to donate to the Red Cross' relief efforts in Japan. Do it, and have a better Wednesday.

Getty Images

Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell Get in Trouble for Being Awesome

On Tuesday, I had a conversation with one of my buddies at one of the bigger golf companies about the recent Golf Digest rankings. We were cracking up that Augusta National was number one. "Of course it's number one, it's Augusta National," we were saying, and then just murmuring about how stupid those course rankings really are. Oh thanks golf magazine for ranking the best golf course none of us will ever be allowed to play. Also, can you rank hottest actresses and coolest billionaire friends?

But it's nice to get a glimpse of some of these golf courses at times. I got chills when I drove by the entrance to Cypress Point during my time at Pebble Beach. Anytime I've ever driven through the CITY of Augusta National I get goosebumps, just because I know somewhere buried off I-20 is a golf course that has more history and prestige than most presidents.

But the one thing about Augusta is they don't want us mere mortals to know anything about it. I've heard stories from people that have worked at the club that would have the higher ups at Augusta rolling in their green jackets. Stuff that is extremely hush-hush, and I had to vow never to repeat online.

It appears Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter aren't too worried about the Rules of Augusta though. On Tuesday, the two top Europeans took a flight over to Augusta to play the course (Ed. Note: How sick is that? Flying over just to get a practice round in? And people argue with me that being a professional golfer isn't the best job in the world.), and McDowell and Poulter did what they do best; took to Twitter to post videos of the trip (Poulter's is above, McDowell's is right here).

It didn't take long for the wrist slaps to come. Steve Elling talked to Masters spokesman Steve Ethun who said, "Players are asked not to use their cellphones (anywhere) on property."

I mean, COME ON. You are putting your golf course on a video game these days. We have access we've never had before. Let the boys have some fun with their followers. Also, I can't find it now, but there was an old YouTube video of Fuzzy Zoeller driving up Magnolia Lane that I've watched a few times and it was WAY more intimate with Augusta than this will ever be. I haven't heard of his Champions Dinner invitation getting revoked.

You're Augusta, and we love you, but don't cut out all the fun. These are guys enjoying their fame and sharing it with the world. Let it be.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Padraig Harrington Really Has His Masters Week Planned Out

I must say, I'm not the best planner. Usually my day consists of waking up, trying to eat food, and making sure to open my computer. Simple enough, eh? So that means three-time major winner Padraig Harrington and I probably don't have a lot in common. This guy plans for everything!

This is best shown when he told Sky Sports what his pre-Masters plan is. On Wednesday night, Padraig said he's planning to go ........ SEE A MOVIE!!!!!

“The best thing to do is to go to the movies. If you do that then you have two hours of something completely brain dead where you can sit there and eat your popcorn and get away from it all.”

Not to knock on my man Padraig, but instead of planning to see a movie, maybe he should plan on working on his ball-striking. The guy is 152th on tour this year in driving accuracy and 137th in greens in regulation.

Also some bad news for Padraig -- I just went to Fandango to check out which movies are out right now, and literally can't find a single one I'd be interested in seeing. Diary of a Wimpy Kid? That's really a motion picture? I think I'd rather watch "The Tourist" again (Okay, fine, I wouldn't, that movie is worst than lupus.)

So, if you want to catch Padraig, I'd camp out at the local Augusta theatre on Wednesday night and look for the guy with his cap on a little too high. Who knows, he might buy you a popcorn.

Getty Images

Monday, March 28, 2011

Does Phil Mickelson Look Cool or Kinda Strange In This Picture?

I seriously can't figure it out. I first thought he looked a little snazzy, but I'm now starting to think the opposite. A girl friend of mine thinks his eyes look weird. I'd love to hear your thoughts, and then jump over to Parade and check out his really solid interview.

John Daly's Fourth Ex-Wife Is About To Become Really Popular in Golf Circles

Nobody likes a rat, right? Well, expect Sherrie Daly to become very unpopular among professional golfers, as her tell-all book "Teed Off" seems to focus on everything that is wrong with professional golfers behind the scenes.

Sherrie sat down with the New York Post for a must-read interview (trust me) if you ever want to feel better about yourself. In it, Sherrie chatted about the life of the pro golfer, and from what she says, it isn't just Tiger Woods that was having a little fun outside his master bedroom.

Some of the highlights ...

“Its not just Tiger. It’s John and others, believe me,” she tells The Post. “Professional golfers behave as dirty as any other professional athlete or rock star.”

“Golf sluts may dress in golf outfits, with those nerdy visors and argyle socks and sweater vests and pretend they’re interested in the game. But they’re just whores in preppy clothes."

“Little did I know that being a golf wife would mean fighting off strippers,” she writes. “Strippers swarm the course alongside the real golf fans, acting like they’re watching the game. Only they’re wearing slutty high heels made out of rubber, and they’re handing out to all of the players fliers for the strip clubs where they work. The grass is just littered with pieces of paper printed with pictures of those nasty strippers on them.” Golfers easily picked these women up on the sly, writing their numbers down on golf balls instead of autographing them. (Ed. Note: That's a brilliant move with the golf ball thing ... I'd love to know which pro came up with that one. Smart stuff.)

“I’d been told by many men in Memphis, including my banker, that there was a girl who’d give golfers [oral sex] when they got to the 16th hole at Southwind. Apparently, all they had to do was pay $300 when they got there, and shed take them into the bushes and she’d do it for them right there,” she writes.

Also, there is an interesting story, and I use the word "interesting" in a very "I really hope this isn't true, man, why is everyone in the world batshit crazy" kinda way, about Sherrie fighting two strippers while pregnant, only to have John force fruit cake down her mouth and then leave her on the side of the road as the bus drove off. I can't believe that relationship didn't last!

But seriously for a minute ... are there people that don't think professional golfers have the group that takes down a lot of females, hangs with strippers, and does blow occasionally? Of course it does! These are millionaire athletes that are famous and travel 50 weeks out of the year. I think it's more incredible to hear stories about guys that don't do this sort of stuff.

Anyway, go read the story. She's insane, and it's entertaining. Also, that is her in the photo above, dressing conservatively.

Baby or Augusta? Ross Fisher Must Decide

Maybe I'm the wrong guy to be writing this article, because I'd push my entire family down a flight of stairs that had a pool of lava at the end of it to get a chance to play 18 holes at Augusta National (sorry Bacon clan), but Ross Fisher is in an interesting predicament right now with the Masters.

Fisher's wife is due to have their second kid on April 12, meaning that any early exit by the little dude or dudette means he could be facing the exact same scenario that happened two years ago at the British Open, when Fisher said he'd walk off the course if his wife went into labor despite the fact that he was in contention. Now it's the Masters, and he's at it again.

“To be perfectly honest I don’t know what I’ll do if the baby comes early,” Fisher told Reuters in a telephone interview as he continued his preparations for this week’s Masters warm-up event, the Houston Open in Texas.

“I’ll just have to wait and see when the baby comes. I’ll have to cross that bridge if and when we come to it.”

Hey Ross, just an idea here, but maybe stop knocking the wife up nine months before major season. Why not go for it in March or April, so the baby comes out during tournaments when nobody cares about. This reminds me of one of my biggest pet peeves in the world; people that get married on big sports weekends. What in the hell is wrong with you people? Don't know you MY LOVE FOR SPORTS trumps your love for each other?! Geesh, be a little more selfish next time you jerks.

Anyway, I'm fairly certain Megan Fox and Brooklyn Decker could be prepping a bubble bath in my apartment and I'd leave the two in a heartbeat if it meant lugging my sticks around Amen Corner, so a baby coming isn't nearly a big enough deal to make me pass up Rae's Creek.

Getty Images

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Phil Mickelson Plans to Be Very Phil Mickelson-y in Houston

If there is one thing we all can agree on about Phil Mickelson, it's that he's unpredictable. One time at a U.S. Open he didn't put a driver in his bag. Then, just to make people continue to question his sanity, he brought two drivers out to combat wind. So when you read the quote Dave Shedloski files over at Golf Digest about what Phil said, you shouldn't be totally surprised.

Next week, Phil will play the Shell Houston Open, and although the golf course stretches to over 7,400 yards, Mickelson said a lot of the run-out areas are around the 300 yard mark. Seems like a perfect opportunity for Phil to work on managing his golf game, right? Wrong, sir. Very, very wrong.

"The problem for me there is there is so much water that pinches off the tee, and I'm just not going to hit 3-woods off the tee and play that course strategically the week before Augusta," Mickelson said. "And then when it gets windy and I'm trying to hit high balls for Augusta and it requires a low knock-down shot, it's not going to work.

Haha. Phil is so darn funny. "Hit three-woods instead of drivers? What are you, insane!"

The problem is (and this is a subject I chatted about with Jamie Watson on her radio show this Sunday), you can't totally count Phil out at Augusta. A year ago he went into this event with no momentum and won the whole thing, so maybe there is something special about the place that brings out the best in certain golfer's games.

That said, I can't wait to check Mickelson's driving numbers on Sunday of next week. Those can't be good.

Getty Images

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I'm Sorry, But This is Too Funny Not to Share

I know it isn't really the most journalistic thing in the world, but tell me you didn't chuckle at this, and I'll call you a liar.

via Daily

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tiger Woods Is Going to Win This Weekend

Yep, that's right, I said it ... Tiger Woods is going to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

It isn't really anything he's doing different. He has hit the ball consistent with his irons all week (67 percent greens in regulation in both rounds), and is putting well, but more than anything, it just feels like a Tiger week. Early on Friday, Woods went out and posted a 4-under 68 on a tough Bay Hill course. He jumped the leaderboard before most people on the west coast had breakfast, and can now sit back and watch people struggle.

He's placed himself in a position that he is used to, if only he can pull memories from the past that used to be second nature to him. And, he's due. Tiger needs to win a golf tournament for everyone, not just himself. He needs it for sponsors, for the PGA Tour, and for the fans, because as my dad said to me this morning, "Golf just isn't that much fun to watch without Tiger contending." Call that as homer as you want, but it's true. You love watching Tiger in the hunt, even if you hate the guy. That's why he's going to win.

And I hope he does. I really do. No, I'm not the biggest Tiger fan, and I get sick of talking about the guy (I've relegated to telling people I'm in accounting now instead of golf as to avoid having to speak of Woods when I'm not on my computer), but I'd love to see him win. It's the story that would lead "PTI" on Monday over anything that happens with basketball this weekend. It would be bigger than the NFL lockout, and it would get people chatting about this sport just as Augusta slaps us in the face.

So win, Tiger, and win by a lot. I think it would be a really good time to do it.

Getty Images

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ping Might Leave Phoenix Because I Got High, Because I Got High ...

I apologize for the dated Afroman reference, but news out of the Arizona Republic is that Ping, the company that has parked their business in the Valley of the Sun for the past 45 years might be yelling adios if something doesn't change with a medical marijuana facility built right down the road.

That's right, a medical marijuana station is headed for the Ping neighborhood, a place that already has two strip clubs, and the golf company is trying their hardest to get the pot shop closed. If not, they might not do the $170 million renovation they were planning, and could even head out of Phoenix entirely.

What does this mean? Well, it would cost the Phoenix community about 800 jobs, and the golf company that has been part of this area for as long as a lot of Phoenicians have been alive. The ASU golf course is even named Karsten, and moving away would be tough. It might also cost the company a big player. Bubba Watson lives in Scottsdale, and I'm assuming one of his favorite parts of being with Ping is that he can jump in the car and drive down the street to work with the fittings, new clubs, etc. If Ping left Watson behind, it might give the long-hitting lefty more of a reason to leave the company if something else came along.

No matter, Ping makes it very clear - no pot with your Ping!

h/t PGT

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Everyone In the World Makes Hole-In-Ones All the Time

It seems that headline is true, because at least once a week I get a story pointed my way about like 74 nuns making hole-in-ones all on their first time out and at this point I'm not even surprised anymore.

But this one is different, and ridiculous - three people made hole-in-ones on the same hole on the same day in Australia. Man, do I hate Australians today.

From Inside Golf via PGT ...

Dragan Milosevic was the first to achieve the feat, playing in the morning group. Marking a triumphant “1″ on the card, Dragan was, needless to say, extremely confident he had sewn up the “Nearest the Pin” prize for the day.

But two afternoon players, Lance Robinson and Lindsay Howard, quickly dashed Dragan’s hopes, as they each scored aces of their own on the hole, achieving every golfer’s dream and giving the club an unprecedented three aces in one day.

The hole in question is the 14th at Melbourne’s Eastwood Golf Club, and it plays a hefty 150 yards (play the back tees you dorks), but congrats and all that jazz to these three people that live on the coolest continent in the world and get to play golf while laying out with beautiful women all the time. I hope you three split a winning lottery ticket while you're at it.

(This kid isn't one of the ones in this story, but he's also a jerk for making an ace. What is he, 7? Nice shorts, now go back to looking at your framed ace plaque and listening to Miley.)

Tiger Woods iPhone App Costs $10, Makes Your Swing Like His (Yikes!)

You know the perfect time to come out with a mobile application for the iPhone and iPod Touch that helps compare the general public's golf swing to your own? When you are swinging as poorly as you've ever swung! Brilliant!

That's what Tiger Woods has done with his new "Tiger Woods: My Swing" app. It costs $9.99, and while I'm dogging the idea, I must mention, proceeds head towards his foundation.

Here are the details ...

The application will allow golfers to capture video of their swings to analyze and compare to Woods'. Woods serves as a virtual teacher. The app also includes personalized videos in which Woods answers questions.

Nonetheless, I think this is great! Next up for apps - Charlie Sheen's "How to live a normal life" app and the Rebecca Black "How to write a song that isn't annoying as hell" app. Count me in.

Getty Images

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bubba Watson Shows Why It's Easy to Love Bubba Watson

There is an old "Friends" episode where Phoebe debates the merits of charity. For the most part of 30 minutes, the zany blonde basically says it is impossible to do a selfless good deed, and that all good things come with a bonus, most of that is feeling good when the good deed ends. With that in mind, Bubba Watson must be feeling pretty darn good right now, because the way he handled donating to Japan is really top notch, and is one of those things that few athletes would ever really do.

It's what makes Bubba Watson Bubba Watson. Anybody that has ever spent a few minutes with him away from a microphone knows that he isn't like anyone else. He's goofy, he's quirky, but deep down he has an incredible heart. He volunteered to play in that Birdies for the Brave scramble because he loves the troops. He brought a camo bag that day, just nondescript enough to show everyone that he was there for them, not the other way around.

On Friday of the Transitions Championship, after having a conversation with Ryuji Imada about his idea of donating $1,000 per birdie, Watson calmly walked by a PGA Tour official and handed him a $50,000 check to help with Japan relief funds. No media, no ceremony, just a simple handoff to a guy that knew what to do with it.

I'm sure others golfers have donated money. I'm sure golfers donate money all the time, towards whatever is going on in the world or whatever organization could use it. I just think with moments like this, we have to sit back and give Bubba Watson a big thank you. And you know what he'd probably answer to that? "Your welcome." That's Bubba.

Getty Images

Really Smart People Keep Betting on Tiger Woods to Win Masters

News flash, folks; it isn't 2005. Nope, not even close. Back then I was a budding college kid, excited to hit the world running. Now I'm old and my haircut lady told me the other day I had a grey hair and my back hurts occasionally and I talk about serious issues way more than I probably want to (or should). Now, it's 2011, and Tiger Woods isn't a Masters favorite. He isn't even close. If you pick Tiger to win the Masters, you've either been hanging on an island with Wilson too long, or you watch very little golf.

But that isn't the case. Tiger is still the favorite in sports books at 7-to-1 despite the fact that he A.) hasn't won a PGA Tour event since September of 2009 and B.) hasn't won at Augusta National since '05.

This is according to Golf Digest's John Strege, who shows that Tiger is still a hot bet in Vegas.

"We're on pace to set another record for golf," Jeff Sherman, the assistant manager of the Race and Sports Book at the Las Vegas Hilton, said. Woods' return to competition in 2010, at the Masters, set a record for golf wagering at the Hilton. "Tiger's right up there with most tickets written compared with other players. But we had most of our money taken [when he was] at 4 or 5 to 1. At the same time, with his odds being higher, Nick Watney at 15 to 1, Dustin Johnson at 20 to 1, all these guys in the 15 to 20 to 1 range, a lot of people are taking a lot of chances on these guys.

Honestly, if you're betting on Tiger to win the Masters, just do me a favor and PayPal me the money. When Masters Sunday ends, I'll send you half of your money back, and you'll feel like a winner. I promise.

Getty Images

Sunday, March 20, 2011

So This Is Really Being Reported ... Tiger Dating 22-Year-Old

In "there is absolutely no way this is really true" news, the Daily News is reporting that Tiger Woods is dating some 22-year-old daughter of an IMG executive.

Her name is Alyse Lahti Johnston and that is her photo above. I really don't have much more to say on this issue except that if Tiger is really dating a 22-year-old, which has about as much a chance of being true as I do at winning the Masters this year, I know absolutely zero things about Tiger Woods and never will know anything about Tiger Woods.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Here Are a Bunch of Pro Golfers Wearing Green

See, we can be festive! It's a St. Pattys Day post, with Paddy leading the way! Also, we will go all US Weekly on you here ... who do you think wore it the best?

Getty Images

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Why Ex-Athletes That Want to Play Pro Events Should Focus on PGA Tour, Not Nationwide

In late April, former Major League Baseball pitcher John Smoltz will take up a sponsors invitation extended his way and tee it up at the South Georgia Classic, a Nationwide Tour event in Valdosta, Ga. He spoke about it on Wednesday, saying "I don't want to step on anyone's toes," and it was a nice gesture, especially considering the experience Jerry Rice had last year at the Tour Fresh Express Classic. I wrote last year that Rice should avoid this at all costs, because no matter how solid you are playing with your buds, this is a completely different beast, and being prepared for pro golf is completely different than any tournament anyone has ever played in before.

But it really isn't right for these guys to dabble in the Nationwide Tour. If pros want to play in a professional event, go do it at a place that makes you pay money up front. Be one of those guys. Or take a sponsors exemption from a PGA Tour event. But stop toying with the Nationwide Tour. These are guys that are almost there, and just need a little bit of a push to actually start making good money for the first time in their lives. They've dreamed day in and day out since they were fetuses that one day they'd make it on the PGA Tour for good, and taking a spot, even if the sponsor extended it to you, isn't a fair move.

Just for a second imagine this. You are a minor league baseball player, hoping that one day you'll be pitching under the bright lights of Turner Field. You work as hard as you can on your body, your arm, your pitches and your delivery. You stay after practices to work with pitching coaches. You try to build as much strength in your arm as possible. You study batters. You do everything you can to make it.

And spring training rolls around, and you get bumped from the lineup because Garth Brooks wants to take batting practice. Or Mark Wahlberg wants to toss a few pitches during a game. You're angry. That wasn't fair! You should be out there doing that, hoping that you could toss enough innings to get noticed by someone watching you.

That's the deal here. There are SO MANY GOOD GOLFERS that are a step away from a big break. A win on the Nationwide Tour and suddenly you're in the top-25. You can see the finish line. You could be Monday qualifying for a Nationwide event like Chris Nallen did in 2004 and then go out and win the damn thing. It could change your career.

I just think if guys want a shot at this that are doing it more for an "opportunity" than anything else, they should either be paying to have their fun on the Hooters or Gateway Tours, or they need to go somewhere where the money doesn't matter. The Nationwide Tour isn't the spot for Smoltz.

A 15-inch Golf Hole Was Used Last Week

This past October, The Golf Channel's own Visine contributor Charlie Rymer wrote a column about ways to make golf more enjoyable for the average hacker. One of the ideas? A 10-inch cup, which I went ahead and blasted. But little did I know that an editor of the biggest golf publication in the world would not only embrace this, but run with it, hosting an event last week called the W I D E Open Championship, making the holes 15-inches wide! That's like putting into a Prius tire!

The results were as you'd imagine ... golfers who have only seen the red side of par on Augusta scoreboards were posting in the 60s, mainly because the hole was 15-INCHES WIDE!

I just don't get this. Not at all. I understand that golf is really, really difficult. I understand that things can be done to make it a little simpler for people out to just enjoy it. I understand that multiple tee boxes are a brilliant move to make golf more fun and easier for everyone. I get that at times, I'm not nearly as understanding to some of my friends who want to play from the senior tees. I get it. But I don't get this. This isn't golf. This is some Silly Season version of the former, set out to give people a chance to "play golf" when they aren't really playing golf.

Your ability in golf is your ability. It sucks that you'll never be Dustin Johnson, or even Jason Gore, but embracing your ability and trying to tweak things to improve that is what makes this game absolutely beautiful. It sucks that you'll never get to be a four handicap, but it's fun to try and take that 12 to a 10, and then that 10 to an eight. That's the fun of it!

Could you imagine this happening in any other sport? Soccer goals aren't bigger just because you don't play for Man-U. Gyms don't push the three-point line in to the paint just because it's tougher for us to make triples than it is for Ray Allen.

I'm far from a traditionalist (hell, I wore suspenders the other day on the golf course), but I don't really think changing the game this dramatically is making it anymore fun. Are you really going to brag to your friends about a 72 you shot putting to a 15-inch cup? I sure hope not, and if you do, I hope your friends pull an Elin on your knee.

The European Tour Will Not Accept Your Bets Anymore

If you've ever lived in Europe, especially the United Kingdom, you know one thing; betting isn't just an activity, it's a way of life. You can bet on ANYTHING, including how long you will live, and putting money down on sporting events is as popular as a pint during a football match.

But things have been tweaked on the European Tour concerning bets. No more bets will be allowed by any player or caddie participating in the event they're betting on, something that sure seems like it should have been implemented about 25 years ago, right?

According to the AP ...

So is this policy directed mainly at caddies?

“Not at all,” David Garland, director of tour operations said. “We know the caddies have a range of small bets. It’s just making them aware that it can lead to other things. They’ve got to realize caddies are an integral part of the golfer’s team. They can influence, and they need to be aware of this policy.”

So, if you play on the European Tour, and you're signed up for an event, you are strictly forbidden from putting a quid down on yourself to finish in the top-10. Or on Tiger Woods. Can't do that either.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

LPGA Makes Most Obvious Observations About the PGA Tour Ever

I'm fairly certain a LPGA player could say the words "Tiger Woods enjoys the occasional blonde," and it wouldn't have been as obvious as the point Catriona Matthew made in an interview with The Scotsman.

Matthew was talking about about the PGA Tour members, and said, quite emphatically, that one of the big flaws with the PGA Tour is that the men make too much money. Ya don't say!

"I don't want to appear bitter -- I can't say I've got anything to complain about lifestyle-wise -- but the men make ridiculous amounts of money, too much money really, to the point where they almost put people off watching them. I saw Bubba Watson lose in the match play a couple of weeks ago and he was laughing. He just didn't seem to care. I guess when you make as much as they do, you lose some of the incentive to win."

News flash - it ain't just the golfers. One of the big NFL stories from the 2010 season was a quarterback for the Cardinals smiling as the team was getting demolished, so that whole thing on Bubba can be tossed right out. Also news flash - Bubba Watson smiles all the time! The guy probably smiles when he's at the dentist!

Now, to ease up on Catriona for a minute; everyone besides the men on the PGA Tour probably agree that they make too much money. It does take away from the sport of the game a little, because if you finish first or third or 11th, you are making more money than most humans will ever see in five years of work. Luke Donald commented after his Accenture win that money stopped before a factor after his second year on tour, because at that point he realized he had enough in the bank for two lifetimes, and the focus was back to winning.

I actually think the only thing wrong with the money is the ability for us as fans to care about where these guys finish. Do we want to see youngsters like Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy break through at majors? Yes, of course, it makes the game more interesting. Do we care how many top-10s they have, or who is going to win the FedEx Cup? No, we really don't. The world is a poor place, so hearing about money superstars are making just depresses a lot of people. For that, I agree with Catriona.

The Tavistock Cup Is On!

Yes! The week we've all been waiting for! The Tavistock Cup is here, and sports fans everywhere skip out on work so they can zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ...

(Sorry, I'm just not a huge fan of the Tavistock Cup, since I honestly don't even know what courses are involved anymore, and still can't get past the fact that every year the shirts are worse than that 1999 United States Ryder Cup Sunday shirt. Tiger Woods is on a different team this year? What? And everyone arrives in helicopters? Way to keep that image of yourselves as high as possible, guys.)

Getty Images

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tiger Woods is Making Progress, According to Tiger Woods

On Sunday at Doral, Tiger Woods went out and played his most impressive round of 2011, a 6-under 66 that included just one bogey and was highlighted by birdies on 16 and 17 to jump him in the top-10 for the first time this season.

It was the lowest round of the day, tying Rickie Fowler, and got people murmuring about Woods. But should they be? According to Tiger Woods, they should.

"You know, it's just one of those things where I felt that as the week progressed this week, I felt like I hit a lot of good shots but then I would get sidetracked there for a little bit, and didn't really know what the fix was a couple of times.

Today, I hit a lot of good golf shots and when I did miss-hit one, I knew what the fix was right away, boom and I got right back on my run of hitting good shots again. That feels good ... It's definitely getting better, there's no doubt. I'm putting the pieces together."

I guess you have to agree with Woods to some extent here. He hasn't had anything positive to build on all season, and a final round like this could give him some much needed confidence heading into a tough stretch of schedule, with Woods expected to play at Bay Hill next week and then the Masters two weeks later, with a short stint at the Tavistock Cup sprinkled in this week (he shot 8-under today with Arjun Atwal in whatever format they play at this made-for-TV-and-helicopters event).

You can't say one round has a man back, and I don't think he will be back until he wins, but it's something to build on, and that's all we've wanted from Woods the last year.

Getty Images

So Is Nick Watney Now an Elite Golfer?

On Sunday at Doral, Nick Watney was standing in an awkward lie in a greenside bunker on his back nine. He was tied for the lead with Dustin Johnson, and needed to get this shot up and down for par to keep the momentum going as Johnson watched from the tee box. Watney chubbed his bunker shot just onto the green, and was left with 25 or so feet to save par, a sneaky little putt that turned more than you'd think.

He hit the putt, it rolled towards the cup and generously disappeared for par. It was the type of putt you must make in order to win elite PGA Tour events, and Watney hit it with that "never a doubt" confidence once would need to keep the momentum going his way.

As you know, Watney went on to win the Cadillac Championship, his third PGA Tour win of his career, and a defining moment to a stellar 2011. Watney, now 29, has finished in the top-10 in every single event he's played in this season, and is quickly becoming a giant killer, but is he elite?

It sure seems like it. You could make the case that Watney should probably be winning more if you want to put him atop your list of under-30 golfers that could win multiple majors, but it seems this season especially, he's putting himself in positions you need to get there. He could win at Augusta. He could take down one of the Opens. You wouldn't say that about a lot of the young Americans right now besides Watney, Johnson and probably Hunter Mahan.

So is he elite? I think so. His win on Sunday sure got him in the discussion.

(Oh, and nice job on the wifey, Mr. Watney. Not bad at all.)

Getty Images

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Now That Wasn't A Great Drive

The image above, via Shackelford, shows a drive Tiger Woods hit on Friday at the Cadillac Championship. It went exactly 122 yards, but people on the ground said it went about 90 yards. I'm assuming 279 wasn't the yardage he was looking to lay-up to for his second shot.

I will say this - that drive is the only time I have ever found it acceptable to scream "Get in the hole" at a tee shot. High comedy.

Tiger Woods -- all drama, all the time!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

This is Why Golf Hasn't Started Yet

Yep, some high, high winds did serious damage to some trees and this television tower, tweeted by our good friends at @golfchronicles.

The above is the result of some of the high winds. Golf is still supposed to be played today, and hopefully the winds are gone before they get out there.

What In the Hell Happened to Mike Weir?

It seemed for years that when the word "consistency" came up in golf, a few names were always discussed; Jim Furyk, Ernie Els, Tiger Woods, and of course, Mike Weir, the wiry little Canadian with the compact golf swing and major success. Weir has eight PGA Tour wins over his career, including that 2003 Masters, but has since absolutely and utterly fallen off the map.

Like really bad. Like bad enough to where he doesn't even have his PGA Tour card anymore, and has broke 70 exactly one time this season. How has he done lately? Umm, not so great.

At the Northern Trust, Weir shot two rounds of hockey sticks (pun intended) before badly missing the cut, and then fired his third straight round of 77 at the Honda before an 85 that had him 34-over par in four rounds of golf. Things had to improve at this week's Puerto Rico Open though, right? I mean, he can't go doing this same stuff when all the big names are at Doral.

Wrong. Weir shot a 41 on the front nine on Thursday, and quickly withdrew, meaning in five tournaments and one front nine of golf this year, Weir is 49-over par!

It's really quite sad to see these types of situations play out. Like David Duval from years past, some people just absolutely lose their golf game and can never find it. For people that are trying to make money playing this game for a living, it must be something that is in the back of their heads, pestering for all of eternity. Weir never was supposed to be here. He always seemed to be in the hunt, and always seemed to be a name that would, every six months, be in the winner's circle and we'd be talking about the Canadian lefty.

But not anymore. The guy couldn't break 70 with a sneaky eraser. Hopefully he can find his form at some point, and get back out there so we don't have to look away anytime we see his name on a leaderboard.

Getty Images

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tiger Woods Gets Johnny Miller

With Johnny Miller, you know what you're going to get (a Sunday 63 *clown car horn*). He's opinionated, he spouts of anything that comes into his mind, and he doesn't really care who is listening or what they think of what he says. For that, either people love him or hate him (I'm, actually, not sure which one I am ... the guy is insane, but it's a rather comforting insanity if you ask me ... he does what nobody else in the world does).

Tiger Woods is a huge target for Mr. Miller, and it came about against when Miller compared Tiger to Mike Tyson (Tiger needs more facial tattoos).

Here is what Woods said about the comment on Wednesday.

Q. How did you feel being compared to Mike Tyson? Pretty unfair, wasn't it?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I don't think I'm as big as he is. (Laughter). No, but that's Johnny being Johnny, and making statements like that, I think he's done that before in the past, hasn't he.

Yes, he has ... a lot. A lot a lot. Johnny loves hearing himself talk, and that's probably good since his job is to do just that, so when he makes ridiculous points comparing Tiger to Mike Tyson (I'd love Tiger's cameo in "Hangover 3"), you just have to laugh it off, as Tiger did right there.

So, officially, Tiger isn't Mike Tyson ... yet.

Tiger and Phil Paired, But Is That Still a Big Deal?

In the early part of this millennium, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson being in a group meant the golf world stopped for a day and focused only on them. Nick Watney once told me, when I asked him what it felt like to be famous, "I played once with Tiger and Phil ... I'm not famous, they are," and he is probably true. For most, those two golfers WERE the pinnacle in the game.

But is that the case anymore? This week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, Tiger and Phil will join Graeme McDowell for the first two days, an incredible threesome that, honestly, is highlighted by McDowell, the best of the three right now. Phil and Tiger are two guys that, like politicians, can float a lot of the way on their past accomplishments, but are they any bigger than some of these other threesomes that will be featured at Doral?

Look at a few of them ...

-- Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Ian Poulter
-- Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald
-- Rickie Fowler, Ryo Ishikawa and Jhonattan Vegas

Would you rather follow Tiger and Phil around and not get to see these guys paired together? Honestly, I think I'd take any of those three groups over the Tiger-Phil-Graeme one, just because it seems those groups would be more exciting to watch. Sure, you'd miss Phil's goofy grins and fist bumps, but I think i'd be okay with that, and you'd get to either watch the Bombers, The Top Dogs or the Young Talent.

I just don't know if Phil and Tiger being together on anything but a Sunday is front page news these days. These guys aren't the same golfers, and it seems unfair to some of the people actually playing great golf that them being in a group together is the headline-stealing story out of Doral.

But, if they played well, I could quickly change my mind.

Getty Images

Ben Crane On Slow Play

He's probably already my favorite golfer on tour, but anytime Ben Crane releases one of his funny videos, he quickly shoots up the already short list.

If you never got a chance, check out the interview I conducted with Crane about these viral videos, and then watch the latest installment on slow play. It's brilliant.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tiger Woods' House Sounds Pretty Crummy

Tiger Woods, that guy that used to win a lot of golf tournaments, is moving into his new house that he seems to have been working on for about eight years, and although there probably won't be as many people inhabiting it as previously suspected when the plans were laid out, we really should send this guy some money so he can revamp a few things.

Namely, the practice facility. This place sounds like a dump! Don't believe me? Just read what Tiger said about the place on his website ...

"Pretty soon, I'll be moving into my new home in Jupiter, Fla. I'm excited about that and even more excited about my new practice facility. It's phenomenal. Working with my team, I designed the short-game facility and oversaw its construction. It features four greens, six bunkers with different depths and kinds of sand, a video center and a putting studio. If no wind is blowing, the longest club I can hit is a 7-iron. It's also set up so I can hit shots out of my second-story studio."

Wow, he's damn near homeless! Only six types of sand? What Tiger, couldn't fly any in from the British Isles? Lame! My mom collects sand and has at least 100 different types, so according to this theory, my mom > Tiger.

I'll tell you what, Tiger ... if you need a place to practice that is a REAL facility, swing on by the Coronado Driving Range. They got new balls last year, they have some decent grass, and at least five flags that aren't anywhere near a yardage you need to get comfortable with. You'll feel right at home.

The Many Looks of Rory Sabbatini's Belt Buckles

There isn't a lot of normalcy in the outerwear of one Rory Sabbatini, who hung on to a five-shot lead on Sunday at the Honda Classic to claim his sixth PGA Tour victory of his career.

He wears the cowboy hat to shade his head, but it still is a very noticeable look on tour. And the belt buckles.

Those are the four he wore last week during his win, with Thursday and Sunday looking like they shared the little Buddha man. I'm all for fun belts and buckles, but these seem to have a deeper meaning ... or something.

So, there you have Mr. Sabbatini and his belt fasteners. I hope this has really brightened your Tuesday morning.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Someone Tried to Blow Up Pebble Beach

Talk about a depressing way to start up your Monday. Apparently, someone tried to blow up the 9th green at Pebble Beach, but was unsuccessful, much to the happiness of every golfer that has yet made the trip to the Peninsula.

According to the Mercury News, police were called when a patron walking the beach noticed two pipe bombs affixed to the cliff holding the 9th green of the famed golf course.

At around 8:30 a.m., a beachcomber reported spotting a suspicious device that looked like two pipe bombs taped together at the base of a 40-foot cliff near the 9th hole at Pebble Beach, according to the sheriff's office.

The Monterey County sheriff's bomb squad went to the scene, examined the device and rendered it safe.

Are terrorists really going to start attacking our golf courses? Really?!? You guys wanna go there? I'm not trying to scare you, but golfers for the most part are a pretty insane group of degenerates that can only agree on one thing; that their sport be taken seriously. If you want to go there, that's fine, but just understand that there will be an extremely high bounty on your head if you start tossing smoke bombs on the 12th green at Augusta.

We don't approve of this, horrible person, and we don't like it. So watch it.

A Honest Take on Professional Golf

If you get a chance this Monday, take a second to read Harrison Frazar's essay on about professional golf, and how he's thinking of stepping away from it after this season.

Frazar has been playing on the PGA Tour for 13 years, shot a 59 in Q-School, but has never won an event, finishing second four times. He writes very honestly, all about how tough it is on tour and how it seems to change his demeanor.

My favorite line from the essay -- "During the first round of the (2011) Hope, I birdied two of the first four holes. The whole time I was laughing and joking with my amateur partners and having a great time. There was a backup on the 5th tee, and as we waited, my mind began to wander. One overpowering feeling hit me: I don't like this. I want to go home."

Most anyone reading this site has dreamed about being a PGA Tour golfer. For me, it was always my dream, so to read about someone just excited it will be over soon shows that is isn't all back rubs and strawberries. Go read it, and respect Frazar's honest opinion on the other side of the PGA Tour.

Getty Images

Friday, March 4, 2011

PGA National Seems Fun

On Thursday at PGA National, home to volunteer torture the Honda Classic, the scoring average (73.779, two shots higher than any round this season) was the highest it has been since the U.S. Open last year at Pebble Beach.

Since nobody wants to read boring recaps, here is some highlights from Thursday:

-- The Bear Trap claimed 59 golf balls in the first round.

-- Defending champion Camilo Villegas shot an opening 79, and that was better than 12 players in the field, not counting Chris DiMarco, who WD's after an opening 82.

-- Adam Scott played the Bear Trap 7-over.

Oh, and then there was this, from Heath Slocum.

Yeah, seemed fun!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

PGA Tour Wives Trying to Become More Relevant

NBA wives, watch out, because PGA Tour ladies could soon be giving you a run for your fame-yearning money.

Five PGA Tour wives/girlfriends have pitched an idea to get their own reality show, roughly called "I Never Knew Marrying a Dorky White Golfer Could Be This Awesome."*

This is all according to's Alan Bastable ...

"We're the bad girls, I don't know what else to say," Liz Estes, Bob's wife and one of the women pursuing the show, said half-jokingly in a phone interview.

Joining Estes in her quest for reality-TV stardom are Melissa Weber Jones, wife of Matt Jones and a former Miss Idaho, and Alli MacKenzie, Will's wife and a model who has been featured in a pictorial in the men's magazine FHM. (Leot Chen, Vaughn Taylor's fiancée, and Erin Walker, Jimmy's wife, who writes a blog about traveling on Tour, also partook in the photo shoot, but they said they have no interest in appearing on a reality show.)

I mean, it isn't a bad idea at all for these ladies to pitch this thing, but it's also one of those things to will need to appeal to a completely different demographic than actual golfers. While these females are all attractive, I don't know a golf fan over the age of 28 that would be caught dead seeing what these ladies are doing each week. (Which is mostly hitting up the local Nordstroms, getting massages, figuring out the best sushi spot in town and patiently waiting it out until a glass of wine is acceptable.)

So, honest question ... would you tune in to watch PGA Tour wives hang around and do stuff they normally do, or is this idea a little too crazy?

Photo courtesy of Reverb Collective

John Daly Attempts to One-Up Charlie Sheen, Sues Honda Classic For Ridiculousness

If you're a pro golfer, you are probably used to things distracting you. If it isn't someone yelling, it's a golf cart driving by at the wrong time or a camera going off. At times we see professionals get annoyed, but for the most part, they're trained to handle these sorts of things.

Unless you're John Daly. He don't want your stupid cameras clicking, ya hear! Daly is suing the Honda Classic for $15,000 due to an incident in 2007 that involved a camera going off, and an injury following.

Ready for Daly to yet again impress you with his ridiculousness? Let us dive in (via the NYT) ...

The two-time major winner filed a complaint in a Florida court on Wednesday seeking $15,000 in damages, alleging he aggravated an old injury as a female patron took a flash picture of him during the 2007 edition of the tournament.

Daly, who withdrew from the tournament, alleges in the complaint that security was negligent because they allowed her on the course with a camera and failed to remove her after he told them she had a camera.

At the time of the incident, the woman was a resident of the complex where the tournament was being held and it was not clear whether she went through standard security screening.

So Daly is suing a golf tournament for something that happened in '07, and that something is some lady taking a picture and it forcing him to stop his swing, which resulted in an injury?

This sounds like some bizarro golf version of Clue. "I'll take Mr. Daly, at the Honda Classic, with the camera injury!"

No no ... it isn't the golf tournament's fault that some lady took a picture of you swinging. I'm sorry, I hate that you got injured, but this is a little too strange and a little too much of a stretch. I know Daly isn't exactly raking in the millions right now, but if he needs $15,000 this much, just show up a day early to Augusta and sell a few more shirts. I feel like that'll do the trick.

Getty Images

Jack Nicklaus Becomes Only Man In World To Think Tiger Will Still Break His Major Record

It seems the older Jack NIcklaus has got, the better his quotes have become. Think of it like your old granddad that has got to the point that he doesn't care what anyone in the room thinks, and he will comment on the size of your girlfriend's chest while everyone is enjoying Thanksgiving dinner.

But Nicklaus said something on Wednesday that really surprised me. Nicklaus said he thinks that Tiger Woods will still break his major championship record, and is fairly surprised the fifth golfer in the world hasn't bounced back yet.

"I still think he'll break my record," Nicklaus said Wednesday before playing a round in the Honda Classic pro-am. "I'm surprised that he has not bounced back by now. He's got such a great work ethic. He's so determined to what he wants to do."

“He got maybe off the track, but I think he’s really a principled kid,” Nicklaus said. “Did he have some wayward … ? Yes. But are we all perfect? No.”

I think for the game of golf, Tiger bouncing back and knocking out a few more majors would be great, but it seems nearly impossible now that Woods could get to 19. He's at 14 now, so Tiger would have to win five more before his career ends. At age 35, that means Tiger probably has seven solid years left of actually being a factor in every major (sure, Nicklaus won at 46, but the game has changed now), so he'd have to win a major in five of his next seven seasons, which seems extremely difficult considering the talent golf has right now.

Think about it like this - since 2006, we've had just one golfer win multiple majors in a single season (Padraig Harrington) and have had eight different major winners in the last eight majors played. It isn't as easy to get hot and reel off a couple in a row anymore. Too many guys are too good, and Tiger is now in a place where he will have to bring his A+ game to the big four to even contend. Sad, but true.

So, yes, Tiger still has a chance to do it, but I just don't see it, which is crazy to think since we were all so convinced back in the early 2000s.

Also, any chance Nicklaus is tossing a little jinx at our man? "Sure, no chance he isn't going to break my record, he has to, it's his destiny" while he snickers to himself?

Getty Images

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

LPGA Player Gives Kidney to Brother

Here is a rather cool and uplifting story for you hump day.

According to Golfweek's Beth Ann Baldry, LPGA player Beth Allen donated one of her kidneys to her brother on Tuesday. Allen's brother, Dan, went to see a doctor at 26 and was told his kidneys were the size of a 13-year-olds, and he had his first replacement in 1999.

Now, Beth is helping out again.

He described his sister’s sacrifice as “beyond words.”

Again, I'm always excited to write positive stories about professional athletes, especially during a week when the news has been trampled by some out of work actor who is spending all of his time with porn stars and TV show hosts.

Thanks for keeping us smiling, Beth, and good luck with the new kidney, Dan.

Getty Images

Who Are the Best American Golfers on the PGA Tour?

All week the talk has been about the European takeover of the PGA Tour. For the first time since 1992, the top four golfers in the world are all from Europe, but what about the Yanks? Here is my list fo the top-5 Americans on tour right now. Guess who isn't making the list ...

1.) Matt Kuchar -- Only one win in 2010 (At the Barclays), some might say you need more victories to be at this top spot, but the guy is incredibly solid. In the last two years, Kuchar has played in 31 events and finished in the top-10 in 15 of those events, including four of five this season. He has moved to 10th in the world in the rankings after his third place finish at the Accenture, and seems very ready to collect a few more wins this season.

2.) Bubba Watson -- A win already this season, and two in his last 15 starts, Bubba isn't just America's darling anymore, he's solid and possibly dominate. Sure, he didn't win the match play, but he showed some serious game down in a few matches to get back in a few of them. You can't shake your head when the top golfer in the world beats you on the 18th green.

3.) Mark Wilson -- What, he isn't?! The guy has won twice this year, and while it isn't exactly the Masters and U.S. Open, the field at the Waste Management was pretty impressive.

4.) Steve Stricker -- Dropping ever so slightly on this list because of his play of late, Stricker does have two top-10s this season and won twice a season ago, even if both came before the British Open.

5.) Nick Watney -- Four starts, four top-10s in 2011. He's solid, he posts low numbers, and he is more fiery than some others that come around from the States.

Alright, your thoughts? How wrong is this list?

Getty Images