Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bubba Watson + Justin Bieber = BFFF

It probably wasn't the type of best friendship that you would have guessed two or three years ago, but Justin Bieber and Bubba Watson are besties. How good of friends?

Bieber told "Access Hollywood" that the two talk daily.

"Bubba Watson's one of my good friends. I talk to him almost every day,” Bieber said. “He's a good guy."

Now I'm not one of those people that can tell you who you can and can't be friends with (unless I'm dating you ... Stop talking to Jimmy, Tanya!), but Bubba is 33 and the Biebs is 18. I'm 28 and couldn't carry a four second conversation with someone 18 if I was getting paid to do it (same can't be said for Rob Grankowski), but hey, Never Say Never!

(Also, my mom did that photoshop ... I hope you enjoy it)

Three Porn Stars Are Coming Out With a Tell-All Sex Video About Tiger Woods

I thought about coming up with a clever headline about the upcoming video titled, "3 Mistresses: Notorious Tales of the World’s Greatest Golfer," like, "For First Time Ever, Porn Stars Speak and It Doesn't Look Scripted," or "Tiger Tapped Them, They're Tapping the Microphone," but I figured this is worth exactly what is being sold.

On April, Vivid will come out with release a "tell-all" about Tiger's sexcapades with former mistresses Devon James, Holly Sampson and Joslyn James.

Here are the details, according to the New York Post.

In the movie, the women are together for an in-depth Q&A session about Woods, which includes explicit discussions about his sexual tastes and on-screen demonstrations of what the golf legend is like in the sack. 

 “Any time three women get together to talk about the same guy, the results are going to be more than interesting,” said the film’s director, B. Skow.

I will say, anytime I can watching something by a guy named B. Skow, I'm in.

Honestly, it just doesn't seem easy being Tiger Woods anymore. The guy screwed up his marriage and he apologized and life goes on, but there are a lot of avenues to make money off it, and it appears Hank Haney isn't the only one grabbing some coin.

The pornstars tell all next week! Should be interesting.

Other Tiger-related posts:
-- The New York Post's celebratory cover for Tiger seemed inappropriate
-- Did Tiger's Bay Hill win really change anything?
-- What are some other books to read besides Hank Haney's "The Big Miss"? 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Few Golf Books Besides 'The Big Miss' You Should Buy Today

Hank Haney's The Big Miss hits gossip magazine book shelves on Tuesday, and while a lot of golfers will be buying it, I figured it's worth mentioning some other golf books more worthy of your hard-earned bucks.

So here is a list of a few books to check out if you haven't yet:

-- "The Swinger" by Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger
-- "Paper Tiger" by Tom Coyne
-- "Four Days in July" by Jim Huber
-- "A Course Called Ireland" by Tom Coyne
-- "Golf Is Not a Perfect Game" by Bob Rotella
-- "Final Rounds" by James Dodson
-- "A Good Walk Spoiled" by John Feinstein

Monday, March 26, 2012

Well New York Post, That Seemed Appropriate

Tiger Woods won his first PGA Tour event in over two years on Sunday, taking home the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill for the seventh time. It was a great feat, one that deserves much applause from all around the sports world, and the New York Post did just that.

Well, except the complete opposite of that. The above cover celebrated Tiger Woods' victory about as much as those Jose Canseco motivational posters celebrate the intelligence of Jose Canseco.

Not the greatest way to say congrats, I must say.

Oh Give Me a Break, Hank Haney

I promised myself I wouldn't write anything else about this upcoming Hank Haney book where he basically breaks every man code imaginable in his push to make as much dirty money as possible (and I must say, after seeing his luggage in this picture here, I've started to realize just the kind of guy Haney is in the first place). 

But the above tweet just rattled me. Seriously? You're going to sit back and fire compliments towards a guy you are basically tearing apart in hopes of making more scratch?

This is really one of the biggest problems with the current generation of celebrities. They want to take stands while never really hurting anyone's feelings. They want to be liked by all. They're scared to ruffle any feathers because that's another fan they might lose, another dollar they might not see.

Haney wrote a book that tells all about Tiger's inner-workings. He is going to release it and make a million bucks, I'm sure. People are going to read it because, frankly, people read everything about Tiger Woods. But don't go do something like this, and then sit back and fire him compliments.

As a great man once said, there ain't no such thing as halfway crooks.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tiger Woods Wins Bay Hill So Is Everything Back to Normal Now?

There is something we all need to understand about Tiger Woods' dramatic (And yes, incredibly impressive) win on Sunday at Bay Hill; it doesn't really change anything. 

Yes, it's an enormous relief for just about anyone that follows or loves the game of golf. It's great for people like myself because 92 percent of golf fans are really just Tiger fans who care if and when he tees it up and that's it. He is an incredible talent that changed the golf world once, and people hope can possibly do it again. 

But Tiger winning for the seventh time at Bay Hill isn't a recipe for what he used to do to PGA Tour events. No, it's simply just a great golfer winning a tournament that he played the best at. That's it. 

The reason I'm pointing this out is because you'll hear over the next 14 days about "what this means" in the golf world. "What does that win by Tiger really mean?" "Is he back?" "Is this a new career of dominance?" 

And the fact of the matter is, yes, he is "back" in a sense. He played four impressive rounds of golf. He had one of those Tiger rounds that looked good but could have been better and was still one of the low rounds of the week (on Friday). He hit some shots when he needed to him them, and played safe when he didn't need anything more than a par. He extended his lead by an old, reliable theory he used to live by; let everyone else fall apart. 

But this week doesn't mean Tiger is somehow better than, say, Justin Rose. Or Bubba Watson. Or Luke Donald. Tiger is simply adding himself to that huge list of  guys that could or couldn't win each week out. 

You still saw some shots that were a little too loose to go on a five-win run or something. If anyone had stepped up over the weekend, Tiger might have felt a little more pressure than he did. But lucky for him, and us, nobody did, and Tiger was able to play solid, conservative golf and walk away with his 72nd win. 

But the talent pool is too big now for anyone in the game to go out and win six or seven times, even Tiger. If he plays like he did this week at Augusta National in two weeks is it a sure thing that he'd win? Absolutely not. There are a list of players that could compete with him even with the game he had at Bay Hill.

The thing is, Tiger is now a part of that group of guys that have emerged since he's disappeared. He could win the Masters, but he could just as easily finish out of the top-30. I'd lean more towards him competing than not, but if he starts missing the ball left again it could be a struggle all week. 

I just hope that everyone can appreciate the win by Tiger simply as that; a win, and a great one, but nothing more. It wasn't another major. It isn't really going to recreate his legacy in the big scheme of things. It was simply a week we needed, and he needed, to get back to a winning philosophy. 

Getty Images

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tiger, That's Not How You Do It

So Tiger Woods is a very good golfer. And very good golfers normally hit very good golf shots.

But sometimes, they do things like the video above. It ain't pretty. It ain't good. And it makes us all feel a little better about our golf games.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tiger Woods Tied for the Lead After 36 Holes at Bay Hill

It’s easy to get ahead of ourselves on the golf course. You make a few early birdies and you’re thinking about posting your career low score. The nerves settle in. Every swing is a bit tighter than the one before. It never leads to anything good. 

So it isn’t any surprise to see us all get that same feeling with the way Tiger Woods has golfed his ball through 36 holes at Bay Hill. “What if he can finally do it,” most golf fans are hoping as they see Tiger stalk the Arnold Palmer Invitational as a front-runner that looks as comfortable with his golf game as we’ve seen in more than two years. 

Woods sits at 10-under after a second round 65, co-leading a golf tournament he has won six times in his career. It is the perfect site for his comeback win because it was the same place he had his other comeback win, back in 2009 after coming back from a knee surgery that kept Tiger away from golf from what seemed like an eternity. 

But this wait has seemed longer. We’ve seen Tiger struggle like we never imagined and we’ve seen him play like we didn’t think he could and it was all so unreal and uncomfortable. Sure, he’s contended here and there and we all hoped it would be the week, but there was always something off that never let him close. 

This week has looked different. He opened with a 3-under 69 without really doing anything that special. He hit some loose shots and had a couple of three-putts but it was still a solid opening round. Previously, that round would have been 72 or 73, but the putter woke up from what seemed like a 24 month hibernation to save Tiger’s round.

And Friday, it was on. Tiger hit the ball as good as he has hit it in since the ’09 BMW Championship, a tournament he blitzed by eight shots. He looked confident over his putts, and even the ones that missed looked like good rolls. Even his loose swings were missed in the right spot, like his second shot into the par-5 16th hole, that never cut but was hit far enough to avoid finding the water hazard. 

Through 36 holes, Tiger has made just a single bogey. At one point, Tiger had hit 18 straight greens-in-regulation, something he hadn’t been able to accomplish in five years. 

The hope is that he can hold on. That Tiger can finally finish a 72-hole tournament without that stumble round that keeps coming up. In Dubai earlier this year it was a Sunday 72 that kept him from the winner’s circle. At Pebble Beach, it also happened to be Sunday. At the Honda Classic Tiger roared back with a final round 62 but it was a slow start that kept him just behind Rory McIlroy.

The hope is still there. Tiger is eventually going to win another PGA Tour tournament, and it just seems he is closer and closer to doing that. When the week started, the big story was if Tiger’s Achilles was healthy enough for him to compete. After 36 holes, it appears the only thing that could get in his way is his brain. 

Getty Images

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rick Smith Wins Today

I'm not sure if you've noticed that I'm not a huge fan of that book Hank Haney is writing, but I'm not. I think it is complete bullshit and think anything like this, between a teacher and a player, is going against every man code, friend code, and professional code imaginable (honestly, who the hell was Hank Haney before Tiger Woods?).

So it is nice to see other instructors agreeing. Rick Smith, who used to coach Phil Mickelson, was asked about the Haney tell-all about Tiger, and said this startling but absolutely awesome quote.

Via ESPN ...

"I would rather be broke and not have a penny to my name before I violate the code of player-teacher confidentiality," Smith said. "In 27 years out here, I've never done that. I'm personally upset with Hank because he's broken and violated our code of ethics. If you have the opportunity and you're privileged to conversations, you will not and should not share anything from them with anyone. I don't care who it is. "For all the guys who have committed their lives to teaching, this should be very upsetting and I know that I'm not the only one that feels this way. What Hank did is against the rules."

I think that's what the people call a checkmate, Mr. Haney. Lay your king down and enjoy those blood checks. Actually, I'm positive you will.

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Money Talks, and the PGA Tour Is Listening

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

That simplistic, seven word phrase is something I've always lived by. My dad told me that years ago when I was taking my first job selling hot chocolate and popcorn to patrons of my small town's Christmas light festival that was much bigger in a 12-year-old boys eyes when he'd barely been past Dallas, Texas.

When things work, go with them.

The problem is, the saying doesn't apply to money. Money changes everything.

Welcome to the PGA Tour, 2013.

Or should I say, the PGA Tour, 2013-14? As of Tuesday, golf has now become a 12-month experience even more than it was before. Tim Finchem announced in Florida that the PGA Tour will never look the same starting next season, with Q-School all but eliminated and the tour schedule reassembled more than Heidi Montag's nose.

The details, via Steve Elling's great post about everything, are as follows ...

Qualifying School, a well-traveled avenue to the tour since the 1960s, has been restructured, although neutered might be an equally effective term. Moreover, future seasons, beginning next fall, will abandon the calendar and morph into a wraparound schedule starting with 2013-14.

It's easy to rip apart change, and I understand that, but everything that is happening just reeks of greenbacks.

Why is all this happening? Simple. Nationwide's sponsorship of the PGA Tour's minor leagues is up this year, and the tour needs someone to drop some bucks and they must give that sponsor more incentive. Being the opening act to a Killers concert is an incredible accomplishment. Being the lead act at a Bat Mitzvah? Not so much.

If the Nationwide Tour, or whatever it will be called in a year, is going to be more relevant, they had to make the stakes higher. Sure, the top 25 players were always given PGA Tour cards, but they wanted to make it more meaningful to players, fans and the brand. Now, with the changes, good players will be playing their hearts out there to make it to the tour with hopes of million dollar checks and lobster buffets. That wasn't the case as much before the announcement.

And Q-School, something that has been around since the 1960s and at one point had two different stages a season, is all but dead. Guys like J.B. Holmes, Rickie Folwer and Kevin Streelman would have never had the type of chance they do now without Q-School, and that is just to name a few of the lesser guys (Streelman my favorite example because in 2007 he was playing in the same money game I was involved in for mini tour practice rounds, had a few good weeks at Q-School, and now stars in commercials with Tom Lehman).

Maybe I'm just nostalgic about something that separated golf from any other sport. Q-School was special. It gave any good player the illusion that they could make the big stage, win the U.S. Open, smell the grass of Augusta. It kept that adolescent dream alive in any of us that have ever had a round of 66 or 67 on a sunny day with friends, and it was a stepping stone in a game that always seems to have something new to step over.

The schedule change seems extreme, but again, money talks, and it's telling us now to make the FedEx Cup a bigger deal and this is the best way to go about it.

For now, it is simply time to mourn the changes in a game that has always seemed a little too pure for this generation. First it was the ball, then it was the clubhead, then the grooves, and now the bottom line.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Another Example of Why Tiger Woods Doesn't Get It

People tend to call me a Tiger Woods hater, but it isn't true. I enjoy the guy being in tournaments. I think he's (obviously) good for the game. And I have rooted as hard as anyone for a comeback, simply because his success means success for everyone in the golf world (other players, writers, club-manufacturers, Alex Miceli).

But there are times when you just shake your head at the guy because you can tell he simply doesn't get the game. No, I'm not talking about golf, I'm talking about the game. The game that is life. How you interact with people. How life works. It's like when you're at a restaurant and overhear a guy berating his waitress because the potatoes weren't cooked to his specifications. There is one way to go about that (ask politely for an exchange) and then there is the guy that yells at someone that didn't even do anything wrong.

And the point I'm talking about is the above picture at the Tavistock Cup. Tiger Woods, playing for Team Albany, sporting his own Nike Golf hat.

I know there might be some sort of sponsors obligation to Nike for him to rock the hat in all competitions besides the Ryder and Presidents Cup, but everyone else on the course this Monday (besides Ernie Els, who also had his usual SAP had on) put on the team hats and enjoyed them. Big names with big sponsor money like Adam Scott, Justin Rose and Bubba Watson. It's an act out courtesy. If you're in an event for someone or something, you put on what they're asking. It's a simple gesture and something that shouldn't be too difficult.

For Tiger, things are his way. He's too big to wear the Masters badge all week at Augusta. He does the interviews he wants to do and on his clock, damn the rest of the media, and he does things like the hat deal at the Tavistock.

The problem is, complaining about it, like I'm doing here, is nearly pointless. The guy isn't going to change and it seems this is how he is programed. Some people get it, others don't, and Tiger is definitely the latter.

But hell, at least he's golfing again.

Getty Images

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Most John Daly Picture Ever

Yep, that's it. Thanks, Getty Images.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tiger Woods and Shaquille O'Neal Post Strangest Video Game Ad Ever

There are a lot of questions that come up in the above advertisement for the new Tiger Woods EA Sports game.

Why is Shaq in it? And why is Shaq playing golf lefty (from all accounts I can find, Shaq is a right-handed golfer)? Why did the stunt-double for Tiger Woods look absolutely nothing like Tiger Woods (at least give the guy a bald spot)? Why would this make me want to golf?

But alas, it is Tiger and Shaq, and they're doing some karate and if nothing else, it's miles better than that infamous Gillette commercial with Derek Jeter, Roger Federer and Tiger acting like what you and I would do if we wanted to make fun of "Grease."

Here Are a Lot of Pictures of Tiger Woods Wincing Over the Years

Tiger Woods has been injured in the past, and thankful, we have pictures of this. Dating back to 2002, here are a lot of pictures of Tiger in pain after certain golf shots. (All Getty Images besides the last, which is AP)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tiger Woods Withdraws from Cadillac Championship

There is nothing graceful about leaving a tournament in a golf cart. Nothing normal about it. It's as defeating a look as one can have in the game of golf. 

And for all the knocks on Tiger Woods over the last three years, saying the guy doesn't gut out rounds is not one of them. So when Tiger picked up his ball on the 11th hole, got in a cart and was driven off to his car to go home and nurse his left leg injury, you knew something was up. It had to be. This wasn't a defeated player getting off a golf course. This was Tiger, head down, mumbling under his breath about a left leg that just won't perform like it used to. 

Woods is a damaged man, but this time, it's his body. Always fit, Tiger is now having to understand exactly what it means to be old. 

People are going to question what exactly happened to Tiger on Sunday. Did he just quit his round after his knee started hurting? Would he have finished the round if he was in contention, a la Torrey Pines? What's next for Woods? 

All of those questions are pointless now. Tiger was supposed to finally be healthy and he isn't. His leg and knee problems don't seem like they're going away anytime soon. 

We all want Tiger to return to greatness, but if his body isn't in shape to do so, it will be impossible for him to be great again. 

I'll be honest ... it isn't the easiest thing these days to be a Tiger fan. 


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Fore! Dustin Johnson Nearly Takes Out Camera Crane

The good thing about Dustin Johnson's tee shot on the 18th at Doral on Thursday is that he went on to find it. The bad thing about it? It nearly hit a camera crane so far off the fairway that The Golf Channel and NBC put it there BECAUSE NO PROFESSIONAL SHOULD HIT IT EVEN CLOSE TO IT.

Yes, Dustin made bogey, but that is a pretty sweet view, no?

Other Golf Videos:
-- All Tiger's great shots en route to final round 62
-- Rory McIlroy comes out of crowd to play Maria Sharapova in tennis

Phil Mickelson Jokingly Digs on Tiger Woods

One of the best moments in the Phil Mickelson-Tiger Woods rivalry was years ago when Phil said that Tiger probably hated how far Lefty was flying his driver past Woods.

The comment might have been true, but it was reporter gold, and added fuel to a fire that had the two best golfers in the world firmly in the middle of it.

But the two aren't exactly enemies. They play ping-pong at Ryder Cups together and seem friendly enough so when one of them calls the other out, it's quite fun.

[Related Video: Tiger Woods blows up at reporter]

That happened on Wednesday at Doral, when Mickelson admitted that Phil and Tiger had planned an Augusta practice round together but it fell through.

According to Eye on Golf, Phil said, "I guess it was the intimidation."

Mickelson went on to jab Woods, telling reporters that, "[Tiger] was paying attention a couple of weeks ago, which is nice to see," when talks had turned to Woods' final round 62 last week at the Honda Classic (in case you forgot, Phil shot a final round 64 at Pebble Beach to win there with Woods in the group alongside him).

This is already turning out to be one of the best seasons in recent memory for golf, and the only thing that would make it better is if the Tiger-Phil rivalry really heated up. And I think all Tiger has to do is read some of the comments and take them to heart. That should do the trick.

More Golf Related Links:
-- Video: All the incredible shots Tiger Woods hit on Sunday en route to his 62
-- Photo: An incredible father-son combo of Tiger fans
-- Watch Rory McIlroy balance a golf ball on the back of his wedge

Getty Images

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Just a Reminder, Rory McIlroy Is Better At Stuff Than You

This picture, taken during a Wednesday practice round at Doral, shows Rory McIlroy not only doing tricks with his wedge, but using the back of the damn thing to do them!

Yes, Rory is better than you, and yes, he's my pick this week at Doral, mostly because why wouldn't he win? Rory is awesome. Embrace your inner Rory.

Getty Images

Monday, March 5, 2012

Video: Rory McIlroy Fills In for Caroline Wozniacki, Plays Tennis Against Maria Sharapova

On Monday at Madison Square Garden, Rory McIlroy was observing some sports instead of playing, but that didn't stop his girlfriend, Caroline Wozniacki from pulling him out of the stands to play a point against Maria Sharapova.

He won the point, but yikes, those were some shaky shots. Rory, your footwork ... get to the gym!

Related golf links:
-- Video: All the great shots Tiger Woods hits en route to final round 62
-- Rory McIlroy's Honda Classic win more important than U.S. Open victory
-- Photo: The funniest Tiger Woods father/son fans you'll ever seen

Video: All The Good Shots Tiger Woods Hit on Sunday at the Honda Classic

He came, he saw, he shot 62.

That is Tiger Woods, and these are all the incredible shots he hit on Sunday on his way to his lowest final round ever.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rory Is Finally Crowned

There are moments in golf bigger than major championships. A couple of weeks ago at Riviera, Keegan Bradley stood over a makable birdie putt on the 72nd hole moments after Phil Mickelson, a life-long idol, had drained an improbable birdie of his own to force a playoff with Bill Haas and put Bradley in an uncomfortable position. Make and you one-up Phil. Miss and you let down an entire crowd ready to explode once more.

Bradley eyed the pressure putt with that gnarly stare he has since invented over the course of a year, stood over his putt, and stroked it in the hole for a fist-pumping, Mickelson-congratulating birdie of his own.

At the time I mentioned that if Bradley had won that playoff, doing it in that fashion against that field, it would have been bigger for his career than the PGA Championship. Some might have thought I was crazy, but my point was simple; sometimes things happen and they're great, and sometimes you make things happen and it's better. It's always better to win a golf tournament than for someone else to lose it, right?

The same goes for Rory McIlroy's win on Sunday at the Honda Classic. No, it wasn't as incredible as his final round 62 to win his first PGA Tour event at Quail Hollow or as exclamatory as his eight shot win at the U.S. Open a year ago, but the win might have been bigger than all that.

The reasoning? Because Rory winning meant so many things.

The obvious are there. He became world number one. He did so after Tiger Woods went out and posted his own 62 that at the time put him one shot behind McIlroy (although I think this point will be overblown in the press because Tiger racing up a leaderboard just doesn't have the same effect it used to on players, especially those elite golferes like Rory).

I think it's the smaller things that mean so much to this McIlroy win. He bounced back a week after letting his first World Golf Championship slip from his hands, mostly because he didn't bring his best stuff to the finals. He ended a stretch of incredible golf that dates back to September with a win, and is most likely the favorite next week. He never let the week slip away like he has in the past. He became the biggest story in golf this week solely because he played his way to that point.

Rory's win was a call to the world that this could be "his year," and that unlike a lot of the players that have spent time atop the game, isn't planning on going anywhere.

McIlroy has the game to be the best, we all know that, but it's the drive you need to go from good to great and then great to historic. At just 22, it seems he has finally matched that mind of his with that incredible golf swing.

Hello, world.

Getty Images

Thursday, March 1, 2012

These Tiger Woods Fans Win This Week

I spent most of my afternoon walking with Tiger Woods, and while I did learn that Tiger still has a LOT of fans (And a lot of them are completely insane), I didn't see this father-son combo.

The good news? John Maginnes saw them, and we have a picture to prove it.

Well, that is something, eh?