Articles and Such

Woods returns to Hoylake with plenty of questions

Jul 15, 2014

For Tiger Woods the 2006 Open Championship was the perfect storm. Or, to be meteorologically accurate, the convergence of no storms – the antithesis of the traditional English summer – and a game ripe for a surgical strike as opposed to the normal fare of carpet bombing. In the weeks leading up to the ’06 championship an unseasonably dry summer cooked Hoylake to a golden hue and when Woods arrived on the Wirral peninsula the ancient links had a distinct Royal Yellow Brick Road feel. Think Pinehurst before the USGA made brown the new green in grand slam lexicon. Almost immediately, the man who had forged a Hall of Fame career overpowering golf courses clued into the reality that this Open would be different. “He hit driver off (No.) 1 and driver off (No.) 3 (in practice) and it never came out again,” Hank Haney, Woods’ swing coach at the time, said. “He was determined to just have no penalty shots, hitting sideways out of a bunker is essentially a one-stroke penalty. If you hit driver it is virtually impossible to avoid some penalty shots.” He would actually hit driver once more during the tournament proper, but it was obvious the big stick was not required. With a precision that, in retrospect, bordered on the surreal, Woods picked apart the parched turf with long irons and an artist’s touch, hitting 48 of 56 fairways for the week (first in the field) and 58 of 72 greens in regulation (T-2) for 72 holes. Maybe even more impressive was Woods’ ability to plod his way around the dusty dunes hitting into just three of Hoylake’s 82 bunkers the entire week. view

Haney: Tiger comeback not as simple as just hitting balls

Jul 03, 2014

Tiger Woods warned everyone that he'd be rusty for his first tentative steps back into competitive golf at the Quicken Loans National last week. He only started hitting full shots again over U.S. Open weekend, two and a half months after March 31 back surgery. loop-haneywoods-518.jpg After two weeks of practice, Woods shot rounds of 74-75 and missed the cut by four shots. How close is he to getting back to full speed? Not very close, says Hank Haney, who helped Woods come back from two separate knee surgeries in 2008. "I know people were excited to hear that he was back hitting balls, but hitting balls isn't the same as practicing," says Haney, who worked with Woods from 2003 to 2010. "You have to get your swing going and your endurance back first. You don't just walk out there and start pounding balls for four hours. It's not that easy." After Woods' reconstructive knee surgery in 2008, Haney worked out a four-week plan to get Woods from zero to competitive shape. It incorporated doctors' advice about how fast and often Woods could swing at a given stage of recovery. view

Tiger Woods didn’t get the score he wanted, but gave golf the round it needed

Jun 27, 2014

The worst words you can say to any golfer are, “Tell me about your round.” ’Cause you’ll get told. But just this once, indulge me. Let me tell you about my round yesterday. I haven’t played in a few months. Golf sure is easy to forget. I drove into the rough five times and hit irons into the weeds and the sand. I yanked one wedge shot far left, then missed the next one far right. I completely missed the hole on a four-foot putt. I tried to putt from off the green but left it 20 feet short. Then I tried it again and left it 15 feet short. I hope nobody was watching. I chunked a chip; I could’ve kicked it better. I missed three makeable putts “on the amateur side” — the low side where, unless gravity is repealed, you have no chance. I left a 10-foot putt short. If I keep playing like this, I may quit golf. So thanks for listening. Now, let’s talk about Tiger Woods. view

Tiger Woods says he has learned from his injuries; time will tell just how much

Jun 25, 2014

Our habits are our stripes; and they are as hard to change as a tiger’s. Right now, Tiger Woods wants to break one of his most central habits, a character trait that’s always run to the core of both his golf glories and his injuries: the desire to push beyond. Beyond what? What have you got? Whatever others find normal, sensible, almost sane, has been Woods’s departure point. Now, he wants to be like us — well, a little bit anyway. Until this very moment, that has always proved impossible for him. Finally, after six years of constant physical pain and limitation, he says he has seen the light: either learn patience, listen to his body and moderate or forget about any more golf glory. Vegas hasn’t posted odds yet, but “pick ’em” should be close. After listening to Woods speak at his own Quicken Loans National, it’s clear he knows the riff and believes it. But once every few minutes, he betrays how brutally hard this habit- and stripe-changing business truly is, as tough for him as for us. With Woods you have to wait a few years, or 10, to find out the real story. Sooner or later the true history comes out, sometimes even from Tiger. Now, from Woods, we get an account of why his body has, from a pro athlete’s perspective, fallen apart since 2008. Speaking at Congressional Country Club, he explained how, at age 38, he hoped to mend himself after back surgery in March, regain his game and correct that double-edged habit of “pushing, harder and harder and harder until stuff breaks.” view

Tiger Woods returns to save golf from the World Cup

Jun 24, 2014

“Golf is dead.” – Friedrich Nietzsche Forgive me for being pretentious enough to quote Nietzsche. Actually, I’m misquoting the German philosopher, who in 1882 went on a famous “God is Dead” tangent. The point is the past 24 hours has verified that God has taken a 4-iron and whacked golf back to the WNBA netherworld. Kevin Streelman birdied the final seven holes Sunday to win the Travelers Championship by one stroke over Sergio Garcia. Yeah, it wasn’t a major and Tiger Woods wasn’t involved, meaning it was a typical PGA Tour stop. Only it wasn’t. Pictures: Blake Bortles meets fans in Oviedo Making birdies on straight holes is unheard of. HAVING to make seven straight birdies in order to win is lunar landing stuff. Nobody had ever done it. Not Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Pele, the Dalai Lama, Pope John Paul II or anyone since cavemen first invented the mulligan. “To even say it is crazy,” Streelman said. What’s crazier is that almost nobody noticed. The story was universally ignored, even in the deadest sports time of the year. All that’s really going on is the World Cup, and a historic golf achievement got about a millionth the attention that some Portuguese guy got by heading in a tying goal in the round-of-32 match against the USA. Golf is now getting blown away by soccer. That I can understand. But the PGA Tour also got its publicity butt kicked by the LPGA, where Michelle Wie won a major after 1,294 tries to prove she isn’t all legs and hype. Other news items that overshadowed Streelman’s streak: view

PGA considering a 15 inch hole

Jun 20, 2014

Golf has lost five million players in the last decade, according to the National Golf Foundation, with 20 percent of the existing 25 million golfers apt to quit in the next few years. People under 35 have especially spurned the game, saying it takes too long to play, is too difficult to learn and has too many tiresome rules. Among the unconventional types of golf is an entry-level version in which the holes are 15 inches wide, about four times the width of a standard hole. “A 15-inch hole could help junior golfers, beginning golfers and older golfers score better, play faster and like golf more,” said Mr. García, who shot a six-under-par 30 for nine holes in the exhibition. view

Tiger Woods hitting full shots in practice

Jun 18, 2014

Tiger Woods, 11 weeks removed from back surgery that forced him to miss the Masters, a title defense at The Players Championship and the U.S. Open, has begun hitting full shots, including his driver, his agent confirmed to USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. "Tiger is continuing to progress each day," Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent, said in an e-mail. "As he feels better and better, he extends his swing. That was the plan from day one and he is sticking to the plan." There remains no timetable for his return. Woods began light chipping and putting April 20. Golf Channel was the first to report that Woods was hitting full shots at the Medalist Golf Club down the road from his home in Jupiter, Fla. view

Nine reasons why the U.S. Open is the meanest, toughest, roughest, cruelest, stingiest SOB in major golf, plus the Van Cynical Mailbag

Jun 04, 2014

The United States Open is the meanest major. Is it even debatable? Well, I guess if you watch Fox News or MSNBC, everything is debatable. No other major championship is typically less fun than the U.S. Open. Here are my nine reasons why the Open is the meanest major: 1. The scoring. You want to charge up the leaderboard at a U.S. Open? Make four pars in a row. The scoring at the U.S. Open is far worse than any other major. The winning scores in six of the last nine Opens have been even par or higher. The Masters has had only one winning score over par (Zach Johnson, 1 over, 2007) since Jack Burke won in 1956. The British Open has had just four winning scores of even par or higher since 1985 and the PGA hasn’t had one since Dave Stockton snagged the 1976 PGA at one over par. Since 2001, here are the cumulative scores of the major winners: Masters -139; PGA -120; British -96; U.S. -28 (with 16 of them from Rory McIlroy at Congressional in 2011). The Open is the hardest major to score in, usually by a mile. Not counting those miscellaneous years where somebody made an incredible blunder in the course setup, like Oak Hill when Shaun Micheel won the 2003 PGA in eight-inch rough or, worse yet, Carnoustie for the 1999 Open when Paul Lawrie won and the fairways were about as wide as bowling alleys. view

Tiger's absence reminds us of his Masters magnificence long ago

Apr 09, 2014

AUGUSTA, GA. — Golf is a sport besotted by its past, but no tournament plays on nostalgia quite like the Masters. From allowing past champions into the field well beyond their competitive use-by date to having honorary starters begin the tournament, it's obvious that here, the past is alive. It surrounds you, overcomes you; from the moment you enter this cathedral cut into the Georgia pines -- no running, no yelling -- the stirring deeds of the past are retold as if they'd just happened. Literally, in some cases. I once had breakfast on the balcony of the iconic clubhouse -- built by a plantation owner in 1854 -- and was joined by the late Gene Sarazen. Why read about his albatross at the 1935 Masters -- the one that put the tournament on the map -- when you can ask the man himself? Every time I open the clubhouse door I half-expect Bobby Jones to greet me. It's fitting, then, that they celebrate the past so thoroughly, so reverentially at Augusta National because this week it's time to be nostalgic about Tiger Woods. Woods, of course, won't be playing in this rite of spring for the first time since 1994 as he recovers from back surgery; the latest physical ailment to impede his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus' record 18 majors. His absence amounts to a line drawn in the pine straw. Perhaps it should've happened earlier given he won the last of his four green jackets way back in 2005, but it's time to acknowledge that he will never again be what he was but, too, that what he was, was a magnificence the likes of which we will never see again. Woods changed not just the Masters, but golf, in 1997 when he broke not just scoring records but social barriers. His second victory here was just as famous. In 2001, he became the first man in modern times -- and, I'd be willing to bet, the last -- to hold all of the sport's four major trophies at the same time. The Tiger Slam they called it . . . of course they did. view

Masters Wide Open? Come on. Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy stand out above the rest

Apr 09, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Have you heard that the Masters is “wide open” this year? If you’ve tuned in for pre-event coverage on your prized flat screen, your trusted magazine or your pricey laptop, you’ve likely plowed into considerable analysis around the idea that this Masters could be won by almost anyone. Expect the unexpected! Anything is possible! Here’s the reality: even without Tiger Woods, this Masters still holds a few prime contenders (and let’s not forget, Woods hasn’t won here since ’05). You can make a solid case for Adam Scott or Jason Day or one of the Johnsons -- Dustin and Zach. Angel Cabrera seems to hang in here every year. Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker are due. So are the Brits, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald. There is unquestionably a cluster of clear favorites this week. But a formidable group can be further whittled down to two: Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson. PHOTOS: Best shots of Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott from Tuesday's practice round at Augusta National McIlroy doesn’t necessarily view himself (or anyone) as the favorite. He sees a long list of potential champions. He sees “wide open.” “I would say 70,” said McIlroy, when asked how many players have a legitimate shot at a jacket. “You've got a lot of guys that can win, a lot of guys that have won PGA Tour events.” Mickelson, says the field of contenders narrows as the golf course becomes more difficult. “If the course plays firm and fast conditions, I think you're looking at less than a dozen,” he said when asked how many can win. “But if it doesn't, I think you're looking at almost half the field.” While both acknowledge a variety of possibilities, look a little closer and you’ll find that the road to a green jacket runs straight through those two names. Mickelson is a three-time winner and remains motivated for more. “I do know that Arnold and Tiger have four jackets and I have three,” he quipped. Mickelson’s ’14 season has been a struggle -- he currently has two more WDs than top 10 finishes, including a surprising walk-off two weeks ago in San Antonio after a pulled back muscle. He said that he’d like to enter this week with some better early-season results, but health is the main thing. “I'm nervous about this week because I always like coming into this week with a win. I like coming into this week being in contention a few times and having that confidence and experience to build on,” Mickelson said. “But I have to give myself a little bit of slack, because I have not been 100 percent. Last week I was 100 percent.” Mickelson credited medicine ball work for strengthening his back and said that he’s confident he can take full swings pain-free. Remember, in two of his three Masters-winning seasons, he didn’t win an event before landing in Augusta. And Augusta is his playground. He has 14 top 10s in his career here. Fourteen. He has eight top 3s. Eight. Add it up, and he’s a favorite this week. view

Tiger Woods' absence from Masters greeted mostly with shrugs

Apr 09, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The slow and awkward decay of the powerful aura of Tiger Woods continued here Tuesday on a rain-soaked golfing cathedral that smelled like a damp towel. For the first time in 20 years, Woods will not be here for the Masters, a tournament he has won four times, his virtual ownership of Augusta National symbolizing his decades of dominance. Yet his fellow golfers do not sound relieved. They do not act as if reprieved. They spoke of this giant, haunting presence with neither fear nor reverence. Bill Plaschke Bill Plaschke Bio | E-mail | Recent columns Also Sports scheduling requires all the right moves Sports scheduling requires all the right moves Practice resumes with dry weather at the Masters Practice resumes with dry weather at the Masters Severe weather halts Monday practice at the Masters Severe weather halts Monday practice at the Masters Masters suffering without Tiger Woods Masters suffering without Tiger Woods Tiger Woods will miss Masters after back surgery Tiger Woods will miss Masters after back surgery Their voices were, instead, filled with something that sounded like pity. "He's 38 now, he's an old man," said Jason Day, the media laughing over the fact that this is truly how Woods is perceived. "It's a little sad seeing him hurt." Tiger Woods, old and sad? He is missing the tournament with a bad back, but it is his legacy that is taking a beating this week among younger golfers who clearly view him as an aging, infirm uncle whose absence at the family picnic is a footnote that will be forgotten with the first sack race. "It's a shame … but also with his form running into this week, I don't think people would have said that he was the red-hot favorite as he was in years past," Justin Rose said. "It's a shame." view

Tiger Woods to make Masters decision very shortly'

Apr 01, 2014

Woods had said last week he wasn't sure whether or not he would be able to compete because of his nagging back injury. "For Augusta, it's still a little too soon (to know), to be honest with you," he said. "That's kind of the frustrating thing about this. "I had a couple weeks off, was getting treatment and trying to get ready for Augusta. As of right now, it's still too soon. As I said, that's very frustrating." I'm not sure what a decision being made "very shortly" implies but I think it leans a little bit towards playing. If you can't play, don't you wait until the very last minute to announce that just in case something changes? That's how I would handle it, anyway. Of course, I dont' have five more majors to worry about. view

Masters Odds: Rory McIlroy is the favorite

Apr 01, 2014

The Masters is just around the corner (10 days, to be exact) and we're pretty excited. There's plenty of golf to be played between now and then but we also want to keep you informed about what's going on with Augusta. The Masters starts next week and it doesn't really feel like we have a true favorite, does it? Of course Tiger Woods will be near the top but he's hurt. So is Phil Mickelson and Jason Day and Bubba Watson aren't exactly feeling that great, either. Adam Scott just blew Bay Hill and it feels like Rory McIlroy hasn't played a tournament in three months. There's just not a ton of fighting atop the world rankings. More like bowing out and telling everyone else "good luck." But McIlroy is the favorite to win the Masters this season even if it feels a little like a default. Here's a look (January odds in parentheses): Favorite Rory McIlroy: 7-1 (10-1) Other favorites Tiger Woods: 9-1 (5-1) Adam Scott: 10-1 (14-1) Phil Mickelson: 12-1 (12-1) Dustin Johnson: 16-1 (28-1) Jason Day: 16-1 (25-1) view

'Is it time to look beyond Tiger and Phil?'

Apr 01, 2014

SAN ANTONIO -- Google "Phil Mickelson" and "tinkering" and more than 69,000 results turn up. Mickelson tinkers with his swing, his putting stroke, his equipment, attempting to find the square peg that fits a round hole. This time, at the Valero Texas Open, he was tinkering with a driver swing to take to the Masters, working on a custom fit for Augusta National's generous fairway widths. He was swinging hard and hitting it high and hurt himself doing so. Mickelson pulled an oblique muscle hitting driver on the first tee (his 10th hole) on Saturday and withdrew from the tournament. His status for the Shell Houston Open this week and even the Masters the following week is not yet known. Couple Mickelson's injury with Tiger Woods' bulging disc and his own uncertainty about Augusta, and a question posed by Dottie Pepper recently gives one pause. view

Tiger has bulging disk in back, source says

Mar 21, 2014

Tiger Woods has been diagnosed with a bulging back disk and won’t need surgery, someone with knowledge of his condition said Thursday. It could have been much worse, the person said, because Woods doesn’t have the kind of herniated disk that likely would require an operation. Woods’ last two Sunday rounds on the PGA Tour – at the Honda Classic and WGC Cadillac Championship – have been sabotaged by what Woods described as back spasms. He withdrew after 13 holes of his fourth round at Honda and closed with a no-birdie 78 after contending at the Cadillac. Then he withdrew Tuesday from the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he has won eight times. In a statement on his website Tuesday, the 38-year-old Woods said his “back spasms and the pain haven’t subsided.” Routinely private about injuries, Woods himself hasn’t identified the diagnosis publicly other than citing spasms. He said his goal is to continue treatment with hopes of playing the April 10-13 Masters, where he has won four of his 14 major championships. “It's too early to know about the Masters, and I will continue to be evaluated and work closely with my doctors,” Woods said on his website. Palmer, the tournament host, said he appreciated Woods calling him and “trying like hell to come here.” Palmer said Woods needs to take time off to get ready for the Masters, adding, “If I were in that position, I’d be doing much the same.” Woods’ game wasn’t consistently sharp before his back problems recurred at the Honda. His last victory was Aug. 4, at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. In his eight Tour starts since, he has only one top-10 finish, a second at The Barclays, where he also experienced back pain. Woods has completed only 10 full rounds on Tour this year. At the Cadillac, he said his back started to spasm on the sixth hole Sunday. He said the more he bent over, the worst it felt. That day he hit only seven greens in regulation, half as much as he did when shooting 66 the day before, and slipped from fourth to a tie for 25th. Woods has said the back problems are far different than the issues he has had with his left knee, surgically repaired four times. He says he has felt back pain when swinging and addressing the ball, whereas pain came after swings when his knee hurt. view

Why Tiger Woods' Sunday blues are overblown

Mar 11, 2014

It's safe to say we've seen the most disappointing back-to-back Sundays of Tiger Woods' career the past two weeks. His lackluster performances have generated discussion about him losing his ability to close, but is this truly a case of final-round pressure finally getting to arguably the game's all-time greatest player? Let's look at the numbers. Actually, before we do that, it's only fair to address Woods' back. It caused him to withdraw from the Honda Classic the previous Sunday, and he was visibly in pain during the final round at Doral. Woods' defenders will point to that as the reason for his Sunday struggles, while Woods' critics will say he's looked pretty good the past two Saturdays. No one knows for sure how much the back has affected his play (he didn't mention it until last Sunday), but here's what we do know view

This Tiger Woods story is the greatest

Feb 13, 2014

There should probably be an entire website (or at least a single blog) devoted to folks telling Tiger Woods stories. Rarely do they disappoint and this one from Woods' old teammate (and current Stanford golf coach) Conrad Ray in GolfDigest is no different: "A few months after Woods left Stanford in 1996, his former teammate Jake Poe told this story, about a day in which Woods, holding a driver, was at the other end of the Stanford range, about 60 yards away, and began walking toward him." "'He was looking at me and I punched a 4-iron shot at him and got it rolling toward his feet,' Poe said. 'He's still walking and in mid-stride he grabs his driver with his other hand. He's got it in both hands now and the ball's rolling at a good pace, and in mid-stride, still walking, he takes a full swing and hits the ball at least 290 yards, a slap shot, perfectly straight. Probably the most impressive shot I've ever seen. Everything in full motion -- him, the ball, everything. Incredible.'" It's like he was put on earth to swing a golf club or something. Let's consider for a moment that Poe is slightly exaggerating or that Ray is misrepresenting a thing or two about what Poe told him. It's still a ridiculous story. What if the ball only went 240 yards? So what, he was still mid-stride and hit a moving ball off the deck with a driver. While walking! Tiger stories, they're the best. view

How to create your own custom-stamped wedges

Feb 07, 2014

Like so many other readers here on GolfWRX, I eagerly look forward to PGA Tour WITB photos each week. One of the most interesting aspects of Tour bags for me (and especially at the Waste Management Open) has always been the custom-stamped wedges and irons, like Morgan Hoffman’s Anchorman-themed wedges pictured above. Custom stamping is no longer just for the Tour, however. Last year, Mizuno offered initial stamping on its wedges and this year Nike is offering it on its irons. But, like many other at-home projects, it’s just so much more satisfying to do it yourself. Let these pictures be a guide to getting started. It’s easier (and cheaper) than you think! view

Stadler wins Phoenix Open for first PGA Tour title, Masters bid

Feb 06, 2014

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Smallrus finally hoisted a big PGA Tour trophy. Kevin Stadler, the 33-year-old son of major champion Craig "The Walrus" Stadler, won the Phoenix Open on Sunday for his first PGA Tour victory. Stadler won when playing partner Bubba Watson missed a 5-foot par putt on 18. "I was a little weird way to win a golf tournament," Stadler said. "I fully expected him to make the putt. I would have rather made mine to win it." PHOENIX OPEN Final scores, earnings Stadler closed with a 3-under 68 for a one-stroke victory over Watson and Canadian Graham DeLaet. Watson shot 71, and DeLaet had a 65. "He beat me," Watson said. "He's a great player." Stadler won in his 239th tour start, earning a spot in the Masters -- a tournament his father won in 1982. The Stadlers are the ninth father-son winners in tour history and will be the first to play in the same Masters. "It's going to great for me because it's really my last one," said Craig Stadler, a 13-time PGA Tour winner with nine Champions Tour victories. "I kept saying, 'When he gets in, that's my last one.' ... I'm proud of him. It's awesome." Kevin Stadler finished at 16-under 268 at TPC Scottsdale, his home course. Raised in Colorado, he played in Denver Broncos colors, wearing an orange shirt and blue pants and hat. view

Flint Township business donates 1,500 golf balls to Flushing soldier in Afghanistan

Feb 06, 2014

FLINT TWP, MI — U.S. Army medevac helicopter pilots stationed in a mountainous area of Afghanistan soon will be working off their stress whacking golf balls donated by Flint Township's King Par Golf. Brendan "B.J." Coleman has played golf his entire life and plays as much as he can when he comes back to the States. The 33-year-old Flushing High School graduate is a medevac helicopter pilot in the Army. Currently serving in Afghanistan, the chief warrant officer 2 and his unit enjoy hitting golf balls in their spare time. "One of the first things that B.J. asked me to send him when he went to Afghanistan was golf balls," laughed Coleman's mother, Andi Willman. "We like to hit golf balls because it is fun and relieves stress. We have only been able to hit a few balls because we only have a few and some get lost. Some of us play golf back home, but some have never swung a club. It's good to share new skills and show others another way to pass the time on those slow days," said Coleman in an email. This is Coleman's 10th year in the Army and second year as a medevac pilot. "He is making a career out of it," said Willman, 61, of Flushing. He is currently completing his degree in aeronautics and has an 11-year-old daughter who he visits as often as possible when he is at his base in the states. view

11 Best Pro Athlete Golfers

Feb 06, 2014

You want to know why some people say pro golfers aren’t really athletes? Because when other athletes need a vacation from the sport they normally play, they play golf. Now, understand, I’m not saying pro golfers aren’t athletes. That’s just the reason why some other people might say it. On the other hand, one might argue that if you don’t have to be a good athlete to be a great golfer, why are so many pro athletes so damn good at golf? And you have to admit, this is a pretty valid point. Of course, none of this explains why pro athletes love to play golf so much in their free time. All we know is, when the season is over, they hit the links. Pick any of the four major pro sports leagues in North America. Toward the end of a season, if a team is in danger of being eliminated from the playoffs, the announcers on TV will say stuff like, “if they don’t win tonight they’ll be playing golf next week.” It’s true, because they all play golf during their offseason like it’s going out of style. This got me to thinking, and this thinking led to a theory: an athlete’s prowess on the golf course ought to be inversely related to his success in whatever sport he plays normally. In other words, if an athlete is always playing late into the playoffs, then he won’t get as much time out on the course, and he won’t be as good a golfer. But if he plays for a team that’s never all that good, he might be a really great golfer. To test my theory, I made this list of the best currently active athlete golfers. Have a look, and judge my theory for yourself. view

Report: Scott lists mansion with round of golf

Feb 05, 2014

Reigning Masters champion Adam Scott's home in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, is up for sale at a price of about $6.25 million, according to Abu Dhabi Week – and beyond the golf-course and coastal views from its pool, there's one heck of an extra perk involved. Scott will play a round of golf with the buyer, Property Observer reported – perhaps that will add some intrigue to the mansion, which the website says Scott built in 2008 at close to the same price with the intention it could serve as a base for European Tour play but has never lived in because of busy schedules on the PGA Tour and in Australia. The five-bedroom villa has about 12,000 square feet of combined indoor and outdoor living space as well as proximity to sought-after schools and a museum all set to open in coming years, LLJ Property said. view

Pebble Beach won't give up its celebrities

Feb 05, 2014

PEBBLE BEACH -- Steve John was a happy man driving to work Tuesday after learning that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning had committed as a late entry to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. "Twitter is blowing up about this," said John, chairman of the Monterey Golf Foundation and tournament director of the AT&T. "Peyton's definitely going to create some ticket sales." The 2014 AT&T can use it. Manning gives a modest spike to an AT&T celebrity field that some view as tepid in the wake of comedian Bill Murray's absence this year. Murray, always a top draw, is filming a movie and is skipping the AT&T for the first time in five years. John's excitement about Manning flies in the face of a notion that the whole celebrity pro-am format might be outdated and possibly endangered in the wake of the Humana Challenge -- formerly the Bob Hope Desert Classic -- completely dropping its celebrity format this year. That decision left the AT&T as the last PGA Tour event to include celebrities in its pro-am field. Albeit indirectly, that raised the obvious question of whether the AT&T might consider dropping celebrities from its tournament and devise a pro-am comprised strictly of touring pros and corporate executives, as the Humana event has done. "Never. It's not happening," John said, emphatically. "I don't know what went into (Humana's) decision, but we're not changing." Actually, John does see change coming in the way celebrities are selected for the AT&T. With the exception of Murray, he would rather not recycle the same old personalities. He hopes to devise a revamped rotation format that adds zing to the celebrity lineup from tournament to tournament. view

Grooves rule prompts confusion at Sea Best

Feb 04, 2014

Confusion regarding USGA rule about grooves emerged Monday at the Sea Best Invitational. Jacksonville's Brett McKinnon was singled out by a playing competitor for a possible violation during the first round at TPC Sawgrass' Stadium Course. The question centered on whether one of his wedges conformed to rules that more strictly limit the size of grooves. The USGA implemented the rule at the U.S. Open and other high-level events in 2010, and the PGA Tour and PGA of America also adopted the rule that year. On Jan. 1 this year, the rule was extended to include this condition of competition to what the USGA calls the “highest level of amateur golf” and is “recommended only for competitions involving expert players.” It leaves implementation of the rule in the hands of a tournament’s competition committee. NCAA rules stipulate that the stricter grooves regulations are not in place for Division I regular-season events, and McKinnon was not docked any shots. "There was no penalty," said Todd Vatter, Jacksonville's sports information director for men's golf. "The ruling is in effect for the postseason only and is optional for the regular season." view

Hitting hooks and slices? Here’s how to control your ball’s curvature

Jan 29, 2014

As with most golfers, controlling the curvature of the golf ball in flight tends to be the most common issue plaguing players’ consistency on a daily basis. While there are a ton of fundamental reasons why your swing is causing the ball to curve off-line, the simplest reason is this: When your ball curves too much, you have a face-to-path ratio that is too diverse. This ratio determines your ball’s spin axis, or the amount the ball will curve in the air in general. Now, I know an off-center hit coupled with the club’s gear effect can also influence the ball’s curvature, but for the sake of this article we will just assume that you have hit the middle of the blade to make things easier to understand. view

Impact location by handicap

Jan 28, 2014

I was teaching a PGA Tour professional the other day and while we were hitting drivers on the Trackman, I sprayed the face with Dr. Sholl’s Odor X in efforts to see the impact point on the club face. Just as I was doing this another student came into the learning center and asked me a question and while I was answering, the Tour pro continued to hit balls — around 10 or so until we could resume our work. Now that we could focus our efforts again, I wanted to reapply the spray to the face so that I could focus on his impact location. As I walked over to wipe the face this is what I saw: view

Scott Stallings earns his stripes at Torrey Pines

Jan 27, 2014

LA JOLLA — Like many on the PGA Tour's traveling road show, Scott Stallings is mostly a name in the small print. That should change now, at least for a while. When he won the Farmers Insurance Open on Sunday at Torrey Pines, it gave his career both a tangible and intangible boost. Bill Dwyre Bill Dwyre Bio | E-mail | Recent columns Also Scott Stallings breaks out of the pack to win at Torrey Pines Scott Stallings breaks out of the pack to win at Torrey Pines Gary Woodland leads as Tiger Woods leaves Gary Woodland leads as Tiger Woods leaves Tiger Woods misses secondary cut at Torrey Pines with third-round 79 Tiger Woods misses secondary cut at Torrey Pines with third-round 79 Phil Mickelson withdraws from Torrey Pines because of back pain Phil Mickelson withdraws from Torrey Pines because of back pain Jordan Spieth hangs in there at Torrey Pines Jordan Spieth hangs in there at Torrey Pines Jordan Spieth steals Torrey Pines spotlight with a 63 Jordan Spieth steals Torrey Pines spotlight with a 63 The tangibles are easy. First place was worth $1.098 million. Also a spot in the Masters. That means he can return to Augusta National, to the spot on No. 18 where he can revisit an incredible Tiger Woods drive. He'll probably take his dad, they'll walk to the spot and talk about what they always do — that day when he was 12 years old. More on that later. The intangibles are less clear. He won a tournament on a course that refuses to play second fiddle to any golfer. Golf fans know what it means just to win on tour. Better, they know what it means to win at Torrey. Lots of players broke par during this tournament. None would say it was easy. Nor could any take hold of it when they needed to Sunday. Stallings would agree that, as well as he played, he merely survived better than the others. At one point Sunday, there were 19 players within two shots of the lead and 23 within three. Slowly but surely, Torrey Pines chewed them up, spit them out and deemed Stallings most worthy. More interesting in the category of intangibles is that, by winning, Stallings got a chance to tell his story, one truly worth listening to. view

Even if he does win the Farmers, Tiger Woods can't win this week

Jan 24, 2014

LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Contrary to popular belief there are things Tiger Woods hasn't done at Torrey Pines, host of this week's Farmers Insurance Open. He has never greeted the first Spanish explorers on the first tee. He has never sailed his yacht through the tiny water hazard on 18. Everything else? Done it. Woods didn't have his best stuff in the first round Thursday, but he scratched out an even-par 72 on the difficult South Course. At times fighting a two-way miss with the driver, he at least didn't shoot himself out of it and trails first-round leader Stewart Cink (64, North Course) by eight. Gary Woodland shot 65 on the North and trailed Cink by one. "Well, even par's not too bad," Woods said, "but I didn't play the par 5s worth a darn. I played them even par. I parred all of them. Obviously that's paramount to try and get any kind of scoring on the South course is you've got to take care of the par 5s, because there's not a lot of holes [where] you can make birdies here." A big crowd turned up to watch Woods -- wearing a light pink shirt with gray and black trim, and black slacks -- brawl the South and its healthy rough. He was coming off a long break -- it's been over six weeks since he finished runner-up to Zach Johnson at the World Challenge at Sherwood, a few hours north of here -- and the world No. 1 at times looked rusty. On the dogleg-right, par-5 sixth hole, he pulled his drive left into the fairway bunker, hit his second shot into the right rough and couldn't get up and down from there. At the 611-yard, straightaway, par-5 ninth, he lost his drive right, letting go of the club and letting it fall to the ground in front of him. He made pars on both holes. That was underwhelming, but not terrible. Although there was talk that the South might play like "a mini-U.S. Open," as Jason Day (66 on the North) put it, Woods said it did not. "We figured the Tour might soften it up and they did," he said. "The balls were holding and a couple of wedge shots were spinning back." Still, he hit just seven of 14 fairways and made two birdies against two bogeys. Playing partner Jordan Spieth, the runaway Rookie of the Year in 2013, hit 11 of 14 fairways but could manage only a 1-under 71, while Jimmy Walker, the third member of the group, struggled and signed for a 74. "I didn't feel that rusty," Woods said. "I felt that I hit a lot of good shots. I hit probably three loose ones out there, which, that's just the way it goes, but it wasn't that bad. As I said, I needed to take care of the par 5s today. If I play those normal, I'm 2- or 3-under par and all the sudden it's a pretty good round." Although he finds himself well down the leaderboard in his bid for a ninth professional title at Torrey, Woods at least gets a shot at the easier North Course on Friday. In a way he can't lose. He's in Southern California, not far from where he grew up. He can work on his game with coach Sean Foley in the secluded north end of the driving range. view

Dr. V’s Magical Putter

Jan 17, 2014

trange stories can find you at strange times. Like when you’re battling insomnia and looking for tips on your short game. It was well past midnight sometime last spring and I was still awake despite my best efforts. I hadn’t asked for those few extra hours of bleary consciousness, but I did try to do something useful with them. I play golf. Sometimes poorly, sometimes less so. Like all golfers, I spend far too much time thinking of ways to play less poorly more often. That was the silver lining to my sleeplessness — it gave me more time to scour YouTube for tips on how to play better. And it was then, during one of those restless nights, that I first encountered Dr. Essay Anne Vanderbilt, known to friends as Dr. V. She didn’t appear in the video. As I would later discover, it’s almost impossible to find a picture, let alone a moving image, of Dr. V on the Internet. Instead, I watched a clip of two men discussing the radical new idea she had brought to golf. Gary McCord did most of the talking. A tournament announcer for CBS with the mustache of a cartoon villain, McCord is one of the few golf figures recognizable to casual sports fans because he’s one of the few people who ever says anything interesting about the sport. view

Greg Norman says he 'probably' would have beaten Tiger Woods

Dec 13, 2013

Greg Norman is clearly a fan of stirring the pot with his quotes and this one about Tiger Woods on is no different. Norman got to talking about winning and what it's all about and unleashed this gem" "A lot of people ask how I'd stack up against today's players if I had use of modern equipment. Listen, it's not about the gear. Winning is about what's in your heart and in your head. Equipment dictates how to play the game in an era, but the physical and mental skills are the same. And I had them. I never feared anything or anyone on the course, and I wasn't afraid to fail. So I think I'd do pretty well against Snead, Hogan, Tiger and Phil -- whoever. Tiger's a tough guy, but I was a tough guy on the course, too. I probably would have beat him." Well, ok, a lot of people beat Tiger Woods. Victor Dubuisson just beat Tiger Woods in a tournament in Turkey. Zach Johnson beat him in California. He's been beat at tournaments by thousands of golfers over the course of his career. I guess I don't really understand what Norman is saying. Does he think he would have taken Woods down at the majors? Does he think he would be better than Woods if he played today? The entire article is actually really good but this quote is quite silly, especially without context. view

2013 GIFs of the Year: Tiger Woods

Dec 13, 2013

Over the next two weeks, I’ll be posting my 2013 Golf GIF Roundups, broken down into several ‘Best Of’ categories. First up, we look at the season of Tiger Woods. There’s an argument to be made that 2013 was the most interesting year of Tiger Woods’ career. From his five wins to more major disappointment and the rules infractions, 2013 wasn’t lacking for drama when it came to the game’s most popular player. The best GIFs of Tiger’s season are listed below. If you hover over each image, you’ll get a brief description of why it made the list. view

If His Play Doesn’t Improve in 2014, Duval Says He’ll Do Something Else

Dec 12, 2013

A mid-life career change may be in the near-future for David Duval, according to a recent torrent of tweets from the one-time top-ranked player in the world. “As a player you need to perform and if I don’t do that in 2014 I will do something else,” the 42-year-old informed his followers on Twitter, in the course of a 14-tweet barrage. Duval’s drawn-out decline, marked by injuries, mechanical issues and struggles with the mental game, has dropped him well below the radar to No. 1,528 in the World Golf Rankings. view

Tiger Woods looking forward to '14

Dec 06, 2013

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- With his final tournament of 2013 set to begin Thursday, Tiger Woods has his sights set on the 2014 major championships. Harig: Bridging The Gap Playing in Tiger's tournament this week means different things to all 18 golfers in the field, writes Bob Harig. Story Stuck on 14 majors since his 2008 U.S. Open victory, the topic is never far from the discussion with Woods, who has 79 PGA Tour victories and turns 38 on Dec. 30. "I've won at every one except (U.S. Open venue) Pinehurst," Woods said of the four host courses for the 2014 major championships. "And I'm trending in the right way. I've finished third, second ... you get the picture, right? OK. So I'm looking forward to the major championships. They have set up well for me over the years, and I look forward to it." Woods has won four times at Augusta National, but will be going on nine years since his last victory at the Masters when the tournament is played in April. He was in contention at both the 1999 and 2005 U.S. Opens at Pinehurst. He tied for third, two strokes behind winner Payne Stewart in 1999, and was second, two shots behind winner Michael Campbell in 2005. Woods won the last Open Championship played at Royal Liverpool in 2006, famously hitting just one driver off the tee throughout the tournament on his way to capturing his third Claret Jug. And his 2000 victory at Valhalla, where the PGA Championship returns, gave him three straight major championships that year. [+] EnlargeTiger Woods ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images Tiger Woods said Wednesday of his five PGA Tour wins in 2013: "That's a pretty good number; no one (else) did that this year, so I'm very pleased at the year overall." Woods the No. 1-ranked player in the world, headlines the field at this week's Northwestern Mutual Challenge at Sherwood Country Club, the annual fundraiser for his foundation that next year will move to Florida. All 18 players in the field are ranked among the top 30 in the world. Woods has won the event five times and looks to end the year on a strong note after winning five times on the PGA Tour, his last victory coming in August at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. "My goals are still the same -- keep improving," he said. "I feel like I've improved this year more than I did over the previous year. Won five times. That's a pretty good number; no one [else] did that this year, so I'm very pleased at the year overall. "I certainly wish I could have played a little better in major championships. I was there at the Masters and the British certainly with a chance, but just didn't get it done. The other two I didn't played well." view

Talking Points Brandel Chamblee's job is to opine -- and he should be allowed to do so

Dec 06, 2013

First things first: While I'm not sure exactly how many times I've been paired with Tiger Woods, it has been often enough to convince me of his basic integrity as a golfer. Yes, Tiger is ultra-competitive. Yes, he can be accused of playing with "blinders" on during tournaments. But I have never -- not once -- seen him attempt to gain any unfair or dubious advantage. And that fact has me convinced there was neither ulterior motive nor inappropriate intent lurking beneath his involvement in various rules incidents this year. So I can't say I agree with what Brandel Chamblee had to say about Tiger. Not completely anyway. His was a pretty strong point of view, one I would hesitate to replicate when talking about anyone, never mind the best player of this generation. I certainly don't think Tiger is "cavalier" with the rules. But here's the thing. The resulting backlash against Brandel was also unfair. While he used language that was, in places, too hyperbolic for my taste, the principle of him being able to share with us his expert assessment is too important to be abused. view

Helpful Golfing Tips for Your Next Getaway

Dec 02, 2013

If you love the game of golf, then chances are you must have embarked on several golf getaways. As such, you might certainly know a handful of tips that you can use to make your golf dollars last longer at your favorite golf partners club. Basic tips to follow include booking your trips during low seasons, booking last minute deals or looking out for those great golf package deals. view

Golf is a rotation sport right? You still need more hip extension

Nov 26, 2013

What is hip extension? In terms of your body, everything you do involves a rotational force, or torque, around a pivot. By this we mean a muscle contracts creating force, that force is exerted at a lever creating a turning moment. In the case of hip extension and flexion you have a lever formed by the skeletal structure of the hip girdle and spine that move into flexion or extension as the glutes, hamstrings and spinal erectors or hip flexors respectively contract. Hip extension is one of the most basic human movement patterns; think of bending over to pick something up. In its simplest form hip extension takes us from bent over at the hips to standing up right. Good mornings, back extensions and kettlebell swings are the purest hip extension movements we can do in the gym, although deadlifts, cleans, snatches and squats still involve a high degree of hip extension. It is one of the strongest, most powerful movement patterns available to the human body. Think about pushing you car when it won’t start, you don’t stand straight up and push, you bend from your hips, activating your hamstrings and glutes and push like that, your body knows this is much more powerful. Why is hip extension important? Respected strength coaches such as Dan John have been touting the benefits of hip extension movements for years for everything from increasing your total, a more developed posterior chain, full body power development, better movement quality and even a better quality of life! Indeed Gray Cook has included hip extension movements in his famous functional movement assessments and believes them to be one of the most important basic movement patterns. There is a large body of research evidence demonstrating hip extension as a vital part of most athletic activities from sprinting to jumping. Hip extension has even been shown to play a vital role, even sports traditionally thought of as rotational in nature, such as baseball hitting velocity, rotational throws like shot put or hammer or the golf swing. view

The best players with only one major victory

Nov 21, 2013

It's one of the clichés that nearly all media are guilty of spouting, especially the TV media, when a player wins his first major championship. He's taken his game to the next level. Now that he's got the first one, the floodgates could break open. Except in most cases that first major doesn't even lead to a small puddle, much less a flood. We obsess about players who haven't scored that first major championship and how their careers are supposedly lacking. Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson, to name a few, are tired of hearing it. It's a backhanded compliment. Once these guys win a major, though, we often expect them to turn into world-beaters and jump to the top of the world rankings. That doesn't happen so often, either. And so we now take a look at golf's current one-hit wonders. Did we expect most of them to win a second major? Absolutely. But it hasn't happened yet for them. Here's my list of the current Best Players With Only One Major Championship: 1. Adam Scott (World No. 2) He won the Masters, finally, and he's repeatedly in contention in the majors. He's looking more and more like the best player in the game these days, a title for which Tiger is the other serious contender; his ballstriking has gone to the next level; and he's got two more years before his anchored long-putter is banned. It could be a sweet two years because no one truly believes he's done winning majors. He's just getting started. Time since major win: Seven months. 2. Justin Rose (5) At 33, the Englishman's game has come of age. He's not a prolific winner, with five wins on the PGA Tour, including this year's U.S. Open at Merion, and six in Europe. But he's won some pretty big tournaments against some pretty good fields and he's come up with big shots in clutch Ryder Cup moments. More majors to come? You'd think so. Time since major win: Five months. 3. Jason Dufner (10) The Duff, 36, is a late-bloomer, and based on his tousled hair, usually looks like a late riser. His ballstriking was dominant at Oak Hill, where he landed a PGA Championship in August -- a mild surprise only because his putting can be spotty. But as a semi-folk hero after his hilarious Dufnering pose, he was a popular winner. He should contend in a few more majors. Time since major win: Three months. view

Stenson's key to success (or not): 'Double portions of carrots'

Nov 19, 2013

Conventional wisdom finds that success is achieved by digging it out of the dirt, though apparently now it depends on what it is that is dug from the dirt. Carrots, for instance. "Eating double portions of carrots in June," Henrik Stenson said, explaining his remarkable resurgence that includes another victory and pot of gold. Stenson won the DP World Tour Championship on Sunday and the European Tour's Race to Dubai, a payday of $2.33 million. Two months ago, he won the PGA Tour's Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup, an $11.44 million payday. blog-henrik-stenson-1117.jpgStenson was kidding about the carrots, frivolity the prerogative of a man playing so well it's a joke. "Massive congrats to @henrikstenson best player on the planet. I tried but the man is playing some serious golf right now," Ian Poulter wrote on Twitter. Poulter, who finished second to Stenson, has played his own serious golf, to no avail beyond his bottom line. As his caddie Terry Mundy noted on Twitter, "62 under par for four weeks and not a trophy in sight!" Related: 2013's major championships in review Poulter lost ground on Sunday, even with a closing round of 66. Stenson posted his second 64 of the tournament and third in two weeks to win by six. view

Top 10 Golf Shots To Clinch A Major

Nov 19, 2013

Many of us have stood over a birdie putt on the 18th green pretending we need to make it to beat Tiger at Augusta… Not you? Maybe I’m just a golf nerd. The last time it happened to me, I got to thinking about the best shots in golf history. There have been some pretty cool moments in modern golf: Tiger’s putt at Torrey Pines to force a playoff with Rocco Mediate, Bubba Watson’s 40 yard hook from the trees at Augusta, and Corey Pavin’s 4-wood at Shinnecock, to name a few. view

Private Golf Courses: Hitting Out of The Rough

Nov 19, 2013

Privately held golf courses and country clubs are still trying to hit out of the rough, but data from Sageworks, a financial information company, shows that at least sales may be out of the deep rough. Sales at privately owned golf courses and country clubs have risen 5.5 percent over the 12 months ended April, according to the latest Sageworks Private Company Report. That’s slightly better than the 4.6 percent increase in 2012 and the biggest gain since 2004, according to a financial statement analysis. Despite the sales improvements, courses and clubs, on average, are still struggling with profitability, noted Sageworks analyst Brad Schaefer. Net losses for golf courses have been around 2 percent of sales since 2012, though that’s an improvement from negative mid-single-digit margins from 2009 through 2011, Sageworks data shows. “It still doesn’t look like they’re in a great position from their net profit margins, which are still negative, but it’s definitely better than it has been,” Schaefer said. He noted that golf courses may be able to cut some spending to account for lower sales in lean years. But the capital-intensive nature of courses – with greens that must be maintained using equipment that breaks down and fertilizer that must be replenished – means it may be tough to adjust spending commensurately with fluctuating greens fees in order to maintain profitability. view

Race to Dubai 2013 Standings: Final Rankings and Prize Money Earnings

Nov 19, 2013

The Race to Dubai came to an exciting conclusion earlier today, as Henrik Stenson ran away with the title in record-breaking fashion. On the fourth day of the tournament, the Swedish star posted an incredible 64 for the second time in three rounds, finishing six shots ahead of the pack at 25 under overall at the DP World Tour Championship. Stenson's win was one for the history books, as he became the first man to win both the FedEx Cup and the World Tour Championship, in addition to the Race to Dubai crown he'd all but locked up before the weekend even began. Heading into the anticipated showdown in Dubai, Stenson could have won the Race to Dubai without earning a single European Tour victory this season, which is a true indication of how consistently competitive the 37-year-old has been in 2013. Just behind Stenson in the final Race to Dubai rankings were Ian Poulter, who also finished second at the tournament in Dubai, as well as Justin Rose, who was within striking distance of catching the Swede heading into the World Tour Championship. After the fourth and final event, here's a look at the rankings: Final Race to Dubai Rankings Rank Golfer Nationality Points 1 Henrik Stenson SWE 4,103,796 2 Ian Poulter ENG 3,172,729 3 Justin Rose ENG 2,665,376 4 Graeme McDowell NI 2,420,306 5 Jamie Donaldson WAL 2,181,113 6 Victor Dubuisson FRA 2,031,675 7 Gonzalo F'dez-Castano SPA 1,767,156 8 Richard Sterne SA 1,687,014 9 Thongchai Jaidee THA 1,585,521 10 Thomas Bjorn DEN 1,546,736 view

Jason Day loses eight family members to Typhoon Haiyan

Nov 19, 2013

Eight members of Jason Day’s family died as a result of Typhoon Haiyan, a record-setting storm that hit the Philippines on Nov. 8 and has account for almost 4000 deaths. The Herald Sun is reporting that Day’s grandmother, uncle and six cousins died in the disaster. One of Day’s aunts was found alive despite being swept to another village, according to the report, while another aunt’s family survived after binding themselves together with rope and taking refuge in an attic. Day’s mother, Dening, migrated from to Philipines to Australia three decades ago, where the 26-year-old Day was born. According to one of Day’s sisters, Yanna, her sister Kim was the only sibling to have met the grandmother and extended family. But that the loss “impacted all of them,” Yanna said. Day is scheduled to play in the ISPS World Cup at The Royal Melbourne Club in Melbourne, Australia this week. He released the following statement today through the PGA Tour: “I am deeply saddened to confirm that multiple members of my family lost their lives as the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. My family and I are thankful for all who have reached out with their prayers and concern. We feel devastated for all who have been affected by this horrific tragedy. While I understand the media’s interest in this matter and hope that any coverage can spread awareness to assist with the relief efforts that continue in the Phillipines, I hope that all will respect my family’s privacy during this difficult time. I will have no further public comments at this time. Please pray for all who have suffered loss. Thank you.” view

Footage of JFK's golf swing shows how the best golfing president compensated for back pain

Nov 13, 2013

Boasting a single-digit handicap, President John F. Kennedy is widely considered the best golfer to have served in the Oval Office. Amidst so many other retrospectives on his life and legacy, we at Golf Digest do what's only fitting for us to do: analyze his golf swing. Related: Ranking the golfing Presidents For that, we enlisted Jason Guss, a Senior Academy Instructor at Rick Smith Golf Academy and one of Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers, to talk through what he sees in the nation's 35th President. "This is great," Guss said. "Being a golf instructor, you don't really ever study presidential golf swings." Setup JFK suffered from severe chronic back pain for most of his life, and at times it was debilitating. With the spine being the integral part of the golf swing that it is, JFK was forced to compensate for it in a number of ways. At address he has a narrow stance, his upper body is hunched over and his hands are all very close to his body. These are all things that are common among players with back problems, Guss said. view

Carry on: Tour caddies make the right move in organizing APTC

Nov 08, 2013

So this is what happens when they cancel the caddie races. Many of the most high-profile caddies in professional golf, as well as members of the rank and file, have banded together to form the Association of Professional Tour Caddies (APTC) in order to create both a unified voice and lobby. Now, before you say, “These guys get paid hundred of thousands of dollars to carry a bag,” it’s important to remember that professional caddies do much more than merely hand a player his/her club; they are vital to the success of professional golfers. One of the best brief summaries of the roles caddie play beyond charting courses, giving yardages, and carrying bags was written by Larry Dorman in the New York Times during the course of the Tiger Woods-Steve Williams split: “[Caddies] are traffic cops, psychiatrists and meteorologists. They are chauffeurs, butlers, and bodyguards, buddies, sidekicks and frequent dinner companions. When things get really tough, they are guard dogs, attack dogs.” The “dogs” are often not treated with the same level of respect by tournament hosts and venues as players. At The Barclays, according to APTC President James Edmondson, the following occurred during a rain delay: “A security guy came in, started berating us, asking to see everyone’s ID, and then began kicking out our families into the rain. We all thought, ‘Would they ever do this to the players in their area?’ That’s when we decided to have a meeting.” The result of that meeting, attended by half of the caddies looping in New York that week: a unanimous vote to become an association. The group hired the law firm of Barlow, Garsek & Simon to represent them and established a board of caddies, which includes Tiger Woods’ caddie, Joe LaCava. As Christian Dennie, an attorney for the caddies said: The caddies play an instrumental role in the success of tour players and the success of professional golf. In an effort to further their profession, caddies have united to provide more information about their role in professional golf and obtain group benefits that will allow them to have retirement accounts and health care like many Americans who watch golf each week. view

Watch 2013 Australian PGA Championships Live Golf Streaming Online On HD TV

Nov 07, 2013

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Tiger Woods' public row with Brandel Chamblee raises many questions about Woods -- as well as the future of the game

Nov 07, 2013

This story is in the Nov. 11, 2013, issue of Sports Illustrated. To read more stories from the issue and to purchase a digital subscription to the magazine, go here. If you want to do something ridiculously unpopular, take on Tiger Woods. You'll be called a racist, a moron and, worst of all, a hack. Brandel Chamblee, who won one PGA Tour event in a 15-year playing career, learned that lesson the hard way. Chamblee is an insightful, articulate, stat-wielding analyst for Golf Channel who for a decade now has been both lavish in his praise of Woods' golfing accomplishments and (at times) almost comically critical of his ever-evolving swing. This year Woods has given him a bunch of fresh material. Woods has had a series of brushes with the rule book in 2013. At the BMW Championship outside Chicago in September, a Tour official penalized Woods two shots when a high-def video close-up showed that he had caused his ball to move fractionally when he started to remove a twig that the ball was leaning against. In his professional life Woods -- whose personal life was turned upside down by prying cameras -- is under constant surveillance, and he doesn't like it. He was hot and profane in the scorer's trailer. When he emerged, he was dismissive of the ruling and, by extension, the respected official who had made it. Woods could have withdrawn in protest. Instead he played on. Chamblee recently called Woods "duplicitous" on Golf Channel. That's a nervy thing to say because the cable network has a high-stakes business relationship with the PGA Tour. The Tour and Golf Channel share a star attraction. Good talkers, like Chamblee, learn to choose their words carefully, and live to talk another day. Chamblee has another outlet for his thoughts about the game, writing at Golf Magazine and at, which are part of the Sports Illustrated Golf Group. In a short, blunt piece posted Oct.15, Chamblee gave end-of-season grades to various players. He gave Woods, despite five wins, an F, for being "a little cavalier with the rules." Chamblee prefaced that remark by describing his own experience as a cheater on a fourth-grade math test. He never called Woods a cheater, but the implication was clear. Internet posters went crazy, telling Chamblee that he was a Tiger-hater, a bigot, an idiot and a failed player. To the non-orthodox, golf's rules seem persnickety. But others in the game, both its high priests and those toiling in its vineyards, understand that without strict adherence to the game's often complicated and sometimes ridiculous rules, competitive golf unravels. The messenger -- Chamblee -- was shot repeatedly. view

Police say alcohol involved in fatal golf cart crash

Nov 07, 2013

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. —A Jeffersonville golf cart accident left one man dead and another behind bars, facing charges. S. IND. MAN ARRESTED FOLLOWING GOLF CART FATALITY Matthew Myers A southern Indiana man faces preliminary charges after a friend riding with him in a golf cart was ejected from the vehicle and suffered a fatal injury. MORE It happened early Saturday when the friends took the same golf cart they planned to drive to Thunder Over Louisville for a spin. That drive took a turn for the worse, leaving one dead and another facing serious charges. Police said alcohol was involved. A memorial marks the spot where 32-year-old Chad Anderson lost his life Saturday. His close friend, 33-year-old Matthew Myers, was arrested. Police said Myers was behind the wheel. "It is a tragedy. We've spoken with the family, and Mr. Myers and Mr. Anderson have apparently known each other most, if not all, of their lives. They go back to school age together," said Jeffersonville Detective Todd Hollis. WLKY reached out to both families and spoke with Clark County Sheriff Maj. Chuck Adams, who said Anderson was his son-in-law. Adams said Anderson enjoyed riding motorcycles and it's hard to believe a golf cart accident took his life. Anderson leaves behind a wife and a 3 1/2-year-old son. view

Golf Channel's Big Break Series Chooses Sunshine State As Backdrop For 21st Season

Nov 06, 2013

Golf Channel’s popular BIG BREAK reality competition series has picked Amelia Island, Fla., as the competition grounds for its 21st season, premiering Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. BIG BREAK FLORIDA, produced in partnership with VISIT FLORIDA and taking place at Omni Amelia Island Plantation, will feature a cast of 12 women competing to make their lifelong dreams of playing alongside the world’s top golfers come true. The winner of BIG BREAK FLORIDA will receive an exemption to the 2014 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic (June 5-8, 2014), exempt status on the 2015 Symetra Tour with all entry fees waived, cash and other prizes. Filmed on location in October, the series will unfold at Omni Amelia Island Plantation’s three award-winning golf courses – Oak Marsh, Ocean Links and Long Point Golf Courses. Oak Marsh Golf Course, a classic Pete Dye design, is ranked as one of the top 75 resort courses in the U.S. by Golf Digest and as one of “Florida’s 50 Finest Courses” by Travel & Leisure. Ocean Links Golf Course, a Bobby Weed design, features five oceanfront holes overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and winds through six miles of natural sand dunes and seaside terrain that is unique to Amelia Island. Long Point Golf Course is a Tom Fazio design that features rolling fairways winding through three distinctive settings: marshlands, thick oak and pine forest, and scenic oceanfront dunes. “BIG BREAK is a cornerstone of our original series franchises, and it has proven to be a launching pad for many professional golfers hoping to break through to the LPGA Tour, including Solheim Cup veterans Kristy McPherson, Ryann O’Toole and Gerina Piller,” said Golf Channel Senior Vice President of Programming Tom Knapp. “One of our objectives for BIG BREAK is to place the contestants in tournament golf conditions while showcasing a picturesque destination, and we accomplished both with BIG BREAK FLORIDA. We are excited to partner with VISIT FLORIDA and Omni Amelia Island Plantation for the series’ 21st season.” “Golf Channel's selection of Omni Amelia Island Plantation as home to BIG BREAK FLORIDA validates our exceptional golf offerings and provides us with an incredibly unique opportunity to showcase the resort as a premier golf destination,” said Paul Eckert, general manager of Omni Amelia Island Plantation. “We are very excited and honored to represent the Omni brand, as well as the great state of Florida.” “Big Break Florida is the start of a relationship between VISIT FLORIDA, NBC Sports and the Golf Channel that will showcase Florida as a preferred destination for leisure travel,” said Paul Phipps, VISIT FLORIDA’s Chief Marketing Officer. “With nearly 1,500 courses to choose from in the Sunshine State, we look forward to this unique opportunity to reach Big Break’s audience of avid golf enthusiasts.” view

INTERVIEW-Golf-Curse of the kids hampers Tiger's Turkish countdown

Nov 06, 2013

Nov 5 (Reuters) - World number one Tiger Woods will have to overcome the 'Curse of the Kids' if he is to challenge for the first prize of 848,930 euros ($1.14 million) at this week's Turkish Airlines Open. The 14-times major champion is back in action at the European Tour event in Antalya on the Mediterranean coast after taking a much-needed four-week break from competitive golf. Unfortunately, though, he picked up a bug from one of his children while he was away from the spotlight. "My (six-year-old) daughter Sam was sick and it's just the way it goes," said a bunged-up Woods as he coughed and sniffed his way through an interview with Reuters. "Kids get sick, you get sick and you've just got to deal with it. I've done it for years now so it's no big deal. "I feel good though. Energy-wise I feel great, I just don't sound the same." Woods certainly looked in tip-top shape on Tuesday as he became the first golfer to hit balls from east to west off the Bosphorus Bridge. The 37-year-old struck several shots from the iconic structure that connects Asia to Europe in a special Istanbul photoshoot. "To be the first golfer to do this was very cool," said Woods. "To see the Bosphorus for the first time was a memorable experience." Traffic was stopped for 20 minutes on one half of the bridge and the American had to make sure he was especially straight with his ball-striking in order to avoid the vehicles coming down the opposite side. Woods has not played competitively since the biennial Presidents Cup match between the United States and the Internationals in Ohio at the start of October. "I didn't touch a club for almost two weeks," he told Reuters. "I shut it down, got away from it, put the clubs in storage and just hung out with the kids. "I trained in the gym but I didn't want to have anything to do with golf for a while. We've played so much since the British Open in July with World Golf Championship events, the U.S. PGA Championship, the FedExCup series and then the Presidents Cup. TIRED OF GOLF view

Punch Shot: Will Tiger or Rory have the better 2014?

Oct 29, 2013

Rory McIlroy defeated Tiger Woods Monday in a one-on-one exhibition match in China. Both have a few more starts in 2013, but the focus is already on the upcoming year. Who will have the better 2014? writers weigh in. view

Tiger Woods, EA Sports part ways

Oct 29, 2013

Tiger Woods and Electronic Arts have mutually agreed to end their partnership, which included Woods' named PGA TOUR video game, the company announced on Monday. EA is developing a golf title for next-generation game consoles and said it will continue to work with the PGA TOUR -- albeit without Woods. "We've always been big fans of Tiger and we wish him continued success in all his future endeavors," said Daryl Holt, vice president and general manager of golf for EA Sports, on the company's blog. "Moving forward, we will continue to work with the PGA TOUR exclusively to create groundbreaking golfing titles and our partnership remains strong." Calls and emails to Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, were not immediately returned. Under the EA agreement, the company had released a title bearing Woods' name every year from 1998 through 2013. Prior to that, it published a number of games under the PGA TOUR name. view


Oct 29, 2013

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The LPGA Tour waived its age requirement Monday for Lydia Ko, clearing the way for the 16-year-old from New Zealand to join the tour in 2014. Ko won't be like most LPGA Tour rookies. She already is a two-time champion, having won the Women's Canadian Open at 15 last year to become the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history, and then successfully defending her title this summer in Canada. Born in South Korea and raised in New Zealand, she already is No. 5 in women's world ranking. Ko contended in the Evian Championship in France, and a short time letter asked the LPGA Tour to waive its requirement that players be 18 or older to join. "We are looking forward to having Lydia as a full-time member for the 2014 season," LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan said. "It is not often that the LPGA welcomes a rookie who is already a back-to-back champion." Ko plans to play the LPGA Titleholders in Naples, Fla., at the end of November. By granting her petition now, Whan said the teenager will be able to take part in rookie development sessions early next year before the season gets under way. "It has always been my dream goal to play on the LPGA, and play against the world's best players," Ko said. "I know that becoming a member is not only performing well, but to deal with responsibilities very well. Women's golf is growing day by day and I would love to be able to inspire other girls to take up the game, and go for it. I believe this is only the start to my career and I have many new things to learn along the way." view

Woods Says the Next Step Is up to Golf Channel

Oct 28, 2013

Tiger Woods issued a veiled challenge to Golf Channel over a column written by analyst Brandel Chamblee that a series of rules violations by Woods amounted to cheating. Woods spoke publicly for the first time since Chamblee, a longtime critic of the world's No. 1 player, wrote a column for SI Golf Plus in which he gave Woods an "F'' for his season for being "a little cavalier" with the rules. Chamblee is best known for his work with Golf Channel, though he also is a contributor to SI Golf Plus. He took to Twitter last week to apologize to Woods for "this incited discourse," though not for the content of his column. "All I am going to say is that I know I am going forward," Woods said before his exhibition match with Rory McIlroy at Mission Hills. "But then, I don't know what the Golf Channel is going to do or not. But then that's up to them. The whole issue has been very disappointing as he didn't really apologize and he sort of reignited the whole situation. "So the ball really is in the court of the Golf Channel and what they are prepared to do." Golf Channel has not commented on the flap. Chamblee has said he was not asked to apologize by anyone. Chamblee saved Woods for last in his report card of 14 players in a column posted Oct. 18 on He told of getting caught cheating on a math test in the fourth grade, and how the teacher crossed a line through his "100" and gave him an "F." Chamblee followed that anecdote by writing, "I remember when we only talked about Tiger's golf. I miss those days. He won five times and contended in majors and won the Vardon Trophy and ... how shall we say this ... was a little cavalier with the rules." He then gave Woods a "100" with a line through it, followed by the "F." In one of his tweets last week, Chamblee said he intended to point out Woods' rules infractions, "but comparing that to cheating in grade school went too far." Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, was so incensed by the column that he issued a statement to that raised the possibility of legal action. Steinberg shared his client's views. "I'm all done talking about it and it's now in the hands of the Golf Channel," Steinberg said. "That's Tiger's view and that's mine, and all we want to do is move forward. And whether the Golf Channel moves forward as well, then we'll have to wait and see." Woods accepted a two-shot penalty in Abu Dhabi for taking relief from an embedded ball in a sandy area covered with vegetation. Augusta National gave him a two-shot penalty for taking the wrong drop in the second round of the Masters. And the PGA Tour gave him a two-shot penalty after his second round of the BMW Championship when video evidence showed that his ball moved slightly from behind the first green. Even after watching the video, Woods insisted that his ball only oscillated. view

The Ups & Downs Tiger Woods is winning everything but majors. What's behind the strain of surpassing Nicklaus?

Oct 24, 2013

JACK NICKLAUS: 'Once he gets over the hurdle of winning another [major], the next one will come easier.' PAUL AZINGER: 'Now, in majors, you can see the burden written on Tiger's face.' RELATED LINKS DIAZ: TIGER WOODS AND THE MAJOR CHASE SIRAK: TIGER WOODS' MAJOR MALAISE KINDRED: WOODS' MASTERS MESS MYERS: THE TIGER WOODS TIMELINE INSIDE HANEY'S BOOK 'THE BIG MISS' DAVID FAY: A MEASURE OF GREATNESS DIAZ: TIGER, PHIL AND PLAYER OF THE YEAR SWING SEQUENCE: TIGER WOODS TIGER WOODS: INFO & PGA TOUR STATS MORE ON TIGER WOODS BY JAIME DIAZ PHOTOS BY DOM FURORE November 2013 It seems that as the clock begins to tick louder, the volume of the conversation is turned up. Nobody wants the greatest water-cooler topic in golf—probably in all of sports—to end. Will Tiger Woods break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 professional majors? Will he overcome age, injury, swing changes, trauma and life to somehow win five more majors over the 40 or so he might have left? Or is it possible that Woods has finally ceased getting better and has abruptly stopped being good enough to win even one more? In 2013, perhaps the most confounding year of his career, he produced plenty of material for both sides of the argument. With two official tournaments left in September, he'd won five times to reach 79 career victories, three short of Sam Snead's career record. It was the 10th time Woods had won at least that many in a year, three more times than Nicklaus did. Woods won by four strokes at Torrey Pines and by seven at Firestone. His most impressive victory came at the Players Championship, where he plotted his way around a course that has given him trouble, ending the final round with a perfectly drawn 5-wood on the perilous 18th. It was the most "back" Woods has looked. survey By March, he'd overtaken Rory McIlroy to regain the No. 1 ranking. No matter how Woods compares to himself, he has established he's once again the best in the game. But in the most important measure, Woods didn't win a major. He has been stuck on 14 career majors since winning the 2008 U.S. Open, an 18-tournament streak that is the longest of his career by eight. After a tantalizing T-4 at Augusta, he didn't come very close in the remaining three this year. As he had in 2012, Woods came into two of the majors with a victory in his preceding event and generally looked primed for peak performances that somehow didn't happen. "I was very surprised," Nicklaus says. "Absolutely." view

Dorman: Strokes-gained putting opens door to further analysis

Oct 24, 2013

It’s finally happened. Decades after the PGA TOUR first introduced a rudimentary set of statistical categories to quantify the skills of the sport’s elite players, and some 10 years after implementing a ShotLink system that has collected mountains of performance data at every tournament on the schedule, golf is poised to enter the statistical big leagues. RELATED CONTENT Pelz on putting stat Current SGP leaders SGP leaders: 2013 Mind you, it may be awhile before fans can rattle off stats that prove Tiger Woods has, by quite a wide margin, won more tournaments with ball striking than with putting and that TOUR players – and amateurs – actually “drive for dough and putt for show.” It takes time to overcome beliefs about putting’s pre-eminence as THE key to scoring. The myth has been a credo with many instructors and top players and an embedded golf maxim since the 1800s. Like the wheels of justice, the gears of mathematical facts in golf grind exceeding slow. But the latest, and most convincing, mathematical proof yet has been compiled and presented in a book available in March 2014. It is entitled “Every Shot Counts” from the Penguin Group division of Gotham Books, authored by Mark Broadie, and it already has high-profile adherents. Sean Foley, the noted instructor whose stable of TOUR players includes Woods, Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan and Lee Westwood, and who admits in the book’s foreword that he is “not a math guy”, is convinced the numbers can help him get his players to focus on the parts of their games that need work. “In the past guys would fight me on that,” Foley says. “But it’s tough to resist when you see the numbers right out in front of you. At some point, Mark’s approach will become how people determine golf performance. They’re just going to have to accept it because it makes too much sense.” It does, and on a number of important levels. One is that the book avoids the statistical graveyard that awaits desert-dry dissertations. Although the author, Mark Broadie, is a professor at Columbia University Business School, he also is 4-handicap amateur golfer, former club champion at Pelham Country Club and part of a team of three MIT researchers and PGA TOUR stats experts that designed and implemented the “strokes gained-putting” stat in 2011. The putting stat has gained credibility on TOUR, and, interestingly, Jimmy Walker and Webb Simpson – the winners of the first two events in the 2013-14 season – were each ranked No. 1 in strokes gained-putting. It might not be too long before we know what percentage of a player’s victory was achieved from strokes gained-driving, or by iron play from more than 100 yards from the hole in the strokes gained-approach shots or inside 100 yards by strokes gained-short game. Broadie has expanded the strokes gained discipline through the bag to include all those categories in his book. He sifted through all the ShotLink data compiled from a universe of 240 TOUR players with at least 200 rounds played in 315 events in the period of 2004-12, applying the “dynamic programming” technique routinely used in finance as a mathematical means to solving “complicated, multi-step problems involving risk and uncertainty.” When viewed alongside the strokes gained-putting numbers, all this produces some facts that have been buried. For example, did you know: • Putting contributed 35 percent to victories on the PGA TOUR while off-green shots contributed to 65 percent. • Bubba Watson was ranked No. 1 in strokes gained-driving, with nearly a full-stroke advantage over the field (.91) gained by bombing it an average of 301 yards within a 3.01-degree window of accuracy. • Averaged across the top 40 golfers ranked by total strokes gained, driving was nearly twice as important to scoring as putting, 28 percent to 15 percent. • In total strokes gained, No. 1 Tiger Woods (2.8 per round) was almost a full stroke clear of No. 2 Jim Furyk (1.84) and was two full strokes clear of No. 40 Ian Poulter (.78). • So, just how good is Vijay Singh’s ball-striking? Off the charts good. Broadie points out that in his 2008 victory at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, Singh actually LOST 1.1 strokes per round to the field with his putting. It was the worst putting performance by any tournament winner in the ShotLink era. Broadie enjoys making light of the widespread misapprehension that Woods, who won 24 tournaments over the nine-year span, was so dominant, as he quotes one golf legend, “Because he’s the best putter.” A current TOUR player is quoted saying, “I think by now every player on TOUR is aware that the biggest reason Tiger is the best is because he putts the best.” view

Northwestern grad Greller carrying bag for rookie sensation Spieth

Oct 24, 2013

TACOMA, Wash. | He’s the kind of guy who could strike up a conversation with anybody. Call it a cool confidence, if you’d like. Perhaps gregarious. Or outgoing. Whatever the case, it has paid off for MOC-Floyd Valley High School and Northwestern College graduate Michael Greller. It started back in high school, when while working at Landsmeer Golf Club in Orange City, Iowa, he challenged head professional Mike Fiddelke to a match and beat him. Greller went on to enjoy success as a collegiate golfer, toiling as the No. 2 player for Northwestern College teams coached by Dave Mulder and Mark Bloemendaal. Through his ties in golf, the 35-year-old Greller eventually walked away from a 10-year teaching career to become a caddie. He’s now working full time for PGA Tour rookie sensation Jordan Spieth, who earlier this month at 19 became the youngest player to win an event in 82 years. Spieth’s victory in a five-hole playoff at the John Deere Classic not only earned him full status on the PGA Tour, but a chance to compete in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. He just returned from a 44th-place finish at the British Open and will play in the PGA Championship in a couple of weeks. How Greller came about becoming Spieth’s looper is a story worth retelling. A Michigan native, Greller moved to Orange City in 1992 when his father, John “Bear” Greller became vice president of development at Northwestern. Michael graduated from MOC-Floyd Valley in 1996 and Northwestern in 2000, earning a bachelor’s degree in business. He migrated to the west coast, settling in Oregon where he worked in sales for a year. “I hated it, so I went back to grad school for a masters degree in teaching (at George Fox University in Oregon),” Greller said. “I loved my profession all the way up until eight months ago.” Spieth turned professional in December and joined the PGA Tour with no exempt status. My, how that has changed. He’s currently 18th on the money list with earnings of $2,058,820 and 11th in the FedEx Cup standings. view


Oct 24, 2013

Golf is predominantly a mental and personal game: Bobby Jones once described it as “a game that is played on a five inch course – the distance between your ears.” But for the weekend golfer having a round with their mates, there can be external challenges… Like when you leave a six-footer short and hear: “I think you dropped your lipstick”. Perhaps duff one off the tee to cries of: “Not bad out of that lie”. Or, if you really want to mess with your buddy, ask them pre-swing – “Do you breathe in or out in your backswing?” Friendly exchanges between opponents – call it light-hearted banter, some good-natured raillery or perhaps a bit of sledging – can spice up even the slowest or dreariest of rounds. And when the pros put their hands up for a turn, the results can be quite entertaining. view

Nicknames for golf shots, good and bad

Oct 21, 2013

A Adolf Hitler Two shots in a bunker Army golf Left, right, left, right... Arthur Scargill Good strike, poor result Anna Kournikova Looked good, but no result B Bin Laden Driven into the hills, never seen again Bing Crosby Any excuse to get out of buying a drink at the 19th. Brazilian Shaved the edge view


Oct 21, 2013

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada man accused of shooting a golfer who broke a window at his home with an errant ball has pleaded guilty to a felony charge. Jeff Fleming of Reno entered the plea to battery with a deadly weapon on Thursday in Washoe County District Court. He faces from probation to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine when he's sentenced Dec. 12. The golfer was unable to find his ball and was doing a drop shot on the 16th hole of the Lakeridge Golf Course in September 2012 when Fleming approached and fired a single shot at him with a shotgun, prosecutors said. The golfer was treated for minor injuries to an arm and both legs at a hospital. Deputy District Attorney Sean Neahusan said neighbors along the golf course were stunned as it's common for stray golf balls to hit their homes. "Live on a golf course and you got to expect your house to get hit every once in a while," he told The Associated Press. "This (shooting) is one of those stories that you just can't make it up." Neahusan said he's unsure what motivated the shooting and referred queries about Fleming's mental state to his lawyer, Larry Dunn. Dunn did not immediately return phone calls. view

3 Mental Game Tips to Overcome Pressure Moments

Oct 21, 2013

How you practice influences your performance under pressure. Too many golfers train for the ideal game because it’s more fun. That approach is why so many golfers crack under pressure. Too often I speak with golfers that do great on the practice green. But when it’s time to tee off then things don’t go as well. Sinking a 3-foot putt when your score counts is different, or so you think. The truth is nothing changed except for your perception. To play well under pressure means you need to practice for pressure. It goes back to the old adage of hope for the best and prepare for the worst. You’ll regain your focus easier from the unexpected when you train for all possibilities. Too many parts of the game are out of your control. So I encourage the golfers that I work with to focus on the things within their control. It’s a short list with only two things. Your actions and your attitude. That’s pretty much it. And planning for unusual circumstances that can happen improves your response to those crazy shots. Think about the last time the unexpected occurred, taking additional shots for that hole. Did your focus unravel just a little more with each additional swing? My bet is that you were unprepared and didn’t have any prior experience to draw upon to get out of that situation. view

Woods' event remains atop new fall schedule

Oct 17, 2013

Feel free to believe the PGA Tour is more powerful than its most prominent member. Keep thinking that should a power struggle ever exist, the organization would overrule the individual. There’s no right or wrong answer here, but there is some sizable proof toward the counterargument. Unlike years ago, the autumn months are no longer golf’s Silly Season, replete with hit-and-giggle, rich-get-richer exhibitions. Nor is this even like recent campaigns, with journeymen and youngsters alike attempting to retain status before the calendar turns. Instead, the PGA Tour has deemed this time of year the beginning rather than the end, starting its next season just weeks after the last one has finished. The irony hasn’t been lost on those potentially impacted. “I'm still wrapping my head around it,” Tiger Woods said of the wraparound schedule in a delicious bit of unintentional wordplay. At first blush, it appears that these tournaments will receive the same star treatment as when they followed the FedEx Cup instead of started it. Which is to say, not much at all. Last week’s season-opening Open featured just one player, Hideki Matsuyama, ranked in the world’s top-30. This week’s Shriners Hospitals Open will quadruple that number, with Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson and Nick Watney joining Matsuyama, but four of the top-30 still pales in comparison. Video: Woods talks World Challenge, new Tour schedule In comparison to what? Glad you asked. The fields for each of these official PGA Tour events pale are pithy compared with that of the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge, Woods’ late-year tournament which is equal parts Silly Season event (it hosts an 18-man field with no cut and guaranteed money) and official event (it doles out world ranking points to every competitor). This year’s entry list for the 15th edition of what is usually referred to simply as “Tiger’s tournament” will read like a who’s who of elite golfers. Woods will compete, of course, as will five others in the current top-10 (Rory McIlroy, Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker and Jason Dufner); six more in the top-20 (Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Jim Furyk, Keegan Bradley, Jason Day and Lee Westwood); and four in the top-30 (Ian Poulter, Ernie Els, Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson). view

The Slow Play Golf Association (SPGA)

Oct 17, 2013

MEMBERSHIP IN THE SLOW PLAY Golf Association (SPGA) is simple, especially if you follow these important guidelines: 1. Arrive in the parking lot at your tee time. That way the starter will try to hold everyone else up while you pay your fees and get your cart. 2. No two people out of the cart at the same time. One player has to complete his shot and return to the cart before the second person can exit the cart and begin planning his shot. 3. Take plenty of practice swings. Five or six minimum. 4. Wait for the group ahead to clear. Even though your best drive is 170 yards, the group ahead has to be on the green of the 400 yard par 4 before you can hit your drive. 5. Use all electronic devices: GPS, rangefinder, iPhone app, etc. before every shot. Immediately answer all cell phone calls and text messages. Tweeting frequently is encouraged. 6. Use the same club the pros use. Phil Mickelson hits his 7 iron 170 yards and you should be able to hit yours the same distance. 7. Following every bad shot, hit a mulligan. 8. Look for lost balls no matter how long it takes. Leave the cart parked in the middle of the fairway so the group behind knows you are still looking. 9. Park the cart in front of the green or at least on the opposite side of the green from the next tee. 10. View all putts from all four sides. The pros do and so should you whether it is the first, second, third or fourth putt. 11. After putting out, stroll back to the cart, return to the green to pick up the club you forgot, clean the clubs, place them in the bag, get into the cart, recount each stroke on that hole, record the score and then, and only then, drive to the next tee. 12. Never, ever wave the group through. 13. Never take a lesson from a golf pro. It may invalidate your membership in the SPGA. view

Comment: Rory McIlroy begins to realise that for the dollars to roll in so must the putts

Oct 16, 2013

My private life is private said Rory McIlroy when asked in South Korea to comment on the status of his relationship with Caroline Wozniacki, oblivious to the fact that his right to privacy was compromised by the loved-up content of his Twitter feed many moons ago. In the case of his legal battle with his jettisoned agent, Horizon, he is bound to stay silent so as not to risk prejudicing outcomes, not that there is much left to conceal after the details of his dispute were revealed in all their gory glory in a Dublin court. What emerges as McIlroy returns to work tomorrow after four weeks away is a golfer complicating his life by decisions that were intended to simplify it. McIlroy has not come close to victory in a year in which he was unveiled as the future of Nike golf. A sum of $20m (£12.5m) annually is a lot to fork out on a golfer ranked 60th in a European money list he won last year. Or maybe Nike is happy to have a breadth of coverage unrelated to golf. If so the company will be delighted with the daily bulletins about the end of the romance with Wozniacki, and about the juicy details of his financial relationship with Nike spilt in the pages of court documents. Nike must be thrilled at the confirmation of a $100m five-year deal he signed with it in January. Though a figure remarkably similar has been in the public domain, it was never acknowledged by the sportswear giant or McIlroy. Its disclosure sets the benchmark nicely for other athletes in future negotiations. Any idea that the return to action at the Korea Open would be about the golf was obliterated by the twin assault on the media's senses of love and money. Wozniacki is desperately trying to hang on to her man with denials of a split and the continued use of McIlroy's portrait on her Twitter handle. McIlroy can control his response, but not the progress of the legal war unleashed this week. In the meantime McIlroy must piece together his game to retrieve something from his worst season as a professional golfer. When McIlroy left his first manager, Chubby Chandler, to join Horizon his stated ambition was to be No 1 on and off the course, the best golfer in the world and the highest earner. For a spell he was both, before the golfing juggernaut that is Tiger Woods re-established pre-eminence on the course, and after the consequent restoration of his reputation, off it as well, with lucrative deals to appear in China and Turkey in the next month. There could be no greater evidence of his commercial rehabilitation than the willingness of emerging golf nations to seek out Woods to project on their behalf. view

Tiger talks fixing slow play, his own speed golf

Oct 16, 2013

Among his many titles, Tiger Woods doesn’t hold the world record for fastest round ever played, but he knows how to motor his way around the course. Literally. During a Tuesday conference call, Woods revealed that he routinely plays recreational 36-hole rounds in under three-and-a-half hours and has finished 18 holes alone in less than an hour. “No problem,” he said with a laugh. “It helps having a fast cart.” In the wake of the USGA announcing it will hold a symposium next month on curtailing slow play, Woods offered a two-word response on how to fix the issue: “Play faster.” When asked to elaborate, he concluded, “I think it's grassroots. People just quite aren't educated about pace of play. I think even in public golf courses all the way up to our Tour events, the play has gotten slower over the years. It's one of those things where I don't know, at our level, the Tour level, it's easy to fix. Just start fining guys. At the local level, it's a little more difficult, more complicated.” Woods said one of the main problems on the PGA Tour level is having to play rounds in threesomes as opposed to twosomes. “Anytime you have threesomes you're going to add close to another hour in playing time,” he said. “Especially if it's a two‑tee start, it's definitely going to take a lot longer. “We found out this year at Akron [for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational]. We played in twosomes the first two days; we basically flew around there. I think the slowest time was right around four hours. I think that was the slowest group. We had that weather and had to go early in threesomes off two tees on Saturday. We were up around the 5:20 mark.” view

A quick way to lower your golf scores

Oct 16, 2013

“You swing your best when you have the fewest things to think about.” – Bobby Jones By Ian Hardie I was talking the other day with a golfer who had just played a poor round He was busy telling me how badly he was playing And then proceeded to list all of the things he was trying to physically control While he was hitting his shot It was a big list Much like the golfer I wrote about in the post ‘Get out of your own way’ A golfer who you may remember had a lot of things he was trying to think about before hitting his shots Most of his problem was caused by other golfers Filling his head with all sorts of swing theories Which as I said in the post I don’t have a lot of time for that sort of thing Mainly because in my experience Golfers who spend time thinking about that sort of stuff Cause themselves more problems – than it solves for them. Having helped a golfer with a similar problem some years back I suggested to the golfer That what he needed to do when he played next Was to completely stop trying to physically control things during his shots And just get on with hitting his shots view

GeoShot Technologies is a professionally managed firm offering specialized technology services in graphics, animation, GIS, BIM, CAD and software development

Oct 16, 2013

GeoShot Technologies provides services and creative solutions to the golf course, AEC (Architecture, Engineering & Construction), infrastructure, natural resources, public safety, land administration, utilities and telecommunications industries. Our team comprises of graphic specialists, artists, animation experts, GIS/photogrammetry/LiDAR specialists, Architectural/Civil/Mechanical Engineers, CAD specialists and software programmers. We provide services to clients across North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. We are a company totally committed to qualitative work approach, creativity with innovative ideas. We strive to remain at the cutting-edge of technologies ensuring quality delivery on schedule on various software platforms required by the customer. The recognition received from our clients worldwide is proof of our abilities. With our efficient and flexible workflow, GeoShot can undertake and successfully complete any major graphics, animation, GIS, BIM, CAD and software development project. view

Nothing satisfies Jordan Spieth more than playing for country or school or family

Oct 09, 2013

Get used to having this Jordan Spieth, steely-eyed 20-year-old son of Texas, on your roster. On Sunday afternoon at Muirfield Village, red-assed over his loss in singles but happy to be on a winning Presidents Cup team, he said, "I'd rather play team golf than anything else." His mother played college basketball. His father played college baseball. His kid brother, Steven, is a freshman on the Brown University basketball team. Put his 12-year-old sister, Ellie, on a soccer pitch or a basketball court, and she can hardly contain herself. The whole team thing is in his blood. "Being on a team," Spieth says, "being with teammates, that's as much fun as you can have." This, from a kid who started the PGA Tour season without status, secured his card, became the youngest winner on Tour since 1931, won $3.8 million and is now 20th in the World Ranking. PHOTOS: Presidents Cup WAGs In May 2011, Spieth was still playing high school golf at Jesuit Prep in Dallas, rooting for teammates who could barely break 80. Four months later he was representing the United States in the Walker Cup, a road loss in Scotland that stings him still. His Longhorns won a national title in '12, their first in 40 years, and every time he speaks to his college coach, John Fields, Spieth asks, "How does it feel to be a national champion?" Then came last week, playing for country, except now his teammates were Tiger, Phil & Co. Spieth was on a stacked team that threw darts for four straight (and long) days. Your scoreboard totals -- Americans 18½, Internationals 15½ -- made the umbrellathon sound closer than it actually was. Spieth's goal for next year is to play on Tom Watson's Ryder Cup squad. In 2016 he hopes to represent the United States at the Olympics. If you catch him at his neighborhood 7-Eleven and ask him to play on your after-work men's league team, you'll most likely get a yes. Over the past 19 years Phil Mickelson has played on every Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup team. It's a staggering achievement, and Spieth, schooled in the work of his elders, knows all about it. Spieth, about as pampered as a Route 83 truck driver, sat next to Mickelson at the closing ceremony, last-call press conference. He stared straight ahead as Mickelson summarized what the 19 teams meant to him. "What I have found over my career is that these weeks have become some of the most special weeks of my career," Mickelson said. "They're where friendships are formed that last a lifetime." In 2032, Spieth might say about the same thing. view

The 'Major' Factor Voting for Player of the Year will reveal just how significant Tour pros think winning one of golf's four biggest events really is

Sep 26, 2013

With the 2013 PGA Tour season coming to an end at the Tour Championship, the intriguing task of deciding who should claim the player-of-the-year award fell plainly into the hands of tour members with three realistic candidates to choose from. Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott and Tiger Woods. Woods' name will probably be called when the vote is revealed Sept. 27. It shouldn't. Mickelson should be the choice, in a photo-finish over Scott. The reason it should be Mickelson over the World No. 1 is simple: If you were to administer truth serum to Woods -- or to any player on tour -- and ask "Whose year would you most like to have had?" the answer would not be Woods'. Why? Essentially because he didn't win a major. Even though there is no mathematical formula that proves one major is equal to or greater than five regular tour wins, the simple fact is that it is. It's worth more financially because it guarantees endorsements and appearance fees for years to come. More important, it makes a player part of golf history. By the way, Ben Hogan's sole victory in 1950, his U.S. Open triumph at Merion, got him voted (by writers then) PGA Player of the Year over Sam Snead, who won 11 events but no major. view

Henrik Stenson's Tour Championship Victory Is Just One Highlight In The PGA Tour's Best Year Ever

Sep 24, 2013

The suits down in Ponte Vedra have to be smiling today. By “suits,” I mean Tim Finchem, commissioner of the PGA Tour, and the rest of his executive team. When Henrik Stenson, the tall 37-year-old Swede, shot a final-round 68 to win the Tour Championship, it capped one of the best years ever for the Tour as an entity. Stenson himself is a good story, a laconic golfer who has had his on-and-off-the-course struggles (his ranking plummeted to number 230 in 2011 and he had some money invested with the alleged Ponzi scheme, Stanford Financial). Stenson’s win yesterday also meant he took home the FedEx FDX -1.64% Cup, making his total haul for the day a very cool $11.5 million. His splendid play and that paycheck will heal some wounds. But the PGA Tour was the big winner this year, which was an important one as the Tour begins its brand new 12-month schedule next month, moving to a more traditional “season,” mimicking the other major sports leagues in the U.S. And to think that in late 2009, all seemed lost for Finchem and his crew. The financial crisis had hit the Tour very hard, knocking out some of its most important sponsors (the auto and financial services industries). Tiger Woods, the most important player in the sport’s history, was also knocked out that year, thanks to the now-infamous fire hydrant, and no one was sure that he’d ever really come back. Four years later, the Tour is in its best health ever. view

7 Reasons To Play A Solo Round

Sep 24, 2013

Most days, you’re longing to hit the links with your usual foursome. Once in awhile, though, it might be beneficial to head to the course solo. It’s a chance to unwind, get some fresh air, and play at your own pace, allowing you to really focus on improving your game. Still not convinced? Check out all these reasons why you should try playing solo view

Man impales his own tongue with golf tee in dumb stunt [VIDEO]

Sep 19, 2013

If you’ve ever had the urge to let a friend hit a golf ball off of a tee you hold in your mouth, this video will give you pause. Permanent pause. In this video, uploaded Sept. 18, a trio of guys are in the backyard of a home — presumably in Louisiana because of all the the New Orleans Saints jerseys in the footage — and two decide to pull off the ole’ “human tee” stunt shot. It’s also clearly somewhat fueled by alcohol because the “human tee” has a beer in his hand. The guy that’s about to do the golf equivalent of a trust fall lies on the ground and puts a tee in his mouth. The friend with the club then takes a mindful practice cut to make sure he won’t smash his friend in the face with the club. Then he tees up a ball and swings lightly. He barely taps the ball off the tee. Then the horror happens. The friend re-tees the ball and makes a descending blow on the ball this time, basically hitting a grounder. Immediately, the friend yells, “God da*n it!” He gets up off the ground, moaning inaudibly. Why? Because the tee impaled his own tongue! Then the guy pulls the tee out of his own tongue, revealing a bloody hole where he could presumably now put a tongue ring. view

Tiger Woods takes FedEx Cup lead

Sep 17, 2013

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Tiger Woods took the lead in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, but that was a small consolation after he failed to make a charge during the final round of the BMW Championship. Woods began the weather-delayed fourth round four strokes back of 54-hole leader Jim Furyk, but two bogeys in his first five holes effectively doomed his chances. [+] EnlargeWoods Michael Cohen/Getty Images Tiger Woods took over the lead in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings by finishing tied for 11th at the BMW Championship on Monday in Lake Forest, Ill. A round of par 71 left him seven strokes behind winner Zach Johnson, whose 6-under 65 was good for a two-stroke victory over Nick Watney. Furyk, who on Friday became the sixth player in PGA Tour history to shoot a 59, shot 71 and finished alone in third place, three strokes back. Woods ended up in a tie for 11th but earned enough points to pass Henrik Stenson for the top spot in the FedEx Cup standings. The four-tournament playoff series concludes this weekend in Atlanta at the Tour Championship. "I thought I needed to shoot at least 3-, 4-under par on the front nine and at least give myself a chance going into the back nine, where if I put a good back nine together I might be in there, but I wasn't anywhere near it," said Woods, who made three birdies and three bogeys. As for the FedEx, Woods began the week in second place behind Stenson, who finished tied for 33rd and dropped to second in the standings. Adam Scott, Johnson and Matt Kuchar round out the top five, meaning if any of the five wins at East Lake, he will capture the FedEx Cup and the $10 million bonus. "Top five, you control your own destiny," Woods said. "You win the tournament, you win it outright." Woods, who has won the FedEx Cup twice since its inception in 2007, has positioned himself to capture the title again should the others in the top five falter. view

Rory McIlroy's season ends early

Sep 16, 2013

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The last time he was in Chicago, Rory McIlroy quite famously received some speedy assistance from a police officer to make his Ryder Cup tee time at Medinah. No doubt he wanted to race out of town sometime over this weekend. [+] EnlargeMcIlroy Stan Badz/Getty Images Rory McIlroy is expected to take a month off now that his 2013 PGA Tour season is over before returning to the course for some European Tour events later in the year. McIlroy was hopelessly out of the BMW Championship on Friday after opening the tournament with rounds of 78-77. And that meant he wasn't going to qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship, a rather preposterous notion at the start of the year. A year ago, McIlroy won the BMW Championship in Indianapolis, captured two of the four FedEx Cup playoff events and finished second in the points standings to Brandt Snedeker. Even to McIlroy, his struggles remain a mystery. "I'm working harder," said McIlroy, who shot rounds of 68-68 over the weekend for too little, too late. "Everything sort of came easy last year, and I'm sort of working harder, hitting more balls, spending more time on the range because I'm searching for it, and that's what is frustrating. But the fact that I'm working hard and I'm not really getting much out of it, if I can I keep patient and keep working hard, I'm sure it'll turn around." As for the rest of field at Conway Farms Golf Club, 22 players never even started their final round Sunday due to heavy rains. Round 4 will restart at 9 a.m. ET on Monday. McIlroy likely needed a top-seven finish and perhaps could have gotten away with a top-10 at the BMW to advance. He began the week in 41st position but was projected to finish 51st when he completed his fourth round Sunday. Only the top 30 will head to Atlanta. Who could have dreamed of such a scenario, especially when the new year dawned with so much hype and fanfare for the then-No. 1-ranked golfer in the world? Certainly not McIlroy, who stayed the weekend in Chicago only because there was no 36-hole cut. "If someone had asked me at the start of the year, would you be more surprised at not winning a major or not getting to the Tour Championship, of course I would have said the latter," McIlroy said. "The majors are based on one week, four times a year when a lot of things have to go your way. "But over the course of the season, I feel like I should be able to play well enough to get to East Lake. I didn't expect to be in this position." Who did? It remains among the stories of the year in golf, McIlroy's fall from the heights of such glory. view

Zach Johnson, Nick Watney confront heckler at BMW Championship

Sep 16, 2013

Enough is enough. After Zach Johnson missed his first putt on the 18th hole at Conway Farms to finish out the third round of the BMW Championship on Saturday, a fan shouted at Johnson, “Zach, you suck!” Johnson, clearly perturbed, looked back in the direction of the fan before moving to clean up the putt and finish his round. Playing partner Nick Watney, also not happy with what was shouted, then finished up as well, and looked back toward the fan. After a cordial handshake, the two players and their respective caddies pointed at and started walking toward the offending fan. Then Johnson and Watney went a step further, confronting the heckler in the stands as they walked off the green. RELATED: An open letter to “Mashed potatoes!” and “Baba booey!” guys | Zach Johnson explains verbal altercation with fan on Twitter | Sergio Garcia also heckled, perhaps by same fan | The five worst hecklers in golf history It was not clear what was said by Johnson and Watney toward the fan, but after they were done speaking with the fan in question, another fan started patting his chest with his hand, saying, “Nice job, Zach” and laughing at the two. The fan was not immediately ejected, but with one twosome left to play in the round, there wasn’t much benefit in it anyhow. This incident is the latest example of fans that have grown more and more brazen in what and when they shout comments toward PGA Tour players at golf events. It goes well beyond yelling “Mashed potatoes!” or “Baba booey!” as a player is striking or about to strike a golf shot. This is downright nasty. view

Not A Golphus Advertisment

Sep 13, 2013

Instantly Discover How a “Crippled” Overweight Golfer Hobbled Up to the Tee Box… And Promptly Blasted a Perfect 275-Yard Drive Straight Down the Fairway! view

Tee for Two

Sep 13, 2013

For the next two weeks, my friends and I tried to predict Marino's East Potomac result. His professional playing partners lauded his consistent putting and perfect ball-striking. Almost one-third of his rounds this season had ended with scores in the 60s. He had converted more birdies than all but seven players on the PGA Tour. THIS STORY Feeling at Home, Heading Home Q&A, Transcript: The British Open: Tom Watson's Resurgence and Tiger Woods' Meltdown British Open - Second Round View All Items in This Story When my friends and co-workers projected those stats on East Potomac's wide-open, 6,600-yard layout, they imagined a result usually reserved for video games such as "Golden Tee." Marino would drive the green on many par-4s and eagle most par-5s, friends predicted. He would roll in long putts on flat, uncomplicated greens. He would flirt with a few hole-in-ones, make at least 10 birdies, finish somewhere around 57 or 58 and shatter the East Potomac course record -- if such a record exists. Not until the morning of our round did Marino offer a prediction of his own. He stepped into the parking lot wearing shiny black golf shoes and a turquoise golf shirt provided by his sponsor. At a course where warming up usually denoted a few mulligans on the first tee, Marino pulled a six-foot stretching pole out of his golf bag and placed it on top of his shoulders. He folded his arms over the pole, bent toward the ground and swung his back violently from side to side. "Oh, man, I'm feeling pretty stiff," Marino said. "I think I can still go low 60s." view

Darren Clarke to rejoin US PGA Tour for 2014 season

Sep 13, 2013

Darren Clarke has taken up his option of returning to the PGA Tour for the 2014 season. The 45-year-old Northern Irishman has exempt status on the US circuit until 2016 as a result of his win at the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St George's. "I will be taking up my US PGA Tour card next season but that does not mean I am abandoning Europe," he said. "I will be supporting my home Tour as usual. I still feel I can be competitive at the highest level." Since his Open triumph two years ago, Clarke has struggled for form and slipped to 372nd in the world rankings. The Dungannon man is 127th in the European Tour's Race to Dubai standings having missed the cut in seven of his 12 tournaments this year. His best finish so far in 2013 was his share of 21st place at the Open Championship. view

Tiger Woods: 'I wasted a lot of shots'

Sep 13, 2013

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- A 22-foot birdie putt on the final hole was a nice way to end the day, but Tiger Woods didn't let it mask his disappointment. Opening Statement Tiger Woods had opened a PGA Tour event with a score of 66 or better 47 previous times prior to Thursday. He went on to win 21 of those tournaments. Here's a look at how he's fared in such cases: Finish No. Times Won 21 2nd-4th 12 5th-10th 6 Outside top-10 8 -- Shot 66 at BMW on Thursday -- ESPN Stats & Information Despite making seven birdies at Conway Farms Golf Club to finish three strokes behind first-round leader Brandt Snedeker at the BMW Championship, Woods lamented his missed opportunities on the greens. "I certainly wasted a lot of shots out there today,'' he said. "I missed three short ones (putts) and played the par 5s stupendously. One of those days.'' Woods' two bogeys were the result of three-putt greens that ended with lipped-out par putts. He also failed to birdie any of the three par 5s, including missing a 5-footer at the eighth, his 17th hole. But he did manage to roll in a long putt at the ninth to cap his score of 66, which left him in a four-way tie for third place. Snedeker, whose seven straight birdies were a PGA Tour-best for 2013, shot a 63, a stroke better than Zach Johnson. Woods is tied with Charl Schwartzel, Steve Stricker and Kevin Streelman. "You get on runs like that, you get excited for the next hole because you know something good is going to happen, because you're in such a good frame of mind and everything is going in the right direction," Snedeker said. The BMW Championship is the third of four FedEx Cup playoff events that concludes with next week's Tour Championship in Atlanta. The leader in points following next week's tournament at East Lake wins a $10 million bonus. view

Waiting for the sun at the rain-delayed Evian Championship

Sep 13, 2013

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France -- Between bites of her lasagna Wednesday night at Rapido Pizza, the top choice for dining this week at the Evian Championship, Sophie Gustafson looked at the weatherforecast and began prognosticating. "There is no way we are starting on time tomorrow," said the 39-year-old Swede, who first played here in 1996 when it was solely a Ladies European Tour event and not the LPGA major it is now. This week she's tees it up in her 18th Evian. "The way these greens have been reshaped, they are going to collect water if we get even a little rain overnight," Sophie said. On Thursday morning, when the start of the first round of the first year of the Evian as a major, was delayed once and then twice and then for a third time, Gustafson weighed in again. "Called it. Glad I'm still in bed. :)" she tweeted. view

Tiger Woods to play Rory McIlroy in lucrative exhibition in China

Sep 11, 2013

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have agreed to play a lucrative 18-hole exhibition match in China next month. The star pair, who faced each other in the "Duel at Jinsha Lake" last year, will play for a reported prize of $2m at the Mission Hills estate at Hainan Island on October 28. McIlroy got the better of the 14-time major winner at Jinsha Lake last year in an event which attracted thousands of fans who packed the fairways and stole balls from the driving range. "I'm hoping to win this time," said Woods. "We both played well last year, but Rory got me by one. I've had a really good year on the PGA Tour, so it would be nice to earn another trophy in China." McIlroy, without a win since joining Woods in the Nike stable in January, added: "We had a lot fun last year and I'm expecting the same again this time in Hainan. "Tiger has played the better golf this year, but I feel like I'm getting my game back again and I enjoy any challenge, especially against Tiger, so I'm ready for another showdown." view

Golf’s bunkers and memories of the war’s trenches For 86 years, The Overseas Boys of the Toronto Golf Club have met annually to celebrate life and mark loss.

Sep 11, 2013

Jim Scandrett led the way one fresh and sunny morning last week into the venerable Toronto Golf Club and stopped to look over the large framed tribute on the wall to the right. On it were photos of the almost 200 club members who volunteered to serve in World War II. “The Overseas Boys” as they have come to be known. Jim Scandrett is pictured beside his late brother Bill. He pointed to a photo of Bob Charters. “He was a POW,” Scandrett said. There’s Alastair Gillespie. He became a Trudeau cabinet minister. And there’s Jack Rhind. “He looks like a young kid!” ‘C’mon,” said Scandrett, who will be 92 come November, and whose father helped found annual reunions of club members after World War I. “Some of them will be inside.” Photos View gallery Jim Scandrett joined a couple of dozen World War II vets at Toronto Golf Club last week for the 86th gathering of the "The Overseas Boys." Scandrett's father helped found annual reunions of club members after World War I.zoom And so they all were. view


Sep 11, 2013

Photoshop Battle: Tiger Woods Throws His Cap. view

Real People: Hunting golf balls for Hospice

Sep 09, 2013

ELON — Displayed throughout Bob Knowles’ house are golf balls in a variety of colors, with various logos and business and school names. But perhaps one of the most meaningful balls is the one on his homemade trophy case with “70,000” inscribed on it — roughly the number of golf balls he has collected so far. For about 20 years, Knowles, 88, has been picking up golf balls in woods around golf courses. You won’t find all those balls at his house, though. After collecting golf balls — most frequently at Indian Valley Golf Course, but Knowles says he’ll pick them up “wherever I can find a golf course” — he brings them home, rinses off the dirt, puts the golf balls in his washing machine with some clothes or towels and then donates them to be sold at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Burlington. “I’m a bean counter by nature, so I have to keep track of anything I find,” Knowles said, pointing to one of dozens of charts he has kept with records of how many golf balls he finds a month, and another on which he notes the geographical locations of where he found them. In 2002, when Knowles realized he had collected his 20,000th golf ball, he put it in his pocket and wrote “20,000” on it along with the date — July 29, 2002. He now saves every 20,000th ball he picks up, writing on it and sitting it on a bottle cap in his trophy case. He collected his 70,000th this year on August 15. “Fortunately, I haven’t tried to keep all of them because I don’t know what I would do with 70,000 golf balls,” he said. Though Knowles enjoys the game of golf, he said he doesn’t play much. “I’d like to,” Knowles said, before smiling to share his excuse. “But I’m more interested in finding golf balls.” view

Surf the Earth with the GolfBoard

Sep 04, 2013

The Golf Board is the most innovative addition to golf since the graphite shaft, bringing modern technology to a traditional game. GolfBoard will change the way you experience the game of golf. The easy to ride electric board makes getting from one shot to the next just as fun as hitting a great drive or approach shot. The GolfBoard speeds up the game, is easy and intuitive to operate, has less impact on a course than a golf cart, and allows golfers to surf the golf course in a way that feels similar to snowboarding or surfing. view

Strike Point Drill

Sep 04, 2013

I have had so many people ask me how to better control where they strike the ball on the face that I had to share this drill. Most golfers display a consistent pattern when striking the golf ball and although the impacts points may not be in the exact same position, after hitting a handful of shots a definite pattern will start to emerge. Many golfers want to hit draws and a slight toe side bias to that strike pattern will encourage draws. The ideal strike point with the driver is above and outside of center. Here’s how to build your strike point awareness and ultimately improve your ability to hit it on the good part of the face. I spray the clubface with Dr. Scholl’s Odor X foot spray and then divide the clubface into four quadrants. The objective is to place the center of the ball in each intended quadrant. The frist shot should be the high toe strike Followed by the low heel Then the more difficult shots, the low toe And the high heel. view

Steady Swing™ Golf Aid: Guaranteed to Reduce Head Movement

Sep 04, 2013

Steady Swing™ will transform your personal eyewear into a visual training aid. Your transformed eyewear will produce the appearance of a red tinted rectangular “training window” over your ball at address. During use simply attempt to minimize the training window movement as you perform your putting stroke or full golf swing. Even the slightest head movement during your putting stroke is detected by seeing the window move! view

Notes: Amateur mistakenly swipes pro's clubs

Sep 04, 2013

NORTON, Mass. – John Merrick has never experienced a pro-am moment quite like the Deutsche Bank Championship last week. Neither has Chris Kirk, who can laugh about it now. Kirk didn't get in the pro-am at the TPC Boston, so he went to the range for a few hours and was gone by mid-morning. He was done for the day. His clubs were not. Turns out an amateur in the afternoon needed rental clubs and was sent to the clubhouse. He went to the locker room instead, and next to his temporary locker – right below Kirk's – was a Callaway staff bag with a full set of clubs, balls, gloves and even a pair of shoes. The words ''Chris Kirk'' apparently meant nothing to him. He grabbed the bag and headed out to play. His pro in the group was Merrick, who found it odd that an amateur would have a staff bag belonging to Kirk. ''It takes a hole or two to get your bearings, get the names right,'' Merrick said. ''I noticed the Chris Kirk bag. I was thinking he got it an auction or something. Guys get new bags all the time. I didn't think anything of it. But he hits this drive on No. 2 and popped it up into the trees on the right. He turned the club over and goes, 'This rental set has a driver that says 'prototype.' And I'm thinking, 'Prototype for a rental set? There's no way.' ''I asked him where he got the bag and he said, 'It was next to my locker so I grabbed it.''' Merrick immediately sent a text message to a PGA Tour official that said, ''You better get a rental set and size 11 shoes out here now.'' That's right – shoes. view

Who Fred Couples should pick for the Presidents Cup

Sep 04, 2013

Fred Couples will make his captain's picks for the Presidents Cup later on today and he will have to pick two golfers to slide in with the following 10 who finished in the top 10 in Presidents Cup points: 1. Tiger Woods 2. Brandt Snedeker 3. Phil Mickelson 4. Matt Kuchar 5. Jason Dufner 6. Keegan Bradley 7. Steve Stricker 8. Bill Haas 9. Hunter Mahan 10. Zach Johnson The Cup takes place in early October when the United States will compete against golfers from non-European countries in a Ryder Cup-style event. The problem Couples is facing is how many truly great golfers he's trying to pick from. Do you go with the classic pick of Jim Furyk? The hot pick of Jordan Spieth? The people's choice of Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler? view

Michelle Wie apologizes for walking off green early

Sep 04, 2013

She got a little carried away. Michelle Wie walked off the green after making a putt on the 16th hole of her fourball match Saturday with Jessica Korda against Europe's Caroline Masson and Caroline Hedwall. The problem was that Masson and Hedwall still hadn't putted yet. Wie and Korda ended up halving the hole and they lost the match 2 & 1 on the 17th. Wie later apologized on Twitter for the incident. view

Did Spieth earn Presidents Cup bid?

Sep 04, 2013

Much was decided Monday in Boston, but the results of the Deutsche Bank Championship also left many questions to ponder. For example, who played their way into Presidents Cup captain's pick consideration? And who might raise their game to reach the Tour Championship? Our scribes answer those questions and more in this week's special Tuesday edition of Four-Ball. view

All-Time Best Without A Major

Sep 03, 2013

The Most Dubious Title in Golf: Monkeys are not on the endangered species list in golf -- not yet, even though three players managed to get full-bodied monkeys off their backs by finally winning major championships in 2013 -- Adam Scott at the Masters, Justin Rose at the U.S. Open and Jason Dufner at the PGA Championship. While those gents have escaped the infamous label of Best Players Who Never Won a Major, there is always someone ready to step in to take their place. (With only four majors per year there’s never enough immortality to go around.) We’ll update the list for best active players without a major another time. Here, let’s take a look at the category from a career-achievement perspective. Of all the great players in history, from the still-active to the deceased, who are the best who never, ever won a major title? Since the U.S. and British Amateurs were considered majors and were part of the Bobby Jones Grand Slam in 1930, we’ll count the Ams as majors. Thus, great amateurs such as Harvie Ward will not be considered for this list. The takeaway: Aside from a few players who didn’t travel the world to play in the top tournaments, it’s almost 100 percent true that all modern golfers who were truly great players won major titles. Here, then, is a baker’s-dozen list of The Best Players of All-Time Who Never Won a Major. --Gary Van Sickle view

Sergio Garcia Wilts Under The Pressure Again

Sep 03, 2013

NORTON, Mass. — Tiger Woods lost his FedEx Cup point lead. Sergio Garcia just lost it. Again. No, Sergio didn't show up at TPC Boston dressed head to toe in yellow like he did for the final round of the British Open at Hoylake. That was the July day in 2006 when Tiger took Sergio's lunch and, after lifting the Claret Jug, reportedly texted a friend, "I just bludgeoned Tweety Bird." Jeff Jacobs Jeff Jacobs E-mail | Recent columns Related Stenson wins Deutsche Bank Championship Stenson wins Deutsche Bank Championship Topics Sergio Garcia Golf Tiger Woods See more topics » On this Labor Day, Sergio settled for a bright yellow shirt to go with his black pants for the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. And while it would be uncharitable to say the shirt may have camouflaged the yellow streak running down Garcia's competitive backbone, sadly it would not be entirely inaccurate. Sign Up For Traffic Text Alerts "He's choking," NBC analyst Johnny Miller said as the Spaniard kicked away his two-stroke, 54-hole lead with the only over-par round among the top 20 finishers at this FedEx Cup playoff event won by Henrik Stenson. Miller called it a total collapse, although Garcia would eliminate that adjective "total" with birdies on two of the final four holes. "Collapse" would suffice. Only six players in the entire field finished worse than Garcia's 2-over 73. And what makes the number so stark is the fact that Garcia continued his string of final-round hatchet jobs. Garcia has a 69.96-stroke average before cuts this year. First two days, he's eighth best on the tour. He also entered with a final-round average of 72.33, 165th on the tour. We could argue Sergio always folds on Sunday, but as this event demonstrated he's not immune to Monday, either. Despite all the birdies surrendered on this rain-dampened course, when the average round was 69.97, he couldn't even be average. Stenson, who won a nifty $1.44 million at minus-22 and inched ahead of Woods heading into the final two events of the Fed Ex Cup, shot a 66. Jordan Spieth — put this 20-year-old on the Presidents Cup team, Fred Couples! — finished birdie, birdie, birdie, eagle for a 62 and a fourth-place finish tied with Garcia and two others at minus-17. Nobody on the big blue media tent leaderboard, in fact, shot worse than 70. Except Sergio. "I just wasn't comfortable," Garcia said in his brief remarks afterward. "I wasn't able to trust myself as I did the first few days." view

Woods, Williams bury the hatchet

Aug 30, 2013

Don’t expect awkward moments on Friday when the all-star threesome – Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson – walk onto the tee at the Deutsche Bank Championship. MORE FROM GOLFWEEK Deutsche Bank Championship picks TPC Boston: Hole by hole Rory plenty busy Woods feeling better Deustche Bank tee times EurAsia Cup added to Euro slate After more than two years of acrimony, Steve Williams and Tiger Woods have buried the hatchet. The world’s No. 1-ranked player and his estranged caddie – who went through an ugly divorce in 2011 – made their peace at last month’s British Open at Muirfield. “There’s an old saying that time heals all wounds,” Williams told FOX Sports. “I was very hurt by what happened with Tiger. Hurt and very disappointed. “I think it could’ve been handled differently. “But it’s been a couple of years and, as I said, time has a way of healing.” Williams had not spoken to Woods since he was fired – ostensibly for working for Scott while Woods was injured – at the 2011 AT&T National in Philadelphia. They have exchanged a few perfunctory handshakes since, at the 2011 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne and more recently, at the US Open at Merion when Scott and Woods were paired for the first two rounds. But their relationship was as frosty as ever. view

Keegan Bradley Stamps "Baba Booey" On His Wedge

Aug 30, 2013

He still hasn't received the coveted golden ticket to meet the man himself, but Keegan Bradley's lifelong love affair with Howard Stern continues, thanks to the good folks at Cleveland Golf. Related Links: Keegan on Wrap-Up Show | Baba Whoey? | Howard Is Good For Golf Bradley, a huge fan of the Stern show and all things Howard, has never hidden his affection for the King of All Media and the Baba Booey screams that have proliferated tournaments lately. He was heartbroken when friend and PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner was asked to appear on the show recently, and said so via Twtter. Hot Links: Kate Upton's Private Lessons | Sexiest Golfers | $1 Million Hole-in-One His loyalty has started to pay off though. In addition to appearing on Stern's Wrap-Up Show with Baba Booey himself (Gary Dell'Abate, the Stern show's executive producer), Bradley was just presented with a one-of-a-kind personalized wedge from Cleveland Golf stamped with the phrase that's been haunting Ian Poulter and other golfers over the last year. view

96-year-old Zeeland man scores first hole-in-one

Aug 29, 2013

GRAND HAVEN, MI -- Mel Boonstra of Zeeland never dreamed he'd shoot a hole-in-one. Boonstra, a lefty, has been golfing a little more than 50 years without one, why would it come now? The elusive ace has a way of surprising people as it did on Aug. 14 when Boonstra, 96, scored his first on hole No. 1 at Evergreen Golf Course just west of Allendale. "I was playing with my neighbor, Gord Grevengoed," Boonstra said. "When it was my turn to hit, it landed short of the green and it went on and kept rolling. Gord said it disappeared." When Grevengoed said he thought it went in, Boonstra dismissed the notion. "I said, 'That's doubtful.'" view

Hitting reset on Tiger Woods and the Player of the Year race

Aug 28, 2013

Before the FedEx Cup playoffs started we knew the only thing that could disrupt Tiger Woods' bid for a 10th Player of the Year award was either one of the four 2013 major winners winning again, somebody swooping in and sweeping the playoffs or winning three of four or something crazy like that. We got the former in the form of an Adam Scott one-shot win over, who else, Woods on Sunday at The Barclays. And now, ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a Player of the Year race. In the Tiger Woods era (1997-present) the PGA Tour Player of the Year award has been presented 16 times. Here's the breakdown of who has received it (again, nine of these were Tiger): Masters winner: 5 US Open winner: 2 British Open winner: 5 PGA Championship winner: 7 No majors for winner: 4 Multiple majors for winner: 6 Multiple wins for winner: 16 Only one win for winner: 0 5-plus wins for winner: 10 view

Major victories the ultimate measure of greatness

Aug 27, 2013

Tom Tango, one of the most incisive baseball analysts working today, asks a fascinating golf question: When you are analyzing a golfer’s greatness, how many non-major golf victories equal a major championship? It is a particularly great question this year as we try to determine who exactly is the Player of the Year. This year, Tiger Woods has won five times. And we’re not talking about five inconsequential tournaments. He won The Players Championship, which has perhaps the best field of any tournament in the world and many consider a sort of minor major. He won two World Golf Championships events. He won the prestigious Arnold Palmer Invitational. It has, in so many ways, been a remarkable year. This year, Adam Scott has won just twice. This past weekend, he sort of backed into a victory at The Barclays – he shot a final-round 66, got into the clubhouse, and watched everyone self-destruct down the stretch. And earlier this year, of course, he won the Masters – maybe the most illustrious golf tournament in the world. So: Who is your Player of the Year? view

Woody Austin given 4-stroke penalty

Aug 09, 2013

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Woody Austin incurred a four-stroke penalty Friday at the PGA Championship after realizing he had 15 clubs in his bag during the second round. Austin, 49, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, was in violation of Rule 4-4 for exceeding the 14-club limit. The penalty is two strokes for each hole where the breach occurred, up to a four-stroke limit. Austin added two strokes to his score for the first and second holes and ended up with a 75 to finish at 4 over par, likely missing the 36-hole cut. SportsNation: Too many clubs? SportsNation Woody Austin received a 4-stroke penalty at the PGA Championship for having too many clubs. Is this fair? Vote! He had forgotten to take a 21-degree hybrid out of his bag but didn't notice it because of the rain cover over his clubs to keep them dry. Austin and his caddie Dave Lawson began the round in the rain. "It's not his fault; it's my fault as much as his fault," Austin said. "It's both our jobs. It's just one of those things, if it wasn't raining, we would have caught it. But you've got the rain cover over everything and you're worrying about the towels and whatever, so you don't see it. "But if we would have been on the first tee on a normal day, clubs sitting there, you would have seen it. It's such a bulky club, you wouldn't have missed it. It doesn't have a head cover on it or anything. We would have caught it immediately. But the fact that you have got your clubs completely covered, I never saw it until I dug in there for the 3 iron on No. 3, and there it was." Austin, who won the Sanderson Farms Championship three weeks ago, shot a first-round 69 and would have made the cut easily without the four-stroke penalty. He did make two birdies on the front side and another on the back nine but his bogey at the 18th ultimately proved costly. "Can't say I was angry, because it was more, I don't know, it was more of a shock, so you're kind of like pretty bummed," Austin said. "I think after 20 years, you do one stupid thing ... and that's the first time I've ever done something like that. Now all I've got to do is figure out how to get DQ'd." view

Cabrera withdraws from PGA with wrist injury

Aug 09, 2013

Angel Cabrera withdrew during his second round at the PGA Championship on Friday with a left wrist injury. The Masters runner-up, who struggled to a 10-over 80 during his first round, made it through the front nine of his second round at even-par Friday after trading two birdies with a pair of bogeys. He then double bogeyed the first and birdied the second before withdrawing from the tournament with the ailment. Cabrera, a two-time major champion, is the second player to withdraw from the tournament on Friday, as Jamie Donaldson also pulled out with a back injury. view

Borges: Tiger Woods may win . . . easily

Aug 09, 2013

PITTSFORD, N.Y. ­­— About 20 minutes into yesterday’s lengthy late-afternoon rain delay at the 95th PGA Championship, Tiger Woods announced, “Realistically, it could have been a sunny afternoon . . . easily.’’ When it was announced that Bo Van Pelt had been forced to pull out of the tournament because of a bad hip, Woods opined, “Realistically, Bo could have been feeling fine . . . easily.’’ Just after officials from the USGA and Fox Sports announced Wednesday night that they agreed to a 12-year deal to begin broadcasting the U.S. Open in 2015, Woods declared, “Realistically, NBC could have been televising the Open through 2025 . . . easily.’’ That, it seems, is how the once greatest golfer in the world now views things, especially when it comes to days like yesterday. His cup is not always half full it is always running over even when it’s half empty. Realistically, he often is not realistic . . . easily. Woods was putting together the makings of a good opening round when he began the day on the 10th hole. He was 2-under after nine and, although not leading, was playing in the consistent manner it takes to be in position to triumph in a major championship. Sporting News: Thursday's winners and losers at the PGA Championship And then it all slipped away as it has for the past 51⁄2 years at the majors when he bogeyed the par-5 fourth hole and double bogeyed the ninth by mis-hitting a chip, then sending a second one short into a bunker. After getting out despite the ball being stuck near the lip in front, he stroked a putt for bogey that lipped out to leave with a closing double bogey and 1-over 71 on a day when 35 golfers ended up under par while Woods ended up tied for 50th. “The round realistically could have been under par . . . easily,’’ Woods said after his double bogey finish and an earlier hole when he mis-hit a ball so badly he nearly heaved his club like a weekend hacker at a muni course before thinking better of it. view

Webb Simpson ties course record at Oak Hill with 64

Aug 09, 2013

More Golf: Leaderboard | Rankings | Schedule | Expert Picks | Equipment | FedEx Cup Webb Simpson shot a 64 at the PGA Championship on Friday. This is significant for two reasons. The first is that he's now among the leaders at the 2013 PGA Championship. The second is that it ties the competitive course record at Oak Hill. Ben Hogan did it in 1942 and Curtis Strange did it in 1989 at the US Open. Simpson was trying to join 23 other golfers who have shot 63 in a major (11 at the PGA Championship) or become the first golfer to ever shoot 62 in a major. view

Tiger has one last shot at a major

Aug 07, 2013

ROCHESTER, NY On a pleasant Tuesday afternoon in upstate New York, Tiger Woods changed everything he’s ever believed about what it means to be a champion golfer. PGA TOUR WIN LEADERS Collecting trophies is a habit of Tiger Woods. He's now four shy of Sam Snead's record. Since he was a boy and pinned Jack Nicklaus’ record on his bedroom wall, Woods has dreamed of eclipsing the Golden Bear’s 18 majors. Majors, as Woods reminded us Tuesday, “are the biggest events with the most pressure, the best fields on the most difficult golf courses.” Rest assured, his boyhood dreams were never about beating Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA Tour wins -- a mark Woods is just three victories shy of after blitzing the field at last week’s Bridgestone Invitational. It’s always been about majors for Tiger, which is fine as long as you’re winning them. But it’s been more than five years since Woods last won one; it didn’t take Stanley Kubrick this long to make a movie. The oh-for-17 major-less streak — by a touchdown the longest drought of his career — has, it seems, turned Woods into something of a shell man, because he’s decided to change the location of the pea right before our eyes. On countless occasions, Woods has said that a great year requires that he win at least one major. But on the eve of his last chance to capture that elusive 15th major, this week’s PGA Championship at venerable Oak Hill, the great Tiger Woods downsized. “I think winning one major championship automatically means you had a great year,” he said. “Even if you miss the cut in every tournament you play in, you win one, you're part of history. “This year, for me, I think it's been a great year so far for me, winning five times, and you look at the quality of tournaments I've won, a Players and two World Golf Championships in there, that's pretty good.” view

Woods finally got magic number 18 ... sort of

Aug 06, 2013

AKRON, Ohio – He finally did it. What once seemed like an inevitable journey had stalled in recent years, but came to fruition here at Firestone Country Club on an historic Sunday afternoon. Tiger Woods won No. 18. That’s right – Woods now has 18 career World Golf Championships titles. OK, fine. So it’s not “the” 18. It’s not the magic number he’s spent a lifetime chasing and the rest of us have seemingly spent a lifetime debating. Despite his girlfriend Lindsey Vonn’s post-round tweet saying, “So proud!!!! #79 #GOAT” there are plenty of observers who believe that as long as Woods still hasn’t passed Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 major championship titles, he won’t hold the title of Greatest Of All Time. And for good reason. The opinion is inarguable considering even Woods places himself on that side of the debate. It’s exactly why he wants so desperately to break the record. So that he can be considered the greatest. It’s impossible to argue in favor of a guy who doesn’t argue in favor of himself. Winning the most majors should come affixed with the title of Greatest Of All Time. It makes sense. The player who wins the most at the ones that mean the most deserves to hold that honor. That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other superlatives which should belong to Tiger. He is the Most Commanding Of All Time. Tiger’s record when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead at a major is the stuff of legend. He is 14 for 15, the only misstep coming at the 2009 PGA Championship. The rest of his closing numbers easily resemble those. Woods is now 53 for 57 in that position on the PGA Tour; he is 42 for 44 when holding the outright 54-hole lead. Such numbers aren’t available for legends of previous generations, but know this: They weren’t close to what Woods has compiled. view

Armed with Claret Jug, Phil Mickelson brimming with confidence for Bridgestone and beyond

Jul 31, 2013

Adding the Claret Jug to Phil Mickelson’s entourage might have turned up the smack level with his closest friends. When Keegan Bradley double-checked their Tuesday tee time at Firestone Country Club, where he captured last year’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, Bradley couldn’t resist a jab at the newly crowned British Open winner. “I said, ‘I know you’re champion golfer of the year, but I’ll teach you how to play Akron if you want,’ ” Bradley said. “He only responded with, ‘I won there when you were 9 years old.’ ” Mickelson’s only triumph at Firestone came in 1996, during a run from 1995-2000 when he finished no lower than fourth. His best result on the South Course since was a tie for fourth in 2008, with 36th his average finish. But after hearing and seeing the confidence that flowed from Mickelson on Tuesday, anything seems possible the rest of the year. His stunning triumph at Muirfield “nine days ago,” as Mickelson was quick to point out, might invite reminiscing about the greatest round of his life. But Mickelson, 43, has pushed that aside to focus on this week’s Bridgestone Invitational, next week’s PGA Championship at Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y., and the four-event FedExCup playoffs, which begin Aug. 22. Mickelson was so in command of the room, so intent on looking his questioners in the eye during his news conference, that he removed a large planter of flowers obscuring his view. “Right now I’m playing as well as I ever have,” he said. “I want to make sure I stay focused this week and next week because I think there’s an opportunity to add to this year and make this year every bit as special as it can be. I’ve been playing some of my best golf the last few months. I’m excited about these upcoming events.” Mickelson has two victories in 2013 on the PGA Tour (including the Waste Management Phoenix Open), along with the Scottish Open. He’s finished in the top three six times in 15 events and earned $4.86 million, surpassing his total in each of the past three years. He suffered a heartbreaking loss at the U.S. Open at Merion, only to rebound for his fifth major victory. view

Baltusrol Is a Landmark Course in Almost Every Sense

Jul 29, 2013

Golf is often associated with exclusivity. But truly exclusive clubs in the United States might have more to do with history than high-priced memberships. P.G.A. Leader Board Schedule/Results Stats | Earnings L.P.G.A. Leader Board Schedule/Results Stats | Earnings Champions Leader Board Schedule/Results Stats | Earnings European Leader Board Schedule/Results Stats | Earnings Only three golf courses in the United States are listed as National Historic Landmarks: Merion Golf Club outside Philadelphia, built in 1912; Oakmont Country Club outside Pittsburgh, built in 1903; and the village of Pinehurst, N.C., and its Donald Ross-designed golf courses — namely Pinehurst No. 2, which opened in 1907. Serious golfers covet rounds at all three sites. For those who appreciate the game’s greatest designs, each course is an untarnished American gem that has stood the test of time. But being old is not all that a course needs to earn the National Park Service’s most exclusive designation. Jim Gabbert, a historian of the National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks, has a mantra when it comes to awarding those distinctions, “Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s historic, and just because it’s historic doesn’t mean it’s eligible.” But it helps when venerable courses occupy a distinct place in American history, and it matters if they have maintained their original designs throughout the years. One course hoping to join Merion, Oakmont and Pinehurst as a National Historic Landmark is Baltusrol, a private 36-hole club in Springfield, N.J., that hosted the 2005 P.G.A. Championship. The club’s history dates to 1895 and showcases the work of the architect A. W. Tillinghast, who also designed the East Course at Winged Foot Golf Club and the Black Course at Bethpage State Park. Baltusrol was placed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places 10 years ago. The club later worked with the New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office to apply for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, which it achieved in 2005. “At that time, the National Park Service deemed Baltusrol to possess exceptional historical importance and significance on a national level for its two Tillinghast-designed courses, making it potentially eligible to become a National Historic Landmark,” said Rick Wolffe, a member at Baltusrol and a club historian who has written books on Baltusrol and Tillinghast. view

Hunter Mahan provides Oklahoma State golf's finest hour Meet your new favorite golfer, Hunter Mahan, who provided OSU golf's finest hour this weekend when he withdrew from a tournament to be with his wife, who had gone into labor with their first child.

Jul 29, 2013

OSU golf has won 10 NCAA team championships. Eight Cowboys have won the NCAA individual title. Bob Tway won the PGA Championship. Scott Verplank, as an amateur, won the PGA's Western Open. But OSU golf's finest hour came over the weekend, when Hunter Mahan withdrew from a tournament. With a two-stroke lead and already at 13-under par in the Canadian Open, Mahan left the Glen Abbey course, hurried to the airport and caught a flight to Dallas to be with his wife, who had gone into labor with their first child. Mahan, an OSU star from 2001-03, this summer was in final-round contention at both the U.S. Open and British Open was headed for the Canadian trophy, which eventually went to Brandt Snedeker, who won at 16-under. Mahan, who shot 67-64 before his wife's water broke, could have won the Canadian's cool $1 million payday with back-to-back 70s. Instead, he made a memory that trumps any tournament-winning putt and let his wife, Kandi, know exactly where his priorities lay. The Canadian Open isn't a major, but it's not on the Tour, either. Winning a PGA Tour event is a special moment for every golfer this side of Tiger and Phil. Mahan has won five times in 10 years on the tour; these things don't come along very often. Yet he walked away from a possible (likely?) victory, because some things are more important than sport. That's a truth we all say but not all live by. And don't write this off as a golf thing. I know golf embraces its genteel culture, but the truth is, golfers are as competitive as any other athletes. Golf has tens of thousands technically elite players; competitive drive is one of the factors that culls the field to the couple of hundred worldwide able to excel. Golfers want to win as much as boxers or goalies or shortstops or linebackers do. Do golfers have their priorities more in line than other athletes? I don't know. Phil Mickelson famously carried a pager during the 1999 U.S. Open and said he would leave Pinehurst, no matter the situation, if he learned his wife had gone into labor. Amy Mickelson did go into labor but decided not to inform her husband, who finished a stroke behind Payne Stewart but still made it back to his wife in time for the birth. view

Cross Section Photos of Golf Balls Reveal the Diverse Beauty Within

Jul 29, 2013

Photographer James Friedman doesn’t play golf, but he had a collection of golf balls lying around. One day, he began to wonder what the guts of the golf balls look like, so he cut a ball open to take a peek at a core. Then he sliced open another, and another; after cutting open over twenty different types of golf balls, Friedman found a strange sort of beauty that he began to document through photographs. The resulting project is titled “Interior Design“. The photographs reveal a tiny world of strange shapes, layers, and colors. The Ohio-based photographer says that he was surprised to find “elegant formal qualities, unpredictable color schemes and metaphor” in the “unlikeliest of places.” Some of the balls have guts that look like something you’d see when peering into a microscope in a laboratory. Others look like illustrations showing cross sections of planets. Others look like abstract circles of color and texture. Here’s the collection of golf ball photographs Friedman created: view

Tech Talk: Mizuno MP-4 and MP-54 irons

Jul 29, 2013

Something happens to golfers when they see a forged muscle back iron, golf’s smallest, least forgiving type of iron that only a small percentage of golfers have the talent to use effectively. The response is similar to how motorists feel when they see an accident on the freeway. They know that shouldn’t look, that it’s potentially hazardous for them to do so, but they just can’t help themselves. Mizuno’s new MP-4 irons will take many golfers’ intrigue with muscle back irons a step farther. They have a classic shape and understated graphics that traditionalists will praise, and according to Chuck Couch, vice president of golf product for Mizuno, they feel as good if not better than any iron Mizuno has ever produced. To say that a golf club has good feel sounds like a subjective statement, because good feel often means something different to different golfers. But Couch said that Mizuno has established a way to quantify feel and improve it scientifically, which is exactly what the company has done with the muscle back MP-4 irons, as well as with its new forged cavity back MP-54 irons. view

Phil Mickelson Isn't 'This Generation's Arnold Palmer'—Tiger Woods Is Mickelson certainly plays like Palmer, and comparisons have surfaced in the days since Mickelson's British Open win. But only Tiger has revitalized the sport like Palmer did.

Jul 26, 2013

After Phil Mickelson pulled off one the great final-round comebacks in golf history to win the British Open on Sunday, he basked in the adulation of an overjoyed crowd at the Muirfield course in Scotland. Spectators had abandoned their fervent support of a hometown hero, Englishman Lee Westwood, to back Lefty down the stretch. In those moments, Mickelson reminded many fans--and sportswriters--of a similarly winsome "people's champion" who reigned at the British Open more than half a century ago. "Mickelson has been this generation's Arnold Palmer: exciting, daring to the point of self-destruction, charismatic, fan-friendly, and flawed," former Sports Illustrated veteran E.M. Swift wrote in a blog post. A New York Times article on the victory referred to Mickelson and Tiger Woods as "the Arnold Palmer and [Jack] Nicklaus of their day," and even the most casual golf fan knows that "Mickelson = Palmer" in the Times' analogy. Related Story Does the PGA Tour Need to Get More Scandalous? The comparison is easy enough to make. Both men played a high-risk style of golf, taking big gambles on key shots in search of even greater rewards. Both were overshadowed by a less emotionally available but more successful golfer. And both had overwhelming fan support, perhaps because of their image as wholesome, all-American family men. But is Mickelson really the 21st-century Palmer? A closer look at their careers and lives suggests that while their golfing styles were of a piece, Palmer's massive celebrity appeal and effect on the sport make him more like Mickelson's chief rival, Tiger. On the course, Mickelson reminds many golf fans--especially those from the Boomer generation--of Palmer. The King, as Palmer was known, attacked every hole of every round with the same fervor, whether he was five behind, five ahead, or tied. The defining Palmer moment may have been his final round at Colorado's Cherry Hills Country Club in the 1960 U.S. Open: Starting seven shots back of third-round leader Mick Souchak, Palmer drove the green on the par-4 first hole and birdied six of his first seven holes on his way to a final-round 65 and the victory. Palmer's lowest career moment was the flip side of that coin: Up seven strokes with just nine holes left in the 1966 U.S. Open, he refused to play it safe and finished four over par on his final nine, eventually losing a 18-hole playoff to Billy Casper. view


Jul 22, 2013

Phil Mickelson’s compelling final-round 66 to win the Open Championship at Muirfield is one of the most extraordinary rounds ever played in a major. His five-under score was seven strokes better than the average posted by the field (73.21), with an even greater margin over the other players who entered Sunday within ten strokes of the lead (73.72). J Claret Jug (2)When he teed off, he was five behind the leader, Lee Westwood, with eight players ahead of him. Those eight turned in scores of -1 (Henrik Stenson), +1 (Adam Scott and Zach Johnson), +3 (Angel Cabrera and Tiger Woods), +4 (Lee Westwood and Hunter Mahan), and +8 (Ryan Moore). Mickelson crushed them all; on the back nine alone, his 32 bettered the rest of the field by more than four and a half strokes (36.63). He is a worthy addition to the roster of champions crowned at Muirfield: since 1950, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo (twice), and Ernie Els. Mickelson said afterward that it was the best round of his life. It may have been something more: It may have been the round that changed his legacy forever. That’s quite a claim, considering that Mickelson is already in the World Golf Hall of Fame. It’s his forty-fourth win (including two on the European Tour), his twenty-fourth top-5 finish in a major, and his fifth major win, tying him with Seve Ballesteros, Byron Nelson, James Braid, J.H. Taylor, and Peter Thomson, one behind Trevino and Faldo. Yet Mickelson has long been dogged by his failures in the majors rather than his accomplishments in them. He took part in 46 majors before he won one. His losses, especially at the U.S. Open, have been ignominious, marked by big mistakes and curious thinking. At Merion a month ago, he held the lead with eight holes to play, but bogeyed the 121-yard 13th, flying his tee shot over the green, and scored another bogey on 15 despite having a gap-wedge second shot from the middle of the fairway. At Torrey Pines, he decided to play the longest course in U.S. Open history – in his old backyard no less – without a driver. He arrived at Merion after a one-day jaunt back to San Diego for his daughter’s eighth-grade graduation, his plane landing in Philadelphia less than four hours before his first-round tee time. Most regrettable of all was his final-hole meltdown at Winged Foot, when he had a one-shot lead and banged a driver off a hospitality tent and then compounded the error with a questionable gamble that hit a tree, ending with a double-bogey that handed the trophy to Geoff Oglivy. view

The Open 2013: Rory McIlroy may turn to psychologist to halt slump • World No2 McIlroy hits disastrous eight-over-par 79 • 'It's all mental. I just need to think more'

Jul 19, 2013

Rory McIlroy has offered the most revelatory insight yet into his state of mind, by admitting that he feels "brain dead" and "unconscious" on the golf course. McIlroy's poor 2013 continued with an opening round of 79 at the Open Championship. At eight over par, he faces a Friday battle simply to make the cut and is now priced as long as 750/1 by bookmakers to win the event. The Northern Irishman, who remains number two in the world rankings but has shown only very rare glimpses of his best form this year, insisted all of is troubles are mental rather than technical. "You have just got to try and play your way out of it," McIlroy said. "But it's nothing to do with technique. It's all mental out there. And then I just need to concentrate, obviously. "But sometimes I feel like I'm walking around out there and I'm unconscious. I just need to try to think more. I'm trying to focus and trying to concentrate. But I can't really fathom it at the minute, and it's hard to stand up here and tell you guys what's really wrong. "It's just so brain dead. Seriously, I feel like I've been walking around out there like that for the last couple of months. I'm trying to get out of it. I just don't quite know why." McIlroy may now seek assistance from Bob Rotella, the renowned sports psychologist. view

Tiger could've lost this Open on his first hole, but his rally turned out to be revealing

Jul 19, 2013

GULLANE, Scotland -- Everything you need to know about Tiger Woods's opening round at the Open -- and, indeed, this curious second act to his career -- was summed up by how he played the 1st hole at Muirfield on Thursday. The top-ranked player in the world stepped to the tee of the 447-yard par-4 wielding only a five-wood but uncorked a screaming hook that disappeared into the long weeds that frame the fairway. This is of a piece with Woods's career-long 1st-tee jitters; maybe no great player in golf history has hit so many truly horrendous opening drives. Anyway, his ball was quickly encircled by fans and marshals, though a small hillock obscured Woods's view. Without further investigation he loaded up a provisional tee shot. This was a cagey veteran move, giving him a free swing to try to find a quick fix. Whether it is keeping with the spirit of the rules is a topic for another column. Woods's second tee shot was almost as putrid as the first. Of course, that didn't matter, as his first ball had long since been located. But two swings into this Open we had already plunged back into the familiar psychodrama of Woods's inexplicable shakiness at the majors, which began in August 2009 (see Yang, Y.E.) and has defined the post-hydrant era. This year, Woods was a heavy favorite going into both the Masters and the U.S. Open, but he failed to summon his best golf at either. Pressed for an explanation on the eve of this British Open, he said, "It's just a shot here and there. It's not much. It could happen on the first day, it could happen on the last day. But it's turning that tide and getting the momentum at the right time or capitalizing on an opportunity. That's what you have to do to win major championships." Woods is prone to oversimplification, a defense mechanism that keeps outsiders from breaching the fortress of his inner self. But his manifold struggles at the majors have made it plain that darker forces are at work, and this played out off the 1st fairway at Muirfield. Woods arrived at his ball -- the first, not the superfluous second -- and declared the lie to be unplayable. Fair enough, but what came next revealed just how flustered Woods must have been feeling. Rather than call in a nearby rules official to supervise the penalty drop he hurriedly dumped a ball in the rough and played on. The drop wasn't illegal, but it was a touch cavalier. Woods has already perpetuated two epic rules cockups this season -- a bad drop in Abu Dhabi that led to a missed cut and the epic screwup that torpedoed his Masters -- to say nothing of a hurried drop at the Players Championship that set Twitter aflame. This rush job at Muirfield was a monument to Woods' stubbornness (he is loathe to give his detractors the satisfaction of summoning a rules official) but also evidence that even a 37-year-old legend can get rattled by two bad swings. view

The Open isn't supposed to be easy The players don't think the setup is fair, and they're wrong

Jul 19, 2013

GULLANE, Scotland -- The tweet popped up not long after Ian Poulter finished his first round of the Open Championship. Unfortunately the guys this afternoon will struggle with a few pin positions. 8th hole is a joke, 18th needs a windmill & clown face. Then Phil Mickelson, only a few minutes removed from his opening round, fired up the chainsaw, suggesting that the R&A should "let go of [its] ego ... and just set the course up the way the best players can win." He added that the "greens are dying and the holes are on the edges of slopes that the ball just simply won't stay." Zach Johnson said the Muirfield fairways were as fast as the greens, and the greens, tweeted Stewart Cink, "are the fastest I've seen in the Open." Anyway, there were bloodstains on more than a few scorecards Thursday. There also were anger, pained looks and complaints. Isn't it great? [+] EnlargeIan Poulter Paul Cunningham/USA TODAY Sports Ian Poulter didn't like how Muirfield was set up for Round 1. He wasn't alone. But did he have a point? Nothing personal, but I don't care if Poulter and Mickelson think the setup is unfair. I don't care if they put a windmill, a clown face and a circus tent over the 18th green. I don't care if R&A officials put a pin on the roof of the Muirfield clubhouse. A major is a major because it makes you mutter under and over your breath. It's supposed to hurt -- especially this one and at this place. They say Muirfield is the fairest of the courses used in the Open Championship rotation. This is true. But that doesn't mean it can't leave teeth marks on your round. Or make you wonder how anything so beautiful -- and Muirfield is the Sofia Vergara of pure golf -- can secretly move your Open Championship hopes to an offshore account in the Cayman Islands. Rory McIlroy putted a ball from off the green, through it and then into a bunker. Charl Schwartzel excommunicated a club after squirting a ball out of the Muirfield rough. The poor iron snapped in two after Schwartzel hurled it against the driveway-hard turf. Luke Donald shot a 9-over-par 80, which ties his worst Open score. The on-site engraver won't need to practice those L's. Muirfield isn't lush, and it isn't fun. Brown is becoming the prevailing color, what with the sun (Sun! In Scotland!) cooking this place like a pot roast. The grandstands are green, but that's about it. The rest of the course looks as if it spent the week in a tanning bed. view

Off to the Races: Olympic Skier Lindsey Vonn

Jul 18, 2013

With her injury behind her, and Tiger Woods on her team, Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn has finally found balance in a life spent constantly on the move. One of the most surprising images in the press all spring was that of an injured Lindsey Vonn—still recovering from a horrifying crash at the world championships in February—in a floppy Kentucky Derby hat or giant sunglasses and a sundress, following her boyfriend, Tiger Woods, around the storied golf courses of America. (Is this a great country, or what?) Seeing Vonn being chauffeured around in a golf cart to watch Woods as he made (or missed) a putt, one was reminded that this world-class skier has chosen a mate whose sport could not be more different from her own—though it may be the only one that is more difficult to spectate. “I’m lucky to see one shot a hole!” says Vonn, laughing. “When he comes to watch me ski, he’s just gonna be cold. But he’ll be able to see because of the Jumbotrons. Plus, my sport is over in a matter of minutes. His is a marathon that lasts forever. This round last weekend was over five hours! But I’m getting used to it.” It is 7:00 a.m. on a Tuesday morning in early June, and we are having breakfast at her hotel in downtown Manhattan. Thankfully, a cup of coffee has brought Vonn back to life, because a few moments ago, she came shuffling off the elevator, still rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, looking for all the world like a cranky teenager—albeit one with glamorous blonde bed head. As do most superathletes who have trained their whole lives to perfect one skill to the exclusion of nearly every other, but who have also traveled the globe and seen it all, she comes across as both childlike and world-weary. When she flopped down on the banquette—wearing a wrinkly-gauzy red button-down, tight blue jeans, and black Tory Burch loafers—she propped her head up in her hands and looked as if she was going to fall back asleep. I had assumed that the champion who is widely regarded as the greatest female skier in American history would be a morning person. “I get up early,” she says, “but it doesn’t mean I like getting up early.” As her younger sister Laura later tells me, “That is how she is. If there is a day off, she’s sleeping. She loooves to sleep.” view

Strong week at Muirfield would silence those who say McIlroy has lost his focus

Jul 18, 2013

GULLANE, Scotland -- His clubs. His swing. His putting. His globetrotting. His scheduling. His sponsor commitments. His tennis-star girlfriend. His management shakeup. His shortage of competitive reps. His failure to bow at Hogan's alter and wholly and completely turn himself over to the game. The list of potential explanations for Rory McIlroy's disappointing play in 2013 has grown so exhaustive that there are seemingly no culprits left to blame (his new conditioner, anybody?). But McIlroy, who makes Jimmy Buffett look uptight, isn't ready to press the panic button -- not even close to ready. "What's the big deal?" McIlroy said Wednesday at Muirfield, where he is preparing to make his sixth Open Championship start. "I haven't had the best six months. It's OK. I'm fine. I've got a good life. … Sooner or later, it'll turn around and I'll be back lifting trophies." That's all well and good, and undoubtedly the right mindset for a 24-year-old with two majors titles on his resume and untold millions in his brokerage account. But in this win-often-or-risk-being-forgotten world, what-me-worry decrees don't sit well with the masses. Nick Faldo, the windy three-time Open champion, reminded McIlroy of that when earlier this week he suggested that the World No. 2 -- and former Faldo mentee -- isn't working hard enough. "You have a 20-year window of opportunity as an athlete," Faldo said when asked about McIlroy's underwhelming play. "Concentrate on golf, nothing else." The six-time major winner added, "The most ideal preparation I can think is to go to the club at nine in the morning, hit balls all day long, and leave at five. You have to do that." view

British Open: Muirfield is stuffy, pretentious, difficult - and proud of it

Jul 18, 2013

GULLANE, Scotland The Open Championship, with its big yellow scoreboards and the scent of fish and chips in the air, has arrived this week at Muirfield. Nice of the place to let us in for a few days. Muirfield is home to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which hints at the pretension of the place. When asked if the club is as stuffy as its reputation, a local said, “Positively – and they’re proud of it. They honestly don’t care what anyone else thinks.” There’s something obnoxiously admirable about that, unless you’re progressive, female or both. When Muirfield allows guest play, it asks that the interlopers arrive in coat and tie to check in. Once the club gives its approval, golfers can then change into suitable golf attire, which means no cargo shorts, no Rickie Fowler-styled hats and please no plus-fours. After playing, guests are then asked to change back into their coats and ties for lunch. Enjoy the neeps and tatties. This Open begins as most major championships do these days – with an abundance of analysis on the state of Tiger Woods’ elbow and the state of Rory McIlroy’s psyche. Those questions will be answered on Thursday when play begins with a frighteningly good weather forecast. The Open Championship at Muirfield is a reminder that golf was originally played more on the ground than through the air, a concept lost on Americans. With Muirfield’s fairways and knee-high rough now the color of a nice latte, this championship will be played in classic firm and fast conditions. The fairways are so firm – unlike Charlotte, it hasn’t rained significantly in Scotland for a few weeks – Woods said he’s allowing for 70 to 80 yards of run after his 3-wood shots land. Such brown, bouncy conditions would send American golfers on a march to the course superintendent’s office, demanding the fairways be green enough to mow a tartan design into them. view

Jordan Spieth wins John Deere Classic, becomes 1st teen winner in 82 years

Jul 15, 2013

It was an act of desperation that landed Jordan Spieth in a three-man playoff for the John Deere Classic. It was an act of bravado that won it for him. Spieth, who turns 20 on July 27, won at TPC Deere Run with a par on the fifth playoff hole, defeating defending champion Zach Johnson and Canadian David Hearn. After all three players hit poor tee shots to the right of the fairway at the par-4 18th, Spieth hit a gutsy second shot leaving him just beyond the green. A two-putt par locked up the win, after Johnson found the water with his approach and Hearn could not make par from a similar position. view

Teenager Wins John Deere Classic After Sinking A Shot From The Bunker On Final Hole To Force A Playoff

Jul 15, 2013

Jordan Spieth, who won't turn 20 until the end of this month, sank a shot from the bunker on the 18th hole to tie for the lead at the John Deere Classic. He would then go on to win on the fifth playoff hole. Spieth became the first teenager to win a PGA Tour event since 1931 and only the fourth teenager since 1900. The win also qualifies Spieth for this week's British Open and next year's Masters. view

Wilcox matches Tour record with 59

Jul 15, 2013

Will Wilcox fired a 12-under 59 Sunday in the final round of the Utah Championship, becoming the fourth player in the history of the Tour to card golf's magic number. Beginning on the 10th hole, Wilcox started with four straight birdies, adding a fifth birdie at No. 16 and an eagle at the par-5 17th. He added three more birdies on holes 2-4, closing his round with a pair of birdies on Nos. 8-9 to match the lowest round ever shot on the Tour. Despite starting the day tied for 38th, Wilcox moved into a tie for the lead at 21-under 263 upon signing his scorecard. It's not the first low score this week at Willow Creek Country Club, as Chad Collins fired a second-round 60 after a first-nine 27. Wilcox, 27, from Birmingham, Ala., joins Doug Dunakey, Notah Begay III and Jason Gore as the only players to card a 59 on the Tour. Gore was the last to do so, shooting the ultra-low round en route to winning the 2005 Cox Classic. view

PHOTOS: Phil Mickelson drops Scottish Open trophy

Jul 15, 2013

I ask you, golfing friends, is this the most Phil Mickelson photograph in the history of photographs? Lefty couldn't get a good handle on the Scottish Open silver after his playoff win over Branden Grace. In fact, this is a great metaphor for what he did on the 72nd hole of the tournament! Hat tip to @adam_stanley for the find. view

Phil Mickelson warms up for Muirfield with opening 66 at Scottish Open • American targets victory as 'perfect Open preparation' • Parry storms into first-round lead with eight-under 64

Jul 12, 2013

It may be a general assumption that Phil Mickelson's latest Scottish Open appearance is with a bigger stage, at Muirfield, in mind but the man himself has bristled at the suggestion he is not chasing victory at Castle Stuart. As others spend time in East Lothian, preparing for next week's Open Championship, Mickelson is the most high-profile name in the Scottish Open field. In going against a growing trend Mickelson has a preference to play competitively the week before a major if at all possible. On a benign and therefore low-scoring morning in the Highlands he signed for the 66 which leaves him within touching distance of the lead, the Englishman John Parry having set the pace with an eight-under-par 64. When pressed on whether Open fine- tuning, rather than victory, was on his mind Mickelson offered a firm response. "I think the best way to get ready for next week is to get into contention and to feel that nervousness, those butterflies, and try to win," he said. "When I won the Masters in 2006 I won the week before by 13 shots in Atlanta. I thought that there couldn't have been a better way to get ready. "So, absolutely; if you can play well, get into contention and hopefully win, then that's the best preparation possible for next week. The reason I think this is a perfect set-up for next week is that it gives us a chance to hit all the shots we will play next week. You can only handle so much punishment the week of the Open where the rough is so thick and the penalty for a miss is so great, so it's nice to have a week where you don't get punished and you are still hitting the same shots." view

In golf's answer to Moneyball, a new breed of numbers-crunchers are changing the game

Jul 09, 2013

When Brandt Snedeker showed up to play the 2012 British Open, having missed the cut in all three of his previous Open starts, his record suggested he had little cause for optimism. His stats, however, said otherwise. In the weeks leading up to Royal Lytham & St. Annes, Snedeker had powwowed with a little-known golf whisperer named Mark Horton, an English numbers wiz he met through Ian Poulter. Horton crunched the data and hatched a plan. "He was like, 'Let me break it down for you,' " Snedeker recalls. " 'You don't drive it particularly straight, but you drive it okay. You don't hit a bunch of greens, but you hit it okay. But you putt really freakin' good -- you're one of the best I've ever seen. So you know what you need to do this week?' " Snedeker said he didn't know. "Just hit the damn green!" Horton said. Simplistic counsel? Perhaps. But it masked a subtler thought. Snedeker was not one of golf's heroic hitters, like, say, Rory Mcllroy or Dustin Johnson, capable of launching a towering 4-iron 230 yards to a tucked back-left pin. His success depended on restraint. "Seems obvious," Snedeker says. "But that was the first time that somebody said to me, 'What are you doing? Don't worry about hitting it to three feet. Hit it to the middle of the green and go on to the next hole.' " The insight amounted to a eureka moment. Changing his game without changing his swing, Snedeker tied Nick Faldo's 36-hole Open scoring record and went on to finish third. Later that season, he banked $11.4 million when he won the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup. Once the 35th-ranked player in the world, Snedeker soared to No. 4, a statistical surge driven partly by ... statistics. view

British Open at Muirfield could be special for Ernie Els

Jul 09, 2013

Only two golf courses have played host to more British Opens than Muirfield. St. Andrews and Prestwick Golf Club have both hosted 28 times, though the last at Prestwick was in 1925. This will be Muirfield's 16th. A place Golf Digest recently said was "by any measure ... one of the top 10 golf courses in the world" is ready to hold serve on her first tournament since 2002, when Ernie Els won his first British Open. Before that, Nick Faldo won there twice. Before him, winners included Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Walter Hagen. It's not a place for the faint of heart or, apparently, golfers who don't have ambitions of someday becoming hall-of-famers. Muirfield is home to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers which, in addition to having the coolest name ever, is, according to its website, one of the oldest golf clubs in the world (Golf Digest calls it the oldest). Jack Nicklaus has called Muirfield "the best golf course in Britain" and even named his course in Ohio (Muirfield Village) after it. There was another great line in that Golf Digest article from Herbert Warren Wind in 1966: "Muirfield's great quality is its frankness -- its honesty." Based on Muirfield's history (did you see those names?) and the way this year has been going (two top 10 major winners so far), it's kind of hard to see a star not winning this year's British Open, isn't it? It's difficult for me to envision the Ben Curtis-Todd Hamilton back-to-back triumph like we had in 2003 and 2004. It's not hard, on the other hand, for me to envision Els becoming the third golfer in nine years to win two straight British Opens. Tiger Woods did it in 2005-2006 and Padraig Harrington did it in 2007-2008 before Stewart Cink broke the streak by failing to win in 2009 and 2010. The 43-year-old Els, who has called Muirfield "a thinking man's golf course," could beautifully bookend his fantastic career with a return trip to glory at the place that launched him from star to superstar over a decade ago. It's not out of the realm of possibility, either. Els has finished in the top 10 in five of his last seven Opens, including his win last year. view

Politics played major role in Tour adopting ban

Jul 02, 2013

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. – When the USGA and R&A first proposed an anchoring ban and asked other influencers within the game for an assessment during a lengthy comment period, the PGA Tour was amongst the most vocal, opposing the notion with passionate dissension. On Monday, that very same PGA Tour announced that it plans to adopt the anchoring ban, which has gone from nominated proposal to Rule 14-1b, starting Jan. 1, 2016, in effect agreeing to a rule that it had previously opposed. If this 180-degree reversal sounds like the ultimate contradiction, it should. After all, we’re just months removed from PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem publicly denouncing the idea in multiple forums. Now he’s prepared to embrace it. So what happened? Why did the PGA Tour flip the script on this plotline? How did its policy board so quickly change its collective mind on this issue? Well, the truth is, it didn’t. But to understand why and how, we need to look back to the 1960 presidential election. That year’s emotionally charged campaign race pitted John F. Kennedy, a charismatic senator from Massachusetts, against incumbent vice president Richard M. Nixon in an election that garnered increased interest thanks in part to the first-ever televised debates. Among those captivated by the proceedings was a 13-year-old boy in Virginia named Timothy Finchem, who would later credit that presidential race with first getting him intrigued by politics. His hobby soon became his passion, the political process consuming his formative years. Finchem would study political science at the University of Richmond, then get into the political arena even more during law school. He later ran a senate campaign in Virginia, which led to a job as deputy advisor to the office of economic affairs for the Jimmy Carter administration, coordinating economic initiatives within the White House. Eventually, Finchem would leave politics to start practicing law. Even after becoming PGA Tour commissioner in 1994, though, he always relied on that political background to help navigate his way through potentially chaotic situations. view

PGA Tour adopts anchored putting ban Controversial strokes are out in 2016

Jul 02, 2013

Barring something dramatic, such as a legal challenge or a change of heart from golf’s governing bodies, anybody who plays the sport starting in 2016, from beginners to PGA Tour professionals, won’t be permitted to use an anchored stroke. That was guaranteed on Monday, when the PGA Tour’s policy board voted to accept the anchor ban approved in May by the US Golf Association and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. The PGA of America followed suit Monday, announcing that it also will abide by the new rule, which is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2016. view

PGA Tour board votes to adopt anchoring ban

Jul 02, 2013

The PGA Tour on Monday announced its decision to accept the ban on anchored strokes handed down in May by golf's governing bodies, the U.S. Golf Association and the Royal & Ancient. The decision was not a surpise, seeing as the Tour generally accepts the USGA as golf's rules maker. What happens next, however, is not so certain. A handful of players, notably Tim Clark, Carl Pettersson and Adam Scott, have been exploring options with an attorney, Harry Manion of Boston. "It was not unexpected," Manion told USA TODAY Sports. "I'm going to get with each of my nine guys and see what they want to do." Manion represents nine players total; six have not publicly come forward. Clark, who says he has a congenital arm issue that keeps him from properly rotating his forearms, could not be reached for comment Monday, but he has been adamant in his opposition from the beginning. "We're not going to roll over and just accept this," Clark told USA TODAY Sports in May. "We will look into all options. We have been put into a position where we have to fight for our livelihoods. We will do what we need to do to get a fair result." Scott won the Masters in April, making it four winners in the last seven major championships who anchor their putter. Ernie Els (2012 British Open) and Webb Simpson (2012 U.S. Open) used a belly putter last year. Keegan Bradley in the 2011 PGA Championship was the first major champion with a belly putter. The USGA and R&A announced the proposed ban, rule 14-1b, in November 2012; then, following a 90-day comment period, the governing bodies announced on May 21, 2013, that the ban would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016 when the next "Rules of Golf" are published. view

Titleist Introduces New Scotty Cameron Futura X Mallet Putter Posted: July 1, 2013

Jul 02, 2013

Master Craftsman Scotty Cameron’s commitment to the creative process and collaborating with the best players in the world helped lay the groundwork for the new Scotty Cameron by Titleist Futura X putter. Futura X is a high MOI, modern mallet design with advanced perimeter weighting that provides exceptional stability and forgiveness with solid feel. The new Futura X, available worldwide beginning Aug. 1, is the direct result of Cameron’s extensive work with Titleist Brand Ambassador Adam Scott, who used a prototype version of the putter in winning the 2013 Masters Tournament. Scott, who has been using Cameron putters for more than a decade, calls Futura X “the most stable putter I have ever played.” Precision milled from high grade 6061 aluminum, the unique Futura X design combines a rear balance bar with deep heel-toe weights plus perimeter weighting under the face. The resulting deep CG provides stability throughout the stroke, while the perimeter weighting adds forgiveness and solid feel. The result is unmatched stability and a great roll. “I like to describe Futura X as a lethargic putter, for those golfers that need a slow, steady stroke that doesn’t jump around a lot,” said Cameron, whose putters have been the No. 1 choice of players on the PGA Tour since 1997 and counting. “It’s the perfect design for Adam, and will give confidence to all golfers that want stability during the stroke and less hand manipulation.” Futura X features four stainless heel-toe weights, two 20-gram weights on the rear balance bar and two adjustable sole weights (configured depending on the length) in the front corners of the putter under the face. The overall headweight of Futura X is 20 grams heavier than a standard Cameron Select putter, resulting in a swingweight of E8. However, since much of the weight is located behind the axis of the shaft and not directly under the golfer’s hands, the Futura X feels stable but not heavy during the stroke. view

On PGA Tour, fashion runs according to script

Jul 01, 2013

Viewers of the final round of golf’s U.S. Open two weeks ago might have noticed Billy Horschel’s name near the top of the leader board. They almost certainly noticed his pants, navy blue with a white octopus print. Reactions ranged from “Where can I get some of those?” to “Who dresses these guys?” More AT&T National coverage ‘Wild day’ ends with four tied for the lead after three rounds Barry Svrluga JUN 29 After 54 holes, the lead of the AT&T National is shared by four different players, four different characters. From Tiger’s foundation, an education Barry Svrluga JUN 29 Three years in, D.C.’s Tiger Woods Learning Centers are now starting to bear the fruit of foundation’s labors. Back nine undoes Duke’s fast start Gene Wang and Barry Svrluga JUN 29 Coming off his first PGA Tour win, Ken Duke shoots up the leader board before falling during the back nine. Jordan Spieth: 19 and he likes it Barry Svrluga JUN 28 Too young to remember Tiger Woods’s first Masters win, phenom is tied with Roberto Castro after second round. It’s Sunday; time to wear octopus pants Chelsea Janes JUN 28 On PGA Tour, apparel sponsors tell their golfers not only what to wear, but when to wear it. Weather wreaks havoc on schedule Barry Svrluga JUN 28 Friday’s wave of thunderstorms means there will be a lot of golf to be played Saturday in Bethesda. Complete coverage For apparel sponsors — in Horschel’s case, Polo Ralph Lauren — that’s exactly the point. In a crowded and competitive marketplace, on-course fashion decisions are more carefully orchestrated than ever before, but they’re not being made by the players themselves. Rather, the companies who supply the clothes tell the pros not just what to wear but when to wear it. In an effort to increase visibility and spark sales, most companies “script” their sponsored players’ outfits for each day of a major championship (the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, and PGA Championship). Horschel, in fact, had been scheduled to don his cephalopod slacks during Saturday’s third round of the Open, but once he played his way into contention, Polo executives switched them to Sunday, when TV viewership would be highest. Golf companies have been asking players to wear certain clothes for decades. Greg Norman, the game’s most visible star in the late ’80s and early ’90s, said his sponsors “had reports down to the second” of how much airtime he and his apparel were getting. view

Mr. '25'

Jun 28, 2013

During the first round of the 2010 RBC Alberta Open at Carnmoney Golf and Country Club, Jamie put together a stretch of golf that to many is unimaginable. After a slow start that included a 4-putt on the par-3 fourth hole he birdied the nineth hole to make the turn at 1-over par. What happend next was 9 holes of golf that may never be duplicated. Birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie, birdie, eagle. In 9 holes Jamie had 7 birdies and 2 eagles for an 11-under par 25! Corey Pavin holds the PGA Tour record, having shot eight-under 26 once at a tournament in Milwaukee. Jason Bohn, shot nine-under 26 on the front nine the last day to win the Canadian Tour's 2001 Bayer Championship in Sarnia, Ont. view

Tiger Woods swings hard — and learns the same way

Jun 27, 2013

Luckily for Tiger Woods — but unfortunately for his own event — the world’s No. 1 golfer finally has learned he is not indestructible. Woods withdrew from this week’s AT&T National with an injured elbow. How did he hurt it? The same way he always damages himself and the same way he has made himself great: a little at a time, always pushing for more of what he wants, always refusing to stop when others would, always viewing conventional good judgment as suspect and his own unbridled will as a better guide. Archive E-mailfacebookRSS Now, at 37, he says he realizes he must adjust to age and injury. Yet he still hasn’t — not quite. This very injury is a microcosm of all the others but also a mirror of his insatiable drive. Will he ever learn? Or could he and still be Tiger? Woods won’t be at Congressional Country Club, site of his own victory in this event last June, when the first round starts Thursday. He’ll keep track of top players who remain in a somewhat depleted field, like Masters winner Adam Scott and his rising Australian countryman Jason Day, as well as top U.S. players like Brandt Snedeker, Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, Nick Watney and Jim Furyk. This week’s lesson for Woods is a biting one: At every stage of his career, including the last few weeks, he has pushed himself to play through pain — and sometimes through injury — to a level that has seemed excessive, with hindsight, even to him. In May, Woods hurt his left elbow at the Players. “It wasn’t a single shot that did it” at the Players, Woods said. “It didn’t feel good early in the week, but I pushed through it. It progressively just got worse. Got to a point where I was starting to struggle a little bit.” Because he was already in discomfort and “struggling,” he played in Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial tournament, an event on which this AT&T National is somewhat modeled. Nobody wants to disappoint Jack or appear to be a lame no-show. So once more, Woods pushed through — and finished 20 shots behind. Does he regret playing the Memorial? “I wouldn’t necessarily say regret. I wish I’d played better so I didn’t have so many [trouble] shots I had to hit,” Woods said. With hindsight, better to bag it? view

Sub-Par Thinking Golf Academy Application

Jun 27, 2013

Luke Donald, his coach Pat Goss, and Freakonomics authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner are teaming up to run a summer golf academy like no other! All participants will play two rounds of golf on July 8 and July 9 and two rounds on August 28 and 29. We will select a handful of players to then participate in an 8-session golf academy taught by one of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 teachers, Pat Goss. Too busy being short game coach to the world’s best short game player, Luke Donald, as well as for Gary Woodland and Trevor Immelman, Pat Goss no longer gives private lessons, making this is a unique opportunity you should not pass up! view

The Van Cynical Column: The top 10 players who haven't won an Open...yet

Jun 26, 2013

Thank you, Queen, for summarizing what’s new in the Best Player Who Hasn’t Won a Major Yet category. Adam Scott got his Masters. Justin Rose got his United States Open. The list of major-less candidates with potential is bottomless, though. You lose Scott and Rose and two other guys step right into the top ten to replace them. Instead of merely tweaking the major-less rankings, though, let’s fine-tune it slightly for the upcoming Open Championship -- that’s British Open for you golf-challenged Americans -- at venerable Muirfield Golf Club. Let’s make this list the Best Players Who Haven’t Won an Open (U.S. or British). These rankings aren’t based on potential or lifetime achievement but on who’s apparently playing the best among those winless souls at the moment. Or, in lieu of that, anyone I want to sneak onto the list because I feel like it. I’m sorry if that’s too scientific. Tough it out. The Top Ten Players Who Haven’t Won an Open… Yet: 1. Phil Mickelson. This feels too easy, like shooting monkeys in a barrel (that was last year’s runner-up in the Sportswriters Mixed Metaphor Contest). Phil is the greatest runner-up in U.S. Open history -- six times, counting Merion, where he looked positively champion-like except for the part about not being able to hit a green from 110 yards on the 13th hole when it mattered. Phil has had one close call in a British Open, missing out on the playoff between Ernie Els and Todd Hamilton after he messed up a par 3 near the finish. Phil is a high-ball power player who struggles in the wind, and he's a 64-degree flop-shot guy, not a bump-and-run guy. You wouldn’t expect Phil to win a British. Which is, of course, exactly why he still might. 2. Adam Scott. Well, he’s got a Green Jacket. From here on, the rest is gravy. No doubt he’d love to get a claret jug after last year’s finish, which was the golfing equivalent of Earnest Byner fumbling on the 2. Talking heads on TV like to say that winning one major “will open the floodgates” for a guy, but it almost never does. I like Scott’s chances to nab an Open one of these days, though. He’s among the top five ballstrikers on tour now. 3. Jason Day. Second at the Open, third at the Masters -- this guy is knocking pretty loudly at the door. What’s not to like? He’s a big hitter with a pretty good short game. It’s a bit of a concern that he’s not among the top 100 in greens hit in regulation, but he’s long and he putts well (21st in strokes-gained putting). You’ve got to putt to win. Pencil him in for multiple majors. 4. Luke Donald. It’s funny how if you have a lot of close calls but no victories, you get no respect. But when you win something big, then the critics say, “And he’s got all these close calls, too.” Luke continues to walk the line between having just enough wins to make those close calls look like positives, not negatives. Something’s off with his iron play, though. He ranks 28th in driving accuracy but only 150th in greens in regulation. You can’t hit that many fairways and then miss that many greens. Calling Sean Foley… 5. Matt Kuchar. He’s the only player who’s not Tiger with two wins this year. One is the World Match Play, which should come with an asterisk. Still, there’s no ignoring that he has stepped up his play to the top level. So let’s see something happen in a major. The clock is ticking. 6. Charl Schwarztel. The former Masters champ had a shot at Merion and blew up badly on the front nine the last round, eventually posting 78. He’s got a great swing, makes excellent contact and has a nice putting stroke, except for those occasional putts where he looks as if he’s afraid the putter might bite him on the ankle. That could be an issue that may relegate him to one-hit wonder status if he can’t fix it. 7. Brandt Snedeker. He’s gotten a taste of contention in a couple of Masters and a British Open. He may be ready. If you look at his performance this year, you can’t find a bad ranking in a statistical category that matters. One win, two runner-ups and a sixth in the Masters is pretty good. Three wins would’ve sounded better. He’s on the cusp. Let’s see if he can crawl over the edge. 8. Dustin Johnson. He’s been quiet, too quiet, since winning the lid-lifter in Kapalua. Maybe he’s been a little distracted this year or maybe it’s something else. The guy ranks third in driving distance but only 105th in par-5 scoring. He should eat par-5s like popcorn shrimp. What’s up with that, D.J.? 9. Steve Stricker. The key to winning the Open at Muirfield is to enter the tournament. Stricker didn’t. He’s 46 and considers himself semi-retired. But he plays well when he shows up. He’s got two seconds and a fifth, plus an eighth-place finish at Merion. No wins, however, and the biggest reason for skipping any tournament is because you know you can’t win it. He probably isn’t going to get a major on his resume unless you count eight-point bucks, which are majors to him. 10. Bubba Watson. Until last week, he was pretty much only in the news for saying silly or outlandish things. Then he was about to win in Hartford until he hit into the water at the 16th hole Sunday and made a triple bogey, making Ken Duke the toast of Connecticut instead. Bubba had a prima-donna moment on live TV after the errant shot and clearly blamed his caddie for a bad yardage. It’s a heat-of-the-moment thing, no biggie. He doesn’t seem like Open material, though. His Masters recovery shot in the playoff never would’ve happened, say, at Merion, where the rough was for too deep for anything like that. view

For Sixth Time, Mickelson Wins Only Sympathy

Jun 18, 2013

ARDMORE, Pa. — Phil Mickelson’s Sunday at the 113th United States Open began with fans singing “Happy Birthday” to him as he appeared on the practice range at 2:20 p.m. Almost exactly five hours later, the fans in the grandstand behind the 18th green cheered, chanted and stomped their feet as Mickelson walked toward them. Enlarge This Image Doug Mills/The New York Times If he never wins the tournament, Phil Mickelson said afterward, “then every time I think of the U.S. Open, I will think of heartbreak.” Related Rose Holds Off Mickelson in U.S. Open (June 17, 2013) Essay: Merion Golf Club Stands Up to Fears of Its Frailty (June 17, 2013) P.G.A. Leader Board Schedule/Results Stats | Earnings L.P.G.A. Leader Board Schedule/Results Stats | Earnings Champions Leader Board Schedule/Results Stats | Earnings European Leader Board Schedule/Results Stats | Earnings Enlarge This Image Doug Mills/The New York Times Mickelson’s final round included two double bogeys and an eagle. He finished second at the Open for the sixth time. In Mickelson’s cavalcade of disappointment at the Open, he often approaches a closing scene like this with a lead. No one has finished second in the event as often as Mickelson. He has had the lead at the Open with three holes left and lost. Once, he had the lead with two holes remaining and lost. And most famously, he had a one-stroke lead with one hole to play in 2006. He lost. But this time, Mickelson trailed Justin Rose by a stroke as he walked to his ball at the last hole, and perhaps the crowd grasped the juxtaposition, seizing upon the notion of a miracle turnaround. Had Mickelson not already holed a shot from 75 yards for eagle on the 10th hole? This time, he needed to chip his ball up a steep hill and run it across the green for a birdie that would force a playoff. After a succession of devastating, unpredictable defeats dating to 1999, wasn’t Mickelson due for something wholly unforeseen that left him smiling instead of stunned? Mickelson’s chip shot at the 18th roared toward the hole as every person in the grandstand stood. Mickelson ran after the shot, chugging up the hill to watch the ball track across the green. But the line was imperfect. The ball missed by a few feet. view

Thomas Boswell: Major drought continues for Tiger Woods, and questions arise

Jun 18, 2013

ARDMORE, Pa. — Every time Tiger Woods doesn’t win a major, and especially when he looks as old and battered as he has here at Merion Golf Club in the U.S. Open, Jack Nicklaus could have a quiet little party, like some members of the ’72 Miami Dolphins when the last undefeated NFL team gets beaten. Nicklaus is too classy to do it. At least in part, he would probably like to see Woods win a few more major crowns because it would be good for golf, good for Woods psyche and because Bobby Jones was so gracious to Jack. Be a good guy: don’t clutch your 18-major record with all 20 bear claws. view

Rory McIlroy fails to throw off his shackles at US Open Northern Irishman shows flashes of quality – and frustration – before closing at Merion without a single round under par

Jun 18, 2013

If Rory McIlroy is to be believed, the fine margins of golf render it likely that he will blast back to form any time soon. The alternative is that 2013 can already be considered a write-off for a player who rose to the summit of the world rankings last year, thereby apparently placing a marker down for years dominating the sport. McIlroy's US Open closed on Sunday afternoon without a single sub-par round. McIlroy has only looked close to returning to his finest touch in very isolated moments. On the final day he also displayed flashes of temper when tossing his club away on the 5th – en route to a double bogey – and bending another on the 11th after finding water from the fairway. Suggestions that what McIlroy achieved in 2012 meant the likes of Tiger Woods would be placed in the shade for the foreseeable future were wildly ambitious. Albeit Woods himself slipped rapidly from the Merion spotlight; scoring a fourth- round 74 which ensured he, like McIlroy, did not break 70 in the entire tournament. Woods finished 13-over par. McIlroy remains youthful enough to be inconsistent and throughout even the early stages of his career, has endured periods where he flies off the rails. Starting his fourth round at the year's second major when eight-over par and thereby too far back to challenge those at the summit of the leaderboard, needless to say, was not where McIlroy wanted to be. The explanation for that from the man himself was familiar. Some would argue, therefore, that his words are beginning to sound hollow. In a psychological sense, though, if the world No2 cannot convince himself that his fortunes are likely to change soon then he has little hope of returning to his most formidable touch. "It's close, you know," McIlroy said. "There are signs during every round that it's there and then it sort of hits a bit of a struggle for a few holes and then it comes back. "I think it's about confidence and fluidity. I don't have any other way to explain it. I have been working on the swing quite hard over the last few months and it looks really good on camera. I just get on the course and I hit a couple of bad shots and I guess that it sort of makes you lose confidence a little bit during the round. view

Justin Rose beats Phil Mickelson to win US Open title Justin Rose looked up to the heavens and put his finger to his mouth, as if to say “Not yet, Dad”. He didn’t need to wait long to become the US Open champion and England’s first major champion in 17 ye

Jun 18, 2013

What a place to make your breakthrough and finally fulfil all that promise you showed as a 17‑year-old when you stood at Royal Birkdale with your arms aloft. Merion is America’s golfing museum and Rose has joined its gallery of legends. On the 18th, Rose’s drive finished a few yards from Ben Hogan’s plate, from where that golfing genius hit that one-iron to win the US Open. Essentially needing a par to win, Rose hit a majestic four-iron, which rolled past the pin on to the fringe of the green. Nervelessly, Rose took a three-wood and hit it to an inch. There was one person in his mind. His father, Ken, died of leukaemia in 2002. The old man would have known that with Phil Mickelson in behind, anything was still possible. But the left-hander was doomed to his sixth runner-up finish at his national championship. view

Why do so many love to hate Phil Mickelson? Phil Mickelson signs autographs for hours, takes care of his family, smiles a lot and wins golf tournaments. But the haters have it in for him, and that doesn't make a lot of sense.

Jun 18, 2013

PHILADELPHIA — The only thing more baffling than Phil Mickelson's inability to finish the deal in a U.S. Open is the delight so many people seem to take in that. From my vantage point, he appears to be the most unpopular popular person in sports. I don't get it. Never have. Last week at Merion Golf Club, where he finished second for an unimaginable sixth time in a U.S. Open, he was prominent for lots of obvious reasons. First, he was at or near the lead the entire tournament. Second, he did the unusual, flying to San Diego the day before the tournament for his daughter's eighth-grade graduation and flying back just in time for his Thursday 7 a.m. tee time. That was a story. Mickelson didn't shove it at the media. We decided. We made it a big deal. Because it was fairly unusual — and because he shot 67 and led the tournament the first day — we were right. Mickelson, accessible and candid, is not going to lie when asked about his whereabouts leading into the Open. His life is a fishbowl. You either embrace it or endure it. He embraces it. Once the story was written and broadcast in various forms, the reaction — as it always seems to be with anything about Mickelson — was volatile. Emailers and message boards, sadly today's prevailing gauge of such things, filled up both with praise for his family values and disgust at the praise he was getting. Common themes were: Big deal. He's a rich guy with access to a private plane; he's a goody-two-shoes fraud; he smiles too much. Those who love him and root for him seem to do so based mostly on what they see. Those who hate him and root against him seem to do so based mostly on what they see. It's mind-boggling. How can one of the most accommodating pro athletes in the world also be one of the most polarizing? What am I missing here? Whom did he bully in seventh grade? I have avoided writing this for years. I assumed I would eventually get some insight. I haven't, but the venters and haters have never stopped. I pondered this as I wrote about the final round in the media center at Merion on Sunday night. On the big screens all around, television continued its recap. It was more than an hour after the finish, and suddenly, there he was. In a dark field, probably heading to his car, Mickelson was signing away, moving toward his destination but not rushing, making sure he autographed anything desired for all the people who had bothered to stay. He just finished second for the sixth time in the U.S. Open! He has a public relations person who once tried to get him to limit his post-event signings to 45 minutes. That lasted about one session. I once did a one-on-one interview with him after a Skins Game in the desert, sat down, wrote a column, filed it, got a sandwich, ate it, called the office, packed my computer bag and walked out, and Mickelson was still signing autographs. Do I see other golfers do that? No. Does Mickelson do that so I'll see it and write about it? No. I am better-suited to write about this because I'm not a regular golf writer. I am fortunate enough to be sent to many great events, but I'm a general columnist. Mickelson knows the regular guys, sometimes even addresses them by their first name. I'm just a vaguely familiar face. view

Despite His Poor Play In Recent Majors, Tiger Woods Can Still Beat Jack Nicklaus's Record

Jun 18, 2013

Tiger Woods is the number one ranked golfer in the world. He is also the highest-paid athlete in the world, at $65 million a year. And yet, neither of those two things really matter to him. As a boy, Woods famously had a poster of Jack Nicklaus in his room. It served as a reminder of his goal in his golf career: To top Nicklaus’s record of 18 major championship wins. Much is made of the media attention given to Woods at the majors. Many fans think it is overkill. But his pursuit of Nicklaus’s mark is one of the most intriguing storylines in sports, and will remain so until he either breaks the record or retires from competitive golf having fallen short. Woods finished the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club in a tie for 32nd, 12 strokes back of the winner Justin Rose. That means Woods has now gone 20 straight majors without a win. Justin Rose Wins A Surprisingly Grueling U.S. Open Monte Burke Forbes Staff The World's Highest-Paid Athletes 2013: Behind The Numbers Kurt Badenhausen Forbes Staff 18 Holes With Greg Norman: The Shark On Golf, Adventure And How He Became A Folk Hero In China Monte Burke Forbes Staff Rory McIlroy Joins Highest-Paid Athletes After Blockbuster Nike Deal Kurt Badenhausen Forbes Staff Woods—who won his 14th major at the 2008 U.S. Open—appeared to be on track to achieve his goal until 2009. That year will be the pivotal one when, 20 years from now, some biographer writes the definitive account of Woods’ life and golfing career. It was the day after Thanksgiving of that year when Woods had his infamous car wreck near his home, and his infidelity scandal broke open. Never before had a more popular and successful athlete been subjected to the ensuing tabloid scrutiny and public embarrassment. Subsequent leg injuries also took their toll. view

The 11 Kinds Of People You’ll Meet At Every Golf Tournament

Jun 17, 2013

Should you be lucky enough to find yourself on the grounds at this year’s U.S. Open, or any golf tournament, here what you’re guaranteed to see, if our hundreds of hours of people-watching experience at major golf tournaments are any indication. view

"Golfers can remember significantly more than athletes in other sports"

Jun 17, 2013

ARDMORE, Pa. — When Luke Donald arrived at the United States Open, having played two practice rounds a week earlier, he remembered the name of Scott, the local golf pro who had assisted him. He reminisced about Jack, a caddie at Merion Golf Club for 30 years. He even recalled Dolly, noting that she had served lunch there for more than three decades. view

Watch the biggest shank of the U.S. Open

Jun 17, 2013

Things are getting pretty crazy at the U.S. Open on Sunday. Guys are wearing octopus pants. Rory McIlroy is destroying 9-irons. And Steve Stricker…well Steve Stricker just did an impression of me on the golf course. I’m mostly proud of the shot-tracker technology, which was somehow able to stay with that ball. That thing went sideways and it went sideways in a hurry. This happened on the second, and Stricker, the 46-year-old American who was threatening the leaders at the start of the day, finished with an eight on the hole, dropping him to +3. Things are getting crazy guys. We’ve got no nine irons, we’re shanking shots, our PETS’ HEADS ARE FALLING OFF. view

What jet lag? Phil felt the love Thursday, and he loved Merion right back

Jun 14, 2013

ARDMORE, Pa. -- When Phil Mickelson's daughter Amanda addressed her eighth-grade class during her graduation ceremony on Wednesday -- a speech Phil flew back from Philadelphia to San Diego to hear -- she quoted not Abraham Lincoln, or Mahatma Gandhi, or Bobby Jones. No, her father revealed after his opening-round, no-signs-of-jet-lag 67 at the 2013 U.S. Open on Thursday, she instead chose the words of the newscasting, flute-playing philosopher made famous by Will Ferrell in the 2004 comedy Anchorman. “In the words of Ron Burgundy,” Amanda told her classmates and family, “We're kind of a big deal.” The line killed, Phil said, because Amanda wasn’t bragging, she was simply paying homage to all the great things her classmates had accomplished -- with a nod to one of San Diego's most beloved fictional characters. That Phil witnessed the moment was a testament to both his family values and the wonders of aviation. The graduation began at 6 p.m. on Wednesday (yes, 9 p.m. on the East Coast), less than 12 hours before his 7:11 a.m. tee time on Merion Golf Club's East Course. But Mickelson wanted to be there, and that was that. He flew back to San Diego Tuesday afternoon, attended the graduation Wednesday evening, then hopped his Gulfstream back to Philly later that night, touching down about 3:30 a.m. Thursday. Sleep? Not much. Couple hours' tops on the plane, Lefty said, and another hour on the ground. "I do this about six, 10 times a year, where I fly back east [on a] red-eye, play some outing and then come home," Mickelson said. "So it's not out of the ordinary." Not out of the ordinary? It's one thing to fly overnight for hits-and-giggles with some Rolex bigwigs, but quite another to do so on the eve of golf's most grueling test. "Yeah, it might be abnormal," Mickleson said when pushed, admitting he had never taken an overnighter on the night before a tournament, "but it actually worked out really well." Mickelson's weather-delayed, four-birdie 67 was his best opening round at a U.S. Open since 1999, and he played the course exactly as a U.S. Open setup needs to be played, hitting 11 fairways and 14 greens. His round began with a bogey at the par-4 11th, his first hole of the day, but he countered with birdies at the short par-3 13th , the par-4 1st, the par-4 7th and the 236-yard par-3 9th, where after a quick pep talk from his caddie, Jim (Bones) Mackay, Mickelson drained an uphill left-to-righter from 30 feet. "I told Bones on 9 tee box that I kind of hit a wall," said Mickleson, who caught a short nap during the three-and-half-hour weather delay that interrupted play Thursday morning. "And he said, 'Well, let's just take a little mental break as we walk down there, and I ended up making the putt.'" Roars ensued, as they did just about anywhere Mickelson tread. At the slippery, sloping par-4 5th, he hit an approach that stopped above the hole before trickling within 12 feet. "All day, Phil!" a fan bellowed. "All day!" "Your town, Philip! Your town!" another cried. Along the 6th fairway, a spectator congratulated Mickelson on his daughter's graduation, to which Lefty responded with his trademark SGTU (shy grin, thumbs up). view

Old Man Merion wins Day One

Jun 14, 2013

The Old Man of the Main Line undoubtedly heard the talk. The pros were coming back and, like kids who return to a playground from their youth, they were supposed to find the place a lot smaller than anyone remembered. It would be too small for their souped-up equipment and their Cybex-tuned bodies, and heaven help the place if it rained and the pros didn't have to worry about their shots bouncing off a runway-hard surface. The Old Man laughed quietly. There's more to the game of golf - and to the game of life, thank goodness - than mere yardage. There's more than one way to befuddle the best players in the sport. There are some tricks they rarely have to solve. So, come on out and let's see what happens. Old Man Merion was ready to teach a new generation some ancient lessons. On Thursday, the education began, and while it wasn't always pretty, the Merion Golf Club East Course layout held its own during the soggy and unfinished first round of the U.S. Open. The course has been pelted by rain for much of the last week, including Thursday morning and again in the early evening. While that may have solved one problem for the pros, it also created some others. view

PGA Tour Seeks to Dismiss Singh Suit Over Antler Spray

Jun 14, 2013

The PGA Tour asked a New York state court to throw out a lawsuit by golfer Vijay Singh claiming he was publicly humiliated by a suspension for using deer-antler spray before he was cleared of wrongdoing two months later. Singh, 50, the world’s top-ranked player in 2004 and 2005, filed a complaint May 8 in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan accusing the PGA Tour of “reckless administration and implementation” of its anti-doping program. Singh said in the filing that he used the spray, which contains a substance related to growth hormone, for knee and back problems and checked its ingredients against the tour’s list of banned substances to make sure it didn’t contain any of them. The tour imposed an undisclosed penalty against Singh on Feb. 19, about a month after he said in a Sports Illustrated article he had used the spray. It cleared him in April after the World Anti-Doping Agency said it was no longer outlawed. The tour in a court filing yesterday asked a judge to dismiss the golfer’s case, saying it “conducted itself reasonably and responsibly in its treatment of Singh.” The tour said it’s uncontested that Singh used the spray, that it contained a banned substance, that the tour had the authority to impose sanctions for the substance and that the golfer had the chance to challenge his suspension. ‘Undisputed Facts’ “On the basis of these undisputed facts, the tour’s decisions under its own anti-doping program to impose discipline on Singh and ultimately to rescind that discipline, can hardly be described as illegal or having been taken in bad faith and accordingly, as a matter of law, should not be second-guessed by the court,” attorneys for the PGA Tour said in the filing. view

It's Tiger vs. ex-caddie in US Open

Jun 13, 2013

ARDMORE, PA. Five years ago this week, Tiger Woods played the first two rounds of the US Open at Torrey Pines with Adam Scott. It worked out nicely for him then. Woods beat Rocco Mediate in a Monday playoff to win his 14th major. PGA TOUR WIN LEADERS Collecting trophies is a habit of Tiger Woods. He's now five shy of Sam Snead's record. On Thursday, he’ll open another US Open alongside the freshly minted Masters champion, hoping to end a major-less drought few saw coming in 2008. Maybe it will be a good omen for a man in need of good vibes at majors, but I’m not sure Woods wouldn’t prefer a different pairing. He has said all the right things about playing with Scott and world No. 2 Rory McIlroy at Merion Golf Club on Thursday and Friday, but the 800-pound gorilla in the room nobody’s talking about is caddie Steve Williams. Williams, a hard-nosed New Zealander with a rugby player’s mentality, is on Scott’s bag after playing the role of Tonto to Woods’ Lone Ranger in 13 major championship wins. He and Woods haven’t exactly cleared the air after their acrimonious parting in 2011. Indeed, at their first meeting after Woods fired Williams, I thought the Kiwi — who has the firmest of handshakes when he’s not pumped up — was going to break Woods’ hand when they shook on the first tee at the Presidents Cup in Melbourne. Assuming Tiger escapes with his hand intact Thursday, he’ll know that Williams, who ranks somewhere near Sergio Garcia on Woods’ Christmas card list, will have Scott raring to go. AUS-SOME! Adam Scott inspires a nation with his Masters triumph, Robert Lusetich writes. Not that he’s keeping score or anything, but Williams will remind his man that Woods hasn’t finished higher than Scott at a major since he joined him. And, of course, he’ll remind him of the success of their strategy at the Masters, which was to get off to a fast start. “The first hole’s just as important as the 72nd,” Williams likes to say. Scott, anticipating the interest in reuniting Woods and Williams at a major, played down their rift on Monday. “It will be a fun week, absolutely, some energy and electricity — playing with him at any time, there always is,” he said of Woods. “And given the hype around this grouping and being a major, it's going to be an intense couple of days. view

Pushover? Puh-lease Merion may yield low scores this week, but don't worry: players will be plenty tested

Jun 13, 2013

ARDMORE, Pa. -- There's rain, wind, hail, and a possible tornado coming. So let 'em come. We're at Merion Golf Club. Today's worthies will walk where Bobby Jones won the Grand Slam. Where Ben Hogan hit that shot. Where the imp Lee Trevino threw a (rubber) snake at Jack Nicklaus. Is this a golfer's heaven? Yes. Merion isn't great because history was made here. History was made here because Merion is great. Pete Dye said that. Smart guy. So it's not 7,000 yards? So it's irons off the tees, wedges in? So the fairways are squishy-wide and the greens are cushy dartboards because it has already rained a ton? Don't care. So it's an antique, a relic from another age, a major-championship golf course squeezed into 111 acres. It's leather helmets and no facemasks. It's woolen flannels and railroad cars. It's "Casablanca" with Bogart and Bergman. Love it. So Olan Dutra, winning the U.S. Open here in 1934, hit a 3-wood second shot to the 18th. Hogan in 1950 hit the 1-iron. David Graham in 1981 hit a 4-iron. Today's players , standing at the Hogan plaque, see a different shot. Listen to Graeme McDowell: "I hit a 3-hybrid. I remember thinking to myself, 'I'm sure Mr. Hogan is rolling in his grave right now.'" Time marches on, and here's the question most often asked here this week: "See a 62 out there?" Implied in the question -- the best Open round ever is a 63 by Johnny Miller 40 years ago -- is the idea that Merion, proud, old Merion, will be poor, pitiable Merion this week, defenseless against modern technology in the hands of athletes fitter and stronger than ever. Trevino said, "These players will take advantage of the (five) par-4s in the 300-something range." Then, with an old man's caution born of experience, he said, "But they better be straight." That will be the fun of this Open. There'll be birdies in bunches. Eight birdies and no bogeys gets you a 62. That is doable for these guys at 6,996 yards in conditions so forgiving that Trevino said, "Merion may not have its teeth." Still, it's the United States Open. Those words have their own teeth. Ernie Els, a two-time Open champion, anticipates a crowded leaderboard with numbers in the red. "If you're on your game," he said, "you're going to have a lot of birdie putts . . . You can put it in the fairway with an iron, from a 5-iron to a 3-iron, and then you've got quite a short second shot. . . You're going to see a lot more birdies than ever at U.S. Open venues." view

Havertown native is poster child of U.S. Open

Jun 12, 2013

HAVERFORD - When he sits down with his watercolors, Lee Wybranski does not set out to make his subjects appear older than they are. “A lot of people call my work vintage or retro but I don’t really think of it that way,” said the 44-year-old Havertown native. “One of my tag phrases with all the work I do is that I try to make it unclear whether it was done five years or 75 years ago.” Wybranski has been creating the logo for the U.S. Open since 2004 and the official poster for the U.S. Open since 2008. On Monday and Tuesday, golf fans who stepped into the massive U.S. Open merchandise tent expecting to pick up a hat or a flag instead gravitated toward Wybranski’s kiosk and his $26 poster. “He really captured the course perfectly,” said Mark Bowlen of Wilmington, Del. “I did not come in here planning to buy a poster but this one really stood out.” Standing behind a thick stack of his 24x36-inch posters with a Sharpie in hand, Wybranski said he tries to present the familiar elements of the world’s most storied golf courses in an unfamiliar way. “I don’t want to make golf landscapes,” he said. “I’m not trying to make photo-realistic pictures of the 16th hole. I am trying to create impact. I try to make something simple and bold so you can see it from across the room and it makes you want to stop and look at it.” With a natural white backdrop and one of Merion’s wicker baskets front and center, the 2013 rendering meets that criteria. view

USGA introduces "While We're Young" initiative

Jun 12, 2013

ARDMORE, Pa. -- In response to golf's pace of play epidemic, the USGA has announced a unique, lighthearted initiative designed to raise awareness and inspire action toward speeding up play. Named appropriately after the famous line uttered by Rodney Dangerfield's character in Caddyshack, "While We're Young" was conceived to combat the four fundamental causes of slow play: player behavior, course design, course setup and player/group management. Related: Our favorite golf movie scenes "When we do our research to see what's causing slow play at the recreational level, it's not because people are imitating professionals," said USGA President Glen Nager in an exclusive interview with "It's because they're playing from the wrong set of tees, or the greens at their course are too fast, or the hole locations are bad, or the rough is so high that they can't find their ball." Related: What you need to know about slow play Central to the USGA's plan is the recognition that, despite having shouldered the blame for slow play for decades, the golfer himself is not solely at fault. "For the last three to four decades we've told course architects and superintendents to create long, difficult, well-manicured, lush courses," said Nager. "People have been complaining about slow play for decades but when we look at the behavior of the industry, we've been reinforcing at least three of the four factors that create slow play." The initiative will be introduced in five different 30-second PSA spots starring Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Annika Sorenstam, Paula Creamer and Clint Eastwood. Each spot reinforces the playfulness of "While We're Young" and pinpoints aspects of the game that contribute to slow play, while also inviting golfers to make a personal pledge to combat slow play at "The whole concept of the campaign if that we're in this together," added Nager, who is in his second year as USGA president. "It's not just your own behavior you're accountable for, it's the behavior of the people you're playing with. So we've tried to give people a fun, non-threatening vehicle to say to fellow players, 'You need to pick it up,' and to say to their course managers and club professionals, 'We want to play this game faster. Set [the course] up so we can do so.' " Though cursory on the surface, the campaign is based on extensive research of mathematical and scientific principles that have helped the USGA to better understand the flow of players across a golf course. view

Will a mudball decide US Open?

Jun 12, 2013

ARDMORE, PA. It’s a rite of passage for the world’s best golfers to complain at the National Open. Their weepy refrains haven’t changed in decades: the fairways are too narrow, the rough’s too gnarly, the greens are slicker than James Bond and harder to read than James Joyce. They’re not wrong about any of it, but that’s the motif of the US Open. To quote Tiger Woods, it is what it is, and what it’s always been: a war of attrition. You don’t win US Opens as much as you survive them. But while they have been historically tough, they’ve also been fair. This one, however, will be different. It’ll be tough and unfair. view

Woods vs. Garcia? Close the book

Jun 12, 2013

ARDMORE, Pa. -- Before you can dive headfirst into the murky water hazard that is Sergio Garcia versus Tiger Woods, you have to remember two things: 1. Garcia can't stand Woods. 2. Woods can't stand Garcia. It's not that they don't get along. It's that there's no along to get. You'd need a centrifuge to separate a molecule of respect between Garcia and Woods. view

The Handshake Heard Around The Golf World

Jun 11, 2013

ARDMORE, Pa. -- Sergio Garcia had a brief exchange with Tiger Woods on Monday at Merion Golf Club, shaking his hand on the driving range and apparently attempting to move toward reconciliation. It is the first time the two have been face to face since Garcia made a "fried chicken" comment directed at Woods on May 21 at a European Tour function outside of London. [+] Enlarge Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images Tiger Woods hits a tee shot during his U.S. Open practice round Monday as Sergio Garcia looks on. Garcia has since apologized, both in a statement and during a news conference, and Woods said at the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago that the matter was done, that it was time to move on. Still, there had been no face-to-face apology from Garcia. Asked about their brief exchange after a practice round Monday, Woods politely said "I'm not going there" and simply made reference to a Tuesday news conference in advance of the U.S. Open at Merion. The driving range where the handshake took place is on Merion's West Course, where the players practice this week before shuttling to the East Course, site of the tournament. view

Unplayable lie? No, unplayable hole: Doomsday scenario for Merion

Jun 11, 2013

What would be the doomsday scenario for Merion Golf Club this weekend? Forget players shooting 25 under and shattering all U.S. Open scoring records. Unplayable lies? Try unplayable hole. With more than four inches of rain falling on Haverford since Friday, according to the National Weather Service, and more still to come the next couple days, that scary proposition was suggested by reporters at a press conference Monday afternoon with USGA executive director Mike Davis and Merion's director of golf operations, Matt Shaffer. Davis, for one, didn't want to entertain the idea of an unplayable hole. But as one reporter put it, "volunteers and the police officer at (Number) 11 said today that it flooded. It looked like an island green." view

PGA Tour Confidential Extra: U.S. Open predictions, Tiger's drive for 15 and the best hole at Merion

Jun 10, 2013

The SI Golf Group convened a panel of experts and a Tour player who participated on the condition of anonymity to tackle all things U.S. Open in a special PGA Tour Confidential Extra. 1. Is Merion major-worthy? Anonymous Pro: Both. It's major-worthy because of how they set it up. They have it so narrow, the fairway bunkers have rough between them and the fairway, which I don't agree with. The front nine has some painfully short holes. It's all about who can hit it straight off the tee with hybrids and irons. Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: It's going to be fascinating. There are so many short holes that aren't easy. Plus, those greens are fearsome. You're hitting wedge in, but you'd better hit a perfect shot. And three of the par-3s are monsters. Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: You may swagger through the first 13 holes but stagger through the last five. John Garrity, special contributor, Sports Illustrated: Merion has produced great champions. Bobby Jones completed the Slam there. Ben Hogan's epic comeback. Lee Trevino and Jack Nicklaus in a playoff. Merion required shotmakers to hit shots. I hope it still does. Van Sickle: I'm going out to the 18th hole during a practice round to watch how many pros drop a ball by the Hogan plaque, from where he hit his one-iron. It's about 210 yards. These guys don't even own one-irons. Now it's probably a six-iron. That's the fear about Merion, how it has been shrunk by technology. view

Park wins playoff to claim LPGA Championship

Jun 10, 2013

PITTSFORD, N.Y. — The last time a Grand Slam buzz surrounded a World No. 1 was back in 2005, when Annika Sorenstam headed into the U.S. Women’s Open at Cherry Hills looking to make history. Sorenstam came up short that year, but Inbee Park has earned the chance to pull off the grandest of Grand Slams. Park’s playoff victory at the Wegmans LPGA Championship on Sunday makes her two-for-two in 2013 majors. Any other year she’d be halfway home to the coveted Slam. But this year, it’s harder than ever to accomplish the feat. This year, there are five trophies to collect. “I just love playing in major championships,” said Park, who has won three of them. With The Evian Championship now a major, Park would have to take home trophies in New York, Scotland and France to win the Slam. Park, Incidentally, won last year’s Evian. Prior to Park, only six players had won the first two majors of the LPGA season: Babe Zaharias (1950), Patty Berg (1955, ’57), Mickey Wright (1962), Sandra Haynie (1974), Pat Bradley (1986) and Sorenstam. view

Slammin' Sam the only man with LPGA victory

Jun 09, 2013

Fifty years ago today, Sam Snead won his first and only LPGA title. Yes, you read that correctly. And no, Slammin’ Sam wasn’t harboring any deep secrets. On Feb. 8, 1962, Snead prevailed in a 15-person field at the Royal Poinciana Plaza Invitational that consisted of himself and 14 players from the LPGA, including Mickey Wright, Patty Berg, Kathy Whitworth and Betsy Rawls. In a two-day, four-round event at the Palm Beach Par-3 Golf Club, Snead posted a score of 5-under 211 to defeat Wright by five strokes. He was credited with an unofficial LPGA victory – and to this day, remains the only male golfer to claim a title on the ladies’ tour. Snead won “about $1,500” for taking first place, but it came with a price. According to a Palm Beach Post report, “The last three holes [of the opening round] were played with the knowledge that his expensive little inboard runabout boat was slowly sinking, just a wedge shot from the course, in Lake Worth.” Snead also competed in the tournament one year earlier, losing by two strokes to Louise Suggs. view

Take Golf Out Of The Rough, Into The 21st Century

Jun 07, 2013

When my old pal the Sports Curmudgeon had some mildly churlish things to say about golf a few weeks ago, both he and I were upbraided by loyal linksters. As one snapped at me, "You don't know anything about golf." Perhaps. But I know all about golf propaganda. Because major golf tournaments continue to maintain a 19th century pose and require golfers to keep their own score, instead of having a paid scorekeeper with a 21st century, electronic device — as is the case with every other big-time sport — golf loves to pretend that this somehow makes the sport more noble. The tiresome network shills can never stop boasting about how golf is a more honorable game than all the others. view

U.S. Open - ticket prices through the roof

Jun 05, 2013

If ever there was a perfect storm for an expensive ticket to a major championship, it's the 2013 U.S. Open. Face value of U.S. Open tickets are set between $110-$125, but they are going between $285-$330 depending on which day you plan to attend. How does this compare to past U.S. Opens? In 2011 a ticket for Thursday was $84 and last year just $71, but this year a first round ticket will run you $285. Sunday tickets a year ago were going for $122, compared to $330 this year. view

With U.S. Open approaching, many top players are off their games

Jun 05, 2013

Tiger Woods (1) You’re allowed to have a blip every so often. Tiger and his third-round 79 in gusty wind at the Memorial was a blip. Wait a sec, the phone’s ringing. Hey, if that’s Met Life, tell them I said blip, not blimp. Anyway, Tiger’s recent run of finishes looks like this: 1st, 1st, 4th (Masters), 1st, 65th. Even with that garish 65th in there, I detect a trend. No reason to be worried about Tiger. He’s the best shotmaker (by a mile) heading to a course where shotmaking will be at a premium. Thumbs up. Rory McIlroy (2) The Boy Wonder’s list of woes include a 79 at the Masters, a 78 at the Memorial, a 45th-place finish Houston and two other finishes outside the top 30. Yes, he squeezed a back-door second out in San Antonio with a closing 66, but at Wells Fargo, when he was in contention at a course where he’s won, he shot 73-73 on the weekend. He and Tiger didn’t rank among the top 70 in putting stats last week (out of 73 players). The former No. 1 is changing his management team again and hasn’t won anything of note since last August. Two thumbs down. Adam Scott (3) There’s nothing bad to say about Scottie. He’s striking the ball well enough that he’s always hanging around the lead. He’s 50th in strokes gained putting but 180th in total driving on account of his fondness for the left rough. His only win since Firestone in 2011 was a good one, the Masters. So he’s made a mark. Two thumbs up. Matt Kuchar (4) The Mr. Consistent tag may not stick if he plays the way he did at Memorial. It was an impressive win. Every part of his game is solid. He’s your new No. 2 Merion favorite behind you know who. Two thumbs up. Justin Rose (5) The lanky youngster who holed out on the 72nd hole at the British Open was a great putter and a shaky ballstriker. At 32, he’s turned that around. His ballstriking skills are among the best. He leads the tour in total driving (accuracy and length), and is eighth in greens hit. Ah, but his putting is streaky and I don’t mean that in a great way. He doesn’t look as confident as he once was and he ranks 156th in strokes gained putting. That’s why his last victory was 15 months ago. But with a runner-up, a fourth and a pair of eighths at least he’s consistent. One thumb up. view

Tiger's poor play won't continue

Jun 04, 2013

DUBLIN, OH. Tiger Woods spent four days in Ohio with his mind in Pennsylvania. Woods kicked off his title defense at the Memorial tournament last Tuesday by playing a practice round at Philadelphia’s Merion, site of next week’s US Open. It was obvious that he never really came back. view

Tiger Tales II: Tiger Answers Sergio Garcia’s Complaints With Players Victory

Jun 04, 2013

As a sports enthusiast (particularly golf), I do listen to several sports media outlets during the week, and was somewhat surprised that many of the shows and outlets seemed to focus on the “War of Words” that surfaced. Many of the programs rarely spend even a moment on golf, but were drawn to the confrontation, for what I think was simply an acknowledgement that about 30,000,000 million people (golfers) had taken an interest in. Makes sense to me! The Facts The facts are truly quite simple. During the third round on Saturday, Tiger hit his drive on the par five 2nd hole into the pine straws, left of the fairway. Faced with a second shot to a par five hole, which he seemingly had owned over the previous rounds, Tiger was determining what type of shot to play. Sergio, had hit his tee shot to the right side, with a great lie, and most certainly was considering a second shot either on or close to the green. Sergio was approximately two yards further than Tiger, which dictated that he play first. Please know that the two players were 67 yards apart, Tiger in the left rough and Sergio on the right. view

Tiger Woods: Worst finish since '10

Jun 03, 2013

DUBLIN, Ohio -- Sustaining success is never easy in golf, and even Tiger Woods can be excused for an off week. But his performance at the Memorial Tournament was nonetheless surprising, given his 2013 record in general, and his past play at Muirfield Village Golf Club in particular. More from Tiger Woods finished 20 shots back at the Memorial on Sunday. What's it mean heading into next week's U.S. Open? Gene Wojciechowski examines. Story Woods had visions of winning a season's fifth tournament prior to the U.S. Open for the first time and a sixth Memorial title overall, but instead headed back to Florida with one of the worst 72-hole performances of his career. With his third triple-bogey of the tournament, Woods on Sunday rallied to shoot even-par 72 -- after coming into the week having shot 15 of his last 16 rounds under par -- to finish 20 strokes behind winner Matt Kuchar in a tie for 65th. "Yeah, it happens," said Woods, who finished on the front nine while the leaders were playing the closing holes. "It happens to all of us. I'll go home next week and practice." Next up is the U.S. Open at Merion, which Woods visited last Tuesday and where he will attempt to win his 15th major championship. June 16 -- the final round of the U.S. Open -- will mark the five-year anniversary of his last major title, at the 2008 U.S. Open. view

Fore Sale

Jun 03, 2013

FOR SALE, by author, all rights of reproduction including book, movie, and any other rights, et. al. A clever, young dolphin named Duffy learns to play golf by observing and emulating the professional golfers playing by his water hazard home on the 18th hole of a tournament-ranked Texas course. Admiring Arnold Palmer's remarkable skill, bold demeanor and daring, Duffy becomes an enthusiastic recruit in Arnie's Army. As luck would have it Mr. Palmer is scheduled to play in an important tournament at Duffy's home course. Upon hearing the great news the young dolphin is truly thrilled. On the final hole of the tournament Mr. Palmer encounters an unbelievable bit of bad luck hitting the ball into the drink. But in a fortunate twist of fate Duffy is able to even the score helping his hero turn defeat into victory via Mr. Palmer's skill and inherent daring. In a generous gesture of thank you and mutual admiration Mr. Palmer drapes the tournament medal about the young dolphin's neck a source of great pride for Duffy. view

U.S. Open Will Test the Limits at Merion

Jun 03, 2013

ARDMORE, Pa. — St. George’s Episcopal Church is about 150 yards from the sixth green at the Merion Golf Club, where the United States Open will begin June 13. The bells in the 81-year-old church tower ring every 30 minutes, a harmonic, if striking, clangor that interrupts the usual hush enveloping a putting green. Imagine Tiger Woods poised over a crucial putt on the sixth hole during the final day of the Open. If his caddie has done his homework, he will not let Woods begin his stroke at the top or the bottom of the hour. Because no one has told St. George’s to turn off its bells. view

NCAA athlete reportedly punished for washing car with university water

May 30, 2013

Who knew that keeping the shine on your ride can be an NCAA violation? Jeff Eisenberg, who runs Yahoo’s The Dagger blog, shared a bizarre story this evening in which a WCC school self-reported a violation when they “caught” a member of their women’s golf team washing her car on campus. Since she was using a hose that wasn’t available to normal students, they were concerned the NCAA would believe this was a violation. view

33% off from BirdieBall $117.25 for the BirdieBall RollTech Putting Green ($175 value)

May 30, 2013

Why You'll Love It: Golf season has finally arrived across the country, but just because the fairways have been watered and greens are ready, doesn’t mean your putting game is. Whether you need to work on your short game before hitting the links, or simply want to practice indoors, anytime, the BirdieBall RollTech Green is the year-round cure to your putting woes. view

Peyton Manning shot a 77 at Augusta National

May 30, 2013

In addition to being a league MVP, Super Bowl champion, future Hall of Fame quarterback, multi-millionaire, dedicated family man and darn fine Saturday Night Live host, Peyton Manning is also the kind of guy who can play golf at Augusta National and shoot a 77 a few days after getting a hole-in-one. view

Choi buys off-the-rack irons for the Memorial

May 30, 2013

PGA Tour pros don’t often buy clubs off the rack, especially players who have won PGA Tour events. Those golfers can call just about any equipment manufacturer in the world and have a set of custom clubs overnighted to them if they so please. view

Ohio man dies in golf cart crash

May 30, 2013

FRANKFORT — One of two men hospitalized after a golf cart crash on Memorial Day has died. Nicholas C. Flint, 26, was driving a golf cart at Valley Vista Golf Course in southwest Ohio when he lost control on some gravel and drove into a tree line about 6:35 p.m. Monday, according to the Ross County Sheriff’s Office. He was taken by medical helicopter to Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University, where he died shortly before noon Tuesday, the hospital confirmed Tuesday night. His passenger in the cart, Sean Flint, 21, was taken to Adena Greenfield Medical Center. His condition was not available Tuesday night. view

The PGA Tour's Crazy, Controversial And Wonderful Year (So Far)

May 30, 2013

The PGA Tour looked like it was in deep trouble back in 2009. The global recession was especially hard on auto and financial services companies, which happened to be the dual backbones of the Tour’s revenue stream. And then Tiger Woods had his car accident and pretty much disappeared from sight. But the Tour brass, led by commissioner, Tim Finchem, led the way through the dark times, nailing down new TV deals with NBC and CBS , and re-upping with FedEx to sponsor the season-ending playoff series. (Read my feature story on Finchem, which appeared in the May 27 issue of Forbes.) view

Tiger Woods set to resume golf talk

May 30, 2013

DUBLIN, Ohio -- Tiger Woods was minding his own business, winning four tournaments by mid-May, reclaiming his place as the world's best player, making a beeline toward history, when Sergio Garcia dropped a bucket of fried chicken in his lap. Before that it was Vijay Singh and The Case of Bambi Spray. Then it was the always-exciting anchored putter debate. And just for fun, the chief executive of the European Tour channeled his inner Strom Thurmond. view

Throw away the official rankings -- here are the 10 best players right now

May 29, 2013

There is one perfect way to do world rankings in golf: Hold a tournament and invite everybody. We’ve got that covered. They’re called the majors, by the way. But picking on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) is easy. The rankings are flawed. Any rankings would be flawed. Players’ games vary from week to week, course to course. view

Golf stereotypes brought to light last week

May 28, 2013

At least he knows his role in our conversation – or debate, argument or whatever you want to call it – that we’ve been having for the better part of 15 years now. Scott believes in the antiquated notion that golf is a game for the upper-crust one-percenters, that its collective face is still too lily-white compared with our ever-evolving society. I counter with the fact that the world’s best player is multi-cultural and elite golfers hail from all corners of the globe, making it as diverse a sport as any. He thinks there are too many exclusionary policies and too few opportunities for those born without a silver spoon. I contend that many of the last bastions of segregation and sexual discrimination have been eliminated in the private realm, while more programs geared toward growing the game are sprouting every week. view

Daly to Tiger and Sergio: Please Kiss and Make Up

May 24, 2013

Daly’s Kumbaya request came around the same time as another feel-good message, this one from former European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal, who referenced his own spat with Padraig Harrington as a model for what Sergio and Tiger might do. Olazabal and Harrington had a testy exchange 10 years ago over the repair of pitch marks on a green during the Seve Trophy match between Continental Europe and Britain/Ireland. Olazabal said the two men had put that matter in the past. view

Why is playing golf a revolutionary pursuit in Cuba?

May 24, 2013

AFTER the 1959 revolution, Fidel Castro denounced golf as a "bourgeois" hobby. Though he once played a round with Che Guevara, the comandante preferred ordinary Cubans to participate in earthier sports, such as baseball. Despite demand from visiting foreigners, no new golf course has been built in Cuba since the revolution. The island has only one rather shabby nine-hole course in Havana, as well as a full-size course in Varadero, a tourist town. But the government has just given developers permission to build an enormous new golf resort, promising "a whole new policy to increase the presence of golf in Cuba". Why has the frivolous hobby of the bourgeoisie suddenly become permissible to revolutionaries? view

Sergio Garcia's racist joke more a reflection of utter ignorance than anything else

May 23, 2013

VIRGINIA WATER, England -- Judged on the sizable amount of evidence the world has gathered over the course of his 14-year career in professional golf, Sergio Garcia is capable of being many things. Emotional. Moody. Immature. Spoiled. Self-absorbed. Pampered. Excitable. A show-off. Those are just some of the more obvious characteristics one can attribute to the gifted 33-year-old Spaniard. view

BMW PGA Championship ( European Tour )

May 23, 2013

Welcome to Day One coverage of The European Tour's flagship event - the BMW PGA Championship: PLAY RESUMED AT 17.15 AFTER APPROX. 1H30 DELAY FOR THREAT OF LIGHTNING James Kingston of South Africa top of the board after superb six under par 66 Finland's Mikko Ilonen previously led the way after a five under par 67 this morning PGA Pro Jason Levermore holes in one at second Get involved with our ALL NEW LIVE BLOG by using #BMWPGA on Twitter. view


May 23, 2013

Saying he had difficulty sleeping and contemplated withdrawing from this week's European Tour event, Sergio Garcia on Wednesday afternoon apologized for racially insensitive remarks directed at Tiger Woods at a tour function outside London the previous night, acknowledging his comments were "totally stupid and out of place." view


May 22, 2013

Sergio Garcia couldn’t resist taking another shot at Tiger Woods during Tuesday’s European Tour awards dinner in London. This time, however, he may have gone too far. Garcia was on stage with the rest of the victorious 2012 European Ryder Cup team when he was asked by Golf Channel's Steve Sands, who was emceeing the event, whether he would invite Woods over for dinner at the U.S. Open next month. view


May 22, 2013

Oh No He Didn't: Sergio Makes Fried Chicken Joke view


May 22, 2013

Sergio Garcia makes fried chicken joke about Tiger Woods, quickly apologizes view

Strauss: Putter ruling could create split in golf

May 22, 2013

The rules-making powers that be in professional golf formally announced Tuesday morning they will spend the next 2½ years attempting to shove toothpaste back into the tube. Of course, the United States Golf Association and the Royal & Ancient put it a bit differently. For the “betterment of golf,” players no longer will be able to employ an anchored putter as of January 2016. This means that players such as two-time Masters winner Bernhard Langer who “anchor” the butt of the club against their chin, sternum, belly or other body part in between are out of luck. view

Drugs and Alcohol

May 22, 2013

The announcement Tuesday that, beginning in 2016, anchoring a putter against the body would be banned ought to be the start of a thorough spring cleaning by the sport. If the United States Golf Association and the Royal & Ancient needed only 174 days of debate before officially outlawing a stroke that has been in play for at least five decades and is used by roughly 15 percent of PGA Tour members, it should have no problem acting swiftly to address more pressing issues. view

Put Your Cheater Club Away Cheatoids ( In 2016 )

May 21, 2013

Golf's governing bodies approved a rule Tuesday that outlaws the putting stroke used by four of the last six major champions, a move opposed by two major golf organizations that contend long putters are not hurting the game. The Royal & Ancient Golf Club and U.S. Golf Association said Rule 14-1b will take effect in 2016. view

Anchored putting ban starts in 2016

May 21, 2013

Nearly six months after first proposing a change to the Rules of Golf, the sport's governing bodies on Tuesday announced that anchoring the club in making a stroke will be banned, effective Jan. 1, 2016. New Rule 14-1b means that players who use a belly putter or long putter will no longer be able to hold the butt end of the club against their bodies while making a stroke, although the clubs will still be allowed -- provided they are not anchored. view

Official USGA Email Pertaining Anchored Putter Ban

May 21, 2013

May 21, 2013 Dear USGA Member: The USGA cherishes its strong relationship with our Members, and we appreciate the support you provide in helping us lead the game toward a sustainable future. Your membership bolsters the critical mission of the USGA in many important ways and has helped to make the game more enjoyable for golfers of all ages and skill levels. Recognizing the role that you play in all we do to protect and nurture the game, we want you to be among the first to know about an important announcement. Last November, after an extensive review, the USGA and The R&A proposed Rule 14-1b, a new entry to the Rules of Golf that prohibits anchoring the club in making a stroke. This morning, together with The R&A, we are announcing the adoption of Rule 14-1b for players at all levels of the game, effective January 1, 2016. Final approval of Rule 14-1b follows a comprehensive and unprecedented process for playing Rules in which comments and suggestions from across the golf community were collected and considered. In our best judgment and having considered all of the input that we received, both before and after the proposed Rule was announced, we concluded that Rule 14-1b was necessary to protect the essential nature of the traditional method of stroke and eliminate potential advantages that anchoring the club provides. Throughout the game's 600-year history, the essence of the traditional method of golf stroke has involved swinging the club with both the club and gripping hands held away from the body, requiring the player to direct and control the movement of the entire club. Anchoring one end of the club against the body, and creating a point of physical attachment around which the club is swung, is a substantial departure from the traditional swing. Our judgment, based on tradition, observation and experience, is that anchoring creates an unacceptable risk of changing and reducing the challenge of making a golf stroke. The new Rule does not alter current equipment standards and allows for the use of all conforming golf clubs, including mid-length and long putters, provided such clubs are used in a non-anchored manner. The Rule narrowly targets only a few types of strokes in which the club is anchored, while preserving a golfer's ability to play with a variety of permissible gripping styles, putter types and swing methods. The effective date of January 1, 2016, at the start of the next four-year cycle for revisions to the Rules of Golf, provides an extended period in which golfers currently using an anchored stroke may adapt their method of stroke, if necessary, to conform to the requirements of the new Rule. We know that not everyone will agree with our final decision. However, we hope the new Rule will bring to a close the longstanding, controversial debate about anchored putting and its place in the game. Of equal importance, we hope that those who have expressed concerns know that they have been heard; can understand our reasons for concluding that Rule 14-1b is in the best interests of the game; and will now join with us in assisting any golfers who need help moving to a non-anchored stroke. Recognizing that you may have questions, and that you may also want to share this information with fellow golfers, we have developed videos, images, graphics and other materials that are available at to help you become more familiar with the specifics of Rule 14-b. We have also provided a comprehensive document that explains the basis for our final decision and addresses the primary questions and concerns voiced by those who expressed opposition to the new Rule. Thank you for your support and passion for the game as we continue to serve all golfers around the world and work to secure the health and traditions of the game for current players and for future generations. Sincerely, Glen Nager President Mike Davis USGA Executive Director view

Pretty Slow News Day

May 20, 2013

Brittany McDonald, from the Clearwater Beach Hooters, displayed a very nice golf swing at the Bucs' Vincent Jackson Charity Golf Tournament, at the Renaissance Vinoy. view

Golphizzle Your Nizzle

May 17, 2013

Never look up another course slope or ratin again. I aint talkin' bout chicken n' gravy biatch. We is continuously uppimpin our calculator wit up-to-date course info. view

Muscle activity during the golf swing

May 17, 2013

In the right hands, the golf swing is a motion that inspires looks of awe from the public. It is a complex movement of the whole body to generate power to a golf ball to propel the ball great distances with accuracy. This movement relies on the coordinated sequence of muscle activation to produce a fluid and reproducible movement. This paper reviews the literature on golf swing related muscle activity. The phases of this activity are discussed with a view to assisting the practitioner in understanding the swing. Such understanding may help in the management of the injured golfer. view

Tiger Woods inviting a cloud of suspicion

May 17, 2013

Barely a third of the way into the 2013 golf season, Tiger Woods has already found himself the focus of three different rules controversies. He's been questioned for his behavior on the course and, in effect, called a liar for his comments off it. He was penalized two strokes for an illegal drop at the HSBC Championship in January, nearly got disqualified from the Masters after an illegal drop there and this past weekend was questioned for giving himself a favorable drop in the final round of The Players Championship. view

Keegan Bradley shoots course-record 60 at Byron Nelson

May 17, 2013

IRVING, Texas -- Late on Wednesday afternoon, I watched Keegan Bradley on the range, nearly by his lonesome, pounding 6-irons into the Dallas mist. His coach was there, feeding him balls and making him laugh. I wondered why somebody like Bradley didn't have anything better to do on a cold (for May in Texas) and dreary day before the first round of the Byron Nelson Championship. I got my answer on Thursday morning. Bradley went out early with Jason Dufner and Matt Kuchar and shot a course-record 10-under-par 60 -- this tied the 2013 PGA Tour season record set by Phil Mickelson at the Phoenix Open. view

More Whining

May 16, 2013

Let's talk about Tiger, Sergio, marshals and what happened in the third round of the Players. I think I have something to add to the discussion. I was there, standing on the second fairway when this all took place. I have also covered both Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia for their entire professional careers, and before. I first saw Tiger play at the 1995 Masters and Sergio at the 1996 British Open, both were amateurs then and I know a bit about both of them. view

Byron Nelson notebook, Gold Pro-Am results

May 16, 2013

The day in pictures starts with Texas Longhorns football coach Mack Brown at the HP Byron Nelson Champion at TPC Four Seasons in Las Colinas. The 46th HP Byron Nelson Championship will be played at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Las Colinas, Irving, Texas, May 13-19 2013. Did you know? In 1945 Byron Nelson won 11 tournaments in a row, and he still holds the record for most consecutive wins on the PGA Tour. ... The HP Byron Nelson Championship has been a premier event on the PGA Tour since 1968. ... Dallas’ biggest sports attraction and most anticipated social event of the spring is also the most financially successful charity event on the PGA Tour, raising over $127 million for children and families served by Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers. view

Tiger lied? Not so fast say marshals who were there

May 15, 2013

Two Players Championship marshals who are part of the walking escort team for Tiger Woods are disputing an account in Sports Illustrated of the incident involving Woods and Sergio Garcia during the third round last Saturday. Garcia claimed that Woods distracted him during his second shot at the second hole when Woods pulled a fairway metal out of his bag to hit out of the left trees, drawing a response from the crowd. view

Steve Shares The Stricker

May 15, 2013

Steve Stricker is frequently named by his peers as one of the best putters in the game. In 2011, he ranked second on the PGA Tour in a complex, new statistic that many believe is the most accurate way to judge a player's putting ability: strokes gained--putting. Simply put, this stat is an analysis of how many strokes a player gained on the rest of a tournament field by making the putts that others missed. Although it would be easy to credit Stricker's success to world-class hand-eye coordination and years of practice, don't overlook the significance of his method. view

For Shame

May 15, 2013

A Fredericton golf course has some repair work to do after joyriders in off-road vehicles damaged greens this weekend. Chris Billings, the course’s golf director, said players and maintenance staff spotted all-terrain vehicle and motorbike damage Saturday, especially on the 11th hole. view

Two Big Whiny Cry Babies

May 14, 2013

We had a great development in sports over the weekend. Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia did for golf what Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan once did for figure skating. Images can change so fast. The PGA Tour is no longer merely a parade of boring thirtysomethings with vanilla personalities in logo shirts, smiling a lot while hitting little white balls over perfectly manicured landscapes. Now, we have Tiger in the red corner and Sergio in the blue. view

Did Tiger Woods take an improper drop en route to his Players Championship win?

May 13, 2013

Late Sunday afternoon, back nine of The Players Championship, and Tiger Woods was rolling. Up two strokes on the field with five holes to play, Woods had the game and the demeanor of a man in total control. And then came the 14th hole, and just like that, another Tiger Woods drop controversy. Unlike a similar event a few weeks back at Augusta, however, this one was squashed within moments ... even though the evidence suggests it shouldn't have been. view

Tiger's win at the Players could signal a big summer at the major championships

May 13, 2013

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Tiger Woods has said he doesn't want to be as good as he was at the turn of the century, when he held all four major championship trophies concurrently and when he last won the Players Championship (2001) at TPC Sawgrass. He wants to be better. After winning his second Players trophy by two over David Lingmerth, Jeff Maggert and Kevin Streelman, Woods is certainly on the right track. The 37-year-old No. 1 overcame a double-bogey on the par-4 14th hole when his tee shot hooked into the water, watched his closest pursuer, Sergio Garcia, fall apart with a series of water balls on 17 and 18, and signed for a 2-under 70 that could signal a big summer ahead in the majors. view

Tiger Woods Edges Sergio Garcia At Players Championship 2013 With Strong Finish

May 13, 2013

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- One bad tee shot made Tiger Woods appear vulnerable. One clutch par putt and a critical birdie made him look invincible. Woods closed out The Players Championship on Sunday like he has so many other tournaments: hitting big shot after big shot down the stretch. His latest unflappable finish helped him secure his fourth victory of 2013 and capture the richest prize on the PGA Tour for the first time in a dozen years. view

Are we seeing the return of Tiger circa 2000?

May 13, 2013

When choosing a Tiger Woods vintage, 2000, as they might say in Johnny Miller's Napa Valley neighborhood, was a very good year, incomparable, even. But what about vintage Tiger Woods? Miller uncorked the possibility that that is where Tiger's game is headed. "He could be moving back into that 2000 year form for the first time," Miller said Saturday on the NBC telecast of the Players Championship. view

Three years after son's death, father returns to golf course they last played and finds closure

May 13, 2013

Three years ago, Bob Lemasters and his son Renden Lemasters played a round of golf at Ann Arbor Country Club. The front-nine was busy that day, so Bob and Renden played the back and finished their round on hole No. 9, a Par 3. Bob stuck his tee-shot that day, parred the hole and won the friendly match. Renden left the course that night and stayed at a friend’s house. He was supposed to meet his father the next day. They had made plans to go to Mexican Village in Detroit for Easter weekend. view

Sergio Garcia Video: Watch El Nino Find the Water Twice at Players Championship

May 13, 2013

Heading into the 17th hole in the final round of the 2013 Players Championship Sunday, Sergio Garcia was in a tie for the lead with nemesis Tiger Woods. But he cannot blame Woods for what happened next. After the third round on Saturday, Garcia went after Woods for pulling a club out of his bag when the Spaniard was just about to hit the ball on the second hole. He felt the crowd's reaction affected his shot. view

Sergio Garcia rips Tiger Woods

May 13, 2013

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia were not paired in the same group on Sunday during the final round of The Players Championship. And for Garcia, he made it clear that is fine for both players. "I'm not going to lie,'' Garcia said after completing the third round in a three-way tie for the lead with Woods and David Lingmerth. "He's not my favorite guy to play with. He's not the nicest guy on tour.'' view

Is par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass a great hole?

May 10, 2013

Famous golf holes Golden Bell No. 12 at Augusta National. Par 3, 155 yards. Why it’s famous: The shortest hole at Augusta National is guarded by Rae’s Creek, backed by pine trees and azaleas, accessed over Hogan’s Bridge, and surrounded by a deceptive and swirling wind that even people who have played the Masters dozens of times struggle to read. Jack Nicklaus calls it the best little par 3 in the world. view

Tiger trails Sergio Garcia by 1 shot

May 10, 2013

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- At a place where his level of comfort has always been in question, Tiger Woods is -- so far -- making it look easy at the TPC Sawgrass. The world's No. 1-ranked player followed up his best-ever opening-round score here with another round in the 60s to put himself in position for a weekend run at The Players Championship, a tournament he has captured just once in 15 previous tries. view

This Should Be In Golphus Deals

May 10, 2013

Tame The Rough With Big Daddy Big Daddy may look like an ordinary driver but it conceals a secret weapon....a weed wacker! Instantly, Big Daddy transforms into a battery powered weed wacker that attacks the rough. view

Tiger Woods off to strong start at TPC Rory McIlroy joins Tiger Woods among field leaders after previously struggling at tough TPC Sawgrass

May 10, 2013

PONTE VEDRA BEACH — Tiger Woods stared at the divot in disbelief, then he spat in disgust in its direction. A brilliant day at The Players Championship came to a frustrating end for Woods, who carded a 5-under-par 67 but chunked a chip shot behind the par-4 18th green to spoil a bogey-free round. "This is a tricky golf course," he said. "It doesn't take much to make a bogey around here." view

Tiger Woods Wearing the TW14 at The Players Championship

May 09, 2013

TW finally broke away from his TW13 prototypes and has decided to wear his new TW14 shoe at The Players Championship. Photographed and posted by the good folks at this shoe features (from what we hear) a number of enhancements from the TW13 model including, what looks like: A new lacing system that might use flywire Improved breathability in the tongue, perhaps one that is more like a sneaker with vent holes Different spikes than the TW13 model (Although Tiger uses metal spikes in his left shoe) A swoosh with color accent outline (The white version looks like it has a black swoosh with a red outline) A new third colorway (more details on that later) The TW14 should be available in stores in a month (after the first week of June). That is what we all hope for. view

Vijay Singh's lawsuit against the PGA Tour brings into play the Tour's limited drug testing

May 09, 2013

Vijay Singh is one of the least sympathetic figures in sports, and deservedly so. He openly rooted for Annika Sorenstam to miss the cut when she made the ground-breaking decision to play a PGA Tour event in 2003. He was suspended after being accused of changing his scorecard to make the cut at the 1985 Indonesian Open. And even though he now has been cleared by the PGA Tour of any wrongdoing, he did use a product, deer antler spray, that the Tour warned in August 2011 included a banned substance. view

Adam Scott, returning at Players Championship, hopes Masters win leads to big year

May 09, 2013

PONTE VEDRA BEACH — Adam Scott said Wednesday that no, he doesn’t wake up each morning thinking about the fact that he’s the 2013 Masters champion. “But,” he added with a smile, “when I walk in the closet and I put on that green jacket every morning, I do.” Scott, 32, who last month captured the first major of what already had been a stellar career, returns to action Thursday at The Players Championship for the first time since beating Angel Cabrera in a two-hole playoff at Augusta National. view

The 2014 Masters Tickets Now On Sale

May 08, 2013

The 2014 Masters Tournament ticket application is now available. Tickets are awarded by random selection. Practice Rounds Tickets April 7th - 9th Application deadline June 30, 2013 Daily Tournament Tickets April 10th - 13th Application deadline May 31, 2013 A very limited number of Daily Tournament tickets are available. If you previously applied/created an account, you may access your account and complete your application by clicking the button below. If you have NOT previously applied/created an account, select the button below to create an account and complete your application. Series Badges are fully subscribed at this time and no additional badges are available. Patrons may access and review their account information at any time. view

The Players Championship 2014

May 08, 2013

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLA. -- One of the hopes when they moved the World Golf Hall of Fame induction from the fall to Players Championship week was that more active players and Hall of Fame members would show up for the ceremony. Not so much. view

Tiger Woods wouldn't call in violation

May 08, 2013

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- If Tiger Woods saw an obvious rules violation while watching golf on television, he would not call officials to notify them of the incident. While this is a common and accepted practice in golf - and one that led to a huge controversy at the Masters for Woods -- the world's No. 1-ranked golfer would not pick up the phone. view

No questioning Tony Romo's commitment

May 07, 2013

There was a time around here when Tony Romo's offseason exploits were a big deal. Romo would spend some time playing golf, whether it was trying to qualify for the HP Byron Nelson Championship or the U.S. Open or attempting to win the local Adams Golf Pro/Scratch tournament. view

James Lepp’s saucer chip shot ruled illegal Golf’s governing bodies say ‘hockey-style’ shot violates Rule 14-1

May 07, 2013

VANCOUVER — The saucer pass, an unusual chip shot invented by Abbotsford’s James Lepp and featured on last’s fall’s Big Break reality TV series, has been ruled illegal by golf’s governing bodies. Dale Jackson, who chairs Golf Canada’s rules committee, said the shot was ruled to be non-conforming at a recent meeting of the joint rules committee of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, the United States Golf Association and Golf Canada. view

Fred Couples, Colin Montgomerie not easy choices for Hall of Fame Raymond Floyd among those who doesn't think they should be in

May 07, 2013

There has been much debate about the World Golf Hall of Fame selection process since 1998 when the Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Augustine was built and the golf world unified under one institution to honor its legends. But none like this year about the two players elected through the voting body, and barely: Fred Couples on the PGA Tour ballot and Colin Montgomerie on the International ballot. view

Tiger Woods' Red-Carpet Night Reveals Players P.O.V

May 07, 2013

COMMENTARY | Red is a pretty important color to Tiger Woods. It's the color he wears on Sundays, the day they hand out trophies and big, ceremonial checks. It's fitting, then, that Woods is walking a red carpet in New York City instead of laying up in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., ahead of The Players Championship. view

The Major That Isn't...Yet

May 07, 2013

The PGA Tour would love nothing better than for you to refer to this week's Players Championship—just casually, to a pal, without even thinking about it—as a major. The "fifth major" would be acceptable, even though that implies that the Players is not quite up there with the four big boys: the Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship. view

The Branding of Rory McIlroy

May 06, 2013

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It was time for Rory McIlroy to face the television cameras after another well-played round at the Wells Fargo Championship. Emerging Friday from the scoring area at Quail Hollow, McIlroy reached into his golf bag and slipped on an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean watch with a blue rubber strap. view

Rookie Ernst First Victory! Derek Ernst Prevails in Sudden Death Playoff at Wells Fargo Championship

May 06, 2013

It’s funny to think that 6 days ago a 22 year old rookie, fresh out of UNLV, was nearly out of the field at Quail Hollow. Ernst got a phone call on Monday informing him that he was indeed in the field at the Wells Fargo Championship, narrowly making it as the 4th alternate. I’m sure there were a handful of people that thought Ernst could contend for the title, mostly his family and friends, while others probably didn’t even notice his name. It is only fitting that a longshot would win the PGA Tour event on the same weekend as the Kentucky Derby but as the final group approached the Green Mile, Quail Hollow’s final three hole stretch, many golf fans thought Phil Mickelson would become the 7th major champion to win in Charlotte. view

Golf Signee Sinks Hole-in-One

May 06, 2013

Bearkat men’s golf signee Klein Klotz of Lake Travis High School finished second at the 5A Golf State Championship this week in Austin. Klotz shot rounds of 70 and 69 on the par-72 Morris Williams Golf Course to finish runner-up, just one stroke behind Belton’s Andrew Paysee. view

You should have seen Phil Mickelson

May 06, 2013

Golf was not meant to be a contact sport, though Phil Mickelson has turned it into one through the years. He beaned a woman at the Wells Fargo Championship on Saturday. As compensation, she received a signed glove from the stash of them he must keep on hand for such occasions. view

Longest Par 5s

May 03, 2013

700+ yards! That's right, to be at the top of this list you need to stretch out to over 700 yards and expect players to get in the cup within five strokes in order to earn par. The longest hole the Gurus have ever played didn't even make the list since it is technically a par 6, the 777 yard monster at The Links in Post Falls, ID. view

Compton gets two-stroke penalty

May 03, 2013

Erik Compton's round started out well as he rolled in a 10-footer for birdie at the 10th hole. But Compton didn't make another birdie on Thursday, and he turned a par into a double bogey when he called a penalty on himself at the seventh hole. He ended up with a round of 74 -- and a clear conscience as a result. view

Rory McIlroy among 7 sharing Wells Fargo Championship lead after 1st round After opening round, 37 players withing 3 shots of lead in soft conditions

May 03, 2013

Rory McIlroy knows what it is like to be in the lead at the Wells Fargo Championship. That’s where he is – but tied with six others – after a chilly, soggy first round Thursday at Quail Hollow Club. McIlroy shot a 5-under 67, joining former Duke player Nate Smith, Ryan Moore, Nick Watney, Robert Garrigus, rookie Derek Ernst and Daniel Summerhays atop a crowded leader board. view

Dave George: Golf’s couch cops’ ‘gotcha’ mentality protects rules, but does it serve the sport?

May 03, 2013

There is no heckling in golf, of course. That wouldn’t be gentlemanly. To be a tattletale, however, as demonstrated in the still-developing story of Tiger Woods and the incorrect Masters drop, is the height of nobility. Nothing else could explain the actions of Champions Tour golfer David Eger, a rules expert who was identified this week by as the man who called in from his home near Jacksonville to tag Tiger for dropping a ball a few feet farther back from where it should have been dropped. view

HURRY -- Retweet and Win

May 02, 2013

60 60 Golf is the new way to play golf at the range. Get our free app for iPhone and Android and play the game at a 60 60 Golf range near you. view

Vijay Singe Doing Deer Antlers Not Suspendable Offense

May 02, 2013

Also...A Tiger ruling. Golf's governing bodies came out in support of the controversial ruling given to Tiger Woods at the Masters that kept the golfer from being disqualified but said they would review the matter further to see whether any adjustments to the game's rules or decisions are needed. view

Golf Is Vital To California

May 02, 2013

As both an industry and a good neighbor, the game of golf is important to California and beyond. Sometimes golfers and non-golfers alike don’t realize that not only is the game important to our human ecology, but to our economy as well. CAG President Tom Addis III “Golf is more than just a game, it’s an industry that creates thousands of viable jobs for Californians, provides year-round fitness opportunities for citizens, and life skill programs for our youth. Equally as important, is golf’s ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability” said Tom Addis III, president of the California Alliance for Golf. We touch a lot of lives through golf.” view

Mercedes-Benz is now the global sponsor of the Masters golf tournament

May 01, 2013

At the end of April 2013, the Augusta National Golf Club of America announced a new worldwide partnership with Mercedes-Benz – making the manufacturer a Global Sponsor of the Masters from 2014 onwards. The brand has already been the International Partner of the tournament since 2008 with involvement for ten years prior, and has a long history of association with golf. As a result of their collaboration with the PGA of America, Mercedes-Benz models have been the official vehicles of the PGA Championship and Senior PGA Championship for several years. For the American PGA competition, Mercedes-Benz is also their Official Patron. view

The U.S. Open will feature wicker baskets instead of flags at Merion Golf Club

Apr 30, 2013

For the first time since 1981, the world will descend on Merion Golf Club's East Course on June 13 for the second major championship of the year and the fifth time the U.S. Open has been hosted there. One thing you should expect to see? Wicker baskets adorning the tops of the flagsticks all across Merion's famed links. Devil Ball put a call into the USGA on Monday morning asking if the traditional wicker baskets would be in play and it was confirmed they would. view

Golf Joke

Apr 29, 2013

::ring:: ::ring:: "Hello, Señor Bob? This is Ernesto, the caretaker at your country house." "Ah yes, Ernesto. What can I do for you? Is there a problem?" "Um, I am just calling to advise you, Señor Bob, that your parrot, he is dead". "My parrot? Dead? The one that won the International competition?" "Si, Señor, that's the one." "Damn! That's a pity! I spent a small fortune on that bird. What did he die from?" "From eating the rotten meat, Señor Bob." "Rotten meat? Who the hell fed him rotten meat?" "Nobody, Señor. He ate the meat of the dead horse." "Dead horse? What dead horse?" "The thoroughbred, Señor Bob .." "My prize thoroughbred is dead?" "Yes, Señor Bob, he died from all that work pulling the water cart." "Are you insane? What water cart?" "The one we used to put out the fire, Señor." "Good Lord! What fire are you talking about, man?" "The one at your house, Señor! A candle fell and the curtains caught on fire." "What the hell? Are you saying that my mansion is destroyed because of a candle?!" "Yes, Señor Bob." "But there's electricity at the house! What was the candle for?" "For the funeral, Señor Bob .." "WHAT BLOODY FUNERAL??!!" "Your wife's, Señor Bob. She showed up very late one night and I thought she was a thief, so I hit her with your new Ping G15 204g titanium head golf club with the TFC 149D graphite shaft." SILENCE........... LONG SILENCE......... VERY LONG SILENCE............ "Ernesto, if you broke that driver, you're in deep shit." view

Duval says Tiger, Furyk, Harrington are slow players

Apr 29, 2013

2001 British Open champion David Duval took to Twitter on Friday after Tianling Guan was penalized one stroke for slow play during the second round of the Masters. Duval said it was unfortunate that Guan received the penalty because there are many other slow-playing professional golfers, including Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk. view

The Shark Calls for Blood...Tests

Apr 29, 2013

GREG Norman believes golf's anti-doping procedures are a disgrace and predicts the broomstick putter used by Adam Scott to win the US Masters will be banned. "You only have to look at what happened to Vijay Singh just recently to know the drugs issue is there," Norman told The Australian yesterday. "We know that because Vijay Singh got caught. How deep it is, I have no idea because we only do urine analysis instead of blood testing. If you really want to be serious about it and find about what's really going on, we need to do blood testing. I think it's disgraceful, to tell you the truth. The golf associations have to get together and step it up. view

TigerShark PowerPod II

Apr 29, 2013

Every now and then I come across a golf club that offers something a little bit different from everything else in the industry. Last year we took a look at less mainstream products like the Solus wedge, the Heavy Wedge, and PowerBilt’s Nitrogen charged AirForce One Driver. While those clubs aren’t standard fare in the average golf bag, as far as oddities are concerned, they’ve got nothing, and I mean nothing, on the new PowerPod II from TigerShark. view

Weird Clubs

Apr 29, 2013

Neither in the classified section nor in cyberspace chat rooms do we run across ads offering top dollar for old Stan Thompson Ginty woods–a fact that is hard to fathom. The company is out of business, of course, but the V-soled Ginty was a beloved “trouble club” before the term was even invented. Among golfers who were around in the 1970s, there remains a deep reservoir of affection for it. A recent conversation with the sought-after instructor Gary Wiren revealed how the Thompson Ginty first got its name. view


Apr 29, 2013

Vintage Jim Flood 1980's Orizaba Power-Pod golf driver club training aid R.H. view

Gator Done! Ricky Barnes Leads Zurich Classic in New Orleans

Apr 26, 2013

The PGA Tour made its next stop of the 2013 season when they arrived in New Orleans to participate in this year’s Zurich Classic at the TPC Louisiana course in Avondale. It’s hard to be the hangover tournament following the Masters but the Heritage finished with an exciting sudden death playoff, making that two tourneys in a row. The Zurich has never been known for the big names in its field but this year the guys from A&E’s Duck Dynasty participated in the mid-week festivities, or at least tried to. The weather rained out Wednesday’s Pro-Am event but wound up setting the course up for low scores in the opening round, 105 players in the 156 field shot even par or better. view

Royal & Ancient 'will not bully' clubs into accepting women members

Apr 24, 2013

Peter Dawson, the chief executive of the Royal & Ancient, has insisted the governing body will not "bully" clubs such as Muirfield into altering their male-only membership policy. Augusta National's admission of its first female members, Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore, allied to the return of the Open Championship to Muirfield in July, have placed claims of gender discrimination by the R&A back on the agenda. Muirfield is one of three homes to the Open – Royal St George's and Royal Troon are the others – which controversially have no women in their membership. view

Golf's Craziest Drama

Apr 18, 2013

It was a Masters finish they will still talk about when Arnold Palmer's grandsons are wearing the green jackets of champions. Eleven players started the final round within three strokes of the lead, and six of them still were in contention through the last nine holes Not till the final two holes did the tournament distill into a contest between Roberto de Vicenzo, the gay and charming Argentine, and Bob Goalby (see cover), a big, handsome onetime football player from Illinois who has been laboring fitfully on the golf tour for 11 years. When Goalby sank a sticky four-foot putt for a par at the 72nd with de Vicenzo pulling at his lower lip as he watched apprehensively from a chair at the scorer's table alongside the green, a big cheer went up for the tie. Both were in at 277, 11 strokes under par and the fourth best score in the 32-year history of golf's spring classic. view

Golf Needs A Fifth Major

Apr 18, 2013

Let's put it in South Africa and hope that nobody brings a vuvuzela. Let's rotate it between South Africa, Australia, Argentina and various countries of Asia. Let's put it near Seoul and watch the money pile up. Whatever, wherever, let's add a fifth major tournament to the golf calendar because the four-major construct has become geographically kooky. In a game that's globalization has run amok, one country hogs 75 percent of the majors while the other 196 share one. view

11 reasons Jack Nicklaus is better than Tiger Woods

Apr 17, 2013

We've been debating the Jack Nicklaus vs. Tiger Woods question ever since that historic 1997 Masters and we'll be debating it for decades to come. But what if we had to have that discussion today? No predictions for the future or presumed milestones. What if Tiger Woods suddenly announced his retirement from golf after the Masters and never played again. Who would go down as the best in history? view

Kenny Giannini Putters Launches

Apr 16, 2013

The launching of our website, coupled with the introduction of the G-5 mallet, Kenny’s newest addition to the Kenny Giannini Putter line, has provided some very exciting moments at our offices in Indian Wells, California. view

Overheard in the gallery during the weekend at Augusta

Apr 16, 2013

AUGUSTA, GA. -- Welcome to Augusta National, where a Adam Scott became the first golfer to win a major using a long putter. Oh, and he also became the first Australian to win a Green Jacket. A complete Masters experience involves eavesdropping on spectator chatter. Below, some of the odd exchanges we overheard in the gallery during the third and fourth rounds. view

Not Even Three

Apr 16, 2013

Guan Tianlang completes 72 holes without a three-putt in memorable Masters debut view

Tiger has an identity crisis

Apr 16, 2013

You can remember the 2013 Masters for Adam Scott’s thrilling playoff victory over Angel Cabrera, the slow-play penalty leveled against a 14-year-old kid from China, or the two-stroke penalty a television viewer called on Tiger Woods for an illegal drop. view

Mistakes compounded in Tiger ruling

Apr 15, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tiger Woods screwed up. He knows it ... now. Masters rules officials know it ... now. A television viewer knew it ... Friday? view

Tiger Woods deserved penalty, not disqualification, at 2013 Masters

Apr 15, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. — On Friday, Tiger Woods made a gigantic blunder in applying the rules of golf, a brain cramp unworthy of a veteran pro. Perhaps his incredible bad luck, watching a near-perfect wedge shot hit the flagstick, yet bounce back off the 15th green into the water, numbed him with shock. But his subsequent mistake, taking an improper drop, ultimately cost him two shots and will haunt and may doom his chances to win this Masters. view

2013 Masters: Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera create a masterpiece together

Apr 15, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. — In steady rain that at times turned into a downpour, in the dying light of a Sunday evening in April, Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera gave their sport a new standard for both grace and glorious golf under the greatest Masters pressure. Golf loves such moments that illustrate its greatest virtues — gracious respectful sportsmanship and the ability to endure stress while performing utterly alone, not just five hours at a time, but for days. Now we have a fresh example that can stand alongside any from the past. view

Master's Sunday (April 14th) Tee Times

Apr 14, 2013

12:40 p.m. – Freddie Jacobson, Bill Haas 12:50 p.m. – Jason Dufner, Fred Couples 1:10 p.m. – Zach Johnson, Justin Rose 1:20 p.m. – Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Thorbjorn Olesen 1:30 p.m. – Bo Van Pelt, Sergio Garcia 1:40 p.m. – Jim Furyk, Nick Watney 1:50 p.m. – Bernhard Langer, Lee Westwood 2:00 p.m. – Rickie Fowler, Steve Stricker 2:10 p.m. – Tim Clark, Tiger Woods 2:20 p.m. – Jason Day, Matt Kuchar 2:30 p.m. – Adam Scott, Marc Leishman 2:40 p.m. – Brandt Snedeker, Angel Cabrera view

Tiger Woods Hit with a Two Stroke Penalty on Day 2

Apr 13, 2013

Woods' shot on the par-5 15th hole of the second round hit the flag stick and bounced back into the water. He took his penalty drop two yards behind where he hit the original shot, which was a rules violation. view

Solid play lands David Lynn near top of leaderboard

Apr 12, 2013

If you didn’t expect David Lynn to be sitting near the top of the Masters Tournament leaderboard – well, neither did his family. “I can’t believe it,” his swooning mother, Lesley, said after Lynn birdied 11 and 12 to jump to the top of the field. “My son is leading the Masters. I can’t believe it.” view

Justice for Westwood at Augusta

Apr 12, 2013

I sometimes wonder if the so-called, so-exalted, so-ballyhooed “golf gods” aren’t just a bunch of lazy derelicts. Do they really care about their alleged jurisdiction, or do they just wake up mornings, lounge around on Twitter and spend the whole day half-drunk? We’ve long known the golf gods are probably the meanest, meaner than the baseball gods, football gods, basketball gods, hockey gods and surely even the curling gods, but are they also the most negligent? view

Who's With Me

Apr 12, 2013

1001 Golf Holes You Must Play Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition [Hardcover] A lavishly illustrated collection of the 1001 best golf holes from around the world, organized by challenge level, for golfers of every level. This latest book in the hugely popular 1001 series showcases the world’s best golf holes—a must-have volume for anyone who loves the game, and the perfect gift for Father’s Day, graduation, or a birthday. Every golfer dreams of the chance to play a great hole, and this book takes you to the world’s best. view

The Masters, day one: 4 big names that could miss the cut

Apr 12, 2013

Whenever Tiger Woods is within striking distance of the lead after the first day of a major, it evokes the old saying: You can’t win a golf tournament on the first day, but you certainly can lose it. There’s still plenty in store this weekend, and especially with Woods on the prowl, Marc Leishman and Sergio Garcia will face a nasty fight to stay on top. As for those farther down the leader board, however, a few notable names are close to seeing their time on the course cut pathetically short. view

RBC Heritage adds 3 more pros to playing field

Apr 12, 2013

Ryo Ishikawa, Richard Sterne and Gary Woodland are the latest PGA TOUR professionals to commit to the RBC Heritage. They will be playing in the 45th annual event, taking place April 15-21, 2013 over the famed Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island. They will be joined by other PGA TOUR Professionals including defending champ Carl Pettersson, KJ Choi, Nicolas Colsaerts, John Daly, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Brian Gay, Bill Haas, Martin Kaymer, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Graeme McDowell, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker and Boo Weekley. view

An Augusta National pimento cheese sandwich

Apr 12, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- This is a year of profound and controversial change for the Augusta National Golf Club, and I am, of course, talking about the curious case of the pimento cheese recipe. It's different. view

14 year old phenom maybe?

Apr 12, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- He's 14 years old, the kid from China. Tianlang Guan said he was nervous on the first tee. So nervous at being the youngest player in Masters history that he hit his first tee shot three inches right of the fairway's exact middle. On the 18th tee, five hours of nerves later, he hit his last tee shot four inches left of dead-center. view

Garcia, Augusta are buddies for a day

Apr 12, 2013

For a day, they reached an uneasy truce, this course and this competitor. For a day, he was good enough, and precise enough, and poised enough. For a day, the course was forgiving enough. A year after Sergio Garcia surrendered to Augusta National, a year after he threw up his hands and pronounced the Masters as out of his reach, Garcia showed up and found … Sunnybrook Farm. view

Tiger misses chances to improve day

Apr 12, 2013

With girlfriend Lindsey Vonn looking on – a soft brace on her surgically repaired right knee made walking difficult, but she was determined to watch her man – Woods selected not his driver on the long, uphill par 4, but a new 3 wood that he’d just put in his bag. view

Keegan Bradley would love to battle with Tiger

Apr 11, 2013

Keegan Bradley has heard the stories. Some he knows by heart, because they were the ones that built a fire inside him for golf when he was in those impressionable years where dreams are pure and defeat is a nightmare he knew nothing about. view

At Augusta, Attention Is Back on the Golf

Apr 11, 2013

Ten years ago, in a sodden, ant-infested vacant lot a half-mile from the main gate of the Augusta National Golf Club, the most serious protest of the club’s all-male membership hit its high water mark. view

Has Tiger Woods returned to form?

Apr 11, 2013

In April 2010, in his first tournament since the world started laughing at him, Tiger Woods sprayed shots all over Augusta National. view

Apr 10, 2013

Meet Guan Tianlang, The 14-Year-Old Chinese Kid Who's Playing In The Masters view

Tiger Woods seeks to turn back clock at Masters

Apr 10, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The old man was telling stories now, about Gene Sarazen and Byron Nelson and Sam Snead, about the Crow's Nest and Amen Corner, about old rivals and the way the course used to be when he was young. view

Masters Fun Facts

Apr 09, 2013

For over 70 years The Masters has captivated and enthralled us as golf’s best players and biggest names compete on the sport’s greatest stage. view

Major Malaise

Apr 09, 2013

Tiger Woods returns to Augusta National trying to recapture the dominance he once displayed in golf's biggest events view

Tiger Woods appears more human

Apr 08, 2013

You can gauge how the golfing public feels about Tiger Woods’ game by how long it takes to answer this question: For this week’s Masters, are you taking Tiger or The Field? view


Apr 08, 2013

How does a hooked wedge shot trump a double eagle, the game’s rarest feat? Easy, if the former leads to a Masters victory as it did for Bubba Watson last April on the second playoff hole against Louis Oosthuizen. view

Why Woods Will Not Win Masters

Apr 02, 2013

This is hardly a new phenomenon, of course, but the anticipation is heightened this year because of the recent efforts of one Tiger Woods, whose play has been attracting attention of late. view

Dirty Tiger

Mar 29, 2013

Tiger Woods Sent Rory McIlroy A Vulgar Motivational Text Message This Morning view

Short Game Lee

Mar 28, 2013

Lee Westwood hopes 'brilliant' new short game will deliver Masters glory view

1 Woods

Mar 26, 2013

Tiger regains slice of past glory view


Mar 25, 2013

Ex-LPGA golfer Jane Geddes now working for WWE view

I've had it with these...

Mar 22, 2013

Golf nut Samuel L. Jackson has a special clause written into his movie contracts - he gets two days off a week to plays his favourite sport. view


Mar 21, 2013

Tiger tames paparazzi, aims at Bay Hill view

Tiger Homecoming

Mar 20, 2013

A win in his former hometown would be a fitting way for Tiger Woods to return to No. 1 in the world view

LPGA -- Numero Uno

Mar 19, 2013

PHOENIX — As a teenager, Stacy Lewis spent 18 hours a day wearing a back brace to cope with scoliosis. That was hard. view

The master of The Masters

Mar 18, 2013

Arithmetic tells me I'll be covering my 63rd consecutive Masters this April, and that's a lot of country ham with red-eye gravy, pimento-cheese sandwiches, egg-salad sandwiches and peach cobbler. Oh, and golf. view

Hold on there Tiger

Mar 13, 2013

Wait Just A Second! Before you get too excited about Tiger Woods' latest win, remember the biggest questions remain unanswered view one?

Mar 13, 2013

While golfing with friends at the Annbriar Golf Course near here Friday, Mihal, 43, a mortgage broker from Creve Coeur, abruptly dropped into the ground on the fairway of the 14th hole. view

Mar 12, 2013

Doral proved that golf is more fun when the course is set up for pros to go low view