Hump Day Musings: Media Day Edition

Saber Tooth Tiger

Tiger Fucking Woods came to Scottsdale this week to see what the party was all about. Of course he’ll also play golf and attend the Super Bowl, but before any of that can happen he had to hold his usual pre-tourney presser on Tuesday morning. What did he say? A lot but not much. Does that make sense? He was in a good mood and amazingly playful. I figured he’d have to come out cranky and defensive thanks to his recent tooth issue and the media hoopla around it. That wasn’t the case. He stuck to his story about a camera knocking out his front chomper. He said he wore that odd skeleton mask because he plays Ghost Recon (a video game) and he was trying to blend in because “there are not a lot of brown guys at ski races”.

That is a direct quote. And that is also why I still don’t buy the camera story. The one brown guy at said ski race, who is one of the most famous athletes in the world, goes unnoticed while getting his tooth knocked out? No. My gut says Vonn stuck a Lexington Steele plastic mold in his mouth doing something kinky. Oh, don’t Google Mr. Steele at work by the way.

In other Tiger news, his pairing for the first and second round of the Waste Management Open was announced. He’ll be playing with Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth, who of course were a great Ryder Cup duo last fall. That’ll draw some eyeballs. And take note, his two playing companions have 6 combined wins since Tiger last had one.

My prediction for the week? He’ll back door a top 10 finish, but never truly contend. You have to start somewhere. He usually doesn’t play that well at events that require an insane amount of birdies to win. Next week in San Diego will tell us more about the state of his game.

$woosh!!!!

Yeah, more Tiger. Sorry, the guy makes news. And this blurb is my chance to show you the image he tweeted of his new kicks for 2015. I have to say, I actually like those and could wear them. If the white part of the sole matched the upper it would be money. The TW 2015 shoe of course also comes in standard Tiger colors of white and black. The black model has red woven into it and looks kind of queer.

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If you want a pair you can get them when they hit shelves in February for a tidy sum of $250 MSRP.

Odd Aussie

Tiger’s presser wasn’t the only gathering of note with nerdy golf journos attending today in Arizona. Robert Allenby, yes he of the kidnapped and beaten notoriety, grabbed the microphone about an hour after Woods to try to explain his story again. Now that Deadspin and Golf Channel have essentially called him a liar and exposed several holes in his original story, most figured Robert might apologize in some regard for his fabrication of that night’s events. He did no such thing. Instead he blamed the media for their part in the saga and essentially told everyone to fuck off and leave him alone. What?

First, we still don’t know why he hasn’t cancelled his ‘stolen’ credit cards. Second, spending $3400 in a strip club in 115 minutes is astonishing, and impressive. On top of that, Allenby says he has no recollection of the events that occurred between 11:06 pm and 1:27 am. Well then how the fuck does he know the exact minutes in which he lost consciousness?

Allenby wasn’t required by the Tour to hold a presser. This was his doing. Then he got up in front of media members and scolded them. He’s a fucking moron. Now some wise ass is going to work even harder to get the facts of this ordeal and expose him. He made his own bed. Fuck him.

Goodbye Peter, Hello Frank

In the past few days word began to leak out that CBS and Golf Channel’s Peter Oosterhuis (who is already semi-retired) was going to hang up his microphone and headset for good. Oostie was working Thursday/Friday broadcasts for TGC and then did Masters and PGA Championship weekends with CBS. I’ve always liked his voice, tone, and delivery and was sad to see him walk away.

CBS moved swiftly to replace him. Today they announced that they’ll use Golf Channel’s Frank Nobilo to fill Oostie’s spot in the Masters and PGA telecasts. That is a fantastic hire and probably an improvement. Nobilo is one of the most prepared guys covering golf these days. He’ll add more substance to any production he is involved in. That is a win for true golf fans. Well done CBS.

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Haas Holds Off Field At The Hope: Final Thoughts On Humana

He Wasn’t Even Trying

Five years ago to the day, Bill Haas snatched up his first PGA Tour win at the Bob Hope Classic. Ironically, this was a tournament his father had won during his own career, and almost won twice. Bill always seems to play well at the Hope. He hits it well, there’s no wind, and he can make birdies in bunches. That’s a recipe for success for him. Yet this year when he left home for Palm Springs he had very low expectations for the tournament. He even told his wife that he didn’t think he’d play well because he hadn’t had a chance to knock the holiday rust off his game. Funny how things works out when you’re not trying too hard.

Over the first 3 rounds of the Hope/Humana, Haas quietly snuck up the leaderboard while Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar, and Ryan Palmer made noise. He of course found his way to the top when it mattered and then survived anyone making a run at him once he got to 22 under. Bill’s final round 67 was steady, and he hit some great shots, but there wasn’t anything spectacular that truly stuck out. That’s kind of Haas’ game in a nutshell.

In the end Bill had his 6th career win. He’s a shoe in for the Presidents Cup team this fall (his dad Jay is the captain). And he has a new baby on the way at home. That’s a pretty decent start to the year. What else can we expect from Bill in 2015? Don’t count on much. He’s a great player. He’s talented as hell. But Bill has yet to even score a top ten in a major. He’s 32. He’s been doing this for a decade. Now or never time is fast approaching.

The Field

Outside of Haas, 8 other players had realistic chances to win the Humana on Sunday. Charlie Hoffman – made a late charge, posted -21 early, but that wasn’t enough. Still a nice pay check for Chuckles. Brendan Steele – my god is his swing ugly, and I can’t root for this guy, thankfully he didn’t have enough in the tank to run down Haas. Sung Joon Park – who the fuck he? The South Korean plays at a snails pace. If there’d have been an 8 man playoff with him included we’d only be on the 2nd hole. Matt Kuchar – golly gee, what else can you say about Matty. I almost picked him this week, went with Ryan Palmer instead, whatever. Another high finish for Matt. Color me shocked.

Steve Wheatcroft – I like this guy, if only because he’s the ultimate journeyman. Golf Channel was great in telling his story about almost giving up the tour life. Then he won a Web.com event in Boise and seems to be ready to stick on the big tour now. Remember his run at Houston a few years ago? Remember his wife?

Yeah, her…great cans. Go Steve!

Webb Simpson – bible boy was in the mix. He looks like he’s going to have a pretty good 2015. And we haven’t seen him shank one yet in two tournaments. Boo Weekley – Boo made birdies, Boo posted a number, Boo went and drank lite beer somewhere with his dinner. And lastly, there’s Justin Thomas – oh boy is this kid a player.

I told you last week he’d pick off a win sometime this year before the Masters. I didn’t think it would be on the West Coast. Mother fucker he’s good. And if you didn’t catch the broadcast, Golf Channel had an M.O. to keep telling us he only weights 145 lbs. What does that matter? He’s wiry fucking strong and generates serious club head speed. But he’s not just a bomber, he’s a shot maker. He hit numerous iron shots today that were gripped down and backed off. He’s going to be legit. He could have won today but for that fatal second shot at the 16th. If you missed it, JT’s tee shot found the fairway bunker and he dumped his next shot in the canal fronting the green. Easy double. Tournament contention over. That’s a tough break but he’ll be back. Soon.

And then there’s the sheep. I’ve probably watched somewhere between 10 to 20 iterations of the Hope Humana over the years. I’ve never noticed these animals about the golf course.

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That’s a big horn sheep. They were scattered about the mountain sides of the Palmer Private course. It wasn’t intrusive, just strange. After Luke Donald’s recent run in with baboon I’d have had my caddie on guard while I turned my back on these things.

Different Bubba, Equally Annoying

When Bob Hope died his golf tournament almost went with him. Then the (Bill) Clinton foundation stepped in to get involved and the tournament is somewhat revitalized thanks to his presence. So of course the Golf Channel 18th tower crew of Nick Faldo and Rich Lerner are obligated to have the 42nd president up for a chat during Sunday action. Ugh.

If you DVR’d the action, at least you could fast forward through Bill’s commentary. Politics aside, Bill is a golfer, but not a golfer’s golfer. Does that make sense? Yes, he loves the game, but he loves it because it gives him time away from his husbandwife and he has a lot of free time on this hands. He’s not an ambassador to the game. The way he discussed it with Faldo and Rich reminded me of the guy at work who plays twice a year, shoots 125 on his best day, and then wants to tell me about his round while I’m working on my TPS reports. Fuck off.

Lets Get Wasted!!!!

Yes, Phil was in the field this week in Palm Springs. He tied for 24th and by all accounts hit it great but didn’t score because his short game was off. He can clean that up easily. He’s also using two different putting grips. Claw inside of 8 feet, standard on anything longer. Only Phil. But hey, he told Roger Maltbie that he and Pelz have the data to justify why he should give it a try. Phil will also be in the field at Phoenix this week, as will Tiger. That usually gets Phil’s game to peak. I hope the tour has the onions to pair them together.

In Tiger news, the tour said today that Woods will have a pre-tourney presser in Phoenix on Tuesday at 10:30 am. That’s the same time as media day on the other side of town for the Super Bowl. Who will get more questions? TW, Brady, Belichick, or Richard Sherman? Will Tiger have his tooth fixed and a better story about how he lost it? I’m giddy.

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The Qatar Masters Has A Graceful Champion

Ended On Saturday, Won On A Friday?

In Qatar, the weekend begins on Thursday night and their Friday and Saturdays are the same as our Saturdays and Sunday. And that is why the Qatar Masters is played from Wednesday through Saturday of this week. The tournament ended in grand fashion this morning (state side) with Branden Grace capturing his 4th win in his last 54 starts. After being one of the International Team goats of the 2013 President’s Cup, Grace has righted his ship to be one of the hottest players in the world right now.

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Nothing quite like getting a big clam for your mantle. Grace defeated a hard charging Marc Warren by a shot with some absolute brilliance down the stretch. First he pulled off an eagle at the drive-able par four 16th hole with this great swing:

And if that wasn’t eye-popping enough, he probably out did himself at 18. He knew he needed birdie at the par 5 final hole and he nearly holed his third shot from the fairway to leave himself a 4 foot putt for his 4. Sadly, no one has video of it. You’d think between nearly holing your final swing and driving a par 4 to set up an eagle you’d have your shot of the tournament right there. Nope. Grace’s one shot victory margin might actually be attributed more to the miracle shot he hit on Friday. This has to be a nominee for Shot of the Year.

Branden of course made the putt for unlikely birdie. Funny how that works out in the end. Now, back to his form. Grace is only 26 and is starting to build himself quite a resume. This win might sneak him into the top 50 in the world rankings which could get him into Augusta and other majors and WGC events in the United States. He says he won’t change his schedule to chase U.S. dollars, but would have to enter some fields in America if he gets into bigger events. Ummm….no shit. And that roll he’s on right now, Jason Sobel puts some perspective on it here.

Yeah, that’ll play.

Mrs. Grace

A man playing golf that well can only be measured by one other thing, how hot a broad he can snag……right? Here’s a few pics of his wife that I know you came here looking for.

Hey, you asked for it. What do I think? She’s alright. Seems to have some nice sweater meat, but perhaps she’s a little thick. Whatever.

Congrats to the Grace’s for Branden’s victory today. We might be saying that more often in 2015. I think he’ll win again very soon.

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Hump Day Musings: Conspiracy Theory Edition

Toothless Tiger

News broke on Monday that Tiger Woods lost a tooth while trying to watch girlfriend Lindsey Vonn race in Italy over the weekend. Tiger’s agent, Steiny, sent a press release stating that Woods was essentially ambushed by some overzealous cameramen. When they bum rushed TW a camera hit him in the face and knocked out his upper middle-left tooth.

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First off, what the fuck is with the skeleton thing to guard his face? Nike couldn’t provide something better for him? Second, no one affiliated with Vonn’s ski race can verify Steinberg’s story. Tiger Woods is one of the most famous and recognizable athletes in the world. And no one saw or can verify a story of a camera taking out his tooth? Bull shit. Didn’t happen.

There’s always been rumors that this tooth was knocked loose when Elin took a 9 iron to his face in 2009. That’s why it had a brownish tint. I don’t buy that either. The tooth always had a slight discoloration and you can see it in close up shots going back to the 90s. What I think happened is that the tooth finally needed to get yanked and TW delayed the implant for some reason. Woods didn’t want to tell that embarrassing story so he made Steiny lie, that’s what agents do best. We’ll never get the truth. If you’ve got a better idea of what’s really going on I’d love to hear it. A guy I know once showed up to work with his two front teeth chipped in half. He said they broke biting into an apple. I think he either got his ass beat or some chick went kinky on him and shoved a big vibrator into his mouth. Shit happens. Own it.

Allenby’s Alibi

On Sunday I posted my thoughts on Robert Allenby’s weird Friday night. Since then this tale has only become more bizarre. I had my doubts as to what really happened simply based on his friends and caddie leaving him behind. Now the homeless woman that supposedly helped Robert has reported that Allenby’s story has a few holes in it. First, he wasn’t dragged 6 miles away from the wine bar. She found him a block away. Second, Allenby was being assaulted by other homeless people when this woman found him.

Allenby says he caem to about 10km from the Amuse Wine Bar in Waikiki on Friday night

The facts are this. Robert signed his check at 10:48 pm. His caddie says he wasn’t hammered so he must have been drugged. His credit card was used later that night to buy liquor at a nearby store. Officials have this purchase on surveillance tapes. So many questions. Why did his friends leave him? How did he plan on getting back to meet his friends get to the hotel? Why does he think he was in a car? If he was drugged, why isn’t his blood being tested? Could he also have been raped?

Like the tale of Tiger’s Tooth, there’s a lot of information being withheld from the public. What is our right to know? What do you think really happened to Robert? Hit the poll.

Pancake House

If you’re an avid reader of this site you’re already aware of young LPGA Tour member Brooke Pancake. If not, Google her and enjoy. Why is she in this post? Well, Ms. Pancake signed an endorsement deal with Waffle House this week and such news was a funny little note circling around the PGA Show today in Orlando.

How IHOP missed out on this opportunity is beyond me. How Waffle House couldn’t also ink Bubba Watson is another head-scratcher. To promote this new partnership, Brooke will be making waffles at the PGA Show on Wednesday morning.

The New DJ

Dustin Johnson’s suspension is set to expire in February when he returns to the Tour at Torrey Pines. To catch up with DJ, Golf.com interviewed him in the setting of his new life at Sherwood Country Club in Southern California. Let me give you the cliff notes of the article.

To summarize, he’s not suspended, he’s now not drinking, he’s playing great, he was dealing with personal issues, he partied too much because of stress, and Wayne didn’t threaten him in anyway last fall to get his shit together. Ummmm…..sure. I believe that like I believe Allenby wasn’t butt fucked and Tiger got hit by a camera.

I think DJ had a nose candy problem. I think knowing he’s about to be a dad helped get him clean (for now). I think he’ll relapse from this at some point in his life. I think Paulina Gretzky is the first of 3 or 4 wives for him. That is all. The article wasn’t convincing. I’ll believe there is a new DJ when I see it.

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Walker Bounces Back At Waialae: Final Thoughts On Sony

Dyno-mite Deja Vu

In January of 2014 Jimmy Walker won the Sony Open with a powerful final round 63. Fast forward a year, and Jimmy Walker again won the Sony Open with a final round 63. That in itself is pretty amazing, but winning after a crushing back nine collapse last week at the Tournament of Champions is damn impressive.

After losing a sudden death playoff to Patrick Reed six days ago Walker talked to coach Butch Harmon about his defeat. Harmon told him to forget about it, and use the next few days to get better, then get mad about and kick ass next week. I guess that worked. Walker one putted his last 11 holes on Saturday on his way to a 62. On Sunday he started a little flat with 7 pars in his first 7 holes. He then birdied 7 of his last 11 to cruise to a 9 shot victory. What a difference a week makes.

For now Walker regains his familiar spot on the top of the Fed Ex standings. This is a position he held for most of 2014 thanks to early victories in the fall and at the Sony. Hawaii has been good to Jimmy. He thinks his success here is because he doesn’t mind putting on grainy greens like the ones he grew up on in Texas. I think it is his mindset. I see a confidence in Walker that I didn’t see last year when he was winning. I saw it at the Ryder Cup too. Now I want to see if Walker can carry that confidence over to a major.

@TourWifeTravels

That’s Mrs. Walker’s Twitter handle. I gave you a little bit of a look at her last year when Jim won the Sony.  As I noted before, she seems pretty normal, nice, and way more down to earth than a lot of tour wives. Now that she’s grown her hair out and has been seasoned by the sun for two weeks in Hawaii she looks pretty damn good. The red dress appears as though it was painted on her. And did I spy a nice rack on her too?

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God bless her. As a mother of two fairly young kids she’s done well to bounce back from the evils of child birth.

The bottom image is from 2014. I’m not insinuating anything, but something about her looks different, in all the right places.

Rookie Lessons

Justin Thomas was a collegiate phenom at Alabama. Now he’s playing on tour in his rookie year and has been a popular pick by the golf media to be the Tour’s Rookie of the Year for 2015. Thomas proved all those picks to be pretty accurate by sitting atop the Sony leaderboard through 36 holes. His rounds of 67-61 were eye opening.

Justin Thomas equalled the course record at the Waialae County Club in Honolulu to take a share of the lead 

Even par rounds of 70 for the weekend…????? Not so much. He didn’t blow up. He just shot his load a few days too early. Thomas is a 21 year old kid that should be a junior in college. Instead of beer bongs and late night munches, he’s in Oahu posting T6 in his first start of the calendar year. Keep an eye on him as the season moves on. He might pick off a win somewhere in Florida before the Masters.

Awww Shucks

Am I the only one that feels like Matt Kuchar never finishes outside of the top 5 at the Sony? And then he doesn’t win it. Ever. Weird. Here we are in 2015 and there’s golly-gee- shucks-fanny-pack-Matty as the 36 hole leader and playing in the final group with Walker on Sunday. Kooch wasn’t going to catch Walker no matter what he did today. So what is the problem? Matt had a serious birdie streak going that he may or may not have known about while playing out the back nine in Walker’s wake.

Kooch had it inside of 10 feet at least 3 times in the final 7 holes and didn’t hit the hole. He also had a 6 iron for his 2nd shot on the last hole that is a par 5. Of course he made a par there as well and closed with a round of 71 that included 17 pars, 1 bogey, and no birds. Ouch. I guess all good things must come to an end.

 

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Kaymer Implodes, Stal Steps Ups To Win HSBC Abu Dhabi

Ten Shot Shit Show

I doubt Frenchman Gary Stal thought he’d be toasting his first big boy tour win on Sunday evening when he woke up today. He and the entire HSBC Abu Dhabi field trailed Martin Kaymer by a million shots. No, literally at one point on the front nine Kaymer held a ten shot lead on the field……IN THE FINAL FUCKING ROUND. Golf journos started writing articles comparing this performance to what he did in the U.S. Open and how dominant he was when he was ‘on’.

And why wouldn’t guys like Mr. Sobel get a head start on that kind of piece? Kaymer has been nothing but a killer in the last year once he has a lead. But a funny thing happened over the last 12 holes of the championship. Kaymer started missing fairways and finding the type of scrub areas he avoided all too well at Pinehurst last June. He took two penalties for unplayable lies, made some sloppy bogies, and capped it all off with a big fat triple bogey at the 13th hole. That triple included a chili-dipped pitch like my dad would hit from about 40 yards across a bunker.

At that point it could have been anybody’s tournament to win, but Stal was the man that stepped up and owned it. I’d never heard of the 357th ranked player in the world before today. The Froggy was impressive and gutsy. His punchy swing found the fairway hole after hole and his putter got hot at exactly the right time.

The only guy that even had a shot at catching Stal and his closing round of 65 was McIlroy, who had this shot on the 72nd hole for eagle. Had it gone in he would have been in a playoff with Stal assuming Stal still makes par at 18 playing a group behind Rory.

My gut says we never hear from Stal again and very likely don’t see him contend at any tournament this year. In my opinion, this was a perfect storm, lightning in a bottle, or whatever other cliche’ you want to use. Hey, great for him, and think of the story he can one day tell his grand kids about beating a world class field and two big time champions in McIlroy and Kaymer. Nice playing, kid.

Krazy Kaymer

Some media types and other Twitternerds like me are wondering what Kaymer’s implosion means for his game for the foreseeable future. Ummm…..nothing at all. He’s a 2 time major champ who simply lost it on the closing holes. He knows how to fix it and he knows how to win. He’s a world class player and he’ll be fine. In fact, I bet he wins soon on the Euro Tour. Remember when Rory blew up at Augusta in 2011? Remember what he did in his next major after that? He won the U.S. Open at Congressional by a wide margin.

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Don’t worry about Kaymer, don’t think for a second that he didn’t learn something from this. He’s too good to let this be an issue going forward.

Rory’s Run

Rory made a comment on Twitter a few weeks ago that would lead you to believe he didn’t touch a club for a few weeks around the holidays. He started grinding on the range to get prepped for Abu Dhabi just after the New Year holiday. For him to knock off the rust on his game that fast and to play as well as he did this week should scare the shit out of anyone expecting to beat him this year. Check out this nugget about the current state of his game:

That’s insane. Tiger-like. He’s not going anywhere now that he’s ascended to number 1 and rid himself of a bad relationship. Sit back and enjoy it.

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Allenby Kidnapped, Mugged, And Left In A Ditch

Holy Shit!

While I was in the midst of a drunken Saturday night stupor news broke that PGA Tour member Robert Allenby had been found in a ditch in Hawaii by an off-duty military man. Authorities that arrived first at the scene said Allenby was in shock and not quite sure how he got there. Its been reported that Robert was out on the town at a wine bar having missed the Sony Open cut on Friday afternoon. From there, no one is quite sure what happened to him or how he got left near the side of the road, but he ended up looking like this:

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That’s a serious case of road rash if you ask me. Robert is known to be a bit of an asshole. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he got lippy with some locals and they figured out who he was, what he was worth, and decided to get what they could out of him. The Golf Channel has a report out that indicates Allenby might have even been drugged.

The facts are as follows. RA was with his friends and caddie at the wine bar. He signed for the check at 10:48 pm but then they left without him. Surveillance footage from the bar shows him signing his tab, going to the men’s room, and then minutes later he’s in the parking lot and leaving with 5 or 6 people. He has no idea what happened between the bathroom and coming too at a roadside park. A homeless woman witnessed him being pulled from trunk of a car and left at the park nearly 6 miles from the wine bar.

Wow. He’s lucky to be alive. He’s lucky he was only robbed. And amazingly enough, he’s still considering playing at the Humana this week in Palm Springs if he’s allowed to leave the islands on time due to the ongoing investigation. Why did his caddie leave him behind? Was this a set up? I don’t wish ill will on too many people, and certainly not people like Allenby that I’ve never met. But I think it’ll be interesting to see if his personality or golf game are changed at all by this occurrence. If I were him I’d start the week by firing my caddie.

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Happy Hour Thoughts With John Peterson

Aces Wild

If you’re a die hard professional golf fan with a pulse you’re well aware that the Euro Tour is in Abu Dhabi this week and Martin Kaymer is looking like the same guy that won the U.S. Open last year. Through 36 holes Martin is -13. Rory is 2 back. I know I’ll be up early the next two days to watch these two 2014 major champs battle. But that’s the boring part of the tournament. The fun part is that Tom Lewis, Miguel Jimenez, and Rory McIlroy have all had aces thus far in the event. WEEEEEE!!!!!!!

Lewis got a new car for his efforts. Jimenez did a little jig and there’s video evidence of it. Those were both yesterday. I’d really like to see MJ’s bar tab from Thursday.

I used to not like the Mechanic, I probably still won’t if he’s ever involved in the Ryder Cup again, but the fucker has completely won me over. He loves life. Daddy wants to party with him.

Today Rory joined the party, at the 15th hole, with a nine iron from 177 yards.

Rory’s is his first as a professional, but 10th of his life. A lot of people were taken back by that nugget of information, but the reality of it is that hole-in- ones don’t grow on trees no matter how good you are.

Texas Tweet’in

Twenty-five year old PGA Tour member John Peterson, the LSU Tiger from Texas, is playing this week in the Sony Open in Hawaii. You may remember John from contending at the 2012 U.S. Open and making a hole-in-one of his own. Today before he teed off in Oahu he took to Twitter and invited his followers to ask anything and everything. I had some time on my hands and went nuts. For the Twit-illiterates the following summary is provided:

It got better…

And why not go here?

The door was open, so I asked…

Someone asked him Lindsey Vonn or Paulina Gretzky:

If we’re going down that road, we might as well go here too.

Hey, I tried. And I don’t blame him for that. Perhaps his grandma or even Tim Finchem follows him and he didn’t want to get fined.

After that I asked him some techie stuff about the new Titleist drivers, to which he obliged. Then I assume he had to get to the range before his round because he never answered this one:

It was fun while it lasted. Big thanks to John for entertaining me while I was ready to give up on doing anything productive at work this week. He was a good sport. And he gained a fan in me and probably several more of my followers.

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The Fun Police And Other Random Shit: Hump Day Musings

No Phun Phor Phoenix

The Twitterverse erupted yesterday afternoon when news from the Waste Management Open, or the Phoenix Open, began to go viral. The Tour made the announcement that they would not allow the players to throw swag into the stands at the wild 16th hole. Over the years it has become a tradition for most all players to throw personal items or swag from their sponsors to the fans as a sign of goodwill. If not, risk being booed out of the joint by the rowdy patrons. Apparently this is now too dangerous and the Tour felt the need to take action against the fun giveaways.  Here’s the note:

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That’s a horrible PR move on so many levels. Why not just have the players get their swag approved so tour officials can rest assured that no one will be harmed by this? But these are the same guys that banned caddie races over the last few years too (a one time tradition of the same stadium-like hole). They’re the god damn no-fun-police and they suck. Golf fans are appalled and the players think it sucks too. That usually means they’ll back off their stance and figure out a solution. What happens if they don’t? Well…the memo doesn’t say WAGs can’t give away swag. Nor does it say you can’t give shit away on a different hole. Someone will figure out a loophole.

This Is Your Golf Game, This Is Your Golf Game On Drugs

On Monday Chris Kirk blistered the Plantation course at Kapalua in 62 shots to jump up the Tournament of Champions leaderboard. On Tuesday he arrived at the Sony Open in Oahu and was notified he was due for a drug test. He took the news well according to his Twitter feed.

What makes this so laughable is that Kirk is quite slim and doughy looking. If he’s on performance enhancing drugs, well….they’re not working. But hey, these things are supposed to be random. If they find anything I’ll bet it somehow helped his putting stroke (he did change his grip) as he made 16 of 16 putts inside of 15 feet on the way to his 62.

Abu Dhabi Dorks

Meanwhile in the Middle East the big boys are being paid handsomely to just show up and play in this week’s Euro Tour event. But you can’t just show up and play and escape embarrassment when you’re getting a king’s ransom to play golf. No, no, no….the men who pay these fees like for you to promote their event by making a fool of yourself in someway. At this weeks’ HSBC event, Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, and Rory McIlroy have been asked to be involved in quite a few promotional events. Today the sat on a barge.

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Yesterday that re-enacted Cocktail (Rosie must have been in the sun a lot to get that tan).

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No, I’m kidding. They’re just goofy pics. What they did do is shoot shots at their caddies from said barge in some weird team game that wasn’t as well thought out as many of the other Euro Tour gags we’ve seen. The video is below, but if you skip it you won’t miss anything.

And oh yeah, the Abu Dhabi event tees off late Wednesday night. You can see Fowler and McIlroy paired together if you can stay up until Golf Channel comes on at 12:30 am Eastern.

Pride And Joy

The FootJoy boys have been tweeting hints about their new shoe model being released this month over the last week to ten days. They’ve also been sending various parts of the new kick to certain accredited golf journos. I’m not one of these chosen few (likely because I’m not a registered journo) so I can’t give you any inside information on the shoe.

What I can do is show you the model they gave to George Coetzee that he’ll be wearing this week.

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If that sole isn’t too stiff/rigid, I’m in. Of course they’re not classic looking in any capacity, but they look good for an athletic shoe and are probably comfy. Puma also has a new hot shoe hitting shelves in the near future that the entire golf journo world is raving about, but I haven’t seen those yet either and they didn’t send me a pair. Yes, I’m jealous of the fucking hacks that do get the free shit.

More Ass Than A Toilet Seat

Yup, you guessed it, I’m talking about Rory McIlroy again. I almost forgot that he was linked to another new (or old) chick last week. Who this time? None other than the PGA of America employee that saved his ass in Chicago when he overslept for his tee time. Her name is Erica Stoll. Yes, she’s hot.

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Rory is young, rich, and likely to be in no hurry to marry any more crazy chicks. Good for him. I hope he fucks 137 broads a month. I hope he writes a book about his conquests. And I hope the internet goes nuts over everyone of them. I love it. Now here’s where I go ‘tin foil hat’ on you.

I don’t think this is a new budding romance. Oh no, not at all. I think they met in Chicago in 2012. And I think the reason he was late in to his Sunday singles match at the Ryder Cup that year was because he lost track of time staying up late and banging her. She pulled her “I’m a PGA employee” trump card to fix the mistake and get him to the first tee on time. How else could she have ‘helped’ him in such a timely way (if she wasn’t already with him)?  The rest is legend. They’re together now because….well, why the fuck not? If she’s not too crazy and he needs a piece, get some.

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Top 5 Player Reigns At T of C: Final Thoughts On Kapalua

Patty Reed No Longer Gives A Fuck

He doesn’t care what you think, what writers think, what Euros think, what @nolayingup thinks….nobody. He’s just going to play golf and make birdies like that is his fucking job. Oh wait, that is his job and that’s what he was up to on Monday afternoon in Maui. While trailing the leaders by 4 shots with 4 holes to play, Reed jumped on the birdie train with a birdie, eagle, bogey, birdie finish that was anything but mundane. His hole out at the 16th gave him a chance and tied him for the lead, but his 3 putt bogey at the 17th had the Golf Channel crew all but handing the tournament to 54 hole leader Jimmy Walker playing a group behind.

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They just assumed that Walker would birdie the 18th hole to win by a shot. Golf isn’t played on paper, and Jimmy Walker didn’t have his A game today. He played the final 8 holes in +1 while the rest of the field devoured the same stretch of holes. Walker looked awkward in the final round almost right out of the gate. He hit quick hooks off the tee on the 5th and 6th holes that looked nothing like his normal ball flight. Yet he held a two shot lead still when making the turn to the back 9.

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I think Walker started to see the field chasing him down. While playing companion Hideki Matsuyama had fallen a bit behind, players like Reed and Jason Day were starting to make their run down the stretch. Day tied the course record set earlier in the day by posting 62. Henley and Matsuyama also posted -20 to tie Day. In the end Walker did enough to hang in there and give himself a chance at the final hole even though it felt like he missed every putt he looked at on the back 9. On the 72nd hole, he couldn’t convert for birdie from the fairway and his par meant he posted -21 to tie Reed and head to a playoff.

In the playoff Reed drained a 19 foot putt after Walker bludgeoned the hole by hitting his 2nd shot in the stands and his 3rd over the green. I doubt he would have made his 5 foot par putt even if he had to for a chance to extend the playoff.

For Patrick Reed that’s win number 4 in his last 35 starts. Only Rory has a better track record in that same stretch and more wins for players 25 and under. We also should not be surprised that Reed won an event that finished on a Monday. You might recall how he many Monday Qualifiers he made it through before he became a tour member. Should we stop mocking the whole ‘top 5′ thing yet?

Captain Kirk

Not to be forgotten in the fun of Monday’s finish at the Tournament of Champions was Chris Kirk’s stroll around Kapalua. Chris teed off as a single due to Kevin Stadler withdrawing from a wrist injury. No, there’s no truth to the rumor that Kevin accidentally bit his own hand while taking in a Hawaiian pig roast earlier in the week. Kirk went out and played the front nine in 4 under par in about an hour and 15 minutes. On the back nine he went -7 in about 90 minutes. If you’re scoring at home, that’s a course record 62 in 2:48.

Great round, great time. Kudos to Kirk for setting the pace of play bar very high for the public golfer. The 62 ties his career low round that he also set in Hawaii at the Sony a few years ago. His hot finish this week and past success in Honolulu will make him a very popular fantasy pick come Thursday.

Shot Of The Day

There were a lot of good shot at the Plantation Course today, but were any of them as good as this?

At first glance I called bull shit, but it appears legit. That dude had to play the wind, the lie, the distance, and the undertow. I doubt it was done on one take. The fact that it goes in over the chipped part of the jar makes it even better.

But in all seriousness, I can’t ignore what Reed did on 16 in the final round. Without his dunk for an deuce he’s not in the playoff and he doesn’t win.

Boom!

Fix The T of C

I like the course the Hyundai Tournament of Champions is played on and I don’t care if the players don’t. I like the idea that this is an event for winners only. I like that it is played in prime time and finishes on Monday. Other than that it sucks and needs to be fixed. How do you fix it? That is a million dollar question.

Lets start by increasing the size of the field, considerably. Let Euro Tour winners in too. That could add another 20 players. Then how about any player that has won a major in the last 10 years. Sure, you’d get a washed up guy like Michael Campbell or Ben Curtis every so often, but that might give them a chance to knock off a smaller field and find their way again. You could also invite past ToC champions. I’m not trying to make this a major or more important, I just want to see stronger and deeper fields. I don’t think increasing the purse size is going to help unless you make it a winner-take-all type of event. That has potential. Win or go home with nothing. Make the winner’s share 6 million. Hmmm……..

After that I’m out of ideas. A long drive contest on a day when 18 is downwind would be fun. But the real fix is figuring out a way to get Tiger, Rory, and Phil to show up (Tiger and Phil need to be eligible first). That ship seems to have sailed unless they change the venue.

Most Importantly

Did you watch much of the ToC over the weekend? If so you probably saw that spot for the Hawaiian Islands featuring Mr. and Mrs. Dufner. Duf wasn’t in the field but he went on a hike with Amanda last year when he was in Maui. The tourism folks of Maui made an ad out of it. The entire clip is here.

Yes, she looks good. But pay close attention starting at the 3:25 mark when she starts jumping up and down. That part was not edited from the ad. In fact, to me it appeared to be the focal point used by some brilliant ad wizard to get us to pay attention to it. Well done sir.

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