The Shutters: Player Of The Year

And We’re Back

These commercial breaks keep getting longer and longer, don’t they? Next up (as you can clearly read by the title of this thread) is the Shutter for Player of the Year. I told you last year that my POTY award isn’t restricted to the PGA Tour. I’ll give this thing to anyone. Last year Inbee Park made my list of nominees. No chicks appear this year because Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson didn’t do enough outside of their single majors wins to get such a nod. While I don’t discriminate against other tours, you have to make a strong case to be nominated from them. Now, without further delay……

The Nominees Are

Billy Horschel – Similar to Henrik Stenson’s nomination in 2013, Billy Ho kicked ass and took names at the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs to end the season. Ten million dollars in September winnings is enough cash to result in a nomination for this Shutter, but does it make up for a shitty year otherwise?

Finishing the year 1, 1, T2 and getting the big prize makes for a strong argument. Doing that while your wife is home and about to explode with your first child strengthens that argument. Still, I do like to award consistency. Will his Fed Ex fun be enough for Billy to overcome his other shitty months and jump over other nominees with stronger cases? Wait and see.

Rory McIlroy - Give it to him, right? I know that’s what your thinking, but things are not always that obvious around SFG. Rory did only win 3 events this season. Two of them happen to be majors and the other is a marquee WGC event, but other than that…..yeah, complete shit (sarcasm). Even in the 14 events Rory played and didn’t win he finished in the top 10 nine times. That lead the tour. Yeah, you heard me.

NINE times. Remember what I said about consistency. And as with any type of competition, extra curricular and/or bonus points are always in the mind of the judges. Screw the Claret Jug and the Wanamaker. Rory had a great year on the course, but had a better year bagging sluts and cancelling weddings off it. You know what I’m talking about. No? Ok, first he bailed, then he nailed, then he Gale(d). Sorry, that was a bad one.

I think Gale is my favorite of the conquests. She looks like she’d let you do bad things to her, things that would make her father hate you (author shivers and lets mind wander). Does all that make Rory’s case for Player of the Year too strong for anyone else to match up? It sure looks that way.

Martin Kaymer - And you thought I said no chicks were nominated this year? I kid, I kid. I’m hard on Martin, but not in the same way his boyfriend is. (rim shot) In all seriousness, Martin’s 2014 was epic. He dominated the U.S. Open on Pinehurst like only a guy named Tiger did in a past life. And that was fresh off a victory at the Player’s Championship that was nothing to sneeze at.

I didn’t give Martin a Shutter for Round of the Year for either of his 65s at the U.S. Open, but the SFG readers weighed in and told me what they thought. Seems as though I was wrong. That result from you people should help Kaymer’s case for this POTY award. Where Martin’s year falls short is nearly everywhere outside of his two wins. He did only play 19 events and only finished in the top 10 twice besides his victories. That magic word again is ‘consistency’.

Bernhard Langer - Champions Tour, Shmampions Tour. Langer’s 2014 numbers are hard to ignore no matter what level of competition he’s facing. He won the Schwab Cup, he’s in the top 20 in almost every tracked statistic. He won 5 tournaments. He placed in the top 25 in 19 of the 20 events he played. Earned 17 top 10s out of 20 events. And finished 2nd four times. Fuck! He finished either 1 or 2 in almost half his starts!!!! I don’t think he’s human.

If you peeled back his skin, would there be a cyborg under there? Ironically, I’ve listed Langer right after Martin Kaymer. Kaymer considers Langer his mentor. Langer’s big wins and overall consistency are what get him the nod for a POTY nomination. Because he plays on the old guy circuit, you can be assured he likely won’t win the Shutter. However, the nomination shows you what I think of his 2014 performance. A+

And The Winner Is….

Did I miss someone? You bet your ass I did. I started with five potential nominees and obviously you can count that I only named 4 in this post. Who got the boot? Gerry “Bubba” Watson did. Watson of course won the Masters and the Northern Trust at Riviera. Those are impressive and winning a green jacket and a nearly anything else for the year should make you a nominee.

Bubba also nearly won in Phoenix in February before his win at the Riv. He should have won the Waste Management, but choked it away and blamed his caddie for his problems. That helped him win another Shutter, and if you’re my Whiny Bitch of the Year, that excludes you from winning POTY. Sorry Bubs.

So who’s the winner? Well, Martin Kaymer makes a great case, and Billy Ho finished strong, but clearly this can’t go to anyone but Rory McIlroy. Winning two majors and 3 starts in a row is an incredible stretch of golf. He may have lacked some consistency early in the year, but he made up for that from July to September. Then he blitzed Rickie Fowler at the Ryder Cup to win my award for the Round of the Year. That was icing on the cake.

Rors gets the SFG POTY award, do you agree? Time for a poll. I’m expecting to see 85% in Rory’s favor in this one. Was there another candidate I missed? Blow me up in the comments. Next up, the Shutter for Shot of the Year. A strong dark horse candidate has emerged to lead this category.

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Ta Ta Ted

More From The Duffer

As I mentioned in a recent post, from time to time I’ll be running some material here authored by Adam Fonseca, A.K.A. the Chicago Duffer. Adam had the following take on the PGA of America’s dismissal of President Ted Bishop. It’s worth a read.

TED BISHOP DID NOT GET FIRED FOR WHAT HE TWEETED

Ted BishopFormer President of the PGA of America Ted Bishop was removed from office on Friday following what can only be described as a mammoth lapse in common sense and common respect just one day prior (to put it lightly). While the resulting headlines all pointed to Bishop’s firing as a repercussion for calling Ian Poulter a ‘little girl’ on social media, anyone with half a brain should realize his most recent tribulation was merely the straw that broke the camel’s back.

No, Ted Bishop did not get fired for what he wrote on Facebook and Twitter. At least, it wasn’t the only reason.

Over the course of his two-year term as President of the PGA, Bishop has made multiple questionable decisions that would ultimately snowball into Friday’s pathetic demise. We need not look further than the last 12 months to find glaring examples of such decisions, highlighted by Bishop allowing for play to continue in the dark at the PGA Championship (a move that caused more than a little displeasure from Phil Mickelson and others) and choosing Tom Watson to captain a pitiful U.S. Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles (Phil didn’t like that, either).

Bishop’s poor choice of words via social media was all that the PGA Board of Directors needed to finally find a reason to get this guy out of office, albeit only a month before his term ended anyway.

Unfortunately for Bishop, his presidency will be remembered as much for the terms of his firing as what ultimately lead up to Friday’s decision over the course of two years. As Golf.com managing editor Eamon Lynch quipped about Bishop, “[he] often exhibited two traits that make for a combustible combination: a volatile personality and a fondness for media grandstanding, so the only surprise is that it took him so long to self-immolate.” In other words, there weren’t too many people who were surprised by what Bishop posted on Thursday. Ted’s gonna Ted.

I would be remiss to not at least mention the massive microscope under which all professional sports now reside due to multiple headlines for which Bishop is not responsible. The disgusting mistreatment and criminal abuse of women among a select few professional athletes has saturated the news reel, putting all organizations on high alert as a result. To say that Bishop’s ‘insult-of-choice’ couldn’t have come at a worse time would be putting it lightly. The PGA was left with no choice but to act swiftly in this matter, and they certainly did so.

But let’s call a spade a spade. Bishop was not fired only for what he wrote.

If I have learned anything over my decade of sports journalism, it is that social themes and hot topics influence organizational behavior to the extreme. Call it ‘maintaining good public relations’ or ‘damage control’ all you want; the fact is that the court of public opinion has a tight grip on our society. Obviously, this is not to suggest that abhorrent behavior should be excused in any way; but I can’t help but wonder how quickly “awareness” escalates into a “witch hunt” in some cases.

I’ve never met the man, but I am willing to bet that Ted Bishop is not a sexist. I’m also willing to wager that he feels absolutely awful and is legitimately remorseful for his choice of words (and not just because he got fired). Bishop is not a victim in any way, either. He made a massive mistake which was made worse by the world in which he lives and by a series of ill-informed decisions he made over the course of two years.

That being said, Ted Bishop should not be remembered for his mistakes. Nor should anyone.

——————-

Thanks, Adam. And while I don’t think I agree entirely with the media’s reaction to Ted’s comment, the end result was inevitable because Ted is a huge jackass. Those of you asking, “what does it matter because he was out in a month anyway?”, there’s more to it than that. Past PGA presidents receive a lot of perks. They’re considered Honorary Presidents. Bishop won’t have that status. He retains his status as a PGA member, he can go to events and vote, but nothing else. His firing is much like a dishonorable discharge from the military. With that I’m closing the book on Bishop, the topic isn’t worth my time and Adam pretty much nailed it.

Next up, the Shutter for Player of the Year. I don’t think this will be the landslide you think it should be. Stay tuned.

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The Current Fed Ex Points Leader Is Robert Streb: Final Thoughts On McGladrey Classic

You Forgot Golf Was On, Didn’t You? 

Go ahead, admit it. You were too busy wallowing over your team losing another (yawn) NFL game to remember that the big boys of the PGA Tour were playing on Sunday afternoon. That’s ok. October and the wrap around golf season can do that do you. Besides, that’s why you’re hear reading my bull shit anyway. We’ll get right to it then. This week the tour was in Georgia for the McGladrey Classic. Davis Love III played host and almost no player ranked in the top 50 in the world decided to show up. They were too busy watching football too, or playing in Australia, Europe, etc.

Sunday action opened looking like a horse race with the leaderboard running 8 ponies wide. Down the stretch the field narrowed to just three future tubes of glue with Brendon DeJonge, Robert Streb, and Will MacKenzie involved in a sudden death playoff. Streb finished early with a sizzling 63, but almost no one thought his 14 under total would hold up. Thanks to MacKenzie’s nerves and DeJonge’s 6 straight closing pars, -14 breezed right in to the playoff.

Streb was the best player on the course in the final round and he eventually notched his first win with the shot of his life on the 2nd playoff hole. As the Golf Channel noted, Streb never expected to be waiting around on Sunday for a playoff in the first place. He booked his flight home for the early evening Sunday hours and missed it while the tournament unfolded in front of him. Of course with the victory go all the spoils for Mr. Streb. On to the Masters, the PGA, the Players, and a host of other marquee events in the calendar year of 2015. Congrats on the victory, Robert.

Mrs. Streb 

If you watched you saw her run out and throw herself on her new millionaire hubby after his winning putt sunk. I was listening to this on the radio as I happened and hoped beyond hope that this description of a running wife meant a delicious new WAG to show to all you horn dogs. Instead…..well, you decide.

No, I’m not going to say a single mean thing about her. She’s cute, she’s just boring. There’s no shots of her out there showing off her sweater meat. Her Pinterest profile is typical newlywed chick shit. She’s boring. Why does this matter? It fucking matters because October is ending soon and I don’t have many good candidates for WAG of the Month! I was hoping for a sure thing from the winner this week. I feel lost.

The Field

Brenden DeJonge’s career is starting to be very similar to that of Tim Clark. They kind of swing the same too and they’re from a similar part of the world. You might have forgotten this, but Tim Clark had about 10 runner up finishes or more before he got his first win. DeJonge doesn’t have that kind of record (of failure) yet, but he’s getting there. He’s often leading or in the top 5 players on the tour each year in the statistic for ‘Birdies Made’, but he hasn’t found the winner’s circle? That’s a strange combo. And if you make that many birides, and you’re playing a course under somewhat benign conditions like you were today in Sea Island, shouldn’t you make at least one down the stretch when the tourney is on the line? Yes you fucking should. BD will have his day, and he might have today, if not for Streb’s heroics.

Formerly known as the guy who’s wife got fucked by Dustin Johnson, Will MacKenzie was the third wheel in the McGladrey Classic Playoff. If you ask me, this should have been Will’s tourney to lose. And that’s exactly what he did. MacKenzie looked the most nervous of the 3 in the playoff over the last 9+ holes (including playoff). Through much of the round he was hitting almost every green and fairway with a balanced and efficient looking swing.

As he played the last 4 holes, MacKenzie started missing right and this lead to him making par at the easy par five 15th, as well as a bogey as 16. Will did right the ship with a gutsy birdie at the 17th and gritty par at the 18th to sneak into the playoff. Then he promptly made bogey on the first playoff hole, with the same leaky right miss on his two full swings. He looked like a guy that hadn’t felt the heat of being in contention on a big stage in a few years. How he rebounds from this the next time he tees it up will tell us more of what he’s made of. He’s always had the talent, but the once can’t miss kid is now 40 and still can’t break through.

When I said earlier that the final round at the MacGladrey started like a horse race, I was eyeballing Russell Henley as the favorite to pull away and win. He was the only horse in the race with a (recent) strong track record. Ok, defending champ Chris Kirk was up there too, but he fell back early. Russ never got anything going, but he was sporting one of the weirdest beards I’ve ever seen on a professional athlete. Take a peak:

That’s not from Sunday, you’ll have to trust me when I say that it was much worse by the final round. It is funny looking on RH because he’s got that Snedeker-esque baby face with the light blond hair. Growing a beard is an uphill battle for guys like that. But hey, Russ probably pulls mad pussy with it, so what the fuck do I know?

Shot Of The Day

This one is too obvious, but when the winner sticks one like Streb did on a playoff hole and that gets him a win, that’s the shot of the day.

You got a big pair of balls on you young fella. Welcome to the select club of players that have actually won on the PGA Tour.

 

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The Shutters: Golf’s Whiny Bitch Of The Year

Won’t Stop, Can’t Stop

Back to the show, again…..finally. This week’s SFG award post is for the Whiny Bitch of the Year for 2014. If you’re nominated for the award, you’ve likely done or said something stupid and deserve the nod. Sadly, I only pick one ‘winner’ for it. As with all the Shutters, anyone and everyone that has anything to do with golf is eligible. Last year’s winner was Vijay Singh, and he took home the honor going up against a strong field of Phil Mickelson (tax comments), Sergio (fried chicken comment), and Brandel Chamblee (Tiger Woods comment). Without further adieu, here are the 2014 choices.

The Nominees Are…..

Ian James Poulter, PGA Tour Player – As long as I write this blog and as long as I give out awards like this, IJP will be nominated for it in Ryder Cup years. Poults is the epitome of a guy who’s mouth writes checks his game can’t cash. He blabs on Twitter about winning the Ryder Cup, but then when his followers point out that he has no actual hardware in his own trophy case he goes nuts. He can’t defend his record (or lack thereof) anymore, and his Ryder Cup showing this year was pretty forgetful in itself. What did he do to help the team? Nothing. Poulter had a shit 2014 to boot, but he freely admits that.

The main reason he’s nominated is for the dust up he started with Hideki Matsuyama at Doral over a reported damaged green. Remember that?

IJP talked all kinds of shit about HM after the incident even though he never really saw it. Then when footage of the incident did surface we all realized that Ian was being the drama queen he loves to be. Of course his threat to Matsuyama was as empty as his trophy case.

And just when the thought your 2014 was going to end without more Poulter bullshit, he’s now released a biography that is available for purchase at all major book retail sites. What the fuck? Shouldn’t you matter more to your profession before you have a book deal?

No one has got more mileage out of three magical days as Medinah than IJP has. He’s won 1 tournament in the last 4 years and has never won a stroke play event on American soil. It is put up or shut up time, Mr. Poulter. I vote for ‘shut up’.

Caroline Wozniacki, Tennis Tour Pro and Former Fiance of Rory McIlroy - Maybe I’m too hard on Caroline. Okay, I know I am. But any chick that gets dumped and wants to be as public about some of the break up’s aspects as Ms. W. has needs to be nominated for an award like this. First off, if you ask me, she deserved to get dropped like a hand grenade the second she died her hair pink at the Masters. The way she got dumped, I mean, having her future nuptials cancelled…..over the phone? Harsh stuff, but I don’t think she should have taken to Twitter, talk shows, and other media to air the dirty laundry.

She was looking for sympathy, and she isn’t getting any from me. The whiny-ness of her behavior made her a strong candidate, but then she took some shots at Rors, his height, and (supposedly) tried to curse him. Bat. Shit. Crazy. And a sure way to find yourself on the SFG nominee list for this dreaded award.

Gerry “Bubba” Watson, current Masters Champion - Bubba won the Masters, and if he did nothing but miss the cut in every other tournament and go home quietly you’d still say he had a great year. But that’s now how Gerry Watson works. Gerry bitched and complained to caddie Ted Scott and even blamed him for some troubles in Phoenix this year when things didn’t go his way. Wayward shots, not my fault, I didn’t hit them! Decelerate on the putt and make a fidgety stroke, #blameted. All should have been forgiven after he took his 2nd green jacket in April, but that seemed to only make his behavior more bizarre.

He complained about Sawgrass like he does every year. He complained about the U.S. Open like he does every year. Then he got to the PGA and lost his fucking mind. The rain, the rain in which every other player in the field is playing in, made him lose his shit. The audio on the vine above says it all. Once the media started making a bigger issue of Bubba’s antics he went to Twitter to apologize but that was too little, too late in my opinion. Those who follow the tour closely already knew what Bubba was. Now he’s been exposed to the masses. It will be interesting to see how he tries to rehab his reputation in 2015, if he attempts to do so at all.

Phil Mickelson, PGA Tour Superstar – Huh? Say what? That’s probably what you’re thinking after seeing Phil nominated. FIGJAM stayed out of the headlines for most of 2014 after sticking his foot in his mouth plenty of times in 2013. Then, just when things seemed clear and calm for Bitch Tits, the Ryder Cup happened and Tom Watson sat him down for the entire 36 holes of Saturday. That was an obvious mistake by the Captain. Phil had every right to be pissed. His opinion on the matter and how Watson captained the team was/is dead on. They way he aired his opinion is what makes him a nominee to take the Whiny Bitch award.

Phil could have said what he said only to the PGA of America brass that matters. He’d still be on the task force that has been assembled and he wouldn’t have caused a riff or thrown his captain under the bus like he did. There was no reason to say what he said when he said it other than to make Watson look foolish. There was malice there. While we love it when Phil speaks his mind, this wasn’t the time or place for it, and it’s the one reason he’s featured in this post right now.

And The Winner Is……

This one is tough. I’d love to give it right to Ian Poulter and drop the mic, but this isn’t an open and shut case. Poulter deserves it because he’s so god damn annoying. His biography lifts him above all the other candidates, but I think there’s a nominee with a stronger case. Phil, no….he’s not getting this award for his bad timing. Caroline? Nope. She’s been kicked enough this year. I’m giving the Shutter for Golf’s Whiny Bitch of the Year to Gerry “Bubba” Watson.

Watson’s case takes the cake because not only was he a whiny bitch almost all year, but he did so as a hypocrite to the highest degree. He’s churchy and gives credit to god for everything, then curses and swears and blames others for all of his faults. He rarely takes responsibility for his mistakes and poor play. He’s losing fans by the truck load because of this shit. Now he’s the SFG Whiny Bitch of the Year. Congrats(?) Bubs.

What do you think? Did I overlook someone, should Poulter have won instead of Bubba?Per usual, your chance to disagree with me is now. Hit the poll or leave a comment, or both.

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Vegas Virgin, Martin Snags First Title: Final Thoughts On Shriners

From Outhouse To Penthouse

Last week at the Frys.com Open in Napa Valley, journeyman Ben Martin missed the cut by more than a dozen shots and barely broke 80 in his Thursday and Friday rounds. A week can be a big difference on the PGA Tour, because somewhere between Napa and Vegas Martin found a swing that can win a golf tournament.

As that tweet says, through 54 holes Martin was 30 shots better versus par than his prior week. Yes, the track in Vegas is a bit easier, but golf is such a mental game that going from playing like shit to being ‘in the zone’ is a complete shift in your thinking. Perhaps he got a lesson and a brain transplant.

After playing well this week Martin had to sleep on his first 54 hole lead in Vegas of all places, where they pump oxygen into your hotel room to keep you awake so you can gamble. That couldn’t have been fun. I feel like a meth addict when I try to sleep in Vegas. Maybe Ben did too as he clearly fought through an early round malaise with a strange calmness to close his first win.

As I noted in a tweet, Martin was even par for his round when he walked off the 14th green. He hadn’t made a birdie since the 2nd hole. I thought he was cooked and shooting a round in the 70s as a 54 hole leader won’t get the job done most weeks on tour. Plus, there were several tour players like Webb Simpson, Kevin Streelman, and Jimmy Walker, who’ve all won in the last year, trying to run him down and take his 1st win away.  Martin took his driver out at the short par four 15th and….well….got lucky. He said to his caddie that he necked it (hit on the heel a bit) and asked for the ball to get up. It did and landed in the fairway just short of the green and rolled out to be pin high. His 2 putt birdie was the confidence boost he needed to get his head back in the game.

With Streelman pouring in birds all over the place, Martin had to do something to keep up and catch up. Streels made birdie on 17 and was sitting in the 18th fairway with a short wedge shot to the green. Martin hit the par five 16th in two and faced a long eagle putt. From 46 feet away he fucking drilled it to retake the lead. Streelman heard the roar and he had to be stunned, although he appeared un-phased, he then missed his short birdie putt. From there Martin cruised to victory and spiked the ball after he crossed the goal line by sinking his birdie putt at the 72nd hole when he only needed to two putt to win.

The Field

Jimmy Walker shot a 3rd round 62 to get into contention on Sunday, but his 69 in the final round wasn’t enough to make up any ground on Martin. Still, Walker is showing signs of life this fall. He played great at the Ryder Cup and looks to be close to winning again, soon. Webb Simpson must love Vegas. The defending champ of the Shriners has played like shit for some time now, but looked pretty good this week until some questionable decisions down the stretch that ensured that he wouldn’t retain his title.

Outside of Martin, Streelman was the only other true man of the moment on Sunday. As TGC’s Jason Sobel pointed out above, Streelman’s pursuit of Martin in Vegas was eerily similar to what he did in Hartford at the end of June. Streels was 5 under over his last 6 holes. He was fun to watch, sticking irons, bombing drives, and making putts. I thought he had the tourney wrapped up when he stiffed his approach at 18. He’ll be thinking about that missed putt for a while. I have no doubt the roar of Martin’s eagle putt behind him added pressure and helped cause the miss.

Streelman is a good guy. Everybody likes him and vice versa. But I wonder what he was thinking as Martin surveyed his putt at the 18th. A 3 putt would have putt Kevin in a playoff. There’s no way he was rooting for that to happen, but what are you thinking when you need the other guy to fail for you to succeed? I’d love for a tour pro to speak the truth about something like this.

Winner’s WAG

You fuckers saw Mrs. Martin embrace her hubby after he cashed in for a million bucks. When it looked like Ben had the tourney locked up I went to the Google machine to see what turned up for her. What I found out is the Martin’s met at Clemson and have been married about a year and a half. Here’s the Mrs. for your viewing pleasure:

Kelly-Pearce-Martin-Bio

Definite girl next door look.

kpm

She’s in the black and red, hard to judge her cans there.

kpm2

The happy couple. Hey, that’s all I’ve got. It’s not like she’s out on Instagram showing her tits like some of these broads. They did register for their wedding at William Sonoma. Feel free to send them something if you’re that generous.

Not Enough T&A? 

Mrs. Martin didn’t show us much. Thank god the organizers of the Shriners are forward thinking and took care of that problem for us (unknowingly). You see, there is a sort of fad going on in pro sports that involves creating a viewing area within a stadium where fans can watch the action from a pool. This started in the late 90s with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Lately, NFL teams are following this trend. In Vegas this week, the Shriners did the same.

Ahhhh Vegas. That seems just about right. And I suppose that could be done in Scottsdale next February too. Why not? Just don’t expect to see that at the John Deere or Arnie’s Invitational.

Shot of the Day

This one is easy. Ben Martin’s eagle putt at the 16th hole on Sunday was simply perfect. Eagles are big, and they’re obviously even bigger when they move you from 1 behind to 1 ahead. Then figure in the timeliness of it and the length and you’ve got the Shot of the Day.

Next up? Back to the Shutters for the Whiny Bitch of the Year award. Stay tuned.

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Is Horse Face Fucking Thunder Bear?

Two Nike Athletes, One Bitter Girl

In more celeb-athlete hook up news, rumors are circling that Rory’s ex-fiance, Caroline Wozniacki, might be hooking up with Euro golfer Thorbjiorn Olesen. This post from the Chicago Duffer, Adam Fonseca, has the full speculation.

IS CAROLINE WOZNIACKI DATING ANOTHER NIKE ATHLETE? 

It might not be anything other than a close-knit friendship, but it looks like Caroline Wozniacki has been spending some up-close-and-personal time with another Nike Golf athlete: Thorbjorn Olesen.

Wozniacki — best known for her triumphs on the tennis court and as the former fiance of Rory McIlroy — posted a Twitter photo of herand Olesen laying down in what appears to be a boxing ring. As you’ll see by the tweet, Wozniacki asked her Twitter followers to guess “who came out on top.”

caroline wozniacki olesen tweet

 

Again; I’m not sayin’…. I’m just sayin’.

To be fair to both Olesen and Wozniacki, the commonalities the two athletes share are more than enough to spark a budding friendship: both are from Denmark, both work out like crazy people, and both have sporting schedules that mold well together. There’s likely nothing to see here; move along.

But then again, it wouldn’t be the weirdest thing in the world for these two crazy kids to start something a little more exclusive. After all, McIlroy has been rumored to have re-entered the dating pool as of late.

——————–

Thanks, Adam.

Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamFonsecaGolf.

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Poulter Leaving Puma/Cobra, As Told By Adam Fonseca

More Content For You

Friend of SFG, the Chicago Duffer – Adam Fonseca, has his own website and perhaps you frequent it like you do my shit hole here. If not, you’re going to start getting some cross over posts from Adam on this site. You might get some of mine over there if he wants to slum his place up with my drivel. Here’s the first contribution to ShutFaceGolf from the Duffer in which Adam discusses Ian Poulter moving on from his Cobra/Puma deal:

Adam can be read at ChicagoDuffer.com and followed on Twitter @AdamFonsecaGolf.

IAN POULTER LEAVES COBRA-PUMA GOLF

In a somewhat surprising move, European Tour/PGA Tour star Ian Poulter has announced on Twitter that he is no longer sponsored by equipment brand COBRA-PUMA Golf.

Ian Poulter Leaves Cobra

Poulter didn’t have the greatest season in 2014, recording his highest finish on the PGA Tour (2nd) at the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament way back in November 2013. He also missed the cut four times throughout the year, which includes an abysmal performance at The Open Championship last July.

Where Poulter will land next is anybody’s guess. According to GolfWRX, the Brit recently filmed a commercial promoting Titleist’s golf balls, which indicates he will not choose a new sponsor that would require him to make a change to his ball. Of course, there are plenty of players who have a “mixed bag” of sorts when it comes to equipment sponsorships, especially when Titleist golf balls are in the conversation.

Which company do you think would be the best fit for Ian Poulter’s new sponsor?

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The Shutters: Round Of The Year

A Round And A Round We Go

Back from our first commercial break, the year end awards show at SFG.com continues. Next up, as you can see by the title, is the award for the Round of the Year. While this year includes only nominees from professional events sanctioned by the PGA Tour, the category is wide open to anyone. As you may recall, last year I nominated a mini-tour buckeroo from Kentucky that shot a 56 while playing with his pals. Fuck, if I ever post a number good enough to qualfity for the U.S. Mid-Am I’ll nominate myself.

Before we get to the nominees, I’ll allow the winner of the last award to complete their acceptance speech. The fellas at No Laying Up were over come by emotion, as you can tell:

Now, on to the Round of the Year.

The Nominees Are…… 

Kevin Sutherland, 2nd Round of Dicks Sporting Goods Open/En-Joie Golf Club/Endicott, NY – Having only one regular tour win in your career before you join the Champion’s Tour isn’t a bad thing if you also have $15 million dollars in career earnings. Once you start playing against the old men you’re likely to start adding to that total. Kevin Sutherland wasted no time in trying to do just that this year on the Senior Circuit. He shot a scorching 59 in his Saturday round at the Dicks in upstate New York to vault up the leaderboard and into contention. Like Jim Furyk’s 59 last year, Kevin’s magic number also included a bogey. He could have shot 58!

Unfortunately for Kevin he backed that round up with a very average one in the final round and didn’t win. Bummer. That and the bogey will hurt your chances just a bit in this category.

Martin Kaymer, 2nd Round of U.S. Open/ Pinehurst No. 2/Pinehurst, NC - Martin Kaymer shot 65-65 to lap the field heading in to the weekend at America’s Championship. You could pick either of those rounds as a nominee in this category. The 1st round is probably better in relation to how it compares to the rest of the field. However, the stats from the 2nd round are hard to overlook so I’ll stick with it. He hit 12 of 14 fairways and then hit 15 of Ross’ fabled table top greens. He didn’t make a single bogey to offset his 5 birdies. MKOpenRnd2

That’s filthy. Martin’s didn’t have much competition at the U.S. Open thanks to rounds like that. His problem in getting this award might be the competition he gets from…… himself??

Martin Kaymer – Round 1 Players Championship/TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course/Ponte Vedra Beach, FL - Rounds like this are a big reason why Kaymer’s 2014 season was so special. Taming Pinehurst and Sawgrass like he did is ridiculous. I doubt Martin had any idea this round would end up ‘special’ when he made the turn from the back nine (started on 10) to the front nine on Thursday at the Players. Then he came home in 29 shots to set the front nine record and tie the course record at 9 under par.

Of course Martin went on to win the Players thanks to a par putt that will be nominated for a Shutter for Shot of the Year (foreshadowing!!!), but this round set the tone for his big win, and it might have also set the tone for what happened a month later at Pinehurst.

Rory McIlroy – Ryder Cup Singles Match/Centenary Golf Course at Gleneagles/Perthshire, Scotland - Because of the format, there’s no number on this round from Rory to gauge it against his fellow nominees. What he was asked to do by his captain was go out early and dominate, put blue on the board, give the team confidence, and earn a point at all costs. Oh yeah, and do it as the number 1 player in the world against an American that has had one of the best years ever in major championships across the board. No problem, at least not for McIlroy.

Getting off to a fast start in match play is usually a good idea. Rors put his singles match against Rickie Fowler away quickly by being 6 under par through the first 6 holes. He made 7 birdies and an eagle for his match that ended after the 14th hole in a 5 &4 prison-sexing of Rickie. Obviously that’s exceptional, but to do it at the Ryder Cup in front of the home crowd, that only adds to the legend of McIlroy’s 2014.

And The Winner Is……

Whew. This is a tough one. There’s no clear cut favorite, in my opinion. Kaymer’s play in the two rounds he’s nominated for was exceptional, but an opening round 63 on a calm day at Sawgrass loses some luster when others in the field weren’t too far off his mark. I’d like to give the Shutter to Sutherland because his 59 is the only one in the history of the Old Guy Tour. Then I see that bogey on the card and realize he kind of choked on the 58 and stumbled into his 59. That leaves Rory at the Ryder Cup. Can you give an award for the Round of the Year to a round that only included 14 holes?  You bet your ass. And there you have it. The Shutter for Round of the Year goes to Rory’s singles match v. Rickie Fowler at the Ryder Cup.

Did I fuck that up? I don’t think so, but here is your chance to tell me. A comment below will do just fine. If you simply disagree, hit up the poll for a chance to be heard. Did I forget someone’s stroke of genius? Go ahead and write them in.

Next on the docket is everyone’s favorite Shutter: Golf’s Whiny Bitch of the Year.

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Task Force Schmask Force – Play Better If You Want To Win A Ryder Cup

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

By now you’ve likely heard that the PGA of America is assembling an 11 man task force to figure out how to get the Ryder Cup back in the hands of Team U.S.A. The group includes Steve Striker, Davis Love, Jim Furyk, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ray Floyd, Rickie Fowler, and the top 3 dip shits from the PGA. This group will address strategy, how the team is selected and when the captain’s picks are made. You need a fucking task force for that?

What needs to be done is to go back to the Paul Azinger method of using pods for the players, to having four captain’s picks, and moving at least two of those picks to being made after the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs are complete. Then make sure the players have some skin in the game, give them ownership of the pairings, how much they play, and with whom …..poof. You’re done. This shit is fixed. And the boys in red, white, and blue play their asses off and are next seen partying at Hazeltine in 2016 with the Ryder Cup on Sunday night.

What the PGA has done here is an over-reaction to losing a 3rd straight Ryder Cups. This is Ted Bishop’s ego fellating itself. If you want so badly to put your finger prints on Team USA victories in your term as the PGA’s prez, why didn’t you follow Zinger’s road map to victory in the first place? This makes the Team USA stakeholders look like they didn’t have a plan in the first place. Or worse. It proves they had no plan. The PGA brass simply let points be accumulated and stuck their thumbs up their asses by selecting a senile captain and allowed him make ‘safe’ and cliche picks. They got what they deserved.

Eleven Losers 

What makes the task force idea worse is that they’ve picked 3 former losing captains and 3 of the all-time losing-est players to be a part of it. Is that irony or intentional? I suppose the ‘learn from your mistakes’ strategy could hold some water. Phil, Furyk, and Tiger have more losses in the history of the event than any other 3 participants you can name. Lehman, Love, and Floyd were all players that won matches in spades, but lost their asses when it was their turn to captain. Stricker was a vice captain this year, and is a strong candidate for the captain job in 2016 and perhaps even more so in 2020 when his home state of Wisconsin hosts the matches.

What, Corey Pavin wasn’t available? The task force member that I least understand is Rickie Fowler. Rick has been on two losing teams, so he has the ‘pedigree’ to be on this sad sack task force, but he’s not even a lock to make the next team. Why is he on it? Having these guys provide ideas on how to fix the Ryder Cup is akin to asking long term politicians to fix Congress. Their Ryder Cup records show results that no one can argue with. Getting them all to agree on something will be even more difficult, and getting them in the same room at the same time might require its own task force.

My hope is that having Tiger and Phil on this will result in one obvious conclusion, that being, Fred Couples as the next captain. Fred has won Presidents Cups and it is clear as seeing Phil’s nipples through his shirt that the players respond to his methods, or lack there of. His laid back nature would be a breath of fresh air for the uber intense Ryder Cup unlike this year in which Captain Tom Watson yelled at and scolded his team. Get Fred on board, at a home game, get another win…..and then go right back down the loser road when you give 2018 to Furyk and 2020 to Stricker. It should be that easy, right? Not exactly. No matter what the task force comes up with, the obvious answer for what needs to happen for the Americans to win again is for them to play better. That is far more likely to occur with the solutions I’ve laid out above than it is thanks to anything Ted Bishop does. No offense, Ted.

Lee Is Flattered, But His Trophy Case Is Empty

The news of the task force being created spread fast, and the stalwart members of team Europe didn’t waste the opportunity to provide instant reactions. Lee Westwood took things to another level.

And why shouldn’t he say that? The Euros have 5 guys that get together every so often to talk about such issues on their side of this fight. They don’t over analyze, they don’t find every player that’s ever lost a match to give them more bad ideas, and they don’t try to fix what isn’t broken. The Euros have won enough cups for the last 15 years to earn their gloating.

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They even found a way to shut Patrick Reed up this week at the World Match Play. Is it too late to add them to the task force?

 

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Bae Wins In Bay Area: Final Thoughts On Frys

The Shortest Off-Season In Sports Is Over

That’s right, golf’s off-season is over and the boys of the PGA Tour were back in action this week in Napa Valley at the Frys.com Open. Sang-Moon Bae entered the final round at 16 under with a huge lead. He played great through 3 rounds and put the cruise control on in the final round to ease into what ended up being a 2 shot victory. For Bae, this was one of those weeks in which a world class player could summon his many talents to outclass the field. While dominant and back in the winner’s circle, his great play makes you wonder, where the fuck has he been?

Bae won the Byron Nelson Invitational in 2013 and hasn’t had a top ten finish since. If you’re scoring at home, that’s 36 tournaments played in which he didn’t finish better than 12th place. On the Golf Channel telecast today the Terry Gannon and Roger Maltbie discussed this issue with Johnny Miller and Miller noted that several guys take a mental vacation right after they win. I think he’s on to something here. Once you win you get exemptions into any event you want and don’t have to worry about your card for 2 years. I think it is only natural for a player to let up on the gas after their virgin victory.

2014-2015 could be different for Bae. Now he knows he belongs and he’ll have a 2nd victory in his back pocket going forward. He might just stay hot and win again soon like Jimmy Walker did last year, or Patrick Reed. We know he has the talent, now he’s playing with house money.

The Field

At one point in the final round Bae had a putt for birdie that would have resulted in a 7 shot lead. After making 3 bogies out of 4 holes in the middle of his back nine, Bae saw his lead dwindle down to 3 when Hunter Mahan pulled off the Shot of the Day.

That makes up for also having the Shit Shot of the Week. Mahan double hit his chip from the fairway in round 1 on Thursday to remind us all of his failure at the 2010 Ryder Cup and why he hasn’t won a major.

Now, back to his eagle for a second. Having closed the gap with that shot, Mahan went on to bogey the 15th hole, par the downwind par five 18th, and barely held his ground in the top 5 in doing so. Outside of one good week in New Jersey this year, that seems to be Hunter’s M.O. It starts with his short game, which cost him big again today.

The rest of the field didn’t put up much of a fight to take down Bae either. Conditions were tough thanks to the firm ground and gusts of wind. Kuchar, Koepka, Laird, and others simply could string together enough birdies to mount a charge.

Lyle Livin’ Large

One player that did show some fight at the Frys, albeit for other reasons, was Jarrod Lyle. As you might know, the Frys was Lyle’s first official event back after beating cancer. Jarrod had to Monday qualify this week to get into the field thanks to having limited status on the tour. The tournament staff of the Frys denied his request for a sponsors exemption. That seems shitty, doesn’t it? So he showed up Monday determined to stick that snub up their ass. He survived a playoff and then then stuck around for the weekend to make a decent check.

Lyle took nearly 2 years off to fight leukemia for the 2nd time in his life. Because of his story, beating the disease again, and his limited status on the tour, I think you’re going to see plenty coverage of Mr. Lyle’s plight over the next 6 to 9 months. And why wouldn’t you? Shit like that is a feel good story for everyone. Let’s hope the big Aussie stays healthy and plays well in this wrap-around PGA Tour season. Good luck, mate.

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