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News & Tours

Michelle Wie says she's pumped after watching the Women's World Cup

LANCASTER, Pa. -- Even athletes get pumped when they watch other athletes. Michelle Wie, who is defending her U.S. Women's Open title this week, says she and a few of her 2015 Solheim Cup teammates traded texts during the Women's World Cup final match on Sunday night. 

Photo by Hunter Martin/USGA

"It was pretty amazing," said Wie, 25, during a Tuesday morning press conference. "Scoring two goals in the first 17 minutes, that was incredible. We had a couple of group texts going with our Solheim team...We definitely looked to them for inspiration and motivation. It gave me goose bumps."

Wie, who's been dealing with ankle and hip injuries, has yet to win in 2015. She withdrew from the ShopRite LPGA Classic in May (bursitis in her left hip was the culprit) and has missed two of three cuts since making her return. Wie admitted it's been a "tough year" and that she has been "struggling with a couple of injuries and illnesses," but she says every day "feels better than the day before." And she's feeding off the high energy at Lancaster Country Club.

"I've heard that we've already broken the ticket sales from this year," Wie said. "I was amazed by how many people came out to watch yesterday. It's the most people I've ever seen on a golf course on a Monday of a tournament. It's pretty exciting."


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News & Tours

PGA of America becomes first big stakeholder to dump Trump course from hosting an event

Know a course interested in hosting four high-profile tour pros in October for a couple days of mildly competitive golf? You might try giving officials at the PGA of America a call as they look for a new place to play the 2015 PGA Grand Slam of Golf.

And don't mention Donald Trump as a reference.

The PGA of America announced Tuesday that it will not be holding the 2015 event at Trump National Golf Club - Los Angeles as previously scheduled. The course had been named the site of the two-day competition, which annually pits the winners of the year's four major championships, in March. The event had been held the past seven years in Bermuda.

The decision to change venues comes in the wake of inflammatory comments made by Trump, who owns the course, regarding Mexican immigrants when announcing his 2016 presidential bid last month. Golf's connections to Trump were called into question as other businesses associated with the real estate mogul announced they were distancing themselves from him if not cutting ties altogether.

The PGA of America, along with the USGA, PGA Tour and LPGA, had already come out condemning Trump's comments in a release issued last week. All four stakeholders have events held at Trump-owned courses. The PGA of America, however, is the first to go so far as to remove an event from a Trump course.

Related: Courses that can replace Trump venues to host tour events

In a two-sentence release, the association said that both parties mutually agreed to moving the event. No replacement site was announced, with the PGA of America saying it was exploring options.

The PGA of America will also not be playing the 2015 PGA Junior League Golf Championship at Trump National L.A., which was also to be part of the October event.


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The Grind

Rory's soccer mishap, Tiger's stunning stat, Jimenez's Wimbledon nap, and DJ-Paulina's Fourth fireworks

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we believe playing any sport other than golf when you're over the age of 25 is reckless (unless you are a pro in that other sport). Yeah, yeah, I'm an old man, but retiring from basketball at 23 has ensured I wouldn't miss playing any golf due to an injury. Well, except the time I threw out my back hitting too many practice putts. . . And the other time I threw out my back picking up my golf bag too quickly. . . Yeah, yeah, I'm pathetic, but imagine how many more times I would have gotten hurt if I still played a pick-up game from time to time? I feel bad for Rory McIlroy, but he could have been more careful. Soccer is a dangerous sport!

Be careful out there, folks. Missing golf due to an injury is a terrible thing. Now let's move on before I strain my neck staring at that clip. . .


Danny Lee: The 24-year-old New Zealander made pretty quick work of a four-man playoff at the Greenbrier, birdieing the first extra hole and parring the second. What took a lot longer was Lee, who became the youngest U.S. Amateur champ in 2008, finally winning his first PGA Tour title. Odds are, it won't be his last.

Jim Justice: The Greenbrier owner has done a tremendous job of gaining exposure for his event by getting golfers like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to play in the tournament and getting a guy like Shaq to play participate in the pro-am. And how about the 18th hole promotion? Justice personally handed out nearly $200,000 in cash because of aces by George McNeill and Justin Thomas, and was ready to hand out a lot more if there had been a third hole-in-one on the finishing hole. The guy is a gentle giant. He doesn't even look that odd standing next to Shaq:


Tiger's irons: It's sad that the 14-time major champ has fallen so far we're now getting excited about him finishing T-32 in second-tier events. But there were some serious signs of him turning things around. Really! At least, with his iron play. Woods posted the best proximity mark (23'-11") of his career -- at least, since 2003 when that became an official stat -- and also led the field in strokes gained on his approach shots. The bad news is Woods' iron play was great under Sean Foley as well and, well, you know. But hey, talking about him leading in any stat is a lot better than talking about him being unable to break 80.

Photos: Meet the WAGs of the PGA Tour

Robert Streb's wedge: After damaging his putter tossing it to his caddie on Sunday, Streb was forced to putt with his 56-degree sand wedge on the back nine. He responded by making five birdies (one from 27 feet) and three-putting just once. We know what you're thinking. Here's an instructional article on how to putt with your wedge. Read it at your own risk.


Rory's Open chances: McIlroy's ankle injury is a total bummer. For everyone. Even if Jordan Spieth wins a third major to start the season, he'll face inevitable (unfair) questions about doing it thanks to Rory's injury. And of course, golf fans wanted to see McIlroy defend his Open title and get another crack at St. Andrews after his 63-80-69-68 performance at age 21 in 2010. We'd love to see him topple the Old Course in a walking boot, but there's probably a better chance of Tiger shooting 19 under there and winning by eight shots again.


Kevin Kisner's playoff record: Incredibly, Kisner has lost three playoffs in the past 11 weeks. He is the only active PGA Tour player to lose three tournaments in extra holes in a single season and the first to do so since Horton Smith in 1937. Coincidentally, we hear he's terrible at the card game War and at flipping coins. Hang in there, Kiz. Your luck is bound to change.

Related: Get to know your British Open courses

Shaq's golf swing: The Big Daddy/Aristotle/Cactus/Diesel provided two big whiffs on his opening tee shot at the Greenbrier Pro-Am. Here's a look at his swing that rivals his free-throw stroke in terms of aesthetics:

But Shaq still provided big entertainment. Here he is showing playing partner Keegan Bradley how to shoot a free throw on the golf course.

"I make them when I need them," Shaq joked. Regardless of his golf game, this week proved a pro-am with Shaq is a lot better than a pro-am without him.


The PGA Tour heads to Illinois for the John Deere Classic, aka that event that takes place before the British Open and where Jordan Spieth holed that bunker shot to help him win his first tour title.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Random tournament fact: Speaking of Spieth, in case you didn't hear, he's playing this week. That's right, Spieth is going to try to do the unthinkable by playing some golf and then flying on a chartered jet and only having three days to prepare for playing some more golf. Can he do it?!


-- Shaq will qualify for the Champions Tour when he turns 50: 1 MILLION-to-1 odds

-- Adam Scott will turn to putting with a wedge once the anchoring ban kicks in: 10-to-1 odds

-- People will spend way too much time talking about Jordan Spieth's schedule: LOCK


We now know golf's Most Interesting Man in the World needs his sleep like the rest of us. Apparently, Miguel Angel Jimenez doesn't nap often, but when he does, he dresses in a suit and attends Wimbledon:


For some reason, a Fox News anchor called Rory McIlroy a "leprechaun" and said she "can't stand him." Talk about adding insult to injury!


"It was just amazing. It's phenomenal. It's my fourth time playing here, and I liked it every single year. Only one wish I had was if I had a girlfriend, it wouldn't be as lonely in the room." -- Danny Lee. Hang in there, Danny. That check for $1.2 million certainly won't hurt. For now, though, maybe look away from the following photos. . .


How about Alexis Randock beating boyfriend Rickie Fowler at a game of closest to the pin:

Of course, the lovely couple provided other photos from their Fourth of July getaway to Baker's Bay:

each day with you is the best day💙

A photo posted by Alexis Randock (@alexis.randock) on

Aww, so sweet -- especially the matching Red Bull hats!


My pro am partner at the #Greenbrier was very tallll. Had a blast today with @shaq.

A photo posted by Keegan Bradley (@keeganbradley1) on

"Bennifer" may be done, but "Jilligan" and "Ralexis" are going strong in the world of celebrity golf couples. And not to be outdone. . .


✿🇺🇿 @djohnsonpga

A photo posted by Paulina Gretzky (@paulinagretzky) on

Happy belated Fourth of July, everyone!



ESPN is moving its ESPY charity golf outing from Trump National (L.A.) to Pelican Hill. That's not exactly the PGA Tour moving the Cadillac Championship from Doral, but it's a step in the right direction. . . . Speaking of race issues, Bubba Watson will paint an American flag over the Confederate flag on his General Lee car. Good of Bubba to save his sponsors a few headaches. . . . Bernd Weisberger shot a Sunday 65 to win the French Open for his third European Tour title. You may remember him as "that other guy" contending at last year's PGA Championship at Valhalla. . . . Former NBA star Allan Houston's beautiful Armonk, N.Y., mansion that includes a sick golf practice area in the backyard can be yours for (just) under $20 million! I'm actually looking for a house in the same area, but that property tax of $180,000(!) is just a little too steep. . . . A beloved fake horse (em>pictured) at a mini-golf course was stolen and then returned. The owners cried tears of joy when it was brought back. Tears of joy. True story.


Will Rory McIlroy ever play soccer again?

Will I ever dare touch a basketball again?

Who steals a fake horse from a mini-golf course?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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News & Tours

Sei Young Kim's caddie disqualified from U.S. Women's Open for taking cellphone photo

Sei Young Kim is off to a rookie-of-the-year type season with two LPGA victories in 2015. But if the 22-year-old South Korean is going to win the U.S. Women's Open this week at Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club she'll have to do it without her regular caddie.

Paul Fusco, a veteran looper who has also worked on the PGA Tour, took a cellphone photo of the hole locations and course set-up notes for the week, according to sources familiar with the situation, and when the breach was discovered by USGA officials he was banned from the tournament.

Related: Golf's costliest rules mistakes

Sources say that Fusco was in the USGA Rules office -- where he was not credentialed to be -- taking the photos when an official walked in on him. The sources say there will be no penalty for Kim.


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News & Tours

Joost Luiten makes driving a golf ball over a famous Dutch museum look pretty cool

David Letterman may be off the air, but Stupid Human Tricks are alive and well.

Joost Luiten, a Dutchman on the European Tour, decided to try and hit a golf ball over the Rijksmuseum, an art and history museum in Amsterdam. Why? Because why the hell not?

My friends and I used to have a similar bet regarding an attempt to sky the Roebling Bridge in Cincinnati, Ohio. Standing in at 230 feet, I always thought it was impossible.


But now Luiten, the No. 56 ranked player in the world, has rejuvenated this dormant dream by clearing the 95 meters (311 feet) of the Rijksmuseum’s towers. Oh, to put a cherry on top, Luiten manages to hit a green he cannot see.

Next time I’m in the Queen City, I’m going to clear that bridge!*

*No way I’m clearing that bridge.


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News & Tours

Enjoying the journey into the winner's circle on the Tour

Editor's Note: This story originally ran in the July 6, 2015 issue of Golf World.

Reality set in for Rob Oppenheim last Monday morning. After taking it deep in a local Wichita bar celebrating his first Tour victory, Oppenheim awoke to a travel day that took him to Chicago, then Toronto, then Halifax. Just because he had won the Air Capital Classic didn’t mean Oppenheim was exempt from his life as a journeyman.

“There’s been a lot of ups and downs, but there’s no question this has been the biggest win and the biggest step in my career,” Oppenheim said when I reached him at the Tour’s Nova Scotia Open. “To be that much closer to being a player on the PGA Tour is kind of like a dream.”

At 35, with a 2-year-old daughter and a pregnant wife at home in Winter Park, Fla., Oppenheim earned his first title in 129 Tour starts and moved to 13th on the money list with $146,227 after winning $108,000 with his closing 64. With seven events left in the regular season, he is virtually assured of finishing among the tour’s top 25 money winners and, for the first time, be exempt to play the big tour.

The veritable bonanza comes not long after a career crisis. In 2014, Oppenheim remembers being in a lonely hotel room in Ocala, Fla., on the verge of considering another job.

Without full exempt status on the Tour, Oppenheim was Monday qualifying and bouncing back to the mini-tours when he didn’t get into fields. Driving home after a T-33 on the Tour, the $800 it paid not covering his $1,400 entry fee, Oppenheim received a call from Jay Golden, a teaching pro he has known since his days at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. “I didn’t have much money to pay him,” Oppenheim admits. “He was like, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ ”

They worked at the Winter Park muny and, with Golden caddieing, Oppenheim finished T-4 a month later in the’s South Georgia Classic. That exempted Oppenheim for most of the remaining events in 2014. But he was still back at Tour Qualifying School in December, playing his final nine holes at PGA National, when he struck the most important shot of his life.

On the number to get a card, Oppenheim jarred a 5-iron on the par-3 fifth of the Champion course. That ace ultimately meant the difference between exempt status and another year of agonizing Mondays.

"I can honestly say I was more nervous trying to close out that Q school than I was at Wichita the last nine holes,” Oppenheim said. “At Wichita I was just trying to go as low as I could and shoot a number. At Q school you’re thinking, Try not to mess up. Try not to make a big number.”

The journeyman journeys on, knowing the is about the only way to get to the PGA Tour nowadays. When he arrived home in Orlando on Saturday after missing the cut in Nova Scotia, congratulatory letters were awaiting, including one from Arnold Palmer, whom Oppenheim met when Rollins practiced at Bay Hill.

Reality sets back in Tuesday morning, when he heads back to the airport for a flight to Idaho for the Albertsons Boise Open. “You’ve gotta love golf,” Oppenheim says. “I don’t think you can do this unless you really love the game.”


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For some reason, Fox News host calls Rory McIlroy a "leprechaun" and says she "can't stand him"

By this point, you've probably heard a lot of outrageous reactions to Rory McIlroy's ankle injury, from the ridiculous ("How dare he play anything other than golf!") to the even more ridiculous ("How dare he call it 'soccer!'"). But one opinion is in a league of its own thus far.

Related: How Rory's injury affects betting on the British Open

On Fox News' Outnumbered program on Monday, one reporter randomly called McIlroy a "leprechaun" and said she "can't stand him." A little harsh, no? Here's the odd clip (thanks to Twitter user @Wrong_Fairway for sharing) in which someone not on screen can be heard giving her extra-hot take on the situation following a report on McIlroy's injury:

Maybe she's upset that her bet on McIlroy winning two majors in 2015 probably isn't going to come through? In any matter, kudos to co-host Harris Faulkner for making such a smooth transition to the next segment. That's a pro's pro right there.


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News & Tours

A serious, scientific examination of the greatest upsets in golf history

Joey Chestnut, the reigning eight-time champion of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, was usurped from this throne by Matt Stonie -- a man referred to as "the Jordan Spieth of tubed beef" -- this weekend in what the event’s emcee called “one of the greatest upsets in sports history.”

Granted, this might be a tad hyperbolic, but such is to be expected from an event that awards its winner a mustard-plated belt.

The proclamation did get us thinking: What are some of the biggest shockers in the history of golf?

Francis Ouimet’s legacy withstanding that terrible Shia LeBeouf movie

You would think pulling off the thriller of the century -- Ouimet, a 20-year-old amateur besting two of the game’s best in Harry Vardon and Ted Ray -- would be tough to tarnish. But that LeBeouf film came damn close.

Jack Fleck over Ben Hogan, 1955 U.S. Open

Hogan was the unquestioned face of the game, while Fleck was a club pro in Davenport, Iowa. Tied after 72 holes at the Olympic Club, the two faced off in an 18-hole playoff, with Fleck winning by three shots. To rub salt in the wound, Fleck won with a set of clubs manufactured by Hogan’s company.

If something similar happened today, the First Take guys would have a collective heart attack.

Rory McIlroy defeats alarm clock, Keegan Bradley

McIlroy almost missed his tee time on the final day of the 2012 Ryder Cup, excusing his tardiness for time-zone confusion. The explanation was flimsy; if McIlroy thought he was on the East Coast, wouldn’t he be early for his match at Medinah, which, thanks to its Illinois location, resides in Central Standard Time?

The 39th Ryder Cup - Day Three : News Photo

Despite only getting a few practice putts, McIlroy managed to beat his Sunday singles foe, Bradley, and helped spur the European team to an epic comeback.

Orville Moody, 1969 U.S. Open

A military man, Moody retired from the Army to attempt a career on the PGA Tour. In his third year on the professional circuit, Moody won the 1969 U.S. Open, finishing ahead of a crowded leader board featuring Al Geiberger, Bob Rosburg, Deane Beman, Miller Barber and Arnold Palmer.

Alas, it would be Moody’s lone victory, further adding to the aura of his national championship.

John Daly’s “Hit it Hard” song charting

When an athlete produces a record, 99.9 percent of the time, it will make one’s ears bleed. But Daly’s “Hit it Hard” ballad, shockingly, isn’t terrible! You know, for a country song, that is. It even reached as high as No. 10 on the HIGHWAY Hot 45 Countdown, which I’m told is a real thing.

Larry Mize, 1987 Masters

Not sure what’s more impressive: Mize, an Augusta native, winning the Masters in a playoff over Greg Norman and Seve Ballesteros with a chip-in at the 11th, or somehow avoiding scorn for that purple ensemble he was rocking. C’mon, Larry, only the Hornets can make the lavender-n-green combo work.

Zero streaker incidents at the 16th hole, Waste Management Open

Perhaps we should add the caveat of “Yet.”

Jack Nicklaus, 1986 Masters

It would be blasphemy to even consider making light of this moment. Long live the Golden Bear.

Happy Gilmore over Shooter McGavin, Tour Championship

Carl Weathers And Adam Sandler In 'Happy Gilmore' : News Photo

Bonus points to Happy for overcoming a hit-n-run from a Volkswagen, the death of his mentor and a TV tower blocking his line on the 18th green.

Y.E. Yang beats Tiger Woods, 2009 PGA Championship

Not sure if you’ve been keeping up with Woods, but he's been in a tad of a major slump ever since his runner-up finish at Hazeltine.


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How He Hit That: Roll the rock with your wedge like Robert Streb

Top 50 teacher Kevin Weeks works with a half dozen tour players on their putting, but the technique Robert Streb used at The Greenbrier Classic was one Weeks usually only teaches on the practice green.

After breaking his putter with a careless toss toward his bag behind the ninth green, Streb was forced to putt with his 56-degree sand wedge. It apparently wasn't much of a handicap. Streb made five birdies with the alternative flatstick, and made it into a playoff with Danny Lee, David Hearn and Kevin Kisner.

"Some people go with driver, some people go with hybrid, but I think he made the right call using wedge there," says Weeks, who is based at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont, Ill. "If you're going to try it, take your normal putting setup and normal putting grip, and favor your lead leg while tilting your spine slightly back. Move the ball slightly forward in your stance to make sure you hit up on the ball with the leading edge of the wedge, then make your same putting stroke."

If you hit the ball near the equator, it will come off the leading edge of the wedge and roll just like it would with a putter. "It's actually a great way to practice even if you have your putter with you," Weeks says. "If you can consistently hit the equator of the ball with your wedge, you're doing lots of nice things with your putting stroke. You aren't flipping your hands or hitting down on the ball, and you're staying nice and quiet with your body." 

Streb was able to replace his putter before the playoff, but he didn't get a chance to try the new blade. He missed the green on the first hole, and watched Hearn and Lee make birdie putts that knocked him out. 


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News & Tours

Danny Lee is happy about winning $1.2 million, but still sad about not having a girlfriend

Danny Lee is currently the man of the moment on the PGA Tour after winning his first title and taking home $1.2 million. But something is still missing for the 24-year-old New Zealander.

Like the Beatles always said, "Can't buy me love."

After his breakthrough victory, Lee was asked about coming to West Virginia for the Greenbrier Classic and this was his amusing/glum response:

"It was just amazing. It's phenomenal. It's my fourth time playing here, and I liked it every single year. Only one wish I had was if I had a girlfriend, it wouldn't be as lonely in the room."

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Awww :(

Hopefully, Danny doesn't follow Keegan Bradley's girlfirend, Jillian Stacey, on Instagram. Because this will just make him even more sad.

One of my favorite places in the world #Greenbrier #WV #Americasresort 🇺🇿

A photo posted by Jillian Stacey (@jillianfstacey) on

The Greenbrier is such a nice resort that Keegan and Jillian even brought their dog, Penny, along for the trip:

Penny loves @the_greenbrier almost as much as I do ❿ᅬ🐶 #Greenbrier #Americasresort #travelingpenny

A photo posted by Jillian Stacey (@jillianfstacey) on

Hmm. Maybe Danny should start with a pet?


(h/t For The Win)

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