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News & Tours

Players react to J.B. Holmes' 62 at Doral, and why it might be the most impressive round on the PGA Tour all year

J.B. Holmes torched Trump National Doral on Thursday with a 10-under-par 62 that put him four shots clear of Ryan Moore after the first round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. But you might not realize just how impressive that score was.

Not all 62s are equal and Holmes gets extra credit for a few reasons. First, the course. The revamped "Blue Monster" was one of the most difficult on tour last year, producing a winning score for the week of just four under by Patrick Reed. More wind in 2014 made scoring a bit tougher, but there were only three sub-68 scores for the entire week with the lowest being a pair of 66s by Jonas Blixt and Tiger Woods (Yes, that Tiger Woods). Holmes matched Bubba Watson's score in 2012, but again, that was before Gil Hanse's changes.

Related: The best scoring displays in PGA Tour history

Secondly, while conditions weren't particularly difficult on Thursday, the scoring average for the field was 73.39 -- meaning Holmes played his round in nearly 11 and a half fewer strokes. To put that in perspective, Jim Furyk's 59 at the 2013 BMW Championship was 12.1 shots better than the field that day, putting Holmes' 62 in the same ballpark.

And finally, the field itself makes Holmes' score even better. He didn't just beat any field by 11.39 shots, he beat one of the strongest fields of the year. In fact, this year's Cadillac Championship is the first PGA Tour event to feature all top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking since the 2012 PGA Championship. And yet, after Thursday's eight birdies and one eagle, only one of those players is even within five shots of him.

Here's how some of the other players reacted:

And here's what Holmes thought about it:

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Celebrity

Tiger & Woods will be playing on Masters Sunday. Seriously

We do not know whether Tiger Woods will be playing golf on Masters Sunday, but we do know that Tiger & Woods will be playing music on Masters Sunday.

There is a musical act that calls itself Tiger & Woods that will be playing at the renowned Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., on April 12, the date of the final round of the Masters.

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The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is a hugely popular event, held on consecutive weekends and featuring big-name entertainment. AC/DC is performing this year. Madonna and Paul McCartney have performed in the past.

As for Tiger & Woods, not much is known about them personally other than what we assume are stage names, Larry Tiger and David Woods. One headline called them “The mystery men of disco,” or “mistery” men, as they spell it on their Twitter account.

“Though the recent glut of musical acts with un-Google-able names and top-secret identities,” Miles Raymer wrote in the Chicago Reader, “looks to be a reaction to the ubiquity of search engines and social networks, the anonymity of DJ and production duo Tiger & Woods is apparently a nod to electronic dance music's heyday, when illicit white-label remixes of popular songs — whether released by a superstar DJ or a total unknown — absolutely required a pseudonym.”

OK, then. As for the name Tiger & Woods, “It's not really related to golf, except for the fact that the project is inspired by a track released on a label with a bit of golf in it, one of them, Tiger or Woods, said in an interview with the San Francisco Examiner.

Their debut album was called “Through the Green.”

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Gear & Equipment

This blade putter, backed by a former PGA Tour commissioner, doesn't play at all like a blade putter

A year ago former PGA Tour commissioner Deane Beman was at the PGA Merchandise Show extolling the virtues of Cure's RX putters and their "triangulation alignment system." It would have been easy to dismiss the product as another Hail Mary attempt in the golf business, but now the company has expanded its line to include the Cure RXi, with a technology story worth exploring.

loop-cure-rxi-putter-560.jpgStaying true to its concept of trying to produce mallet-like stability in a blade-style head, the RXi ($300) goes beyond that with an interchangeable face-insert that can alter the putter's overall weight and moment of inertia.

Depending on whether you're using the aluminum or brass face insert, the putter's weight can vary from 345 grams to 410 grams, and the MOI can increase close to three times that of a traditional blade putter, helping to keep the club from twisting during the stroke and at impact.

Sounds like something Beman might have been happy to use during his playing career.

Interested in more stories on equipment? Signup to receive Golf Digest Stix, a weekly digital magazine that offers the latest news, new product introductions and behind-the-scenes looks at all things equipment.

 

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Trending

Nearly 20 years later, Happy Gilmore and Bob Barker continue their epic fight off the golf course

"The price is wrong, bitch!" Nearly two decades later, the fight scene between Adam Sandler and Bob Barker remains the most memorable part of the movie Happy Gilmore.

Related: The Oscars shows its anti-golf bias once again

In case you live under a rock or are under the age of 20, here's a look at the classic scene. And if you are under the age of 20, be advised that the violence and language might not be suitable for you. . .

This Sunday, Comedy Central's annual fundraiser, Night of Too Many Stars will reunite Happy and his older, yet incredibly scrappy pro-am partner. This time, the fight brawl takes place when Sandler visits the 91-year-old Barker in a hospital. And the former host of The Price is Right gets the last laugh again. Well, sort of.

Unfortunately, there's no mention of golf in the scene, but Happy's mentor, Chubbs (played by Carl Weathers), makes a cameo. Here's the clip:

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Throwback Thursday

Little did Byron Nelson know that 70 years ago this week he was beginning golf's most famous winning streak

Last Monday was the 53rd anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain's incredible 100-point NBA game, a sports moment celebrated for its still-astounding magnitude. In a case of symmetry, golf has a big scorer of its own from even further back than Wilt's century game whose winning streak is still hard to fathom, and this week is key for him, too. It was 70 years ago that Byron Nelson's 11-tournament winning streak on the PGA Tour began at the Miami Four-Ball two-man team event, March 8-11, 1945, when Nelson won with his "Gold Dust Twins" partner Harold (Jug) McSpaden.  

Nelson's victory march ran all the way to the Canadian Open that August and included the U.S. Open substitute event (the Chicago Victory National Open) and the PGA Championship, his fifth and final major victory. For the entire season, Nelson would win 18 times, average 68.33 strokes and finish 320 strokes under par in 120 stroke-play rounds. During the streak, his average winning margin in seven stroke-play events was seven shots.

loop-byron-nelson-560.jpgBecause Nelson's monumental season took place in the last year of World War II, skeptics often argue the quality of the fields were weak. But an example against that criticism is Nelson's first win at the Miami Four-Ball. Sixteen two-man teams played a straight elimination tournament at Miami Springs Golf Course, with the field including Ben Hogan, Ed Dudley, Claude Harmon, Henry Picard, Sam Snead and Craig Wood. In the final, Nelson-McSpaden beat Denny Shute and Sam Byrd, 8 and 6. Jimmy Demaret, Toney Penna, Johnny Bulla and Ky Laffoon also played during Nelson's 11-win streak. 

In PGA Tour history, Nelson has two of the top nine winning streaks, with his 11 straight being No. 1. The next longest are from Tiger Woods 7, Ben Hogan and Woods 6 each, Hogan and Woods 5, and Nelson, Hogan and Jack Burke Jr., 4. For the 1944 to 1946 seasons, Nelson -- who was exempt from military service due to a blood-clotting disorder -- had victory totals of eight, 18 and six. Following the '46 season, having built up a financial nest egg, Nelson retired from regular play at age 34 and settled on his 750-acre Texas ranch with his wife, Louise. 

In addition to setting records more than 50 years ago that still stand, Wilt the Stilt and Lord Byron have another connection, although it has nothing to do with a shared ability to slam dunk or make putts. Rather it involves location: Chamberlain scored his 100 points for Philadelphia versus the New York Knicks in Hershey, Pa., the same town where Nelson won the 1940 PGA in a 1-up, 36-hole final victory against Sam Snead at Hershey Country Club. 

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News & Tours

Augusta National risking greatness overload: Tom Brady and Rory to play there together next week

With the 2015 Masters inching ever-closer, pros are starting to schedule their practice rounds. But Rory isn't just slating himself a time to go play. He's doing it in style.

According to Golf Channel's Todd Lewis, Rory will grace the hallowed Augusta grounds next week with reigning Super Bowl champion Tom Brady.

Aside from being pretty good at football, Brady's also a longtime golfer. He's been playing since he was two-years-old, boasts an eight handicap, and he worked at two different courses growing up. It should make for a fun round.

In other news, if the Augusta spontaneously combusts sometime next week because of all the awesome, you'll know why.

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Video

Matt Kuchar misses half-court shot at Miami Heat game, still gets photo taken with cheerleaders

A bunch of golfers playing in this week's WGC-Cadillac Championship attended the nearby Miami Heat game on the eve of the tournament. But only one player, put his basketball skills to the test.

The Grind: Paddy's frugal victory feast and more models take up golf

Matt Kuchar attempted a half-court shot during the second quarter for charity. Unfortunately, he missed -- it's not exactly a gimme -- but his close effort impressed. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be good footage of the shot, but you get the idea thanks to this video posted by Lee Westwood:

Despite missing, Kuchar still donated the $25,000 to United Way, because, well, Matt Kuchar. And as a consolation prize, he got his photo taken with some Heat cheerleaders:

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Play hasn't started at Doral yet, but Kuchar is a clear frontrunner for the week's MVP.

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Trending

More evidence that golf (and chicken ramen) will help you live longer

If you go on Google, you'll notice that Thursday's image is one of a happy man eating noodles.

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That image is a cartoon caricature of this guy, Momofuku Ando, who invented ramen noodles in 1958 after a food shortage in his native Japan. Ando died in 2007 at the age of 96. Thursday would have been his 105th birthday.

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But Momofuku Ando was also a huge golfer. So huge that, like the 100-year-old Irish woman we wrote about in January, he attributed his longevity to "eating chicken ramen every single day and playing golf." He was such an addict that there's even talk of displaying his golf clubs in the Ramen museum in Yokohama City, Japan.

So, in conclusion, play more golf.


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News & Tours

Arnold Palmer has a dislocated shoulder, but plans on hitting the Masters' honorary tee shot anyway

Consider this just another instance of Arnold Palmer proving he's golf's ultimate stud. The King hasn't hit a golf ball since he dislocated his right shoulder last December, but you're kidding yourself if you think that'll stop him from hitting the honorary first tee shot at the 2015 Masters.

But the four-time Masters winner enthusiastically put to rest any notion that he might not be in Augusta on the morning of April 9 to join “Big Three” partners Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as honorary starters. He’ll participate -- ready or not.

“Oh yeah, I plan on it,” Palmer said. “I haven’t (been practicing). I’m not allowed to swing yet. ... I will whatever.”

Go Arnie!



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Fantasy Golf

Fantasy Fix: Should we expect another "top five" moment from Patrick Reed at Doral?

Did your fantasy team survive "The Bear Trap"? Probably not, if you rolled with chalk. It was a tough week for the big guns at PGA National, but they'll get another chance this week with the first World Golf Championship of the year. Everyone in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking is teeing it up at Trump National Doral -- the first time that's happened since the 2012 PGA Championship. Who do we like to shake hands with the Donald (and Ivanka) on Sunday evening? A look at our weekly Yahoo! fantasy golf lineup:

The Grind: Paddy's frugal victory feast and more models take up golf

Starters -- (A-List): Bubba Watson. Didn't seem to really feel comfortable with the changes to Doral until last year's final round, but a Sunday 68 vaulted him to T-2. Watson also finished runner-up here in 2012 before the alterations.

(B-List): Dustin Johnson. DJ is coming off a rough week, but then again, you could say that about most of the big names who teed it up at PGA National. He finished T-4 at Doral last year and was solo second in 2011.

Related: The top 25 viral golf videos of 2014

(B-List): Graeme McDowell. Managed a T-9 last year despite not posting anything better than 71. The new Doral is much more about surviving than going low, though, making it a good track for this U.S. Open champ.

(C-List): Patrick Reed. The defending champ nearly won for a second time in 2015 at the Honda. It was here last year where he famously made his "top five" statement. Another win this week and that might actually become a reality.

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Patrick Reed and Donald Trump. Two guys with no confidence issues.

Bench/Backups: Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Justin Rose, and Jamie Donaldson.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Knockout/One-and-done pick: Jamie Donaldson. Long before -- well, months before -- he became a Ryder Cup hero, Donaldson finished T-2 to Reed. He's also coming off a fifth-place finish at the Honda Classic. In other words, he's really good. Maybe not "top five" in the world good, but you get the point.

Previously used: Paul Casey (Honda), Jason Day (Famers -- WINNER!), Bill Haas (Riviera), Charles Howell III (Sony), Dustin Johnson (Pebble), Geoff Ogilvy (Hyundai), Ryan Palmer (Humana), Brendan Steele (Phoenix).

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