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WATCH: GOLF DIGEST VIDEOS
Friday at 4 PM EST marks Major League Baseball’s trade deadline. The days leading up to threshold have become an unofficial holiday for fans, as they believe their club is one move away from making a postseason run. Which of course is absurd, because unless you’re rooting for the Giants or Cardinals, it will all be for naught.
Still, who are we to rain on the parade? If anything, we wish golf would adopt a similar barter session. Granted, ours is not a team sport, per se, but swaps can still be had. Here are five golf moves we’d like to see:
Europe trades Ian Poulter to the International Team for prospects
The International Team is 1-8-1 in the Presidents Cup. For you math scholars out there, that computes to .150 winning percentage, which we in the biz academically refer to as “not good.”
Also on the struggle bus as of late is Ian Poulter. Following a strong start to the campaign, Poulter has lost his way, finishing 54th at Chambers Bay and missing the cuts at the Scottish and British Opens. At 39 years old, Poulter’s best days may be behind him.
Yet, when it comes to match play, Poulter is unrivaled, boasting 13 points in five Ryder Cup appearances and wins at the 2010 WGC-Match Play and 2011 Volvo World Match Play tournaments. With a formidable line of Jason Day, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Hideki Matsuyama, the addition of Poulter’s team-play merits make the International roster a formidable foe.
Coupled with the fact that, in two previous trips south of the equator, the United States club's performance has been so-so, this year’s event in South Korea may be the International squad’s best chance at grabbing a W.
As Poulter would be more of a rental entity, the International team will send Sangmoon Bae, Ryo Ishikawa and a player to be named later.
Under Armour sends cash considerations to Titleist for Brad Faxon
What would the sporting apparel behemoth need with a 53-year-old player on the Champions Tour? Easy: let’s just say UA has a tad invested in a certain 22-year-old that’s had issues with the flatstick inside six feet. What better mentor for the fledgling superstar than Faxon, considered one of the best tour putters of all-time.
ESPN moves Mike Tirico to FOX for Gus Johnson
This is one of the few win-wins on our list. The Worldwide Leader is losing its British Open coverage after next season, and though Tirico is a sound, eloquent voice, he doesn’t enhance a particular broadcast, either.
But coming off one of a rough debut at the U.S. Open, FOX doesn’t need flashy; it needs a foundation. In Tirico, they get the dual dexterity of a studio host and play-by-play man.
As for Gus, he’s being wasted on second-tier Pac-12 football and Not-So-Big East basketball games. With this swap, we’re giving Gus the reins to Monday Night Football. That’s right, we’re teaming up Gus with Jon Gruden’s “Let me tell you what, THIS guy can play for me any day!” schtick. The booth bravado will be off the charts.
Happy Madison trades the rights to Happy Gilmore to HBO for the rights to The Brink
HBO Sports produces a documentary in the "7 Days of Hell" mold on the hockey-centric golfer, or simply holds the film to protect it from Adam Sandler and his cronies bastardizing it for a sequel. As for The Brink, it’s a show that entered with hype but has ended a dud which should fit right in with the Happy Madison mantra.
The PGA of America gives 2022 PGA Championship to Bandon Dunes for a sleeve of Top-Flite x-outs.
That tournament is currently slotted to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. As the Ladies' Golf Union and LPGA players are finding out this week, it’s not worth it.
Golf has a problem with its finishes. Basketball has the buzzer-beater. Baseball, the walk-off homer. A sudden-death shootout in soccer and hockey.
As fans of the sport, it pains us to write such heresy, but a 20-foot putt on the 18th doesn't pack the same punch. In terms of last-play drama, golf usually falls short on the excitement barometer.
Usually, that is.
Starting the Quicken Loans National on the 10th tee on Thursday, Rickie Fowler's round ended on No. 9 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia, which happens to be a 200-yard par-3.
Coming off a bogey on the par-5 eighth, Fowler finished his day in fine fashion:
Now THAT, my friends, is how you end a round.
"The world asked me to be here."
Following Trump's comments on Mexican immigrants, golf has tried to distance itself from the real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate, most notably seen in the PGA of America moving its Grand Slam of Golf event from Trump's L.A. course.
However, due to the proximity of the tournament with his comments, it was too late for the Women's British Open to find a new venue. Trump even dared the event to be moved.
With this in mind, The Donald arrived in Scotland on Thursday for the Women's British Open, held at his Trump Turnberry resort. The highly anticipated appearance did not disappoint. Some of his gems included:
"A poll came out two days ago where I am number one with the Hispanics."
Assuming this "poll" was a sample size of the person Trump sees in the mirror, he's probably right.
"Everybody has asked me to be here. The world has asked me to be here."
Give the man credit. The fact that Donald Trump has accumulated a $2.9 billion fortune -- or $10 billion, if you believe his assertion -- without knowing what the word "ask" means shows that you too can hurdle life's obstacles to achieve your dreams, kids. Assuming you have a dad that can get your out of numerous bankruptcy run-ins, that is.
"Illegal immigration is a huge subject. I brought it to the fore and everybody is thanking me for it."
Does Trump not own a TV? Or is there an employee on his staff who edits every media broadcast or snippet before showing it to Trump? Because if it's the latter, that person is earning their paycheck.
"Don't know who she is."
This was in response to comments from Lizette Salas, a top-30 world-ranked player from the United States who has Mexican parents, who expressed displeasure at Trump's presence.
OK, I can kind of buy this, yet I'm sure Trump was aware of Salas' remarks. This also pokes a hole in Trump's "I'm a big fan and follower of women's golf" claim.
But instead of putting the issue to bed with, "She has an opinion, and I respect it," Trump's actual retort simply raised Salas' profile.
By the way, this was only a degree away from, "Oh yeah, well, the JERK store called" in terms of lame comebacks.
"That’s your problem, not my problem."
A reporter asked about illegal immigrants in the United Kingdom, specifically the Calais crisis. Sounds like Trump has this foreign affairs thing down.
"I expect to be President."
Well, I expect to be greeted into every room with a standing ovation and roses thrown in my direction, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen.
Before he was a celebrated college football coach and a guy who plays in PGA Tour Pro-Ams, Steve Spurrier was a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Florida. We mention this because of the image below of the South Carolina coach making a birdie putt at the annual Gamecocks Media Golf Outing.
For those that have lost hope in humanity after the Cecil the Lion incident, perhaps this will restore your faith.
Three black bears -- two cubs and a momma -- were seen playing on a golf course in Vernon, New Jersey this week. And we do mean playing, as one of the cubs can be seen pulling the pin.
Which just goes to show that, despite the precedent set by Yogi, bears are a courteous creature.
“They’re absolutely beautiful and people have seen them in their pools or on their swing sets," Vernon official Michelle Downtain told ABC News. "It doesn’t surprise me they came out to play on a golf course. It's a way of life here."
Best of all, in a week filled with disparaging animal news, the bears were unharmed.
Well now, this should be interesting.
Donald Trump is going to face the media Thursday at the Ricoh Women’s British Open, held at Trump Turnberry, and according to the ground rules, questions from reporters will be limited to golf.
I wonder if he’s ever faced the British tabloids before, the guys and gals Sir Nick Faldo called “Rotties,” short for Rottweilers because of their doggedness.
The gathering will be at 8:30 a.m. ET (1:30 p.m. in Scotland). This meeting with the golf media comes not only as Trump, who arrived at Turnberry Wednesday, is running for the Republican presidential nomination, but just a few weeks after virtually the entire golf community distanced itself from Trump following his sweeping generalizations about Mexican immigrants that many perceived as insensitive and simplistic at best and racist at worst.
In an email to accredited media, tournament officials said:
“Donald Trump will make himself available to meet the Championship’s accredited media at 1.30pm on Thursday, 30th July. We will confirm where this meeting will take place tomorrow morning.
“Questions must be restricted to the subjects golf, Turnberry and the tournament.
“To clarify/serve as a reminder, please note that in attending the Ricoh Women’s British Open you must agree to abide by the T&Cs below.”
That last part pretty much suggests that anyone breaking the ground rules for the news conference could have their credential revoked.
While the PGA of America moved its Grand Slam of Golf this fall from the Trump course in Los Angeles following his controversial comments, and the PGA Tour and USGA have time to make a decision before holding events on Trump courses, the LPGA was caught in a real-time bind.
Commissioner Mike Whan was able to disavow Trump’s comments, but with the statements on Mexican immigrants coming just three weeks before the Ricoh Women's British Open there was simply not enough time to change the venue of any tournament, let alone a major championship.
They would have needed to find a course on short notice, secure housing for the players and media and change the travel plans of everyone going to the tournament. And that's not even taking into consideration the inconvenience of a venue change for the fans.
The hope within the LPGA, and probably the Ladies Golf Union, which runs the tournament, was that Trump would be too busy campaigning for president to attend the British Open.
But if there is one thing The Donald loves, it’s facing the media. On Thursday we find out if the media will follow his rules.
One of my social media pet peeves is it’s growing contingent of narcissism. Instead of a forum for idea generation or engaging dialogue, the medium's become a "Look at me! Look at me!" arms race of documenting the most insignificant, trivial aspects of life.
So when I see such action epically backfire, you'll have to excuse my sense of schadenfreude.
The video below is titled "First Shot with new GoPro." Spoiler alert: it should have been named "My First -- and Last -- shot with new GoPro."
This further cements my argument that taking more than one practice swing leads to nothing but trouble. Also, why the hell wasn't the camera behind or to the side of his address?
Either way, congrats, my friend. You could have played Pebble Beach for the dollar amount you dropped on a product that lasted all of one shot.