By Alex Myers
Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we're starting to notice the toll that the new wraparound season is taking on people. First, Hideki Matsuyama withdrew from the HSBC with a bad back, then Brandt Snedeker pulled out of the Australia PGA with an injured knee, and now we feel a case of carpal tunnel syndrome coming on. Does the golf ever stop?! We thought of WDing ourselves this week, but we're just too tough. No, we'll grind out yet another column packed with high-level golf discussion . . . and Paulina Gretzky photos. Speaking of Paulina. . .
Dustin Johnson: Her fiance won! Johnson's latest victory at the WGC-HSBC Champions has everyone wondering again just how good he could be -- and for good reason. He's won at least one event the past seven years, making it the longest such streak since Tiger Woods won in each of his first 14 seasons on tour. Johnson is also only the fifth player to get to eight wins before age 30 in the past 25 years, joining Woods, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III and David Duval. For someone who "hasn't lived up to his potential," he's putting together a pretty nice career.
Fred Couples: It's been a relatively quiet season on the Champions Tour for Couples, but he finished in style by capturing the Charles Schwab Cup Championship by six shots. Kenny Perry claimed the season-long points title thanks in large part to his two major championship titles. Congrats to both and congrats to the Champions Tour for maintaining a schedule that's not so exhausting to follow.
Warren Buffett: Apparently, the billionaire was a member of his high school's golf team. So, yeah, we like him even more now. And speaking of buying, does he have any hot stock tips?
Complaining Euro stars: Big names are upset because of a new rule saying they must play in two of three tournaments leading up to the season-ending Dubai World Championship. Oh, the humanity! Ernie Els will even skip the season finale in protest. Careful, guys. Keep it up and there might not be a European Tour anymore.
Golf distance runners: Sunday was the New York City marathon and while celebrities and professional athletes were part of the huge field, we didn't see any golfers listed. Why? Probably because if they're going to spend several hours participating in a sport, it's going to be golf. We can't blame them.
Cheesy promotional photo shoots: What does a tournament get out of dressing up Jason Dufner and other top golfers as some sort of band of wizards? Other than producing random and unintentionally funny photos? On second thought, keep it up. We enjoy these too much.
The PGA Tour heads back to the U.S. for the McGladrey Classic at Sea Island. Some of the best players in the world, though, including Tiger Woods are heading to Turkey to play in the Turkish Airlines Open. Oh yeah, and there's the Australian PGA featuring Adam Scott. Even the LPGA is playing this week!
Random tournament fact: For which tournament? The possibilities are endless.
THIS WEEK IN DUSTIN JOHNSON-PAULINA GRETZKY PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION
It finally happened! The PGA Tour's most photographed couple got into the winner's circle for the first time since being an official item! Hooray! We actually have a good reason to run a pic of the two! Unfortunately, AP or Getty Images were apparently asleep at the wheel for this monumental occasion in golf romance history. This is the best they could do:
Luckily for us, an alert Stephanie Wei captured the two mid-smooch:
There, that's better.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK (NON-PAULINA/DJ CATEGORY)
Miguel Angel-Jimenez smoking a cigar with chopsticks? Miguel Angel-Jimenez smoking a cigar with chopsticks.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK (HALLOWEEN CATEGORY)
The Crane family doesn't mess around when it comes to dressing up for Halloween! Very impressive.
RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK
-- Ben Crane has been criticized for being a slow trick-or-treater: 5-to-1 odds
-- Miguel Angel-Jimenez used those chopsticks to drink wine later: 2-to-1 odds
-- Warren Buffett has more money than you do: LOCK
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK
After mastering the game of basketball, LeBron James has made golf his new challenge. At least, that's what it looks like in an epic new commercial. Fast forward to the 45-second mark and enjoy watching the world's greatest athlete looking like a complete hack on the range:
THIS AND THAT
Grey Goose was named the official spirit of the PGA Tour. Yes! More commercials featuring Matt Kuchar boozing! . . . The PGA Tour's other big announcement is that it will be a part of a new tour in China. Yay! Even more tournaments! . . . I saw the movie Enough Said over the weekend featuring the late, great James Gandolfini and the still great Julia Louis-Dreyfus. It was great. Enough said. . . . If you're looking for low-fat salad dressing that still tastes incredible, pick up Wish-Bone's Light Thousand Island (above). You'll thank me later.
RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Is Jason Alexander still acting?
Does Paulina Gretzky get along with the other tour WAGs?
Has LeBron James been fitted for golf clubs yet?