By Alex Myers
Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where the only "insider trading" we want to talk about are player swaps between fantasy sports experts. Sure, the FBI showing up to a golf course for the first time since that memorable scene in "Casino" added some intrigue, but Phil Mickelson being investigated is not a good look for golf. In other news. . .
Hideki Matsuyama: The rising star's first PGA Tour win was just a matter of time, but what a way to do it at the Memorial. Matsuyama birdied No. 15, doubled No. 16, but then birdied No. 18 to get into a playoff, which he won over Kevin Na. And how about that pause at the top of his backswing? I rushed to the range to try it. And after hitting five great shots in a row, naturally, I got bored with it and reverted to all my old, bad habits.
Matsuyama even pauses on his fist pumps. Great form.
Top American women: Stacy Lewis made it four consecutive LPGA wins for U.S.-born players for the first time in 10 years. For Lewis, it was a second win in 2014 and she reclaimed the top spot in the Rolex Rankings. In the season-long points race, six of the top 10 are Americans, led by Lewis and Michelle Wie. Are the days of South Korean dominance on the LPGA Tour over?
Happy U.S. Open sectional qualifying stories: "Golf's Longest Day" produced its usual bunch of cool stories of guys getting into the U.S. Open. How about David Gossett? Once a phenom, he punched his ticket to Pinehurst 10 years after losing his game and PGA Tour card. And then there's Cory Whitsett. After helping lead Alabama to a second straight NCAA title, the recent graduate shot 66-66 to win his qualifier by five shots and earn his first appearance in the U.S. Open. Best. Week. Ever.
Sad U.S. Open sectional qualifying stories: Of course, there were some unhappy endings for folks as well. None more sad than what happened to Landon Michelson, who thought he had qualified, but was disqualified after realizing he had signed an incorrect scorecard. Good for the 22-year-old for pointing out the mistake, but that is about as rough as it gets. Danny Lee's heartbreak was more typical. Lee appeared on his way back to Pinehurst, where he won the 2008 U.S. Amateur, before a late triple bogey-double bogey stretch. Ouch.
Top American men: First, Tiger Woods officially withdrew from the U.S. Open. Then, the Feds showed up at the Memorial to investigate Phil, and finally, Bubba Watson threw away the tournament by hitting a tee shot so far right into someone's backyard that even David Feherty was left speechless. Even Matt Kuchar only finished T-15!
Rory McIlroy: First, there was that whole rumor about a three-minute phone call to break off his engagement with Caroline Wozniacki. Ouch. Then, there was a breathtaking 63 followed by a head-scratching 78. To be fair, McIlroy had an excuse. "I twerked my knee a bit," he said. But also, to be fair, he shot seven under after tweaking it on Thursday. Wait, did he say "twerked"? Oh boy. Maybe we should have put a few dollars on that 80-to-1 bet that Miley Cyrus will be McIlroy's next girlfriend. . .
The PGA Tour heads to Memphis for the FedEx St. Jude Classic, aka that tournament before the U.S. Open.
Random tournament fact: The winner gets a blue and white seersucker jacket. Nice! Finally, a tournament jacket that someone might actually get some good use out of.
RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK
-- FBI agents will show up to the FedEx St. Jude Classic: 1,000-to-1 odds
-- Boo Weekley has engaged in insider trading: 1 million-to-1 odds.
-- Defending champ Harris English, described as a "southern gentleman" by his college coach, loves his seersucker jacket: LOCK
THIS WEEK IN
DUSTIN JOHNSON-PAULINA GRETZKY RORY MCILROY-CAROLINE WOZNIACKI PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION ANIMOSITY AND POSSIBLY WITCHCRAFT
It can't be by chance that the heartbroken Wozniacki switched to this as her Twitter photo on Friday, right?
Coincidentally, McIlroy immediately made three straight double bogeys on his way to a 78. Yep, "coincidentally". . .
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
It was a good week for celebrities randomly posing with golf clubs. First, Jessica Simpson posted these photos:
And then, Katherine Webb, a model and the most well-known fiancee of an NFL backup quarterback (Bengals rookie A.J. McCarron), posted this from a recent date night:
No, the date was not with Tiger Woods -- that's just a wax figure of him. But it's good to see the 14-time major winner wearing his Sunday red again.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK (NOT INVOLVING A CELEBRITY RANDOMLY POSING WITH A GOLF CLUB)
"So I got into a little tree trouble at mini golf tonight had to pool shoot it," Lexi Thompson captioned. Well played, Lexi.
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Jordan Spieth was at media day for the John Deere Classic, so naturally, he recreated the bunker shot that led to his first PGA Tour win there a year ago. And by recreated, we mean he really recreated it:
These guys are good. Really freakin' good.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"I have done absolutely nothing wrong." -- Phil Mickelson
THIS AND THAT
The LPGA and the PGA of America are teaming up for the KPMG Women's PGA Championship beginning next year. Don't worry, this will replace the LPGA Championship, so there are still only five female majors. . . . Carlos Ortiz, a two-time winner on the Web.com Tour this year, made his PGA Tour debut at the Memorial. We'll see a lot more of the 23-year-old next season when he'll likely be the only Mexican-born player on the PGA Tour. . . . Tom Pernice Jr. won for the third time on the Champions Tour. We're just wondering when his good friend, Vijay Singh, is going to start joining the party on the senior circuit more often. . . . These chocolate chip scones from Trader Joe's are incredible. And the best part? You're basically getting away with eating chocolate chip cookies for breakfast.
RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER
How beatable are tour pros at mini-golf?
Who will wind up with more career wins: Hideki Matsuyama or Jordan Spieth?
Does the FBI look into questionable handicaps?