By Alex Myers
Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we're still recovering from that shocking sports "decision" Friday. We all thought LeBron James was going home to Cleveland, but who knew Holly Sonders was even a free agent?! The Golf Channel star and "Morning Drive" co-host left for Fox Sports, where she'll also cover other sports since just covering golf for them would be a part-time job. So cue up the Sarah McLachlan and enjoy some of our favorite Holly moments, from her Golf Digest cover shoot to her appearance in this year's Humana Challenge Pro-Am to creatively chipping out the first pitch at a Rays game to her recent "win" in the Ice Bucket Challenge. Good luck, Holly. You will be missed.
Holly with a stroke of genius.
Mo Martin: You could watch golf for the rest of your life and not see a finish this unexpected. First of all, it was Mo Martin. The 31-year-old American had never even had a share of a lead at an LPGA event before this week and her best career finish at a major was a T-29. Secondly, she trailed by two shots on the final hole when her "full 3-wood" from about 240 yards away (100 of which were on the ground) rattled off the flagstick. She barely missed an unfathomable walk-off albatross, but still made an eagle that wound up winning the Women's British Open. Oh yeah, it was her first eagle of the year and just the third of her career. Talk about winning out of Mo-where!
We'd be laughing if we hit the flagstick from 240 yards out, too.
Justin Rose: A two-shot victory at the Scottish Open gave Rose a second straight win, moved him to No. 3 in the Official World Golf Ranking and has him as many people's No. 1 choice to win this week's British Open. In fact, he went first in Golf Digest's fantasy draft. Tough to argue with that, especially if you remember who won last year's Scottish Open . . .
University of Georgia men: Brian Harman could have been named Brian Anyman. As long as he went to college in Athens, Ga., he was bound to win on the PGA Tour. Harman became the sixth Bulldog to win on the tour this year with his one-shot victory over Zach Johnson at the John Deere Classic. Heck, Harman lost his caddie for most of the first round, picked some random dude out of the crowd and still shot six under for 12 holes. Hopefully, that guy is getting a nice check in the mail this week.
Colin Montgomerie: Now he's not just winning majors in the U.S., he's winning majors in playoffs in the U.S.? Wow, how things have changed. This time Monty captured the biggest event on the Champions Tour, the U.S. Senior Open, topping Gene Sauers in three extra holes after Sauers lipped out a six-footer on the final hole of regulation. It appears the golf gods are finally in Monty's corner. Better late than never, right?
Steve Stricker: We had the Strick Show penciled into this space at the beginning of the week for opting (again) to be a no-show at the British Open. Then he went out and did the unthinkable: shoot over par Sunday at the John Deere Classic to blow a chance to win his favorite tournament (again). OK, so that might be as surprising as Mo Martin winning an women's major.
Rory McIlroy's Fridays: This is just getting ridiculous. McIlroy followed up an opening 64 at the Scottish Open with a second-round 78. Sound familiar? He recently shot 63-78 at the Memorial and is now 0-for-4 on the year when opening a tournament with a 64 or better. McIlroy leads the PGA Tour in first-round scoring, but averages nearly five shots worse on Day 2. According to Golf Channel's Justin Ray, McIlroy is nine over in second rounds worldwide in 2014 and a staggering 90 under in all other rounds combined. I picked Rory No. 5 in our fantasy draft. Can someone across the pond make sure he gets a good night's sleep on Thursday for me? Thanks.
Scott Verplank: It's not often that a golfer turns 50 the day before the U.S. Senior Open. It's more rare when that event just happens to be at the site where you had arguably your best week ever (winning the 1984 U.S. Amateur). But Verplank didn't take advantage, shooting a pair of 75s in his Champions Tour debut and missing the cut. After one final bad drive on Friday, he gave his driver to a kid in the crowd. "I asked him if he was a golfer and he said he was so I gave him my driver. He will hit it better than I will.
The world's best golfers head to the Open Championship, aka the British Open, aka the British, aka the Open. Look, no matter what people call this week's major at Hoylake, we all know what people are referring to. Let's not get too hung up on names. Please?
Random tournament fact: We'll let Will Ferrell handle this one:
Some good info there, Will.
RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK
-- That kid will actually hit that driver better than Scott Verplank: 1 million-to-1 odds
-- Martin Kaymer will win the U.S. Open AND Germany will win the World Cup: 265-1 odds (actual odds before the U.S. Open)
-- I will regret switching to a combo of Sergio Garcia and Spain at the last minute for the rest of my life: LOCK
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"You can be standing over a putt and the ball's kind of ovulating a little bit." -- Jessica Korda, who quickly laughed off her vocab slip up on Twitter and blamed it on being blonde.
THIS WEEK IN
PAULINA GRETZKY-DUSTIN JOHNSON AMANDA DUFNER-JASON DUFNER-A WILD CHEETAH PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION
This was a #TBT post from Amanda, but it's a classic.
She also posted a pic of Jason on the August cover of Golf Digest and called him a "stud." It's all about the Dufners right now. Paulina, however, did post this solo photo:
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Luke Donald hit a bunker shot lefty. Phil Mickelson hit a bunker shot righty. They both hit it to about six feet. These guys are good.
VIRAL VIDEO(S) OF THE WEEK
Jesper Parnevik breaks a rib while riding a Segway. Ouch.
And from a golfer getting hurt to a golfer's girlfriend appearing indestructible, there's this video of Lindsey Vonn taking the "ab test." She passed.
THIS AND THAT
Golf Digest's Dan Jenkins will not be at the British Open, ending a remarkable streak of covering 179 straight major championships. Jenkins says he plans to start a new streak at this year's PGA Championship, which will be his 223rd major overall. Good luck to anyone trying to top that. . . . Andres Gonzales went wire-to-wire at the Web.com Tour's Utah Championship, winning by four shots. . . . A new ranking system for determining qualifiers for the 2016 Olympics in Rio started this week. Great, another ranking to keep track of. . . . That's me appearing on ESPN's "Outside The Lines" discussing golf addiction. No, I was not asked to be on the show because I'm a golf addict. I don't think . . .
RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Has Paulina already given up on golf?
What does Rory McIlroy do on Thursday nights?
Am I a golf addict?