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Tenuous golf connection

Rory and Jagermeister: An unauthorized history

By Alex Myers

The pictures of Rory McIlroy and the claret jug have been flowing since his win at Hoylake. And apparently, the Jagermeister has been flowing among his inner circle as well.

Not that we should be surprised.

McIlroy, 25, has had a long, eventful history with the dark syrupy drink, which is impressive. There aren't too many people who could stomach a long history with Jager. We start in 2010, when a 21-year-old McIlroy tweeted this the day after Europe's win over the U.S. at the Ryder Cup in Wales:

Related: The unauthorized history of Tiger Woods' jeans

"What a week!! Think I'm still drunk! Jagerbombs out of the Ryder cup! Great banter with euros and Americans last night!"

A "Jager Bomb" is a Jager and Red Bull concoction. It's also the key that unlocks McIlroy's inner dance machine:

Unfortunately, there aren't any photos of McIlroy dancing. Yet.

In a 2011 interview with ShortList Magazine, McIlroy confirmed his game plan when it comes to drinking. Like his strategy on the golf course, it's aggressive:

"I try to start on beer to start off slow, but then I tend to get into vodka Red Bulls and Jagerbombs."

Rory just drinking beer would be like Rory trying to hit all irons off the tee. Rory don't play that!

Then, there was the infamous night of February 17, 2011. It was a Thursday night, but McIlroy, who has a history of Friday struggles on the course, wasn't playing in a tournament that week. First, McIlroy tweeted this:

"5 Jagerbombs before midnight!! #goingtobealongnight"

Then, less than an hour later:

"Up to 10 now!!"

So much for taking it slow! The guy must have been dancing up a STORM that night. The next morning, McIlroy wrote:

"Jagerbombs 1 Rory 0"

Attention, fellow golfers: this is how you beat Rory McIlroy! Jager is his Kryptonite! Friend Lee Westwood, a man known to throw back a pint or two himself, weighed in on McIlroy's drink of choice later that day:

But apparently, Rors didn't learn -- most guys don't until they're 25. After shooting 80 and blowing a four-shot lead on Sunday at the Masters less than two months later, McIlroy posted this picture of him presumably drinking his sorrows away:

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And now, three years later under much happier circumstances, Jager appears to still be a big part of McIlroy's night life (so much for that age 25 stat). In this picture tweeted by golf writer Brian Keogh, the licorice-tasting liquor (ugh, my stomach turned just thinking about it) is being poured into the claret jug as McIlroy's mom -- Jagermom? -- watches intently:

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McIlroy said he'd drink "everything or anything" from golf's oldest trophy following his victory at the 2014 British Open and it seems like he didn't waste any time doing just that. So what's the score now between Rory and his liquid frenemy? We await a follow-up tweet.

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Tenuous golf connection

There's a reason you're not hearing any Beatles songs on ESPN this week


HOYLAKE, England -- "Live and Let Die" to send you to commercial break? Say it ain’t so!

Sure, the 1973 track is a centerpiece of the Paul McCartney live set and has kept pyro-technicians employed for years, but is a James Bond film theme song reflective of the music created by the lads here in Liverpool?

What’s next? George Harrison’s relentless “I’ve Got My Mind Set On You”?
Paul’s painful duet with Stevie Wonder, "Ebony and Ivory"? Or maybe covers of Beatles tunes, like this catastrophic rendition of "Let It Be".


Actually, don’t knock ESPN for using "Live and Let Die" or other solo works by the Beatles. They wanted to play Liverpoolian-themed Fab Four tunes all week during the Open Championship telecast, but even a network valued at $50 billion can’t justify paying the Beatles catalog rightsholders what is expected for proper Beatles songs like "Strawberry Fields", "Penny Lane" and "Hard Day’s Night." 

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According to ESPN spokesman Andy Hall, the network looked into playing the right tunes but couldn’t justify the cost. Considering that Mad Men reportedly paid $250,000 for the less-famous "Tomorrow Never Knows" off of the Revolver album, the network might have been looking at a tab higher than the first place winner’s check.

The controlling interest of key Beatles tunes has been especially tough on television networks seeking rights to play classics. Who has final say over the catalog?

Michael Jackson outbid Paul McCartney in 1985 to buy the Associated Television Corporation (ATV)'s back catalog. Paying $47.5 million for around 200 or so Beatles classics, Jackson’s estate still controls the collection and McCartney has long regretted having tipped the King of Pop to the investment opportunity that was the catalog. 

There is good news, however, for McCartney and Beatles fans. The 1976 U.S. Copyright Act means the credited songwriters will now be able to claim back some of their work in four years, because all songs written prior to 1978 revert to the songwriter after 56 years.

Maybe even in time for the next Open at Royal Liverpool.

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Tenuous golf connection

This might be the best golf/baseball hybrid trick shot we've ever seen

By Keely Levins

Sports Center Top 10 Plays tweeted out this vine by David Cramblitt on Tuesday, and we're pretty impressed. 

Obviously the text of the tweet leaves a little to be desired -- come on guys, golf is already fun! But we're not going to let that distract us from how sweet this trick is. 

Cramblitt gets points for creativity (what is that? The former handle of an ax used as a catapult for the baseball bat?) and extra points for adaptability, converting the trick while stepping on the discarded golf club (we're guessing that wasn't planned). 

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Tenuous golf connection

9 things you're only going to understand if you've worked in a bag room

By Keely Levins

1. You can unfold a pushcart with the speed and dexterity of a professional Rubik's Cuber. 

2. You kept the members' clubs far cleaner than your own.  

3. You had a lot of putting contests against yourself waiting for the last cart to come in. And  
always pretended you didn't have a life when the player apologized for playing so late. "No, no. There's nothing I'd rather be doing on a Friday night." 

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4. You always felt the need to explain your wad of singles to bank tellers: "It's tip money… From the golf course…"

5. If you didn't approve of the way a member organized their bag, you took it upon yourself to re-arrange it. 

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6. You've pushed electric carts that ran out of juice across the length of a course. And felt like the Hulk doing it. 

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7. The playing privileges were so good, you probably would have worked for free. But you would never tell your boss that. 

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8. Whenever a bag came in with head covers on every iron and hybrid, a little piece of you died. 

9. You were 90% sure you and your bag room co-workers ran the course. Until you got promoted to the Pro Shop. 


 
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Tenuous golf connection

Manny Pacquiao receives golf clubs before big fight


Manny Pacquiao is gearing up for a big fight on April 12th. So Callaway sent him some golf clubs. Chad Coleman, social media front man at Callaway and Odyssey, tweeted this photo of Manny today. The boxing phenom's bag consists of a Big Bertha Alpha driver (the same driver Phil Mickelson's playing), Big Bertha 3 and 5 woods, X2 Hot hybrids, Apex Irons, Mack Daddy 2 wedges, and an Odyssey White Hot Pro #1 putter. 


According the Coleman, the clubs were delivered to Pacquiao on April 4th in Vegas. Pacquiao is there training for his much-anticipated fight against Tim Bradley. Makes you wonder why none of the Rocky movies involved golf in the training montages… 

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News & Tours

Amanda Blumenherst's husband sent to minor league camp

By John Strege

First baseman Nate Freiman, husband of retired (or not) LPGA player Amanda Blumenherst, failed to make the Oakland A's opening-day roster, despite a fairly productive spring training, and was sent to the club's minor league camp on Sunday.

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Last year, Freiman, 27, hit .274 with four home runs and 24 runs batted in in 208 at-bats for Oakland. He spent the entire 2013 season with the American League West champion A's, who were required to keep him on the major league roster for the entire season after acquiring him with a Rule-5 selection.

There was no such restriction on the A's this year. Freiman, a first baseman used exclusively against left-handed pitchers in 2013, batted .238 this spring, with one homer, but he drove in 11 runs, only one fewer than the team leader.

Blumenherst, who met Freiman at Duke, was a three-time college player of the year there. Late last year, she announced she was stepping away from the LPGA to spend time with Freiman, though she left the door open for a return at some point.

It seems likely that Freiman will return to the A's at some point this season. "I'm sure we will see the 6-foot-8 first baseman again this season," Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote. "The A's know what he can do, and he's popular with his teammates and the coaching staff, a hard worker who is quirky and kind."

(Getty Images photo)

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News & Tours

Lose an NCAA Tournament game, win a round of golf... with Charles Barkley?

By Alex Myers

Losing in the NCAA Tournament is tough, but at least there's a silver lining for one coach. North Dakota State's Saul Phillips, whose 12th-seeded Bison upset No. 5 Oklahoma on Thursday before getting knocked out by fourth-seeded San Diego State on Saturday, couldn't help but cry in a post-game press conference. That led him to remark that analyst Charles Barkley would probably make fun of him.

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But Barkley didn't -- at least, at first. He spoke about how much respect he has for college coaches and that he knows how much losing sucks (And as one of the greatest NBA players to never win a championship, he does know). Then in typical Barkley fashion, he cracked, "I don't think he was crying because he lost, I think he was crying because he's gotta go back to North Dakota." Ouch.

Related: 8 golf things you can do with your crumpled up bracket

Barkley isn't as cold as he seems, though. On Sunday, he revealed he called Phillips and had a nice conversation. "I'm still never going to North Dakota, but if he comes to Arizona, he can play golf with Chuck," Barkley said.

Lose an NCAA Tournament game, win a round of golf with Charles Barkley? It could be worse -- especially if you've just spent a long winter in North Dakota.

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News & Tours

A golf ball through a beer bottle caps what might be the greatest trick shot video ever

By Alex Myers

The dudes in Dude Perfect, a YouTube trick shot group that also created a hysterical golf stereotypes video, have topped themselves once again. This time, the five guys pull off nine consecutive trick shots involving five different sports in one unedited clip.

Related: You'll watch this two-man golf trick shot over and over again

The ninth and final trick involves one of the guys hitting a golf ball through a beer bottle being held by another member some 20 yards away. We'll let you judge if it's all real or not, but it sure looks impressive. Oh yeah, don't try this at home. . . 

(h/t SB Nation)

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News & Tours

We filled out a March Madness bracket based on quality of golf. And your winner is . . .

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

Whatever the year, whatever the formula, whatever the indications or the seedings, every year millions of people fill out "March Madness" brackets, and millions are proven wrong.

We took a slightly different approach this year. Carefully balancing our various rankings and the general (often biased) opinions of those around the Golf Digest office, we generated the definitive bracket based solely on the quality of golf around the competing schools. This doesn't account for how good the college golf teams are, but rather students' potential access to good public courses, golf weather and a few other factors.

Here's how the bracket turned out:

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Early Round Heroics

A No. 16 seed has never topped a No. 1 seed in the history of the tournament, but with good golf the determining factor, it will happen twice in 2014. Boasting all of Myrtle Beach's top golf courses, Coastal Carolina in neighboring Conway, S.C., topped University of Virginia while Texas Southern, located in Houston, the eighth best city in the U.S. for golf, breezed passed Wichita State. No. 7 Texas against No. 10 Arizona State was the game of the day, but we gave it to Texas in a thrilling overtime victory. University of Texas' superior golf course -- plus its location near a TopGolf -- proved key.

Related: 10 Best Golf States

A Mostly Western Final Four

Three from the east and one from the west. The juggernaut Coastal Carolina strolled passed Stanford after casting aside the U.S.'s third best golf city, Cincinnati, in the sweet 16. Meanwhile, Arizona's nice weather and three 4.5 star-rated courses gave it the edge over Wisconsin (also in overtime), but couldn't hold up against Texas. Texas had a bit of an easy run compared to some of the other teams, but there's no denying its golfable weather and location near Barton Creek's spectacular Fazio Foothills course gave it a worthy final berth.

Related: Compare Golf Courses

The Much-Anticipated Final

Never mind how it will fare in the basketball tournament, Coastal Carolina would run the tables in our competition. University of Texas may have TopGolf, nice weather, good surrounding courses and a deadly college football-golf atmosphere, but golf is synonymous with the Coastal Carolina culture. With one five and 27 4.5 star public courses all within 50 miles of the university, and the school itself offering a PGA Golf Management program, it's the clear winner.

You heard it here first.

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News & Tours

Rickie Fowler takes batting practice at St. Louis Cardinals facility

By Stephen Hennessey

We knew Rickie Fowler was a huge motocross fan. But the 25-year-old might have a bit of baseball fever, too.

Fowler posted a photo on Instagram of him taking batting practice at a St. Louis Cardinals/New York Mets spring training game in Jupiter, Fla. this afternoon.

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Check out that swing! Those are strong upper-body swing positions for golf -- the straight left arm into impact with the lower right shoulder. Not so much for baseball. (To be fair, looks like that pitch is coming in a little low and outside.)

Related: Fowler's run at WGC-Match Play feels like a "stepping stone"

Fowler credits Butch Harmon for some recent strides in his golf swing. He has him cleaning up his backswing and spine angle, which Fowler parlayed into a semifinal appearance at the WGC-Match Play last month.

But as for baseball? Looks like it's clearly just a hobby for the Jupiter-based Fowler.

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