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The Grind: McIlroy wins the Open, Westwood sings, DJ's b-day pics, and our career "Grand Slam"

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we are pleased that Rory McIlroy used the same target words, "spot" and "process,"  en route to his latest major triumph that we use around here. Confused? Let us explain. First, we "spot" the golf week's most interesting happenings (Yes, this entails more than clicking refresh on Paulina Gretzky's Instagram account). Then, we go through the "process" of putting them all together in a hopefully somewhat entertaining format so you don't have to search for these things yourself and . . . voila! It sounds so simple, right? Well, it's not. Pros like Rory and us just make it look that way. So sit back, relax, and let us do our thing.

WE'RE BUYING

Rory McIlroy: With his two-shot win (it felt like more, right?) at the British Open, McIlroy joined Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only golfers to win three majors by age 25. Bet you've heard that one, but you probably didn't hear about the big 500-to-1 bet his dad placed on him when he was 15 . . . oh, you have? Fine. What else is there to say? This guy is insanely good when he's on and he's on pace to be one of the all-time greats. Oh yeah, and he won me the Golf Digest British Open Fantasy Draft, meaning I've now won the "career Grand Slam" in our office pools in less than two full seasons of majors. Try to keep up, Rory!

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When Rory wins big, his family wins big. Literally.

Sergio Garcia: At least this close call will be easier to shake off than others since Garcia made a spirited run with a Sunday 66. Plus, he gained a lot of respect for how he graciously handled defeat. "It looks like I'm finally growing up," he said after. It only took 34 years.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Rickie Fowler: We laughed when he said he gears his game up for the majors at the U.S. Open -- this is a guy with just ONE PGA Tour win to his credit -- but apparently, he wasn't kidding. With his T-2 at Hoylake, Fowler became the first player since Tiger Woods in 2005 to finish in the top five in each of the year's first three majors. Incredibly, those are his only top-five finishes in 19 stroke-play events this season. But hey, if you're going to have three great weeks a year, those are the three weeks you want to have them.

Lydia Ko: Rory wasn't the only phenom to win Sunday. Ko, 17, picked up her fourth LPGA title and became the youngest female golfer to bank more than the $1 million in career earnings, breaking Lexi Thompson's record by 17 months. And that doesn't even include the two wins and other high finishes she picked up while she was still an amateur. Is it too late to get a 500-to-1 bet on her winning a major?

WE'RE SELLING

Tiger Woods: He really teased us with that opening 69, didn't he? Overall, making the cut at a major in his second start since having back surgery less than four months ago should probably be viewed as a positive step. But finishing T-69 -- Woods' career-worst 72-hole position at a major by far -- doesn't leave us expecting much the rest of the year and even leaves his position on the U.S. Ryder Cup team doubtful. After all, he and captain Tom Watson don't appear to be too chummy these days.

Related: The winners and losers from Hoylake

Dustin Johnson: Rory's closest challenger entering the weekend only managed a T-12. We've been waiting on Johnson to break through at a major for awhile. Now 30, it's really time for DJ to get going.

Bubba Watson: Speaking of long hitters coming up short, Watson, after winning the year's first major has now missed the cut in the last two. More so, he came off as whiny when he complained about "negative comments" in the press after Friday's round. "Bubba Golf" isn't as fun when things aren't going his way, is it?

Jagermeister: In the claret jug? Really, Rory? You're 25 now. But McIlroy can't seem to shake the disgusting dark drink (sorry, bad memories). In fact, he has a long history with it. Don't worry, we broke it all down in our latest piece of hard-hitting journalism. Maybe Rory really meant to say his target words were "shot" and process.

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ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to Canada for the RBC Canadian Open, aka that tournament Hunter Mahan left when he was leading after 36 holes to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. Well played, Hunter.

Related: 15 undeniable truths from the British Open

Random tournament fact: This year's event is at Royal Montreal Golf Club, the site of the Americans romp at the 2007 Presidents Cup. Or, if you're Canadian, the site of Mike Weir's singles win over Tiger Woods in 2007.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK 

-- Ben Hogan drank Jagermeister from the claret jug: 1 million-to-1 odds 

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

-- Rory McIlroy will complete the career Grand Slam at some point: 1-to-2 odds

-- Between Rory and Phil, you'll get sick of hearing about career Grand Slams at some point next year: LOCK

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"I've really found my passion again for golf. Not that it ever dwindled, but it's what I think about when I get up in the morning, it's what I think about when I go to bed. I just want to be the best golfer I can be." -- Rory McIlroy. That doesn't bode well for other golfers.

THIS WEEK IN PAULINA GRETZKY-DUSTIN JOHNSON PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

"Good luck today baby!! Love you" Paulina posted before Sunday's final round. Unfortunately, her well wishes didn't do DJ much good:

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Mmm. Are those giant . . . Oreos? And for some reason, DJ waited until Saturday to post this pic of the couple celebrating his birthday that happened nearly a month ago. We didn't miss it, though. "Spot" and "process"!!!

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Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures

THIS WEEK IN AWFUL GOLF BY CHARLES BARKLEY

The Chuckster competed in the American Century Championship, the biggest celebrity golf tournament. It did not go well. Here's a look at his scorecard from the three days:

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Over the course of 54 holes, the best Barkley could do was five bogeys. Amazing. Oh, and the reason for all the double bogeys is that is the maximum score you can take in the modified Stableford system. Paul Azinger offered Barkley free golf lessons on Twitter and said he'd shave his head if he couldn't fix the former Hank Haney student in 20 minutes. Please take him up on that, Charles. It's a win-win for everyone.

VIRAL VIDEO(S) OF THE WEEK

It's one thing to let John Daly hit a golf ball that's teed up on your face. It's another to let some random dude hit one off your crotch. Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars did just that at a charity golf event:

OK, so he later said the guy was a "pro." We hope so. He also yelled that it "tickled." Interesting.

And then there's Lee Westwood's singing, courtesy of Stephanie Wei.

Who says this guy doesn't have a lot of guts?

THIS AND THAT

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Mark Rypien won the American Century Championship for the first time since the inaugural event in 1990. That's a long time to wait for another major. This guy is the Ernie Els of celebrity golf! . . . Caroline Wozniacki won her first tournament in nine months on the same day Rory captured the claret jug. What are the odds? . . . Speaking of odds, did I mention that I won our office pool and a small, legal wager on Rory McIlroy (18-to-1!) winning the British Open? Cashing in a bet is always nice, but collecting in pounds makes it feel so much more sophisticated.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Why doesn't Rickie Fowler play better in regular tour events?

How many majors will Rory McIlroy win?

Did Gerry McIlroy bet on that too?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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Celebrity

The Grind: Mo stuns, Holly moves on, Paulina surfs, and Lindsey passes the "ab test"

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.

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Holly with a stroke of genius.

WE'RE BUYING

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!

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We'd be laughing if we hit the flagstick from 240 yards out, too.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

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?

WE'RE SELLING

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.

Related: Our favorite Johnny Millerisms

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.

Fox Sports: It wasn't enough to take Johnny and Yanni from the U.S. Open? Now you're poaching Holly as well? That's just cruel.

ON TAP

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?

Related: 17 things that ONLY happen at the British Open

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 

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

-- 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.

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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:

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Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures

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.

Related: The week in Instagrams

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

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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?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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News & Tours

The Grind: Cabrera wins, Rory moves on, and Holly Sonders crushes the Ice Bucket Challenge

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we think we've gotten to the bottom of why Rory McIlroy has chosen to play for Ireland at the 2016 Olympics: Nadia Forde. The up-and-coming Irish model has been linked to the newly-single links star, with their most recent rendezvous coming in Dublin. Yep, that Rory is a BIG fan of the green, white, and orange:

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But there's plenty besides golf gossip politics to discuss this week. Here's what else has us talking.

WE'RE BUYING

Angel Cabrera: The Argentine's timing is obviously off since for once he peaked during the week of a non-major. At least he picked up his first "regular" PGA Tour title at the Greenbrier Classic by routinely pumping 330-yard drives down the middle and firing at pins, including a hole-out on an uphill 175-yard approach with a 7-iron. With game like that, how has Cabrera not won more?

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Graeme McDowell: With a final round 67 and some help (more on that later), G-Mac came back from eight shots to defend his title at the French Open. Afterward, he celebrated with his parents. Aww.

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Paying fans: Imagine you're lucky enough to be at a PGA Tour event watching great golf on a glorious day and you see a hole-in-one. Now imagine that a few minutes later you get even luckier when someone hands you a crisp $100 bill. That's what happened Sunday as Greenbrier owner Jim Justice gave out money to all the fans in the stands for Bud Cauley's Sunday ace on the 18th hole. Talk about being in the right place at the right time.

John Singleton: Looking for an uplifting story to help get you through the week after July 4th? Singleton, a factory worker in Liverpool qualified for next week's British Open and now his boss has given everyone at the factory a day off and a ticket if they want to watch the resin plant mixer tee it up at golf's oldest major championship. We think Disney is already in pre-production for the movie.

WE'RE SELLING

Kevin Stadler: I had the headline "An American In Paris" all ready for Sunday until Stadler shot a 76 to blow a four-shot lead. Thanks, Kevin. Seriously, the French Open might not seem like a big deal, but for a player with just one career PGA Tour win and whose only win on the European Tour win came more than eight years ago, it is. On the bright side, Stadler is still enjoying the best year of his career -- even if his continued putting woes have him considering going lefty.

Related: Our favorite Johnny Millerisms

Martin Kaymer: After wire-to-wire wins at the Players and U.S. Open, Kaymer has struggled in his two starts since. He missed the cut at an event in Germany and shot a 77 on Sunday to tumble to T-12 at the French Open. This is probably just a blip, but it is interesting the German has only really played well in this year's big events. Is he the new Angel Cabrera?

Trying To Impress Tom Watson: Everyone who plays with the U.S. Ryder Cup captain gets asked about this, as if playing with Watson up close is really going to make a difference in a two-year qualifying process. Then there are articles saying Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson, who Watson played with the first two days, made a "great impression" on Watson. Meanwhile, the 64-year-old beat Bradley for those 36 holes and was tied with Simpson heading into the final round! Maybe he'll pick Bud Cauley for the team because he saw him make a hole-in-one! Please. I'd like the Ryder Cup a lot more if everything about it wasn't so overblown.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to Illinois for the John Deere Classic, aka that tournament where it seems like Steve Stricker or Zach Johnson wins every year.

Related: The Dufners had a GREAT July 4th weekend

Random tournament fact: Neither Stricker or Johnson won last year, instead letting 19-year-old Jordan Spieth become the youngest winner on tour in 82 years.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK 

-- A teenager will win this year's John Deere Classic: 1 million-to-1 odds

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

-- Steve Stricker or Zach Johnson will win the John Deere Classic: Even odds

-- Donald Trump wishes he'd thought of handing out money at Doral: LOCK

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"Golf doesn't mean a whole lot sometimes." -- An emotional George McNeill after shooting the round of his life (61) and then finding out his older sister had died of cancer. Our thoughts are with his family.

THIS WEEK IN PAULINA GRETZKY-DUSTIN JOHNSON AMANDA DUFNER-JASON DUFNER PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

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Sorry, Paulina-DJ, Lindsey-Tiger, Rory-Nadine, etc. These two are golf's "it" couple right now.

Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Thought we were done with the Dufners? Think again. In fact, Amanda posted so many photos from her July 4th Bahamas vacation with hubby Jason that we could have created a separate post. Wait a minute, we did! But here are two of our favorites:

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Related: The week in Instagrams

Apparently, Jason hasn't taught her the Vardon grip yet . . .


VIRAL VIDEO(S) OF THE WEEK

Remember the "Ice Bucket Challenge" in which a player dumps a bucket of ice water on his or her head and then calls out another person to do the same? That thing that just won't go away? Well, we were completely over it, too, until we watched a very, um, patriotic Holly Sonders gives it a go.

My #icebucketchallenge from Holly Sonders on Vimeo.

Congrats, Holly. You win the Ice Bucket Challenge.

THIS AND THAT

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I.K. Kim won the Ladies European Masters. Unfortunately for her, she'll still be known as the player who missed a one-foot putt to win a major. . . . A minor league baseball team, the Toledo Mud Hens, will turn its stadium into a mini-golf course. Following the season, that is. Although watching a shortstop try to throw around a windmill would be entertaining. . . . Fred Couples withdrew from the U.S. Senior Open. Having a bad back sucks. . . . The pros weren't the only ones going low last week as I fired a career-best 32 on the back nine at Rye Golf Club. Afterward, I celebrated by drinking this appropriately-labeled Coke Zero. Of course, if I were actually a legend, I wouldn't have shot a front-nine 41 or an 83 my next time out. One of these days I'll put two great nines together. One of these days. . .

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Will I ever put two great nines together?

Again, why doesn't Angel Cabrera win more?

Has anyone challenged Paulina Gretzky to do the Ice Bucket Challenge yet?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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News & Tours

The Grind: Rose survives, Tiger struggles, FootGolf celebrations, and kissing selfies in the White House

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we're glad we're not a Congressional CC member this week. Did you see that rough? Yeah, that stuff isn't going anywhere for awhile. But who are we kidding? We'd still like to be a member there this week, especially with a three-day July 4th weekend on tap. We hope everyone takes advantage of the extra day and spends some serious quality time on the golf course -- oh, and with their families. In the meantime, here's what else has us talking.

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Justin Rose survived Congressional's rough -- and ropes.

WE'RE BUYING

Justin Rose: It was fitting the 2013 U.S. Open champ made his next PGA Tour win an event with such a U.S. Open feel. Rose had to hole a 15-footer for bogey on the final hole of regulation before beating Shawn Stefani in a playoff. "I was excited to play this golf course this week," Rose said. "I really enjoy this type of golf and this kind of test. And it tested all of us." Easier said when you win. Something tells us Freddie Jacobson wouldn't agree. . .

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Bernhard Langer: This guy just keeps on trucking, doesn't he? Langer turns 57 next month, but the German is still the man on the Champions Tour. This week, he knocked off Jeff Sluman in a playoff to win the Senior Players, his 21st senior win and third major on the over-50 circuit. He's the Martin Kaymer of the Champions Tour. Or maybe it's the other way around. . . 

Stacy Lewis:
A week after Michelle Wie won the U.S. Women's Open, Lewis reminded everyone she's still ranked No. 1. With a final-round 65, Lewis vaulted ahead of Wie and others to win her psuedo home state's LPGA Tour stop. The former Arkansas Razorback birdied her final three holes to win by one and add to her reputation as one of the game's best closers. We hereby dub her "Sunday Stacy."

WE'RE SELLING

Tiger Woods' British Open chances: Obviously, we expected Woods to be rusty in his return from back surgery, but a couple of alarming things jumped out from his performance. For one, Woods had a different swing. Considering how long he usually takes to make swing changes, being ready to contend at Hoylake in a couple weeks seems like a long shot. Secondly, Woods was a brutal 3-for-16 in scrambling. Wasn't he supposed to be working on his short game while his back healed?

Related: 17 GIFs that explain how FootGolf works

Patrick Reed: We gave him the nickname "Big Game" Reed when he was winning on what seemed like a weekly basis, but that hasn't been the case of late. This week, he seemed poised to get back into the winner's circle, but after grabbing the 54-hole lead, he shot 76 to fall out of the top 10. It's safe to say Reed has fallen out of everyone's "top five" for the time being.

Related: Our favorite Johnny Millerisms

FootGolf: Hear me out before you dismiss me as some golf purist/curmudgeon. I gave it a try, and it was a lot of fun, but I would never choose to be out on a golf course and not play actual golf again. That said, it did free me up to celebrate like a maniac . . .

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ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to West Virginia for The Greenbrier Classic, aka that tournament where Stuart Appleby shot a Sunday 59 to win once.

Related: The winners and losers from the U.S. Open

Random tournament fact: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson missed the cut at the 2012 tournament, marking the first time they both failed to make it to the weekend at the same PGA Tour event. These days, that wouldn't be so shocking.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK 

-- This week's winning score at the Greenbrier will only be four under: 1 million-to-1 odds

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

-- Tiger Woods will win the British Open: 12-to-1 odds (actual odds)

-- Bookies laugh every time someone makes that bet: LOCK

THIS WEEK IN PAULINA GRETZKY-DUSTIN JOHNSON AMANDA DUFNER-JASON DUFNER PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

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In the White House no less! Speaking of which. . .

Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Mrs. Dufner was also kind enough to share this great picture of all of the wives on hand when members of the Presidents Cup teams went to visit with the President:

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Abe Lincoln looks impressed.

Related: The week in Instagrams

VIRAL VIDEO(S) OF THE WEEK

The "Ice Bucket Challenge" is the new rage in golf viral videos and it has spread to the LPGA Tour as well as the PGA Tour. Essentially, you film yourself dumping a bucket of ice water on your head and then challenge someone else to do it. Here, Michelle Wie gives it a try:

Ian Poulter, who once jokingly called Tiger Woods "No. 2" after he lost his top ranking, has issued the challenge to the 14-time major winner. Oh no, he didn't!

THIS AND THAT

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Erik Compton is among those close to wrapping up a spot in the field at the British Open. Good. We can't hear about his remarkable story too much. . . . The WGC-Match Play will be back in 2015, but at Harding Park. Good. We can never hear the phrase "vagaries of match play" too much. . . . Fabrizio Zanatti won the BMW International Open, beating Henrik Stenson, Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Gregory Havret in a playoff. Zanotti became the first player from Paraguay to win on the European Tour. . . . And finally, more golf history was made in Williamsburg, Va., as Tim Pitrulle captured the 21st HGGA Championship to become the first player to win this prestigious event -- and this deteriorating green jacket -- in his debut. Congrats, Tim! And now go put in those scores! You are the best 26-handicapper I've ever seen.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Why hasn't Donald Trump showed any interest in hosting an HGGA Championship?

Was there any #Dufnering going on inside the Oval Office?

Will Tiger Woods accept the Ice Bucket Challenge?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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News & Tours

The Grind: Wie twerks, Streelman 'tweets', Paulina sings, and Paula visits Fort Bragg

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we officially have Wie Fever. We've also never been more excited to see a swarm of rules officials around a golfer as we were when Michelle Wie was taking that unplayable late in her final round. We were having Dustin Johnson-sandy area flashbacks, but disaster was averted. Phew. Wie's first major must have felt extra sweet since she must feel like the oldest 24-year-old golfer of all time. It's crazy to think she was also a 54-hole leader at the U.S. Open NINE years ago. Hmm, that reminds me. Around that time I bet my mom she would win a major someday. PAY UP, MOM!

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WE'RE BUYING

Michelle Wie: The LPGA Tour doesn't keep an official "bounce back" stat, but it doesn't need to. Wie is No. 1 after a birdie on No. 17 immediately followed that messy double bogey on 16. The clutch putt all but wrapped up the U.S. Women's Open and ended an exciting two weeks of major championship golf at Pinehurst. Speaking of putting and Pinehurst, Wie managed to go the entire tournament without making a three-putt. Raise your hand if you've made fun of her putting stance (*raises hand*). Who looks silly now? In fact, she's so comfortable in that stance now that she even used it to drink beer from the U.S. Women's Open trophy.

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Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Kevin Streelman: Lost in the Michelle Wie hysteria, Streelman did something that no PGA Tour player has EVER done. The 36-year-old birdied the final seven (!) holes to win the Travelers Championship by one shot over Sergio Garcia and K.J. Choi. As if Streelman's timing of this historic performance wasn't bad enough, he even got short-changed in about the only headline he got:

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Poor guy. If someone like Tiger, Rory or Phil did this, there'd be a statue of him built on the spot. At the very least, Kevin, we promise to spell your name right.

Tiger Woods coming back: Golf's No. 1 draw announced he'll return this week to play in his own tournament. Hip, hip, hooray! Actually, let's go easy on the hip -- it's about the only part of Woods' body that hasn't been injured. But seriously, this is good news for golf -- and for Woods. With two majors, the Ryder Cup and FedEx Cup remaining on the 2014 calendar, there's still plenty to play for.

WE'RE SELLING

People who questioned the USGA: The back-to-back U.S. Open experiment worked! The USGA prepared Pinehurst No. 2 in a way that held up for two weeks and played challenging but fair for both tournaments. Do you know what the final-round scoring averages were? The men shot 72.4 versus the women at 72.39. Wow. Mike Davis knows a thing or two about course setup. Of course, it helped that the USGA got extremely lucky with the weather. Eight days of golf in North Carolina in June and not a major delay in play? We're taking Mike as a good luck charm the next time we go there for a golf trip.

Related: 13 things we learned at Pinehurst

People who questioned Lucy Li: Calm down, everyone. It's one week. We have no problem with an 11-year-old qualifying for the U.S. Open -- it's an "Open" isn't it? But others, most notably Stacy Lewis disagreed. "I'm not a big fan of it," Lewis said before wondering "where does [Li] go from here?" The main problem with that reasoning is there's no guarantee Li will have another opportunity like the one she had here. Remember Tadd Fujikawa? How about Derek Tolan? No? Exactly. In any event, congrats to Li for shooting a pair of 78s. And we hope to see you at future U.S. Opens.

Related: Our favorite Johnny Millerisms

People who complained about the anchoring ban: The ban doesn't kick in until 2016, but we've seen a few people start to prepare recently. At the Travelers, it was Brendan Steele's turn. He switched to a short putter, opened with a 62 and picked up his best finish of the season with a T-5. So there you go, guys. There are countless ways to putt that don't involve jamming your club into your belly or chest. Switch to the short putter. Or do the Matt Kuchar. Or try Michelle Wie's table-top style. Eh... maybe don't try that one unless your back is particularly limber.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to D.C. for the Quicken Loans National, aka Tiger's tournament. Meanwhile, down the road in Williamsburg, Va., I will be competing in the HGGA (don't ask) Tour's lone major, the HGGA Championship. Tiger, next year we won't schedule it the same weekend so we don't force you to make a tough choice of which to play in.

Related: The winners and losers from the U.S. Open

Random tournament fact: Tiger has won his own tournament twice. I have won my annual golf trip's tournament twice. The similarities are eerie.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- This week's PGA Tour winner will finish with seven straight birdies to win by one: 1 million-to-1 odds

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

-- This week's HGGA Tour winner will make seven birdies over the course of the week: 2-to-1 odds

-- Neither winner will look as good 'twerking' as Michelle Wie: LOCK

THIS WEEK IN PAULINA GRETZKY-DUSTIN JOHNSON PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

On Sunday, Dustin celebrated the big 3-0. For the occasion, Paulina put together a video of family and friends wishing him happy birthday with Katy Perry's "Birthday" as background music. Aww.

Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures

BONUS PAULINA VIDEO!

Who needs Katy Perry when you've got Paulina Gretzky?! Here she is singing LIVE!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"When you're in the zone like that, when athletes talk about being in the zone, everything is really slow, and it's really clear and concise, and it's very vivid. The lines are easy to see. The hole seems to appear bigger. It's almost to a point it doesn't matter how you read the putts because you just know they're going in before you hit them." -- Kevin (Streaky) Streelman

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Again, this little girl shot a pair of 78s at the U.S. Open!

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Wait, is that a strawberry Starburst ice cream bar? Oh yeah. Lucy Li is wise beyond her years.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK (NOT INVOLVING WIE OR LI)

Paula Creamer stopped by Fort Bragg on Monday. Apparently, she's been working on her guns.

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Related: The week in Instagrams

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

How could it be anything other than Michelle Wie 'twerking'?


THIS AND THAT

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Tom Lehman birdied the final hole to win the Champion Tour's Encompasse Championship by one. Is it just me, or does every Champions Tour event end with a birdie on the final hole? . . . Hunter Mahan is putting his Dallas-area house mansion on the market. It includes an indoor basketball court, a man cave with a golf simulator and gym, and one of the coolest pools you've ever seen. If only I lived in Dallas. And had $9.5 million. . . . Speaking of having money to spend, Callaway Golf announced that Art Mark was the winner of its "Big Bertha Payday" contest -- the one in which the winner takes home a check equal to Phil Mickelson's U.S. Open prize money. I'm sure he's not complaining about winning $59,588, but he's really wishing Mickelson hadn't missed a few of those short putts at Pinehurst. . . . Looking for a healthier alternative to potato chips? Try these soy sauce-flavored crackers from Trader Joe's. If there was a U.S. Open for crackers, they'd win by more than Martin Kaymer.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Should we stop calling Kevin Streelman a journeyman now?

More career majors: Wiesy or Lexi?

Why in the world is Hunter Mahan selling that house?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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News & Tours

The Grind: Kaymer cruises, Compton lifts hearts, and Johnny's emotional (U.S. Open) farewell

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we're kicking ourselves for not making that Martin Kaymer wins the U.S. Open/Germany wins the World Cup combo bet (365/1 odds!). How did we not see this coming? Kaymer doesn't just win every big golf event these days, he leads after every round, and the Germans only thrashed Portugal 4-0 in their first game. But we'll try not to think about all of the potential money/lavish dinners at chain restaurants lost by the decision to go with Sergio Garcia/Spain instead (SIGH), and focus on what's happening in golf. Despite Kaymer's one-man show at Pinehurst, there's still plenty to talk about.

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Kaymer beat the field, the course, and even Mike Davis.

WE'RE BUYING

Martin Kaymer: In 20 years, will this be the week we look back on as the time Martin Kaymer really established himself as an all-time great golfer? The German didn't just win the U.S. Open, he was like a BMW switching to the left lane and passing a bunch of go-carts (to continue the German engineering cliche). Kaymer broke the 36-hole scoring record and was on cruise control the entire weekend, winning by eight shots to claim his second major. Throw in wins at the Players and a WGC, sinking the winning putt at a Ryder Cup and being a former World No. 1 and you've got the makings of a legendary career.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Erik Compton: Kaymer's dominance left everyone playing for second, but at least it produced the most incredible runner-up story in golf history. Compton arrived at Pinehurst for his 100th career PGA Tour start with just one more career top 10 (three) than he's had heart transplants. Somewhere, Kevin Costner is putting together the sports movie to top all of his sports movies. "Tin Heart"? That doesn't make sense. "Pull Durham"? Hmm, closer. "Heart of Dreams"? Got it!

Pinehurst No. 2: The course looked better than ever -- and even better in person -- and provided a great all-around test for the world's best golfers. Sure, there were critics like Donald Trump who scoffed at Pinehurst's brown look, but that was an intentional and sensible move by the USGA that hopefully, other courses will follow. Besides, should we really take seriously someone who is on record saying Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles is better than Pebble Beach?

Related: 13 things we learned at Pinehurst

Martin Kaymer: You thought we were done talking about this guy? Nope. When you win the U.S. Open by eight shots, you get a little extra pub. In fact, we created a special slideshow of 17 things you need to know about Martin Kaymer. Read it, study it, memorize it. At 29, he's not going anywhere.

WE'RE SELLING

Phil Mickelson: Perhaps it's unfair to expect so much from a player, but that's what happens when you finish runner-up at the same tournament six times. Despite oozing excitement at the start of the week, Mickelson made it clear by Friday he wouldn't capture the career Grand Slam this year. His poor putting continued, and it didn't help that after saying he'd be using the claw grip on Pinehurst's greens, he switched back to his normal grip on Friday.

Bubba Watson: The Masters champ seemed out of the tournament before it began following a Tuesday press conference in which he didn't seem thrilled with Pinehurst's setup. Watson certainly has the talent to be an all-time great, but does he have the attitude/focus/consistency needed? This marks the second time he's missed the cut at the U.S. Open after slipping on a green jacket.

Related: Our favorite Johnny Millerisms

Weekend drama: How do you say "sucked the life out of the golf tournament and turned it into a complete snoozefest" in German? At one point on Sunday, this was the scene in media dining, with a guy glued to a TV watching . . . "Tin Cup."

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Kaymer the conqueror turned the weekend into a coronation, leaving few interesting storylines (thank goodness for Erik Compton!) other than how NBC would wrap up its final U.S. Open broadcast after 20 years. Speaking of which. . .

Saying goodbye to NBC: Sunday TV ratings were down 46 percent, but don't blame NBC. The network gave us tremendous coverage of the U.S. Open as always and kept the focus on golf and not themselves (Although the crew -- minus Johnny -- is sticking around this week for the U.S. Women's Open). We'll miss Johnny, Yanni, and . . . (Be strong, Alex! Be strong!) the rest of the gang.

Related: But what's going to happen to NBC's U.S. Open theme song?!

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads north to Cromwell, Conn., for the Travelers Championship, aka that tournament with an ominous big umbrella as its logo.

Related: The winners and losers from the U.S. Open

Random tournament fact: Patrick Cantlay, then a 19-year-old amateur attending UCLA, shot a second-round 60 at this event in 2011. Somehow, he only finished T-24.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK 

-- Johnny Miller will get as emotional at the end of his final Honda Classic broadcast: 1 million-to-1 odds

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

-- You'll routinely start seeing more amateurs hacking balls on the range with tennis balls hanging from their necks: Even odds

-- It won't work nearly as well for them: LOCK

THIS WEEK IN PAULINA GRETZKY-DUSTIN JOHNSON PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION PROTECTION

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Even with me at Pinehurst, isn't this just a little over the top?

Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"I did like it, though. Some of them are very pretty." -- Martin Kaymer on sharing Pinehurst's practice area with LPGA members before Sunday's final round.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

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This guy, who was driving NBC on-course reporter Roger Maltbie around Pinehurst No. 2 in a golf cart, was arrested during Saturday's round. Luckily, our Charles Laberge was there to snap a few photos of the odd scene.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK (NOT INVOLVING AN ARREST)

The dual-U.S. Open vibe carried over into the celebration as Sandra Gal continued an LPGA tradition of dousing the winner.

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Related: The week in Instagrams

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Golfweek caught up to Johnny Miller as he came down from the TV tower following Sunday's broadcast. An honest Miller says he wishes he could be at Chambers Bay for next year's U.S. Open, but instead, will probably host a BBQ while he watches on TV.

"The way I look at it, 20 years is a pretty dang good run," Miller said. Yes it was, Johnny. Yes it was.

THIS AND THAT

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Tiger Woods is back to hitting full shots at his home course. Phew! Did we mention how bad the U.S. Open TV ratings were? . . . United Airlines lost Rory McIlroy's golf clubs while he traveled from the U.S. Open to the Irish Open. Is this part of that supposed spell Caroline Wozniacki cast on him? . . . Jason Day looks healthy again, finishing T-4 at Pinehurst for his seventh top-10 finish in 15 major starts. Thanks for winning me the office fantasy pool, Jason. . . . Good thing I won that pool because this (above) is what happens when you forget to bring a second pair of shorts to go cover a golf tournament for a week.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

How many majors will Martin Kaymer win?

Who will write Fox's U.S. Open theme song?

How does Johnny Miller rank his skills on the grill?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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News & Tours

The Grind: Carolina dreaming, Crane's crazy win, and Johnny's last stand

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we've been going to Carolina in our minds for some time now. Pinehurst is finally set to host back-to-back U.S. Opens, and we're excited to see how it all plays out -- especially since we have nothing to do with pulling off this logistical nightmare. But before the USGA's latest experiment begins, there's a lot to talk about. Let's get to it.

WE'RE BUYING

Ben Crane: Known more for his comedic performances than his golf in recent years, Crane got back into the winner's circle with his wire-to-wire win at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. The victory was made even more amazing by the fact he hadn't finished better than T-32 in his previous 12 starts on tour, and he didn't have a birdie over the final 29 holes in Memphis. In lieu of playing in the U.S. Open, Crane made Memphis his own personal grindfest.

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"Pick me up. I'm limping home."

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Inbee Park: WINBEE is back! After an 11-month drought, Park shot a final-round 61(!) to win by three shots at the Manulife Financial Classic. Another LPGA victory by another top-ranked player. Incredible. The recent stretch on that circuit would be like if Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson and Rory McIlroy just kept switching off winning on the PGA Tour. Yeah, keep dreaming, Tim Finchem.

Jay Haas: The nine-time PGA Tour winner was announced as the U.S. captain for the 2015 Presidents Cup. Haas will match wits with Nick Price, who will captain the International team at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea. Haas also happens to be enjoying an incredible season on the Champions Tour. In 10 starts this season, he has NINE top-five finishes. Speaking of the Champions Tour. . .

Legends Of Golf: In case you didn't know, the Champions Tour did something pretty cool for this always fun event this year: hold it on a par-3 course. Jeff Sluman and Fred Funk were the winners in this experimental format. Well, Sluman, Funk and slow-play haters everywhere.

WE'RE SELLING

Phil Mickelson's U.S. Open chances: After a promising start, Mickelson didn't do much over the weekend, finishing T-11. The good news? That matches his best performance of the season. The bad news? That matches his best performance of the season. Mickelson changed putters and even how he gripped his putter in Memphis, raising even more questions for this week's trip to Pinehurst. It's tough to have confidence in a player winning the U.S. Open when he hasn't finished in the top 10 on the PGA Tour since last August.

Related: Our favorite Johnny Millerisms

Johnny's last U.S. Open: Think people are making too big of a deal about this being Johnny Miller's final U.S. Open at the mic? Too bad. There have been a lot of great things written about this leading up to the U.S. Open and we're looking forward to a great final broadcast by the entire NBC gang. Have a box of tissues handy on Sunday. It could get a little dusty in the booth.

This week's weather forecast: Maybe if we talk about the heavy chance of thunderstorms in the forecast for the week in North Carolina, we'll get lucky and the bad weather won't show. It's not like the USGA is planning on holding another major championship there the following week as well. Oh. Right.

ON TAP

Cue up Yanni's "In Celebration of Man" one more time (*tear*), it's finally U.S. Open week. The best players in the world not named Tiger Woods will descend on Pinehurst No. 2 for the year's second major championship. Let the games carnage begin!

Related: I re-watched the 1999 U.S. Open and it was even better than I remembered

Random tournament fact: Pinehurst hasn't hosted the U.S. Open since 2005, but it has hosted another major since. Yours truly captured the 2008 HGGA Championship on that hallowed ground. You can look it up. Actually, you can't, so just take my word for it.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK 

-- NBC won't show footage of Johnny Miller winning the 1973 U.S. Open: 1 million-to-1 odds

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

-- The winning score at Pinehurst will be 10 under par: 10,000-to-1 odds

-- The winner will still have a much better score than I did when I played Pinehurst No. 2: LOCK

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Natalie Gulbis is getting pretty good at this yoga thing:

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Related: The week in Instagrams

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Phil Mickelson's 2014 struggles have been well documented, but it hasn't been all smooth sailing for his caddie, either? Courtesy of Brendan Porath, check out this Vine of "Bones" dropping the ball. Literally.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"Oh my gosh, it just keeps going. How many can a phone hold? This is so much fun." -- An emotional Ben Crane checking his messages on his phone following his win.

THIS AND THAT

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In a recent radio interview, Hank Haney said Tiger Woods "doesn't try to be a jerk. He just doesn't get it." Guess we can rule out Woods for a future season of "The Haney Project." . . . A tornado blew through a junior golf tournament in Colorado. Scary stuff, but luckily, there was only one broken wrist. . . . An incredible 100,000 hats and 70,000 shirts are expected to be sold at this year's U.S. Open. That's a lot of happy dads on Father's Day. . . . I used to love Starburst as a kid (who didn't?), but it had been awhile since I had eaten them. That was a mistake. They are still awesome.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Is Phil playing us all for suckers?

Will a horse ever win the Triple Crown again?

Should I buy a hat or a shirt at Pinehurst?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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News & Tours

The Grind: Phil deals with the FBI, celebs pose with golf clubs, and a possible 'Wozilroy' curse

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. . .

WE'RE BUYING

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.

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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?

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

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.

WE'RE SELLING

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!

Related: Golf's all-time biggest breakups

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. . .

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to Memphis for the FedEx St. Jude Classic, aka that tournament before the U.S. Open.

Related: 5 ways to predict the next surprising winner on the PGA Tour

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

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

-- 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?

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Coincidentally, McIlroy immediately made three straight double bogeys on his way to a 78. Yep, "coincidentally". . .

Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK

It was a good week for celebrities randomly posing with golf clubs. First, Jessica Simpson posted these photos:

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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:

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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)

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"So I got into a little tree trouble at mini golf tonight had to pool shoot it," Lexi Thompson captioned. Well played, Lexi.

Related: The week in Instagrams

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

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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?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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News & Tours

The Grind: Scott's stylish win, the end of 'Wozilroy,' and Sergio's soccer team wins

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we're happy that talk of a disappointing golf season was laid to rest over Memorial Day weekend. The newly top-ranked player in the world and a former No. 1 both won, another LPGA star was victorious, and a senior got a long-awaited first major -- well, sort of. That's not to mention the NCAA Championships, which featured the triumph of a brave pioneer/trendsetter(?). We hope you're feeling rested after a day off because we've got a lot to talk about.

WE'RE BUYING

Rory McIlroy: We could sense a win was coming, especially after McIlroy shot 17 under on just the back nine at TPC Sawgrass during the Players, but to do it on the heels of calling off his engagement to Caroline Wozniacki? That takes incredible concentration. McIlroy used a final-round 66 at Wentworth to come from seven shots behind and claim the BMW PGA, the European Tour's flagship event.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

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"Wow, I really am a good-looking dude."

Adam Scott: The Aussie got his first win as World No. 1 and as a married man at Colonial, while becoming the first golfer to win all four Texas PGA Tour stops. Scott defeated another 2013 major champion, Jason Dufner, in an entertaining playoff to cap the most exciting day of professional golf thus far in 2014. With the win, Scott ensured he'd stay No. 1 for at least a couple of weeks. We think. Speaking of firsts ...

Colin Montgomerie: Monty is major-less and winless on U.S. soil no more after he pulled away from the pack with a Sunday 65 at the Senior PGA Championship. Of course, the win won't make up for the pain of the 1995 PGA (or the 2006 U.S. Open, or the 1997 U.S. Open, or the 1994 U.S. Open, etc.), but it's got to feel good for Montgomerie to get his first win anywhere in nearly seven years. At only 50, there should be more of those to come on the Champions Tour. He just might want to pick up as many trophies as possible before fellow Euro Ryder Cupper Miguel Angel Jimenez starts playing on the senior circuit more regularly.

Related: 5 ways to predict the next surprising winner on the PGA Tour

Jessica Korda: The LPGA's dream season keeps getting better. This time, it was this rising star's turn to win again with a final-round 65 at the Airbus LPGA Classic. At one point on Sunday, Korda, Michelle Wie, Lexi Thompson and Charley Hull were tied for the lead. Seriously, did commissioner Mike Whan sell his soul to the devil?

WE'RE SELLING

Rory McIlroy: Great win and all, Rory, but breaking up with your fiancee after the wedding invitations have already been sent out? That's rough. U.S. Open-level rough. We just hope his victory only days after announcing the end of 'Wozilroy' doesn't set off some sort of trend among committed professional golfers.

Related: Golf's all-time biggest breakups

Thomas Bjorn: Lost in McIlroy's Sunday brilliance was Bjorn's latest collapse. After opening with a 62 at Wentworth and taking a five-shot lead through 54 holes, Bjorn shot a Sunday 75 to fall to third place. The 43-year-old's comeback from a slump that had him thinking of retiring has been inspiring, but you can add this to the 2003 Open and 2005 PGA as big-time events the big Dane has let slip away.

People knocking pushcarts: Stanford's Cameron Wilson won the NCAA individual championship, but he seemed to draw more heat than praise on Twitter from old-school tough guys for using a pushcart. This brave young lad began using one because of a back injury, but even if he had started using one as a healthy college kid, we'd have no problem with it. In fact, in Scotland -- a place that's pretty old school itself -- using pushcarts is very common. Wilson's teammates also used pushcarts and finished first in match-play qualifying by nine shots. Coincidence? Maybe, but Wilson sure looked fresh after winning his title on the third playoff hole. Good for you, Cameron. Strap that trophy to your cart and roll it slowly by all the haters.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to Ohio for the Memorial at Muirfield Village, aka that place where Kimberly the Streaker and Sammy the Squirrel grabbed headlines at the Presidents Cup last October. Word is, Jack Nicklaus has called for extra security at his course this week.

Related: When golf takes the blame

Random tournament fact: Roger Maltbie won this event in its inaugural year, 1976. ROG! This is what our favorite on-course reporter looked like back then:

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RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK 

-- Jack Nicklaus will go streaking down the 18th hole: 1 million-to-1 odds.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

-- Rory McIlroy's next girlfriend will be Miley Cyrus: 80-to-1 odds (actual odds)

-- Pushcarts will become acceptable, but still won't look cool: LOCK

THIS WEEK IN DUSTIN JOHNSON-PAULINA GRETZKY SERGIO GARCIA-KATHARINA BOEHM PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

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"Managed to get one more Real Madrid fan tonight!! I'm guessing she won't be as nervous as me!" Garcia tweeted before the Champions League Final. We're guessing neither were too nervous for long as Real Madrid cruised to a 4-1 win. Garcia withdrew from the BMW PGA with a knee injury earlier in the week, but he seemed pretty happy watching his favorite team. In fact, he seems pretty happy quite often these days . . .

Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures

UNPLANNED COOL PHOTO OF THE WEEK

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Yep, that's Rory McIlroy spraying victory champagne in front of a HUGE poster of Rory McIlroy.

PLANNED UNCOOL PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Poor Adam Scott for having to pose for this one.

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Related: The week in Instagrams

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Bubba Watson made a backwards putt at mini-golf and then completely flipped out:

THROWBACK VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

But Bubba's putt had nothing on the time Jack Nicklaus showed Johnny Miller how to make a 100-foot putt. This is the most amazing video I've ever seen.

The top 25 viral golf videos of 2013

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"It's tough to beat him. He's a great player. It's tough to concentrate, he's so good looking, too," -- Jason Dufner on Adam Scott.

THIS AND THAT

Josh Beckett threw a no-hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers just two days after getting to play a round at Pine Valley. Josh Beckett might be having the best week ever. . . . Keith Clearwater finished dead last in the field at the Crowne Plaza Invitational. But that probably won't stop him from teeing it up again at Colonial next year. . . . Byron Smith, 33, won his first Web.com title at the Rex Hospital Open. Incredibly, Smith never played in a tournament during his two years on the Pepperdine golf team. There's hope for all of us late bloomers. . . . Playing with that hope, I shot a front-nine 33 on Memorial Day, but limped home with a back-nine 46. Sigh. It is believed to be the first such round in golf history.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Does Sammy the Squirrel still live at Muirfield Village?

How long will Adam Scott remain No. 1?

Should I start using a pushcart?

Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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News & Tours

The Grind: Jimenez thrills, Tiger shows denim progress, and Kevin Durant meets a pair of major champs

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where Miguel Angel Jimenez has moved beyond the title of "the most interesting golfer in the world." He's now the most exciting story in golf. Who would have thought we'd be saying that about a 50-year-old with a ponytail midway through 2014? While upping the cool factor on the European Tour, the cigar-smoking, age-defying Jimenez has fellow golfers  wondering why the heck they spend so much time in the gym. Keep it up, Miguel. Golf has turned its Tiger-less eyes to you.

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I mean. . . how great is this guy? 

WE'RE BUYING

Miguel Angel Jimenez: We've got MAJ Fever and for good reason. At 50, he's playing arguably the best golf of his life. His latest win in Spain broke his own record as the oldest winner on the European Tour and took him back into the top 25 in the Official World Golf Ranking. It also came just two weeks after he got married. "I don't always go on honeymoons, but when I do, I like to win a golf tournament the next week." Or something like that.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Brendon Todd: Take notes, golf heavyweights. The man with two first names just showed you how you close out a golf tournament. Sure, he had to hit a chip lefty and drain a long par putt on No. 17, but Todd played a bogey-free final round to pick up his first PGA Tour win at the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Impressive stuff from a guy who had never registered a top-5 finish in 76 previous starts.

Mike Weir: More surprising than Todd's victory was Weir's runner-up. In fact, Weir's solo second was his first top-10 finish on the PGA Tour in more than four years. The Canadian's season stats indicate it was a bit of a fluke, but hey, if having one big week every four years works for Olympic athletes, why can't it work for him? 

Related: 5 ways to predict the next surprising winner on the PGA Tour

Tiger Woods' jeans: OK, so it's a little tough to tell from this pic from his annual "Tiger Jam," but it appears Tiger's denim problem is getting better. Of course, it would have been tough for it to get worse. . .

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Focus on the jeans, people! Having the Denim Blues this bad is serious stuff.

WE'RE SELLING

Louis "Larry" Oosthuizen: A week after the Players got his first name wrong in the parking lot, friend Charl Schwartzel had fun at Oosthuizen's expense by getting Ping to put "Larry Oosthuizen" on his golf bag. It looked like Larry, sorry, Louis, would have the last laugh as he entered Sunday with a share of the 54-hole lead, but a final-round 74 dropped him to T-11 and left he 2010 British Open champ still in search of a first win on U.S. soil.

Related: An unauthorized history of Tiger Woods' jeans

The Herald Sun: In response to the European Tour finishing the Madeira Islands Open after caddie Ian MacGregor died during the final round, a Melbourne-based newspaper ran a particularly distasteful cartoon. Some topics are better left untouched.

Fred Couples: Boom Boom made a boo boo when he failed to show up for his 9:40 a.m. Sunday tee time at the Regions Tradition (he was 15 shots off the lead at the time). Couples pulling out of this week's Senior PGA -- yes, that's back-to-back majors on the Champions Tour -- leads us to believe that he is seriously injured. But still, a no show is no good.  It's not like his tee was THAT early . . .

Tiger Woods' U.S. Open chances: At media day for next month's Quicken Loans National, Woods said he's feeling better, but that he's still only chipping and putting and has no timetable for returning to competitive golf. On the bright side, he said his surgery has alleviated his concern that his career would be cut short by his bad back, and the time off has given him time to give his girlfriend, Lindsey Vonn, some golf lessons.

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Focusing on the short game first is better anyway. See? Maybe this back injury was a blessing in disguise.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour finishes its second mini-Texas swing at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, aka that tournament where golf fans can bask in all things Ben Hogan. Count on Hogan -- sorry, that's Mr. Hogan -- being mentioned by announcers more than the eventual winner.

Related: 5 tee shots at TPC Sawgrass that are just as scary as No. 17

Random tournament fact: Mr. Hogan won the inaugural playing of this event in 1946 and went on to win the tournament a record five times. If you watch this week's event, this will be seared into your brain.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK 

-- Fred Couples missed his tee time because he got caught up watching a particularly gripping episode of "SpongeBob SquarePants": 1 million-to-1 odds.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

-- Tiger Woods will win the U.S. Open: 10-to-1 odds (actual odds)

-- Odds I won't be taking that Tiger bet: LOCK

THIS WEEK IN DUSTIN JOHNSON-PAULINA GRETZKY JASON DUFNER-AMANDA DUFNER AND KEVIN DURANT PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

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Oddly enough, this was the second golf-related photo the NBA's MVP showed up in this week. On Thursday night, he gave his game-worn sneakers to friend Bubba Watson. Kevin, if you're looking to get into golf, we suggest you let Jason, and not Bubba, give you a lesson. His swing is just a tad more conventional.

Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures

JUST BECAUSE PAULINA GRETZKY PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Jimenez's celebratory pic above was clearly the overall photo of the week, but Paulina's Instagram with an accompanying sticking-out-the-tongue emoticon wasn't bad, either.

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Related: The week in Instagrams

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Charles Barkley hasn't gotten any better at golf. Here's proof:

The top 25 viral golf videos of 2013

THIS AND THAT

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Kenny Perry won the first Champions Tour major of the season. Unfortunately, any senior majors without Miguel Angel Jimenez in the field get an asterisk. . . . The Iowa State men's golf team qualified for the NCAA Championship for the first time since 1953. Wow, that was the year Mr. Hogan won his "triple crown" of majors. . . . Speaking of milestones, it was nice to see Lizette Salas earn a breakthrough win on the LPGA Tour at Kingsmill. It was also nice watching the best women in the world play the same course that will be part of my annual golf trip/tournament next month. Look out guys, I was taking copious notes. . . . Lucy Li, 11, became the youngest female to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open, breaking Lexi Thompson's record. Careless Googling may lead you to Lucy LIU (pictured), who as far as we know does not play golf, but does wear high heels to EVERY crime scene in the show "Elementary." What a great show.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Why didn't I take golf lessons as a little kid?

Has Miguel replaced Freddie as golf's most popular senior?

How is Charles Barkley still that bad at golf?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

... Read

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July 28, 2014

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